First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church • 330 First Parish Rd, Scituate MA 02066

Our Services

Our worship services are the soul of the church – a time in which we renew our sense of wonder; express our gratitude for life and its many blessings; and heighten our understanding of ourselves, our neighbors, and our world. There is a rich variety of format and content.
Above: Pam masters livestreaming!
Below: Coffee hour, back in the day...

What to Expect at a Sunday Service

Enter, Rejoice, and Come In! 
We hope that you will join us soon at a Sunday worship service. All are welcome.
You need not be a member, you need not recite a creed. Simply bring your whole self, as you are!

Indoor Services

Outdoor Services

Worship services have moved indoors to the sanctuary with the windows open, and the congregation is requested to be masked and vaccinated. We can spread out using additional seating set up in the parish hall. Coffee hour will be a social time but without refreshments; additional protections may be requested.
Services will be continue to be streamed. 

Our prior routine:
People start to gather before the 10:30 Sunday morning service, to prepare for choir, for teaching the kids, and to put on the coffee. Greeters will welcome you at the door, and will help newcomers get comfortable. The kids will ring the bell in the tower, and we are all seated with programs in hand at 10:30.

We begin with music and a prayerful call to worship; somebody lights the chalice and shares a reading of their own choosing, and we recite our covenant together. The minister will lead announcements. The choir performs a hymn or spiritual, and then we gather the children for a "Story For All Ages", which often prepares them for their class focus and the adults for the theme of the sermon—then off go the children and teachers to their classrooms (or, with Covid restrictions, to the outdoor classroom) for the remainder of the service. For special services, we might remain multigenerational.

The service continues, with additional readings from humanist and spiritual sources, a sermon from our minister Pam Barz, prayer and meditation, and of course, more music. We do a collection to support the works of the church, which includes pledges from members, and donations to the Scituate Food Pantry and other organizations.

Parents and children reunite around 11:30 for lively fellowship at Coffee Hour in our Old Sloop Room (under Covid restrictions, gathering is currently limited and distanced).
Since the pandemic began, we have been gathering outside by the back lawn while the weather permitted. Masks and distancing are recommended even outdoors.

The services retain the general format when held outdoors. Folding chairs and standing room are available either on the grass or on pavement. Speakers have a microphone so all can hear. The choir continues to rehearse and perform outdoors, with an electric piano. And the children make use of "outdoor classroom" space.

For our coffee-hour tradition, you are invited to stay after the service for a social time, and to bring your own beverage and snack if you wish.

UU Special Traditions

Traditions within UU churches are not always worked into the year's services. UU congregations work with the minister to shape worship services.  Recently at First Parish, we have enjoyed holding an Apple Communion to welcome autumn, and a Chocolate Communion celebrating love and community in February.  
Joys and Concerns: At intervals, the congregation is invited to share good news or concerns and sorrows, symbolized by the placing of a stone into water, the ripples indicating that what affects one person affects us all.

Water Communion: At the beginning of the church year in September, members bring to the service a small amount of water from a place that is special to them; individuals add their water to a communal bowl, explaining why this water is special to them. The combined water is symbolic—of our shared faith coming from many different sources, of the concept that many is one.

Religious Holidays: Unitarian Universalism celebrates theological diversity. We may choose to celebrate Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas, Jewish holidays like Channukah and Purim, and secular holidays like Martin Luther King Jr Day, recognising the wisdom inherent in all teachings.

Flower Communion: In the spring, members bring a flower or branch from home and place them in a communial vase, and at the close of the service, pick out a flower that is not their own, symbolizing that as no two flowers are alike, so no two people are alike, yet each has a contribution to the making of a beautiful and unique bouquet.