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Continuously Updated News From First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, MA

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yom kippur

Sunday Worship Service

Annual Shinn Service:  Betsy Leondar-Wright
Guest Preaching

Sunday, October 26, at 10:00 am

► Following the service, join Betsy in the Sanctuary for a discussion on bridging the class divide.

We are very excited to welcome to the pulpit Betsy Leondar-Wright, a member of First Parish, a co-founder of the UU Class Conversations project, and program director at Class Action. Betsy will address the questions: What would a class-inclusive congregation look like? How is work for social change different when it bridges class and race divides and draws on the gifts of all class cultures? She will offer a vision, based on UU principles, of reducing classism at First Parish, among UUs, in social justice efforts and in the world. Betsy is author of the new book, "Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups By Seeing Class Cultures."

Betsy Leondar-Wright, PhD, grew up in an upper-middle-class…

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ellen and her service dog, ricky

Dance for Dogs Music & Dance Party!

Friday, October 24, 7:30 to 10:30 pm in the Sanctuary

Join us in the Sanctuary for a benefit to support Ellen Leigh’s adoption of her service dog, Ricky, via NEADS (Dogs for Deaf & Disabled Americans). Wonderful musical performances featuring The UUlations, The Shenanigans,…

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hands grasping prison bars10th Anniversary Celebration for EPOCA (Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement)

Saturday, October 25 ♦ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Mass Incarceration Working Group is hosting a 10th anniversary celebration for EPOCA, which is one of the core organizations spear-heading the movement to end mass…
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pumpkinGet Ready for Harvest Moon Fair!

The Harvest Moon Fair is happening this year on Saturday, November 22. Volunteer sign-ups are happening every Sunday during coffee hour. Don't miss this exciting annual event! Visit our table this Sunday.

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model displaying items

Tuck Box Seeking Your New Items for Harvest Moon Fair

Have you tucked a gift away -- box and all? Well, the Tuck Table would love to sell that item at this year’s Harvest Moon Fair (Saturday, November 22). The Tuck Table only sells brand new items. Time to un-tuck those items from the attic -- you do not have to have…

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yellow stickey meeting notes

Notes from September 27 Community Conversation on Values, Goals, and Aspirations

47 people participated in a community conversation on Saturday, September 27, and two people have sent written responses to the questions that were distributed beforehand and printed in the Spire. Thank you to all!  

Follow this link if…

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Join the Climate Change/Climate Action Vigil After Coffee Hour!

Sundays, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Join our witness to educate, raise awareness, and stand up for action on climate change! Come join Green Sanctuary for the second weekly Climate Action Vigil! Bring your friends, your kids, your signs! Build momentum from the…

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aging well logo

STAR Program: Aging Well Within Our Community

Aging Well in Our Community is an open women's group for women over 50 that meets monthly on Thursday mornings from 10:00 am - noon. Upcoming dates are:
October 23 at Pat Magee's home (contact Kit for address and directions)
November 20, location TBA
December 18, location…

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food pantry benefit show poster

Arlington Food Pantry Benefit Show!

Sunday, October 263:00 pm at the Regent Theater in Arlington

Please plan on attending a benefit for the Arlington Food Pantry featuring local favorite band The Wait and comedian Mike Prior. This event is organized by a team of representatives from several Arlington churches,…

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covenant groupsDemonstration Covenant Group with Rev. Marta Flanagan

Sunday, November 2 ♦ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Covenant groups are small groups of people at First Parish who meet once a month to get to know one another in a deeper way. If coffee hour isn’t enough -- or if it’s too much; if you’re looking for deeper connections with…

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book of ages

Women's Book Group 

Thursday, November 6 ♦ 7:15 offsite

"Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin" by Jill Lepore.

Email Jean Nagle at jsn0708 @ if you need the offsite address.

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kerri hawkins

Alliance Program -- "You Can Live Your Potential: Five Dimensions of Wellness"

Friday, November 7 ♦ Potluck at 6:30 pm in the Vestry, program at 7:30 pm

Our speaker, Kerri Hawkins, will touch on many aspects of wellness including diet, exercise, and sleep – her topics will be appropriate for people across the…

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UUlations CD Release Concert

Friday, November 147:30 pm at First Parish

Come celebrate the release of "When Music Sounds," the UUlations first CD, on Friday, November 14, 7:30 pm at First Parish! No admission is required, but a freewill offering is requested at the door. CDs will be for sale at the concert. All…

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first parish bell

The Bell has Moved!

