Worship Life at Storrs Congregational
The worship of God together in gathered community sits at the core of our life together as a congregation here at Storrs Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. In the rhythms of prayer and music, scripture and preaching, ritual and sacrament, we come together to praise God, be renewed in our faith, lift up the needs of the world into God’s heart, and be called and empowered to go forth in mission to the world.
Every Sunday at 10 am.
Expressive, participatory liturgy; thoughtful preaching; a blend of new and traditional hymnody; and soul-stirring music are some of the elements you can expect to encounter at Storrs Congregational Church UCC each Sunday. We keep time by the seasons of the church year as we tune our hearts, minds, and spirits to the ever-present NOW of God. Worship leadership is shared by ministers, lay people, and musicians. Our musicians and music ensembles’ repertoire covers everything from Renaissance counterpoint, to Sacred Harp, to Bach masterworks, to spirituals, to new compositions.
In our weekly Sunday worship, we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month and on certain other holy days. Learn more about how we understand Holy Communion here.
Seasonal Observances and Worship Opportunities
As we follow the cycle of the Christian year, our worship life includes a number of holy days and other seasonal observances. These include:
- Christmas Eve – December 24th: We commemorate Jesus’ birth each year with a kid-friendly interactive service at 5:00 pm and a majestic traditional service at 9:00 pm
- Ash Wednesday: We mark the beginning of the season of Lent and our journey to the celebrations of Easter with services of reflection, confession, and the imposition of ashes, at 12:00 Noon and 7:00 pm.
- Palm Sunday: On the last Sunday before Easter, we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with our own palm procession, with the whole congregation joining the joyful parade into the worship service together.
- Maundy Thursday: On the Thursday before Easter, we remember Jesus and his disciples gathered in that upper room for the “last supper” and hear the story of Jesus’ washing the disciples feet and giving them the commandment (maundatum) to “love one another”. This holy night begins our final journey through to the joy of Easter morning.
- Good Friday: On the Friday before Easter, we remember Jesus’ death by crucifixion at the hands of officials of the Roman Empire. We contemplate the meaning of Jesus’ death for our own journey with God, and consider how God’s solidarity with us, even to the point of death, is ‘good’.
- Easter Sunday: We celebrate the joy of God’s victory over death in Christ’s resurrection with a Festival Worship Celebration at our normal 10:00 am worship service at the church and a brief, reflective Sunrise Service in the early morning at the top of the hill in the Storrs Cemetery.
- Blessing of the Backpacks: On a Sunday in late August, as our K-12 school children and youth prepare to return to school and our UConn students return to campus, we pray God’s presence and blessing to be with them as they embark on another year’s journey.
- Heritage Sunday: On a Sunday in the fall, we remember our history and heritage as a congregation and we recognize and honor those members of our congregation who have been with us for over 40 years.
- All Saints Sunday: On the first Sunday in November, we celebrate the “great cloud of witnesses”–those who have passed on into life eternal. We especially lift up those connected with our congregation who have died in the preceding year, and we remember and honor all those who have gone before us.
- An Ecumenical Festival of Lessons and Carols for Advent: On a Sunday afternoon in early December, our congregation joins with our neighbors at St. Mark’s Episcopal Chapel and St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Chapel to journey through a mosaic of song and scripture that deepens our Advent journey. Led primarily by the music ministries of our three congregations, the service location rotates among the churches each year.
In addition to these major worship observances in our congregation’s life, we also from time-to-time come together for worship in other contexts at points in the year. Past offerings have included:
- Soul Suppers – Contemplation and Communion in Lent: A weekly series of Wednesday evening gatherings during the season of Lent for song, contemplative prayer, and Holy Communion.
- Advent Evening Prayer: A series of end-of-the-workday worship gathering combining elements of contemplative prayer and the monastic daily prayer traditions.
Through voices, organ, piano, bells, and more, the worship of God here at Storrs Congregational becomes a feast for the ear as well as the mind and heart. Our vibrant and accomplished music ministry, under the leadership of our Director of Music Ministry Patricia Snyder, is a treasured part of our congregation’s life.
We are delighted to be able to work with members and friends of Storrs Congregational to celebrate through the worship of the church key moments and passages in your life and your journey of faith.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
We gladly off the sign and seal of God’s grace in the waters of baptism. In our tradition, we celebrate baptisms of infants and children of parents on the journey of Christian faith and discipleship, and of adults of any age who coming to that journey themselves for the first time.