What to Expect on Sunday Morning
TYPICAL SUNDAY SERVICES
Second weekend of September through June
We gather on Sunday mornings to learn to live more wisely, to live with more connection, and to deepen our compassion. We worship in the tradition of the origin of the word, “worthy to know.”
Greeters near the door welcome visitors with an opportunity to write contact information in a visitor’s book if the person wishes, and receive a name tag. Or not, according to the guest’s preference.
An usher just inside the sanctuary provides an order of service pamphlet. Hearing assist devices are available on the usher’s table.
Elements in the service vary from Sunday to Sunday, but in general:
– The church bell rings a few minutes before the service.
-A musical prelude moves us into the sacred time and space.
– Welcoming words and lighting the chalice, the symbol of our faith, lead us into the hour of respite and transformation
– During the service, we may sing hymns, folk music, and popular music.
- We may listen to classical, folk, ethnic, rock, popular, jazz, blues, and other music performed by talented congregants and guests.
- We may hear stories, poems, and readings.
- We may read responsively, with the speaker reading some parts and the congregation reading alternate parts.
- For some elements of the service, we stand in body or in spirit (if physically standing is unrealistic). These elements are marked with an asterisk in the order of service.
- A minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation delivers a sermon or message.
- Other elements of the service – the music and the readings – are chosen to support and enhance the meaning of the sermon.
- We may share the joys and concerns in our lives.
- We usually light candles in recognition of those joys and concerns, both spoken and unspoken.
- Worship often includes a short period of silent meditation.
- We receive an offering to financially support the facility and the work of the congregation and our work in the community.
- An opportunity for spoken individual congregational reflections on the sermon or readings may be included near the end of the service.
- Extinguishing the chalice, closing words, and a closing hymn usually mark the end of the service.
- A musical postlude ushers us out to conversation over refreshments during Social Hour in the Olympia Brown Room.
SUMMER LITE SUNDAY SERVICES
June through Labor Day weekend
During June, July and August, Sunday services vary in style and ritual. They are less formal, but the purpose remains – to learn to live more wisely, with connection and compassion. The usual order of service may or may not be followed. There is no paper order of service handout. Shorts and sandals announce that some people are heading to the peninsula after the service. Social hour probably features a simpler cookie and fruit table, or none. The one thing that remains for sure is the opportunity to talk with each other. As always, we are be happy to be together.