What to Expect


There’s plenty of parking on the streets, in our driveway, and at the school parking lot across the street from us.

As you enter our front door, you will be greeted by one of our members. The main church entrance (up our granite steps and through the double wooden doors) leads directly into the foyer where you’ll find a Welcome Table, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please stop by to sign in and receive a visitor’s name tag. You can also get additional information about current activities and events and find opportunities to meet with our minister after the service.

You’ll notice a wide variety of dress from Sunday best to very informal and casual.

If you arrive early and would like to look around the building, please feel free! If you prefer a guided tour, just ask at the Welcome Table and we’ll be delighted to show you around. You will find literature about our Unitarian Universalist faith on the Welcome Table and we invite you to take whatever is of interest to you. To get to know us better, you can also check out our Monthly newsletter, the Good Shepherd.

The Service is held in the sanctuary and most Sundays is led by our, Minister, the Reverend Tony Lorenzen.  Our worship services follows a traditional congregational outline with prelude, announcements, introit and call to worship, opening hymn, reciting the church’s covenant, a story for all ages, prayers, offering, readings, sermon, and closing hymn.

We begin and end each service by lighting and extinguishing the flaming chalice. Learn more about the Unitarian Universalist chalice here.

We organize worship services and religious education programming around monthly themes. This means a monthly sermon series on the theme of the month and explorations of that theme in regular Sunday religious education for children and special offerings for adults.  Our themes rotate on a three year cycle:

Cycle Year-> Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Month \/ 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018
September Covenant Community Belonging
October Faith Death Evil
November Gratitude Thanksgiving Blessing
December Hope Peace God
January Justice Courage Healing
February Love Prayer Acceptance
March Reconciliation Forgiveness Mercy
April Transformation Salvation Renewal
May Grace Truth Freedom
June Mission Vision Calling
Summer Service Journey Sabbath

Complimentary coffee, tea, and refreshments are served following our service in the Parish Hall. Every Sunday, immediately following service, Rev. Tony will be leading a Welcome Session in the Parish Office. This brief introductory meeting will last approximately 15 minutes.

If you need help finding anything else, such as the restroom or religious education classrooms, please don’t hesitate to ask. We want you to feel at home!

Various social events are held throughout the year, created especially to help new members get to know each other, long-standing members, and the church staff.

Children are always welcome at Hopedale Unitarian Parish. Religious Exploration programming is offered during Sunday morning services and childcare is available. Children generally begin the service in the Sanctuary and are welcome and enthusiastic participants. Visiting children are welcome to follow the teachers to the classrooms or stay with their parents throughout the service.