Photos by Karl Zemlin of Zemlin Photo

Monday, December 19, and Tuesday, December 20
Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

Indy’s family-friendly, non-denominational
holiday celebration!

Join us as we celebrate the return of the sun, weaving stories and songs together for a night that ranges from meditative to raucous … all of it deeply powerful and joyous. It’s more than a performance, it’s more than a worship service. It’s a feast of sound and spirit.

Volunteer

Creating the celebration takes the participation of many, many volunteers. From singers, to visual artists, to ushers, we can use your talent!

Volunteer

Cost

The Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration is open to the public at no cost.  A free-will offering will benefit a local charity.

Location

The ritual will be held in a beautiful space at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis, located at 615 W. 43rd Street.

See a Map

Time

The celebration starts at 7:00 pm.  Seating begins at 6:30.  Arrive early!!!  We almost always have to turn people away.

The Celebration

Going strong since 2004, the Indy Winter Solstice Celebration is a participatory event consisting of singing and storytelling. All ages are welcome (and expected)!

Event History

The Feast

Please bring a pitch-in item (finger food) to share after the conclusion of the celebration. Plates and napkins will be provided.

2018 Indy Winter Solstice Celebration

Setting the Mood

Just a few of the reasons people keep coming back to the Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration!

•  the fantastic space in the sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

•  twinkle lights and candle light

•  instruments ranging from djembe (African drum) to cello and synthesizer

•  a celebration choir, conducted by Pam Blevins Hinkle

•  original music by Le Isaac Weaver

•  spectacular visuals by Stephanie Lewis Robertson and crew

•  a beautiful ritual published by Emerald Earth Publishing

•  feasting and fellowship after the ritual

2012 Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration

Oh, and we can’t forget to mention the fun feast afterwards.
Everyone pitches in for the feast, bringing delicious finger food to share while connecting with other attendees.

The Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration History

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 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID pandemic, we were not able to present the ritual.

Prison Ministry

From 2010 – 2018 the solstice team performed the ritual at the Indiana Women’s Prison. This important ministry provided a critically needed religious alternative. The performances there built bridges to incarcerated Christian women who sought conversation—in and outside the prison—in order to better understand the value of religious plurality.

Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration (2018)
Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration (2018)
Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration (2018)
Casey O'Leary, narrator, Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration (2018)

It Takes a Village!

The Indianapolis Winter Solstice Singing Ritual only happens through the participation of many, many volunteers. People help set up and tear down, tend the food tables (did we mention there is always a delicious pitch-in after the performance?), sing in the choir, act as speakers, design the visuals, usher, run sound, and do a myriad of other things.

Volunteer Sign Up

Sing with Us

No audition necessary; all are welcome to sing this beautiful music that includes chants and rounds with a few part songs. If you need printed music, contact us ASAP (there will be a small fee). Solstice Choir rehearsals are Mondays, starting Nov 14, 6:30-8:30 pm, 1818 W. 57th Street (park in side lot; entrance in the back). Singers must commit to attending a majority of rehearsals and must be present for the mandatory dress rehearsal (an evening close to the performance, TBD, 6:00 – 9:00 pm) and on both performance nights (December 19th and 20th).

Other Skills

You have a skill we can use! Contact us to let us know the skills you can bring to the celebration.
Volunteers must be present for the mandatory dress rehearsal (date and time TBD) and on both performance nights (December 19th and 20th).
It is a cool thing to attend the ritual, but people have told us it’s even more fun to help make it happen.

Indianapolis Winter Solstice Celebration Sponsors

The Winter Solstice Celebration Community Partners

Special thanks to our community partners without whom we couldn’t get it done. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis provides our venue, Karl Zemlin of Zemlin Photo has provided the visual documentation of our celebrations for many years (including those you see on this page), and Le Isaac Weaver of CircleWebWorks created, hosts, and maintains our website.

UUI Location

Indianapolis Winter Solstice Location

Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

615 W. 43rd Street, Indianapolis, 46208

The parking lot fills up fast.  Street parking is available on 42nd and 43rd.  Arrive early for the closest spots.  The lobby is open starting at 6:00 pm, seating begins at 6:30, the celebration starts at 7:00.

The Celebration will likely sell out both nights. Due to Fire Marshall regulations, the seating capacity in the room is strictly enforced — there is no “standing room” availability. Arrive early.

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