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Worship & Ministry
Sunday Morning Service
Childcare is provided on Sundays as well as religious education for youth. Coffee hour follows the service -- a perfect time to continue sharing!
We are a non-creedal religion, based on the values outlined in our Principles. We find wisdom in all of the world's major philosophies and are dedicated to supporting individuals in their spiritual and ethical growth. As we grow and search for personal meaning, our beliefs may change. We may find that the faith we grew up in no longer matches with our personal beliefs. How can you figure out where your fellow seekers might be?
Find us and ye shall Seek.
Our church calendar year runs from September through June. After that, our parishioners organize to conduct services during the months of July & August. This is in keeping with our cherished belief in the freedom of the Pulpit & Pew.
If you look at our web page, Saying Hello, you will see a short video on our Sunday Service. (Each UU church may choose to organize their service differently.)
♦ Your experience at our church begins with someone greeting you at the door and making you welcome. If you have children, the Greeter will help answer questions about our religious education program.
♦ Once inside the Chapel, you'll be handed a service program by the Usher. You are welcome to sit wherever you are comfortable. Ask for a headset if you need amplification to hear well. Everyone is invited to sit down as the Bell is rung, signifying the beginning of services.
♦ The service opens with music, followed by Lighting of the Chalice. This ceremony begins the process of quieting down, and engaging at a spiritual level.
♦ Readings follow as listed in the service program. Some of the readings are responsive and the minister will guide the congregation in their response. The Minister also lets folks know when to sit or stand, as you are physically able.
♦ One particular aspect of our service is 'Joys & Sorrows'. Everyone is invited to share briefly of an experience that they want others to know. People have announced engagements, illnesses, hopes & dreams -- the human experience in capsule form. (Later, during Coffee Hour, more conversation inevitably follows!)
♦ There is a quiet moment for Meditation. This hearkens back to our Emerson roots and the need to connect to both the universal & personal experience wtihin.
♦ There is a Collection taken during service. Of course your donation is tax deductible but more importantly, shows your commitment the goals of our community.
♦ The Sermon follows. Our Minister offers a sermon that combines the history of our religion with modern demands. The concepts range far as the world's religions, philosophies and moral concepts are called upon to bring a new sense of living the principled life. (audio sermon)
Once a month the congregation invites a special speaker to provide further exploration from a differing viewpoint.
Here is a short list of some past speakers:
♦ The service ends shortly afterwards, with the Extinguishing of the Chalice. Everyone enjoys closing music provided by the UU Choir or guest musicians.
♦ At this point, newcomers gather by the Welcoming Circle. There Greeters are happy to hand you a cup of coffee and officially welcome you to the Coffee Hour!
Our Coffee Hour, often nicknamed the Coffee Ministry, serves a unique purpose. It allows all of us time to connect. Folks wander over to look at the Art Wall, which offers a look at some of our members' creativity or what the RE classes have been doing. There is a alcove, called the Atrium, that has a complete coffee setup for a bit quieter setting.
Inside the larger Emerson dining room, children have come down from their classes and have begun playing with crayons and games. The large windows reflect the light and the welcoming smell of Fair Trade Coffee and donated baked goods is in the air. There's a comfortable, noisy hum of enjoying and connecting with children, newcomers, the minister and each other.
The weekly Coffee Hour that follows our regular Sunday Services may be one of our most important times together. During this hour, new ideas are proposed, old jokes retold and lots of catching up with church activities gets accomplished, all under the pleasant influence of coffee, tea and donated baked goods.