What To Expect on Sunday
Sunday Services at USNH are held at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. from the first Sunday in September through the third Sunday in June. On weekends that fall on or during a holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years), we have a single service at 10:30 am. Check the website for details. In the summer months, we have a single service at 10:30 a.m.
There is a large parking lot near the main entrance of our building at 700 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden. Our lot contains designated spaces for people who have accessibility concerns. Parking is not available on Hartford Turnpike.
Our church building has three levels.
You may enter the Main Level via a ramp (to the right of the front door). There are no steps to enter the Sanctuary and Social Hall, which are on this level. The women’s and gender neutral restrooms, offices, classrooms and library are on the Upper Level, which is reachable by a handicap elevator. The men’s restroom is on the Lower Level which is also reachable via the elevator. There are no additional steps on either level. Assistive listening devices and large print bulletins are available from the ushers. In the Sanctuary, there are several spots set aside for wheelchairs and an usher will be happy to help with any needs you may have.
What to Wear – Come as You Are
We encourage you to dress as you feel comfortable. The majority of our members dress casually compared with other communities, though some do enjoy dressing up for the service. Children especially are encouraged to wear clothes that allow free movement.
Before the Service
People often arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the services, and gather in the Main Level foyer to greet one another. In the foyer you’ll find our Welcome Table, where you’ll be invited to fill out a Visitor Form, receive a nametag, and you can get your children set for Religious Education or child-care. There are brochures and information available at the Visitor Table and in wall racks, and restrooms are nearby.
The Social Hall, which is off the left side of the foyer, is where coffee, tea, juice and snacks are served after each service.
Children, Babies and Youth
Children begin in the service with their parents most Sundays, and are welcome to stay if the family prefers – but we encourage you to take advantage of the learning, inspiration and joy available in our Children’s Religious Education classes. Visiting children are welcome; for your child’s safety, we will ask you to fill out a registration form. Our “Learning for Children” page tells you everything you need to know about our classes, teachers, curriculum and activities. Nursery care and learning for our youngest ones is offered for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers in our Nursery on the Lower Level. The nursery is available beginning 10 minutes before the start of each worship service. Parents will be notified if their presence is needed for the welfare of their child. Check out our “Learning for Youth” page to discover religious education options for high school age students.
Our services usually include instrumental music and singing, a time for meditation or prayer and a sermon or reflection. We have a wonderful choir, children’s music, and visiting special musicians. Each Sunday we share joys and sorrows, and an offering is taken to support the congregation’s social justice activities. Services run 60-75 minutes in length. As you enter the Sanctuary, an usher will give you an Order of Service; hymnals are provided at the seats. If you need hearing support you can obtain an assistive listening device, and large print Orders of Service and hymnals also are available. Our services are typically led by the Rev. Megan Lloyd Joiner, but may also be led by a lay leader with a pulpit guest.
After the Service
“Follow the crowd” into the Social Hall after the service for refreshments and conversation. Here you can often get a glimpse of the various groups that are active in our congregation, check out our social justice book table, and meet some wonderful USNH members and friends.
After each service, our Membership Coordinator is available in the Visitor Corner of the Social Hall to answer any of your questions and help you find your way around the congregation, or provide more information. We hope you’ll stop by even if you don’t have specific questions, and take advantage of the opportunity to start “getting connected” at USNH.