Wouldn't it be great if there were a church...


...that truly welcomes all people regardless of religious background, age, race or sexual orientation?

...that is grounded in a long and amazing history yet embraces current forms of inspiration and the cultivation of soul?


...that refuses to concede the Bible to mean-spirited and literal-minded interpretations and instead holds up the clarion calls for compassion and justice we hear in the scriptures?

...that encourages people to bring their whole selves to a service on Sundays and not simply check their brains at the door?

...with a long history of working for social change that actually speaks to the major issues of the day?

Well, there is a church like this, and we invite you to come check out our services and programs.


Welcome to the First Church in Salem!

Universally Accessible and Universally Welcoming! 

The First Church in Salem, Unitarian Universalist is one of the oldest continuing Protestant churches in North America and the first to be governed by congregational polity, a central feature of Unitarian Universalism.

We are proud of our history and excited by our present.

The First Church in Salem, UU is recognized by the

Unitarian Universalist Association as a Welcoming Congregation!

First Church
Sunday Services 10:30am
Childcare is provided.

Our building is recently renovated and universally accessible
(with a full elevator).

We are a Welcoming Congregation!

Rev. Jeffrey Barz-Snell

Services and Announcements

Scroll down for 

Upcoming Calendar Items,



Lifebridge Dinner Team

Fellowship Hosting

Interested in automatic giving for your pledge? Click on the link below for the authorization form. Complete and return to office administrator. 

E-Giving Form


Sun, October 11
9:00am Second Sunday Yoga
10:30am Service

Tues, October 13
12pm Lunch with the Pastor

Wed, October 14
7pm Witch Trials Lecture
Fri, October 16
6pm Halloween Family Fun Night

Sat, October 17
8am-12pm Family Promise Walk
1pm-4pm First Church Garden Planting Party

Sun, October 18
9:00am Choir Rehearsal
10:30am Service
Third Sunday Cultivating Soul:
Blessing of the Animals

4pm UN Program
7pm Youth Group

Wed, October 21
7pm Witch Trials Lecture

Sat, October 24
10:00am Choir Rehearsal

4:45pm Lifebridge Dinner Team

Sun, October 25
9:00am Choir Rehearsal
10:30am All Hallow’s Eve Service



8:00 AM:   Registration Confirmation / T-Shirts / Coffee / Pastries  – Arrive early!

9:00 AM:   Start 5K Walk (3.1 mile loop)

11:00 AM:  Celebration with refreshments, prizes, music and much more!

Second Sunday Yoga
Come for yoga, stay for church.

Sunday, October 11, 9am
Join us for an invigorating class led by Sally Millice perfect for beginners and regular practitioners.  Namaste!

What to do with the Teens?
Sunday, October 11 after church
Interested in working with our First Church youth. Have a good idea or talent you might like to share? Come join our high school youth for Teen Visioning Meeting. This is an informal discussion about what the teens would like to be doing here at church and what the adults can offer them. 

Satan & Salem: The Witch Hunt Crisis of 1692
An Evening with University of Virginia
Professor Ben Ray

Wednesday, October 14 at 7pm
First Church, 316 Essex Street

The result of a perfect storm of factors that culminated in a great moral catastrophe, the Salem witch trials of 1692 took a breathtaking toll on the young English colony of Massachusetts. In Satan and Salem, Benjamin Ray offers the most nuanced view yet of why the Salem witch-hunt spiraled out of control. His historical database of court records, documents, and maps yields a unique analysis of the geographic spread of accusations and trials, allowing Ray to assemble portraits of several major characters, each of whom had complex motives for accusing his or her neighbors—and, ultimately, contributing to the most devastating episode of witch trials on this side of the Atlantic.

Family Fun Night and Halloween Party
Fri, Oct 16, 6pm
Come in costume and be ready for some spooky fun. We will have games, crafts and some special surprises. 
Requested donations of $5/person or $10/family for pizza being provided.

Family Promise Walk and Benefit
Sat, Oct 17
8:00 am – 1pm at Lynch Park in Beverly

Third Sunday Cultivating Soul:
The Annual Blessing of the Animals

Sun, Oct. 18
After church in honor of Francis of Assisi. 
Climate Change Program
Sunday, October 18 at 4pm

Program about UU’s and Climate Change, with Bruce Knotts, Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations and an attendee at the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris in December.
Religion, Politics and the Salem Witch Trials
An Evening with Salem State University
Professor Emerson Baker

Wednesday, October 21 at 7pm
First Church, 316 Essex Street

Professor Emerson “Tad” Baker, of the History Department of Salem State University,will speak on “Religion, Politics and the Salem Witch Trials”. The talk, drawn from the author’s recent book, A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience will examine the religious concerns and the political issues behind the Salem witch trials.
Upcoming Lifebridge Dinners
Sat, October 24
Lifebridge Dinner Team now serves dinner on the third Sunday and fourth Saturday of each month starting in November
The next Lifebridge dinner will take place on Saturday, October 24 at 4:45pm. If you would like to help shop, prepare or serve dinner please sign up in the Barnard Room after one of the services, or contact Duncan Cox at coxes3@verizon.net or Amanda Roeder at roedermusic@gmail.com
Sunday Programming
First Sunday Big Ideas –
A program or talk that features the latest research and ideas that contribute to creating community and goodness and making the world a better place. Typically a 30-40 minute program after church, sometimes before.

Second Sunday Yoga –
Come for yoga, stay for church.  This is a 55-minute session taught by local teacher Liz Gruenfeld and geared towards beginner and intermediate practitioners.  We have mats and blocks.  Just show up at 9 AM.

Third Sunday Cultivating Soul –
Practicing our values in our lives and in our world, through prayer, discussion, meditation, and hands-on learning.  Sometimes before church and sometimes afterwards.

Youth Group Meeting Dates
October 18 
November 15
December 13
January 10, 2016
February 21 (which is the end of the school vacation week)
March 20
April 10
May 15

The First Church is a member society of the
Unitarian Universalist Association.