First Parish of Watertown is one of the oldest parishes in America. It was gathered in 1630 as a Puritan congregation, and continues to follow the independent and democratic Congregational system, where there is no hierarchy and each congregation calls its own minister, controls it own finances and property, and establishes its own criteria for membership. Today we are governed by a Parish Committee and the work of the church is carried out by a number of program committees.
Our congregation belongs to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). The First Parish of Watertown became Unitarian (believing in the oneness of God and the humanity of Jesus) in 1819, and then added the Universalist tradition of a loving God who condemns no one and saves all, when the two separate continental organizations merged in 1961. Unitarianism dates back many centuries in Europe. We espouse a liberal religion with Jewish and Christian roots. Unitarian Universalism has no creed. It affirms the worth of human beings, advocates freedom of belief and the search for advancing truth, and tries to provide a warm, supportive community for people who believe that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion.