Settle back and look around you you’ll see a real mix. People in jeans and shorts and flip flops and running shoes and suits and ties and khakis and polo shirts and short or long dresses and even one hat. People wearing the family pearls and people wearing tattoos. Children and teenagers with interesting hair colorings, and twenty- and thirty-somethings and middle-aged folks and seniors. People coupled up and people sitting by themselves and people sitting in groups. Talking or laughing or waving to somebody or quietly waiting for the service to start.
All this you can see for yourself. What you don't see is the varied mix of beliefs and interests and comimitments and opinions. Atheists and agnostics sitting next to Trinitarians and theists, Buddhists next to humanists, skeptics next to people who consult the stars or the Tarot cards. All in the same room listening to the same sermon and the same music and the same readings. All loving and counting on and helping each other. And all thoroughly committed to this church which welcomes you no matter who you are or what you believe. So don’t worry about whether you'll fit in or not. You will.
The talking and the laughing stops now, so we can hear the Music for Gathering, usually played by our talented pianist and director of music. Sometimes it’s special music by a guest artist or one of our own gifted singers or instrumentalists. It could be pop or jazz or folk or classical or sacredthat’s true of all our music. Then we have our chalice lighting and our affirmation: Love is the spirit of this church and service is its law. To dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one anotherthis is our great covenant. Not a bad way to begin, and we think it describes this church pretty well.
Next comes our time for greeting each other a few minutes to exchange hugs or handshakes. We call it Greeting the Holy in Our Midst because we believe that’s just what everybody is a unique being, immersed in a sacred universe, with the gifts of the Holy in every human soul.
After that we have a special greeting to our visitors. We’ll give you a chance to introduce yourself, but only if you want to. Then we have more music, and the opening words and the opening hymn. Some of our hymns are Christian (we change the words to make them more inclusive), some are Jewish, some are by Unitarians, some are folk melodies from around the world, some are even our own creations.
Then our children’s time, a very spirited story by our minister. Afterwards we sing the children out. "Go now in peace," we say, hoping they’ll walk, not run, down the aisle. They almost never do. Then a reading, maybe another song, and meditation. Then the sermon.
Probably our minister, Rev. Michelle Buhite, is in the pulpit. If she’s not (she gets a Sunday off every month), there’ll be a guest speaker, a pulpit exchange, or one of our own members.
After the sermon we take up an offering, have a closing hymn, and listen to closing words that send us all out a little more blessed than we were when we came in. Always there'll be coffee and conversation in the Fellowship Hall. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Weekly UUpdate on your way out. And we'd love to have you join us for lunch at Broncos or Bangkok or wherever we're going. There’s a notice in the bulletin saying where the Lunch Bunch will be. You'll be especially welcome!
We’re glad you came and we hope you’ll come back, not once but many times. In fact, we hope you’ll decide to become one of us, to be an important part of this church that we love so much. We're trying to make a difference in this part of the country that so desperately needs a strong liberal voice. We think you can help us.
Go in peace. Live long and prosper. Namaste. Shalom.
11:00 on Sunday Morning . . .
Come join us! You’ll find us sitting in a spacious sanctuary, in comfortable chairs (not pews), with plenty of room to stretch or spread our arms out or cross our legs. We don’t fill up the room yet we built a sanctuary with plenty of space, because we think that when Spartanburg finds out what Unitarian Universalism is all about, a lot of people will want to be here. So there’s enough room for you and your children and your out-of-town visitors and anybody else you want to bring. We’ve been hoping you’d show up.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
How to Get Connected
YOUR FIRST VISIT
FAQs for Newcomers
OUR WORSHIP SERVICE
Seeking the truth in love
The Unitarian Universalist
CHURCH OF SPARTANBURG
Sunday Service at 11:00
Vespers Wednesday at 6:35
210 Henry Place, 29306
P.O. Box 1942
Spartanburg, SC 29304
Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg