Worship is Ever Evolving from Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael 


It’s my joy to share with you all some changes to the usual order of service, that will go into effect on September 10th, 2017. The Worship Staff: Rev. Scott, Marcus Grae-Hauck, Chris Buja, Iris DeLaPaz and I have worked collaboratively. We agree that this new format will allow us to accomplish more of the goals that we each have for the Sunday experience. We are planning to experiment with this format for the 2017-18 year, and if it needs to be amended, we will make any changes for September of 2018. Please come to worship and try out this new format. See how it makes you feel. Wonder about how it might make newcomers or individuals of different ages, or families with different identities and histories feel. 

These are some of the changes and brief explanations for each: 

1. Gathering Hymns will provide a soft start to the worship service. They will help us “gather the spirit” in a participatory way that is relevant to all ages and reminiscent of many African American church services. 

2. Moving the Children’s Recessional earlier will allow the teachers to work with the children for a bit more time in Religious Education, enabling a deeper learning experience. Since this earlier dismissal means that the children will miss the Offering with the exception of our Multigenerational services, the RE staff is prepared to work with the children on the themes of generosity and giving in Children’s Chapel, and all ages will experience generosity and giving during our Multigenerational Worship services. 

3. What was known as an “Interlude” previously, is more aptly termed “Anthem.” “Anthem” is a word that draws more attention to the centrality of music in worship. 

4. The Musicians at UUCM have been offering a Postlude, even though it has not been listed in the OOS. By listing it we reserve the capacity to draw attention to it on occasion, by inviting folks to remain for a particularly relevant piece.

5. The Prelude has been removed but the worship staff is excited to occasionally provide a musical Invocation, and to more regularly blend music and word for the Invocation. The blending of music and word and the interchange between musical and spoken pieces in the worship life of the congregation, invites collaborative creativity between the whole of the worship staff. It also evokes an experience of creative interchange for the congregation. 

As always, I am eager to hear your reflections.