What to Expect on Sunday Morning
A typical service will include ritual lighting of the chalice with reading, singing of hymns, prayer and spoken or silent meditation, the sermon and benediction or closing blessing. The congregation participates in the service by singing hymns, choruses, chants or rounds, sharing of joys and concerns and through the congregational response, a time following the sermon when individuals may share what the sermon has raised within them.
Joys and Concerns allow people to briefly name major positive and negative situations and events in their lives to receive the support of the congregation. The aim of the congregational reflection is neither discussion nor question-and-answer nor exhibiting what one knows. Rather it is a time of sharing brief spiritual insight or challenge. These practices are common in Unitarian Universalism but not universal.
On most Sundays, the Sermon is delivered by a visiting guest speaker. We draw inspiration from a variety of resources including St. Norbert College, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, community groups, individuals and lay members. From time to time, a visiting Unitarian Universalist minister will lead the service.
Religious Education is offered after the “Story for All Ages” when children are dismissed to the RE classroom. Children are also welcome to remain with their family through the service, including those who might have a few wiggles and giggles.
Visitors and guests are always welcome! Our greeter will ensure you have a name-tag. After the service, visitors are invited to stay for coffee and conversation. It is an opportunity to get to know members of our Fellowship and ask questions you may have about Unitarian Universalism and this liberal religious tradition.
Elements of our Sunday morning service typically include:
- Words of welcome
- Announcements for the coming week
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- A time for lifting up the joys and sorrows of the congregation
- Hymns and other music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
- Children are encouraged to grab a musical toy instrument and play along during the first hymn
- Prayer and meditation
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community
- A multigenerational segment, such as a “Story for All Ages”
- Readings—ancient or contemporary
- A sermon
- Response to the sermon
- Closing blessing or benediction
From time to time, services incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, longer musical performances and other ceremonies.