We are the First Religious Society, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  We're glad you're here. We aspire to be a welcoming and inclusive community that encourages spiritual growth as we strive for truth and meaning and serve the social and spiritual needs of our larger community.

"I am connected to these people"

By Matt Costello

As I’m sure many of you remember, a group of us high school students took a trip to  the U.S.-Mexico border this past June to learn about immigration justice. With seemingly everyone constantly debating about the “right way” to deal with immigration, we decided to choose to visit the border ourselves to see what was really going on some two thousand miles away from here. Prior to my involvement with this group, which starting meeting in September 2016, I didn’t give much thought to the issue, only knowing that my mother, who is Puerto Rican, was appalled by what she had heard about the issue on a more personal level, as these people shared a language and similar culture to her own growing up.

My awakening to racial justice issues

Ann Haaserby Ann Haaser

I’ve been asked to speak about my awakening to racial justice issues. I call it an awakening, but it’s really been many things …an education, an admission, an acceptance, a willingness, a leap of faith. I saw myself as having no racial prejudice, and I certainly had no evil intent. Yet, I had a willingness to believe that racial injustice was a thing of the past, and therefore I turned a blind eye to ongoing, systemic racism. The more I’ve learned, the more I’m troubled by what I never knew. 

February 25, 2018

Stan Barrett“…where angels fear to tread”: Shall We Risk More Talk about God? – Rev. Stan Barrett. Our congregational study last year revealed that some of us want to talk more about God, and others distinctly do not.

Searching for the Search Committee?

You may have noticed that the Search Committee is hard to find these days. The reason is we are involved in the exciting process of meeting our pre-candidates face to face and getting to know them better. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon we are interviewing, sharing meals, and showing them around the area. Best of all, on Sunday morning we have a chance to see them conduct a worship service and give a sermon. In early March we will sit down to make our final decision about which pre-candidate is the best choice for our Beloved Community. 

Bettina Turner's Journey of Faith

Given by Bettina Turner on January 21, 2018Bettina Turner

This is my second journey of faith.

Yes, you heard that correctly. About ten years ago, before we had regular “Journeys of Faith,” I was asked to speak on a Sunday morning about my background and why I come to this church. My talk then was titled “A Sense Of Belonging” and I spoke about being German, an immigrant, and an atheist.

Waking Up White is the FRS Common Read

They sold like hotcakes — all 40 copies of Waking Up White, the FRS’s 2018 Common Read book, were snapped up in eight days. But it’s not too late to join in our Common Read. If your local bookstores don’t have copies in stock, they often can often get you one in a couple of days. Or you can order online. Kindle versions ($8.69) save you money and are available immediately. Audible.com versions are also available immediately, and work well for people who spend lots of time in their cars.

Membership series—for old and new

Our spring membership series begins on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Only members of FRS (those who have signed a membership application) can vote when the congregation calls its next minister. Want to know what becoming a member of FRS is all about? Share your spiritual journey, meet some longtime members, learn about Unitarian Universalism and the history of the congregation. Sign up with Diane Young, Director of Community Engagement, diane.young@frsuu.org, X409. No commitment, just an opportunity for discernment.

Donate flowers or steeple lighting

The following dates are available for Steeple Lightings and providing flowers for Sunday service. To sign up for a date, email Nicole Salemi. Please include in your email: Steeple or Flowers, the date you've chosen, and the message to include in the Order of Service. Steeple Lighting is $75. Flowers either you provide or the church orders a standard arrangement ($35 plus tax) and florist bills you.

Steeple Lightings 2017-2018

July 8, 2018

July 29, 2018

Read your work at Jazz Vespers

Jazz Vespers invites you to consider being a reader at one of our Wednesday evening services. Readers choose their own selections which can range from humorous pieces to traditional literature to modern poetry or original works you have written. Vespers is held the first Wednesday evening of the month from October through June (save for a winter break in January) at 8pm in the Sanctuary. The service consists of Jazz and Pop music with three or four minutes of readings and a few minutes for silent reflection. Next Vespers is October 11, 2017.


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