What to Expect in Worship
Unitarian Universalists draw on many faith traditions, social themes or human interests in our worship. Any given Sunday service, may be based on ideas originating in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Earth-centered religions, science, social justice or any number of other subjects. Through all this variety, it is entirely possible to find yourself in a worship service that does not appeal to you at all. Should this be the case, please consider this service to be for your neighbor, and maybe the next one will be for you.
You can usually find a brief description of the worship topic in the worship calendar so you will know what to expect. Most Sundays, a greeter will greet you when you enter the church and give you a program so that you can follow along with the service as it happens. Many times the rituals will be explained as they are performed. You will not be asked to agree to any religious creed or statement of belief. Unitarian Universalists believe that beliefs are very personal and that it is the responsibility of each person to discern their own individual beliefs. You may be asked to agree with some basic principles to guide human interaction like compassion and loving kindness.
The worship services may be led by a professional minister, but are often “lay-led” by members of the church or community. Elements of a typical Sunday morning worship service include:
- Words of welcome
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- A multigenerational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
- A time for lifting up the joys and concerns of the congregation
- A meditation or prayer
- Readings—ancient or contemporary
- A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community.
From time to time, worships incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, longer musical performances, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies. We offer childcare and learning programs for children and youth during the Sunday service.
If you have ideas to improve worship, musical talents to offer, or a worship theme you would like to champion, we heartily welcome your input. Please contact the minister by email, or the worship committee by email.