Q&A

Questions and Answers you may have about our church
as a visitor, a friend, a member

Before attending a Sunday Service, what would you suggest I do to find out more about what takes place at the church?
If visiting our church is too big of step, you may want to continue to check out this website. It is updated regularly.  Don’t forget the photos of our members participating in our many events!  You may also sign up for our newsletter and weekly Friday reminders about our upcoming Sunday service and other programs and events.  And, of course, link to the Unitarian Universalist Association website from our home page to learn more about UU history and social justice initiatives.

Once you’ve done that, maybe you’re ready to check out a Sunday service.  If not, try this.  Give our minister, the Rev. Joan M. Sabatino, a call at 724-464-5352.  She’ll be able to answer many of your questions.  Our church offers all sorts of events open to the public.  Come to one of these and meet some people outside of a Sunday morning worship experience.  This is a great way to get a sense of what our congregation is like.

Everything I have learned about Unitarian Universalism speaks to it as a non-creedal faith.  Why do you call your Sunday morning service a worship service?
Rev. Joan reminds us often that we come together each week for a time of community worship – a time separate from the busyness of our lives; a time to raise high that which gives worth and meaning to our lives.  Our Sunday morning worship service is about community; a time to make connections, share compassionately with each other, and be reminded what we need to do to be our best selves.

What can I expect to occur at a Sunday service?
When you’re ready to check out our 10:30 am service in the church sanctuary, bring a friend with you.  It can be strange to visit a church alone.  Grab someone you know and share the experience!  General dress of our members is family casual.

Each service is unique, but the worship outline remains constant so we are all able to stay within a comfort zone of expectations.  Young children are able to be with you in our sanctuary or share time in our nursery.  Free nursery care is provided to infants, toddlers and preschoolers aged newborn to pre-K.  Children of all ages, come to the beginning of each service with their parents.  Together we light our flaming chalice, sing a hymn, and listen to a story for all ages from our minister, Rev. Joan, or our director of Religious Education, Penny Vick, or a member of the congregation.

Does your church offer children religious education?
Absolutely!  In our structured curriculum programming, children identify intangible gifts central to Unitarian Universalism such as friendship, hospitality and fairness.  Children also learn to reflect on the qualities of our faith, such as compassion, love, integrity, and courage.  We encourage children to discover ways to use our UU Principles in living their lives.  All of our classes revolve around an annual theme that includes:  Unitarian Universalist History and Identity, World Religions, our Judeo-Christian roots, and Social Justice.

As stated previously, our entire community is together for the beginning of our worship service – approximately 15 minutes.  The adults then join in singing our “Children’s Blessing” as the children, youth and volunteer teachers leave in celebration for their age-appropriate Sunday school classes.  Please visit our Children and Youth Page under the education tab on our home page for specifics about this year’s religious education program.

How do I learn how I join your church and what is expected of members?
The first step in becoming engaged with our congregation is to sign a blue visitors card.  This card allows us to add you to our email list.  Members and friends receive a monthly newsletter (via email) and an email update each week.

Our newsletter will announce our UU101 classes, sponsored by the Membership Committee along with Rev. Joan.  These classes are offered several times throughout the year and will provide information about Unitarian Universalist history, the history of First UU, an over-view of our organization (how things work here), and information about our annual pledge drive and the expectations and opportunities of membership.

Signing our membership book (on-going since our beginning) is the official act of joining.
A New Member Welcome Ceremony is part of our worship service several times a year.

Did you know Unitarian Universalism is one of America’s top “OTHER” religions?
That’s right!  In the United States, Christian tops the charts of religious preference followed by Jewish, Muslim/Islam, Buddhist, and then Unitarian Universalist!!  This is based on self-described religious identification of adult population in US Census Data – 1990 & 2001.