Are you a newcomer to High Street?
If so, you are welcome.
Whether you come to visit once or stay for a lifetime of religious growth and fellowship, High Street Church may have a place for you. Ours is a liberal, locally governed congregation in association with the churches of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
You might also want to visit BeliefNet and take an interesting quiz. You may already be a UU and not realize it.
We’ve tried to anticipate a few of your questions below. See also Why attend High Street?
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 examples of past sermons here. A typical Sunday’s Order of Service. Photos of our sanctuary.
What happens after church?
After the service we invite you to join us for fellowship and refreshments. For more information about the church, feel free to ask any member or our minister. There are brochures, phamplets and information about Unitarian Universalism in the cabinet in the front foyer.
How do I find the church?
We are located at the corner of High Street and Orange Street, just across Orange street from the conveniently located Washington Public Library parking lot. Directions to our church can be found here. Our address is 1085 High Street.
What do adults wear?
You are welcome to wear whatever you are comfortable in. Members often describe the dress code as “casual,” but some people wear their “Sunday Best,” and many wear jeans. In the summer shorts and t-shirts are not uncommon. Most of the ladies bring a light sweater,year round, just in case.
What do children wear?
Children should wear comfortable clothes. They may spend time playing on the floor, or work with art supplies. Sometimes they may go outside.
May our child stay with us during the service?
Yes, but children are invited to attend our RE classes 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 3-12. Classroom time is designed with age appropriate curricula and activities.
Do I have to check in at a visitor’s table?
You will be met at the door by a greeter who is a High Street member and will be made to feel welcome on your first visit to our church. We have information packets available and copies of newsletters. We may ask you to wear a name tag, which is your decision, but it allows members to greet you during the coffee hour. If you fill out the newcomer log or a newcomer card, we will send our monthly newsletter and our weekly e-letter via e-mail. While we would love for you to register, though we respect that you may prefer to attend our service in private. That said, be prepared to meet several of our more outgoing members.
What is religious education?
Our Religious Education staff understand 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.
Is your church accessible to people in wheelchairs?
Yes it is!! When we renovated the church, we had an elevator installed. Please come to the rear entrance. A greeter will point the way and provide as much assistance as you request.
Do you have services for the hearing impaired?
Hearing devices are available from the audio volunteer at the rear of the sanctuary before the Service and may be used anywhere in the Sanctuary.
Will I be welcome?
Yes, most assuredly. We welcome all no matter race, religion, creed, color, capability, or whom you love. We will welcome you.
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. And as for salvation, we tend to adhere (most of us) to this viewpoint as expressed on the UUA FAQ page.
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 Buddhist and a few Christian. 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
How can an agnostic (atheist, humanist…) go to church?
By private automobile, bicycle, public transportation or on foot. Yes, we even have a sense of humor!
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.
I’ve heard that Unitarian Universalists can believe anything they want to. Is that true?
No. One could not be considered a Unitarian Universalist and believe that subscription to specific doctrines or creeds are necessary for access to God or spirituality or membership in our congregations.
Unitarian Universalists could not believe that God favors any group of people based on any inherent qualities, such as skin color, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.-or that any group of people is more worthy of access to opportunities than any other as a result of these qualities.
We don’t believe that autocratic, undemocratic or overly hierarchical systems are appropriate methods of organizing our congregations or the larger society.
We don’t believe that humanity has the right or moral authority to exploit the environment or other life forms with whom we share this planet.
What are the expectations of membership?
As members of High Street, we will, to the best of our abilities and according to the dictates of our consciences, contribute to this congregation financially and with our time and energy, attend services regularly and otherwise participate in the life of this congregation, and through this congregation, enrich ourselves spiritually.
How do I become a member?
Becoming a member of our congregation consists of signing the membership book in the presence of the minister or a member of our board, thereby making an explicit commitment to participate as a member of our religious community, upholding High Street’s mission, sharing your talents, your resources and your energy with others in a life-long spiritual quest founded in Unitarian Universalist religious values.
To discuss membership in the congregation, please contact our Membership Chair.
How do WE feel about High Street Church?
One member’s response:
“From the first day I walked through the doors of High Street Church, I’ve felt like I was at home. The beauty of the sanctuary, the warmth of the people, and the high quality of the worship experience at High Street have more than once moved me to tears. Here I have found a community of faith that warms my heart, challenges me to be a better person, and offers healing to my soul. The folks at High Street Church are “family”, and I am grateful to be a part of this congregation.”