What to Expect in Worship
About UUCLB (Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach)
We are religious liberals. We are women and men, families, single people, straight and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, young and old from many religous backgrounds and of different races and ethnicities. We are welcoming people with different beliefs, united by shared values, not by creed or dogma.
You will find from 50 to 150 people attending services on Sunday mornings depending on which service you attend. During the months of September to Services are almost always at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Occasionally during the year, we may only have one service. This will happen during the Long Beach Marathon weekend, the Long Beach Gay Pride Parade and some holiday weekends. Check the schedule on the website or in the ADVANCE. During the summer, we have only one worship service at 10:00 am.
The 9:00 a.m. service tends to be smaller and has contemporary music with our Wylder Spirits. The 11:00 a.m. service has a larger choir and a larger attendance.
Religious Education for our children and youth is offered at both services. In the summer program, children attend religious education classes as always. Children start at the service with the congregation and are invited to participate in the “Time for All Ages” portion of the service, then led by their teachers out to their programs.
Parking—We have designated parking for visitors in our parking lots. Our parking lots are East and far West of the church building located on Atherton Street. If you visit and the parking lots are full, parking is also available on Atherton Street.
Some of us bike, walk and take the bus.
Greeting—When you arrive at the gate from the parking lots or from Atherton before the service, someone will greet you. If you are coming for the first time, you may be guided to the welcome table for a name tag and to have a member answer any questions you may have.
If you enter from the Atherton Street side gate, go around to the main church entrance to meet someone from our welcoming table. The friendly people at the welcome table may be able to answer some of your questions. They will give you a name tag. If you have children, a volunteer will help you and your child become familiar with the Sunday morning routine.
What Do Adults Wear?—Some of us dress casually in blue jeans and t-shirts, some more formally. Some men wear dress shirts (rarely a tie); some women prefer skirts and heels. Wear what makes you feel comfortable.
Our Minister is in the pulpit two Sundays out of three. Guest ministers and speakers lead the other Sunday worship services. In the summer, our minister has an extended period off to reinvigorate and inform their ministry. Our worship committee and guest ministers lead all of the Sunday worship services during this period.
During the Service—The service lasts about 1 hour with singing, music, readings and a sermon. When your enter, you will be handed a hymnal with an Order of Service tucked inside. The Order of Service will have the information you need for you to fully participate in the Worship Service. Other announcements are provided during the service and a printed version is available at the back of the church as you enter or leave.
We often stand for hymns and some responsive readings. The minister or service leader will likely ask the congregation to stand and to be seated and with sensitivity that some of us may not be able to or choose not to stand. You don’t have to worry about knowing when to stand or sit. We don’t genuflect. We don’t kneel to pray.
At the beginning of worship, we may ask for visitors to introduce themselves. If you are comfortable, you may choose to introduce yourself and say where you are from.
Accessibility – We are wheel chair accessible, and we make available hearing assistance devices and large-print Orders of Service and hymnals on request.
After the Service—You are invited to have coffee or tea on the West patio outside of church. Come to the welcome table to meet some of our members. They can give you more information and answer any questions.
We hope you find this information helpful, and that you will visit soon and when you do, you find your church experience welcoming and meaningful.