(Submitted by the Membership Committee, 10/02/09)
What time are your services?
Sunday Service begins at 10:00 a.m. Socializing around the coffee pot follows at 11:00 a.m. Religious Exploration for all ages begins at 11:15 a.m. and concludes at 12:15 p.m.
Will I be pressured to join or “be saved?”
We welcome but do not pressure you to join us. The concept of “salvation” comes from the Latin salve to find healing, wholeness. We invite you to explore with us what healthy life in community on this precious earth would look like to you.
What can I expect at a Sunday Service?
The Sunday Service at UUFEC lasts about one hour. Short readings and inspirational recorded and/or live music are interspersed with some standard elements that include a story or talk for the children, a chance for congregants to briefly share personal concerns and joys, and a talk by the minister or a guest speaker. At UUFEC, coffee and snacks are provided during a short social time afterwards. Then during our “2nd hour” a variety of small discussion groups deepens our relationships and insights.
What should I wear to Sunday Service?
Attire is as diverse as our views. Casual is most common.
Is childcare provided during the services?
Yes. We budget to provide free childcare by our professional staff for babies and toddlers during both the first and second hour Sunday Services.
What will my children be taught in their Sunday classes?
We provide age appropriate religious education classes for preschool, elementary, middle school and high school youth. In these classes the children learn to have respect for themselves, for others and for the interdependent web of life of which we are all a part, Our programs include learning about our Unitarian Universalist identity and values, Jewish and Christian heritage, other world religions, and social action/justice. They learn that big questions have many answers and it is their duty to search responsibly for their own answers. Our teachers use stories, discussion, games, arts and crafts, plays and music to help the children explore their world.
What do UU’s believe?
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that arose from the Jewish and Christian traditions. We have no creed. Members commit to respect each other’s answers to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places, guided by principles affirming human dignity and reverence for all existence. We think that personal experience, conscience, and reason should be the final authorities for each person in the search for answers, and that the religious search is ongoing. We see our Fellowship as a place in which to support each other in this journey. In our congregation, at any one time you may find Christians, theists, agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, pagans, humanists, just to name some.
Are you truly welcoming to all people?
Yes. As a congregation we affirm and promote the full participation of every person without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, affectional or sexual orientation, physical abilities, or age. We are a congregation of diverse beliefs. We become more diverse; we stretch and grow with each new person who joins us. All are welcome, and you are too!
Is everyone in the Fellowship an intellectual?
No. The UU population consists of a spectrum of age, physical and intellectual capacities. Each person has important gifts that enrich the faith community.
What community action does the UUFEC actively support?
There are a number of opportunities for helping others through the auspices of the Fellowship. The UUFEC supports peace movements, programs for the homeless, and spousal abuse program. The Fellowship also provides non-perishable food and personal care items for the less fortunate. Members support these services through “hands on” participation, as well as financial support.
Do you tithe?
No. We do ask each member to make an annual financial commitment proportionate to his/her income; the amount and percentage is determined by the member. Financial commitment is not a requirement of membership, but the financial support of members and friends enables the Fellowship to budget and plan ahead as individuals and families do. We also invite each person to reflect upon their gifts and to identify how they might participate within this community. Service may take the form of serving as a Sunday greeter, providing food for an event or being an active committee member. Service is tailored to the individual’s interests and talents.
Can I still participate in the Fellowship’s activities even if I am not ready to become a Member?
Yes. We encourage our visitors to participate in our numerous small groups and attend both our first and second hour Sunday Services. You are also invited to participate in Fellowship events scheduled at other times. Active participation and regular Sunday attendance are the best ways to learn if UUFEC is the right spiritual home for you.