In 2004, Pam Blevins Hinkle stumbled upon a beautifully written ritual created by Julie Forrest Middleton, a Unitarian Universalist, and Stasa Morgan Appel, a self-described Quaker witch. These two women masterfully crafted a non-denominational and earth-affirming celebration that combines music and storytelling to mark the longest night of the year and the return of the Sun.
The Worship Associates at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis (UUI), under the leadership of Rev. Edward Harris, agreed to sponsor and host the event under Pam’s leadership. In that first year, participants included members of UUI, the Indianapolis Women’s Chorus, the Covenant of UU Pagans, and others from diverse segments of the community. The event opened to a packed house of 400 people of all ages and religious persuasions, and it has been sold-out ever since.
In 2012, the Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration moved to a new location, and expanded the circle of sponsors to include more local congregations and earth-affirming organizations.
In 2013 the organizers took a year off.
In 2014 the ritual returned to UUI, and remains there to this day.
In 2010 the solstice team began performing the ritual at the Indiana Women’s Prison. This important ministry provided a critically needed religious alternative. Our performances there build bridges to incarcerated Christian women who have sought conversation—in and outside the prison—in order to better understand the value of religious plurality.