Small, Lay-led Congreagtion’s Order of Service

I’ve mentioned my congregation in the past, and this blog isn’t really about my congregational life, but I found a recent service particularly… something good… So I wanted to share what we did.

Order of Service
Prelude: EST Trio (We are giving our orchestra and chorus a break this week–much of the music provided will be recorded)
Welcome and Announcements
Introductory Remarks
Silent Moments for Reflection
Lighting the Chalice: #563 “A person will worship something”
Hymn: Pete Seeger “Turn, Turn Turn (To Everything there is a Season)”
Responsorial Reading: #466 (ending with “…and of courage”)
Sharing of Joys/Concerns
Children Temporarily Depart…
Offertory: (Music by Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny)
“Three American UU Saints, 1 & 2”
Children Return with Presentation
“Three American UU Saints, 3”
Hymn: #103 “For all the Saints”
Extinguishing the Chalice: remainder of #466

This is the Order of Service that we received when we arrived. Shortly before the service began, a member went around the room handing out little slips of paper with the lyrics to Pete Seeger’s “Old Hundredth,” which we sang instead of “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Our children’s programming is hit-and-miss, which I’ll return to in a moment, so they didn’t depart (except for our son, in an informal way, who kept getting up to look at his new sister). In our congregation, Announcements takes but a moment, and Joys & Concerns takes a few moments. The only thing I’ll share here is that it was our first time back to a service in two months, so we introduced our new daughter.

The part of the service which got me to want to share was the lay leader’s brief UU-focused biographies of the “Unitarian Universalist Saints.” I won’t rehash the content, but the three were Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Christopher Reeve, and Pete Seeger.

We’re a small, small congregation. If I say there are 50 of us, I’m probably inflating the number. As a result, there aren’t many children (though more than I would have expected), and since not all families attend each service, children’s programming is a challenge for those who do it. (And who, from my ability to judge, do a very good job overcoming the challenges I’ve indicated.)

Anyway. Nothing even pretending to being profound this time. I like our congregation, individually and corporately, and if you find yourself in Northern Michigan, drop me a line, and I’ll send you directions.

(Note on old UU posts.)

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