What to Expect

 

What is a Sunday morning like?

Our members are varied in their theologies and philosophies. Likewise, our services vary in focus and format. Most services are led by our minister, though we have lay-led services or special speakers about once a month. Our services almost always begin with the lighting of the Flaming Chalice (our symbol of faith). Services generally include a reflection that might be similar to a sermon in other traditions. There are readings, and there could be a skit or play, or some kind of structured interaction. There is always some music and singing. There is often opportunity for some discussion or other interaction during the service, and always plenty of discussion over coffee afterwards. Everyone is welcome to stay and chat after the main service.

We don’t require adherence to any creed. We don’t generally pray together to a higher power (though some of us do as individuals). We sing as a way of coming together.

Where do I park?

We have two parking lots. The lower lot requires a walk up outside steps to the front door. The upper lot includes handicapped-designated spaces and accesses the back doors without difficulty. When lots are full, people park at the greenhouse across the street.

What do services address?

Welcoming new members during the service.

Each month addresses a different theme, drawn from Soul Matters, a Unitarian Universalist resource for congregations. Themes provide a way of organizing our diverse approaches to thought. They may appear theological, like Sanctuary or Covenant, or seem more broad in scope, like Possibility or Story. Either way, we explore them both theologically and more broadly, based in our own experience as well as from what we learn from religion, philosophy, literature, science and more.

What should I wear?

Whatever you feel comfortable wearing. Jeans or business casual are common.

What about children?

Blessing of the Animals during a Service for All Ages.

Reading a story during the service.

Children and families are very welcome. We have an energetic religious education program that gives children an opportunity to explore religion and spirituality with open minds, to enact social justice aims with helping hands, and to form close connections with their peers and teachers through warm hearts. Classes are inviting, exploratory, and diverse.

Children over 3 usually join in the main service for the first part of the service and then are sung out to their respective classes (pre-K, K-2nd, 3rd-6th, 7th and up). Children of all ages are welcome to stay if they are more comfortable with the adults, and parents are welcome to go with their children to their classrooms. There is a nursery for children 3 and under. Also, the service can be heard over loudspeakers in the narthex (lobby) for people who feel they need to step out of the main service area for whatever reason. There are materials in a bin at the back of the sanctuary for children to engage with during the service if they wish.

Each week, there is a Story or Time for All Ages, where children are invited forward and one of our service leaders shares a book, story, or conversation. Parents are welcome to join their children at the front, or send them up. The Story is integral to the service.

Once a month, we have a Service for All Ages, where all remain in the sanctuary for the entire service. These services tend to be more participatory and contain shorter elements, so that children can more easily engage. They still challenge and engage adults, too.

For more information about children and youth at UUFM, see our Religious Education pages.

Hearing impaired:

You will notice that several of our members are hearing impaired and use our headphones to participate in the service. Please request a headphone if it will help you.

Music

Music by the UUFM Singers and our pianists is vital to our services. Each year we also host the Musicale, a full service of music, generally in September.