UUA Video: Worship that Rocks!

Here is the latest video in the UUA’s Religion for Our Time series.

I invite you to share your learning and ideas from watching this video in comment section below.

  • What ideas did it inspire?
  • What questions did it raise?
  • What else?


Watch video “Worship that Rocks!” #12 in the UUA’s “A Religion for Our Time” series.  Read more about the series.

This video features an explanation of how First Unitarian in Albuquerque, New Mexico, attracts a diverse group of worshippers through a contemporary service on Sunday afternoons.

As the sanctuary became more and more crowded during the two Sunday services at First Unitarian, members of the congregation had a decision to make. They didn’t need to deliberate over whether to add another service, but about what kind of service to add. A survey pointed them in the direction of contemporary worship, and now the congregation rocks out with the house band each week.

Watch Episode Twelve: Worship That Rocks!
Download Episode Twelve (MP4)
(right-click to save the file).
Share Episode Twelve (YouTube)

2 thoughts on “UUA Video: Worship that Rocks!

  1. I’ve attended some worship services where the congregation is actively learning / memorizing popular hymns such as “Love will Guide Us” and the like. In this video it is mentioned that projecting the lyrics allows for more dynamic singing. I’m thinking this is probably better than memorization, though more time intensive.

    Does your congregation project lyrics? Is this something you’re interested in?

    Moving to projected lyrics seems like the easiest way to free a congregation from the limitations of hymnals. And I think that would be a good thing. Also, does that get you around issues of photocopying lyrics?

  2. My current congregation has talked about this periodically. Logistically, it is problematic (issues include but are not limited to how bright our sanctuary is on Sunday mornings and the problem of projection visibility). However, because our organ and choir loft is in the back of the sanctuary, in the balcony, it would be particularly helpful for here. In my prior congregation, we had a projector but didn’t use it many Sundays for music (we used it for other things, including telling stories). The reason was that the choir director and choir were at the front of the sanctuary, and thus were able to work with the congregation as musical educators in terms of things like helping folks understand that we are essentially singing to each other in worship, and should probably lift our faces up from the books when we do so. Once the congregation there got experienced at lifting their faces from the book, I found that folks started memorizing much of the hymns naturally.

    I thought it was interesting in the video here that most of the people interviewed appeared to be middle age or older. I found myself wondering if it was reflective of who had been attending that service or just a matter of the interviews done. The music sounded like a lot of folk, though, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this would be a great way to grow a service of middle aged folks. It sounds like it is really successful!

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