The quilt created for our sanctuary tells a symbol-rich story that reflects our dual heritage: we are Alaskans and we are Unitarian Universalists.

MOON The moon moves through its phases, illuminating the winter sky as it marks the rhythm of life’s cycles and invokes the female spirit or Goddess. Below is the Big Dipper, the constellation that adorns our state flag.

LIGHTS Below, the night sky is streaked with color representing the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. Science tells us that solar wind storms distort the earth’s geomagnetic field, creating the lights. The Yupik peoples see the spirits of their ancestors dancing in the next life.

TREE The birch tree is a northern version of the Tree of Life, a motif in various world religions. In this variant, playful twists of branch and root evoke the interdependent nature of our fellowship and the shelter it offers.

RAVEN At the heart, a raven brings life to the quilt. In Raven’s guise as trickster in Native stories, Raven brings both wisdom and humor into our sanctuary. Behind, the suggestion of mountains calls us to seek physical and spiritual challenges, and remember the role that the land plays in our lives.

ROSES From the dark but fertile ground of spring, new life awakens in the roots and wild roses blanketing summer fields, reminding us of the changing seasons and the circle of life.

CHALICE Interwoven roots form a chalice with a single, golden leaf as its flame, signifying that love lies at the heart of our fellowship.

RIVERS Seven rivers flow like the great braided rivers of Alaska’s Interior. The recurring theme of sevens in the quilt honors the seven principles that unite Unitarian Universalists. There are seven suns and seven moons, seven branches emerging from the tree’s trunk, and seven streams in the braided river.

SUN The midnight sun arcs across the bottom of the quilt, mirroring the moon’s journey above. It does not rise and set, but sweeps around a bright summer sky laced with clouds. The sun is personified as the male solar deity or sun god in many mythologies.

There is a meaningful story behind the Raven’s Tree of Life quilt hanging at the front of the UUFF Sanctuary. This quilt was pieced and quilted by Stephanie Rudig in 2005 from a drawing by UUFF artist Shane Hurd. The design was by Committee: Rose Cain, Rebecca Clack, Suzanne Osborn, Jana and Maia Peirce, and Laurie Walton.