First Time at First Parish?

Here is some information to help you on your first day! Please feel free to contact our Membership Committee with any additional questions you may have.

  • Where is First Parish?

    Our address is 382 Walnut Street, Brookline, MA, 02445. Detailed directions can be found here.

  • What time should I get there?

    September to mid-June: Services held in main sanctuary beginning at 11 am. We do recommend allowing some extra time for parking, especially on your first day! Steady arrivals begin around 10:45. Our choir rehearsal goes from 9:30 to 10:30 before the service, and you are welcome to come early to listen.

    Summer: Services held in Lyon Chapel beginning at 10 am.

  • Where should I park?

    We have two very small parking lots, but most people end up parking on the street. We park along both Warren Street and Walnut Street (sometimes as far down as Chestnut Street).

    Our wheelchair accessible entrance is off Warren Street. You might want to arrive a little early if you need this entrance so that you can get parking in the lot, and drop offs at the door are always acceptable if you can’t get a spot!

  • Where is the sanctuary?

    The Warren Street entrance is wheelchair accessible and leads directly into the sanctuary. Our other entrance is off of Walnut Street towards Chestnut Street and leads into the lower level of the building. If you use this door, climb the stairs and take a right at the top. Follow the hall, past Lyon Chapel, all the way to the end and into the sanctuary.

  • What should I wear?

    Come as you are! You’ll see people in jeans and flip flops, people in suits and dresses, and our ministers in robes and stoles. We love and appreciate all styles of dress at First Parish!

  • Are your services and meetings wheelchair accessible?

    Our service and coffee hour are wheelchair accessible, and we have some additional accessibility options: Large print orders of service and hearing assistance devices are available!

    Please email or call us in advance of your visit if you have any additional accessibility concerns, and don’t hesitate to give us feedback afterwards to let us know if we missed anything!

  • What does the sanctuary look like?

    Our beautiful sanctuary is a sight to behold with its exposed rafters and intricate stained glass windows. You can read about the building’s history here and about why we have stained glass here, and we also have printed materials available for you to read when you arrive!

  • What will happen during the service?

    Services last about an hour and fifteen minutes and consist of these elements:

    • Several readings
    • Unison chalice lighting
    • Meditation
    • Hymns
    • A sermon
    • Candles of joys and concerns
    • Time for all ages
    • Offertory - as a visitor, please feel free to let the plate pass by!

  • What will happen after the service?

    We welcome you to join us for coffee hour, usually held in Lyon Chapel. Just follow the crowd down the hall to the first door on the right! If you’d like to be approached by someone, please feel free to take one of the striped mugs to signal that you are new and open to talking. If you’re more shy, you can always approach one of our greeters wearing rainbow stoles! We also will be featuring a Newcomer Coffee Corner this year where you can chat with our Membership Coordinator and members of our Welcoming Committee, in a bit of a quieter space. Our congregation is lively, and we know that sometimes the coffee hour setting can seem a bit overwhelming.

  • Where will my children go during the service?

    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 am Summer Services.)

    We recognize that you may want to keep your child(ren) with you. Two rocking chairs are provided in the sanctuary for parents’ use. On most Sundays, children start the service in the sanctuary with us. 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.

  • What do I need to do as a visitor?

    We would love if you could fill out one of our visitor forms so that we can follow up with you after your visit, and ask that you make yourself a name tag so that we can greet you by name. Other than that, we have no expectations of you!

Whom can I contact for more information?

Membership Committee
Senior Minister, Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood
Music Director, Keith Kirchoff

More contacts