All are welcome to the weekly Sunday worship service at 10:30 am!
What to expect
Worship services at Silver Spring are vital, engaging, diverse, and central to our life as a community. We strive to create a positive, welcoming environment.
People arrive for worship dressed in a variety of ways. The average attendee wears “Sunday casual” attire such as slacks with collared shirts or casual dresses. You will also find jeans, suits, tie-die, church hats, and a range of styles in between. Children generally attend ready to play in comfortable clothes.
Once a month, we worship as a multigenerational community, with children, youth, and adults in the service together for the entire hour. All other Sundays, children and youth begin in the worship service for the first 15 minutes or so before processing to their classes. Nursery care for the youngest among us (zero to three years) is offered every week by professional childcare providers in the lower level of the Administration building.
Every worship service is interpreted in American Sign Language. The sanctuary, which is on the upper level, is wheelchair accessible through an elevator near the building entrance, to your left as you come up the ramp from the parking lot. Restrooms are located on the lower level of the sanctuary building. Assistive listening devices are available from the audio engineer in the sanctuary.
Worship connects us, uplifts us, challenges us and comforts us. We are a diverse congregation, with a wide range of gifts, needs and perspectives, and our worship reflects us in this. The mood of a worship service can range from personal to political, spiritual to practical, individual to global, and reflective to humorous, grounding to inspiring – sometimes all in the same service!
We draw from our own Unitarian Universalist traditions, as well as finding inspiration from neighboring faiths. We treat all these traditions with respect and care, and celebrate a number of holidays within the church year that are meaningful to our interfaith families: the Rosh Hashana, Samhain, Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, Easter, Passover, and more. There are also a few uniquely UU religious festivals, such as the Water Ceremony in September and the Flower Ceremony in the late spring.
Our Sunday experience is one of the strengths we are proud of and glad to share with visitors. Though the elements of a service may vary from week to week, they always include live music. We have a choir, house band, Celtic music ensemble, ukulele ensemble, and a number of gifted solo musicians and vocalists within our church. We also invite local and national artists to celebrate with us over the course of the year. We sing hymns from two hymnals, Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey, and sometimes incorporate popular, folk, spiritual, gospel and world music into our congregational singing.
For the spoken aspects of our service, we draw on both sacred and secular texts. We also share in reflective readings, prayer, and silence for personal meditation. Most, but not all, of our services feature a sermon. Generally, these are delivered by our minister; however, during the summer, and occasionally during the rest of the year, a church member or guest preacher speaks on a special topic.
Look below to learn about and listen to some of our past sermons. Click here to visit our Sermon Archive for older sermons.
The modern field of African American Biblical Interpretation approaches Jewish and Christian scriptures through the lens of the interpreter’s experience, rather than the author’s presumed mindset. This approach avoids Eurocentric and patriarchal tendencies and liberates scripture from being anchored in time. Delilah’s story exemplifies how dominant scriptural interpreters have marginalized and degraded women and cultural “others,” and how a fresh examination can reveal their heroism and courage. The still-developing African American interpretive enterprise offers itself as a model for rehabilitating our Fourth UU Source to address injustice today.
Bob Clegg is a UU seminarian at Wesley Theological Seminary and is working on a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Studies at American University. Next year he plans to open Justice Jobs, a nonprofit jobs office in Baltimore or Frederick, serving people who are reentering the workforce from incarceration, addiction, and chronic unemployment. Bob is a member of the UU Congregation of Frederick, MD, and he lives with his wife Connie in New Market, MD, with their three cats.
- On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
- Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
- The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce
How does ritual connect us to the sacred? Our new Director of Religious Education Catherine Boyle discussed her time spent at Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Japan and the power and meaning of ritual within Shinto.
“What can we learn from the traditions of Rosh Hashanah, and how do they fit with our UU Values. Spoiler alert: they fit perfectly!”
Veronika Martin spoke about her work in conflict zones in Asia and Africa, how her family history guided her there, and what she learned from the human connections made during these difficult times.
When Catherine Buckler initially offered to do this, she had planned to talk about her experiences at the last two Revolutionary Love conferences. However, after viewing three videos related to the NRA ad campaign controversy, she decided to focus in on one of the ideas explored at the conferences – loving one’s enemies. See what…
The 4,000 year old story in the Book of Genesis is about two brothers, Cain and Able, who did not learn to love each other. It does not always have to be so—by working and playing together we just might learn respect, appreciation and just plain liking to be in each others company. The Rev.…
Carol Hamilton, UUCSS member and former Board of Trustees Corporate VP, discusses her experience as the sibling of a person with disabilities.
Poignant and inspiring service about appreciating fathers and fatherhood. UUCSS members Carey Schneider, Edith Salazar, Victor Medina, and Kathryn Leete share personal reflections.
UUCSS is at a crossroads. We have an opportunity to reflect upon where we have been and where we would like to go as a congregation. Recently our faith was forced to face the reality that despite our liberal leanings, issues of racial inequity impact our faith. The strife we have seen in our national governing organization concerning equity, have played out to a lesser degree within our own wall. This sermon lead by UUCSS member Charles Alexander offers one person of color’s perspective on the issue of White Supremacy and provide ideas about how UUCSS can build a more racially diverse and equitable congregation, and more fully live up to our vision of ourselves as “a progressive, warm, and energetic faith community, committed to upholding the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”