What to Expect at Worship
Every Sunday at 10:00 a.m., we gather as a multigenerational, spiritual family to find meaning and live more deeply. At Prairie, we strive to create 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. Our diverse congregation draws not only on Unitarian Universalist traditions in our worship services, but also on the traditions and festivals of other spiritual faiths. We welcome people of all religious backgrounds into our Prairie family. We also welcome people of all ages and are proud to offer robust children’s and youth programming. Learn more.
Prairie worship services are weekly reflections that weave together our own thoughts and experiences with music, imagery, words, and movement that both comfort and challenge. Our programs for all ages inspire us and awaken us to our capacities to make a difference in our own lives and in the world. We are inspired not just by religious sources but by the people with whom we journey .
Elements of a typical Prairie Sunday morning service include:
- Words of welcome
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles (we LOVE music!)
- “Candles of Community,” a time for lifting up the joys and sorrows of the congregation
- Meditation and/or prayer
- Readings – ancient and/or contemporary
- A sermon by a minister, guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
- An offering, collecting donations for the congregation and/or for justice work in the community
- Quiet activities in the back for all generations of all attention spans
- Often, Prairie services include a multi-generational segment at the beginning, such as a “Story for All Ages”
Pastor AJ leads most services, but volunteers from among our membership and outside guest speakers lead services in the summer and periodically during the rest of the year. From time to time, worship incorporates holiday celebrations, dancing, plays and pageants, longer musical performances, and ceremonies, such as coming-of-age or blessing-of-the-animals.
Be sure to check the Upcoming Worship Schedule for descriptions of services planned for the current month.
From mid-September through May, usually the first three Sundays of each month, Prairie UU provides religious education classes and groups during Learning Hour, 11:35 a.m.-12:20 p.m. We have an upper and lower elementary class, a Middle School Youth Group and a High School Youth Group. We also offer adult classes during Learning Hour. Learn more.
After each service, we gather together and snack in the lunch room on delicious treats prepared by our Hospitality Committee. Whether you’re sipping on a cup of tea or savoring a tasty slice of cake, this is an excellent opportunity to make friends, reflect on the day’s service, and just talk. There is a table for first-time attendees, providing more information about Prairie and Unitarian Universalism. Another table shares upcoming justice activities. Occasionally we will have full-blown potluck meals and we welcome any excuse for themed treats: Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Mardi Gras – you name it!
In addition to programming for children and youth, almost every Sunday after worship, we offer a variety of classes and groups for adults during Learning Hour at 11:35. Our monthly groups include Unitarian Universalist Spirituality, Buddhist Meditation, Pagan Life and Connecting through Movement (dance). Our classes and “hot topic” conversations cover everything from environmental issues, wellness and health, the women’s movement, understanding white supremacy, world religions, mysticism and UU history.