Sundays at UUFCO
Sunday worship services are the heart of our UUFCO congregational experience. They bring our multigenerational community together for fellowship, spiritual nourishment, exploration, and renewal and are the first step to welcoming new friends on the path to involvement and membership.
BEFORE THE SERVICE
We welcome all who walk through our doors on Sunday morning. Newcomers are greeted warmly and invited to make a nametag, pick up informational brochures, and sign up to receive communications. New families with children are introduced to our Director of Religious Exploration, who shares information about our children’s programs and offers a tour of our welcoming RE classrooms. Volunteers are available in the Gathering Hall to answer questions about our congregation, Unitarian Universalism, and upcoming activities. After a social time, a chime is our signal to move through the great doors and into the more contemplative atmosphere of our Sanctuary for the morning service.
During The Service
Our services begin at 10:30 a.m. with the ringing of our temple bell and a musical prelude. Services weave together words, music, and silence, combining familiar rituals and informal moments inspiring us to pursue our spiritual journey and challenging us to live out our UU principles. Most services have elements in common—short readings, hymns and songs, chalice lighting and extinguishing, reciting of our covenant, sharing of joys and sorrows, a time of meditation, a sermon or talk, and an offering. Children are included in the first part of the service; after a story for all ages and the children’s covenant, the congregation sings our children to their classrooms as they pass through an arch of sheltering arms.
Our Minister preaches three times a month from September through June. Other services are lay-led or feature guest speakers. On Sundays when the minister is not preaching, and especially during the summer months, we use a variety of alternative formats including panels, guest presentations, and programs featuring music and the arts. Sermons and presentations offer inspiration and spiritual nourishment, intellectual challenge, intergenerational connections, and exploration of the living traditions of Unitarian Universalism. We have several multigenerational services during the year where all ages share in the service together. Highlights of the church year include the Ingathering Service and Water Ceremony in the fall, Solstice and Christmas Eve services in winter, and Easter Sunday and Flower Ceremony in the spring.
Music is a moving and inspirational part of our worship services. Our choir, led by our Music Director, is a dedicated group of 20-25 singers who rehearse weekly and perform twice a month, with a break in July and August. There is special music on many other Sundays, provided by instrumentalists, small ensembles, soloists, or our house band, which performs less traditional music.
After The SerVice
Social time after the service is an integral part of the community experience as we meet visitors and connect with friends. People gather at the long farm table in our Gathering Hall or sit in the Fireside Room. Children congregate outside on the terrace or in the children’s play area when weather permits. People can view the most recent art exhibit in our Linus Pauling Hall, sign up at the kiosk for upcoming activities, check out a book from the library, or ask questions of volunteers wearing yellow “Ask Me” tags.
By noon on most Sundays, meetings are beginning throughout the building. Member orientations, informational and planning meetings, Soul Matters discussion groups, and special programs are often scheduled after Sunday services.