What to Expect in Worship
At first glance, our worship service looks like most other Protestant services.
We have a sanctuary where we sit, and we have hymnals from which we sing. There is a musical meditation for 15 minutes before our service each week, which we hope offers you a chance to settle into a place of spiritual rest.
To open our services we generally have a welcome, a call to worship and a chalice lighting. The chalice lighting is an important part of our opening ritual, and most Unitarian and Universalist churches around the world begin services in this way. It is one way that can connect with our siblings.
Generally, after the chalice lighting we sing a hymn together. Though like other churches, we have a book of hymns, you may find some of the theology expressed in our words to be different from the ones sung in other churches.
Most often we then have a Time for All Ages. This time includes a story or tale, where we explore something related to the services main theme, focused on the younger minds in our congregation. Often the minister does this, but not always. After the story, our kids light their own chalice and go to their classes as we sing to them.
After this we have our time for meditation, which includes an invitation to meditate, possibly some guiding words, a time of stillness and then the ringing of a small bell, and the singing of one of our favorite hymns, Spirit of Life.
At this point there may be a communal reading, or singing followed by the collection of the offering.
Following these elements, we offer up what we call a Reading from the Global Scripture. This is a reading from the wisdom of the world. Past Global Scripture reads have come from the Torah, the New Testament, the Dharma of the Wonderful Lotus Sutra, from iconic, or comic books, television, the New York Times, and poets like Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson.
Then comes the sermon where the person in the pulpit tries to offer you something to consider. This is perhaps the part of our church service which varies most widely from that of other churches. Rather than instructing you about how one holy text tells you how to live, a person offering a homily or sermon in our church offers you carefully considered thoughts about how you might think about a moral, political or spiritual issue.
After the sermon, which is generally speaking 15-20 minutes, we have a closing hymn, and a benediction. We follow this every week with a coffee hour in our Fellowship Hall where lively conversations about all manner of topics ensue.
The first Sunday of each month is a potluck, where even if you forget to bring something, you can still share in our meal for $3.
We hope you’ll come by for a visit.