Information for Visitors & Newcomers

Whoever you are, Whomever you love, Wherever you are on your life journey, You are welcome here

Welcome to the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation! We are an inclusive community with a commitment to helping each other to grow spiritually while working for justice within our congregation and in the wider community. This page will help you to get to know us better. It is our hope that you will find our congregation to be friendly and welcoming as well as spiritually fulfilling.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact Garnett Losak our director of congregational life at garnett@fuub.org.

What is Unitarian Universalism?

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal, creedless religion.  UU’s are as unique as our faith.  Many come from Christian or Jewish traditions and incorporate those teachings into their daily lives.  Other UU’s are attracted to Eastern or Pagan practices and still others are atheist or humanist.  Regardless of our personal beliefs, we all agree that the search for truth and meaning is a journey that is best accomplished in community.  There are over 1000 UU congregations nationwide.  First Unitarian in Brooklyn is one of 8 in New York City.  (More information on Unitarian-Universalism can be found at www.uua.org)

 Your First Visit

Sunday worship services start at 11:00AM and generally last a little over one hour.  From the first Sunday after Labor Day through the second Sunday in June, we meet in our beautiful Gothic Revival Sanctuary on Pierrepont Street (corner of Monroe Place) in Brooklyn Heights.  Worship services consist of several elements.  There is congregational singing and performed music, a sermon, prayer or meditation, readings and an opportunity for candle lighting.  Other elements may be added by the worship leader depending on the theme for the morning.  Music is led by our music director, Adam Podd, and the choir and may be accompanied by a range of instruments including organ, piano and guitar.  On any given Sunday, we may sing or hear music from many different traditions including world music, spirituals, sacred music and art songs.  The sermon will usually be delivered by our senior minister, Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons. Rev. Ana is away one Sunday a month. On those occasions we may have a guest preacher or an alternative style worship.   Most people dress casually, but you may certainly choose to “dress up”, if that is more comfortable for you. 

Fellowship Hour

After worship, we gather in the “undercroft”, a large meeting space below the Sanctuary, for coffee, tea and conversation.  Many Sundays there will be homemade soup and sandwiches for sale at a nominal price.   At this time, you may visit our welcome table.  Members of our Welcome and Fellowship Team will be happy to speak with you about your experiences and answer any questions you may have.  You may choose to complete a welcome card so that we can add you to our mailing list.

Children and Youth at First Unitarian

We offer a comprehensive Religious Education program for children and youth led by our Director of Education Ministries, Meagan Henry. If you arrive with children, please try to come a few minutes early.  A greeter will be happy to introduce you to a member of our religious education council who will help you to accommodate your children. Children generally attend the first 20-30 minutes of the worship service and then leave under our rainbow arch for their classes.  Of course, if you’d prefer to keep your children with you for the entire worship service, that is perfectly fine.  Children under two are welcome to stay with our professional nursery caregiver in the red door nursery off the undercroft.  Please ask a greeter to direct you.

Summer Services

During the summer, we meet in the Chapel, a smaller worship space next to the Sanctuary.  These services are lay-led and incorporate a wide range of worship styles.  Summer is a wonderful time to visit.  The services are smaller and more intimate and many newcomers find them to be a perfect introduction to Unitarian Universalism.  During the summer, our Sunday school is in recess.  However, we do offer a children’s program for all ages. Cold refreshments are served following the service. 

Programs for Newcomers

Young Adult Brunch -  2nd Sunday of every month after worship for brunch in a local diner. 

Newcomers Classes –Our minister and Director of Congregational Life offer classes throughout the year for newcomers.  These include sessions on UU philosophy and UU history.  Classes are generally after coffee hour on Sundays.

Adult Religious Education Classes – Throughout the year we offer single classes and series on a range of subjects.  Class descriptions can be found in the weekly e-news. To subscribe contact Garnett Losak (garnett@fuub.org)

Pastoral Care

An important part of the life of any religious community is care of people in need.  Our minister provides pastoral counseling for members going through life transitions and losses. We also perform life cycle ceremonies for all rites of passage, most often weddings and memorial services held here in the church. Our lay Pastoral Associates reach out to provide practical assistance to those in crisis, struggling with health or physical challenges.  Note: pastoral care and counseling is not a substitute for professional medical or psychological treatment. 

Justice Work 

Our congregation has a long history of working for justice.  Most recently, we have worked together to promote marriage equality and fair treatment for immigrants. Please visit our Social Justice page for more information.

Please join us for worship.  Whoever you are, Whomever you love, Wherever you are on your life’s journey, you are welcome here!

One Response leave one →
  1. Colby Thompson permalink
    October 18, 2015

    Today was my first time coming to your beautiful church. It was a wonderful service. I once attended a service at UUA church on Lexington when I first came to NYC. I have always been interested in UUA. The social justice aspect really attracts me. I have a long story and would love to get to know you a bit before I just dump it all on you. Thank you for a welcoming first Sunday. I will be returning.

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