Ministers Blog

New Meditation Bell

I invite you to join us for worship at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver!  At the beginning of each service, I invite the bell to sound as we gather for worship.  We also light a chalice, symbol of our faith.  We have both a new flame for the chalice and a new bell.   

The oil lamp flame is one that is common to many UU congregations, including the one I served most recently in Michigan.  We tested it for safety before lighting it on Sunday, but didn't calculate the effect of the new wick sitting in the oil for 48 hours before lighting it.  So, it was quite a show on Sunday! (especially in the first service, before we cut back the wick)  We hope you will all enjoy the new flame in our wood chalice, lovingly created by Skip Morey.

The SantAngelo family donated the gorgeous new bell, after consulting with me about its usefulness in worship (and no doubt watching me struggle to invite the smaller bells to sound)

They write,

"In Zen tradition, the bell is considered to be the Voice of the Buddha, calling us to meditation and mindfulness. Bells such as this one are used in all Buddhist traditions and considered holy objects to be handled with great respect and reverence. This bell was hand-crafted and tuned by hand-hammering, then signed by the craftsman. The bell is quite special in that it was purchased at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh's home and central monastery in the Bordeaux region of France.

"The SantAngelo family has donated this bell with hope that the bell will assist Rev. Bert in calling our UUCV family to worship services for many years to come, and that it should occupy a place of honor in our sanctuary."

I am a lover of ritual and appreciate these objects of beauty that adorn the sanctuary here in Vancouver.  The pulpit, though not new, is also a thing of beauty, and was carved by John Shannock.  I hope you will join us for worship one Sunday and enjoy the beauty of these symbols of our faith, and the love with which they were created and donated.

- Rev. Kathryn Bert