Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00

Worship Services

Our 10 am Sunday worship services change from week to week and season to season.  We are of the Free Church tradition which means that we do not follow creeds or set orders to aspects of our worship and governance.  We have developed what we think works well for us.

Our sanctuary has movable pews so we might have the pews facing all one way, in a diamond or a square, depending upon the liturgical needs of the worship service.

We value music that is well prepared and spirit-filled.  During the academic year, we enjoy the weekly singing of the UBC Chorale and the monthly contribution of our handbell choirs.  From time to time we have vocal or instrumental ensembles and soloists in our worship services.  We are thrilled to have a pipe organ, two grand pianos, and a harpsichord in our sanctuary.  Among our membership we have people who play cello, clarinet, French horn, guitar, hammer dulcimer, Native American flute, piano, trumpet, trombone, violin and more.


Our services usually have the following components:

Prelude We like to have this part of the service serve as a transition from our outside world into the holy and intentional world of worship.

Welcome Everyone is welcome to worship at UBC.  No one is excluded.  All people are valued and welcomed and affirmed as the children of God we are.

Call to Worship There is always a worship leader in addition to the morning preacher.  The worship leader works in conjunction with the Worship Planning Ministry Team, the Preacher, and the Music Director to organize and lead the worship service.  The Call to Worship is often a litany that the worship leader has written.  This appears in the church bulletin.

Hymns We use two hymnals.  The UBC Inclusive Language Hymnal was originally compiled in 1983 and revised in 1986  by members of the congregation.  At that time we were using the Pilgrim Hymnal and no other publishing house had published a decent inclusive language hymnal.  This hymnal included familiar hymns with slight language changes, some new hymns and even a couple of commissioned pieces.  The hymnal is an unfinished project, knowing that there will be more favorites that will emerge and be added to this hymnal.  In 1999, we also added the New Century Hymnal, which replaced the Pilgrim Hymnal in our pews.  We usually refer to the UBC Inclusive Language Hymnal as the Blue Hymnal and the New Century as the Black Hymnal.  There are usually three hymns each Sunday.  We have a congregation that loves to sing in parts and sometimes acapella.

Sharing of the Peace We stand up and we greet our neighbors.  This can take a while.  We are an effusive bunch.

Joys and Concerns of the Community A microphone gets passed around the sanctuary and people share what is on their minds and hearts.  We pray for each other and for our world.  This is not a time for announcements.  The announcements are written in the bulletin and are only rarely mentioned in the worship service itself.

Morning Prayer Usually led by the worship leader, often drawing specific references to the joys and concerns expressed by the congregation.

Lord’s Prayer Most often, we use a modified version of the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13 Our Father/Mother who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.

Sometimes we use other versions of the Lord's Prayer.

Scripture Reading In the pews, we have the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.  Many times, we will also use Eugene Peterson’s contemporary translation known as “The Message.”  It is important to us to use inclusive language when referring to God and humanity.  Without changing the meaning we will at times modify the translation’s language to make it more inclusive.  At times we will also include a contemporary text with the understanding that God continues to speak through people.

Sermon By and large our pastor Doug Donley is the main preacher.  But the pulpit is not his domain nor is it controlled or owned by him.  We enjoy hearing from members and friends of our congregation, especially if there is a fire in their bones that is itching to get out.  The sermon is an opportunity to expound upon the topic of the day and to delve deeper into a text to uncover a new meaning.  Hopefully a sermon will encourage the listeners to respond in an appropriate manner to the ideas expressed by the preacher.

Offering We give offerings to support the life and ministry of UBC.  We distinguish between tithes and offerings.  Biblically, tithes are a percentage of income (usually a tenth).  Offerings are any gift above and beyond a tithe.  In order to complete our budget process, we have people fill out pledge cards each spring.  Each month, there is a special offering for some kind of mission.

Benediction This is a sending forth and a brief summary and reminder of the call to serve.  As our pastor says whenever he offers the benediction, “Sisters and brothers, the service now begins.  Let the people say ‘Amen’.”

Postlude The musical transition back to the world. We usually remain in our seats and intentionally listen to the music.

 November 3, 2013 All Saints Day Bell Procession