People have gathered in a church in this place each Sunday for almost 300 years!! The town of Arlington has had several names, and our church has had several names. We did not start out as a Unitarian Universalist church. Part of our history is how we became one.
The First Parish of West Cambridge was first gathered in 1678 with the founding of the town that, after the Civil War, was renamed Arlington (like Arlington National Cemetery).
In 1829 the members of First Parish found themselves in sympathy with the liberal religious views of their time and formally chose to ally with the American Unitarian Association. In 1961 the American Unitarian Association merged with the Universalist Church of America, becoming the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA). In 1962 the members of the Universalist Church in Arlington merged with First Parish to become First Parish Unitarian Universalist.
Longtime member Diane Taraz Shriver explored the fascinating story of First Parish in services in 2016 and 2017. Her reflections from those services are below — enjoy!
► “On This Corner”
► “Opening the Doors”
► Introduction to “Amazing Grace”