Where is your church?
When are the church services?
Sunday morning, at 10:30 am. While our church services seem rather typical with music, hymns, readings, and a sermon, the content of our services are very different, covering a wide range of topics. Our service is led by the Reverend Sian Wiltshire or guest speakers. We have many special services throughout the year. Feel free to check out what services are upcoming.
What can I expect when I visit?
We hope that you have a wonderful visit! The service starts promptly at 10:30 and we fill up, so you might want to arrive a few minutes early. You can either begin at the Welcome Table and get a name tag (helps others know who you are) and be greeted by a friendly presence who can answer your questions. Or you can simply do that after the service. Our Services last a little over one hour. It’s best to plan for 1 hour, 15 minutes, if you are meeting others afterwards. Our minister usually stands outside the doors greeting people as they enter. Please feel free to introduce yourselves! She loves to meet new people.
We have a slide show that has all the elements of the service and provides some visuals for the sermon. The service generally has the same elements as a lot of churches: welcome, singing, readings, stories, sermon, offertory, etc.
After the service, we gather out in the courtyard and get some coffee or tea and chat with one another. If you have a nametag, people will know you are new and introduce themselves. We are a friendly bunch! We also often have programming after the church, such as our LTBTQ Action Group, the Humanist/Atheist Group, the Women’s Group, etc. You are welcome to attend these groups even if you are new!
Is there Religious Education and/or childcare for my children?
Children and youth are invited to join their parents during the first 15 minutes of the worship service, beginning at 10:30 am. After the "Time For All Ages" the children and youth exit the service with their teachers to attend their Religious Education (RE) classes. Children are also welcome to stay for the service. We offer childcare for infants and toddlers (through age 5).
Children, Youth and Parents have many options for participating on Sunday mornings:
- Children in grades PreK-2nd are invited to participate in our Love Surrounds Us program, and children in 3rd-6th grades are encouraged to attend Love Connects Us. Both programs are taught by our screened volunteers.
- Children 5 and under can be cared for in the the Nursery by our wonderful paid staff, who are screened and CPR trained. The nursery is open from 10:00-12:30. Please note that all children and adults who enter the nursery must be up to date on their vaccinations.
- Family members of all ages are always welcome to attend the worship service together.
- Families can view the worship service in the Victoria Room (in the center of the Admin Building) via "pulpit cam" if they prefer a more informal space.
- We currently do not have a separate program for youth in grades 7-12, but they are encouraged to attend worship services with their families and/or participate in church life through volunteer opportunities. For more information, please contact Karen Magoon Pearson.
Who attends Orange Coast UU Church?
Members may have been raised in other religious traditions, but each person brings his or her own spiritual and life experiences. Some have children, others do not. Our members are single and married, gay and straight, of various ethnicities, abilities and backgrounds. While located in Costa Mesa, we are a congregation whose members also come from surrounding communities throughout Orange County. Orange Coast UU Church is handicap accessible.
How do people dress?
We are a diverse congregation, so some people dress up, and some dress casually. Wear what feels comfortable to you!
How do I get involved?
It’s always a challenge to enter a new community and it takes some effort. First, we invite you to attend a service, stay for coffee and conversation. There are always people happy to chat with you! Then come by the Welcome Table in the courtyard. There you can sign up for our weekly email (the Blast!) and monthly newsletter (the Reach) to learn more about the church. Next to the welcome table is the Programs table where you can sign up to participate in our social gatherings or an adult education program. You can join a Covenant Group (small groups that meet monthly to discuss spiritual issues), sing in the choir, volunteer, or watch a film. However you choose to get involved, connecting with other newcomers or long time members is vital to a full and rich life at church!
The courtyard is our great social area. Before and after the service, we gather to enjoy each other’s company, usually around hot beverages and snacks. Tables are set up for you to browse different programs, buy some fair trade coffee and/or chocolate, or check out what’s being offered at our bookstore. You can also sign cards set out by those on the Caring Ministry and if you like music, there is often someone playing a ukulele.
What are Joys and Sorrows?
Everyone is invited, whether a member, friend or visitor, to participate in our weekly ritual called “Joys and Sorrows.” In other churches it might be called “Prayer of the People.” It’s simply a time for you to honor the important people or events in your lives. It takes during the service, toward the end of it. People are invited to come forward to light a candle for their Joy or Sorrow. You can share your Joy or Sorrow with the entire congregation by writing it out on the form provided when you enter the service and giving it to the minister when you come forward to light your candle. These sharing forms will be read out loud by the minister and a Pastoral Care Associate. Or, if you prefer, you can simply come forward and light a candle in silence. You are also welcome to send an email to the minister if you cannot attend, but would like something known.
What is a Welcoming Congregation?
All Unitarian Universalist churches are open and affirming to the LGBTQ community. But being named as a “Welcoming Congregation” means that this congregation has gone through a certification process which asks congregants to discern deeply what it means to support, affirm and celebrate the LGBTQ community. Orange Coast UU Church is proud to be a certified Welcoming Congregation!
Do I need to become a member to participate?
No, you are welcome to participate in all of our programs and activities, whether a member, friend or visitor. Take some time to discern if Orange Coast UU Church is right for you and if you'd like to become a member. After you get to know us a bit better, we ask that you consider membership and joining us as a formal member of the congregation.
How do I become a member?
Becoming a member means changing the way you see the church. It is no longer a place you visit once a week, but a place you call home. It’s yours. You own it. Sunday morning becomes less about being served and about serving others. You are now the host/hostess and you see the church as a place you want to be as welcoming as possible.
If you are ready for that, then you are ready to explore membership!
Who can I contact with other questions?
If you would like to learn more about us in person stop by the Welcome Table on Sundays, or contact call us at (714) 556-2882. Let us know if there is anything more you'd like to know.