Worship

SUNDAY SERVICE DETAILS

When: Sundays at 10 A.M.

Where: Find us on the corner of Circle Blvd and NW Firwood Drive, just West of the Corvallis Zen Circle. You may also join the service on Zoom.

Directions: Find us on the corner of Circle Blvd and NW Firwood Drive, just West of the Corvallis Zen Circle.

Map:

JOIN ONLINE

There are two ways to attend Worship Remotely:

  1. Join on Zoom: we use this same Zoom link every week. (Clicking on the link will open a Zoom meeting). If you have not used Zoom before, here is a guide: Joining a Zoom Meeting.
  2. Facebook Livestream: We livestream the Sunday services to the UUFC FaceBook page.

The Order of Service is available if you like to follow along. We sometimes make changes all the way up until Sunday morning, so the Order of Service may not be available until a few minutes before the service.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT WORSHIP

Most of our Sunday morning services typically include inspirational readings, a story for children, choir and congregational singing, and a sermon by our minister or guest. We also have a variety of special services.

Summer Sunday services are less formal with a variety of guest speakers in addition to our minister.

Dress for UUFC services is mostly casual, but ranges from tees to ties. Dress in whatever way is comfortable for you. Children and youth usually attend Religious Exploration classes, but are welcome in services too. Children mainly wear play clothes.

Following our services, we have a Coffee and Conversation hour in the Social Hall adjacent to the Sanctuary. Come meet and greet!

And once a month we have a delicious Action Lunch to support charities in our community and throughout the world. Please join us. We want to get to know you and want you to get to know us.

ABOUT WORSHIP

What is worship?

The word “worship” means many things to many people, and is defined in many different ways. It refers to acts and attitudes, celebrations and rituals, events shared by groups, and individual experiences. It refers to ascribing value or worth to ideals, ideas, and beliefs; to giving homage and praise to a god or gods; to taking time and intention to centering oneself and focusing on values and ideals. Definitions of “worship” are generally understood and shared within specific cultural contexts. There is no one right definition or one shared definition.

What does worship at UUFC look like?

Historically, Unitarian Universalism is a tradition which evolved from the radical wing of the Protestant Reformation, a decades-long struggle within western Christianity to define sources of religious authority and forms of religious community. Because of this heritage, the most common Sunday Service in a UU congregation looks more like a protestant Christian worship service than any other kind of worship. Yet, in the nearly 200 years of American Unitarian/Universalism, much as changed, as the religious culture has become much more diverse. Therefore, our services include diverse formats and elements and broad aims.

What generally happens during a worship service?

Welcome – brief introductions from service leaders and participants, and an assurance that all are free to attend and participate

Introit – usually a song or music, to signal the setting aside of regular or daily concerns and the intentional turning to a time of reflection and aspiration, together

Opening Words – a statement to remind us why we gather in this place in this way

Lighting of the Chalice – the symbol of our liberal religious heritage, an affirmation of our core values of religious freedom, reason and embrace of diversity

Opening Song – re-affirming our gathering and our intentions, using our bodies and breath

Affirming Our Connections

Having taken time to settle in and focus our attention and intentions, we move to Affirming Our Connections, which usually includes:

Wisdom from the World’s Traditions – a reading from one of the sources of wisdom for our religious growth and learning, from any and all of the classical religious traditions, or from poetry, prose, science, etc.

Time for All Ages – a story for all ages, aimed primarily at elementary aged children, to help them learn about our tradition, to help them know and feel that they are a valued part of our inter-generational community, and to help them understand what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. The children and youth leave for their Religious Exploration sessions following this time of sharing.

Sharing of Sorrows and Joys – a time to share with each other the most important things that are happening in our lives –-experiences of loss and gain, of birth and death, of fear, of joy and gratitude, of sickness, recovery and health. This kind of sharing is very important for us as a community, to know what is true and real for each other and therefore for ourselves – to affirm the realities which connect us. It is also a very big challenge: to tell our own truths and to focus on the most important things. This is not a time for political opinions, announcements of events, stories about other people, or long-winded details. This practice of sharing truths is usually followed by a meditation on breathing and on connectedness, then shared singing.

Searching for Wisdom and Inspiration

Having been reminded of what we share, we move into Searching for Wisdom and Inspiration, which usually includes:

Spoken Meditation and Sharing of Silence – to nurture contemplation, honesty, and inner peace

Music for Reflection

Readings – expressions of important points to be explored in the sermon

Sermon, Homily or Presentation – focus on a topic of importance for our religious, spiritual, and congregational lives, by a minister or guest speakers.

