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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!
July at First Church
The First Church will not be holding services during the month of July. The Church Office will be open on a summer schedule, which is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9am-1pm. In the event of a pastoral emergency or to reach the Minister, please call the church office and then Ben Waxman, the Chair of the Standing Committee. For a specific pastoral concern, contact Deacon Claire Donaldson, Chair of the Pastoral Care Committee.
City of Salem to Host Public Dialogue on Homelessness
July 27, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.,
St. Joseph’s Hall, 160 Derby Street
Over the last several months, Salem city and police officials, in concert with representatives from Lifebridge, North Shore Community Health Center, North Shore Community Action Program, and the regional Workforce Investment Board have been exploring strategies to address the growing transient homeless population in and around Salem. Because it is important to involve residents, business owners, community groups, as well as homeless individuals and families in a conversation about what the community can do collectively to address the issue of homelessness, all are invited to participate in a public dialogue on this issue on Thursday, July 27, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Hall, 160 Derby Street in Salem.
Founders' Day Service
Sunday, August 6
Join us for our annual Founders' Day Service, on the exact anniversary, to celebrate our 388th year as a congregation! Jeff Barz-Snell will be preaching.
Family Promise Returns the week of August 20-27
The First Church will once open our doors to 3-4 homeless families for seven nights in the middle of August. We will again need volunteers to make dinner, host dinner, and stay overnight. Ideally, we need one male and one female to sleep over night for each of the seven days we are hosting the families. Overnight volunteers have their own private room (one of the two offices upstairs) and a comfortable bed to sleep on. Click here to sign up to help out. For more information on Family Promise click here!
Homecoming and Water Communion
Sunday, September 10
Join us as we celebrate the beginning of a new church year. Homecoming Sunday will include a water communion as part of the service.
People of all ages are invited to bring some water from their summertime journeys to share during the service. We will invite people to come forward to pour their water into a ritual bowl and celebrate the many ways we are connected to and through water.
Note: A great way to bring water to the service is in a used water bottle or jar. You do not need a lot. For the absent minded among us (and we've all been there), we will have water and containers on hand.
Star Island Trip
The Standing Committee will, again, have a two day, overnight retreat at Star Island to plan for the upcoming church year. There will be some spots available for other church members who are interested in joining the excursion for the day or overnight. Only Standing Committee members will be participating in the planning meetings of the retreat. However, other church members are welcome to come and enjoy the island on their own, and then join the others for meals and common time.
As you may know, the Star Island Conference Center has been owned and operated by a non-profit corporation “for religious, educational and kindred purposes” since 1916. The island itself is one of 9 rocky islands, the Isles of Shoals, lying nearly 10 miles southeast of the mouth of the Piscataqua River in New Hampshire.
For details about cost and to register please send an email to the Church Administrator at email@example.com.
Sunday, August 6
10:30am Founders Day Service
Rev. Jeff Barz-Snell Preaching
Sunday, August 13
Rev. Jerrie Hildebrand Preaching
Sunday, August 20
Claire Donaldson Preaching
Sunday, August 27
Sunday, September 3
No Service - Labor Day Weekend
Sunday, September 10
10:30am Homecoming and Water Communion Service