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 on the path to involvement and membership. We welcome all who walk through our doors on Sunday morning.
We currently have two services to accommodate our growing congregation. The content of both services is the same. We will return to a single service during the summer months.
9 a.m.: First service begins. All teachers, children, and middle school youth begin in the sanctuary. Childcare is available for ages 3 and younger.
9:20 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: After the Time for All Ages and Children’s Covenant, teachers, children and middle school youth depart for their classes. Classes are divided into: pre-k (age 4+) through grade 1; grades 2-5; and middle school. Childcare is provided for children 3 and younger.
10:15 a.m.: First service ends and adults are invited to have coffee in the Gathering Hall.
10:30 a.m.: Sunday school classes end. Parents pick up their children grade 5 and younger. Children and youth enjoy the Kids Table in the Gathering Hall.
11 a.m.: Second service begins. High school youth will go to their class unless it is a multi-generational service. Child care is available for ages 3 and younger during both services.
BEFORE THE SERVICE
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.
Our services begin 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. All children are included in the first part of the service; during the 9 a.m. service, the congregation sings our children to their classrooms after the Time for All Ages. Childcare for children 3 and younger is provided during the 9 and 11 a.m. services.
Our Minister preaches three times a month from September through June and occasionally throughout the summer. 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 singers who rehearse weekly and perform twice a month at both services, 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.
Our Community Hour, from 10:15 to 11 a.m., is a time for connecting, deepening relationships, and learning about the many possibilities for engagement and participation at UUFCO and beyond. Visitors, friends, members, and children gather in the Pete Seeger Gathering Hall for coffee and social time — greeting newcomers, sharing in informal conversations, and checking out our information kiosk to find out what’s going on at UUFCO. For those who would like a quiet and perhaps more intentional conversation, the Linus Pauling Room is available with round tables and chairs. Music lovers are invited to come into the Sanctuary and be part of a musical jam around the piano.
Religious Exploration (RE) for Children and Youth
Religious exploration classes for children and youth are held during the first service from 9:20 a.m. (after children leave the Sanctuary) to 10:30. We offer childcare for children 3 and younger and age-appropriate experiences in classrooms for pre-kindergarten through grade 1, grades 2-5, and grades 6-8. High school youth meet during the 11 a.m. service. There are two teachers in each classroom.
After the Services
People are welcome to linger after the second service and to participate in informal discussion in the Linus Pauling Room, where they can also enjoy the current art exhibit. Children are welcome to join others in the play area. All are encouraged to explore our trails and walk the labyrinth. Look for the trail marker sign below the terrace to find your way.