What to Expect

Our goal at the United Parish in Brookline is nothing short of providing an extravagant welcome to every human being.

We invite you to come just as you are and from wherever you are on life’s journey. We are a diverse community hailing from many traditions and walks of life. We will try to answer your questions here in this section, but know that the best way to get to know the United Parish is simply to come for worship or any of our programs and talk to the people who call this place home.

What time is worship?

From September to June we worship on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. in our sanctuary. Musical preludes begin shortly before 11:00 and worship generally lasts about an hour. July through Labor Day worship begins at 10:00 a.m.

How do I get there? Where do I park?

We are located at 210 Harvard Street in Brookline just one block from Coolidge Corner. We can be reached easily by public transportation on both the “C” branch of the Green Line and by the 66 Bus. There is ample street parking on both Harvard Street and Marion Street and we offer a few handicap parking spots in a driveway off of Marion Street. See Directions & Parking for more details.

What happens during church?

There are many doors through which you can enter the sanctuary. At the rear entrances, our ushers will greet you and help with any questions you might have. Bulletins that describe worship are available in both regular and large print at the doors. At services, we pray together, sing together, share the peace, read the Bible, take in sermons, and contemplate how ancient truths intersect with our world and our times.

At worship services we honor the ancient Christian practice of collecting an offering to support our ministries and the ministries of many organizations with whom we partner. We welcome all gifts and encourage those who worship with us to give joyously and to cultivate a life marked by generosity. If you are unable to contribute financially we ask you to consider sharing your time or talent with the church, another organization or with a family member or someone else in need. If you are a visitor, your presence at United Parish is gift enough.

On the first Sunday of every month we celebrate communion. We have an open table and welcome all to gather and be fed. You do not have to be a member of United Parish, or baptized, or Christened. You don’t have to be a member of any Christian tradition. Communion is God's table and available to all.

So that there might be no barriers to communion we serve unfermented grape juice and offer gluten-free bread.

Is childcare available?

We welcome all families in their many forms and shapes. To that end, we offer childcare every Sunday generally from 15 minutes before the first program starts to 15 minutes past the end of our final event. In addition, we try to offer childcare for major church functions and events on other days. For more details consult the nursery page and for specific questions, please contact the church office.

What other programs take place on Sundays?

We offer a full range of opportunities for people of all ages. Children, youth and bell choirs kick off our day at 9:00 a.m. Then at 9:45 we offer a comprehensive church school starting with pre-schoolers and running all the way through the adult bible study where we explore the text for the day. All are welcome.

What should I wear?

People come to the United Parish in a variety of wardrobes. You will see dresses, suits, ties and even hats. You will see blue jeans, sweatshirts and casual attire. We encourage you to come in the kind of attire that will help you be comfortable and will help you worship most fully.

Can I get a cup of coffee at church?

Yes, both before and after worship we offer coffee, tea and some kind of snacks are available in the Chapel. Breakfast bread and fruit are standard. Quiche is a good day. It is a time where you can both enjoy some food and drink and hopefully make a new friend.

Is the church accessible?

Yes, the church is accessible and we also offer hearing assistive devices and large print bulletins. While our church school for children and youth is located on the second floor (which is not accessible) we have the space and would be happy to offer any age class in an accessible area of the church should it be needed. Just give us a call! The accessible entrance is located off the driveway on Marion Street nearest the Chapel.

Where can I learn more about worship at United Parish?

We have created a glossary of some common words related to the liturgy, the order of worship, and the Sanctuary itself. We know that some church words might be unfamiliar and we want to make church accessible for all. We hope this resource provides some clarity and context and is a helpful tool for participating in worship. If you have any further questions, please contact Associate Pastor Amy Norton at amy@upbrookline.org.

Download the Church Jargon Glossary here.