Visitor FAQ

We welcome you!

Q: What is the worship service like?
Unitarian Universalism teaches that worship invites those present to focus on the transcendental, the intimate, and the worthy. Usually a service begins with opening words, music for centering, and the lighting of the flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith. This is generally followed by the sharing of joys and sorrows, a time for prayer and meditation, music, readings and the sermon. The service usually ends with a closing hymn and benediction.

Services can vary a bit week to week in style and topic, so we recommend visitors attend at least three times to get a better sense of the church. Once a month, we have an intergenerational service which is especially geared toward children and for which we try new and engaging approaches to worship. And once a month, the service is led by a guest minister or lay leader instead of our minister. This is to support the renewal of our minister, and also to embrace our belief in the freedom of the pulpit (that we all have wisdom to share).

Q: How should I dress?
A: However you are comfortable. Some people wear jeans; others wear casual sportswear, and still others wear their “Sunday best.”

Q: What are the major ritual objects of the service?
A: The flaming chalice. This is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. The chalice symbolizes sharing, love, and sustenance. The flame symbolizes sacrifice, courage and spiritual illumination. Click here to learn more.

Q: Is an offertory collected?
A: Yes, an offering basket will be passed, but it is entirely optional for guests to contribute. In fact, we say that visitors can let the basket pass, as you are our honored guest.

Q: How long is the service? 

A: The service nearly always ends at noon. Some stay for snacks and fellowship. Occasionally we have a discussion, potluck lunch, or other event afterwards, for which you can check our calendar.

Q: What should I know about bringing my children?

A: Children are welcome! Most children K-6th grade attend our children’s classes during service. We also have childcare for younger children. We’re fine with fussy babies, but it’s also fine to step out if you like and come back in – usually the service can be seen and heard on the monitor in the fellowship hall. We have a rocking chair at the back of the sanctuary for parents and little ones to rest, as well as SoulWork Activity bags in a basket at the back of the sanctuary. It’s recommended to arrive about ten minutes early so you can meet the teachers and/or childcare provider and decide whether your children will go to classes/childcare or come in with you to the service, where they are also welcome. If children attend the classes during the service, or go to the nursery, we’ll need you to fill out our registration form first so we have information on your child’s needs. You’re welcome to fill it out when you arrive. You can sit in on the classes if you like, and once a year we have an open house for children’s religious education. Once a month, we have an intergenerational service (children’s classes are not held, but childcare is still available), and children are especially encouraged to join us for the whole service. You can check our calendar or newsletter to find out when intergenerational services are each month.

Q: Where do I park, enter, and sit? 

A: We are on the corner of Neely and Midkiff at 3301 Neely. Our parking lot is behind the building, and you can enter the lot off of either street (off of Neely, make sure you go in our lot, not the neighboring church’s lot). There is one main entrance to the building that is easily identifiable from the parking lot. Greeters will be in the foyer, and many times people socialize a bit in the foyer and adjoining fellowship before the service begins (promptly at 11:00 am). You can enter the sanctuary at any point and have a seat wherever you like.

Q: How do I become a member?
A: You can join the church by signing your name in the membership book in the presence of the minister or a member of the Board. Visitors new to Unitarian Universalism are encouraged to attend several times and become familiar with the church before joining. “New to UU” classes are offered by the minister during the year. Membership in this religious community requires no subscription to a creed, but does signify your sympathy with our covenant and your willingness to give of your energy, time, and resources to help this church fulfill its mission. You can learn more about our Path to Membership here.