What to Expect in Worship
“Worship” includes all the times that we gather together to explore and celebrate what we value most deeply. Sunday morning services are filled with music, stories, and thoughtful readings and reflections. Our sanctuary provides a sacred space where we can reconnect with ourselves and each other, challenge ourselves to think deeply about life’s big questions, accompany each other in joy and sorrow, and encourage each other’s spiritual growth, no matter what our age or life circumstances.
Held at 10:15 a.m. every Sunday, ¡Alabanzas! (Praise) is a small group meeting of singing, meditation and reflection in Spanish and English. Services at 11:00 are in English.
When you arrive at 11:00 on a Sunday morning you will be welcomed at the door by our Worship Hosts, identified by the colorful stoles they will be wearing. In addition to making you feel welcome, they will show you where to make yourself a name tag and sign our guest book and, if desired, help you find a seat in the Sanctuary.
Children are Welcome
If you are bringing a small child (infant to around four years old) we have a well-furnished nursery staffed by two caregivers and located on the ground floor of the church. The nursery is reached by passing though the Sanctuary to the back hall where you’ll find an elevator that will take you down to the ground floor. The door to the nursery is immediately ahead of you as you turn right after leaving the elevator. A Worship Host will be glad to assist you. Small children are also welcome to stay with their parents in the service if desired.
A ramp leads to our side entrance, hearing-assist devices and large-type hymnals are available, and the building is equipped with an elevator.
A Typical Worship Service
Although our services vary greatly from week to week, the general format is usually similar. The service opens with a welcome, announcements, and a formal beginning of the service indicated by the ritual of the lighting of our chalice and a recitation of our Affirmation. Early in the service, the children gather for a story after which they leave to attend their Religious Education classes. Parents are welcome accompany small children to their classes if they wish, especially for the first few times.
The service continues with hymns, readings, an offering, and a sermon or reflection. (Visitors are not expected to contribute to the offering for their first few visits.) Senior Minister, Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, usually leads Sunday services. However, we occasionally have lay-led services that are crafted and given by members of the church or guest speakers. Services usually last about an hour and 15 minutes.
What to Wear
Our church does not have a “dress code.” On any given Sunday, you might see people who enjoy getting dressed up for church in “Sunday best”, as well as those who opt for more comfortable casual attire.
After our Sunday services, everyone is welcome at our social hour in Hattie Porter Hall which adjoins the Sanctuary. Children’s Religious Education classes usually end at 12:30, giving parents a few minutes of time with other adults before the children join them. A Welcome Table, set up near the entrance to Hattie Porter Hall, is staffed by friendly people and stocked with pamphlets that offer more information about Unitarian Universalism and our congregation.