What to Expect When You Visit
Welcome from Cindy Scott and Sandy Steele, Membership Committee Co-Chairs
We are thrilled you are interested in learning more about Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church and Unitarian Universalism. Our mission statement is “To grow spiritually healthy people who promote love and justice in the world.”If you are looking for a faith community that helps you grow spiritually, without telling you how to do it, this is the community for you. We warmly welcome all ages, abilities, families or singles, ethnic and racial backgrounds and gender preferences.
When you do visit, here are some Frequently Asked “What to Expect” Questions and Answers.
Come As You Are
Please feel free to come as you are most comfortable. Some people come each week dressed up while others are very casual. This “come as you are” atmosphere extends beyond mere clothing, as we welcome all seekers.
Parking is in the lot in front of our building. There are spaces reserved for visitors and those who are less mobile near the front of the building. A map of our facilities, as well as driving directions, are available on our "locate us" page.
There are handicap accessible doors in the main doors in the front of the building. There are no steps in the building, and all areas are accessible within the building. There are also assistive listening devices.
Prior to Service
Our Sunday services start at 10:30am. Our Greeters will be available at our Welcome Center to say hello to you and your family and help you make nametags. They will explain how Religious Education for children and youth will work on that Sunday. Fair trade coffee is served in the fellowship hall. Our Greeters and Ushers will be in the sanctuary prior to the service and in the fellowship hall after the service to answer questions and introduce you to others if you wish. There are brochures and information available at the Welcome Center and on the bulletin boards outside the sanctuary. To the left of the sanctuary are the restrooms and also a kitchen where periodically an all-church potluck is served.
Children’s Religious Education and Care
Children are quite welcome to stay with their parents if that is the family’s preference – in fact, all ages except 8th-12th grade and nursery and toddler ages, begin their Sunday by attending the opening of the service seated with their parents. But we hope they don’t miss out on the fun and inspiration available in our Religious Education classes. Your Greeter will introduce you to one of our Religious Education staff, who will talk with your child and ask them if they would like to come forward for the “Conversation with the Children” during the service and then leave the sanctuary to go to their age-appropriate classroom. You are welcome to come forward with your child that first Sunday and then escort him or her to the classroom!
Horizon highly values our vibrant religious education program where all children are welcome to join in the appropriate class or group. Nursery care is offered for children from birth to three years of age in the nursery located on the left side of the Religious Education wing. Care is available beginning 15 minutes before the start of each regular service. Parents will be notified if their presence is needed by the nursery staff. The Toddler Room is next door to nursery. All children receive a snack during their Religious Education class.
Special classes are held for youth 8th grade and older. Please pick up a brochure at the Welcome Center about our Religious Education program for these and all ages. All of our Religious Education classes are open to visitors as well as members.
The start of each service is signaled with the song of a gong outside the sanctuary. You will be handed an Order of Service as you enter. If you are hearing impaired, assistive hearing devices are available as you walk in at the back of the room.
Services generally follow the same order, including hymns, congregational sharing of joys and concerns, receiving of an offering for the congregation or a community group beyond our walls, silent meditation or prayer, special music, and a sermon. The services are typically led by our minister but we urge you to attend several different services as no two are exactly alike. The service may also be led by another minister, a member from our congregation or a guest speaker.
After the Service
We encourage visitors to join the members and friends after the service in the Fellowship Hall for possible questions and conversation. Members and friends are happy to share impressions and experiences and to welcome you to a congregation that encourages each person’s unique spiritual journey.
What is the Leap of Faith Program?
Horizon participated in Leap of Faith, a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) sponsored program, in 2011 and 2012. Leap of Faith matches "aspiring congregations" that desire support in taking a leap forward in growing Unitarian Universalism with "mentoring congregations" that have experience with the issues and challenges that the aspiring congregations face.
We were one of 9 aspiring congregations chosen for Leap of Faith from across the country in 2011-2012, and were paired with mentoring congregation, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of Appleton, Wisconsin http://www.fvuuf.org/. Teams from Horizon and Fox Valley met at an orientation in Minneapolis, MN, visited one another’s churches, and exchanged information electronically.