When You Visit
We are glad you visited Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church on the web, but we really hope you visit in person on a Sunday morning! In fact, to begin to get a good feel for the congregation and Unitarian Universalism, come several times!
Arriving the first time
Plan to arrive around ten minutes early for our 10:00 am service (directions here) and a bit earlier if you are bringing children for the first time. The dress is varied, ranging from jeans to shirt and tie, with most folks looking casual and comfortable.
There is a bus stop right out front and an ample parking lot. As you step onto "the deck" from the parking lot, you will most likely meet a member of the Board of Trustees serving as a Greeter that morning. He or she will point you toward the Meeting House, the first building on the right, where the service is held. Enter through the second set of doors and you'll be in the foyer where you can stop at the Welcome Table to pick up literature and a nametag and/or sign the Newcomers Log to receive our newsletter, before or after the service. Ushers standing at the interior center doors will give you a bulletin and can direct you to the restrooms, coat-rack and water fountain. The bulletin contains information about the morning's service and announcements, as well as background information about our church and faith tradition. If you arrive late, don't worry--the ushers will help you enter non-disruptively.
If you are bringing children or youth for the first time
Beyond the Meeting House is the Religious Exploration (RE) Building where nursery care is provided (from 9:45 to 12:45) and programming for children and youth takes place so, please first enter there and stop in at the RE Office (third door on the left) or ask around for Erica Shadowsong, our Director of Religious Exploration for Children and Youth. She or a volunteer will welcome you and orient you to the program and the location/s of your child/ren's age group/s so you know where to find them after the service. Then go together to the Meeting House for the start of the service, sitting toward the front for a better view if you wish.
We aspire to be a truly multi-generational community. The early part of the service is child-friendly, ending with a short children's sermon that we call Together Time. As it ends, the children and their teachers leave during what we call the Sing-away Song, to go to their RE classes in the RE Building. You are welcome to accompany them, and may remain in the classroom with your child or return to the Meeting House for the rest of the service, as you think best. Staying with your baby or toddler in the nursery is also okay. Do what you need to do for your family to enjoy their first visits.
After the service
The minister will be looking forward to meeting you in the foyer. Please visit the Welcome Table if you haven't already, sign up for our newsletter on the yellow Newcomers Log and pick up any literature that interests you. On display are our most recent newsletter, copies of recent sermons, and brochures about faith journeys, Unitarian Universalism and public issues of concern to the congregation. Coffee, tea and conversation takes place at the back of the Meeting House or in the foyer or, weather permitting, out on the deck. Feel free to ask questions of the people you meet. If your children are in the RE Building, pick them up.
Beyond the foyer
From 11:45-12:45 is Enrichment Hour when we offer a variety of adult involvements as listed in the bulletin, rehearsals for PBUUC Youth Singers, childcare for the youngest and activities for older children. Adults may choose from things like Spirituality Circle, Quest Book Discussion Group, Green Team meetings, programs sponsored by our Diversity/Anti-racism Transformation Team, Handicrafts Circle, Wiccan 101, and the monthly Meet the Minister for newcomers in her office. Parents who plan to stay for Enrichment Hour are asked to pack a lunch and beverage for their child and sign in with the caregiver for the appropriate age group.
We hope you will attend several times and soon decide that Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church is the religious community and spiritual home you were seeking. Watch for the monthly Meet the Minister opportunities and the Newcomers Classes offered by the minister, which introduce you to Unitarian Universalism and PBUUC. These classes are an excellent way to get to know other newcomers and the lay leaders who are invited to speak to the class.