What to Expect on Sunday
WHERE WE ARE:
Map & Directions
WHAT TO WEAR:
Dress comfortably, casually or a bit dressier as you prefer, depending on your plans for the afternoon or the weather. Children should wear comfortable clothes since children’s activities vary and might include going outside or doing crafts.
There is lots of parking, including two handicapped parking spaces on the drive that loops around in front of the entry. Those for whom walking is difficult may get dropped off at the door. The building is wheelchair accessible and there are two handicapped restrooms in the education wing. Assisted listening devices are available for the hearing impaired (just ask a greeter or an usher). Large-print hymnals are available from the ushers as well.
Our Sunday service starts promptly at 10:30 am. Announcements precede the service so is a good idea to arrive with a few minutes to spare. Upon entering the vestibule, you will be welcomed by a greeter who will give you the Order of Service and ask if you’d like a temporary name tag and to sign the guest book. The greeters are more than willing to answer any questions you have.
The coatroom and restrooms are straight ahead to the left of the welcome table. The community room and religious education wing are to the left and the sanctuary is on the right. Children go with their parents to the sanctuary.
Nursery care, for infants to 4-year olds, is available from 10:15 am until the worship service is over, year round. A greeter can point you in the right direction. You are also welcome to take infants into the service – whatever is more comfortable for you.
Older children attend the first part of the worship service with their families, then are invited to leave the worship service after the “Time for All Ages” portion to attend the Religious Exploration (RE) program. RE programs run from September through May and as volunteers are available, through the summer. Check with Anne Ossanna for the week’s plan; a greeter can introduce you to Anne.
ANNOUNCEMENTS & WELCOME:
Featured announcements are made by a member of the Board of Trustees at 10:25 am. Then visitors are invited to stand and introduce themselves if they would like to do so. This helps us find newcomers at coffee after the service.
Piano music after announcements allows us to quiet our minds and turn our attention to being together.
THE SERVICE BEGINS:
The striking of the bowl signals the beginning of worship. The lighting of the chalice is a Unitarian Universalist tradition to mark our gathering and remind us of the light within us all.
TIME FOR ALL AGES:
The minister or speaker will share a story for all but specifically aimed to engage the children and youth and tie in with the theme of the sermon. After the story children and teachers leave for their own RE programs.
JOYS & SORROWS:
A tradition in Unitarian Universalist churches, “Joys & Sorrows” is the time in the service when we share with our community what is alive in us at the present time – an anniversary, or visit from family, a concern for someone ill or in need, a loss.
As UUCE is sustained through the annual pledges of its members, the Sunday offering is primarily a tradition that reminds us to be generous and grateful for our blessings. First-time visitors are asked to “let the plate pass by, for your presence is your gift.” Occasionally an offering might include a request to support a particular cause.
READINGS & SERMON:
Our minister, Rev. Sara Huisjen, preaches twice a month, sometimes three; a member of our congregation or a guest speaker covers the other Sundays. He or she shares a reading and speaks on a related topic of their choosing. The subject matter varies widely from personal spirituality and growth to social and justice issues but all are intended to inspire us and stretch our awareness. Upcoming services are posted on the Worship page.
AFTER THE SERVICE:
We remain seated during the postlude to enjoy the music, reflect on the sermon or in quiet meditation.
When the music ends, more or less slowly, people migrate through the vestibule to the Ethel Schwalbe Community Room. They get a coffee or tea, or retrieve their children from the Carl Stehman Religious Education Wing.
We know you might be hesitant to enter a large, noisy room of people already engaged in conversation and make your way to the coffee pot on the other side of the room, but we want to get to know you. We hope one of us speaks to you before you reach the refreshments; if not, please, speak to us.