BUF offers its members many rituals and rites of passage. These include christenings, baptisms and naming ceremonies, weddings, solemnizations and memorial services. These rituals and rites of passage are available as part of membership, and to non-members for a reasonable fee. Our policies in this as in everything we do are based on the values of our faith, therefore we do not make distinctions between people on account of gender, gender expression, social class, race, age, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or military status. Please inquire with the BUF office or visit our rental page.
Unitarian Universalists do not believe that we are inherently sinful and in need of saving. Instead we acknowledge the potential good in each of us. Children are honored in our child dedications not to be purified but to commit ourselves to support their healthy development. We offer them a tightly closed rose that has had the thorns removed to symbolize the potential for blooming that has not yet been realized. The removal of the thorns symbolizes our intention to protect them from harm as they find their way through childhood on the journey to adulthood. This ceremony is performed during a worship service a couple of times a year. For more information about participating in this rite of passage, contact our minister.
Coming of Age
Coming of Age is a Unitarian Universalist rite of passage that celebrates the development of a religious identity for our youth in grades 7-8. Youth participate in an intensive 7-month program that matches each of them with an adult mentor and provides specific opportunities for developing a spiritual and religious identity. The program culminates with a weekend retreat and recognition in a worship service where each youth is given the opportunity to share his/her credo statement. This program is offered every other year and will be offered next beginning in November of 2016. For more information about this program contact our Director of Lifelong Learning, Jennifer Smith.
Bridging is a Unitarian Universalist rite of passage that celebrates and honors our graduating seniors. It is called bridging to reflect the crossing from childhood to adulthood. During this celebration we offer our youth the opportunity to become adult members of our congregation and/or help them connect to other Unitarian Universalist congregations that they may become affiliated with. We celebrate this milestone by offering them a rose—this time with some of the thorns to symbolize our inability to protect them from the inevitable difficulties they will face in life. This rose is also open to symbolize their blooming into adulthood. We also offer them a chalice so that they can keep their flame ablaze. This celebration happens annually, usually during the first worship service in June.
BUF's clergy welcomes the opportunity to perform weddings and commitment ceremonies for members and old and new friends of our faith community. Our own minister is available with advance notice to work with couples who wish to avail themselves of our flexible, collaborative approach to creating meaningful ceremonies. If our minister is unavailable, we can refer couples to other ministers from within our congregation who frequently serve as officiants. A modest honorarium is usually determined by mutual agreement, and our facilities available for rental include elegant sanctuary space, bride and groom dressing rooms, a spacious reception area, and a well-equipped kitchen and food prep area with settings for 125.
Unitarian Universalist principles support the creation of personally meaningful memorials and other services for bereaved members and old and new friends of BUF. Time permitting, our minister can advise you about process, and ceremonial structure and content, in keeping with the wishes of the deceased and the bereaved. BUF staff and leaders can also refer those in need of assistance to other compassionate, experienced officiants within our congregation, as well as arranging for the use of our sanctuary and reception hall. Finally, our pastoral care team of trained lay leaders can provide a point of contact for those in need of professional counseling or grief support.