What will my first visit to First Church Unitarian Universalist feel like?
In a word, welcoming. First Church has a way of making you feel welcome from your very first visit. Unitarian Universalism has no creed or dogma, but instead focuses on a set of principles and purposes by which our church members live their lives. Most visitors to a UU church feel connected with part or all of these principles and purposes, and so feeling welcomed into our congregation comes easily. Dress is casual, the service is approximately an hour in length, and visitors enjoy the variety of readings and music that the service provides. Our minister is in the pulpit two Sundays per month. The remaining two Sundays our services are lay led. The variety of sermon topics is varied, but each Sunday service has a central theme that pervades the readings, musical selection and sermon. After the service, all are invited to stay and participate in our fellowship coffee hour, where you can grab a cup of coffee, tea, cocoa or juice and some snacks and get to know other members and visitors at the church.
We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.
Unitarian Universalist worship styles vary by congregation, and even within congregations. Some congregations’ worship is contemporary and high tech. Some congregations’ worship is traditional and formal. Some features exuberant music, some includes long periods of silent reflection. Our congregation’s worship is very diverse.
Elements of a typical Unitarian Universalist Sunday morning worship service include:
- Words of welcome
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- A multi-generational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
- A time for lifting up the joys and concerns of the congregation
- A meditation or prayer
- Readings—ancient or contemporary
- A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community.
From time to time, worships incorporate holiday celebrations, multi-generational plays and pageants, longer musical performances, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies. We offer childcare and learning programs for children during the Sunday service.