As your sangha grows you may wish to celebrate passages together. You will at least wish to break bread regularly, as Jesus did with his disciples and friends.
The breaking of bread together, the sharing of a symbolic meal, can be a weekly event. It can be done with, or without, any special significance. Your sangha can meet on Wednesday mornings at a coffee house and say the simplest of prayers, "thanks be to God for the coffee and company in Jesus."
Your sangha might want to get together in alternative celebrations, or leave those to churches, if you're affiliated with them. Please let us know what you discover along your path, so we can make this page more useful to other sanghas.
Your sangha might want to get together to celebrate personal growth moments and life transitions including: births, career changes, coming of age, graduations, job changes, and other transitions. Your sangha will also want to provide support for the suffering members go through when they face the loss that comes with death and change, an inevitable part of all our lives. We'll be adding resources to this site for the major life transitions and we hope you'll email us with resources you've found useful. We'll start with Baptism.
Baptism literally means putting water on something. That's it. But of course if you're thinking of getting baptised, there's a lot more to it than just sprinkling or dunking in water. You're thinking of taking a step identifying yourself as a follower of Jesus. Some organized religious groups have written things like this to describe baptism: "Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the sign and seal of our common discipleship. Since baptism is God's gift, the Holy Spirit is called to be upon the water and those being baptized. The act of baptism also marks the beginning of new life of discipleship with Christ, the human response to that gift." Hmmm.... sounds like baptism, I guess, but what does that mean to a sangha? Well, we know it's a pretty rich and deep symbol, but do you need Holy Water or a special clear stream flowing on a high off mountain top, or someone special in brilliant white robes, to baptise you? Our short answer is: we don't especially think so, but don't take our word for it. People are pretty creative these days, one pastor has even baptized over the internet (!) As we say 'thoughts are free, think for yourself' but don't take it lightly, either. If you've decided to follow Jesus' dharma teaching and want to profess that, you might decide that you want to go with your sangha to the most beautiful and meaningful source of water that you know, which can be a lake, river, stream, pool or fountain. The baptizer who is following the 'usual way' should already be baptized, and should have the intent of baptizing you. Water should be involved and it should make it to at least the top of your head. The proper form of the statement for the baptizer is "I Baptise thee (name) in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." You can ask and answer questions, and your words can be as simple as asking an answer do you / yes I (e.g., "I choose to follow Jesus, as my light and my way and my truth and my path to the best of my abilities." Sound like a plan? Beautiful! Celebrate!