Members and friends of BUUF love and deeply appreciate our Sunday services. During our program year, two services are held each Sunday morning. We are fortunate to have a strong Worship Committee that weaves together many threads to create services that become the whole cloth. In collaboration with the Minister, the Worship Committee creates and brings to the congregation worship services which address issues of our time, issues of worth, services which speak to the heart of our being, services which give spiritual and intellectual nourishment, services which offer comfort when we need comfort, and services which bring us laughter and joy. Our minister preaches at the majority of the services during the program year. The sermon was identified in our congregational survey as the most important aspect of Sunday worship services, and the role of Preacher as most important for our Minister. BUUF attendees expect the minister to present stimulating and challenging sermons.
BUUF attendees value the opportunities worship and sermons provide to encourage self-awareness and understanding, to connect with others in community, to identify paths for individual growth and change, celebrate common values, deepen spiritual practices, and more. We love music, especially the choir and visiting musicians. We appreciate silent meditation. Themes for sermons and worship at BUUF are diverse and eclectic. You can see from our survey results that we appreciate the variety of topics that are presented throughout the year at Sunday services. We have a handful of ritual services each year including Flower Communion, Mingling of the Waters, Winter Solstice, and themed services such as Christmas and Easter. Survey respondents were mostly supportive of the current structure of Sunday services but there are some concerns about congregational commentary, responsive readings, and a congregational covenant. Time for sharing of joys and sorrows is generally supported.
When the minister is not in the pulpit, volunteer BUUF members and friends and a handful of outside speakers are invited to preach. The Religious Exploration Committee presents “Deck the Halls” in December and a ceremony summarizing themes explored and lessons learned over the RE program year in May. The Senior High Youth have their bridging ceremony in the spring, and every other year the Junior High Youth participating in the Coming of Age class present their faith statements. The choir and other musicians present programs in December, as well as many other musical presentations throughout the year. The Partner Church and the Congregational Care Team each conduct a worship service. The summer services feature speakers from within our congregation.
The junior high youth participate in the first Sunday service of each month, greeting, passing microphones and collecting the offering.