International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

2011 Archive

Global Chalice Lighting for January 2011

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 89th in its monthly series of global chalice lighting readings. Congregations worldwide are invited to participate.

All ICUU-affiliated groups have been asked to submit brief chalice lightings for the project. Every month, a reading will be distributed to Unitarian and Universalist congregations around the world. We ask each congregation to use the reading for at least one worship service in the designated month, identifying it as the “Global Chalice Lighting” for that month and naming the group which submitted it. Readings will be circulated in English and, where different, in their original language.

It is hoped that the ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Project will enhance the worship experience in our congregations and raise awareness of the international dimensions of our religious movement.

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted by the founding President of the ICUU in honor of the organisation’s fifteenth year. It is to be used during January 2011.

All around the world, the light of honest thought shines, showing people the path to their own authentic faith.

All around the world, the warmth of community glows, drawing people in from loneliness and estrangement.

All around the world, the flame of justice burns, inspiring people to acts of faith-filled courage.

Here, too, may the light and warmth of this chalice be to us a beacon of truth, generosity and compassion, that we may learn the ways of faith and love.

-Rev. David Usher First ICUU President


February 2011

This is the 90th in the monthly series of Global Chalice Lightings from the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. It comes from the Scottish Unitarian Association.

To celebrate our gathering together this morning we light our chalice  as we do each time we meet for   worship.

It is good to embrace this familiar   ritual.

It is good to know that through this action we are united with Unitarian and Universalist sisters and brothers throughout the   world.

But let us try to ensure that our understanding of this familiar and comforting ritual does not become dulled through   repetition.

The symbol of a f laming chalice stood  initially  for  a  life of  service. Its  designer had never seen a  Unitarian church or heard a  sermon.  What he had seen was faith     in action in the form of the Unitarian Service   Committee.

As we reflect upon our flaming chalice let us remember this commitment to service –

which comes in many  forms.

But let us also remember that the flaming chalice, like our faith, stands open to receive new truths that pass the tests of reason, justice, and compassion.

Let us take a moment to call to mind what special meaning this symbol of fire, of light  and of warmth might have for each of us this morning, and for our lives in the week ahead.

– Rev. Maud Robinson Scottish Unitarian Association


Global Chalice Lighting for March 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted in German and English by the Unitarian Universalist Forum of Vienna, Austria. It is to be used during March 2011.

Wir leben in einer Zeit der Wissenschaft, wir versuchen angestrengt die Welt um uns herum zu verstehen und so das Rätsel an der Wurzel unserer Existenz zu lösen. Jetzt, wo die Menschheit nach den fernsten Sternen greift, sollten wir da nicht auch nach etwas greifen, das uns so nahe scheint und doch in unseren Leben oft ferner ist als der fernste Fleck am Firmament: nach den Herzen unserer Mitmenschen? Die Flamme, die wir nun entzünden, soll uns ein Leuchtfeuer sein in der Dunkelheit, die uns trennt. Es soll uns nicht nur unterstützen in der weltweiten Vereinigung der Unitarier und Universalisten sondern das wertvolle, wundervolle Band stärken, das alle Menschen von jeher verbindet.

We live in a time of science, we try very hard to understand the world around us and think that by doing so we can solve the miracle at the root of our existence. As humanity reaches out for the farthest stars should we not reach out as well for something very near and still in our life often farther than the farthest speck on the firmament: to the heart of our fellow human beings? The flame we are lighting now shall be a beacon in the darkness that separates us. It shall not only help us in uniting Unitarian-Universalists across the world but strengthen the treasured, miraculous bond between all people that exists since the beginning of time.

Andreas Bolhar-Nordenkampf Unitarisch-Universalistisches Forum


Global Chalice Lighting for April 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is distributed by the ICUU in response to the recent Japanese earthquake and its aftermath. In popular Japanese mythology earthquakes are caused by the great fish, Namazu, who lies imprisoned underground beneath a huge stone. This reading is to be used during April 2011.



