Welcome to the First Church in Salem!
The First Church is an active 21st-century 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 community and values.
Today, we are a Unitarian Universalist congregation still grounded in the Biblical tradition but open to many different faith traditions. We call it our "walk together" as our almost 400 year old covenant so elegantly states it.
We are a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, dedicated to the ideals of individual conscience, the search for truth, a reverence for the sacred, the dignity of all people, and the vision of world community. We are also dedicated to celebrating and giving thanks for our lives and our world, and we do this in a variety of engaging and inspiring ways.
We gather each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for our service followed by Fellowship Hour. We have a fun and engaging religious education offered during our service every Sunday for kids ages pre-K through high school. Childcare is also available for babies, toddlers, and pre-school aged children. Our goal is to have both happy kids and relaxed parents.
At Fellowship Hour you will find "fair-trade" coffee and tea, delicious treats, rousing conversation and, during the winter months, a fire in the fireplace. We use old cups and saucers we have had for decades and then wash them. No styrofoam here!
We invite you to join us for a service, explore our historic Meetinghouse, ask questions, introduce yourself to a few people, and take a few minutes to attend Fellowship Hour after the service.
If you are new to First Church, please visit the Welcome Table during Fellowship Hour near the piano in our parlor (aka the Cleveland Room).
Our building is universally accessible with an elevator we installed in 2012.
We know how many options all of us have on a Sunday morning, but we understand 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!
Traditional Church Services include Epiphany Sunday, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Flower Communion,
Youth Sunday, Question Box Service, Water Communion, Founders Sunday, World Communion Sunday,
Blessing of the Animals, All Souls Service, Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights), Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, Christmas Service and Children’s Christmas Pageant.
Church Activities include providing and serving dinner twice monthly at the Lifebridge Shelter, serving as a Host Congregation for Family Promise, Spring and Fall Garden Workdays, Annual Yard Sale, Chocolate Sunday, Family Fun Nights, Youth Service Projects, Summer Picnic, Pancake Breakfast. Monthly: First Sunday Big Ideas (after Fellowship), Second Sunday Yoga (at 9:00 a.m.), Third Sunday Cultivating Soul (after Fellowship). We also participate in numerous Salem community marches and festivals, and we host lectures on current issues.
• Archives (manages and promotes our remarkable church archives and responds to research inquiries)
• Building (looks after and maintains and historically important 1836 building)
• Decorating (“dresses up” our handsome church building for special occasions)
• Fellowship (coordinates and supports Hosts for Fellowship Hour on Sundays)
• Finance (assists the Treasurer to create and manage the annual budget)
• Garden (cares for our beautiful grounds and gardens)
• Master Planning (creates and maintains a master plan for the ongoing renovation
and maintenance of our historic building and grounds)
• Ministerial and Human Relations (supports the Minister and Staff)
• Music and Worship (works with the Music Director and Minister on Sunday service content)
• Pastoral Care (reaches out to members who need support in any number of important ways)
• Religious Education (supports our RE Director, Deb DiGiulio and plans multiple events and service projects)
STAFF & OFFICERS
Minister: Reverend Jeffrey Barz-Snell
Chair of Standing Committee: Ben Waxman
Chair of Deacons: Mimi Ballou
Director of Henny Penny Nursery School: Patricia Pini
Director of Music: Michael Kraft
Director of Religious Education: Deb DiGiulio
Administrator: Catherine Bertrand
Sexton: Bill McCarthy