Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana Seeking the Spirit | Building Community | Changing the World
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Worship

Sunday services


  • Sunday Worship Services
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  • Visit Us

    Welcome! Sunday services are at 10:15 a.m. and are also live streamed here on our website. If you plan to join us in person for the first time, you are invited to come as you are - dress is casual, and we welcome people of all backgrounds. You can learn more about Unitarian Universalism here: Our Beliefs. You may view videos of past services on our Sunday Worship Services page.

    Hearing assistive devices are now available at the AV Tech booth in the rear of the Meeting Room for use during Sunday worship services.

    Religious Education classes for youth ages 4 to 12 take place during the service. (Our high school/teen youth group is currently on hiatus until we have a core group attending regularly - please reach out to our Lifespan RE Director, Stephanie Kimball, if you have a teen in your family who would like to attend and get involved at our church!) Childcare is available for younger children.

    Join us for our community coffee hour after the service in Fellowship Hall. Regular and decaf coffee is served, as well as a selection of teas.

    We recognize that COVID continues to pose risks to vulnerable members of our church community, and we have masks available in the building for those who need them.

    We have many active groups, committees, and Social Justice Task Forces to get involved with and learn from! See our calendar for upcoming events and browse the archives of our newsletters, Perspectives and the Friday Update, for the latest news. Fill out our Guest Card if you’d like to receive our emails.

    Directions

    We are located at 2120 N Fee Ln, just north of IU’s campus, at the intersection of N. Fee and the Bypass.

    Where should I park?

    • If you're new to our church, look for designated Guest Parking spaces by our Main entrance and along the west side of the building - if you are a regular church goer, we encourage you to leave a couple of these easily accessible parking spaces open for newcomers!
    • When our lot is full, parking is available in the lot just across from the church on Fee Lane, and on David Baker Ave to the south.

    Which entrance should I use?

    • When attending Sunday services, the best entrances to use are the Main entrance or the Courtyard entrance.
    • When attending meetings, the door closest to the room the meeting is in will be unlocked.
    • When visiting the church office during the week, enter through the Office entrance on the west side of the building (facing Fee Lane), or through the Portico entrance on the north side. If the door is locked, please ring the bell or call 812-332-3695.

    Accessibility:

    For attending Sunday service, the Main entrance is closest to our Meeting Room. The Main, Portico, and Courtyard entrances have accessible parking spots and doors. The Office entrance is the only entrance with stairs up to the door. Our building has two levels and has an elevator.

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  • What to Expect

    We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.

    Unitarian Universalist worship styles vary by congregation, and even within congregations. Some congregations’ worship is contemporary and high tech. Some congregations’ worship is traditional and formal. Some features exuberant music, some includes long periods of silent reflection. You will find a mix of worship service styles here at UU Bloomington throughout the year.

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

    • Words of welcome
    • Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
    • A multigenerational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
    • Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
    • A time for lifting up the joys and sorrows of the congregation, and an invitation to come forward to light a candle
    • A meditation or prayer
    • Readings—ancient or contemporary
    • A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
    • An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community

    From time to time, worships incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, longer musical performances, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies. We offer childcare and programs for children and youth during the Sunday service.

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  • full choir Music & Choir

    Music is an important part of our worship and congregational life. Our pianist provides a valuable ministry every Sunday during the services. Our choir prepares a wide variety of special music for the services. We also have several other musical groups, including an old time string band and a gospel/rock band, and talented members and children perform during worship services.

    Adult Choir

    We have an all-volunteer choir, and everyone is welcome! We sing music from many centuries and cultures, in many languages and styles. The choir not only enriches our spiritual experience with music on Sunday morning but also does important social outreach to the larger community. We have performed at prisons, community events, and memorial services, including September 11 memorials, Holocaust memorial services, the AIDS Quilt Display, Habitat for Humanity builds, and even the Mayor’s Inaugural. The choir also frequently collaborates with other community music organizations, including the Bloomington Symphony and the Bloomington Community Band.

    The choir rehearses on Thursday evenings, 7:00-8:30 p.m. mid-August through May, and childcare is available by request.

    Contact Music Director Susan Swaney: music@uubloomington.org

    Sheet Music Adult Choir Resources

    Sheet Music

    From time to time we will post links here to helpful rehearsal recordings, schedules for upcoming special rehearsals, and other details useful to members of our Choir. Choir members, if you can’t get these links to work, please reach out to office@uubloomington.org.

    The Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Contact Susan Swaney at music@uubloomington.org for additional information.

    Rehearsal Resources

    We Are

    by Ysaye Barnwell

    An Alleluia Supper-Round

    by William Albright

    or

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    jill-courtney-photo-1 Reflections on Music and UUCB from Jill Courtney

    Jill Courtney directed our Children's Choir for 19 years. As of the summer of 2023, she has stepped down from this position to prioritize other parts of her life. We hope you enjoy reading her reflections on her history with our church and what she'll be focusing her energy on moving forward.

