Spiritual Growth and Fellowship
First Parish offers a wide range of opportunities to grow spiritually and build relationships with others within the congregation.
Sunday Morning Worship
Worship at First Parish is a time during the week when we all gather under one ‘tent.’ To worship is to give worth to something; we hold that our shared time together is worthy. We gather and practice being in covenanted religious community. Worship is about making a connection between the world outside and the spirit within. It is song and prayer, silence and recitation, giving and receiving. Worship is a time and place to set down our burdens, rejoice, reflect, and recharge before going out and living into our shared Unitarian Universalist faith.
Regular worship services are held each Sunday at 10:00 AM.
Evening, Seasonal, and Special Worship
Monthly evening worship offers an alternative style of worship with opportunites to sit in a circle, share joys and sorrows, sing with the By Your Side Singers, or listen to poetry. Our seasonal or Holy Day worship includes Christmas Eve, Passover Seder, and Maundy Thursday. See the Meetinghouse News for details.
Sunday morning presentations in the Sanctuary seek to offer a wide variety of programs on social and other issues. For details on upcoming Forum topics and schedule please refer to the framed poster hanging the the hallway near the church office.
The labyrinth offers a unique outdoor space for walking reflection, meditation, and spiritual exploration for the entire congregation, from children through elders, as well as the general public. The small square slightly out from the center of the labyrinth is made from a few bricks from the original labyrinth: the past helping to frame the present.
Take time for a quiet visit to the Deborah Webster Greeley Herb Garden, located on the lower church grounds beyond the chapel. Meditate on the scent of a Biblical herb. Contemplate the taste of fresh basil. Offer a prayer of gratitude for the abundance of life in the garden. Pluck a bay leaf for your pot of soup. The herb garden is open year round, however, the winter months are a bit sparse.
Retreat to Ferry Beach, Saco, Maine
Relax, unwind, and connect during the annual spring weekend retreat to the Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center on the ocean in Saco, Maine. Join members and friends of the congregation for a weekend of shared food, rich conversation, and early morning walks on the beach. Gather on the porches in the evening, listen to stories, and bring your guitar and share those songs you love. Have fun. This is a great community building event for individuals and families. The weekend is shared with First Parish in Lexington. Scholarships may be available.
Contact: Darien Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
The First Parish Women’s Retreats provide a setting for women to gather and talk, listen, play (indoors and out), write, sing, enjoy great food, talk some more, and create and deepen friendships within the community. Women wishing to attend can choose one of two late-January weekends (2 nights) in a cozy old retreat house in Connecticut or a shorter “mini-retreat” at First Parish (date tba).
Contact:Bozena Smith email@example.com
Worship Sharing Circle
Every Sunday at about 11:10 a.m. (or ten minutes after the end of the worship service) everyone is invited to gather in Rev. Howard Dana’s study or on the Keresztúr Terrace, weather permitting, to take turns sharing what stood out for them about the service. This is a simple opportunity to share, listen, and get-to-know-others. We close the circle at 11:30 a.m. Feel free to grab a cup of coffee or tea from the kitchen first. First Parish volunteers will be present to help facilitate this event. Contact: Jim Snyder-Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Page at email@example.com
Covenant Groups provide an opportunity to gather in groups of eight to eleven where you can deepen connections in the congregation by exploring aspects of living that provide deeper meaning and purpose, as well as probe our spiritual diversity. The congregation currently has five long-term covenant groups. These groups invite new members to join when there are openings.
Circle suppers are opportunites for shared meals in the homes of members and friends of the congregation. These small gatherings offer a relaxed atmosphere for deeper connection and reflection. Longer-time members are often matched with newer members in order to facilitate new connections.
Contact: Caitlin Selle at firstname.lastname@example.org
Congregation-wide Social Events
Congregation-wide social events for individuals and families may include a home coming celebration in September, social hour after each worship service, potlucks, square dances, or summer picnics. Members and friends of First Parish are encouraged to plan and hold events for the congregation as desired.