It is a delight to see bell ringers ring our historic bell, which is now at the front of the sanctuary. In the old location, the bell restricted access to the Pleasant Street door. Because this door is now our only approved wheelchair accessible door, the access to the Pleasant Street door needs to…

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back hoe

Expect the Unexpected -- Building Update for the New Church Year

Check out the Building Design Blog

First Parish is under construction! This summer Delphi Construction (our builder) completed the demolition and abatement work, excavated for the elevator on the RE wing and is now installing the forms for the elevator…

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arlington community education

First Parish Members Leading Classes this Fall

Several members of First Parish are instructing classes this fall at Arlington Community Education. The "cataglog page(s)" following each class refer to the Arlington Community Education online catalog.

Conversations with David Whitford
David will be hosting a series…

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construction scene

See Recent Pix of the Building Transformation in Progress

Check out Mark Wilke's pictures of the ongoing renovation at the First Parish Building Design Blog.

Also, please note that First Parish's office entrance has moved to the Pleasant Street door. The only other working door is the Mass Ave. entrance. If you need…

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cartoon of scissors and thread

Stitch and Sew Workshops

Thursdays, 10:30 am, meet offsite

Note: Over the summer, we will be meeting at various offsite locations. Please contact Jean Nagle at 781-646-5352 or jsnagle @ for the location each week.

Calling all sewers, knitters and crafters: please join a group that prepares for the…

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connection card

Get Connected/Stay Connected with First Parish

We invite newcomers to First Parish to fill out a Connection Card to receive our weekly email bulletin, give us your contact information, and (if you wish) indicate your interest in various aspects of life in our community. You can find the Connection Cards every Sunday…

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cartoon of man with bullhorn

How to Request a Spoken Announcement or Submit a News Item

Send requests for Sunday morning spoken announcements to announce @ Requests will be forwarded to the Worship Associates every Friday. Please note that Spoken Announcements must be relevant to the whole congregation, and will likely be…

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painting of woman knitting

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Do you like to knit or crochet?  Would you like to provide support to members of the congregation? Our supply of prayer shawls is running low and we could use your help. Participants in the First Parish Prayer Shawl Ministry knit or crochet prayer shawls for Marta or the Lay Ministers to give to…

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video header

Enjoy this video about First Parish and our efforts to live up to our mission with our Meetinghouse Campaign. Many thanks to Joel Olicker of Powderhouse for creating this!




people holding puzzle pieces

Community Conversation: Going Deeper

Saturday, November 1 ♦ 10:00 am to noon in the Sanctuary for adults, Vestry for children's music-making

This gathering will go deeper into a few of the most important questions raised during the community…

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brendon shapiro

Welcome Brendon Shapiro, First Parish's New Organist/Pianist!

We are thrilled to announce that Brendon Shapiro has joined First Parish as our new organist/pianist. Brendon is a collaborative pianist, vocal coach, musical director, and conductor…

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uu chaliceNew UU Class

Saturdays November 8 and 15 ♦ 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Are you new to First Parish and the UU faith? Are you contemplating joining First Parish? Are you seeking ways to get more involved? Please consider participating in the New UU Class…

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office door

Bring Many Names!

What do we call the second floor, left side, rear meeting room in our newly renovated meetinghouse when our meeting is scheduled there? How will we find it? How about Malala's room? We hope that's got your attention, though if…

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colorful houses

Introducing Neighborhood Groups!

Meet your Neighborhood Group on Sunday, November 23! We have created a map of the congregation by household location, and made groups of 12-24 households nearby one another. Each group will have a listing of…

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clipboard with "building briefing"

Brief Briefing with Harvest Moon Fair Committee

Sunday, October 19 ♦ 11:30 am in the Choir Room

Sunday's Brief Briefing will feature the Harvest Moon Fair Commitee. We will meet in the Choir Room after the service. Contact

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hands clasping over heart

Join Wider Network of Care Today!

The Wider Network of Care (WNC) is a database managed by Lay Ministry to coordinate support offered by the First Parish congregation to individuals or families at a time of critical need. Services include…

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One Very Simple Volunteer Job

Be a greeter one Sunday morning. Its easy -- just stand at the door to the Sanctuary and welcome people to First Parish, hand out orders of service, and help answer any questions. It's a one-shot job that is fun…

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small image of evacuation route

Emergency Evacuation Plans for Construction Period

Please read the emergency evacuation plans for the construction period posted at each of the three doors. In case of emergency, exit the building in an orderly fashion and proceed to the…

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fpconnectionboardFPConnectionBoard: First Parish’s Email Bulletin Board

FPConnectionBoard is First Parish's email list that gives parishioners a new opportunity to connect with one another: meet new friends with similar interests, ask for help with small needs,…
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hand crafted

Artisan Table

We are looking for hand-crafted items and other works of art to sell at the Artisan Table for the 2014 Harvest Moon Fair. We will take up to 4 items per artist, and price the work no more than $30 per piece. At this time we are…

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firstparish exterior

Ask the Building Design Committee!

