Worship takes many forms at the First Unitarian Church of San José, from gathering in community on Sunday mornings (see What to Expect on Sunday Mornings), to a quiet walk of the labyrinth in the center of our sanctuary, to Small Group Ministries, to the readings and chalice lightings we offer at the beginning of committee meetings.
At our Sunday ¡Alabanzas! (a multicultural Small Group Gathering in a mixture of English and Spanish) at 10:15 a.m and worship service at 11:00 a.m. in English, our themes arise out of many sources, from daily life and current events to timeless questions, cultural and religious celebrations to the latest book or movie that has captured folks’ imagination. Ministers and lay members work with our Worship Associates to create thoughtful, reflective, joyful, and provocative worship experiences, lasting approximately an hour and 15 minutes. See our Sunday Services page for this month’s service descriptions.
The flow of worship services may vary from week to week, but most include:
- Hymns and songs: We are a congregation that loves to sing!
- Welcome and announcements
- Lighting the chalice
- Candle of Recognition: The Tamien People — honoring those who first nurtured and sustained the land on which we gather
- Musical meditation
- Reciting our Affirmation
- Story for All Ages: Children, youth, and young-at-heart gather on the labyrinth for a brief story or skit.
- Readings/Reflections: We draw on many sources, from wisdom literature to current poetry and articles. Often lay leaders offer personal reflections on the theme of the month. Ours is a shared ministry.
- Homily or sermon: The main worship leader, usually our minister Rev. Nancy, connects the theme of the month to both the issues of our times and to our daily lives.
- Offering: Contributions help us to sustain our many ministries including special offering for important and timely cause.
- Joys and Sorrows: Once or twice a month, congregants who wish to share a joy or sorrow with the community may light a candle and say a word or two about it.