We make it our special mission to welcome you warmly, invite you into our congregation and give you information about our church and the programs that we offer. Just about all of us were newcomers at one time in our church lives.
We look forward to offering you our friendship and providing you the opportunity to deepen your spirituality while you worship with us.
You will find that very few of us were born Unitarian Universalists. Some of us were raised in families who worshiped in the Protestant, Jewish, or Roman Catholic faiths. Others among us were raised agnostic or atheist. It is only as adults that we have found this church home.
We are a family of people with diverse spiritual orientations. We seek to share a journey of spiritual growth, and work together to find ways to live our faith in the world, while respecting the right to freedom of individual beliefs. We hope
that we will meet you in person soon and that you will join us as we create and cultivate a diverse, justice-seeking, spirit-growing community.
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- Entering: When you approach the church through the west doors (which are wheelchair accessible), door greeters will be on hand to greet you and to show you to the Welcome table where you will be invited to put on a name tag. You will be offered a newcomer packet of information that will tell you more about our church and the programs that we offer.
- Gathering: After you put on your name tag, you will proceed to the Sanctuary. Ushers will greet you and hand you an order of service. Please let them know if you'd like to utilize an assisted-listening device and they will help you obtain one.
- Sitting: If you would like to sit with a church member please mention this at the newcomer table when you pick up your name tag and we’ll introduce you to a church member who will sit with you. We ask that if you have small children that you seat yourselves at the back of the Sanctuary so that if need arises you can take the children into the Gallery where you can listen to the church service and they can play. Or if you prefer you may take your children to the preschool room where we have several childcare providers available to look after the children.
- Beginning: We start the service with announcements and some music. Then we will light a chalice, which is the symbol of our denomination. You can learn more about that here.
- Learning: Children attend the beginning of the service with their parents or guardians. After a Time For All Ages story, children depart for their Religious Growth and Learning classrooms with their teachers.
- Worshipping: Service topics are listed under the "Upcoming Services" and the prepared texts of several recent services are linked under "Sermons" to give you an idea of the issues and challenges with which our liberal religious community wrestles.
- Listening: Music for our services is provided by members of our church and by guests from the community.
- Sharing: After the church service we gather in the Gallery to have coffee, tea and conversation. You are invited stay for coffee and visit with church members. Our interim minister, the Rev. Dr. Gretchen Woods, will also be in the Gallery during the coffee hour, and would enjoying meeting you.
- Asking: On the first Sunday of each month we offer a Sunday Chat which is specifically for newcomers. There is a short DVD that will help you to understand Unitarian Universalism. We will tell you a little bit about when we became members. We will ask you to introduce yourselves and share any questions that you have. The chat lasts for 30 minutes. It begins at 11:15 a.m. in the Library which is located in the northeast corner of the Gallery space. Childcare is provided during the chat, but if you prefer you may pick up your children from their classes and bring them with you to the chat.
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What should I wear?
When does the service start?
Where do I park and enter?
Our Church entrance is on the West side of the building just off of the parking lot. The first hallway on the left leads to the Restrooms, just after you pass the large reception window into the Church Office. The first hallway on the right leads to the Religious Education wing of the building. This wing also has a gender neutral restroom.
Door greeters will be on hand to greet you and to show you to the Welcome table where you will be invited to put on a name tag. You will be offered a newcomer packet of information that will tell you more about our church and the programs that we offer.
What happens during the worship service?
Services follow this general outline: announcements, opening music, opening words, chalice lighting, congregational singing, a time for all ages story, a sermon, more singing, a time of sharing joys and sorrows and silent reflection, closing music, closing words. After the church service we gather in the Gallery to have coffee, tea and conversation. Please plan to stay and visit with church members.
What are the sermons like?
Our sermons range over a wide variety of topics and generally have a thought provoking message to them. We also feel free to engage our minister, or others giving the sermon, in conversation about the sermon topic after the Service during fellowship time. We believe that we learn more from one another when we dialogue together and agree to respect the opinions of other thoughtful people. Sermons are given by our interim minister the Rev. Dr. Gretchen Woods on most Sundays. On other Sundays our Worship Associates lead the service. They may choose to invite a speaker from the community or they may choose to offer the sermon themselves.
Can I bring my children?
If you are most comfortable having your children with you as a newcomer, please feel free to do so throughout the service. We are not troubled by intermittent squeals and sounds of young children. We do ask that if you have small children that you seat yourselves at the back of the Sanctuary so that if the need arises you can take the children into the Gallery where you can listen to the church service and they can play. Or if you prefer you may take your children to the preschool room where we have adult childcare providers available to look after them.
Our religious education classes “facilitate ethical and spiritual development in our children so that they will be empowered to become free-thinking individuals who know and respect themselves and others, contribute to their human and natural communities, and make informed decisions regarding their spiritual paths.” If you would like your child to visit our Church School, it would be helpful to come 15 or 20 minutes early so that you can sign your children into the class and to have a quick orientation provided by the Religious Education Director or others on duty. There is a special table set up in the Religious Education Wing for registering children for class. Someone there will take you to see the classroom and orient you to the class activities.
We provide free childcare for toddlers and preschoolers, from 15 minutes before the start of the church service until 15 minutes after the church service is over. Should a problem arise with your child, a childcare provider will come and find you in the Sanctuary. There is a nursery available where parents will find cribs, a changing table and a rocking chair. There are drapes at the windows for privacy. The room is set up with the sound system so that parents may listen to the church service while caring for their infants.
Will I be welcome?
What if I am part of an interfaith family?
Will I be welcome if I’m agnostic or atheist?
What holidays are celebrated?
Will I be pressured to join or convert?
The classes that are offered on a regular basis will give you background in our Unitarian Universalist history through a book discussion group. We use a book entitled A Chosen Faith for the discussion which is led by our Membership Associate, Karen Dienstbier. Other classes are also offered on Unitarian Universalist history, the Unitarian Universalist Principles that help to guide our lives, and on the history of this Unitarian church. The classes are free and will give you a good background in Unitarian Universalism and that should help to inform you and make your decision as to whether to join us in membership. Some people feel a strong connection and wish to join within the first year of their visiting, others have been known to take years to decide whether to sign the membership book. You will be welcome here whether you sign the membership book or not.
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First Sunday Chat
A Chosen Faith Book Discussion
Seven Principles in Word and Worship
Nuts and Bolts of What Goes on Here
Your Search and OUUrs
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