Worship services at UUI are lay led by the Worship Team who will lead/coordinate services and also be responsible for hiring guest speakers with a budget approved by the congregation.
The following is the charter the Board of Trustees approved, laying out the general spirit and principles of the services. If you have questions, please contact Board President, Matt Bassett at firstname.lastname@example.org or Worship Team chair, Jamie Hinson-Rieger at email@example.com.
WORSHIP ASSOCIATES INTERIM LAY LED TEAM CHARTER
To deliver worship services and to support the worship life of the congregation until such time as the congregation calls an interim or settled minister.
Worship Associates must be members of UUI.
Lay-led worship services that are well-organized and seek to balance the wide variety of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual perspectives and needs of the congregation. See SERVICES below for specifics.
Regular meetings as needed.
A budget for the fiscal year.
Use all church communication channels including UU Eye, weekly e-mail, the UUI Facebook page, UUI.org, and the Sunday Times.
Approach or seek help from any church group or individual.
Use office and janitorial support as available.
Create and purchase supplies as needed within budget.
Hire guest speakers to deliver services as needed within budget.
Recruit to the WA team as needed.
Do not fail to:
1. Make decisions in agreement with church mission, vision, and behavioral covenant.
2. Follow all UUI by-laws, policies, procedures, and send recommended changes to the Board for approval.
3. Conduct committee business in a lawful, prudent, and ethical manner.
4. Coordinate activities with other committees and functions of the church.
5. Get Board approval prior to any committee expenditures not provided in the church budget.
6. Integrate UUI’s commitment to environmental sustainability in all actions and activities.
1. Submit reports to the Program Team as requested.
2. Consult with the Program Team whenever there is a need for guidance.
Lay lead services shall be created at UUI and guest speakers hired under the following guidelines and principals:
That worship services are worship. They are not lectures, discussion groups, or social justice / political action committees. The book Worship That Works: Theory and Practice for Unitarian Universalists offers two relevant definitions of worship: “Holding up things of worth and value” and “A communal ritual event with a covenanted community that both links to its past and allows for elements of creative surprise.”
Services taken as a whole will be recognizably UU services, referencing our 7 principals, our 6 sources, current UU concerns as expressed through the UUA, sister congregations and other UU institutions, and our shared historical experience.
Services will honor our religious pluralism, varying in the sources they draw on from service to service such that over the course of several months the full spectrum of UU belief, worship, and experience is represented.
Services will use inclusive language and be conducted in a spirit which honors and values diversity. (See the Note on Language section below).
Services shall generally consist of the following elements:
- Opening and closing words, which can be an invocation and benediction at the service leader’s discretion.
- A welcome and announcements
- A chalice lighting
- A recitation of the covenant
- Hymn singing
- Special music at the Music Director’s discretion
- An offertory, including an offertory response at the service leader’s discretion
- One or more readings
- A time for the recognition of Joys and Concerns as written in the congregation’s book of Joys and Concerns and read by the service leader or worship associate, not individuals attending the service. This part of the service may include ritual elements such as blessings, hymns or responsive hymns, chanting or group singing, music performance, meditation, prayer or reflection, the offering up of names and the lighting of candles.
- A sermon
- Words for All Ages at the service leader’s discretion
- From time to time this format may vary to include additional elements such as theater, dance, short video presentations etc.
From time to time this format may be replaced with a Multi-Gen format in which the sermon is partly or completely replaced with a community building shared ritual, such as at the Flower Communion or Water Ceremony.
- Hymnals will be distributed.
- Use of an Order of Service is at the service leader’s discretion.
- The service leader / music director may use a screen to project images or text, including words for hymn singing, the covenant, the offertory response, or as an aide to the sermon, provided this does not regularly inhibit view of the Chalice sculpture at the back of the sanctuary.
A Note on Language:
It will be the goal of the Worship Team to use inclusive language and be sensitive to the diversity of beliefs and experiences in our congregation–in particular the presence of both theists and non-theists. However, the desired end result is not terminally bland services that offend no one by saying nothing in particular with generic language and platitudes. We do not honor diversity by suppressing all mention of our differences! To that end, and within the general context of pluralistic inclusive services, the worship team may choose readings and use language from all sources that support the spirit of General Principle #3.