What to Expect in Worship
We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waynesboro holds Sunday services in its Fellowship Hall at 11:00 a.m. during the church year–September through May. During the summer months, services are held at 10:00 a.m.
A typical service will include ritual lighting of the chalice and responsive readings, singing of hymns, spoken and silent meditation, a musical performance by the choir or pianist, the sermon and closing words. The congregation participates in the service through the sharing of joys and concerns and lively discussion following the sermon, practices unique to Unitarian Universalism.
On most Sundays, the sermon is delivered by our minister, Paul Oakley. About once every month and more frequently during the summer, a guest speaker, visiting UU minister, or lay leader will lead the service.
Children attend religious education classes in the Chalice House during services. Several times a year there are intergenerational services that let children know they are an important part of the Fellowship.
UUFW has no dress code. You are as likely to see people in jeans and tee shirts as in suits or dresses. We want everyone to come in clothes that make them feel most comfortable.
Visitors and guests are always welcome! Our greeter will ensure you have a name-tag, and during the service, you will have the opportunity to introduce yourself and be welcomed by the congregation. Children of visitors are also welcome, but parents should contact the Director of Religious Education in advance to let her know they will be joining religious education classes. 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 the liberal tradition.
Elements of a typical Unitarian Universalist Sunday morning worship service include:
- Words of welcome
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- A multigenerational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
- A time for lifting up the joys and concerns of the congregation
- A meditation or prayer
- Readings—ancient or contemporary
- A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community.
From time to time, services incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational activities, longer musical performances, new member events, and coming-of-age ceremonies.