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Diwali in Unitarian Church in Summit, New Jersey

The Unitarian Church in Summit, New Jersey, will celebrate Diwali 2012, the Hindu festival of lights, on Sunday, November 11, at its 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. services.

The church’s program staff, led by congregational minister Rev. Vanessa Southern, offers the multi-generational services with these words: “Our theme for November is abundance, and it is fitting that we turn our attention to Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance.”

As with all the congregation’s services, the public is welcome to attend.

The event will include the lighting of small clay lamps brought from India as a welcome to the goddess and to signify the triumph of good over evil. There will be special music by a guest Indian musician.
“Our people come from many traditions that are welcomed and celebrated here,” said Rev. Southern. “Our Diwali observance not only honors their roots, it weaves a new story of how and who we are together.”

Other participating staff include Rev. Kim Tomaszewski, assistant minister; Rev. Emilie Boggis, youth minister; and Tuli Patel, director of religious education. The services will not be traditionally Hindu in the conventional sense but will have elements of traditional celebrations, the congregation leaders emphasized.

The Unitarian Church in Summit draws members from various religious and cultural backgrounds who join together in their individual quests for truth and meaning. Its mission is to be a radically inclusive religious community that feeds the human spirit and heals the world. There is no creed or test of membership, but the community is bound together by principles, shared values and a desire to serve.

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