What to Expect in Worship
Worship is not something we experience, it is something we do – worship means shaping worth.
The term worship comes from the Old English word weorthscipe. This word is formed from two others: weorth, which means “worth” and scipe, which means “to shape.” So worship literally means “to shape worth.”
We come together to shape what is worthy in our lives – to find sustenance when we are aching, to celebrate when we are full, and to deepen emotionally, intellectually and spiritually to give our lives meaning. It is a dedicated time during the week when we work to create and celebrate the Beloved Community.
We Come Together to Love Beyond Belief
Unitarian Universalist believe we need not think alike to love alike. We respect differences of opinion and don’t expect members to ascribe to a particular set of beliefs. Some of us don’t adopt labels, others identify as atheists, agnostics, christians, Hindus, Jews, practicing Buddhists, or simply as Unitarian Universalists. Though Unitarianism and Universalism were both liberal Christian traditions, our responsible search for meaning has led us to embrace diverse teachings from Eastern and Western religions and philosophies.
Elements of our morning worship service often include:
- Reciting our covenant
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- A multigenerational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
- Naming the joys and concerns of the congregation, as we accompany people through life
- A meditation or prayer
- Silent reflection
- A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
- Collecting a financial donation for the congregation and for justice work in the community.
- Fidget bags, for those who listen best while working with their hands
From time to time, our worship services incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, longer musical performances, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies. We offer childcare and learning programs for children and youth during the Sunday service.