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UCUC Celebrates a Milestone

By Lisa Stofan*

L to R - Lisa Stofan, Kassandra Wallies, Tom O'Toole

L to R – Lisa Stofan, Kassandra Wallies, Tom O’Toole

     A strong and growing church has to stay on its toes and offer new and exciting ways to worship.  Many churches have given contemporary gatherings a try and we at University City United Church, San Diego are no exception.  More than two years ago, a small group of forward thinkers met to discuss the idea of having a Saturday evening contemporary worship service.  It would be led by a lay person, and include new music, topics, activities, and guest speakers. The service began in January 2010 and was to go for a six month trial period.  We are proud to announce that we have just celebrated our two year anniversary!

     We call our service “The 5:11 Gathering” and start the monthly service at … you guessed it…5:11 pm. We meet on the fourth Saturday of each month. We picked our scripture inspiration from Psalm 5, verse 11, “Let all who take refuge in You rejoice, let them sing joyful praises forever.”  It has become truly a place of refuge and rejoicing – a place to share our faith and our fellowship.

     We have shared a variety of topics over the past two years.  Nothing seems to be off limits.  We’ve shared many topics, had many special guests, hosted a musical, and offered very meaningful holiday experiences.  Some of our guests included a Jewish Rabbi Navy Chaplain and speakers from: Paws’itive Teams, Mama’s Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital of Uganda, and Hug Nation.  We have some very exciting speakers already set for the future months.

While our gatherings vary from month to month, at the heart of each is our dedication to spreading God’s word.  Each topic we present is always linked to scripture and our faith journey.  We have in addition to the message, a time for prayer, candle lighting, responsive readings, and singing (there is always lots of singing!).

Lisa Stofan

Lisa Stofan

     Sometimes you have to put yourself out there and try something new.  We are meant to share God’s love with others, but it is not always easy.  When we can freely share God’s love with others, the returns are exponential!  We didn’t know what would happen when we tried this project, but we kept going and kept growing.  It has become a very special place in our church’s heart.  If you would like to stop by, remember it is the fourth Saturday of each month at 5:11!  All are welcome, see you there!


*Lisa is the lay leader for the 5:11 worship service

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