Once a month (usually on the fourth Sunday but check the parish calendar), the parish gathers in the chapel at the Unitarian Centre, 15 Francis St, Darlinghurst.
Our current format goes like this:
Anyone is welcome to any part of the evening. If you’d like to come early and meditate, but you’d rather go for a walk instead of the Eucharist and then rejoin us for dinner, that’s just fine. If meditation makes you want to reach for a sharp object, but you want to come to the service, we’re delighted to see you. If you just want to join us for dinner because conversations like this are hard to get, bring a plate and join in!
Many parish members practice Centering Prayer – a method of entering into contemplative prayer or meditation which has become popular in the last 20 years – but any style of silent meditation is welcome. The session will usually start with a brief talk about meditation and some basic instruction for new people, then 20 minutes of meditation, followed by a short discussion and some opportunity to discuss any difficulties with meditation practice.
A Eucharist is sometimes known in other churches as “Mass” or “Holy Communion”. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s an ancient type of gathering in which the members of the community assemble, offer praise and give thanks, share in the word through reading scripture, offer prayer on behalf of those in need, commune with the Divine Presence and offer ourselves in service to the world. The Eucharist draws us to each other in community and love and draws us into the love of the Divine.
We celebrate open communion: anyone is welcome to share the service and take communion with us regardless of background, religious belief (or lack of) or affiliation.
If you aren’t familiar with Christian-style church services, you may find it helpful to read “Church For Beginners” which gives a few tips.
Sharing food is one of the oldest and most enjoyable human rituals. One of the things that made early Christians remarkable was their dinner tables – women eating with men, slave next to free woman, Jew next to Gentile, tax collectors and saints, apostles and sex workers. Bread and wine – the material form of spiritual nourishment in the Eucharist – are also the material nourishment that bring the community together.
At St Uriel’s, we’ve always tried to share food – either a well-stocked snack table or a full meal. We find that some kinds of discussion only start when people can relax and when we all contribute something to the table, no matter how small, we share yet another sense of being a household together.
Guests are always welcome at our table. If you can bring food to share, please do, but if times are tough or that’s too hard, come anyway. No-one will ask questions and we always seem to have too much.