Commemorating Fifty Years!
Have you seen the beautiful fabric flags strung under the trees on the south side of our church property? Did you wonder what they were?
In celebration of our beloved church’s fiftieth anniversary year, children, families, and individuals in our congregation had three separate opportunities to craft what we call Blessings Banners. These small, fabric flags are drawn and painted with our hopes and wishes for the next fifty years. Following a special blessing ceremony during the 9:15 am service on May 6, we hung our fabric banners outside near the meditation garden so that our blessings travel on the wind to bring our prayers to everything that the wind touches.
Our idea of creating Blessings Banners was inspired by the sacred Tibetan Buddhist tradition of making prayer flags. Many Buddhists believe that prayer is a way to join our good inner thoughts with the forces of good (or dharma) in the world. One way to do this is to create prayer flags. People draw or write what they wish for the world onto fabric, using symbols or words to make up the prayer. And though the flags are colorful, they are sacred because they are prayers. Tibetan Prayer Flags are also known as “Lungta,” which translates to mean wind horse. After the blessings and prayers are hung, it is the wind that symbolically spreads the prayers out into the world, blessing everything. In Tibet, the countryside is often dotted with the colorful flags and intricate designs.
Here at UUCW, our children and families want to share the blessings of our church with our wider community. So we created Blessings Banners to celebrate fifty years of loving presence here among our neighbors. And we also wish to bless ourselves and everyone else for another wonderful fifty years!
Our Blessings Banners were dedicated with the following congregational response:
As our beloved community moves into its next fifty years, we bless our children, our church, our neighborhood, and our world. May we grow in love, compassion, joy, and gratitude for the blessings we give and receive. So may it be!
Please enjoy our Blessings Banners as their messages fade in the weather and are taken by the wind.
Maria O’Connor, Director of Religious Education
Blessings Banners Photo Story