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.
UUCSS Music Director Michael Holmes and the Natural Rhythms Trio (Elise Witt, Becky Reardon, & Terry Garthwaite) will lead services to introduce the month of “Transformation.” The concept of transformation is ever appropriate for the advent of Spring and the “season of all things renewed.” Nature, weather, relationships, state of mind, and even the sun’s provision…
Today we will directly address what is leading the nationalistic impulse and dissect why our UU dream–as well as Langston Hughes’– have very different understandings of peace, liberty and justice for all. Our guest minister, Rev. John T. Crestwell, Jr. is the called Associate Minister at the UU Church of Annapolis, Maryland and Lead Minister…
Risk and Brokenness are the themes we’ll be exploring this March. Rev. Dr. Robert Harvey, Rector of Church of Our Savior, just a couple of blocks down New Hampshire Ave from UUCSS, preached this Sunday. Part of the topic was the task of Tikkun Olam ‘repairing the world.’ He looked at that ideal and what it might…
Listen to church member Gwendolyn Rhodes share about challenges from her life that have helped her growth and understanding that love is letting go of fear. Searching for our own ability to love and let go of fear can help us move past “waiting for the world to change.” In the words of Khalil Gibran,…