First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church • 330 First Parish Rd, Scituate MA 02066

Transformative Service

"We aspire to be a beacon of liberal faith, strong community, and transformative service, rooted in love."

As a beacon of transformative service, we commit to pursue diversity, justice, equality,
reason, and discourse; provide inspiration through music, creativity, and the arts;
and work cooperatively to affect positive change in our community and beyond.
"Justice is what love looks like in public" — Dr. Cornel West    
Transformative service at First Parish takes the form of social justice education, advocacy, and activism. We embrace Unitarian Universalism's long tradition of putting faith into action, on such issues as racial justice, addiction, immigrant justice, affordable housing, decarceration, end-of-life care options, and climate justice.

Recent Action:

We share visible messages of justice, love, respect, inclusion, and celebration with the full understanding that hanging signs and banners is not enough.  Helping to create lasting change demands education, reflection, and action.  Our spiritual tradition is steeped in our taking action toward change.
  • In Feb 2022, the Social Justice team held a public book discussion event on An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, by Rozanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Now part of the HBO docuseries Exterminate All the Brutes (written and directed by Raoul Peck), this work is the 2015 Recipient of the American Book Award, and the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Scituate Social Studies teacher and First Parish member Richard Kermond lead our discussion.
From the publisher: With growing support for movements such as the campaign to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the Dakota Access Pipeline protest led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States is an essential resource providing historical threads that are crucial for understanding the present. In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.”
  • Following the murder of George Floyd, First Parish led a community vigil in his memory at the church in June 2020, and hosted a public “Solidarity Series", a series of vigils for racial justice with readings designed to give voice to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) across generations.  Attendees were given time to listen and reflect and were encouraged to follow up with inspired action. 
  • Through the summer of 2020 and beyond, members and friends have participated in a weekly “Love Shows Up for Justice Stand-Out” in front of the church.  We have stood out in support of Black lives, the LGBTQIA+ community, immigrants and visitors to this country, and other marginalized communities.
  • In celebration of Pride Month 2021, we wrapped the front of the church with our handcrafted 65" rainbow banner as a visible sign of that celebration. Our Progress Pride flag always flies!
  • First Parish's "LOVE SHOWS UP" signs and t-shirts were sold from Scituate to Washington State, expressing our commitment to seeking justice guided by and rooted in love. Proceeds benefited the UU Urban Ministry and our church. The UUUM is a social justice organization based at First Church in Roxbury.  Their work focuses on three areas:  Safer shelter and workforce development programming for survivors of domestic violence, academic enrichment for Boston-area youth of color, and arts and humanities programming grounded in a social justice message that amplifies artists and historians of color in the neighborhood of Roxbury.

  • Church members are actively involved in leadership roles and as members of Scituate Together for Representation, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (STRIDE) which works in Scituate to affirm the value of representation, inclusion, diversity, and equity for the well-being and success of the community.
  • Church members are active in the Scituate FACTS Coalition (Families, Adolescents and Communities Together against Substances) which engages the community to reduce teen drinking and underage substance use in Scituate.
  • Church members continue to be involved in local environmental initiatives:  fighting against the construction of the Fore River Compressor Station, serving on Scituate’s Community Choice Aggregation Committee, advocating for a change to Scituate’s bylaws regarding recyclables, and serving on the leadership teams of Sustainable Scituate and the Teak Sherman Community Garden.
  • Other town committees and local organizations that members help lead and otherwise support include Scituate Pride, Scituate’s Affordable Housing Trust, South Shore Peer Recovery, Scituate Community Christmas, Moms Demand Action, and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions.

First Parish members attend meetings of the newly formed Unitarian Universalist Massachusetts Action South Shore Regional Team. Their guidance has led us to create an Indigenous land acknowledgement, and plans are in the works for Get Out the Vote training on the 2022 statewide vote on the Fair Share Amendment in Massachusetts.

  • The church’s Men’s Ministry group meets regularly for breakfast followed by a project helping out a member of the community in need via the Scituate's social worker.
  • Members and friends of the church serve on the board of the Scituate Food Pantry and continue to support the Food Pantry by volunteering and with regular donations of food and financial support.
  • We continue our longstanding project of donating goods and volunteer hours to Haley House and Cradles to Crayons.

Our Ministries of Transformative Justice

  • The Social Justice Committee helps turn passions into purpose, bringing awareness to the congregation and the community at large. Taking action through education, service, and advocacy, we host speakers and forums, take part in vigils and marches, and donate our time, energy, and collections.

  • The Men's Ministry puts their faith in action locally, with trucks, rakes and paintbrushes, whether unloading supplies at the Food Pantry, cleaning up the beach, repairing someone's home, or assisting community organizations with special requests.

  • The Blue Boat Coffeehouse provides a fun, safe, and sober community music venue that highlights the incredible talent of local adults and youth. Launched in 2016, the event showcases the work of a local non-profit organization to which each show's proceeds are donated.

  • The youth programs actively support causes with acts of compassion, advocacy, and by fundraising.