You may have asked?

What should we wear?

All are welcome to come in whatever makes them comfortable. You'll find most people wearing casual attire, from typical "Casual Fridays" outerwear to jeans and polo shirts.

Children will be fine in sneakers and jeans or any play clothes. They will probably spend part of the Religious Education class sitting in a circle on a carpet, and another working with paste, glue, paint or crayons. In nice weather, the children sometimes go outdoors.

How accessible is the church?

Several members and friends use wheelchairs or walkers. There are several parking spaces designated for handicap use. There is a long ramp at the side entrance of the building. The bathrooms are accessible, and all hallways and doorways are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. There is a robust stair-lift for access to the sanctuary. Once in the sanctuary, one can choose to sit anywhere they desire, though there are two larger pews at the front that have armchairs, should that make your visit more comfortable.

We are equipped with a good sound system so all can hear activities, and we also have personal listening devices.

What will children do during the service?

The children attend part of the service with their parents and sometimes participate. They hear a story for all ages from the minister during the service and then are sung out to their own activities. We provide childcare for babies and toddlers starting at 10:15am.

Our Religious Education (RE) classes are for children from 3 to 18 during these services. Also, children are of course permitted to stay in the sanctuary for the entire service also, and we have "busy bags" available from our ushers with coloring pages and other activities to occupy little ones.

Note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, children's RE classes are meeting virtually. See our events listing to get access to our RE program.

How do I find you?

Please check out our Location and Directions page, and contact us if you need any further assistance.

Please note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are meeting virtually! Learn more about our virtual services.

Will I be welcome?

Absolutely. As you enter, you will be greeted by church members who will officially welcome you, provide you with a name-tag, and answer questions you may have. We hope you will feel comfortable providing us with contact information so that we may send you our newsletter.

Ours is a diverse community: young and old, walking and wheeling, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, black and white, Asian and Hispanic, singles, couples, and families. You'll meet teachers, social workers, carpenters, homemakers, artists, lawyers, nurses, doctors, secretaries, business owners, computer programmers, people without jobs, students, retired people, and more.

We have many active members of our community who are openly gay or lesbian. Some come just for Sunday services. Some serve on committees and our Board of Trustees. All are integrated into our community. As we say during each and every service, "you are welcome here."

What happens on Sundays?

Most services include the following:

  • Words of welcome
  • Music for gathering
  • Chalice lighting and response
  • Story-for-all-ages targeted for children at the service
  • Children are sent to their classes with a song from the attendees
  • Candles of Joy and Sorrow
  • Meditation and Silent Prayer
  • Reading for the day
  • Offering and Music
  • Morning Message from the minister or guest
  • Closing Hymn and Words
  • Music sung holding hands "the hands you hold across the aisle" for Parting

Our Minister is usually in the pulpit three Sundays a month. In addition, we hear from guests and members of our congregation.

Note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, some of these elements are shortened, removed, or changed depending on the service that week. We watch videos, have discussions, and listen to sermons and both live and pre-recorded music during these virtual services. All children are welcome, but we also have a separate virtual "RE Chapel" time for kids to enjoy their own service.

What do parishioners believe?

In our congregation we have humanists, theists, pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and more. Although individual Unitarian Universalists have varied beliefs about everything from scripture to rituals to God, we uphold shared principles and come together for spiritual development guided by freedom, reason, and conscience.

How do I take the next step in joining?

Our congregation is divided into "members" and "friends." You don't have to be a member to attend worship at First Parish. We have many friends who attend services regularly. We strongly suggest you attend our services until you are comfortable with us. We have new member orientation meetings, and you will meet with the Minister. Once you have decided you want to join, you may sign the membership book 30 days after your decision. You will be invited to attend a special Sunday morning service of welcome , and a New Member Breakfast at the end of the church year.

What if I have more questions?

Contact us or call the church office at (207) 985-3700 for the Office Administrator. The office is open from 9 to 12am, Monday through Friday. During off-hours, leave a message so we may return your call as soon as possible.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the office is physically staffed less often, only Wednesday through Friday. Sending an email will be the best way to reach someone, though calls are still answered 9a-12p each weekday.

Where are the classrooms? Where will my child be after the service?

There is an exit door to the left of the pulpit in the sanctuary. When children are sung out to their classes, they will exit through this door and then walk almost immediately through another door that leads to the nursery, the Chapel, and the Elementary Classroom, in that order. 

When service is over around 11:30, parents can get their Elementary and Nursery aged children from the nursery or the classroom. Middle school kids are dismissed by 11:40 and can join their parents at Coffee Hour in Parish Hall. Note that Middle School usually meets in the Chapel (2nd room in the RE wing) but also meets in the Parlor (fancy room off of Parish Hall) or sometimes the RE office or Library, depending on our activity.

What curricula are used?

Grades PreK - 4th grade (Elementary) will be doing We Are Many, We Are One, a UU curriculum that invites our youngest children to learn about religion through relationships.What is a person? Who am I? What is my relationship to others? How do I treat other people? What are my responsibilities? What kind of world do I live in?

Through Circle Time, stories, games, and creativity, we will help our young children to feel connected to the UU faith and deepen their personal relationships within and outside of the church!

*This curriculum will be adapted to use with 3rd and 4th grades beginning in January 2018 

Grades 5-8 (Middle School/Jr. Youth) are doing Neighboring Faiths Communities, a program based on visits to other churches and faith communities. This class will be engaged in experiential learning with a focus on these three dimensions of religion: emotional, material, and social.

Basically, this class will follow a 4 week structure and rotation. 

Weeks 1 and 2, the class will learn the basics of the faith community, including what to expect when they arrive and basic etiquette. We will be using the book How to be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook.

Week 3, the class will take a field trip to visit the church or faith community.

Week 4, the class will debrief and discuss, with focus on the emotional and social elements of the experience. This is also a time to explore similarities and differences from previous visits with other faith communities, including Unitarian Universalism.

*Children in 4th grade who are mature for their age may be placed in the Middle School class at the DRE's discretion.

Youth - those currently in high school will be supported to pursue individual interests in the church, will work on special worship services, will have occasional social gatherings, will be made aware of regional cons to attend, and will work on service projects. Some of our Youth have committed to working in the nursery! Some of our Youth might be interested in joining us for a field trip to one or more religious communities.