The Offering – the sharing of our resources towards living out the mission and goals of the church

Giving Thanks for All That Sustains Us – our collective reminder that life is a gift, and together we can make a difference

Returning to the World

Finally, we arrive at the time for Returning to the World, which usually includes:

Announcements – an educational moment, to describe some of the priorities, work, and events of the congregation

Closing Song– once again to engage our bodies and breath in our intentions

Closing Words– a reminder to keep our ideals in our minds and hearts amidst the distractions of daily life

Postlude – music for going out together

FORMS OF WORSHIP

Sunday Services

Historically, Unitarian Universalism is a tradition which evolved from the radical wing of the Protestant Reformation, a decades-long struggle within western Christianity to define sources of religious authority and forms of religious community. Because of this heritage, the most common Sunday Service in a UU congregation looks more like a protestant Christian worship service than any other kind of worship. Yet, in the nearly 200 years of American Unitarian/Universalism, much as changed, as the religious culture has become much more diverse. Therefore, our services include diverse formats and elements and broad aims. More about Sunday Services.

Wheel of the Year

Every six weeks or so, we gather at each of the eight points on the Wheel of the Year as an intergenerational community to celebrate holidays from nature-based neo-pagan tradition with story, song, and ritual. Some of these holidays are widely known, like Yule, the Winter Solstice. Some, like Lughnasadh, are not as well recognized. The eight sacred days on the Wheel start with Yule in December, then proceed to Imbolc in February, Ostara in March, Beltane in May, Litha in June, Lughnasadh in August, Mabon in September, Samhain in October, and then right back around the Wheel to Yule. This cycle of celebration echoes the cycles of the changing year, and it honors the interdependent web of which we are all a part.

More about Wheel of the Year Services

Dance Planet

Dance Planet is a community dance celebration for everyone. Move your own way to a joyous blend of music from all around the planet and across the decades. Admission to this family-friendly event is a suggested $5–$15 donation, but nobody is turned away for lack of funds. One hundred percent of proceeds go to local Earth-friendly causes.

Kirtan

Kirtan is a very simple & powerful way to meditate. It’s effortless & joyful; the music does the work for you as you flow with the melody & rhythm. As you sing you experience a deep connection with the musicians, the other audience members and yourself. And when the music stops, your mind is quiet.

Because kirtan has roots in India, many of the chants are sung in Sanskrit. These ancient chants contain powerful renewing & transformative energy that helps us reconnect with the Divinity that resides within all of us. If you’ve ever chanted responses in Latin or Hebrew in your religious tradition, then you know how powerful singing in an ancient, holy language can be. You can be completely immersed in the sound, with no words to distract the mind — the magic of the chants can then carry you within. While singing along at a kirtan concert, you can experience your own voice becoming as beautiful as those performing—all voices merge together to become One Voice.

We have kirtan every Friday night at the Fellowship. The 1st and 3rd Fridays are a Community Kirtan in person in Room 7, other Friday nights we hold the kirtan on Zoom. We also host live events.

From the Minister

  • Between Us

    When I became a Unitarian Universalist, by joining the Fellowship in the 1980’s, I was overjoyed to discover an approach to religion which did not require me to assent to creeds and beliefs that didn’t make sense to me. I was thrilled to discover the breadth and depth of global religious traditions and practices. I was excited to become part of a community which was asking questions – sometimes uncomfortable questions – about what it means to be good, and right, and to live a good life. And I remember now that within that congregation of the 1980’s I both heard and experienced racism, homophobia, sexism, ageism, and more. There was lots of “talking the talk” but not as much “walking the walk.” The life of the mind is an important thing – deeply important. And how ideas affect the ways we live in relation to others is no less important. At this point in my life I think the ways we live are more important.

    My ideas about religious freedom have changed. For me, it is not enough to talk about religious freedom when acting in ways that thwart the ability of some people to be free to be themselves, free to believe what makes sense to them, free to live and work how and where they want to. These are basic human needs, and our religious commitment to freedom means nothing if it does not include these as priorities. When I was new to UUism, one of the most important phrases I learned and repeated was about the importance of “freedom of conscience.” These many years later, I’m convinced that “freedom of conscience” is shallow if it is not aligned with a commitment to “collective liberation.”

    I’m thinking back over this year of “building a new way.” We have made some progress, and there is still much to learn, especially about being with and for each other as the primary commitment, instead of the second thought. Rev. Dee Vandiver wrote it this way in a chalice lighting: “We light this chalice—symbol of our faith alive in this world—naming our vision of collective liberation, and daring to re-member each other into beloved community.” May we stay on the path, on the journey, toward making it so.

