United Parish of Lunenburg
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Our History

Here we tell the story of the beginnings of our church and how we became what we are today.

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Welcome to the United Parish of Lunenburg! We're glad you're here. If you have questions, please feel free to speak to our pastor Rev. Dr. Tracy Reeves, or our Lay Pastors, or call the church office (582-6572).

Our congregation is affiliated with two Protestant denominations, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. People in the congregation usually join one of these two denominations when they become members, although some choose to become members simply of the United parish. Our connections with the UCC and the UMC make us a part of two worldwide churches, diverse in membership and powerful in mission. We are proud to be an ecumenical shared ministry.

OUR HISTORY

The United Parish of Lunenburg was created in 1949 by blending the UCC and UMC congregations, although it was not until 1971 that we united under a single pastor. Our United Parish Church is located prominently in the center of Lunenburg. It is a colonial New England structure of the early meetinghouse style, built in 1844, and owned by our UCC congregation. The soft gray-blue and white sanctuary conveys an atmosphere of beauty, simplicity, and welcome.

The Parish House, built in 1956, is located on Main Street near the center of Lunenburg and houses community functions as well as church facilities and functions. On the main floor are the church offices, rest rooms, kitchen facilities, a classroom/youth room, and the Hudson Chapel, used for small weddings and other church services. On the lower level is a large room with a fireplace and a small kitchen unit, rest rooms, and several small rooms used for meetings and Sunday school classes. The lower level also serves as space for a private day-care center during the week.

The Parsonage, owned by our UMC congregation, is located on the same block as the Church and Parish House. It is a two-story home with four bedrooms and a two-car garage situated on a large grassy lot.

Today at UPL

Lunenburg is a town of about 10,000, located in North Central Massachusetts, not far from Route 2 and I-190.

The United Parish is a vibrant faith community with a rich history of recognizing individual differences and diversity, co-mingling the UCC and UMC disciplines and traditions to form a blended congregation with blended worship experiences. We enjoy a pastor who works closely and comfortably with lay leadership and who leads while mentoring and educating. Our official, trained lay pastors perform many duties, including visiting, leading worship, serving communion to shut-ins, and special program leadership. In addition, many lay leaders actively participate in missions, finance, worship, religious education and many other program areas. Of the approximately 425 members, roughly 100 members attend weekly worship, and about 40 children and youth participate in the education program.

While theologically moderate, we express our faith in a wide variety of missions and strong education programs for our children, high school members, and adults.

OUR SERVICE

The order of worship is in the bulletin that an usher gives you when you enter the church. Everything you need for the service is in this bulletin or in the hymnal in the pew rack. A single asterisk next to an item in the bulletin means that you should stand up with the congregation if you are able. Otherwise, remain seated. The bulletin also contains information about events happening in the United Parish during the week. If you come to us from the Roman Catholic church you will notice that we refer to the "church service" rather than to the "mass."  After worship, please come downstairs for a cup of coffee and a chance to meet members of the congregation.

OUR CHILDREN

Church School for ages 4 through adult meets in the Parish House (the brick building across Main Street) from 10:15-11:45 most Sundays. In addition, childcare is provided from 9:00 to 12:00 for children under age 4 (5 in the summer) in the nursery which is downstairs from the sanctuary. The nursery is staffed by a professional attendant along with volunteer helpers.

THE SACRAMENTS

In the Protestant church we observe two sacraments: baptism (for both children and adults) and communion. Baptisms are celebrated on certain Sundays during the year as a part of our Sunday worship service. Preparation classes are held in advance, and families are encouraged to attend worship for 6 weeks preceding baptism. If you are interested, please call the church office.

Communion, or the Lord's Supper, is celebrated the first Sunday of the month, or on special occasions. Everyone is welcome at Christ's table and membership in this church or any church is not a requirement. Children are welcome to participate.

We have a variety of ways of serving communion, which vary from month to month. "Congregational style" is served to people as they sit in the pews. "Methodist style" is served as people come forward and kneel at the rail at the front of the sanctuary. "Intinction" involves people coming forward to receive a piece of bread and then to dip the bread into the communion cup. Whatever method we use, there are always communion stewards helping to direct the congregation so don't feel nervous! If you have a question, feel free to ask one the stewards or an usher. We always use grape juice in the cup.

OUR CONGREGATION

We believe that all baptized Christians are called to ministers, that is, to share in Christ's ministry in the world (we sometimes call this "the priesthood of all believers"). Although we do have pastors who are professional clergy, everyone who is a member contributes to the work of the United Parish. Many do this by serving on committees, working with the Sunday school, singing in the choir, and sharing in all the work of the United Parish as we reach out to people in our community and in the world.

We invite you to become a part of the church today and a piece of its history tomorrow.

United Parish of Lunenburg
39 Main Street
Lunenburg, MA  01462 
(978) 582-6572