Steeple Preservation Project


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.

FRS Spring Fundraiser: Dinner for Two - Anywhere in the World

The First Religious Society is running the wildly successful Dinner for 2, Anywhere in the World Raffle again this year. Third time is a charm! Last year’s winners, Freeman and Maureen Condon, went to New Orleans.

We printed 2500 tickets this year and the prize value is $5,000. Our goal is to raise $50,000. We need your help. Individual ticket sales and ticket packets for sellers will be available at the raffle table during Coffee Hour starting Sunday, March 26. The winning ticket will be pulled at FRS on Saturday, June 3, 3pm, during the “Thank You, Newburyport!” event.

Bylaw review – forum to be held

It’s Spring Cleaning Time and we need to get our house in order! The two-year period of transition while we prepare for a new settled ministry is a good time to reflect on many of our governing practices and procedures. The Governance Committee has been busy reviewing FRS’s bylaws and we’ve discovered a few changes that need to be made. They are being suggested by the Parish Board to bring us into alignment with best practices. The changes will be presented to the membership at the Annual Meeting on May 21, 2017.

FRS welcomes young author and family

When Danny Al Dehneh, now 11 years old, was growing up in Damascus he loved having his own bedroom, loved the care-free time spent there with his games, and loved the star stenciled on the ceiling. Then, when Danny was seven, the chaos of civil war disrupted his childhood. He and his family sought refuge in a “safe house.” The cost of safety was the loss of his own room with the star on the ceiling.

Understanding the Appalachian Rust Belt

Wednesday, April 5, 2017: Mocked and Forgotten: Understanding the Appalachian Rust Belt and the Politics of Despair in the 2016 Election. Lower Meeting House, 7pm. Growing up, Eileen Whyte Springer played on a hill overlooking a Bethlehem Steel furnace, where she caught ash on her tongue like snowflakes. That was when steel, coal, the unions, and the Democratic Party reigned supreme in Cambria County, PA. Nearly five decades later, thirty-foot trees poke through the roofs of mills that Donald Trump promises to bring back to life.

Membership series—for old and new

Three Tuesdays: March 28, April 4, and April 11, 2017, 7-8:30pm. Lower Meeting House (enter via door on parking lot side). Who is it for? For newcomers who want to know what membership entails, for new members who missed an introduction, for “old-timers” who’d like a refresher. We’ll talk about the principles of Unitarian Universalism, the history of FRS, church programs, and our own spiritual journeys. Sign up for the series with Diane Young, Director of Community Engagement, Ext. 409.

March 26, 2017

A Wind at the Back: Some Thoughts on Privilege - Rev. Stan Barrett, FRS Affiliate Minister. When life is challenging--and when is it not?--we don't usually spend much time feeling, or thinking about being, privileged. Yet we know that having (or not having) certain characteristics--like being white or male or "straight"--can make life easier (or harder) for us. And it's complicated, because we - and those around us - have different mixtures of privilege and its lack. Beyond that, how "should" we feel about privilege, to the extent that we have it?

The VUU - a social justice and video project for middle schoolers

Is there an issue you feel passionate about? Do you want to make the world a better place? Do you want to make your voice heard? Do you want to express yourself creatively and have fun? Are you in middle school? If yes, please plan to join us for three sessions of creative justice-making as we conceptualize and film a video on a topic of your choice. Dates are: March 26, April 2, and April 23; time is 12-2pm.


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