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 mid-September to mid-May, we offer two worship services on Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m. The rest of the year, we offer one worship service at 10 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, there are often other interactive elements of the service. Music varies in style, with special performances from musical church volunteers and regular offerings from small vocal ensembles. Nursery care is provided.

The 11 a.m. service is inspirational, reverent and familiar. The chairs face forward, and there is less expectation of interaction. The children are present for about the first 15 minutes, which includes a story for all ages and a clergy-led ritual of joys and sorrows, and the children then exit to their regular religious education classes. Music varies in style with special performances from musical church volunteers and regular offerings from our choir. 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 mid-September through mid-May, we offer two worship services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sundays, unless otherwise noted. From mid-May through mid-September, we have one worship service only at 10 a.m. on Sundays. On our Home Page you will find details about the worship service for the coming Sunday. Plans for worship services also are included in the Church Calendar.

May 2017 Worship Schedule

Sunday, May 7 – 9 and 11 a.m. – “Building a Peaceful Community” – Peace Building Team

Join our Peace Building Team to explore what it means to build a community that exemplifies peace. This is a New Member Ingathering Sunday.

Sunday, May 14 – One Service at 10 a.m. – “A Joyful Noise” – Flower Communion Service – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Join us to make a joyful noise in celebration of Desi Long’s almost 25 years as our music director. We’ll share the joy of music and wish Desi well upon her retirement. We’ll also share flowers in our annual flower communion ceremony. Please bring a flower!

Sunday, May 21 – One Service at 10 a.m. – “Always Connected” – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon and DRE Jamila Batchelder

What does it mean to live in a world that is always and intimately interconnected? Join us to consider the guarantee of our perpetual connectedness with one another as we send off our graduates into the next phase of their development.

Sunday, May 28 – One Service at 10 a.m. – “Yes, AND” – Jeff Ordway

In the world of improv, one learns early to build on every idea with a yes… and! Join us to imagine how we can apply an attitude of creativity and “Yes, AND” to our lives.

Minister’s May Worship Message

Spiritual Growth is cultivated by practicing . . .
The perception of universal connectedness

Tug on anything at all, and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe.

– John Muir

Did you know that quantum physics supports our UU seventh principle – respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part?

Process theologian Catherine Keller writes of the theological implications of the emerging quantum physics that show our universe to be entangled and web-like from the quantum level up, particles vibrating together and, once connected, indistinguishable from one another even across vast distances.

This emerging physics of quantum entanglement supports the worldview held by process philosophers – of the universe as dynamic and relational at every level, what Keller calls a “participatory universe.”

In this participatory universe, our actions, decisions, and even our subjective experiences are so deeply woven together that the act of any one individual has a profound impact on all others and the whole unfolding universe itself, just as the unfolding of the whole universe finds its expression in each of us.

Indeed, our entanglement stretches every which way. As individuals, we are caught up in larger systems and in the universe itself, but so are those systems and the universe deeply impacted by the actions and decisions of each individual.

When we tug on that web of existence, we find our motions rippling out and in and back around again. It is truly a living, moving, mysterious web we weave.

Join us this month to live with humility, creativity, and awe into the reality of our interconnection.

See you in church!
Molly

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2016-17 Worship Theme

Cultivating Spiritual Growth

“You will be like a well-watered garden” – Isaiah 58:11

The word cultivate, used so often in agriculture to refer to preparing the ground and carefully growing plants, comes from the latin root cultus, which means “care, labor, worship, or reverence.” It is a rich metaphor for our spiritual lives, which require us regularly to till the soil, turning up new insights. Our spirits grow best with tender care, intention and attention, the nourishment of water, air, and earth, and even regular weeding!

This year, our overarching worship theme will be “Cultivating Spiritual Growth.” Each month we will be exploring different “qualities of spiritual maturity” as conceptualized by UU minister the Rev. Kendyl Gibbons. The qualities we will explore are:

  1. Self-awareness in the service of intention
  2. Willingness to offer Leadership and Service
  3. Fluency in the use of Metaphor
  4. A perspective of Gratitude, Wonder, Blessing and Generosity
  5. Tolerance for Intensity and Ambiguity
  6. The perception of universal connectedness
  7. The serene surrender to reality
  8. The capacity to acknowledge error and change
  9. The ability to be in the presence of pain without panic
  10. The consistent acceptance of mortality
  11. Fidelity to Covenant
  12. Attraction to Beauty, Mercy, and Justice

I hope each of us will find rich inspiration in our reflections together, and that together we may grow in spirit, like a well-watered garden.

See you in church!
Rev. Molly

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