What do adults wear?
You are welcome to come in whatever makes you comfortable. You'll find most people wearing casual attire -- everything from typical "Friday casual days" wear to jeans and T-shirts. And there are some men who feel more comfortable in a coat and tie and some women likely to wear a dress or suit.
What do children wear?
Children will be fine in sneakers and jeans or any play clothes. They will probably spend part of the Religious Education class sitting in a circle on a carpet, and another working with paste, glue, paint or crayons. In nice weather, the children sometimes go to nearby parks to play.
Is your church accessible to people in wheelchairs?
Yes. Several members use wheelchairs. There is a ramp to the front entrance of the building. The bathrooms are accessible. There is an elevator for access to the 2nd and 3rd floors. Hallways and doorways are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, too. Though the church does not have a parking area, we have one curb-side parking space designated for handicap use -- and an agreement with Valva Realty (across the street) that allows people with mobility issues to park in their lot on Sundays and evenings.
What other accessibility issues have you addressed?
We have several large-print hymnals and orders of service at the usher's table as you enter the worship space. Please let us know if one of these would be helpful to you. We are actively investigating an assisted listening system, but it is not in place yet.
What do children do during the service?
We provide childcare for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, beginning 15 minutes before services begin, allowing parents to get their children settled before the service starts. There are religious education classes for children from K-8 during services.
May our child stay with us during the service?
Of course. Most Sundays there are a few young ones in the congregation.
How do I find you?
See the directions to our church and the map of nearby parking.
Will I be welcome?
Absolutely. As you enter, you will be greeted by church members who will officially welcome you, provide you with a nametag, and answer questions you may have. We hope you will feel comfortable providing us with contact information so that we may send you our newsletter. Ours is a diverse community: young and old, walking and wheeling, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, black and white, Asian and Hispanic, singles, couples, and families. You'll meet teachers, social workers, carpenters, homemakers, artists, lawyers, nurses, doctors, secretaries, business owners, computer programmers, people without jobs, students, retired people, and more.
Do you welcome gays and lesbians?
Yes. We have many active members of our community who are openly gay or lesbian. Some come just for Sunday services. Some serve on committees and our Board of Trustees. All are integrated into our community. Many activities are planned by our Interweave Chapter and Welcoming Congregation Committee.
Do you have active young adults in the congregation?
Yes! Young adults (18-35 year olds) are a vital part of our community. They sing in the choir, serve on the Board of Trustees, share Sunday worship, and serve on many committees. You are encouraged to attend services on Sundays and look out for/meet other young adults from the church. Learn more about the church's young adult group - YACOO.
What goes on during the worship services?
Most services include the following.
Our Senior Minister is usually in the pulpit three Sundays a month. In addition, we hear from our Assistant Minister and guest ministers. During the summer (and occasionally throughout the year) the services are lay-led.
Does your congregation have diverse beliefs?
Yes, indeed. In our congregation we have humanists, theists, pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and more. Although individual Unitarian Universalists have varied beliefs about everything from scripture to rituals to God, we uphold shared principles and come together for spiritual development guided by freedom, reason, and conscience.
How do I become a member?
We strongly suggest you attend our services until you are comfortable with us. We have new member orientation meetings regularly. We suggest you attend one of those, too. Once you have decided you want to join and you sign the membership book, you will be invited to attend a special Sunday morning service of welcome (called the Ingathering) followed by a celebratory lunch. Learn more about becoming a member.
What do I do if I have other questions?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at (510) 893-6129.
Credit: We'd like to thank Gila Jones, one of the moderators of the UUA-sponsored Newcomers e-mail list, for many of the questions above. The answers are our own.