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

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leaf seligman

Sunday Worship Service

Rev. Leaf Seligman guest preaching 10:00 am

Leaf Seligman is a writer, teacher, retreat leader and planetary citizen—happy to be back at First Parish this Sunday. Following the service, Leaf and Kendall Dudley will be co-leading a writing experience workshop called "Who am I Now That I am Not Who I Used to Be?," from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm in the Parlor.


bucket with cleaning supplies

Spring Cleaning at First Parish

Saturday April 269:00 am to 2:00 pm

The Property Committee needs help to spruce up the building for spring and keep things in good repair. You do not need to come for the entire time. Even an hour or two would be a great help. Some of the planned chores are cleaning up the grounds,…

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packing box

Seeking Volunteers for the First Parish Building Pack-Up Event!

Saturday, April 269:00 am to 2:00 pm

Please join us for any amount of time to help begin the pack up process of the church belongings in preparation for the remodel! We need many volunteers! Come and get your hands dirty, sift through stuff, and have…
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cartoon of man and woman with question marks over their faces

Film Showing: "Arranged"

A STAR Adult Education Program

Wednesday, April 30 ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Parlor

Please join us for a viewing and discussion of this award-winning film! Meet Rachel, an Orthodox Jew. Meet Nasira, a Syrian Muslim. They are both young teachers at a public school in Brooklyn, but have…

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red cross girls leaving landing craft

Hold the Date! Friday, May 2

"A Woman Behind the Lines: from the invasion of France to V-E Day" with Kay Snowden

Friday, May 2 ♦ 8:00 pm in the Vestry

In the spring of 1944, 27-year-old Libby Krider left her job and joined the American Red Cross. She spent the next year in France and Germany with US GIs, doling out…
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music poll results

First Parish's Music Poll Results Are In!

Follow this link to see the results of First Parish's Music Poll, which was conducted in March and April.
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auction logo with thanks

Thank You from the Auction Co-Chairs!

The good news is that over 90 people came to the auction. The proceeds of the live and silent auction was over $14,000.

We like to acknowledge and thank many people, starting with the members of the core team, who spent many hours on the phone, email, or in meetings:

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zoltan Gal and Family

An Easter Message from Zoltán Gál, Minister of our Partner Church in Transylvania

Read to the congregation
on Sunday, April 20

Dear friends!

On every Easter Unitarians in Transylvania celebrate not the resurrection of Jesus, but the eternal life that is beyond death. For us, the teachings of Jesus are a role model…

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"spoken memorials" engraved on stoneSpoken Memorials

Sunday, May 4 ♦ during service

Many of us at First Parish have experienced the loss of loved ones at some point in our lives. Some of us find comfort in periodically acknowledging these deaths aloud during church services. If you would like to have the death of a family member or especially dear friend…

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hand striking prayer chime

Mind, Body & Heart: A guided meditation followed by Q & A

Led by Ron Denhardt

Monday, May 5 ♦ 6:15 pm in Bailey (please arrive at 6:00 so we can start promptly at 6:15)

All are welcome! Free admission, donations accepted. Ron Denhardt has practiced Buddhist Insight Meditation and in the Zen tradition for 25 years.…

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abstract sun image with summer services text

Would You Like to Lead a Summer Service?

Each of our summer services this year, will be lead by an individual of our congregation. Do you have a personal practice, important influence, or spiritual question one want to share with us? Is there a different approach to worship that you could lead or a subject you feel we…

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Worship Associates Program Seeks Additional Members

Application deadline: Sunday, May 4

The Shared Ministry Committee is seeking a few members of the congregation to join the existing compliment of Worship Associates serving our community.

Those interested in becoming Worship Associates should have a deep interest…

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uu chalice surrounded by faith symbols

Have YOU Thought of Becoming a Lay Minister?

Application deadline: Sunday, May 4

While listening to spoken candles, do you experience a calling for a role of deeper service to the congregation? Perhaps you would like to consider becoming a Lay Minister.

Those interested in becoming Lay Ministers should demonstrate…

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UU Advocacy Day on Tuesday, May 13

Tuesday, May 13 ♦ 10:30 am - 3:00 pm

Put your faith into action by attending the 9th Annual UU Advocacy Day, sponsored by UU Mass Action, at the Arlington Street Church and the State House. The gathering will occur from 10:30 am - 3:00 pm,  with optional 9:30 am breakfast speaker…

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pride celebration in Boston

The First Parish Pride Committee Needs YOU!

Calling all interested volunteers to start planning our biggest, best, most fabulous Pride celebration ever this June 14! We’re making a new, waterproof banner! We’re planning a full day of events! We need YOUR ideas and energy to make it all happen! Opportunities to be a…
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church, change, process

Workshop on Church, Change and Process

Saturday, May 17 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Come join in an interactive workshop on how churches grow, change, and adapt. It will be lead by Karen Bellavance-Grace, Director of Faith Formation at the Mass Bay District, and sponsored by the Parish Committee.


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alternative worship

Alternative Worship Discussion

Tuesday, May 20 ♦ 7:00 pm in Damon

There are a thousand ways that people come together to celebrate their spirituality and ask big questions -- many very unfamiliar to most of us at First Parish. There are those (UUs!) who worship with a giant inflatable clown fish in their sanctuary;…

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"the emigrants" book cover

Women's Book Group 

Thursday, May 1 ♦ 7:15 pm in Pierce

The Emigrants
by W.G. Sebald


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jobs not jails button

Support the "Jobs Not Jails" Campaign

The End Mass Incarceration working group is staffing a table most Sundays in March and April, and we ask you to stop by to sign the "Jobs Not Jails" petition, if you haven't done so already. We are working with a statewide coalition to gather 50,000 signatures asking our state…

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children singing

Children's Music at First Parish -- Spring 2014

This spring we will have two children’s choirs working with our Interim Children's Choir Director, Parson Hicks:

  • a choir of children in kindergarten through fourth grade
  • a choir of children in fifth through eighth grade.

Our two children’s choirs will rehearse…

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cartoon of scissors and thread

Stitch and Sew Workshops

Thursdays, beginning March 27 ♦ 10:30 am in Pierce

Calling all sewers, knitters and crafters: please join a group that prepares for the Harvest Moon Fair Stich and Sew Table (the Fair is in November, not all that far off). The meetings start Thursday, March 27, in the Pierce room, from 10:30…

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clipart of bylaws book

Bylaws Work Group Web Page

The Bylaws Work Group has created a new web page to keep First Parish updated on its activities: The Bylaws Work Group reviews existing bylaws and develops proposals for new bylaws as needed. The group meets on the fourth Tuesday evening of each month…

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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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image of sun and storm

New Weather-Related Closing Policy

The Parish Committee approved the following policy at its February 11 meeting:

Sunday closure: The decision to cancel a service will be made by the Minister in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Parish Committee. Others who may be involved in the decision include the…

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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!




jobs not jails sign

Rally on Boston Common for Jobs Not Jails!

Saturday, April 26 ♦ noon on Boston Common ♦ First Parish members will be going together

Members of the Mass Incarceration Working Group will be leading a contingent of First Parish members to the rally for Jobs Not Jails on Saturday, April 26. The rally will be held on the Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand off Tremont Street starting at 1:00…
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budget in block lettes

Three Ways to Learn About Next Year's Proposed Budget

Thursday, May 8 ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Vestry

Want to learn more about the proposed budget that will be presented for your approval at the Annual Meeting? Come discuss it on Thursday, May 8, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Vestry, and we'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. There will also be a summary of its major points in the…

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Help Evaluate Our Ministry and Minister

Would you like to contribute to the annual evaluation process of First Parish’s ministry and minister? That is one of the primary jobs of the Committee on Ministry, and our ears are open. Please talk to us and be assured we observe complete confidentiality within our committee. We will have a table at coffee hour on April 27 and May 4 to listen to you,…

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clipboard with "building briefing"

Brief Briefing April 27 with the Shared Ministry Committee

Sunday, April 27 ♦ 11:30 am - noon in the Sanctuary

This Sunday's Brief Briefing is hosted by the Shared Ministry Committee, Lay Ministers, and Worship Associates. Please join us! Questions? sharedministry @

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annual report folder

It’s Time for Annual Reports!

Due Date: Monday, May 5

Annual Reports for First Parish officers, committees, teams, task forces, groups, and other entities are due Monday, May 5. Annual reports are not just a formality! They serve as a blueprint for First Parish that anyone can use to get a sense of what goes on at First Parish and how First Parish runs itself. They are a permanent record of…

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Thank You for the Easter Flowers!

Many, many thanks to all who signed up to donate flowering plants to bring spring into the Sanctuary for our Easter services. Thanks also to Peggy Gardiner and Tina Schulz for their assistance in carting and prepping the plants, as well as to the Worship Associates who did the final set-up of the plants in the Sanctuary. Flower Coordinator Holly Loring heard…
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youth group members

Job Opening: Youth Group Program Coordinator

First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, Mass., seeks a Youth Group Program Coordinator to support the mission of First Parish in the area of youth programming during the regular church year, September through June.

The Youth Group Program Coordinator will meet weekly with the youth (which is central to this position), collaborate with…

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get involved pin

The Clock is Ticking...NOW is the Time to Get Involved at First Parish

We are filling three seats on the Parish Committee and several seats on other standing committees. Are you a First Parish member with leadership experience? The Leadership Development Committee would love to talk with you. There are several ways to connect with us: look for our table at coffee hour on April 27; E-mail us at…

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Hot Off the Presses: "A Guide to Committees and Other Groups at First Parish"

The Leadership Development Committee has produced "A Guide to Committees and Other Groups at First Parish UU Arlington"! For the first time, every committee and group at our church is listed and summarized in one comprehensive document. Look for our table at coffee hour this Sunday to pick up a copy or view it…

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thermometer graphic

Stewardship Update!

We are down to the wire!

We need to build next year's budget. If you have not yet found a moment to pledge, please do so at First Parish this Sunday or pledge via our online form at and help us move forward! Questions? Contact Celia Wcislo and Eric Segal, Co-Chairs of the Tending the Light Within Stewardship Campaign:

stewardship @…

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Meetinghouse Pledges Needed!

