Here are some things you may wish to know:
How do I get to All Souls? We are located at 19 Jay Street in New London, CT. Please click here for directions.
What are Sunday services like? - Our Sunday worship services are the glowing center of our religious community. Upon entering our sanctuary, Unity Hall, an usher will give you an order of service. A typical service begins with opening music, a welcome from our minister, and the lighting of the chalice, the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist faith. There is a story for all ages, after which we sing the children out to their religious education classes. This is often followed by a sharing of joys and concerns, prayer, silence and song. A reading is offered, followed by a thought provoking sermon. We collect an offering and and conclude our service with more music, a benediction and extinguishing our chalice. Throughout the year we have special services for the youth, new members, and holidays. Coffee hour and fellowship follow each service. Newcomers are encouraged to stay and visit the Welcome Table which is staffed by congregants who look forward to meeting you. There you will find materials on Unitarian Universalism and All Souls.
Where do I park? – We have a large parking lot and bike rack at our building at 19 Jay Street, with several parking spaces reserved for Sunday morning visitors. In addition, on Sundays when our lot is full you can park in the courthouse parking lot on Cottage Street (just off Broad Street) which is adjacent to our property and connected by a short set of stairs.
Is the building accessible? – Our Jay Street building is completely accessible, with no stairs to navigate, and with spots reserved in our sanctuary for wheelchair users and companions. In addition we offer large print Orders of Service for our Sunday worship service and assistive listening devices. One of the ushers in our sanctuary would be happy to assist you with these.
What should I wear? - Please wear what you are comfortable with. Some people dress up to come to Sunday services and many dress more casually.
Greeters - As you enter our building through the front door (under the maroon canopy) you will find a Visitor’s Table in the foyer, staffed by a friendly, volunteer greeter. Please sign our visitor register and let us know if you’d like to receive our weekly electronic newsletter. We encourage you to fill out a nametag so that we may learn your name. Our greeter can answer questions or direct you to our sanctuary, Unity Hall.
Religious Education - If you arrive with children they are welcome to participate in our Religious Education classes, which are grouped by age. The greeter at the visitor table in the foyer can direct you to our classrooms or introduce you to our Associate Minister, Reverend Caitlin O'Brien, who directs our religious education program. Children and youth typically come with their families for the first part of the service and leave for their classes after the Story for All Ages. Your children are also welcome to attend the entire service with you if they wish.
Nursery Care – During our first service on a Sunday morning we have nursery care for children 3 and under, staffed by our nursery care provider. Infants and young children are also welcome to stay with their parents during the service. We offer a “calming room” with its one-way glass picture window and speakers, adjacent to our sanctuary, which provides a more intimate space for families to watch and listen during the service if young children become fussy.
Do the people in this congregation hold diverse beliefs? - Yes. We come from many diverse backgrounds and faith traditions and we welcome people of all religious traditions and beliefs, as well as atheists and agnostics. Unitarian Universalists affirm a diversity of religious ideas and support each person’s spiritual journey guided by reason and conscience.
What happens in the summer? - Summer services begin the last weekend of June and run through Labor Day. We hold one service in the summer at 10:00 am. Children from kindergarten through fourth grade gather for "Summer Fun and Games". Children fifth grade and older are encouraged to attend the service, which is lighter in nature and shorter in the summertime. Many of our summer services are led by lay members of our congregation.
Where should I go if I have questions? – If you have questions you may speak to our greeters, ushers, our minister, or any member of the congregation that you see. We are a friendly bunch and if we can’t answer your question we will direct you to someone who can. In addition we have a pamphlet rack in the foyer with informational pamphlets about many aspects of Unitarian Universalism, and a Welcome Table in the back of Unity Hall with more pamphlets, our monthly newsletter, Unitarian Universalist magazines, books and DVDs to borrow, and information on ways to become involved with our congregation. And after every service a person from our membership committee is available at the Welcome Table to answer your questions.
Welcome to All Souls! We look forward to welcoming you to Unity Hall on Sunday morning!