What to Expect on Sunday Morning
SUMMER LITE SUNDAY SERVICES
During June, July and August Sunday services often vary in style and ritual. They are less formal. The usual order of service may or may not be followed. There will be no paper order of service handout. Shorts and sandals announce that some are heading to the peninsula after the service. Social hour will probably feature a simpler cookie and fruit table, or none. The one thing that will remain for sure is the opportunity to talk with each other. As always, we will be happy to be together.
TYPICAL SUNDAY SERVICES
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.” During July through August “Summer Lite” services the format may vary widely from the usual practices followed in September through June when –
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.
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 welcomes us into the sacred time and space.
- Our services usually begin with welcoming words and lighting the chalice, the symbol of our faith.
- 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 share the joys and concerns in our lives, and light candles in recognition of those joys and concerns, both spoken and unspoken.
- Worship often includes a 2 minute 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 coffee during Social Hour in the Olympia Brown Room.