Your First Visit to Our Church at 524 Allen Avenue in Portland, Maine

Music is usually celebrated at each service On this page, you'll find:


When

Our services are held at 9 am and 11 am on Sunday in the sanctuary, except during the summer, when there is one service at 10 am. (Check the Upcoming Worship page for details). Plan to arrive a few minutes early to find a parking spot.

Who We Welcome... a Long List!

We are a Welcoming Congregation. Our members and friends include Christians, Jews, Pagans, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, couples, singles, families, bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender people from all walks of life.

What to Wear

You'll find that most people are dressed casually. Children frequently have art projects and sometimes outdoor activities. They should dress so they can actively engage in the program. Our members include several people with severe allergies, so we ask people to avoid wearing perfumes and heavily scented products in our building.

Greetings on First Arrival

From September to late June, you will be welcomed by greeters as you enter our door. The greeter will answer your questions about the service, religious education and childcare, and can introduce you to our Director of Religious Education if you have children. You will be invited to fill out and wear a name tag. If you sign our guest book, we'll send you our newsletter for a few months. The greeters will be happy to show you and your children their program rooms, and where to hang your coats. They will be happy to point the way to the sanctuary for our worship service.

Our Membership Coordinator will be at church most Sundays from September to late June and is eager to meet you and make you feel welcome. 

As you enter our sanctuary, an usher will give you an Order of Service and help seat you if you like. The church is wheel-chair accessible, and the ushers can help if you have any special concerns.

During the summer, the lay-led service is small and informal, and you are welcome to come in, take a program and sit down. The worship leader or anyone present can answer questions you may have.

Children in a RE activityChildren

From September through June we have a full religious exploration program for children and youth. More information about our programs for children and youth (middle and high school) can be found under the "Children and Youth” button. 

At the 9 am service, children attend the first part of the worship service, and then go to their programs after the "Lesson for All Ages". We have nursery care for infants and toddlers to age 3+. Of course, children are welcome to remain in the sanctuary with their parents for the entire service if you wish.   

Visiting children are invited to join with others of their age group. If you arrive about 10 minutes before the service begins, greeters at the door can show you to the Religious Education wing, and our Director of Religious Education, will introduce you and your children to leaders of the appropriate age groups. 

You can also accompany your child when leaving the service, to make these arrangements and/or see that s/he is comfortable.  Parents pick up their children in their program rooms about 10:15am . You can contact us at the church office at (207)797-7240 or email if you have other questions before or after you visit. 

See our Children and Youth section for much more information.

We also have a senior high youth group that meets with adult advisors. If you have a senior high age youth, we recommend contacting our Director of Religious Education to speak more about the program before a visit. Learn more about programs for older children.

During our summer services, childcare is available, and children are also welcome to remain in the service if they are able.

Description of our Worship Service

Unitarian Universalism is unique in that its members are joined by common values, rather than a particular creed of religious beliefs. If you are hungry for a church that honors your questions rather than giving you one set of answers, Allen Avenue UU Church might be what you are looking for. Services can be quite varied; themes will include such topics as spiritual growth, common ethical questions, social issues of our day, and the great mysteries of life. We draw on the wisdom of many religious traditions and philosophies in our choice of readings and lessons.

The services begin with a welcoming message and announcements. Visitors and guests are invited to stand and introduce themselves, but shouldn't feel obligated to do so. We light the chalice to begin our worship and continue with:

  • musicLesson for All Ages
  • a lesson for all ages
  • sharing of joys and concerns
  • readings
  • sermon
  • meditation
  • an offering which we share with local charities or relief organizations

Our Music Director plays a wide range of music on the piano, our choir usually sings at the 11 a.m. service, and we have other talented musicians who sing or play a variety of instruments at both services. Once a month we have a lay-led service, sponsored by our Worship Committee.

Our summer services are smaller, more informal and in the round, led by lay members of the congregation. They usually include hymns, readings and reflections, as well as a welcome, sharing of joys and concerns, and an offering. There will tend to be a diversity of themes and styles each week, ranging from rituals and singalongs, to lectures and meditations.

We recommend attending more than one service at any church you are considering as a possible spiritual community. You'll have a better idea of the variety and flavor of the church and whether it is right for you. To learn more about our Worship traditions, see the Worship section.

Social Time Following the Service - You're Invited!!!

Social Hour

We invite you to join us to socialize with coffee, tea and time for discussion and meeting new friends. This is a good time to inquire about on-going activities and perhaps check the bulletin boards for items that interest you. About once a month, we hold a Newcomers Gathering in one of the classrooms after each service. Check out our What's Happening page for announcements and plan to attend.This is a great chance to meet other newcomers as well as several members of the church to socialize and ask questions. Be sure to stay and visit. Childcare is provided. On a number of Sundays following the service, there may be other activities such as a social justice forum, a potluck lunch, various meetings, or informal discussions to join. There is usually at least one group that goes out to lunch; being the social people that we are, we're glad to have visitors join in.