United Parish


About Us

The United Parish of Auburndale is Federated United Methodist and United Church of Christ.  We celebrate the Eternal Christ as the body that is the membership and friends of our church.  We gather on Sunday mornings to worship a God that fuels our hope, to collect and lift to the Divine our prayers filled with fear, wonder, anticipation, joy, hope, hopelessness, and suffering.  Everyone is welcome to fully participate in our worship, ritual, and church work, regardless of how the world judges us.  You are welcome here INCLUDING your sexual orientations, gender expressions, and identities.  Let’s say that again:  YOU ARE WELCOME HERE 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

UPA [64 Hancock Street] is located in Newton, MA across the street from Lasell University and within walking distance of the MBTA commuter rail (Auburndale) and the Greenline Subway (Riverside).  We have a small parking lot and street parking is unrestricted on the weekend.

Our Mission

At UPA we are called to the work of Divine Love.  We know this, per Jesus’ own words, as doing the best we can to love our God with all our heart, our soul, and our mind, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  While this calls us to worship together, care for one another, and engage in fellowship, all of this serves as fuel for the work of equity, justice, and hope-building into which we are called.  You can find us painting children’s faces at our annual fall Pumpkin Fest or standing in protest of diminishing human rights for members of the LGBTQ community.  We make and deliver meals for Bristol Lodge, a local shelter, and march with the masses for the sake of women’s reproductive rights. We gather at coffee shops, the church or a Zoom room around books by Howard Thurman (Jesus and the Disinherited), Isabelle Wilkerson (Caste), and Kate Bowler (Good Enough).  In short, we take seriously this nation’s need for peaceful grace and commit to the hard work of participation. 

Our Beliefs

The UPA is a theologically and socially progressive church.  We are all on a lifelong journey to know who and why we are as the beloved creation of the Divine.  

We do not insist that newcomers wishing to deepen their commitment to this faith community articulate a particular creed in order to become members.  

First, we strive to be inclusive of all people.  Recognizing that people come to faith and churches for complex reasons we simply endeavor to offer a sense of “home.” 

Second, we strive toward an expansive view of God.  The life of faith is a pilgrimage and we offer programs for all ages to equip pilgrims on that journey of faith. 

Third, we strive toward justice.  Outreach beyond the walls of UPA offers both mercy–such as food for food pantry–and Justice–such as pressing legislators for budget which meets the needs of the poor and oppressed in our local, national and world community.  We do not insist that participants or members articulate a particular creed.  But we do expect those who come to know the inclusive, expansive love of God to respond with lives of integrity.

Our History

The beautiful, Romanesque style church building, built in 1857, is the oldest wooden church in Newton and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The sanctuary offers traditional seating for up to 400 and the attached Parish Hall facilitates seated receptions of up to 100.  An education wing houses a thriving weekend religious education program of 80 children and includes a large, welcoming nursery.  Facilities such as the Sanctuary, Parish Hall, lower level Dining Hall and Kitchen and even the educational space are available for use by community groups for nominal donation.  Arrangements are made through the church office.

The UPA congregation was formed in 1980 when Centenary United Methodist Church and Auburndale Congregational Church federated. 

Learn more about our federated church.

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