Worship Services

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Description of Worship Services

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Our minister, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, in the pulpit

From early September to late May, we offer two worship services on Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m. From late May to early September, we offer one worship service at 10:30 a.m. Services last about one hour.

The 9 a.m. service is interactive, intimate and family-friendly. Joys and sorrows are shared in a spoken-aloud format, and there are often other interactive elements of the service. Nursery care is provided.

The 11 a.m. service (10:30 a.m. during summer months) is inspirational, reverent and familiar, and there is less expectation of interaction. The children are present for about the first 15 minutes, which includes a ritual of joys and sorrows, and the children then leave for their regular religious education classes. Nursery care and our full religious education program for preschool through high school are offered at this time.

Although each of our services is unique, services usually begin with a welcome and announcements, after which newcomers and visitors are given an opportunity to introduce themselves (but are not obligated to do so).

Interspersed with a variety of music and hymn singing, the typical service also includes the lighting of the chalice, one or more inspirational readings, a “story of faith” from a member of the congregation, a sermon or homily, an offertory, an opportunity to express joys and sorrows, and a closing benediction.

After the service we gather back in the Greeting Area for fellowship, conversation, and coffee.

Members of a group called the Worship Associates assist in planning worship services and also participate in conducting services.

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Lay-Led Worship Services

Our lay-led services honor our commitment to lay involvement in church leadership and our church’s history. We began in 1951 as a lay-led fellowship, and thus all services were lay led until we called our first minister in 1980.

From September through May, the minister steps down from the pulpit one Sunday each month, and the service is entirely lay led, usually by one of the groups in the church, such as the Writer’s Group, Social Action, or the high school youth group.

During the summer, the minister is in the pulpit half the time, and the Worship Associates organize lay-led services the rest of the time. These services are often non-traditional and unique, and allow individuals to speak to a topic of interest or lead the congregation in exploring a variety of activities related to the many facets of worship and spirituality. Summer service topics have included an Animal (Pet) Blessing, Silence, What It Means to be an American, and the Honduras service trips.

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Schedule of Future Services

From early September through late May, we offer two worship services at 9 and 11 a.m. on Sundays, unless otherwise noted. From late May through early September, we have one worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. On our Home Page you will find details about the worship service for the coming Sunday. Worship plans for each month appear here.

November 2018 Worship Schedule

9 and 11 a.m. (except only one service at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 25)

Sunday, Nov. 4 – 9 and 11 a.m. – Remembrance Sunday – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Join us on this Sunday closest to All Souls Day, when we set aside a time of deep remembrance, honoring the lives of loved ones now gone. You may wish to bring a photo or memento to add to our altar honoring the memories of our beloveds.

Sunday, Nov. 11 – 9 and 11 a.m. – “Service and Sacrifice” – Worship Associates

This Veteran’s Day, join us to think carefully about the role of sacrifice – in the lives of our service members and in all of our lives. What does it really mean to serve our country?

Sunday, Nov. 18 – 9 and 11 a.m. – Thanksgiving Sunday – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon and DRE Jamila Batchelder

Join us for our beloved annual interactive Thanksgiving Cornbread Communion Service when we sing and share in gladness for the abundance in our lives.

Sunday, Nov. 25 – only one service at 10:30 a.m. – Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson

Join one of UUCC’s favorite guest preachers for a rousing and thought-provoking service. The Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson is pastor of Dawson Journeys Ministry and teaches philosophy and religion at several area colleges. He will be joined by our own interim Music Director Marques J. Ruff as vocal soloist. Don’t miss it!

Minister’s November Worship Message

Our 2018-2019 Theme is Loaded Words – November’s Loaded Word is . . . SACRIFICE

“What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it’s dearness only that gives everything its value.”

– Thomas Paine

The act of creation is a deep example of this spiritual truth: the most important things in this life cost us something. Whether you have brought art or thought or handicraft or even new life into this world, you know this truth – creating costs us sleep, attention, emotional exertion, physical discomfort, or even steeper prices. And often it is just that dear cost that marks the magnitude of our creation… Our sacrifices impart value.

And yet, the idea of sacrifice is constantly complicated by dynamics of power, particularly when those with much power seek to externalize the costs of their desires. We may sacrifice for ourselves with deep joy, but we can also be sacrificed cruelly and brutally to the whims of those with greater power than us. And of course we can also sacrifice too much of ourselves even in the act of creation or love – some costs are too dear. These truths call for discernment – to whom and for whom are we sacrificing of ourselves as we move through this life?

Join us this month to explore the cost of love and creation, and to struggle with the complicated calling to sacrifice for what we hold most dear.

See you in church!
– Rev. Molly

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2018-19 Worship Theme

Loaded Words

Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.”

– Abraham Joshua Herschel

I believe that one of the central tasks of Unitarian Universalism is to wrestle with big ideas. We are not a people to let a thought lie, but rather we turn them upside down and around and examine every inch. We know that words and ideas have formative power in our world and that we must contest in the public sphere for language that is precise and powerful and true. To do this, we must first do our own grappling.

This year, we will be going deep each month with a “loaded word,” exploring what we think we know about language we may use every day or reject out of hand. Some of these words are already complicated for us, as people with many experiences and beliefs seeking meaning together. Some of them might feel easy to us… too easy, and might be calling us to challenge our assumptions. All of them, I hope, are ripe for deeper examination.

Our loaded words this year are:

  • Sanctuary
  • Evil
  • Sacrifice
  • Faith
  • Solidarity
  • Power
  • Salvation
  • Surrender
  • Obligation

Join us to wrestle with them all together.

See you in church!
Rev. Molly

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