Any Given Sunday
Worship services at First Universalist may feel familiar and strange, simultaneously. We have a morning message, we sing hymns together, we sit in pews. But during that service, we explore many different ideas and faith traditions. We are boundless in curiosity and embrace experiences that push us and encourage growth. Topics may include delving into reason and scientific knowledge, understanding the humanist belief of the necessity of good works on this earth, struggling with the nature of the divine or searching for divinity within ourselves, finding the commonalities between diverse religions, or welcoming in those with diverse perspectives and viewpoints.
Visit us a few times to find the rhythms of our Sunday mornings and to be surprised and challenged by new ideas and spiritual growth. Ask us about favorite memorable services and tell us about your own spiritual journey. We hope that this community becomes your new spiritual home.
Our Church Year
While Unitarian Universalism does not follow a strict liturgy, we do have seasons and celebrations in our year that are long-standing traditions. Here are a few that we hope you will feel welcome and eager to participate in:
Ingathering Sunday – First Sunday after the Labor Day Weekend
Our traditional return to church after the summer months away from Sunday morning worship. Please bring sand from someplace that was special to you over the summer, or in your travels over the past year – we place the sand in a communal bowl that then holds our prayer candles for the rest of the church year.
Partner Church Sunday – October
This joy-filled Sunday is our chance to learn more about our deep and abiding connection to the Hungarian Unitarians in our Partner village of Gyepes, Romania. We look forward to this Sunday as an opportunity to see new pictures of the children and teens in the village, and give generously to their educational expenses, “sponsoring” each child to get the room, board, and supplies that they need to be successful.
Bread Communion – Sunday before Thanksgiving
A liberal approach to the deep meaning of communion and a chance to mark the opening of the holiday season in a spiritual space and time. We welcome fresh-baked bread from our members and friends as part of the communion offering.
Winter Solstice Service – Third Sunday in December
Christmas Eve Services – December 24
Join us for an early Family Service as well as a late-night meditative service, both with wonderful hymns, choral music, and a traditional candle-lighting ceremony
Martin Luther King Jr. Service – January
On MLK Sunday we are called to reflect on diversity, social justice, racism, history, inclusion, oppression, and hope in times of violence, chaos, and hate.
Easter – March or April
We look to Easter as a time of renewal, rebirth, and remembrance. Children especially enjoy Easter services with a non-traditional twist on traditional Easter activities.
Flower Communion – June
We close out our church year with the uniquely UU tradition of Flower Communion. Please bring a flower or two with you to church to give away – you’ll go home with a flower someone else brought for you – signifying the unity in our diversity and the strength and wonder that comes from promoting a multicultural world.
Member Recognition Sunday – June
From our newest members to those who have become constant fixtures and pillars in our congregation, we celebrate our fellowship, acknowledge our exceptional volunteers, and welcome those who have recently joined our community.
Bridging & Child Dedication – June
Each year we “Bridge” graduating high school seniors out of youth group and into full young adult participation in our faith movement. Be ready for lots of hugs and a few tears. We also have the opportunity to welcome children into Unitarian Universalism.
Vespers – August
In August we gather on Sunday evenings at 5:30 pm rather than in the precious summer morning hours. This relaxed worship-in-the-round out in our peace garden includes music, inspirational readings, prayer or meditation and a chance to stay and eat a simple potluck dinner together afterward. Open to all, and to all ages.
STORM CANCELLATIONS: First Universalist services and event cancellations are announced on WSCH Channel 6, WMTW Channel 8 and WGME Channel 13, as well as on Facebook.