For Visitors: What to Expect
Sundays During Covid
Like most organizations and religious institutions, the UU Congregation of Cleveland is currently meeting virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sunday Services go live on Facebook and YouTube at 11 AM on Sunday mornings.
After the Service at 12:30 PM, people can gather in the Virtual Coffee Hour–a chance to catch up with each other–or, if the weather permits, a socially-distanced in-person coffee hour in the parking lot of the Shaker building (masks required).
On many Sunday mornings, before Services, we offer Religious Education Hour, classes for youth and adults, from 10:00 – 11:00 am. We also offer Sunday Forum, a tradition for more than 25 years. These informative presentations are online from 9:30-10:45 AM and are open to the public.
Visiting a new place of worship for the first time can be exciting (and intimidating). Here are some friendly notes to help you find your way through a service with us.
Our Sunday Worship Services begin at 11:00 am at our Shaker Heights location (21600 Shaker Boulevard). We have plenty of parking behind the building, including covered spaces under our solar array.
You’ll enter via the back of the building – the East Entrance has stairs, while the West Entrance has a ramp. We have an elevator that makes all the floors of our split-level building accessible. In our sanctuary, you’ll find pews, a pulpit, hymnals and other items you’d expect in other houses of worship.
A typical worship service lasts about an hour. After a warm welcome and some announcements, we light our chalice. The chalice lighting is an important part of our opening ritual, and most Unitarian Universalist (UU) services begin this way. It is one way that we connect with our fellow UUs.
Throughout the service, we’ll sing hymns. Many of our songs may be familiar, but you may find some of the theology expressed in our words to be different from traditional versions.
Most often we have a Time for All Ages, which is a family-friendly message related to the day’s sermon. We sing our young people off to Youth Religious Education classes afterward.
The second part of the service is when we gather our weekly offering. The money collected is given to a nonprofit operating in our community. Last year, we donated more than $25,000 to nonprofits in and beyond our community. Some recent recipients include The Music Settlement and Meals on Wheels.
Our readings come from from sources as diverse as global religious texts, poetry, non-fiction, and personal narratives. Past readings have come from the Torah, Bible and Quran; world literature; comic books; television, current events; and poets like Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Mary Oliver and Emily Dickinson.
In the sermon, the person in the pulpit (often our minister, Rev. Joe Cherry, but sometimes not) offers you something to consider, challenging you to think about a moral, civic or spiritual issue.
After the service, everyone is invited to joins us in Fellowship Hall for Coffee Hour. It’s the perfect time to meet our members, have some coffee (or tea!), and get to know us better. Once a month we share a Potluck meal after Services and, on a different weekend, the Kitchen Crew prepares a breakfast before Services.