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
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.

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


Sign up for various events by clicking on the links below:


April 8
12pm Lunch with the Pastor
April 13: Palm Sunday
10:30am Service
11:30am New Member Orientation
12:30pm Egg Dyeing in Religious Ed
12:30pm Bible as Literature
6:30pm Youth Group
6:30pm Parent Seminar
April 16
7:00pm McAllister Lecture Series

April 20: Easter Sunday
10:30am Service
Community Fellowship
April 23
5:00pm Salem Pantry Bagging
7:00pm Book Group
7:00pm McAllister Lecture SeriesApril 26
9am Salem Pantry Distribution
4:45pm Lifebridge
April 27
10:30am Service
RE Mentor Sunday
11:30am New Member Orientation
12:30pm Bible as Literature

April 30
7:00pm McAllister Lecture Series

May 4: Annual Meeting 
10:30am Service

May 11: Mother's Day
10:30am Service
Fellowship hosted by
the Gentlemen of the First Church

May 16
Stewardship Dinner
Details TBA

May 18: Flower Communion
10:30am Flower Communion Service

Annual Meeting Dates

This year’s Annual Meeting of the First Church will be held directly after the service on Sunday, May 4.  Draft copies of the Annual Report will be available for review onsite by Sunday, April 20, Easter Sunday.

The deadline for submissions to this year’s Annual Report is Friday, April 4, to give the office two weeks to format and prepare the report. 

No presbyteries, councils, bishops or popes. Just us... 


Compassion Book Group

Final Session:
Wednesday, April 23 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm

The winter and spring is a great time to “go deep.”  Please join the Minister and several other church members as we read together 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life, by Karen Armstrong.  In this important and thought-provoking work, Karen Armstrong—one of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—provides an impassioned and practical guide to helping us make the world a more compassionate place.

The twelve steps she suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion,” and close with “Love Your Enemies.” In between, she takes up self-love, mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and “concern for everybody.” She shares concrete methods to help us cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion, and provides a reading list to encourage us to “hear one another’s narratives.” Armstrong teaches us that becoming a compassionate human being is a lifelong project and a journey filled with rewards.

To sign up for the book group, please speak with the minister or call the Church Office. 

For April 23, we are reading, Chapters 10-12, pp. 156-194

Bible as Literature:

The New Testament as Literature

A six-part program continuing on Sunday, April 13 at 12:30 pm

at The First Church in Salem, Unitarian, 316 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970

Professor Theo Theoharis returns to the First Church in Salem this spring to lead another Sunday afternoon seminar series.  This year's topic is "The New Testament as Literature."  Dr. Theoharis will describe and bring to life the literary forms and the human concerns of the Four Gospels and Paul's Letters to the Romans and to the Galatians.

Total cost of this seminar $25 per session.  The next two sessions will be held Sundays, April 13 and 27 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm.  For more information go to: www.firstchurchinsalem.org

To register, please call the First Church Office @ 978 744-1551 or clicking on this link. The First Church is universally accessible and is a Welcoming Congregation. 

Sessions will be held from 12:30 to 2:00 pm on the following Sundays:

Sunday, April 13

Sunday, April 27



An Opportunity to Flag

The First Church has one of the most prominent flag poles in all of Salem, atop our 130 foot granite tower.  While we fly the American flag from the tower most of the time, we do fly other flags on occasion for seasonal holidays and events.  We find ourselves in need of a new Rainbox Flag and a new Earth Flag.  They need to be at least 5’x8’ in dimension and of a rugged and durable material.  The winds at the level of the tower are tough sometimes. 

If you are interested in donating to the “Rainbow and Earth Flag” fund, please speak with the Minister. 

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