of Scituate, Massachusetts
First Parish
Unitarian Universalist Church
How We Govern

What it Means to "Covenant"

Unitarian Universalists develop congregational covenants as a tool for setting guidelines, clarifying expectations, and building trust. To "covenant" means to come together— it is a promise between equals to partner with each other for the common good. They are created by people to set a course of action for their committees, by the youth groups to create a safe environment for themselves, and whenever any group needs to focus their needs.

This is the covenant that members of First Parish Church recite, instead of a creed or doctrine:

Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace, to cherish the living earth,
To seek truth in love, and to help one another.

Parish Committee Guidance

Unitarian Universalist congregations are self-governing. Members of the parish, by discussion and vote at the regular annual meeting and special meetings when needed, set policy, approve budgets, decide by vote upon the need to call a minister, and elect the Parish Committee which, in close cooperation with the staff, handles the ongoing functions needed to maintain operations. There are also four officers of the church.

The Parish Committee is the governing body of the church. It sets policy and recommends an operating budget to the Annual Meeting of the parish, and is led by two co-chairs. All meetings of the Parish Committee are open to members of the Parish.

All committee chairs have a liaison who is a member of the Parish Committee and reports on their behalf.
  • The Administration and Leadership Liaison works with the Buildings and Grounds Committee and its subcommittees; the Finance and Development Committee and its Endowment Fund and Planned Giving Committee; and the Nominating and By-Laws Review Committee.
  • The Membership and Outreach Liaison works with the Public Relations Committee; the Membership Committee; the Hospitality Committee and its subcommittees; the Social Justice and Denominational Affairs Committee; and the Social Programs Committee.
  • The Parish Life Liaison works with the Religious Education Committee; the Religious Services Committee; and the Committee on Ministry.
To view the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Scituate's governing by-laws, please click here.

The Role of the UUA

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) helps congregations grow and thrive.

The UUA website is an excellent place to learn about how the UUA helps member churches give voice to their values.

What it Means to Be a "Safe" and "Welcoming" Congregation

We are guided by the UUA in our policies and proactive training so we can build a safer and more welcoming faith community in regards to: responsible staffing; a sexually healthy environment; compassion towards those affected by addiction and mental illness; trauma response; and other issues of ethics and safety.