Perhaps no activity of a religious community is more archetypal than worship: people of different generations and walks of life gathered together to share community, to find comfort in familiar songs and rituals, to glean inspiration and insight, and to return, again and again, to the values that anchor our lives.
I have led worship in a dozen congregations, in medical and university settings, at regional and international UU gatherings, and online (like this service shared with a group of churches during the pandemic). Each instance is a unique time to build community, offer opportunities for hope and healing, and challenge us to grow into our best selves.
Worship is a holistic experience. At its best, it involves all of our senses. It expands the mind and moves the heart. Artfully done, a service can bring peace to those in turmoil or build energy and commitment toward our work for a better world. I like to craft services so that all the pieces fit together to form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This may often entail coordinating with musicians, story-tellers, and other talented people to create a compelling experience, and drawing on the Creative Arts.
Seasonal celebrations and alternative service formats can add further to the richness of a congregation's worship life, bringing in more music, drama, and pageantry, for example, or offering the intimacy and simplicity of a meditative vespers. Water in-gatherings after summer, candlelight Christmas Eve services, and flower ceremonies in the spring can all contribute to our sense of connection with one another and with the circle of life. Rites & Rituals may take place beyond Sunday as well. I enjoy helping to carry on special traditions in the church I serve, as well as playing with new ways of enhancing worship.