Worship at First Universalist

Congregants at the First Universalist gather for Sunday morning worship services at both 9:30am and 11:15am.

 A typical Sunday services involves:

      • A sermon
      • Choral music from the First Universalists’ choir and/or local musicians from outside the church
      • Lighting the flaming chalice, the symbol of the UU faith
        • The chalice became the UU symbol during World War II. Hans Deutsch, an Austrian Artist, created the symbol during his time with the Unitarian Service Committee during the war.
        • In its beginnings, the chalice represented sacrifice and love, but today congregants interpret the chalice in many ways. For some it represents light of reason, for others the warmth of community or the flame of hope
      • Readings from many sources including poetry, literature, and excerpts from various religions
      • Prayer and meditation
      • Singing together

Sermons at the First Universalist cover a wide range of topics including social justice, racial equity, gender equity, environmentalism, and spirituality in every day life.

Below are several excerpts from Sunday morning sermons:

Living Portraits, Living Profiles- Sermon by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie:

"There is something about this life that is seen and so much that is unseen. These patterns, this play in which we are imbedded, is reenacted day in and day out. It is only the spiritual life, the religious life, the life of asking, 'What is the deeper dimension? What is the depth dimension of this experience, this existence?' that allows us to move beyond our anxieties, our hooks, our narrow self interest, and move in this life, while with increasing freedom, compassion, and a greater ability for healing and wholeness. And isn't that what we're all longing for? Some freedom... some compassion... and some balm for the wounds for this wounded and wounding world."

Letting Go- Sermon by Rev. Elaine Tenbrink:

"Sometimes the very things we're holding onto are the very things that are holding us back, preventing us from opening ourselves up to that which can truly bring freedom...when cast into the depths to survive, we must first let go of the things that will not save us, and then we must reach out for the things that can. May we loosen our grip, open up our hands and our hearts, and reach out for each other. May it be so."

Everyday Sacraments- Sermon by Rev. Jen Crow: 

"These moments of awareness, they come in different shapes and sizes and in different ways, but I think at the heart of them, they all share something in common, and I think it's connection. I think, in those moments, whether we say it or not, in those moments we feel ourselves connected, a part of something bigger than just us. Maybe in that moment, we sense a stirring deep within us in a quiet place we haven't heard in a long time. Maybe we're truly seeing another person, hearing their story, rather than our story of them... For me, these moments that I'm talking about, these moments that I think you know too, they are everyday sacraments. They are the visible sign of the invisible good or grace. The visible sign of an inward spiritual connection that is always there, always waiting to be noticed."

Revolutionary Women- Sermon by Rev. Justin Schroeder:

"I'm going to talk about these women who refused to live and prescribe space and places, these women who refused to accept a story about the world and the way the world was supposed to be, these women who had a much bigger vision of what's possible."



  1. “Worship Information,” last accessed June 3, 2016, http://firstuniversalistchurch.org/worship/.

  1. “First Universalist Church,” last accessed June 3, 2016, http://firstuniv.podbean.com/page/4/.