“Worship” is a funny word…

For some people, it is a word that implies depth and reverence. For others, it is a word in need of reclaiming because it conjures feelings of formality and coercion. As Unitarian Universalists, we understand “worship” simply to mean a time of intentional celebration and reconnection. The word “worship” actually comes to us from Old English, where it meant simply “acknowledgment of worth.”

What in your life has worth? How do you acknowledge that worth?  That’s it!  That’s worship!

Worship doesn’t have to include any specific words or symbols for it to be worship.  Worship doesn’t even need to involve gods or famous people, though it often does.  Worship can be quiet or somber, or boisterous and full of praise.  Meaningful worship should be relevant and intentional… and it should help you to connect your everyday life with your most important values.

Worship is foremost a time of celebration. Even in the face of grief or injustice, we come together to love and celebrate life, this great blessing that we share. We celebrate with sources ancient and modern, through the experiences of one another, and through the arts, like music and drama and dance. We celebrate life at every stage. We celebrate with mind and body and soul. Unitarian minister Rev. Ken Patton put the invitation of worship this way, in a reading from our hymnal:

“Let us worship with our eyes and ears and fingertips;
let us love the world through heart and mind and body….
Life comes with singing and laughter,
with tears and confiding,
with a rising wave too great to be held in the mind
and heart and body,
to those who have fallen in love with life.
Let us worship, and let us learn to love.”

Worship is a time of connection. Rev. Kate Braestrup, a Unitarian parks chaplain in Maine, uses a word to describe her ministry: re-membering. She observes that people can become disconnected – from others, from the world, from our self – by things that happen to us every day. Worship at UUSGS is a time of re-membering, of gently reminding ourselves that we are part of a great human family, connected powerfully to one another and to the world we share.

Worship is a time of healing. We all need healing, not just from major events or trauma but also as regular soul maintenance. We know that exercise is good for the body – what about the soul?  Worship is how we regularly find and keep our balance in a busy and demanding world.’

Worship is a time of inspiration and hope.  Rev. Jason’s messages are always timely and relevant.  His view of ministry is that “if it isn’t helping, it isn’t ministry”… so worship needs to be a practical support in helping people to live lives of health and balance, connection and authenticity.

Worship is a time of commitment. We don’t mean this to sound heavy-handed. Rather, we admit that there are some values in each of our lives that are more important than others. Worship is how we reconnect with what in our life is important… with the intention of centering our lives around those values. Some such values are: love, justice, peace, hope, healthy families and healthy children. What values are most important to you?  Worship is a collaborative spiritual practice; the end result is each person living more fully and authentically.

Please consider this your invitation to join us for worship on Sunday. From September to June, the congregation gathers for worship on Sunday mornings at 9:15 and 11:00. During the summer, we gather for a single service at 10:30AM. Occasionally, service times do change during the year to accommodate special performances, etc. Please check our calendar for updated worship times.

We intend for our worship services to be welcoming and accessible. You are welcome to attend anonymously, or to engage the many warm people who will be eager to meet you. If you have questions before attending a service, you are invited to reach out to Jackie Shanti, our Coordinator of Congregational Life. Jackie is kind and caring, and she works the congregation’s volunteer greeters to make sure everyone feels right at home