Worship

Each Sunday, we gather together and light a chalice, a symbol of Unitarian Universalist faith.

We follow it with our Chalice Response:

We light this chalice, to remind ourselves to treat all people kindly,
because they are our siblings in spirit.
To take good care of the earth because it is our home,
and to try to live lives filled with goodness and love
because that is how we will become the best people we can be.

Our Worship Services are weekly reflections that weave together our own thoughts and experiences with music, beauty, poetry, and words 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.

Worship Service

Elements of a typical Unitarian Universalist Sunday morning worship service include:

  • Words of welcome.
  • Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith.
  • A Story for All Ages, our multigenerational segment where we invite the children to come forward.
  • Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles.
  • A meditation or prayer.
  • A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation.

What to Expect on Sundays

When you come to our campus you will be greeted by our members, feel free to ask them questions or for directions, we are happy to help. Once you enter our Sanctuary, you may be asked if you would like to put on a name tag and fill out a guest registry form. These are not required, but do help us be able to follow up with you later in the week.

Scroll through our past services to get an idea of the types of sermons and services we have. 

After Worship

After worship, plan to stay for our Coffee Hour! UUs are famous for their coffee and conversation and we look forward to sharing it with you. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know our members and how you will fit in.

We welcome all people, and we welcome you as you are! No need to dress up, though some do, we will just be happy to see you.

Information about Children & Youth

Children and youth gather with our staff and volunteer teachers before services at 9:30 a.m. on most Sundays of the year. We meet in the same virtual room as worship, and the group is encouraged to stay on and participate in worship with adults as well. In Religious Education at 9:30 am, we light our chalice, share stories, learn about the universe’s mysteries and wonders of all the creatures of the Earth, and we learn about human’s place within it all.

Holidays and Traditions

Every year at East Shore there are a variety of community events for fellowship, friendship, celebration and to promote opportunities to become connected and involved.

Below is a list and description of these events. For more details closer to the event dates, visit our events page.

Special Events & Holidays

Flower Communion & Annual BBQ: June

This special worship service is a ceremony for UUs to come together and express our connectedness to one another and the world. We each bring a flower, which are all combined. During the ceremony, all are invited to come to the front and take a flower brought by someone else. It is a day of fellowship, community and beautiful music. After worship, join us for a BBQ and potluck organized by our Family Covenant Circle. Vegetarian and vegan options available.

Seabeck Memorial Day Retreat: May (Off Site)

For more than 20 years, we have gathered as families, singles, youth, and elders, at Seabeck on Memorial Day for fellowship and fun. Part retreat, and part social event, Seabeck puts an uniquely Unitarian spin on the American custom of “church camp.”

In-Gathering: September

This is East Shore’s annual Homecoming Celebration. Join us for worship at 10:00 a.m. followed by feasting and fun at 11:15 a.m. All members, guest and visitors are invited to attend this potluck. Bring a side or dessert, and we will take care of the entrees, including gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Annual East Shore Auction: November

While this is a fundraiser for the church, it is also one of the major opportunities for fun and fellowship in the church. The auction event includes an online auction, silent auction, dinner, live auction, and wonderful services, experiences, and items for sale to benefit the ministries of the church. This is a great event to meet new people and get connected.

Thanksgiving Potluck: november

A newer tradition, East Shore celebrates our own family on a Sunday in November. Join us for worship at 11:00 a.m. followed by feasting and togetherness. All members, guest and visitors are invited to attend this potluck. Bring a side or dessert, and we will take care of the turkey, we also have vegan options.

Winter Solstice: December 21

We celebrate the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, with songs, stories and candles to encourage the return of the sun. We thank the mother for holding us in her arms during the dark hours and praise the return of the sun. Followed by a soup and bread potluck.

Christmas Eve: December 24

On Christmas Eve, we offer candlelight services for members and guests to celebrate. These services are often filled with traditional carols, but with a Unitarian flair. Check the calendar for specific times.

Music and Choir

East Shore Unitarian Church is blessed with an abundance of musical talent and enthusiasm within the congregation. Led by Director of Music Eric Lane Barnes, our Sunday services include a wide variety of congregational songs (often including pop songs, show tunes, jazz standards, songs from various spiritual traditions and, of course, Unitarian hymns.) Each service features several Musical Celebrations, which may be a vocal soloist/duet/ensemble, and numerous combinations of guitars, ukuleles, drums, flutes, saxophones, violas, pianos – our roster of service performers is truly endless and delightfully eclectic.

East Shore Choir

Twice each month (sometimes more!) the East Shore Choir sings during the service, filling the sanctuary with exquisite musical joy, laughter, light and love. Membership in the choir is open to all – no audition or even church membership are required. We rehearse in the sanctuary on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Rehearsals are joyous, engaging, invigorating and sometimes moving.