If you have questions for the Building Design Committee, please visit the Building Design Committee table in the Vestry during coffee. You may also email the Committee at building buildingcom @…

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re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements


Please mark your calendar for the following upcoming meetings:

Children's Choir Parent Meeting -- Sunday, October 19, 11:45 am at the Senior Center (Mural Room, 1st floor). Meet Music Director Jonathan Brennard and learn more about how your child can participate in our music program!

Youth Group Parent Meeting -- Sunday, October 19, 11:45 am at the Senior Center (Big Room, 2nd floor). Meet Sarah Napoline and our Youth  Leaders, learn more…

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youth group members

Youth Group Announcements

The annual Youth Group Parent Orientation will be THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, right after church at 11:45 am at the Senior Center (27 Maple St, Arlington; just around the corner from the church). We will be reviewing the year to come, introducing our amazing leadership team, reminding everyone about this year's Service Trip, and reviewing the policies, purpose and goals of Youth Group.

Fall Retreat -- MONSTER BASH! October 25-26. Ghoulish games! Wicked workshops!…

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

cathy okhuysenPeaceful Heart Chants
with Cathy Okhuysen

Saturday, November 810:00 am - 11:30 am in the Sanctuarysuggested donation: $5.00

Centering chant is found in many traditions and has both physical and spiritual benefits. Chants, mantras and affirmations focus your mind and heart and may help…

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sun streaming through woods

The Democratic Process as a Spiritual Practice

Next Up:October 28: “Fallenness and Forbearance in the Lincoln Second Inaugural Address” with Prof. John Burt, Brandeis Community Room, Arlington Public Library, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Of the spiritual values in our UU principles, one that stands…

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Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina

Tuesdays ♦ 7:00 am - 8:00 am in Tobey Lounge
and Thursdays ♦ 8:00 am - 9:00 am in Tobey Lounge

Lectio Divina is a method of reading and listening, lingering with, and sharing personal responses to selected biblical or other texts. Diverse responses to the text provide new…

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social justice section header

prisoner reading book

Giving First Recipient for October: Prison Book Program

Books are crucial to the political, spiritual, and educational development of all people. Most prisons do not allow family and friends to send books into prisons; they must come from a bookstore or publisher. The Prison Book Program’s…

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"living our faith"

Living Our Faith: Organizations Supported by First Parish Members

In January 2013, the Social Justice Committee held a service entitled "Living Our Faith." A list of organizations that congregants meaningfully support was started that morning as people who attended the service were invited to…
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ryp afterschool students

UU Urban Ministry Volunteer Positions

The UU Urban Ministry is looking to fill a number of volunteer positions. Could one be a match for you?

Tutor English as a Learning Language (ELL)
When: Monday or Wednesday mornings (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) at the UU Urban Ministry.
What: Join our team of…

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Arlington Food Pantry

Collection baskets are located at the front and office doors.

Monetary donations can be sent to:

The Arlington Food Pantry
Health and Human Services
27 Maple Street
Arlington, MA 02476

The Food Pantry can always use juice, jelly, cereal, things from baked goods aisle…

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hand ringing a chime bowl

The First Parish Meditation Group Welcomes You

Please join us! We hold a drop-in meditation at the church on Mondays (gather at 6:00 pm and start at 6:15 pm in the Sanctuary). We also have a new location for our Sunday morning drop-in (gather at 9:00 am, start at 9:10 am at the West Medford…

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Compassionate Communication

Check back soon for new meeting location and time

Please note: Currently, there is only one Compassionate Communication group at First Parish.

This group, nicknamed the "Giraffes," consists of some experienced participants and some people who are new (or feel they…

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First Parish Music Programs

Click here for information on First Parish music programs for youth and adults.

Concerts by First Parish Musicians

The Musical Connections page on the First Parish website provides information on concerts and events with First Parish musicians participating. Click

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Diversity/Inclusion Group

All interested First Parish folks are invited to meetings of the Diversity/Inclusion Group (D/IG). Our mission: to work together to make First Parish as welcome and inclusive as we can be and to assist outside efforts with a similar goal. We define diversity to include…
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Green Sanctuary Practices

The Green Sanctuary Group recognizes that we all have a responsibility to be mindful of the environmental consequences of our choices for the sake of the human community now on earth, future generations, and endangered species.

All are welcome to join us in working for a…

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