What to Expect
Unitarian Universalists (UUs) are a diverse group of people and this is reflected in our services. The Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has a full-time minister, but we also have some services with guest speakers or that are led by Fellowship members.
To accommodate our growing congregation, the Fellowship offers two services. The first starts at 9:30 am and the second starts at 11:00 am. Dress is generally casual and is easily accessible to those in wheelchairs.
People arrive prior to the first service and chat on the patio. One or two people will be at the Welcome table at the patio to meet visitors and answer questions.
When it is time for the service to begin, the gong at the entrance to the sanctuary is rung.
The typical service at our Fellowship is set up similarly to some Protestant services. There is music, congregational singing, a main speech which some might call a sermon, thoughtful reflection, and an offering.
There are several elements of our service that might differ from a traditional “church service.” We begin our services with the ringing of a bell three times (once for those who have gone before, once for those here today, and once for those who are yet to come) and the lighting of the chalice – the UU symbol.
Visitors will be asked to introduce themselves if they are comfortable in doing so, but sitting in quiet obscurity is always an option!
Our Fellowship has a Story for All Ages that is read to the children before the congregation “sings them out” to their Religious Education classes.
After we have passed the basket (a tradition just about everywhere – which visitors should feel free to let pass them by) we great each other for a few moments with handshakes and hugs. There is often an opportunity for attendees to walk to the front and share their joys or sorrows with those present. This is followed with the presentation of a topic of quiet reflection and a few moments of quiet music and then silence.
After the minister or speaker has given the sermon and we participate in more music, we wind down the service by extinguishing the flame in the chalice.
After the first service, people gather on the patio for coffee and bagels or pastries. If it is the first Sunday of the month, the Social Concerns Brunch will be in full swing with all proceeds going to the local charity selected for that month.
When the second service is ready to begin, the gong is again rung and the cycle repeats. The second service is usually a repeat of the first.