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Welcome to Salem!
The First Church is an active congregation with a long and fascinating history. We are proud of our open-minded approach to matters of faith informed by our past and inspired by our values.
Today, we are a growing, multi-generational Unitarian Universalist church still grounded in the Biblical tradition but open to many different religious paths that we all encounter here in the 21st Century. We call it our "walk together" as our old covenant so elegantly states it.
We are a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association dedicated to the ideals of individual conscience, a reverence for the sacred, the dignity of all people, the interconnectedness of all things, and a vision of world community. We are a gathering of people from different backgrounds, traditions and perspectives coming together to celebrate, to serve, to enjoy one another’s company, and make a difference in our world. And we do this in a variety of engaging and inspiring ways each and every Sunday.
We invite you to join us for a service or attend one of our programs. Explore our historic Meetinghouse (built by Unitarians in the 1830’s), ask questions, introduce yourself to a few people, and take a few minutes to attend Fellowship Hour after the service.
If you are visiting, feel free say hello to one of our ushers before church or stop by our Welcome Table after church, located near the piano in the parlor (aka the Cleveland Room). We offer great programs for kids and have infant and toddler care each Sunday. We are always happy to meet new people and make connections. Before the age of computers this is what “friending” was all about!
We know how limited our time is and how many options all of us have on Sunday mornings. But we also believe in the difference just one hour can make in how we live our lives—an hour set aside for reflection, spirit, joy, and community.
Welcome to the First Church!
CALL TO A SPECIAL MEETING
To the Members of the First Congregational Society:
You are hereby notified that a Special Meeting of the First Congregational Society in Salem will be held in the Meeting House of the church at 316 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts, on SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2019,
directly after the morning Service, for the following purpose:
To elect the thirty-second minister of the Society.
CALL TO THE ANNUAL MEETING
To the Members of the First Congregational Society:
You are hereby notified that the Annual Meeting of the First Congregational Society in Salem will be held in the Meeting House of the church at 316 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts, on SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2019 directly after the morning Service, for the following purposes:
1) To receive and act upon the reports of the Society;
2) To elect a Moderator and Officers of the Society;
3) To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting.
From the Ministerial Search Committee
Thank you, thank you! Thank you to all who responded with thoughtful questions after our announcement on April 7. Thank you to everyone who has responded to our requests for questions and photographs to help our ministerial candidate, Pastor Elizabeth M. Ide, get to know us before she arrives for Candidate Week. You can still submit questions either in the orange box on the piano in the Cleveland Room or via email here. Please write “Photo” and your names (as pictured from left to right) in the subject line of your email. And thank you also for your patience with the several incorrect email addresses we have published recently!
Candidate Week is nearly here. The schedule of events ( see inside OOS) will be in the eHerald and the orders of service again next week. Come meet and greet Elizabeth or attend a family fun evening. Pop in at Maria’s for breakfast or drop in for “office hours” at the Front Street Café. Bring a brown bag lunch and hang out. If you are like us, the more contact you have with Elizabeth, the more you will like her. She will be leading worship on April 28 and May 5, and after the May 5 service we will hold our Special Meeting of the Society to elect our new minister. All members who have made a financial contribution since July 1, 2018 are eligible - and are encouraged - to vote.
Friends, this particular part of our journey is nearing its close. We began with an unusually high rate of participation in our congregational survey and the cottage chats - evidence of your regard for First Church. Our expectations for your involvement now are high. Candidate Week and the election are the culmination of our collective work as a searching congregation. See you in church!
Church Office is Still in Need of Annual Reports!
The Annual Meeting approaches and will take place on Sunday, May 12 NOT Sunday, May 5. [For reference the meeting was moved one Sunday ahead due to Candidating Week which is April 27 – May 5.] Annual Reports are due no later than Thursday, April 11. Please email your report in a Word Document to email@example.com and include the following information:
Name of the chair and any other officers
List of committee members
Mission statements and/or goals of the committee
Activities, achievements, and highlights of the year
Financial information about monies received or spent
Plans for the future
2019-2020 Pledge Campaign: 400 Years of Hope
We kicked off this year's pledge campaign earlier this month with a goal of 100% participation from First Church Members and Friends before our ministerial candidate arrives. With only two weeks to go we’re about 60% of the way there. Download your card here and email it or mail it back today! Please contact First Church Administrator Catherine Bertrand with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 978-744-1551. Pledge cards can be left in the envelope outside the church office or in the collection.
Random Acts of Breakfast...with the Candidate!
Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7:30am
For all those First Churchers who would like to gather socially in simple ways, Ben Waxman, past chair of Standing Committee, offers the following standing invitation: Every Third Thursday of the month, anyone so motivated can come to Maria’s in Salem (10 Jefferson Ave) to join others for breakfast and casual, upbeat chat. There will be no kvetching at these gatherings! (Well, maybe there will be a little kvetching since we are New Englanders.)
This month we’ll have a special guest in attendance - our ministerial candidate, Pastor Elizabeth Ide. And obviously this is the first Thursday in order to make that happen ; )
General guidelines: Starts at 7:30 am. No RSVPs necessary. Everyone pays their own way. Sometimes there may be just 2 of us and other times maybe we’ll have 12 of us. No pressure to show up or stay long. Just an opportunity for us to gather, have pancakes, eggs and coffee, lighten our days, and get to know each other a bit better.
Host Fellowship Hour
Sign Up Here!
Members and friends of First Church often volunteer to host part of Fellowship Hour each week: one person/family/group for the Cleveland Room and one person one person/family/group for the Barnard Room. Each month we hold one or two Potluck Fellowship where we ask anyone attending that upcoming Sunday to bring a bite to share! Fellowship Hour takes place following the service and coffee, tea, and light refreshments are served.
Please note all sign ups will take place online. Click the link above or email the Church Office with any questions: email@example.com. Thank you!
Sat, April 20
9am Choir Rehearsal
Sun, April 21: Easter
9am Choir Service
10:30am Choir Service
Annual Easter Egg Hunt After Service!
4:45pm Lifebridge Dinner Team
Thu, April 25
4pm Salem Pantry Bagging
Fri, April 26
6pm Henny Penny Art Show
Sat, April 27
9:30am Salem Pantry Distribution
4:45pm Lifebridge Dinner Team
Sat, Apr 27
5:30pm Candidate Dinner w/MSC & SC Committees
Sun, Apr 28
10:30am Candidate Service
4pm Meet & Greet with Pastor Ide
Mon, April 29
12pm Brown Bag Lunch w/ Pastor Ide
6pm Standing Cmte Mtg w/ Pastor Ide
7:15pm Committees Group Mtg
Tue, April 30
8am-2:30pm Staff Meetings
6pm Social Justice Mtg w/Pastor Ide
7:15pm RE Cmte Mtg w/Pastor Ide