What to Expect in Worship
We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.
Our services are multigenerational – all ages are welcome to worship together. Children 8 and older and teens share the experience of the whole worship service in the sanctuary with their families. Children ages 5-7 also have the option to be present in the sanctuary for just the first part of the service, and then participate in a program with their peers for the remainder of the worship hour.
As an option for families with young children, we provide a staff-and-volunteer team to offer a nurturing childcare environment for infants and toddlers.
Most of our services are led by our minister, Rev. Jan Taddeo, and some are led by members of our Worship Associate team. We invite people to enter a few minutes early to enjoy the Gathering Music and a moment of centering in our space. People may choose to light a candle of hope or remembrance at our Altar of Compassion before the service begins.
Most Sundays, the words for our songs are projected during the service, and hymnals are available for those who prefer to use them. You may expect a variety of interesting topics weaving together the Unitarian Universalist Principles and drawing from many sources. During our service you may experience a variety of music, readings, reflections, and stories exploring many facets of our monthly theme. You may hear many different voices in a worship service, as we encourage people to share stories from their own spiritual journeys. We urge newcomers to come to services several times to experience the full flavor of our congregation’s worship life.
Elements of a typical Unitarian Universalist 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.
What Happens After the Service?
Our gathering time continues after the service with refreshments and conversation in the Sanctuary. Parents are asked to pick up their children ages 7 and under immediately after the service and allow them to enjoy our social time as well. On pleasant days, our deck and playground provide a wonderful way to enjoy our time together. This time after the service is also when some of our ministry teams meet to plan and deepen connections, and other programs are offered on most Sunday afternoons.
On the 3rd Sunday of each month we hold a “Third Sunday Pot-Luck Luncheon.” Newcomers are invited to join us… there is always plenty of food to share.
On 3rd Sundays when we have our pot-luck, newcomers go to the head of the food line so they can participate in our monthly “UU101” program to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and our congregation. For those “newcomers” who don’t feel so new anymore because they’ve found ways to connect and grow within our community, the “UU102” program is also available on 3rd Sundays to learn more about the path to membership.