What to Expect in Worship
We gather in worship each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to seek greater connection, meaning, wisdom and compassion in our lives. You are welcome to come as you are. Most of us choose to dress casually, which includes jeans or shorts.
You’ll be met before you walk into the sanctuary by a greeter who can answer any questions you may have. Each church member wears a name badge to assist you with introductions. You may choose to make a temporary nametag for yourself when you sign our guest book. Child care is provided in our nursery for children ages 4 and under, and religious education classes are offered during the school year for children up to age 12.
A typical Order of Service looks like this:
- Opening Words
- Chalice Lighting
- Extending the Hand of Fellowship – an opportunity to shake hands and greet follow worshipers
- Opening Hymn
- Story for All Ages – school age children depart afterward to religious education classes from September to May
- Welcome and Announcements
- Sharing Joys and Concerns
- Reading and Meditation
- Closing Hymn
- Extinguishing the Chalice
- Our Covenant – recited while holding hands in a circle around the edge of the sanctuary
Readings are sourced from a wide variety of traditions and may be in the form of a poem, short story, or excerpt from an essay. Hymns are often set to traditional tunes, but the lyrics are sometimes quite different, as references to traditional Christian dogma and male-centric words such as mankind and brotherhood have been changed. During the Story for All Ages, all children are invited to the front of the sanctuary for a short story, and afterward (during the academic season) they head to their religious education classes.
Sermons are delivered by our minister and occasionally a member of our congregation or guest minister. They usually explore a variety of topics, such as living an ethical and meaningful life, social justice, the relevance of art and history in our own lives, world religion, and theological concepts. Each week is different, but the goal is to touch something deep in each listener’s heart to help guide the way toward wholeness and peace.
Some of the church’s favorite annual worship services include the Water Ceremony, a “welcome back” and kick-off of the formal church year each September, and our June Flower Ceremony, to mark the ending of the formal church year. From time to time, worships also incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, and longer musical performances.
Every week is different. We strongly encourage new visitors to attend more than one service to gain a better understanding of our congregation. Thank you for your interest in First Unitarian and we look forward to meeting you soon!