The heart of our religious community is Sunday morning when we join together for worship, religious education, intellectual exploration and fellowship. Our worship services draw on the wisdom of the ages, as well as contemporary perspectives, and strive to help us gain insight into the challenges and blessings of both our personal lives and the wider world. River Road is an intentionally creedless religious community, committed to the vision of one of our forefathers, Reverend Francis David, who insisted that we need not believe alike to love alike. Thus our worship focuses on the ethical and spiritual dimensions of living and draws on a variety of theological and atheological perspectives. The best way to get a "taste" of our UU worship environment is to attend for several consecutive weeks.
Services take place at 9:15 and 11:15am during the period of September through May, and at 10am from June through August.
A typical worship service includes instrumental and choral music, a time for "story wisdom," the sharing of personal joys and sorrows, congregational singing, and a sermon, usually by one of our ministers. At the end of the service, the minister invites us to deepen our experience of community by taking time to greet one another, with a special emphasis on meeting someone we do not yet know.
Several times a year, lay members offer inspiring services, drawing on their own life experience to explore some of the deeper spiritual and ethical considerations of our day. Special celebrations, in which children, youth and adults are together for the entire service, mark holiday seasons and other occasions.
On most Sundays, infants and children proceed to the Fireside Room for Chapel. Middle and High School youth go directly to their classes. All children and youth begin in the service on the first Sunday of the month (September through May), which is our Inward Springs Sunday. On important holidays and several other times during the year, we are delighted to join in a multigenerational worship experience.
An infant comfort area is provided outside the balcony, where parents may continue to hear the service while responding to the needs of distressed infants or enthusiastic toddlers.
Following each worship service, all are invited to gather for refreshments and conversation in the Fellowship Hall. Newcomers are invited to take a yellow mug so members can know to reach out and help you feel welcome.
In addition, from September through May, CC&C (Coffee, Controversy and Conversation) offers food for the mind with stimulating speakers and opportunity for conversation at 10:25am. Many people plan their morning to attend both a worship service and CC&C.