    Author

  • Between Us 1/7/2023

    Much of the following I have said before – maybe you’ve heard me say it or maybe not. I come back to these ideas often, and so want to share them again with you:  “Remember that every day is a new beginning. Make time to reflect upon your choice of this path, and upon your commitment…

    read on

  • Between Us

    There are many levels of wisdom in an annual calendar: for example the recognition of being part of a universe, on a planet orbiting a star in a regular pattern, and the recognition of seasons within particular earthly ecosystems, and the recognition that we can assess our lives and create new intentions. All of these…

    read on

  • Winter Earth and A New Year Coming, 12/31/2023

    Seasons  make a difference in how we live, even if only a little. Winter has its gifts and challenges, and its particular Pacific Northwest offerings. It’s good to appreciate each season in its turn. And since our calendar changes at this time of year, we’ll consider what may be in store for us in the coming year. All…

    read on

  • Daily Practice: A Weekly Reminder 12/24

    It’s a beautiful Willamette Valley winter day – a mixture of rain and sun, dark clouds and blue sky, herons, rainbows, full and rushing rivers. The orbit of the earth shifted last night – the longest night – and we have entered into the time of lengthening days, tiny bit by tiny bit. It’s the height of…

    read on

  • Daily Practice: A Weekly Reminder, 12/15

    In ancient Chinese practices, there was recognition that peace begins in the closest place – within each human heart and mind. “If there is to be in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the homes. If there is…

    read on

  • Daily Practice: A Weekly Reminder 12/10/2023

    Can you imagine that each season, as it arrives, brings with it a welcome? A welcome to the world as it is, in this particular season, at this particular time. Can you imagine being welcomed into winter, for example. What might it look like and feel like to know yourself welcomed by winter? We could…

    read on

  • Between Us (December 2023)

    December arrives, with its unique forms of busy-ness and expectations, and I invite you to give yourself time to contemplate this season from as many perspectives as you can. To contemplate means to observe deeply, with focused attention. Perhaps what I’m suggesting is something different – not merely to think about in order to categorize,…

    read on

  • Daily Practice: A Weekly Reminder

    November was designated as Native American Heritage Month in 1990, by President George HW Bush. Since then, have you ever set aside time in November to learn more of the true stories of Native Americans? Of the relations between Native Americans and colonialist settlers which many historians and others refer to as genocide? The story…

    read on

  • Daily Practice: A Weekly Reminder 11/19/2023

    In March 2020, when the COVID pandemic required us to radically alter our family and community connections, at the Fellowship we undertook a daily practice of cultivating inner nobility and steadiness. The needs and aims were many: including to help decrease worry and anxiety, to increase our ability to acknowledge and accept new ways of…

    read on

  • “Transgender Day of Remembrance”

    Gender and Sexual Diversity Justice Team: Michelle Shouse, Patricia Parcells, Becca Bedell, Rachel Kohler, Rev. Jill McAllister In Unitarian Universalism, freedom means the freedom of each individual to claim their own identity – to not be defined by others or social norms. Transgender people find this freedom hard to come by in most places –…

    read on

MUSIC

Music is an important part of the life of the Fellowship, and of every Sunday service. If you love to sing or play instruments and want to get involved, please read on!

Congregational Singing

Every Sunday morning we sing together. We sing together because it feels good and it builds community. It may be the most important thing we do on Sunday.

UUFC Choir

The choir rehearses Wednesday nights from 7 to 8:30 and sings twice a month for Sunday services. This dedicated group works hard to provide choral music that uplifts and inspires all who hear them on Sunday mornings. The choir is a wonderful supportive and welcoming community for singers of all skill levels. The choir is where all the important stuff happens at any church. So if you want to get close to the action, join the choir! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. If you are interested, talk to the choir director, Steven Evans-Renteria.

House Band

We now have a house band at UUFC that plays once a month for Sunday services. We have guitars, percussion, singers, piano, and guitarron. Once in a while the choir and the house band join forces, and it really rocks! Check us out on Sunday morning.

Guest Musicians

We’ve had a number of wonderful guest musicians show up to services to add to our music, including Johanna Beekman, Roy Zimmerman, Peter Mayer, and others, including local groups like Compass Rose and the Delgani String Quartet.

Other Musical Opportunities

Before the pandemic we had regular music events at the Fellowship including the Holiday Sing-Along, Music Sharing nights (basically open mic night). We hope to begin incorporating more events like this in the coming months, so watch the newsletter and weekly announcements for updates.

SUNDAY SERVICE VIDEOS

We have saved videos from most of the services from the past several years. Occasionally a service video doesn’t get recorded, or saved. If you can’t find a on the YouTube playlists, it might be in the Facebook live stream videos.

YouTube Playlist – Services from 2024

YouTube Playlist – Services from 2023

Service Videos (January 2020 – March 2023): The link opens a pdf of an older method of storing links to service videos, before we started uploading them to YouTube.

Facebook Livestream Videos

Our Mission

Explore. Love. Act.

We gather as an inclusive religious community to search for meaning, build deep connections, and inspire action toward a better world for all.

Author