Your First Visit

.New To First Unitarian?  Read our Welcome Book.

Welcome to the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation! We are an inclusive religious 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

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 6 in New York City.  (More information on Unitarian-Universalism can be found at

 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 percussion.  On any given Sunday, we may sing or hear music from many different traditions including world music, spirituals, sacred music, art songs and, on the second Sunday of the month (Oct-June), jazz.  The sermon will usually be delivered by our senior minister, Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons. Rev. Ana is away one Sunday each month. On those occasions, one of our other program staff or a guest may preach.   Most people dress casually, but you may certainly choose to “dress up”, if that is more comfortable for you. 

Second Sundays

On the second Sunday of every month from October through June, we offer a jazz worship service, These are joyful up tempo services!

Are you a visitor who wants to sing with us on a Sunday morning?

If you read music, at least a little, and have sung in choirs before, you’re welcome to pop in and join our choir while you’re in town! Some Sundays we’ll all be looking at that day’s choir piece for the first time together, but other weeks our choir will have already spent some time with a piece. If you’re willing to give it a shot and go with the flow, come on by.  A heads up would be nice, but not essential to participate. Email Adam Podd (

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 for sale at a nominal price.  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 get to know you better.

Children and Youth at First Unitarian

We offer a comprehensive Religious Education program for children and youth led by our Director of Education and Family Ministry, 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 caregivers.  Please ask a greeter to direct you.

One Sunday a month, our services are “multi-generational”.  Children over the age of 6 stay in the Sanctuary for a service that is specially designed to be of interest to all ages.

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 –  One Sunday a month after worship for brunch in a local diner. 

Newcomer Orientation – Garnett Losak, Our Director of Congregational Life, offers classes throughout the year for newcomers.  These include sessions on UU philosophy and UU history.  Classes are generally after the worship service, with time for a cup of coffee or tea, on the first Sunday of every month from October through June and one or two times in the summer.

Adult Spiritual Development – First Unitarian is a busy place. 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 ( 

Caring Ministry

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 journey, whatever the color of your skin, or your country of origin, 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.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS