Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Transcendentalist and Unitarian minister, said “What we are worshiping, we are becoming.” In our tradition, worship is a time to renew our sense of reverence and commitment to our values of love and service. We celebrate blessings, share what is painful, reflect on questions of ultimate meaning, and give thanks for what is good and worthy. Worship is one of the primary experiences and processes whereby we maintain or restore our sense of cohesiveness or oneness with life and with each other.
Our typical worship is much like a Protestant service: an organ prelude, words of welcome, hymns, a children’s story, prayers, readings, an anthem by the choir, a sermon by the parish minister, the receiving of offerings, a benediction, and organ postlude.
However, there are some significant differences. First, as you enter the sanctuary you will notice not one religious symbol, but seven. These seven symbols are in small circular stained-glass windows that adorn the sanctuary. Another difference is that early in every service we light a single candle, located in the center of a large chalice. The flaming chalice is the symbol of our faith. We also have a practice of remembering the earth, the larger world, and our personal joys and sorrows. Our sacred readings may come from poetry, literature, or from a variety of world religions. We often share the silent ritual of lighting candles for hope and healing.
The primary purpose of our worship is not information, but transformation – the natural process of nurturing and becoming who we already are. And the context is always welcoming and free. We do not have a creed, and every Unitarian Universalist is encouraged to question and to follow their own reason and conscience. In our worship, faith and reason meet.
Children join the adults for the first part of the worship service almost every Sunday and are “sung out” to their religious education classes after a Time For All Ages story. We have multi-generational worship services several times a year. Babies are welcome! If little ones get fussy, caregivers may choose to take them to the Parish Hall right through a set of doors where the service is broadcast on a large TV screen. We always have toys set up, and there are a few rocking chairs at the rear of the sanctuary for your comfort, and coloring books for children.
Most services are led by the parish minister, but leadership is shared.A guest speaker or member of the congregation leads the service about once a month and we often have a guest minister or speakers during July and August. To check the schedule of services, please sign up for our newsletter, check our Facebook page, or refer to the front page of this website.
We hope to see you there. You are welcome as you are.