I’ve never been to First Parish in Brookline, and I’m not a Unitarian Universalist. Can I just show up for Sunday worship?Yes! Come check us out, and please join us for Hospitality afterwards.
How do people dress for worship?Some put on their Sunday best. Others are more casual. There are ministers in robes, teens in jeans, and everything in between. Use your own standards, and wear what feels most comfortable for you.
Should I bring my children?We hope you do. We have trained, paid nursery care for the youngest children and Faith Formation Classes for Preschool-Grade 12 during the worship service. (Please note that there is no nursery, child care or Faith Formation classes during the 10:00 a.m. Summer Services.) On most Sundays we begin with the children in the Sanctuary for about 15 minutes. After a Time for All Ages, the children in Kindergarten to Grade 12 are 'sung out' to their Faith Formation classes.
We recognize that you may want to keep your child(ren) with you. Rocking chairs are provided in the sanctuary for parents' use. There are also crayons and stuffed animals available at the back of the sanctuary.
For more information about Cooperative Religious Exploration Programs for children and youth, click here. If your children will be attending Faith Formation Classes (Sunday School), please fill out a Guest Registration form to bring with you to help us maintain our safety standards.
Are members supposed to come to church every Sunday?Those who come regularly feel more a part of the congregation, but many attend less frequently and still play an important role here.
What’s with the rainbow flags outside the church?Simply put, they’re say we’re a Welcoming Congregation. This means we’ve taken conscious steps to become more welcoming to gays, lesbians, transgender and bisexuals, and to truly grasp why that reaching out by a spiritual community is important. Check out the Welcoming Congregation link.
Do you pray?Every service includes time for prayer or meditation.
If there’s no dogma or creed, what do Unitarian Universalists believe?UU congregations affirm and promote these seven principles: the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations; acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence.
Is all pastoral care handled by the ministers?For a few years now, as our membership has been growing, the need for a trained lay ministry devoted to pastoral care has emerged. Pastoral care remains one of our ministers’ most important congregational services, and now this ministry has more helping hands.
Where should I park?We have two parking lots, and both are very small. Most people who drive park on Walnut or Warren Street. As parking is unpredictable, especially in bad weather, drop-off and early arrival are a good strategy.
Are your services and meetings handicap accessible?Our service and coffee hour are wheelchair accessible. Orders of service in large print and hearing assistance devices are available at the table near our handicap-accessible entrance, at the main Sanctuary entrance off Warren Street. We regret that access via our lower entrance is more restrictive.
Does First Parish ever cancel services because of a blizzard?Yes. In the event of unsafe conditions, the chair of our governing board consults with the ministers and decides whether the building should be opened. The decision is made on Sunday morning by 7. News of a cancellation is posted at on our home page by 8 am, and WBZ News Radio and other stations are notified.
What should I expect as a visitor at First Parish?We won’t make you stand up and introduce yourself or participate in any way you don’t wish to. We will greet you at the door with smiles and handshakes. We will ask you to wear a name tag, so we can all greet you by name. We will ask you to consider filling out a Visitor Welcome Card, so we can send you information about the church and our electronic newsletter.
I’d like to know more about First Parish. Who should I ask?Our Administrator is a great starting point. Contact the Church Office on weekdays. If you want regular updates on what's going on here, tell the Administrator you'd like to join the notices listserv. If you come to Sunday worship, look for a member of our Welcoming Team — recognizable by their rainbow scarves. Introduce yourself to the ministers. Or continue to explore our website.