WORSHIP AT UBC
10am Worship Service*
followed by Joys & Concerns**
*In person and livestreamed on YouTube
**In person and on Zoom
Links to online access are sent out in a weekly email.
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UBC Worship Theme
This past year, dual pandemics have opened our eyes to what we hold dear, that to which we cling. We have learned that sacred work happens in a variety of places. While we love our beautiful building and grounds, we find ourselves challenged by the fact that most of Minneapolis sits on land stolen from the Dakota people through nefarious treaties that were not honored. While we love our building (the cornerstone was laid one hundred years ago--November 6, 1921 to be exact), we ought to be intentional about how to be stewards of the space on the corner of 13th and University. The Biblical history is full of stories that give prominence to physical space. The Promised Land, the Temple, high places and parting seas. It makes sense to look at all of these and see what lingering wisdom and challenges they incur in our collective psyches.
As we shifted this past year from in-person to virtual events, we recognized how we needed each other. We wondered about this new normal and what it might teach us. And then as we returned to our beautiful sanctuary, there was a blessed familiarity, alongside the sense that something had shifted within us. While we love this building and the memories it holds and the opportunities that are nurtured in its halls, we realized this past year that there have been several sacred spaces. That maybe it’s more than the physical space, but the holiness that is revealed in between these physical spaces. So, we’ll spend the year considering what is sacred about those spaces that we inhabit, both physically and emotionally. Spaces that exist on a temporal plane and a mystical or metaphysical plane. We’ll consider liminal space, virtual space alongside physical space. Join us!
List of the 2021-22 services:
September 5 "It Was Good"
September 12 "Space in the Wilderness of Grief"
September 19 "A River Runs Through It" (Dedication of our rain gardens at 11:30am)
September 26 "Holy Ground"
October 3 "Water is Life"
October 10 "Th Promised Land"
October 17 "Refugees"
October 24 TBA
October 31 "Masks"
November 7 "The First Hundred Years"
November 14 "O God of Earth and Altar"
November 21 "Harvest"
November 28 (Advent I) "Abundance"
December 5 (Advent II) "Feast"
December 12 (Advent III) "Christmas Fails"
December 19 (Advent IV) "Christmas Sweets"
December 24 (Christmas Eve service 4:30pm)
December 26 Carol Sing
January 2 (Epiphany) "Godly Rulers"
January 9 Fire in the Bones series (sermons by congregants)
January 16 Fire in the Bones series
January 23 Fire in the Bones series
January 30 Fire in the Bones series
February 6 "Covenants"
February 13 "Red Letters and Red Lines"
February 20 "Reconciliation
February 27 "Listen"
March 6 (Lent I) "The Wilderness"
March 13 (Lent II) "The Witch"
March 20 (Lent III) "Agency"
March 27 (Lent IV) "Destiny"
April 3 (Lent V) "Back to the Garden"
April 10 (Palm Sunday) "Off to Bethany"
April 17 (Easter) "Holy Ground Revisited"
April 24 "The Beach"
May 1 "Rise Up"
May 8 "Holding on, Letting Go"
May 15 "Joy in the Morning"
May 22 "Seek the Land"
May 29 "Arise"
June 5 (Pentecost)
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
Our nursery is located in room 205 off the main hallway that links the sanctuary to the lounge. We have paid and trained nursery workers who are available during the worship services and Sunday school hours. Children from birth through second grade are invited to go to the nursery during the worship service.
Sermons of 2021
More added soon!