Religion briefs

At 4 a.m. today, community members are invited to come to the Center for Spiritual Living at 1119 Ellen Ave., Medford.

There, in the candlelit sanctuary, participants will join with Ogden and Cindra Kellogg and people from around the world in a simultaneous sacred hour of peace, healing, prayer and meditation. People will be united as they hear the same powerful words of oneness read aloud at exactly the same time.

This purpose of the tradition is to help people open themselves to possibilities of the new year. After the hour of peace, it is the custom to have a community breakfast at a nearby local restaurant for fellowship, connection and sharing.

Unitarian Universalists consider New Year's intentions instead of resolutions. So the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's 10:30 a.m. service Sunday, Jan. 2, will focus on thinking about intentions for the new year.

The service is meant to help people reflect on current life situations.

Attendees can honor gifts and dreams and consider how to bring them to fruition.

The service will be led by the Rev. Leslie Becknell Marx at the fellowship, 87 Fourth St. (at C) in Ashland.

Child care and interactive religious exploration programs for children and youths will be available. For more information, visit or call 541-482-4755.

Join Unity in Ashland for a meditation on the harmonics of the New World and ring in 2011 with 108 gongs during Unity in Ashland's version of the Japanese temple ritual of Shogatsu at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2, at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland.

Although Shogatsu means January, it is a ceremony celebrated for the first three days of the first week of January in Japan.

These days are considered the most important holidays for the Japanese because what is thought and practiced on then sets in motion the tone of the new year.

Unity in Ashland's minister, Norma Nakai Burton, lived in Japan for several years and experienced this ritual firsthand.

People will consider what they might want to rearrange in their lives as the new year begins to harmonize with this hoped-for new vibration of unity.

For more information, call 541-482-4840.

Compiled from staff reports

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