What to Expect in Worship
We gather together to find meaning, ponder ethical and spiritual questions, celebrate life’s joys. 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.
Elements of a typical service include:
- A greeting time when you’ll be asked if you’d like to be introduced to the congregation
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- A brief testimony by a congregation member
- Caring and Sharing, a time for lifting up our joys and sorrows
- A meditation or prayer
- Readings, which may come from traditional religious sources or from secular fiction, poetry, or non-fiction–we think all sources can help us to gain wisdom and live well
- A reflection by a Worship Associate, one of several congregation members who helps plan and lead the service
- A sermon given by Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern most Sundays, but frequently another minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for our community Justice Partner for that month.
- Music: two or three songs (hymns) we sing together; three short pieces by our marvelous pianist Veronika Agranov-Dafoe, or a guest; and in the 11 a.m. service, an anthem and choral benediction by the choir.
The service is about an hour long.
Some of our special services during the year are the Water Communion, where we each bring water and combine it as an ingathering ritual; Chalice Sunday, when we reflect on the meanings of the flaming chalice and light dozens of candles; Flower Sunday, where we exchange flowers to celebrate the diverse and beautiful forms our lives take; “No-Rehearsal Christmas Pageant” (your chance to be an actor without memorizing any lines), and the “Question Box” service when you can ask the minister anything you want and the sermon time is devoted to the answers. About seven Sundays per year are specifically designed to be multigenerational and the children remain in the Main Hall with their families. From time to time, worships incorporate holiday celebrations, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies.
We hold Religious Education (known as RE, or Sunday school) for children and youth from mid-August to mid-June during the 9:30 service. Adults and children sit together in the Sunday service as a family until the end of the first hymn, when the children leave for their classes. Professional childcare is available for infants through age 5 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Children are always welcome in worship services. If your child becomes restless and you wish to walk them around awhile, the foyer is a comfortable space where you can both hear and see the service; you are also invited to take an assistive listening device, which lets you hear the service all around the church property.
The Forum discussion group meets every Sunday at 9 a.m.
On the way in to the services, stop by our Information Table to get a temporary nametag and ask any questions you may have. If you fill out a green visitor’s sheet, a nametag will be waiting for you the next week.
Summer Schedule (10:30 a.m.) During the summer months, there is a single service, at 10:30 a.m. Many services feature a guest speaker.
Our church buildings are wheel chair accessible.
Assistive listening devices are available in the church lobby. We also have a T-loop system than can be received by many hearing aids. A large print hymnal and a Braille hymnal are available for the visually impaired. Ask an usher to help you.
Listening to Sunday services from outside the Main Hall
You can listen to Sunday services anywhere on UUCPA’s campus using an FM radio. Just tune your radio to 88.7 MHz.
Dress is casual or dressy — your choice, and our members run the gamut from jeans to suits. Children play outside, cook, and make art, so play clothes are advisable.