What to Expect

At United Parish in Brookline we are committed to offering 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 the best way to get to know 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 11:00am in our Sanctuary. Musical preludes begin shortly before 11:00 and worship generally lasts about an hour, give or take 10 minutes. Late June through Labor Day worship begins at 10:00am, downstairs in Willett Hall.

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 accessible parking spots in a driveway off of Marion Street. See Directions & Parking for more details. Street parking is free in Brookline on Sundays. Residential streets have a two-hour limit Monday-Saturday.

What happens during Sunday worship?

There are many doors through which you can enter the Sanctuary. At the rear entrance, our ushers will greet you and help with any questions you might have. Worship orders or “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. We also invite members to share their 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 each month we usually celebrate communion. We have an open table and welcome all to gather and be spiritually 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 our Nursery Supervisor at nursery@upbrookline.org.

What other programs take place on Sundays?

We offer a full range of opportunities for people of all ages. Our adult and children’s choirs often rehearse before worship. Then at 9:45am, 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. After worship, we have a chance to socialize and catch up with friends during fellowship time with coffee or lemonade and snacks. Sometimes we have team meetings, workshops, or activities after Coffee Hour. All are welcome.

What should I wear?

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

Can I get a cup of coffee at church?

Yes, after worship we offer coffee, tea and some kind of snacks in the Chapel. Muffins 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. (When Norfolk County is in the CDC’s Red Zone for COVID, we do not serve food or drink.)

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.

Our Summer Worship takes place downstairs in Willett Hall. The ramp to the lower level is to the left of the 15 Marion Street entrance.

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.

View or download the Church Jargon Glossary here.