What to Expect on Your First Visit
Visiting a new church or trying a new or different religion can
make one uneasy or anxious. Here is some information about what to expect
when you visit our congregation. We hope we will help you to feel
Come as You AreWhen preparing to come to a service for
the first time, feel free to come as you are most comfortable. Some people
come each week dressed up and more formal, while most others are
quite casual. This "come as you are" atmosphere extends beyond mere
clothing and other adornments. We welcome all seekers regardless of any
prior religious affiliation (or none as the case may be).
Arrival and ParkingOn Sunday morning there is parking in our lot or on the street next to Camilia House. Although the main service does not start until
10:30 am, many people arrive early. The doors are usually open by 10:10 am.
The main entry is on the side of the building, look for the red banner. One or more greeters will welcome you as you enter. You
will be invited to make a name tag. Informational pamphlets and other reading materials about the church and Unitarianism are available at the door.
The greeters will talk to you and answer any questions you may have.
Gathering music plays as people gather and seat themselves. The
service begins at 10:30. Early in the service, all are welcomed and
visitors have an opportunity, if they wish, to introduce themselves.
Announcements are made.
Our service begins with the lighting of a chalice, the primary
symbol of Unitarian Universalism, while a reading takes place. Everyone
joins in singing a hymn. There is often a story for all ages, where
children are invited to come forward to participate. The children leave
for religious education class as the congregation sings them out.
The service is sometimes led by Fellowship members or by
invited speakers. The topics of our presentations vary widely. Check our
calendar and newsletter for the service topics.
Other activities that occur may during services include:
singing hymns, special music, readings, receiving of an offering, and
meditation, silent reflection or prayer. At times, we also offer space for
recognizing the Joys and Concerns of our members, friends, and visitors.
People may light a candle and share their joy or concern with the
At the end of the service, children are dismissed from their
religious education class to join in forming a circle and singing our
closing. The words of the closing song are printed in the order
After the ServiceImmediately after the service we gather
for refreshments and fellowship. This is a time of lively conversation,
sharing and getting to know each other.
We encourage visitors to sign the visitor book. If you wish to
receive emails of our monthly newsletter, please give us your email
Most people leave by noon. Some member and guest get
together for lunch at various local restaurants following the
service. New visitors are especially encouraged to join in. On the first Sunday, we have a potluck an Camelia House instead.