Worship at UU Wellesley Hills is a time of celebration and mutual support. Although services vary slightly from week to week, several common elements help define our community. Each week, we celebrate our joys – for the earth, for the wider community, for our family and friends. We do this through congregational hymn singing, joyous instrumental music, and a community greeting. Likewise, we make time for quiet reflection: lighting candles for loved ones struggling with illness or hardship; meditating on challenges we face alone but which we can overcome together. Short reflections and sermons encourage us to think critically, act boldly, and live faithfully according to our Unitarian Universalist principles. We encourage lay participation of children, youth, and adults, and invite you to talk with us about playing a role in planning or participating in one of our services!
You can generally expect the following elements to be part of the worship service:
Prelude - A musical offering, usually instrumental, that welcomes all to gather together in community. During the prelude, some share quiet conversation, while others quietly prepare to worship.
Welcome and Announcements – Our Minister invites us to participate in worship and the life of the community in a manner that is comfortable for each and all. The topic for each service is announced, bringing continuity to our monthly worship themes.
Unison Chalice Lighting – We bring the power and beauty of light into our midst by lighting the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition, the flaming chalice.
Wonderbox! – We are given a chance to guess at the contents of a beautiful, handcrafted box from our partner church in Transylvania. “Based on today's theme, what do you think might be in the Wonderbox this week?” Young and old shout out answers – some serious, some lighthearted. A child is invited to come forward to open the box and share its contents with the congregation.
Hymns – Whether or not you can hold a tune, you are invited to sing with us. Two or three hymns reflect the worship theme, chosen from our denomination's hymnals. Sometimes visitors from other denominations are surprised to hear familiar tunes with unfamiliar words – words, which distinctly reflect our Unitarian Universalist values and sources.
Meditation with Joys and Concerns and Candle Lighting – A time for quiet reflection and concentrated breathing. You are invited to give voice to the name of someone you are holding in your thoughts this week. Additionally, all are invited forward to light a candle in silence.
Offering – Half of the plate collections we take each year support UU Wellesley Hills operations, while the other half supports a social justice organization or initiative designated by our Social Justice Council. Our choir shares a musical offering. This is a time to sit back and absorb the power and beauty of spirit-filled music.
Sermons / Reflections – Brief thoughts shared by the Minister or a parishioner, inviting us to reflect upon our values, our dreams, and our world. Inspirational rather than didactic, motivational rather than dogmatic – a UU Wellesley Hills sermon will leave you with much to consider and a call to live your life faithfully!
Postlude – A final musical offering, usually instrumental. At this time, you may leave the Sanctuary and make your way to Fellowship Hour in the Parish Hall.