We know it can be overwhelming to visit a new church for the first time. Here’s some information that may be helpful to you. Feel free to reach out with any other questions you have. We’re always here!
What kind of church are you?
We’re a Congregational church, affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC), a mainline Protestant denomination. The history of our congregation and of our denomination stretches back to colonial times. (Our founders were Puritans, but we like to think we’ve loosened up a little since then!)
Ours is an inclusive, forward-looking tradition which has long celebrated freethinking and freedom of conscience. The UCC was the first denomination to ordain an African American (in 1785), a woman (in 1853), and an openly LGBTQ-identified person (in 1972) to the Christian ministry.
Worshiping with us on given Sunday service are cradle Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, some who identify as more spiritual than religious, Catholics — and more! A number of Jews who are a part of interfaith families also join us regularly.
Will we fit in?
New parents. New to town. Married. Single. Separated. Widowed. Straight. LGBTQ. Young. Not as young as you used to be. Sober. Starting over. Black. White. Hispanic. Asian. Grew up going to church. Not sure what you believe. Democrat. Republican. Human.
Any of these sound like you? You’ll be fine.
Where are you located?
We are located at 14 Brookside Road in Darien, CT, at the corner of Brookside Road and Post Road/Route 1. Our Meetinghouse is a half mile from either the Darien train station or I-95 (Exit 12). There is plenty of parking next to the Meetinghouse and in a lower lot in front of the Church. Click here for directions.
What happens when we arrive?
Get here 5-10 minutes early if you can. A greeter will welcome you at the door and give you a bulletin, which you can think of as your “cheat sheet” for the service. It will tell you when to sit, stand, etc. Look it over. Settle in and get comfortable.
If you need directions to the nursery or to a restroom with a changing table, just ask the greeters at door. Kids are welcome to stay with you in the service. (Where they are also welcome to fidget and fuss! No judgement here!) Most parents send their kids forward during the children’s sermon, following which our staff will take them out of the service, up to our Kidventures program.
What should we wear?
Clothes. Wear clothes.
But really: Whatever you’ll be comfortable in. We see it all!
Some people do business casual. But we also get yoga pants, shorts, and kids in uniforms (and even occasionally dressed as princesses).
What time are your services?
We have Sunday services at 8:30am, 10am, and 5pm.
What are the services like?
About as warm and informal as fairly traditional worship services can be.
We read scripture, sing hymns, and pray. But the atmosphere is laid-back and joy-filled. There is a lot of laughter. A lot of tender and funny “off-script” moments. People can share what’s going on in their lives and ask for prayer. Kids shout out all kinds of crazy (and often profound!) things during the children’s sermon.
On any given Sunday, most of us feel like we have touched some sacred depth. That we have felt God’s presence with us. That we are walking into the new week with more compassion and hope and peace and joy in our hearts.
Are there programs for my children? Is there a nursery for my infant or toddler?
YES! We welcome all kids — in tutus or in superhero capes or in pajamas, teddy-bear-clutchers and dragon-slayers, shy, bold, and with special needs — to join in as we explore faith, have fun, and make new friends. We offer a comprehensive children’s program — Kidventures — for children ages 3 through 5th grade each Sunday from September through June during our 10am service. We hope they’ll have a blast singing, playing games, learning stories from the bible, sharing about what’s going on in their lives, and feeling cared for and cherished.
We are committed to keeping your children safe. All of our classrooms have at least two teachers. No child will ever be left alone with an adult.
Nursery care is also available all throughout the year during our 10am service, as well as a quiet room (with service audio) for nursing mothers or anybody whose little one needs a break. Just ask the greeter at the door for directions.
What happens after the service?
You’re welcome to stick around for coffee and juice, snacks, and conversation after our 10am service. It’s a great time to meet people and get to know more about the church.
What about people with special needs?
If you have questions about special needs or handicapped access, please don’t hesitate to call the church office (203-655-0491) for assistance. We’re glad to assist you in any way that we can.
I’m interested in becoming a member. What do I do?
We’re so happy that you feel at home here! We welcome in new members at several special services throughout the year. Just reach out to Rev. Anthony Weisman about next steps. (Usually this involves getting together for a conversation so that you can learn more about us and we can learn more about you.)
Do you perform baptisms?
Yes. There’s nothing we love more than babies and baptisms!
Baptisms occur within Sunday services. So it’s best to come and worship with us a few times before being in touch about scheduling baptisms. Introduce yourself to the minister. We want to make sure that the church feels like home for you.
We happily baptize children from interfaith families. We don’t believe that there are Protestant children or Catholic children or Jewish children or Muslim children. Just God’s children. All children are God’s children.
You can be in touch with Rev. Anthony Weisman to learn more.