New to FUSN / First Visit
What to Expect at FUSN
The ministers, staff, Board of Trustees, and members of First Unitarian Society in Newton are committed to being a welcoming congregation for all who are interested in learning about the community. This congregation makes a special effort to help you participate in the life of the church. You can take part in newcomer classes, fall and spring weekend retreats, and all-church events such as Community Breakfasts and the Holiday Fair. Keep an eye on the FUSN Web site, the twice-monthly newsletter, and announcements during the service for ways to get involved.
Come to Sunday Services
At FUSN, people dress casually and comfortably for Sunday services. When you enter the FUSN sanctuary on Sunday morning, you will be greeted by a few friendly faces who will hand you an order of service and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to use hearing aids in the front pews, the greeters will be glad to assist you. A musical prelude begins about 10 minutes before the service. The service begins right around 10:15 a.m. and ends an hour later.
You can access the handicap entrance to the sanctuary from a Highland Street entrance at the back of the building. Use this floorplan to help you get around.
Learn what happens in Sunday Services
Families with Children
If you have children with you, the greeters will be happy to direct you to the Religious Education offices where staff and volunteers will help you connect your children with our teachers, or you and your children may just take a seat anywhere in the Sanctuary (worship services begin at 10:15 a.m.). You and your family are welcome to arrive up to 15 minutes before the worship service in order to find classrooms and meet the staff/teachers before the worship service begins.The Religious Education offices are located in the office hallway that connects the sanctuary to the Parish Hall.
Children start each Sunday in the sanctuary for the beginning part of the worship service and are dismissed after a story or other child-focused event. Upon leaving the sanctuary, students and thier teachers usually move into their religious education classes (occassionally there is a Childrens' Chapel or special activity in place of thier classes). You are welcome to leave the service with your children to help them locate the correct classroom and settle in (you will be able to re-enter the sanctuary upon your return). Religious Education classes run until 11:30 a.m., allowing parents/guardians some social time in the Parish Hal before being joined by their children. Children in third grade and older will be dismissed from class to the Parish Hall. We ask that parents/guardians pick children in second grade and younger up from their classrooms.
After the Service
At the end of the service, you are invited to meet the minister in the sanctuary or you can go to Coffee Hour down the hall.
Coffee Hour in the Parish Hall after each service is an important community gathering. Please come! Just inside the door you will find a welcoming table staffed by Member Services Committee members who will offer you a nametag, any printed materials that interest you, and answers to your questions. You may sign up to receive the FUSN newsletter for a few weeks to see if it interests you. We have plenty of Fair Trade coffee and tea, which is free. Although the clusters of chatting people may seem intimidating, all are happy to talk to you and answer questions. Please introduce yourself—you will be most welcome.
Especially for Newcomers
You may also see a number of tables around the room with information about Social Action programs or news and information about other congregational events or interests. Please browse the tables to learn about the many activities.
“Everything UU” is a class taught by the minister and the director of religious education and is held two or three times a year. The class covers the history, principles, and traditions of the Unitarian Universalist religious denomination and the programs and traditions of the First Unitarian Society in Newton. Newcomers are encouraged to sign up for this class and it is a requirement for membership.
Social events are held throughout the year especially to help new members get to know each other, older members, and the church staff. Child care is offered during worship services and most social events.
You can sign up for the FUSN General Email list to get a feel for the everyday activities and interests of the congregation. You will find information on this and other ways to stay in touch with the community on the FUSN communications page.