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.
As of September 16, 2018, we are having two services to accommodate our growing congregation, with Religious Exploration for Children and Youth and a Community Hour for adults between the two servicestwo services to accommodate our growing congregation, with Religious Exploration for Children and Youth and a Community Hour for adults between the two services. The content of both services is the same. We will return to a single service during the summer months.
First Service — 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Community Hour — 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Religious Exploration for Children and Youth — 10:10 a.m. to 10:55 a.m
Second Service — 11 a.m. to noon
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; after children’s time, the congregation sings our 3rdgrade and younger children to their classrooms for a children’s chapel experience. Children and youth 4thgrade and above participate in the service. Supporting materials are available to help them engage in the service.
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 a.m. 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, and members 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 from 10:10 to 10:55 a.m. We offer age-appropriate experiences in five different classrooms for pre-kindergarten, grades k-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. There are two teachers in each classroom.
Each class uses curriculum from the Tapestry of Faith series developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Faith Development office. Our RE program offers children and youth a foundation based on the principles of Unitarian Universalism and a supportive community in which spiritual awareness, tolerance, acceptance, and personal growth are nurtured. We challenge our children to think about their world, their beliefs, and how to live harmoniously with all living things and the earth.
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.