Our Sunday Gatherings are a time for contemplation, community, and spiritual nourishment!
CHALICE LIGHTING – We begin each Sunday service with a Chalice Lighting which reminds us that we too can brighten lives, share divine spark and illuminate the world.
MUSIC – Mike O’Brien, TLCUU Music Director, has his work cut out for him as he helps us become a singing congregation! Mike brings commitment, passion, his own gifts including a beautiful voice, composing and writing music that is meaningful and a great addition to our Sunday Gatherings.
CHILDREN’S BLESSING – We regularly invite our children to come forward and receive a community blessing. Our children stay with us many Sundays, playing quietly in our communal space. Some Sundays they go upstairs to have a lesson with one of our volunteers.
READING – Our weekly readings come from a variety of sources! Some of our favorite writings come from authors like Eckhart Tolle, Rumi, Joan Chittister, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, and other sources like the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Talmud, Gita, Koran, and Tao Te Ching as well as many other contemporary and ancient philosophers, scientists, and poets.
THOUGHTS TO PONDER – Rather than calling it a sermon, our pastor Mary Reaman, creatively challenges us to consider various points of view and to live out the truths of our own lives in a way that benefits our growth, challenges our continual development and welcomes the insights, experience and wisdom of others.
UNITY CELEBRATION – Each week in our service, we take time as a community to engage in an activity that supports the weekly theme and invites us to experience something together as a group that we can reflect on collectively. It is a time in our service that we emphasize our belief that We Are One.
EXTINGUISHING OUR CHALICE AND BENEDICTION – We close our Sunday Gathering by extinguishing our chalice with these words: “We extinguish this flame but not the light of truth, the warmth of community, or the fire of commitment. These we carry in our hearts until we are together again.
After our Sunday Gathering we invite you to stay for Tree Talk!
TREE TALK – Grab some coffee or tea after the Sunday Gathering and join us for a community conversation where you can share your thoughts on the day’s theme, readings, sermon, and unity celebration. It is a time to share feedback from the day’s message and consider those things you found moving, meaningful, and challenging. It is a time to share in the collective wisdom of the group, to provide examples from our own lives, to agree (or disagree) with some of the points, to probe related ideas, and to get to know each other better. It’s a great way to begin to apply the Sunday message to our daily lives.
Tree Talk really is one of the best things we do at TLCUU. Many of us have been part of religious traditions that have discouraged this kind of inquiry. Truth came from a holy book, from a long tradition, or from the pulpit, not from the pews. Well, we might not have pews at TLCUU, but we have each other, and we are committed to learning from each other. We don’t have to agree on everything, but merely to respect each others’ views and to help each other along our paths when we can. That’s what Tree Talk is all about!
All of us have come to TLC for a reason. Our community includes lifelong UUs, but also people who have come through a variety of Christian and non-Christian backgrounds. We number among us atheists, agnostics, active Catholics, Hindus, pagans, and more. During the summer, instead of a sermon from Mary, members of the TLCUU community frequently are invited to share their own spiritual journeys – how they started out, the roads they’ve traveled, and where they are now in their own spiritualities. These mornings are always interesting and thought provoking, and draw us closer together as a community as we learn even more about the other members of our TLC family.