The E-Bulletin

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

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planet earth

Rev. Lead Seligman Guest Preaching

"What Grounds Us: A Meditation/Rumination on What Might be of Use in Troubling Times."

Leaf Seligman joyfully affirms her vocation of teaching ( forgiveness, reconciliation & restorative justice) with a dash of itinerant preaching and a dollop of nonprofit work with Monadnock Restorative Community (envisioning a community restored to wholeness where every member can flourish). Leaf loves preaching at…

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values in action

First Parish Signs Declaration of Conscience

The Parish Committee recently voted to sign, on behalf of First Parish Arlington, a Declaration of Conscience that was drafted by our Unitarian Universalist Association and UU Service Committee. Individuals are also invited to sign this Declaration of Conscience, which…

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uu chalice

New UU Class this Spring

Thursdays, March 16, 23 and 30 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Are you new to First Parish or the UU faith? Are you contemplating joining First Parish?  Are you seeking ways to get more involved? You are invited to the New UU Class being offered over three Thursdays: March 16, 23 and 30, from 6:30…
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The Politics of Justice: Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform in Massachusetts

Saturday, March 25 ♦ 12:45 pm - 5:00 pm in the sanctuary and five smaller rooms

Everyone agrees that the criminal justice system should be fair and effective, but how do we get there from here?

Come learn about key bills that were…

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First Parish Arlington Stands with Muslims, Refugees, Immigrants

Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We therefore stand against any effort to exclude, stigmatize, or ban any group of people.

Hundreds of people recently came to a candlelight vigil on our lawn to protest the…

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Come Learn About First Parish Finances

Sunday, February 26 ♦ 12:00 pm in Damon

Members of the congregation interested in getting more detail as to how the pie charts in the Stewardship Campaign brochure were put together are invited to a discussion with the Finance Committee for a deeper dive into First Parish…

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Come to a Conversation with Marta, Our Minister

Sunday, February 26 ♦ following the service in the Parlor

  • Are you new to our Church?
  • Do you have questions about our community at First Parish?
  • Do you have questions about Unitarian Universalism?
  • Are you looking for ways to get involved?

Join us for a…

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Patterns: Abstracts in Nature – Photography by Larry Osgood

Meet the Artist Reception ♦ Wednesday, March 1, from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm in the Parlor

Envision spring (and summer and fall) with the beautiful nature photography of First Parish member Larry Osgood at his solo photography show Patterns: Abstracts in Nature.…

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Women's Book Group 

Thursday, March 2, 7:15 pm in Pierce

"The Sympathizer"
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Email Jean Nagle at jsn0708 @ with questions.

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older mens group

Calling Older Men

Thursday, March 2 ♦ 12:00 pm in the Parlor

First Parish is organizing a monthly fellowship gathering for older First Parish men, aimed at reinforcing camaraderie and providing a forum for discussing topics of general interest. We meet on the first Thursday of each month. Our March 2 gathering will…

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Martha Collins

March Alliance Program -- "Poetry as Activism" with Martha Collins

with Cathie Desjardins as Interviewer

​Friday, March 3 ♦ Dessert at 7:00 pm, Program at 7:30​ pm

Martha Collins' poetry trilogy Admit One, Blue Front and White Papers chronicles an American history of endemic racism and what it means to live a life…

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becoming nicole

Becoming Nicole: A Series of Upcoming Events at First Parish

Arlington Reads Together has announced Nicole Maines, transgender activist and subject of this year’s community read Becoming Nicole, will be speaking at Town Hall at 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 4.

Following her presentation please join us for two special…

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Active Bystander Workshop & Interactive Performance with True Story Theater

Sunday March 5 ♦ 12:15 pm to 2:45 pm in the Sanctuary

What do you do when you witness someone mistreated (at work, school, on a bus)? Join us to:

  • Learn how the pivotal role of a bystander can shift a situation
  • Explore and share…
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Technology Sabbath with Rev. Marta Flanagan

Sabbath preparation in the Parlor: Thursday, March 9, 7:00pm

Sabbath starting: Friday, March 10, at sundown
Closing ceremony in the Parlor: Saturday, March 11, 5:00 pm
Click here to register online

In our busy world and lives, inner spaciousness can be hard to hold on…

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Think Summer!

