First Parish Church has evolved from a merger of the Unitarian and Congregational churches 40 years ago. Today, our congregation gathers from Congregational and Unitarian backgrounds as well as a wide variety of other religious heritages. Many people, reared in different faiths, join together in worship at our church.
We embrace the diversity of our congregation as a stimulating source of spiritual richness to be mutually respected and shared. We have found that honest communication is a powerful tool in understanding one another, transcending perceived differences, and growing together as a community.
The First Parish Church United is an energetic church involved in a variety of outreach, fundraising and fellowship activities.We are centrally located on the Westford town common next to the library and our church is actively involved in the community life of the town including the Strawberry Festival, Apple Blossom Parade, Framer’s Market and much more.
First Parish Church United Mission Statement
Our mission as a caring faith community is to:
- Foster spiritual growth by celebrating within the Judeo – Christian heritage, exploring world religions, and raising social consciousness
- Strengthen our church community through understanding, caring and welcoming and respecting diversity
- Support our world community through education, outreach, and social action
First Parish is a United Church, meaning that we have affiliation to more than one denomination. Our affiliation is with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.
United Church of Christ:
The UCC is a liberal Christian denomination which in 1957 united together the Christian-Congregational tradition and the Evangelical-Reformed tradition. While honoring the autonomy of the local congregation, churches are bound together in Associations, Conferences, and a national General Synod. The beliefs of the UCC reflect those held by the wider ecumenical Church. Individuals are encouraged to work through their own beliefs guided by the UCC Statement of Faith. The UCC is committed to outreach, racial and social justice, and radical hospitality. Find out more about The United Church of Christ.
Unitarian Universalist Association:
The UUA is a post-Christian association of congregations, it is a non-creedal faith organized around principles of behavior not theological belief. It is a living tradition which holds that revelation is not sealed, but is constantly revealed and thus finds inspiration in sources sacred and secular. Authority is held by members of the local congregation not the church’s pastor or national staff. The UUA values outreach and justice work and seeks to be inclusive. Find out more about The Unitarian Universalist Association.
United: The two traditions which make up First Parish united to best use financial and human resources, but over time the many riches of the combination have become evident. There are many different religious beliefs represented here, not just two, some of us are Christian, some of us are not. We gather together because we value diversity, want to listen to each other and do not believe that there is a single “truth.” In worship we use the Bible and we will also draw from other sources as well. We present a variety of perspectives on Jesus, God, the Bible, etc. We find the common ground of our member denominations in upholding the individual’s ability and right to determine belief, valuing outreach, justice work and resting authority in the congregation rather than the minister or an external body.
As a congregation, we declare ourselves to be Open, Affirming and Welcoming (ONAW). As such, we celebrate the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other. We strive to be a congregation that includes everyone, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender and its expression, religious background, marital status, family structure, age, mental and physical health and ability, racial and cultural identity or background, and educational and socioeconomic status. We welcome all to share in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, responsibilities, blessings and joys of our congregation’s life.
We seek to make this a community in which all people can participate! An elevator in the Fellowship Hall Building provides access to the historic Meetinghouse. Please participate in whatever ways make you most comfortable, and let us know what we can do to facilitate your presence here. We offer hybrid worship via YouTube please contact us for more information!