Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you come to visit once or stay for a lifetime of religious growth and fellowship, First Unitarian Church of Richmond may have a place for you. Ours is a liberal, locally governed congregation in association with the churches of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
- What does a typical worship service look like?
- What is the Adult Enrichment Program
- What is the Vespers service on Wednesdays?
- What happens after church?
- How do I find the church?
- What do adults wear?
- What do children wear?
- May our child stay with us during the service?
- What do children do during the worship service?
- Do I have to check in at the visitor’s table?
- What is religious education?
- Is your church accessible to people in wheelchairs?
- Do you have services for the hearing impaired?
- Will I be welcome?
- Will I be pressured to join or to be saved?
- Does your congregation have diverse beliefs?
- How can an agnostic go to church?
- What does your church look like?
- How do I become a member?
What does a typical worship service look like?
Sunday worship is a comprised of a time-tested series of readings, musical selections, hymns, and other elements selected for their harmony, instructional qualities, inspirational value, beauty, and dignity. You can find the archive of past sermons here.
A typical service might look like this:
|Welcome||Words of welcome and special announcements offered by the Worship Associate.|
|Prelude||An opening musical introduction to the service.|
|Opening Words||Reflective words, from a variety of sources.|
|Hymn||Congregation sings from the hymnal.|
|Lighting of the Chalice||The chalice is lit to reflective words from the pulpit.|
|Music||We often have a special performance, or the choir will sing.|
|Meditative Reading||Another reading.|
|Silent Meditation||A few moments of contemplative and silent thought.|
|Music||More music from our special guest or choir.|
|Sermon||Words from our minister or special guest.|
|Offertory||We ask time to give back to the church.|
|Closing Words||The Minister or Worship Associate will read final words.|
|Postlude||We often sing, “As We Leave This Friendly Place,” #414 as the Minister exits.|
What is the Adult Enrichment Program?
We offer an enrichment program on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, after Vespers and light supper. The classes are taught by our ministers and/or lay leaders and include a variety of topics. “Wednesday Together” topics are posted under First News Weekly on the homepage.
What is the Vespers service on Wednesdays?
Vespers are a shorter, more contemplative service offered on Wednesday evenings at 5:30PM. The service lasts one half-hour. A typical Vespers service looks like this:
|Gathering Music||Music to open the service.|
|Opening Words||Words of reflection.|
|Song||The congregation sings a selected hymn.|
|Meditation Reading||A reading is presented to introduce the meditation time.|
|Silent Meditation||A longer period of contemplative and silent thought.|
|Sharing||Attendees share their thoughts on the topic.|
|Musical Response||Recorded music is played or the attendees will sing.|
|Closing Words||Sometimes responsive, sometimes not, words to close the evening service.|
What happens after church?
After both the Sunday morning 9:30am and 11:15 am services, we invite you to join us for fellowship and refreshments. For more information about the church, we have a visitor’s table, and informational bulletin board, and more literature about Unitarian Universalism in our literature rack. Someone from our Membership Committee will greet you and answer your questions.
How do I find the church?
We are located in Byrd Park, across from the Carillon. Directions to our church can be found here. Our address is 1000 Blanton Avenue, Richmond VA 23221.
What do adults wear?
You are welcome to wear whatever you are comfortable in. Members often describe the dress code as “business casual,” but some people wear their “Sunday Best,” and many wear jeans. In the summer shorts and t-shirts are a common uniform, while in the winter, sweaters and boots are likely outifts.
May our child stay with us during the service?
Yes, there are activity packets available for children who wish to stay with their parents during worship, but children are invited to attend our Religious Education classes or stay in the nursery (through age 3) which are held during the worship hour.
What do children do during the worship service?
We offer a nursery for children under 3, and Religious Education classes for children ages 3-18 (pre-K through 12th grade). There is a brief children’s worship time in the Religious Education area of the church for grades K-5, followed by classroom time with age appropriate curricula and activities.
Do I have to check in at the visitor’s table?
Our Visitor’s Table is staffed by a member and is designed to help you feel welcome on your first visit to our church. We offer an information packet, including information on membership and copies of newsletters. We will provide you with a name tag, but it is your decision to wear it or not. We would like to be able to greet you during coffee hour. While we would love for you to visit the table, we respect that you may prefer to attend our service in private.
What is religious education?
Our Religious Education program understands that religion is not something to be given to a young person, but something to be nurtured and encouraged as a young person’s life unfolds. Our program is designed to appeal to those parents and other adults who wish to enter with young people upon a life-span adventure in religious growth and learning. Nursery care services are also provided by the Religious Education program.
Is your church accessible to people in wheelchairs?
Whoo boy, this is a toughy. We have handicapped parking spaces, but our parking lot is gravel and not wheelchair friendly. We know that we are not comfortably wheelchair accessible and are working very hard to rectify this. Our Board and Building and Grounds committee are currently working on new, accessible restrooms along with sidewalk repairs. Please call the church for more information on how to reach the church, 355-0777.
Will I be pressured to join or to be saved?
No. We will welcome you at the door. We will send you our newsletter for a while, if you ask for it. We invite you to learn more about our faith at the national website, www.uua.org
Does your congregation have diverse beliefs?
We have some mild differences of opinion. Some of us are agnostics or atheists. Some of us believe in an earth-based spirituality. Some of us are Buddhists. We all believe in the search for truth and a deeper meaning in life. We invite you to learn more about our faith at the national website, www.uua.org
We give people a place to explore and grow spiritually, even if they grow in different directions. We provide religious education for our children, so that they can make an informed choice when it comes time for them to choose a religion. We are engaged in social causes that allow us to embrace and celebrate our principles.
What does your church look like?
Our church was designed and built in the 1970s by a world reknowned architect. Our unique and modern design, located next to one of RIchmond’s greatest landmarks (The Carillon) give us prominent placement in local history.
The webmasters wish to thank Ted Pack from Unitarian Universalist of StanislausCounty for his great visitors FAQ and for allowing us to pull from it. (Ted gave us permission to use his full name!)