What to Expect in Worship
We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.
Unitarian Universalist worship styles vary by congregation, and even within congregations. Some congregations’ worship is contemporary and high tech. Some congregations’ worship is traditional and formal. Some features exuberant music, some includes long periods of silent reflection. You will experience a variety at the UUFD.
Elements of a typical Unitarian Universalist Sunday morning worship service include:
- Words of welcome
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- A multigenerational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
- A time for lifting up the joys and concerns of the congregation
- A meditation or prayer
- Readings—ancient or contemporary
- A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community.
From time to time, services incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, longer musical performances, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies. We offer childcare and learning programs for children during the Sunday service.
We are proud to have a lay-led congregation which means that we lead ourselves without full-time minister. Unitarian Universalism has a proud history of congregational lay leadership that can be traced to the Fellowship Movement that began in 1948. Some congregations, such as us, still call themselves fellowships as an outcome of this movement.
Our Sunday services are a mix of:
- Lay-led services and reflections
- Guest speakers
- Monthly reflections from Samuel Felderman, graduate of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
Our congregation is committed to inviting speakers from area nonprofits, small businesses, the arts, and social justice organizations as well as Judaism, Islam, and other religious traditions. Past speakers include Alan Garfield, Leslie Shalabi, Don Koppes, Megan Ruiz, Alex Baum, Jillayne Pinchuk, Mike Mbanza, and Rick Mihm as well as organizations including Hope House, Path of Hope Immigration Services, Temple Beth El, Hospice, Resources Unite, Tri-State Islamic Center, Dubuque Rescue Mission, Presentation Lantern Center, and Catholic Charities Jail and Prison Ministry.