No, it is not to soon to be thinking of summer...Summer Services at First Parish that is! Have you ever thought of leading a service here at First Parish? All summer services are lay led, giving members an opportunity to get…

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Sunday Morning Baking

Have you enjoyed the fresh baked goods coming out of the kitchen at coffee hour on many Sundays this year? Would you like to be on a team that bakes? Each baking team has a chief (who picks a recipe, shops and gives direction) and 4-6 helpers who bake and then serve their wares on trays after…

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Hundreds Protest Ban on Immigrants

First Parish co-sponsored a candlelight vigil with other advocacy groups from Belmont, Winchester and Lexington to stand in solidarity against the order banning refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Check our Wicked Local…
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community dinner

First Parish Community Dinner

Friday, March 10 ♦ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm in the Vestry

Please join us for this community supper! Following dinner, Game Night occurs at 7:30 pm -- come for both or either. These days it is good to just be together. Send an RSVP to juliusrpereli @ to let us know if you are coming…

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Dinner and Game Night at First Parish

Friday, March 10 ♦ 7:30 pm

We have another Game Night coming up on Friday, March 10, right after the Community Dinner. Join us to play games such as Boggle, SET, Splendor, Clue, Fluxx, as well as more advanced games such as Scrabble. No previous experience with these games is…

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Transylvanian Folk Dancing!

Saturday March 11 7:00- 9:00 pm in the Vestry

Come join the Partner Church Committee for a night of Transylvanian folk dancing! Denes Takacsy will teach us traditional Transylvanian dancing (including group dances). Potluck dessert. Suggested donation $10 per adult, $20 max per family,…

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book of joy

Book Discussion: "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World"

Sunday, March 12 ♦ 2:00 pm - 4:0 pm in the Parlor

In these change-filled, challenging days, the question "How do we not despair?" has been asked many times. Some of the greatest minds (and hearts) have discussed this topic in the book The…

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Community Sing

Save the Date: March 17 -- Our Final Community Sing of the Year

Friday, March 17 ♦ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Yes, it is St. Patrick's day and the date of our third and final "Third Friday" community sing this year. In the fall we featured "Cash and Dylan" and this past month we sang show tunes, with Brendon Shapiro giving…

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the spire

The February Issue of The Spire is Now Available!

The Spire newsletter is published on the first Sunday of each month. Hard copies of The Spire are available in church and you can click here for the PDF version.

To contribute to the Spire, please send articles to spire @ The deadline is the last…

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Join Us for Food and Fellowship at First Parish Potlucks!

March 26 11:45 am to 1:00 pm in the Parlor

We're organizing a series of Potlucks at First Parish to give people an opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed setting. Everyone is welcome. Please bring a dish to share (anything is fine -- it's truly…

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snoopy in the snow

Big Snow!

When snow comes, you may wonder if First Parish is open. In case of a storm on a Sunday, a notice is posted on the website at by 7:30 am if worship and/or religious education classes are cancelled. An all-First-Parish email is also sent out. The decision to close on a Sunday is made by…

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community circle

Black Lives Matter and our Restorative Justice Process

Last winter First Parish entered into a restorative justice process with a man who had vandalized our Black Lives Matter banner.  We are especially grateful for the Arlington Police and the Center for Restorative Justice for making this possible. In November…

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handbell choir

Join Our Handbell Choir!

Thursdays, 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Come ring chimes with us! Our bell choir rehearses in the Sanctuary on Thursdays at 7:00 pm for just under an hour before choir starts at 8:00 pm. You are welcome to join us! We have plenty of chimes (3 octaves) but we could use a few more people to ring…

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Participate in Music at First Parish

The Music Committee and Music Director welcomes anyone interested in participating in music this year. There are a multitude of opportunities including the Adult Choir, Children’s Choir, Bell Choir, as well as instrumental groups such as the C-Winds and other ad hoc groups. For…

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Sign Up to Bring Sunday Flowers!

