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June 2019 Tour: Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Location: 1600 East Acacia, Fullerton 92831

NOTE:* The Unitarian Congregation meets inside Temple Beth Tikvah at 1600 No. Acacia Ave., Fullerton 92831

Date: Sunday, June 2, 2019

Time: 10:00am-1:30pm

Transportation: Not Offered


Overview of the Day

Attend a service, which will include a homily, music, and other regular elements of a Unitarian service. This particular service will, also, include a special Unitarian Ritual, the “Flower Communion”, occurring that day. The Flower Communion is a spring or summertime ritual created by Czechoslovakian Unitarian Minister, Norbert Capek. In an effort to bring the diversity of Unitarian congregations together, Capek created the Flower Communion.  In the ritual, everyone attending brings a flower (originally from the roadside or their own garden, but more recently often from a flower stand or grocery store).  The flowers are placed in prominently displayed vases. Plainly visible is the diversity of color and shape of the blooms and, also, the beautiful picture they make when gathered together.  The communion is a time when each congregant comes forward and takes a flower, other than the one they brought, to take home with them.

  • *HOWT guests are invited to participate in this ritual if they wish and may bring their own flower or use one of the extras that will be provided.
  •  Interactive social time (with food) with members of the congregation
  •  Q & A with The Reverand Doctor Karen Stoyanoff
  •  Additional information and details will be provided to registrants

Our Host- Rev. Jason Cook

Cook began his journey at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, one of two such Unitarian institutions in the nation. “I returned to the place I ran away from,” he says of the Midwest. Cook eventually interned with [Rev. Karen] Stoyanoff in Anaheim before becoming an admission director at Meadville and an assistant minister in Walnut Creek up in the Bay Area.

Since taking the pulpit last August, the reverend has accomplished a number of feats: Fullerton is now the largest Unitarian church in OC and the second fastest growing midsized Unitarian church in the nation. Cook’s dynamic Martin Luther King Jr. Day sermon this year gave spirit to an active congregation that responded to Donald Trump’s inauguration by joining the OC Women’s March and protesting the president’s policies at LAX.

“These are complicated times,” Cook says. “I hope we’re able to hold on to our understanding of our common humanity across these lines of difference and division.”




About Unitarian Universalim

From Rev. Dr. Karen Stoyanoff:

Unitarian Universalism is a faith that has grown out of two Protestant traditions that started in this country when the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, MA.  Although originally part of the Christian faith, they have evolved over the years to not choose any one of the religious faiths as their story.  We welcome everyone to be a part of our community and regularly explore other world religions.  Although we draw wisdom from many sources, since the merger of the two traditions in 1961, we have chosen to live our lives governed by seven principles for living in our current day world.  We function with congregational polity and each congregation has autonomy in their governance.  Many congregations have called ordained clergy, but others serve without ongoing clerical leadership, choosing rather to fill their pulpit with guest ministers and speakers.

 -Rev. Dr. Karen Stoyanoff, Unitarian Universalist Community Minister in Orange County


September 2019 Tour: California Zoroastrian Center

California Zoroastrian Center

Location: 8952 Hazard Ave, Westminster, CA 92683

Date: Sunday, September 8, 2019

Time: TBA

Transportation: Not Offered


Overview of the Day

Details for this tour coming soon. Stay tuned!

About CA Zoroastrian Center:

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA ZOROASTRIAN CENTERA winged figure surrounded by a writing of “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds,” and four tall pillars with bull-torso tops make a building look majestic, attractive and interesting on the Hazard Avenue in Westminster. The sign reads: California Zoroastrian Center. It is a religious-social building because in addition to daily visits by many persons, every now and then men and women of all ages gather to celebrate an occasion. There is an interesting story behind it. Here is a very brief account:

In May 1979, six Iranian Zoroastrian ladies met with a view to find a way to preserve and promote their religion and culture in their home—America. It was first formed as a subsidiary committee of the existing Zoroastrian Association of California (ZAC). It did not work; it didn’t work either with the Zoroastrian Foundation, which had its base in Bombay, India. The committee attached itself to the Ancient Iran Cultural Society in November 1979. It worked. However, in May 1980, a famous Iranian philanthropist, Rustam Guiv, helped the committee, now registered as a non-profit, religious-social corporation under the name of the “California Zoroastrian Center,” to be lodged in premises he purchased on the Bayless Street in Anaheim. A few years of rapidly growing activities, made the officials to plan for a larger places. The Rustam Guiv Foundation provided the funds for a piece of land and other philanthropists wholeheartedly joined in to construct a building on it. On March 25, 1987, the majestic building was inaugurated with prayers, talks, and festivity.

The building, named Rustam Guiv Dar-e Mehr, covers 8,000 sq. ft. on 47,000 sq. ft. ground. It has a hall with a capacity of 630 persons, a prayer room with 4,000 books and booklets, three class-rooms which are easily converted to serve as a dining hall or to enlarge the big hall, a kitchen, and a guest apartment. It initially cost $536,000. A two-story annex was completed and inaugurated in 1988 as a youth wing at a cost of $40,000. Each of these sections was build by donors in memory of their beloved ones. Relevant plaques bear names of the donors and the beloved ones.
The fire-altar of the prayer room was donated by a philanthropist and was brought from India. It is 100 years old. The library is one of the best in reference books on Zoroastrians in North America. Books were donated by the Ancient Iranian Cultural Society, the late office, prayer room, and the library are open seven days a week with a full-time priest and a fulltime office manager, a rarity in America and Europe.

Donations by members and friends, some remaining anonymous, help the Center to meet its expense. The center has its Youth wing. The youth are active in holding religious meetings, literary gatherings, sports, and concerts.
The Center celebrates religious and national festivals, holds religious, cultural and social classes in English and Persian, arranged talks by scholars, holds music concerts and painting exhibitions, and publishes a quarterly bulletin with articles on religions, history, culture, news, and calendar. To this day, it has published five books on Zoroastrianism. It has hosted the Fifth NorthAmerican Zoroastrian Congress and the First North American Zoroastrian Youth Congress, and sends its representatives to both the congresses being held every two years alternately in the cities with prominent Zoroastrian population in North America. The Center is an active founding – member of FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Association of North America. It has established close relations with Zoroastrian and related organizations all over the world, particularly India, Iran, Pakistan, and Europe. It has counseled and helped new immigrants to settle in America.

The start from scratch to its present of the largest Zoroastrian center outside Iran, Pakistan, and India, during a short period of ten years has warranted Herculean efforts. It has been the faith, high spirits, philanthropy, and team work to achieve all that has been achieved .And it will be the same Faith ,high spirits, philanthropy and team work that will continue to promote the California Zoroastrian Center for the Zoroastrians particularly in southern California and in North America as well as for all those who are interested to know more about Zoroastrianism.
May Ahura Mazda, Lord Wise, help us all in our duty to the cause!


Calling All Houses of Worship!

Are you an organization or location that would like to become part of our House of Worship Tour? If so, contact us for possible collaborations in 2017.