With the congregation's endorsement of building plans, the Building Design Committee is moving ahead to start construction on the Meetinghouse improvements in June 2014. We are excited that the project can be completed in only six months. However, since we asked for pledges to be paid over three years and the project now will take less time than expected, there…

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magnifying glass

Do You Want to be on an Investigative Committee for Our Next Tenant?

Sunshine Nursery has decided not to return after our renovations are complete, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for other ways to further our mission while bringing in rental income. The Parish Committee is therefore creating an investigative committee whose charge will be to think outside the box, envision…
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pastel painting of treble clef

Music Job Openings!

First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, Mass., is hiring for two open positions in our music program. Please click the positions below for more information:

Music Director

Children's Choir Director

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clip art of raised hands

Meetinghouse Campaign Building Project Needs You

The Building Committee is actively seeking volunteers for First Parish's building project subcommittees. Please follow this link to download a PDF listing descriptions of the subcommittees if you are interested in participating or would like more information. Questions? buildingcom @

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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 @ and someone will get back to you by email or phone. You may contact Co Chairs Jeff Keffer and Carolyn Hodges directly or any member of the…

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colorful flowers

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. Looking ahead, there are still several Sunday's available on the flower sign-up calender for May - June 2014. Please consider signing up to make…

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re announcements


re img

Religious Education Announcements

SUMMER CAMPS:  Where are UU going to camp this summer? You can learn more about a variety of choices by visiting Thanks to the generosity of our Alliance, the RE Committee is able to help facilitate a few scholarships to those camps. Please email Tina Schultz at Tina @ to learn more.

YOUTH GROUP PROGRAMS COORDINATOR JOB POSTING: For more information about the opening for this 20-hour-per-week job positing, please…

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youth group members

Youth Group Announcements

Sunday, April 27, 6:45 pm - 8:45 pm: Youth Group - Comic Journalling Workshop
We will be joined by artist Marek Bennett ( who will lead us in a workshop about telling our stories through comics. No artistic talent necessary! To help cover the cost of this workshop, we ask all youth group members to bring $10 with them to youth group this Sunday.

Support the Youth Groups' NAMI Walk Team! 
The youth group has a team walking in the National…

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

help button

Addressing Substance Addiction

Wednesdays, May 14 & 217:00-8:30 pm in the Parlor

Please join this 2-part presentation offered by First Parish's Jeff Roberts on Substance Addiction. Learn important information about the neurobiology of addiction, treatment options (detox, rehab, outpatient,…

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Dirt book coverJoin the Green Sanctuary Reading Group!

Third Thursday of each month6:30 pm – 7:25 pm  Damon Room
Next up: Thursday, May 15

In this casual gathering, members of Green Sanctuary discuss books pertaining to climate change and environmental awareness. The current book is Dirt: The Erosion of…

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aging well logo

Aging Well Within Our Community

Tuesdays May 27 and June 2410:00 am - Noon in the Parlor ♦ Facilitator: Kit Hayes

This group for women over 50 began in the fall of 2012 and is continuing this year. Through group conversations, exercises and guest speakers, we explore both challenges and…
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pen and ink

Contemplating Poetry

First Monday of Each Month
Next up: May 5 ♦ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
in Damon

This gathering will use a "reading, responding to, and resting with" practice of experiencing poetry as selected from a spiritual anthology. The focus will be our own internal responses and "not getting…

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antique hymnalHymn Sing

Exploring and Enjoying our Hymns Together, with an Eye Toward Possible Bedside Visits

Note: May 19 meeting has been rescheduled for May 12, 7:30 pm

* 2nd Tues./mo., 1:30 pm - 3:00pm (May 13, June 10)

* 3rd Mon./mo., 7:30 pm - 9:00pm (May 12, June 16)

Cheri Minton and Lorraine…

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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 prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with the Holy and to provide spiritual insights. We use biblical readings to go deeper in our…

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social justice section header

woman with bananas

April Giving First Recipient: Papaye Peasant Movement

Founded in 1973 the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) is an organization of peasants whose goal is to unify all the peasants of Haïti and to gather organized rural young workers in order to promote them culturally and economically. MPP wants to…

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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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UU Urban Ministry volunteer

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?

English Teacher
When: Monday or Wednesday mornings (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) at the UU Urban Ministry.
What: Join our team of teachers who lead English…

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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

First Parish Meditation Group

Please join us! We hold a drop-in meditation on Mondays (gather at 6:00 pm and start at 6:15 pm in the Damon Room.) We sit for 35 minutes in the style of Vipassana (Insight) Buddhist meditation, and beginners are welcome. By focusing on mind/body sensations in…
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Compassionate Communication

2nd and 4th Mondays ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Pierce Room

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

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

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cafe interweave sign

Café Interweave: A Casual Monthly Drop-in Night for Members of First Parish's LGBTQ Community

Most second Saturdays in the Vestry: May 17, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

May 17, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Café Interweave is a casual monthly drop-in event for members of the First Parish LGBTQ community. No Café in…

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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

Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm in the parlor

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…
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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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