Follow this link to use our online flowers signup form

The flowers that grace our Sanctuary on Sunday mornings are donated by parishioners, often with a special dedication that is printed in the order of service. The Flower Coordinator can assist in ordering an arrangement from…

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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…

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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…

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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!


now more than ever

Your Pledge Matters!

As we approach the close of the 2017-2018 Stewardship Campaign we want to remind you that every pledge is important. Over 75% of the funding for our budget comes from pledges.

Last year 250 households pledged. That may seem like a lot, but we have over 400 active households.

We want to do better: our goal is to increase the number of pledgers from 250 to 275.  As of Tuesday, February 21, 121 households have made a…

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re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

Dear Families,

Did you know that First Parish has the largest RE program in New England? We are blessed to be literally bursting at the seams, and we continue to welcome new families each week. To accommodate this growth and good fortune the RE Committee, comprised of 10 energetic and active members, has been evaluating how to allocate time and talent to best support our program. Together we've identified supporting our teachers, ensuring that lessons…

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yg img

Youth Group Announcements

Dear Youth Community, you all did such an incredible job leading worship this past Sunday! It was beautiful to take in your words, reflections, songs, poems, and plays—helping us all think about comfort, suffering, and human connection. Your amazing effort, dedication, and growth over the past month has been inspiring!

Over the next month, you can expect some exciting events: we will begin planning our Climate Justice and Sustainable Practices campaign—be sure…

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection


Being Curious: A Workshop on Staying Intrigued

A STAR Adult Education Program

Thursday, March 2 ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Bailey

Are you intrigued about the content of this workshop? Then you'll probably enjoy it! First Parish member and leadership coach Nikki Clapper presents an evening of…

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sacred dance

Sacred Circle Dance

3rd Mondays January - March ♦ 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm in Bailey

Simple steps are set to folk music, classical and contemporary music. All steps are taught – no experience or partner needed. Wear soft shoes or none. Come to connect with yourself, each other and have fun!


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aging well

Aging Well Within Our Community

Thursday, February 23 ♦ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in the Parlor 

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. If you would like more information or will be attending Aging Well…

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Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina

Tuesdays ♦ 7:00 am - 8:00 am in the Parlor
and Thursdays ♦ 8:00 am - 9:00 am in the Parlor

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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man reading under tree

Contemplating Poetry

Third Monday of Each Month
Monday, February 20  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm in Damon

"People turn to poems for some kind of illumination, for revelations that help them to survive, to survive in spirit not only in body."
~ Denise Levertov

This gathering uses a "listening to,…

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social justice section header

food pantry

Giving First Recipient for February: Arlington Food Pantry

This month’s Giving First recipient is the Arlington Food Pantry. Its mission is to eliminate food insecurity by providing nutritious and culturally appropriate food in a respectful and compassionate manner to any Arlington resident…

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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…

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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…

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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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cartoon of scissors and thread

Stitch and Sew

Thursdays 10:30 am in Pierce

Come help us get ready for fair with knitting, sewing, embroidery, new ideas... 

We create items for the Harvest Moon Fair Stich and Sew Table (the Fair is in November). Bring a lunch and we provide the coffee and tea. Drop-ins are welcome. We…

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men's group

First Parish Men's Group

Next up: Sunday, February 19 ♦ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The First Parish Men's group provides a forum in which we help each other with spiritual, emotional, and personal questions and concerns. Discussion themes often interweave questions of security, identity,…

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Jacob's Mother

First and Third Sundays ♦ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm at First Parish

Are you having more challenges with your child's behavior than most parents? Do you feel like your family and friends do not get what you go through? Join us for a change to get support from other parents and…

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

Sundays, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Please come join us for the weekly Climate Action Vigil on Sunday after coffee hour! And please stop by our table at coffee hour for information, sharing ideas, and discussion! If you'd like to…

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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…

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hand ringing a chime bowl

The First Parish Meditation Group Welcomes You

Please join us! We hold drop-in meditations on Mondays (gather at 6:00 pm and start at 6:15 pm at First Parish in the Damon Room) and on Sunday mornings (gather at 9:00 am, start at 9:10 am at the West Medford Community Center, 111…

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First Parish Music Programs

Click here for more 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…

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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…

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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…

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