More About UPC
Last Week's Sermon
Before We Begin: The Creation
The Reverend Matt Gaventa
A Reading from Genesis In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. …
At UPC we enter worship expecting God to be present and active. In worship God gathers us, speaks to us through the waters of baptism, through music and song, word and silence; feeds us at Table, and sends us out to carry God’s reconciling love into the world.
Sunday Morning Worship
Sunday Morning Worship Services are open to a diverse community of all ages. Our typical order of worship includes opportunities for reflection, prayer, sermons for adults and children, and vibrant music.
Young children can participate in our Bridge to Worship following the Children’s Sermon.
Communion is served on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month; and every Sunday during Lent and Advent. All are welcome at the Lord’s Table.
For more information, go to Welcome to Worship, the UPC worship guide..
Sunday Evening Worship
Sunday Evening Worship is held during the school year, September through May on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. This is a UKirk Campus Ministry service, all are invited to attend. Taize Prayer Service is held on the last Sunday of each month in the sanctuary. Bible Study is held at 5:15 p.m. and a meal is shared at 6 p.m. prior to the worship service.
Bridge to Worship
UPC offers children the opportunity to participate in the 11:00 a.m. worship service through out “Time for the Younger Church,” featuring a children’s sermon. Following this, children aged 3-6 are invited to participate in our Bridge to Worship program in room 202, upper level.
During Bridge to Worship, children engage in the rituals of worship: hearing the stories of our faith, wondering, responding, praying, singing, and feasting. Leaders will meet children at the door at the front of the sanctuary, or parents may walk the children upstairs.
Children and Worship
“And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.” — Deuteronomy 6:6,7
“Kids will be kids”
At UPC, our hope is that worship will be a time of joy for children, their families and the whole congregation, but the reality is that sitting still and being quiet does not always give children joy. When children act like children in worship, parents have to deal with their own feelings of embarrassment and frustration. Planning ahead for what can be done if children become noisy or restless will help in managing frustration.
One of the ways we keep the vows we make when our children are baptized is to give thought, effort, and prayer to their participation in worship. Good worship experiences don’t just happen. If children feel loved, included and accepted in worship, it is because both the church and the parents have been faithful to their task.
Worship and Learning
Worship is God-centered praise and adoration. The church’s worship service is one basic way people learn what it means to be Christian. Children learn worship by worshiping with the congregation Sunday after Sunday. Children:
- Learn they belong to Christ and are welcome in His church.
- Come to know the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, musical responses, and other parts of the service from memory.
- Build a fund of memorable, shared experiences of Christian community, from which they may draw when they are older.
- Hear stories from the Bible read and interpreted, and begin to see Christian worship as one place where God may speak to them.
- Witness the drama of the sacraments, Baptism and Communion, as signs of God’s kindness and favor.
- Discover that they are valued as persons by God and by God’s people at church.
- Become enriched by music and art as expressions of praise, which are human responses to God.
Helpful Hints for Parents
- Go over an order of worship at home before Sunday to help your children know what is going on and what is expected of children.
- At home, prepare children for Baptism and Communion, or other special occasions in worship. Also, take time to answer questions about elements and experiences in worship.
- Ask your children if they need a drink or to use the restroom before you enter worship.
- Pick up a Worship Bag (ages 3-6 and 7-12), available at both entrances to Sanctuary. These contain crayons, worksheets and paper. Craft bags are also available that contain quiet activities that can be used to keep small hands busy while children are listening to the sermon.
- When your children ask a question, answer it briefly. This is less disturbing than saying “Shhh” or ignoring them completely. A smile of encouragement accomplishes a lot.
- If your children wiggle, don’t be upset—adults wiggle, too.
- Afterwards, talk to the children about the service. By sharing experiences, we all learn more.
Children Are Encouraged
Our children are encouraged to participate in worship. For more information, click here to read about UPC’s “Bridge to Worship.”