First Unity Church's Summer Solstice Celebration observes start of summer

The Soulfire Drum Ensemble gets in the groove during a rehearsal in the sanctuary of First Unity Church on Monday evening. From left are Ami Bowen, Mike Bowen, Toni Summers and Susan Belyea.

DIRK SHADD | Times\uFEFF

The Soulfire Drum Ensemble gets in the groove during a rehearsal in the sanctuary of First Unity Church on Monday evening. From left are Ami Bowen, Mike Bowen, Toni Summers and Susan Belyea.

ST. PETERSBURG — For centuries, drum circles have been a ritual in many cultures as a way to celebrate sacred occasions, such as the changing of the seasons.

In recognition of the first day of summer, First Unity Church of St. Petersburg will tonight present a Summer Solstice Celebration complete with a fire pit, a drum circle and fellowship.

"Since the church welcomes all paths, we are thrilled to have an event that honors Mother Earth and has us take the time to realize the sacredness of life," said Barbara Bertucci, who is coordinating the event.

The celebration is a time for reflecting on the spring that has passed and a time to look ahead as the season officially changes to summer, she said. It provides an opportunity to learn and experience traditions from American Indian and Celtic ancestry.

Set against the backdrop of a starry sky, kids will have a chance to sing, dance and play instruments.

"What an awesome way to help teach our children to respect the planet, by creating music and to enjoy the moments of togetherness," Bertucci said.

The Rev. Russell Heiland Jr. says the themes of the solstice will be shared so people can reflect on them.

"The solstice service is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to broaden their spiritual horizons since the service draws on the wisdom of a variety of traditions," said Heiland, who is the associate minister.

The celebration will take place in front of the church. If there is inclement weather, Friendship Hall will be the meeting place. Be sure to dress comfortably, and bring folding chairs or a blanket to sit on and a water bottle. Don't forget your drums, rattles and noisemakers (optional).

Summer Solstice Celebration

When: 7 to about 8:30 tonight.

Where: First Unity Church, 460 46th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. The event will be outside. In the event of inclement weather, meet in Friendship Hall.

Admission: Free.

For more information: Call (727) 527-2222 or visit unitycampus.org.

First Unity Church's Summer Solstice Celebration observes start of summer 06/20/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:30am]

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