Who We Are

First Parish in Needham is a liberal religious community that is open to all. We gather on the basis of shared hopes rather than a creed which all must profess. As Unitarian Universalists, we recognize and celebrate that different beliefs and religious traditions are inspired by common hopes, share many common values and goals, and can, separately and together, guide our way to the common good. The spirit of our living tradition is embodied in the seven principles and six sources of Unitarian Universalism. Our covenant reminds us why we come together and of some of the most important values that we share:

We gather as a loving community,
     to encourage and comfort one another.  
We gather as a diverse community,
     to support each other in our search
     for spiritual truth.
We gather as a service community,
     to live our beliefs through action and
     care for our world.

We are a Welcoming Congregation, celebrating the presence, worth, and dignity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons among us, as well as people of all races and socioeconomic classes. We have pledged, as a congregation, to foster an environment of understanding and respect not only within our own parish, but in the community as a whole. We are also a Green Sanctuary, committed to living mindfully on this Earth.  You will find these and other principles reflected throughout First Parish, from early Religious Exploration classes where the children will tell you that “we are the Church of the helping hands, loving heart, and open minds,” to our Youth Group’s service trips, to the life experiences of congregational elders who participated in some of the seminal social actions of the civil rights movement. Worship is supplemented by the dynamic Needham Lyceum series of talks, various continuing education programs, social gatherings, and more.

The Reverend Catie Scudera was called to the First Parish pulpit in 2014.  Rev. Catie replaces John Buehrens, who served as our minister from 2002-2012. 

Whether you are contemplating your first visit to Sunday services, looking for ways to get more involved, or ready to become a member, we hope you will find what you need here, be it a spiritual home, a place for your children to grow through religious exploration, a social hub, a place from which to work for social justice, or simply a place to rest and gather strength for the next step on your journey.