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,



Annual Meeting of the First Church 

Sunday, May 3

No Bishops, Presbyteries, Councils or Popes.
All we have is each other. 

We sometimes take for granted that all power and authority is vested here in our local church.  The 386th Annual Meeting of the First Church in Salem will be held on Sunday, May 1 immediately following an abbreviated service.  Join us for a celebration of our way of being religious, as we listen to reports, welcome new members, elect officers and consider our vision and goals for the coming year.  Come see an almost 400 year old democratically governed church in action.

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


Sat, April 23
8am-2pm Yard Sale
4:45pm Lifebridge Dinner
Youth Group Overnight
Sun, April 24
9am Choir Rehearsal
10:30am Choir Service
12pm New Member Orientation

Thu, April 28
4pm Salem Pantry Bagging

Sat, April 30
9am Salem Pantry Distribution
Sun, May 1
10:30am Annual Meeting
Annual Meeting following service
Sun, May 8: Mother’s Day
9am Choir Rehearsal
10:30am Choir Service


Youth Group Meeting Dates
Sundays at 7pm:
May 15


New Member Orientation: April 24
Interested in joining the First Church and deepening your involvement with our liberal religious community?  We welcome new members twice a year, in December and May.  Towards that, we offer two opportunities to learn more about the church and meet some of our leadership and members.  The second New Member Orientation session will be offered after church on Sunday, April 24. Anyone wishing to join in May is encouraged to attend this sessions.  New Members will be voted in during the Annual Meeting immediately after church on Sunday, May 1. To sign up or learn more, please speak with Rev. Barz-Snell or contact the Church Office 978-744-1551 or firstchurchinsalem@gmail.com.

Coming in April: Yard Sale
Saturday, April 23
Time for Spring Cleaning!!! The First Church’s Annual Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, April 23 from 8am to 2pm. A sign up sheet for volunteers will be available in the Barnard Room. Items can be stored, for the moment, on the right side of the stage (near steps leading off corridor) or in the coat room leading into Willson Hall. For further information please call or email Peter Eschauzier at pgeschauzier@me.com / (H) 978-594-1439 / (M) 239-290-0591.

First Church Garden Cleanup and Mulching Extravaganza
Saturday, May 7 9:30am-12:30pm (depending on the number of volunteers) 
Spring is hectic for everyone, but please come help us usher in April with a community work day to clean up the churchyard and mulch the garden beds.  With your help we can make short work of a big job; then we will be ready for the other remarkable projects we have planned for the garden this year.  If your Saturday is jammed, come for even just an hour.  We promise it will make a difference!
Bring your garden gloves, rakes, brooms, and pruners.  If you have a couple of paper garden refuse bags, we’d appreciate the donation.  With enough hands we should be able to finish up quickly.
Young people who are old enough to help are welcome, but babysitting will not be provided. 

Islam and America Program featuring Dr. Majed Ashy
Tuesday, May 17 at 7pm  
"The Life of Mohammed as told by one who grew up near Mecca."
Majed Ashy earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in psychology from Boston University and did his postdoctoral training in Psychiatric research at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He is currently teaching at Merrimack College and conducting research with colleagues at Merrimack College, Boston University, and McLean Hospital. He taught also at Boston University, North Eastern University, UMass/Boston and other colleges. His research interests are in the areas of childhood abuse and the brain, psychoneuroimmunology, cross-cultural psychology, and political psychology. He researched psychological and biological factors contributing to cross cultural attitudes towards war, peace, apology, forgiveness, terrorism, extremism, human rights, and others. He has several professional book and journal publications and professional memberships and presentations. He is frequently invited to meetings of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Islam and America is a program sponsored by the First Church in Salem, UU.  There are millions of moderate Muslims living here in the United States, many of them are American citizens.  There are hundreds of millions moderate Muslims around the world.   Their perspective is important and is often is not included or featured in commercial media coverage. 

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.

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.

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