    Note from Susan Swaney, our Music Director:

    We have been so very lucky to have Jill making music with our children for 19 years! She is an enormous asset to our church, and we won’t try to replace her. Instead, we will have a time of discernment about what to do in the future. In the meantime, we will have some opportunities for “Family Choir,” where people of all ages can join the choir on a Sunday to learn and rehearse a piece to perform together at that week’s service. Keep a lookout for announcements!

    In the early 2000’s, after growing up in a United Methodist church, I walked through the doors of UUCB as an adult and knew right away it was home. Reusable coffee mugs! Liberal religious community! And the icing on the cake, Sue Swaney was directing the fabulous choir! At heart, I think I had always aligned with Unitarian Universalism, but I had to find my way here on my own as a “grown up.” As a lifelong musician and music teacher by profession, the music aspect of my church experience has always been important to me, and UUCB is so rich with music! I was thrilled to find my place in the choir. Not long after I became a member, it happened that our church was looking for a children’s choir music director. I had worked under Sue before in the IU Children’s Choir, so I happily accepted the position. I’m grateful to Sue for entrusting me with this role, because it was a joyous 19 years of working with the young singers in our congregation. 19 years filled with beautiful voices, and wonderful collaborations in special programs like Boom!, All You Need is Love, The Lorax, Hymnody of Earth, and more. Many years of gifts of music for the beautiful Solstice and Equinox services, as well as Earth Day, Water, and Flower Communion services. And then the pandemic, when I learned how to assemble pre-recorded gifts of music, which was a challenge but also an absolute joy; truly one of the most fulfilling things I did during those difficult times.

    What some may not know, is that all during these years, I have been teaching full-time public school elementary music, the job I knew I wanted to do since I was very young. Growing up in Bloomington, I was so fortunate to have the best musical experiences and mentors to help me achieve that dream. It is a fulfilling but very demanding job, and now as I head into year 27 of teaching, my life also includes chauffeuring my children to their many extracurricular activities. This leaves very few precious hours for true self care and family time, and as I get older, I find myself needing to prioritize my time outside of work in different ways. Though the decision was not easy, I knew it was time for me to let go of directing the beloved UU Children’s Choir.

    Please know that the timing of this decision is wholly my own, and is not related to any staff or leadership transitions at our church. I have no doubt that there will still be a place for the children and youth of our church to contribute their voices, even if it looks different than it did during my time as Children’s Choir director. I love our UUCB dearly, and I look forward to a long future of this being a place for me and my family to grow, to seek the spirit, and be in community. One of the first priorities for my spiritual health is to re-join the Adult Choir, which I haven’t been able to do since my children were born, and have missed so dearly. Family time, yoga, gardening, and sound healing also all join the list of things that feed my soul, and deserve more of my time. And every once in a while, I’m looking forward to having enough time to just sit down on my deck and listen to the birds sing!

    It has been an absolute privilege to work with the children’s choir, and I will always cherish their beautiful voices and personalities. As a teacher of young children, I don’t always get to see where their paths will lead, but it’s such a joy when I run into singers I have worked with who are all grown up now and shining their lights in the world, knowing we shared some special musical times together in the past. One of my favorite bumper sticker messages is “Plant Seeds and Sing Songs,” which is something I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do for so many years with the UU Children’s Choir, and will continue to do in other ways on my life journey.

    - Musically yours, Jill Courtney

    Plant Seeds and Sing Songs

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    The Ray of Sunshine CD

    Ray of Sunshine CD cover

    We have extra copies of the recently released Ray of Sunshine CD, with our very gifted pianist Ray Fellman playing selections of the music he often plays for our services. This recording was made in winter 2021 in our sanctuary, with our Steinway. Click here to order copies for yourself and your friends, while supplies last! The $ amount to enter is $25 x the number of CDs you would like, and we will mail them to you. (examples: $50 for 2 CDs, $100 for 4 CDs, etc.) If you are not a part of our congregation, after payment please email us your mailing address, to admin@uubloomington.org. All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit our congregation.

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  • Live Stream

    Click this link to see the presentation "Complexity in Abortion Attitudes: Stats and Stories" on March 24th.

    Our Sunday services are held both in person and online. Please enjoy a view of our wonderful meeting room window before the service starts!

    Information about past services can be found here.

    If you're new here, please fill out our online guest card.

    This Sunday's Service

    April 21, 2024: Leaning Into Joy

    Photo Of The Candidate

    Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray

    Mary Craig, Worship Associate

    The poet Toi Dericott writes, “Joy is an act of resistance.” In the midst of uncertainty, change and the profound heartbreak of so many challenges in our world, how can joy be both an act of resistance and one of hope.

    Problems viewing the live stream? Please email our media team to let us know.

    We have now enabled the live chat during Sunday services and certain other events. If you choose to participate, you may sign in to the chat box below this message.

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