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.

What to expect in our next minister

flicker: jcull, CC license 2.0by Lynn Kettleson

Chances are, the next settled minister who mounts the pulpit of the First Religious Society will not look much like those whose names adorn the plaques mounted on the side walls of the sanctuary. The new reality means that congregation members will not only need to be open-minded about what to expect, but they will also need to consider carefully who they might recommend as candidates for the Search Committee.

Your role in the interim period

The Ministerial Transition team will be conducting a series of  three workshops to help us, as a congregation, create a shared, compelling vision of our future emanating from our current Vision and Mission Statements. During the workshops, we will explore the questions: Who are we now? Who are we called to become? What resources are necessary to live that vision?

Workshop 2 - February and March 2017

Chuck Collins returning to Newburyport

Tuesday, March 7, 2017: Chuck Collins returning to Newburyport. Belleville Congregational Church, 300 High Street, Newburyport, 7pm. Social visionary and activist Chuck Collins talks about the themes of his latest book, Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bring Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good. Co-sponsored by the Belleville Congregational Church and FRS. Following his presentation and a question and answer period, there will be an informal reception. All are invited to this free event.

Film screening: "The Armor of Light"

Sunday, March 5, 2017: Film screening: “The Armor of Light.” Lower Meeting House, 12-3pm. “The Armor of Light” follows an Evangelical minister and the mother of a teenage shooting victim who ask: "Is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life?" The MA Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America together with the First Religious Society UU Justice Action Ministry invite you to explore the relationship between the Second Commandment and the Second Amendment. Film screening followed by discussion. Light lunch will be provided.

For Black History Month: "Traces of the Trade"

Friday, February 24, 2017: Celebrating Black History Month. Film Screening: “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.” Lower Meeting House, 7-9pm. In “Traces of the Trade,” producer/director Katrina Browne tells the story of her forefathers, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Given the myth that the South is solely responsible for slavery, viewers will be surprised to learn that Browne’s ancestors were Northerners living in Bristol, RI.

Worship Committee issues new policy on announcements

The Worship Committee has had a number of requests about what is expected of someone giving an Announcement. In response to those requests, in addition to our own awareness that Announcements have in the past been rather fluid and have varied considerably among individuals and committees, a Worship Committee sub-group met several times during Fall 2016 with Rev. Susan Milnor to discuss a Policy for Announcements given at the start of the service.


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