How We Worship
Worship lies at the heart of congregational life. Each Sunday, when we gather at 10:00 am, we come expecting to be moved, challenged, maybe even changed by what we hear, see and experience.
If you’re new to Cedars or to Unitarian Universalism you may want to know a bit about what happens during worship. The service starts with a welcome and perhaps a few announcements, led by one of our Worship Associates. Worship Associates are trained lay leaders. After the welcome, you’ll hear a prelude, usually played by our talented pianist and music director, Christine Smellow.
The Call to Worship, introduces the service theme. Then we often sing a hymn together. The Flaming Chalice, symbol of Unitarian Universalism, is lit while the congregation reads our affirmation. These are the words we say each week:
As we come together to worship,
We remind ourselves to treat all people kindly
Because they are our brothers and sisters,
To take good care of the earth because it is our home, and
To live lives full of love and goodness
Because that is how we will all become the best that we can be.
This is usually followed by a Time for All Ages, after which our children leave for their Religious Education Classes, while we sing our “Spirit of Cedars” song.
A time of sharing joys and sorrows follows then we spend time in quiet or prayer/reflection together. We’ll sing or listen to music or perhaps our choir sings, then we listen to a Sermon (often preceded by a reading) or a Presentation on a spiritual theme. You will sometimes hear a guest speaker or a lay leader preach.
As the service winds down, we take an offering while listening to another piece of music. Once a month, the entire offering is given away to an organization chosen by our Social Action Committee. It is collected by members of a Neighborhood Team who are also responsible for setting up for the service.
The service ends with Closing Words and the extinguishing of the Flaming Chalice. After the service, we have coffee and refreshments while we reflect on the service, meet and greet guests and long-time members, and perhaps participate in an after church activity such as a conversation circle.
We do hope you’ll join us for worship at Cedars. Our Unitarian Universalist religious tradition provides us with an opportunity to be in religious community without the need to share identical beliefs or creed. Worship, which comes from an old word meaning “to shape things of worth” is how we create sacred space and time to honor what matters most in our lives such as love, community, peace, and justice.
If you have questions about our worship services, please contact the office by email at Office@cedarsUUchurch.org or call us at (206) 780-0373. We look forward to seeing you at church!