Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finding the Right Service

One year ago, I wrote about the Sunday Service and how important the service is to UU Christians who are a faith minority in the UU Church. The topic has come up again in our Christian Fellowship group. For almost 2 years we have been experimenting and creating a small group service that fills our spiritual needs. Our discussions have illuminated that our group feels a need to have the following items in our service--items that are not regularly included in the Sunday UU congregational service:
  • Communion with both bread and wine/juice;
  • Traditional prayers;
  • Bible reading with discussion, insights from Christian ministers, or silent reflection; and
  • Hymns which use the original Christian lyrics and/or music from contemporary Christian artists.

None of us is a professional minister and we're a small group, so even with a service in place, we still feel the need to connect with a larger Christian body. We've done a bit of digging and found several churches in our area who have self-identified as Progressive Christian churches (no easy task in North Carolina), and have begun a series of "field trips" to visit these churches. We hope to bring back ideas for our own small group, explore more of what each of us as a progressive Christian needs, and perhaps establish a partnership with one of the churches we visit.

I recently had an opportunity to visit the Episcopal Church which I attended for many years in Michigan, and knew for certain that what I miss most about the Christian Sunday service is the Bible reading and the sermon on the Word, usually with a hefty dose of encouragement to get out and LIVE the Word.

I love my UU congregation and the Sunday Service is spiritually and mentally invigorating. But I know I still need fellow Christians. I'll continue to seek out opportunties that I can add to my personal routine that will keep me connected to my Christian roots within the UU framework.

As I said a year ago, if your church service is not providing your connection to the Thin Places where God is found--or provides it only rarely--keep looking. Perhaps a visit to a Christian church once a month will help. Getting together with other Christians for Bible reading and discussion may be what you need. Be creative. Be imaginative.

God will show you what you need.



  1. There are UU Churches in the Carolinas that do those four things you ask for, but using googlemaps, I see that the nearest one to you is 105 minutes away. For folks heading somewhere near Clinton, NC; Outlaw's Bridge,NC; and Dewberry, SC - you might consider them, I've attended and enjoyed them all.

  2. Thanks so much, SC Universalist! I'm going to make a note of these. I'm also going to check if the UUCF website has a list of UU churches which tend to the deist side of our faith. I just love learning about our different congregations.

  3. I honestly don't mean to be rude, but if you miss so many Christian things, why do you attend a UU congregation rather than the United Church of Christ? The UCC is similar to UUism, but with Christianity added.

  4. I have to disagree that the UCC is UUism with Christianity added. It's true that one can hold "small-u" unitarian and universalist beliefs in the UCC without much discomfort. Some of its ministers undoubtedly share those beliefs but it's rare to hear them proclaimed openly (when the UCC-affiliated chaplain at Notre Dame recently did just that, it was major news). At its core, the UCC still worships Jesus as well as seeking to follow his ethical teachings. Most self-described UU Christians are inclined only toward the latter.