Black Lives Matter

The Church is open - the building is closed

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we have suspended our in-person Sunday services, and the church building is currently closed for all use, including church committee meetings, community organization meetings, rentals, and all other gatherings.  During this challenging time, our church community continues to connect online through virtual worship services, religious education, and other physically distant community support.

Our Congregation

The First Parish of Watertown, established in 1630, is one of the oldest parishes in America.

First Parish offers a variety of programs to respond to individual spiritual needs.

Our church building is an accessible facility (via the parking lot – Summer Street entrance).

Orientation classes for newcomers are offered in the Fall and Winter.

Information about all of our Programs is available in our Newsletter, the Arbella.

Our Faith

Our congregation belongs to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the UUA New England Region. Unitarian Universalism has no creed. It affirms the worth of human beings and advocates freedom of belief and the search for advancing truth.


Adult classes and support groups are offered on a regular basis.  Our Social Action Committee sponsors a monthly Giving Box where parishioners have the opportunity to contribute to a variety of local social service organizations. Our Adult Choir, Youth Choir, and Children’s Choir provide further opportunities for participation.

Welcoming Congregation

The First Parish of Watertown is a Welcoming Congregation.  We welcome and celebrate the presence and participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people in every aspect of congregational activity.

Sunday Worship Services

Online Sunday Worship Service

Worship services are held every Sunday morning at 10:30 am. In March 2020 we began meeting online using the Zoom platform. We anticipate continuing online worship through the September 2020 to June 2021 church year.

We gather together for online worship synchronously, using both live and recorded elements in the service. Our online services last about 40 minutes and are designed to welcome children’s attendance and participation.

Though our virtual worship services are new and evolving, they contain familiar elements from our usual worship: we light our chalices together, have music from the choir and members of the congregation, hear stories for all ages, and listen to sermons by our minister and lay speakers.

Services are followed by social hour in breakout rooms, where you can bring your own coffee and enjoy conversation and community.

Upcoming Service  

On Sunday, October 25, 2020, our service will be led by the facilitator of the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop, a UUA program designed to promote inclusive thinking and help prevent unfair discrimination in the search process for a new minister.

All are welcome! If you would like the Zoom link for the service, please contact


Sermons by our minister and homilies by lay speakers call us to reflect on our lives and spirituality, learn from the sources of our faith, and deepen our commitment to social justice.

Religious Education

Registration 2020-21

Registration for the 2020-2021 Church Year is now open!  Click the button below to fill out this year’s registration form.

A Typical Sunday

Classes for all ages center around a story and include questions to help children and youth explore their own ideas and the ideas of their family, culture, and faith more thoroughly. This year many of our classes center around a maker activity based on the Theme of the Month. Classes end at 11:55 with clean-up and a closing ritual.


Children & Youth Programs 2019-2020

 In the 2019-2020 church year we will be talking about Justice.  Each of our classes from preschool-12th grade will have a justice theme, with age-appropriate stories and lessons built around UU values, our Principles, and Sources.

Music at First Parish

Music at First Parish engages our community and adds a spark to every listener and participant! As part of weekly church services, we share in singing hymns. Services are enhanced by either piano or guest musicians who express a wide variety of styles that include Classical, folk, jazz, ethnic and world music, as well as popular music and music composed by contemporary artists.  Those artists are often part of our congregation or friends from the musical community in the Boston area.

First Parish has an adult choir that rehearses weekly and sings at a church service once per month. We have a full rock and roll band that plays at some services, too!

There are times that our music director hosts a family choir event, usually on multi-generational services, in which people learn the music prior to the service and then share the songs at that service.  We have a wide variety of talent in our congregation and have had some wonderful youth and children singing at church services.


Charlyn Bethell, Music Director

Guy Urban, Accompanist


Check out our church calendar of upcoming services, committee meetings, and events.

Weekly Newsletter

Stay informed about upcoming worship and events by subscribing to the Arbella, our weekly email newsletter.


Members and friends can log in to our Breeze directory to find contact information, view their pledge, and manage volunteer roles.

FPW Blog

Read articles including news, updates, and reflections from our minister, staff, committees, and members.

rainbow flaming chalice logo

From the First Parish Blog


  • Beyond Categorical Thinking

    Will the new minister hear me? Will my concerns and needs be met? Will the minister understand what I’m living with? How will the community respond to our minister? In answering these questions, a picture of the “ideal minister” (categorized by age, gender identity, nationality, physical or cognitive ability, race, sexual orientation, etc.) comes to […]

Read a Recent Sermon

  • For the thirty years after my father passed, I had talked to myself and others about wanting to work as a hospice volunteer in some capacity. When my mother passed a few years ago, the urge to work with hospice patients was reawakened once again. I knew I had some skills I could lend to an organization by offering administrative support, but I really wanted to do something that would Full Sermon

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