For Japan, March 2011

Namazu, the Great Fish, stirs and the earth quakes.

Tsunami, the Great Wave, races to the shore.

Harbours are engulfed, and towns and villages and farmlands.

The fragile, perilous works of humankind

are assailed and shaken.

Nature’s power and human folly have combined.

People are filled with fear. They suffer ruin, devastation, and death.

Human weakness is exposed. We feel helpless in the face of so much grief, so much suffering.

And yet we cannot afford ourselves the luxury of despair.

We are here to say that, in us, the universe cares for its children.

We are here to reach out in love to the people of Japan;

to unite our spirits with theirs in an affirmation of  hope beyond apocalypse.

And to do what we can.

And so we kindle our sacred flame.

-Rev. Cliff Reed 16th March 2011


Global Chalice Lighting for May 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted in English and Spanish by the Unitarian Universalist Association. It is to be used during May 2011.

We speak different languages. We live on different continents. And yet we share a common love, a common faith, and a common destiny. We share a commitment to create a world where compassion guides us, where all are cherished, where all are free.

We light this chalice in recognition of our enduring connections, in honor of our shared legacy, and in anticipation of the future we shall create together.

Hablamos idiomas diferentes y vivimos en continentes distintos, pero compartimos un amor común, una fe común y un destino común. Compartimos el compromiso de crear un mundo en el que nos guíe la compasión, donde todos seamos amados, donde todos seamos libres.

Encendemos este cáliz en reconocimiento de nuestras relaciones duraderas, en honor de nuestro legado compartido y en la expectativa del futuro que crearemos juntos.

–Peter Morales Unitarian Universalist Association


Global Chalice Lighting for June 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted in French and English by the Eglise Unitarienne Francophone as homage to Norbert Čapek. It is to be used during June 2011.


Chaque fois que je vois une fleur, je pense à toi, Chaque fois que je vois une fleur, je pense à nous, Car nous assemblons les fleurs, n’est-ce pas ?

Pour qu’elles forment un éventail arc-en-ciel Pour qu’elles fassent bouquets

Pour qu’elles fassent Eglise.

On dit que, dans ta Bohème natale, Elles sont si nombreuses au printemps tant belles et mutines

Qu’elles courent et dansent dans les prés Célébrant la vie en farandole de liberté.


Each time I see a flower, I think of you. Each time I see a flower, I think of us. For we gather flowers, do we not?

So that they may bloom into a fan-shaped rainbow and make up lovely bouquets,

making up the Church.

They say there are so many of them in your native Bohemia,

so beautiful and lively,

that they run and dance in the fields celebrating life in a frolic of freedom.

–Jean-Claude Barbier Eglise Unitarienne Francophone


Global Chalice Lighting for July 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted in Kirundi, French, and English by the Assemblée des Chrétiens Unitariens du Burundi. It is to be used during July 2011.

Guhura kw’abantu kugurura imiryango myiinshi

Kwinjira mu mico y’abandi no kugurikira uburyo bundi bwo gutahura no gukora ibintu.

Kwitaho abandi bica birakura muri twebwe umutima wokwitanga uturoresha kubandi mu kubitangira atakwikunda kugiyemwo.

Uno musi, muri aka gatondo, nitwatse iri tara ryo kugurukira abandi, yo gutangarira bishasha biduteza imbere eka mbere nogukorera hamwe gukomeye.


La rencontre entre les peoples renferme des possibilités inattendues Expériences culturelles et ouverture à de nouvelles façons de comprendre et de faire les choses.

L’attention à l’autre se développe et un esprit de détachement nous tourne vers l’autre dans un service désintéressé.

Aujourd’hui, ce matin, allumons une flamme d’ouverture à l’autre, de curiosité enrichissante et de coopération active.


When people meet, endless possibilities emerge–

New cultural experiences and openness to new ways of understanding and doing things.

A special attention to the other and a sense of service beyond self develop.

Today, this morning, let us light the chalice for openness, willingness to grow, enriching curiosity, and active cooperation.

Fulgence Ndagijimana Assemblée des Chrétiens Unitariens du Burundi



Global Chalice Lighting for August 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted in German and English by the Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft. It is to be used during August 2011.

Manchmal ist unsere Vision

von Mitgefühl und Gemeinschaft größer als unser Herz.


Unsere Hoffnung auf eine gerechte Gesellschaft, die sowohl frei als auch verantwortlich ist,

geht oft hinaus über das, was wir gerade selbst dazu beitragen.


Dennoch – mögen wir uns niemals durch Fehlschläge oder Misserfolge davon abhalten lassen, tatkräftig zuzupacken,

und immer und immer wieder zu versuchen

die Hoffnungen und Träume unserer Gemeinschaft zu leben. Möge das Licht dieser Flamme uns den Mut für die Reise geben.


Sometimes, the vision we share for compassion and community is bigger than our actual hearts.

Often, our hopes for a just society that is both free and responsible

exceeds what we actually do to create it.


But may we never let our failing and floundering keep us from seeking, again and again,

to live out in concrete deeds

the hopes and dreams of our collective heart.


May the light of this flame give us courage for the journey.


Eric Hausman Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft


Global Chalice Lighting for September 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted by the Unitarian Universalist Association. It is to be used during September 2011.


Somewhere in Berkeley and in Boston and in Bujimbara, someone lights a chalice, and its light shines on freedom; Somewhere in Kansas City and in Koloszvar and in Kampala, Someone lights a chalice, and its light illumines truth;

Somewhere in Tierra del Fuego, and in Tulsa, and in Honolulu and in Havana, and in Nashville and in Nantucket and in Nairobi,

Someone lights a chalice, and love is made visible. Today, we light this chalice and hold in memory, the many chalices whose steady flames hold us.

Rosemary Bray McNatt Unitarian Universalist Association (



Global Chalice Lighting for October 2011


This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted in Czech and English by the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians. It is to be used during October 2011.

Scházíme se v tomto místě, které je pro tuto chvíli naším duchovním domovem. Je to místo nás všech, pro každého z nás. Jsme lidé různého původu, s různými životními příběhy; každý z nás je originálem.  Jdeme mnoha různými cestami.

Zatímco cesta každého z nás je odlišná, máme společný cíl: prohlubovat naše spojení s Duchem Života; činit duchovní dílo v našich srdcích; a vztahovat se k druhým.

Zapalme tento kalich, abychom posílili své uvědomění pospolitosti. Toto je skutečně jedno místo, mnoho cest; mnoho cest, jeden cíl. Nechť světlo tohoto kalicha nám tuto pravdu připomíná.


We gather in this place which is our spiritual home at this hour. It is one place for us all. We are people of different origins, with different life stories; each of us is unique.  We walk on many diverse paths.

While the path of each of us is quite different, we have a common goal: to deeper our connection with the Spirit of Life; to do the spiritual work in our hearts; and to reach out to the others.

Let us light the chalice to strengthen our awareness of togetherness. This is truly one place, many paths; many paths, one goal. May the light of this chalice remind us of that.

–Petr Samojsky


Global Chalice Lighting for November 2011

This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted by the Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association. It is to be used during November 2011.

May this flame remind us of our own inward light, the centre of our being, that connects us to all Being and gives us strength and comfort in a troubled world.

Jan Tendys Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association


Global Chalice Lighting for December 2011



 This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted by the Unitarian Union of North East India. It is to be used during December 2011.

We kindle the chalice flame, symbol of our gathered community, across faiths, across cultures, beyond borders.

May it lead us from the shadows into the light, from ignorance to wisdom, from untruth to truth, from exclusiveness to inclusiveness from mortality to immorality.


–Derrick Pariat Unitarian Union of North East India



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