Diwali: Let There Be Light!

Diwali or Deepavali meaning “rows of lamps” is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, and includes the lighting of lamps in homes, businesses, temples, and streets. Diwali is also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists around the world. For many Hindus, it marks the beginning of the new year.
Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil, of life over death, of wisdom over ignorance, and celebrates awareness and awakening of the Inner Light. It marks a new beginning in all aspects of life including relationships with family and friends. It is a time for community and family celebration of togetherness, of sharing resources, of good food and gifts.

The Rev. Abhi Janamanchi currently serves as Senior Minister of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, MD. Born and raised in southern India, Abhi moved to the US in 1994. He is a third-generation member of the Brahmo Samaj, a Unitarian Hindu reform movement with ties to Unitarian Universalism.
Abhi graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago in 1998. Before being called to Cedar Lane, he served congregations in Clearwater, Florida (1999-2013), Madison, Wisconsin (1998-99), and Park Forest, Illinois (1997-98). Abhi has been actively involved in international interfaith and multicultural work for over two decades including serving as President of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF). His Unitarian Universalist-Hindu faith, his Indian heritage, and his American citizenship inspire and guide him in life and ministry.

In response to the COVID-19 health concerns, we are meeting online via the Zoom videoconferencing service. To join us, please complete the form found on Access Our Online Worship and you will be emailed access. We meet every Sunday at 1:30 – 230 pm. Newcomers ( to our church or Zoom) are encouraged to join in about 15 minutes early to get set up, oriented and meet a few of our members.  

In community we strive to Connect — forming meaningful relationships, Change — growing spiritually and personally, and Care — supporting each other as we work for a just and sustainable world.

Rev. Samaya

Welcome from our Minister, Rev. Samaya Oakley

Welcome – and thank you for your interest in learning more about and exploring the possibility of making South Fraser Unitarian Congregation your spiritual community. Come join us for worship on Sunday afternoon or come participate in one of our community groups. I hope you’ll come see all that our congregation has to offer.

My most recent Minister’s Column

How Do We Do This?

4 weeks ago

Carrying on with the theme of how we are going to do this, and by do this, this month I want to focus on the uncertainty of living in these times that seems to be facing us all. This is hard and pandemic fatigue seems to be gripping many of us. Our Prime Minister talked directly with us just this last week saying that what we are living through is hard. And it’s precisely at this time that we dig deep into our spiritual practices and look for the opportunities that life presents us. Continue Reading