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

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planet earth

Sunday Worship Service

Rev. Ken Sawyer Guest Preaching:

“In Praise of What Sustains”
An appreciation of all that supports us when we need it most, like “a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness.” (A.A.Milne)

Sunday, November 29, at 10:00 am


Restorative Justice logo

Restorative Justice in Our Own Lives: An Experiential Workshop on Harm and Healing

Led by Cathy Hoffman of the Cambridge Restorative Justice Circles Working Group

 Monday, November 30 ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Parlor

Our culture’s responses to harm typically focus on separation, punishment, and disconnection. This…

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welcome new members

Installation Service for New Members

Sunday, December 13
December 13 is the installation service of new members. If you are a new member and wish to be part of this service please let us know. A special part of the service will recognize our new members and a coffee after the service will give the congregation an…

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thank you note

Thank You for a Fabulous Fair!

The Harvest Moon Fair was a great success this year. Many, many thanks to all of the people who helped made the Fair happen. All of our efforts paid off, we found homes for a lot of great donations, made friends, ate great food and enjoyed live music while raising over $17,800 for…

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Miriam Levine

December Alliance Gathering
"Memory and Poetry: An Evening with Miriam Levine, Arlington’s Poet Laureate"

Friday, December 4 ♦ Dessert at 7:00 pm, Program at 7:30 pm

All are welcome to our December Alliance gathering. “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion…

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save a life give blood

First Parish Blood Drive December 5

Saturday, December 5 ♦ 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at First Parish

Volunteers needed! Sign up using our online form.

Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. One out of three people will need blood in their lifetime. Be a hero -- give…

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abstract watercolor

Art Opening: All-Watercolor Exhibit

Sunday, December 6 ♦ following the service

Please join us on December 6 for the opening of the all-watercolor exhibit. The show will feature the variety of transparent watercolor styles of five First Parish artists. Come right after church to enjoy the art and conversation with…

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the people speak

The People Speak: Film, Discussion & Potluck Lunch

Sunday, December 6 ♦ 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm in Bailey

Diversity/Inclusion Group‘s (DIG) Social Justice Film Series Kick-off -- Join us for a potluck lunch during the film screening! Clarissa Rodriguez will introduce The People Speak and share how attending the Boston…

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Interested in a Daytime Covenant Group?

We would like to offer a covenant group for people who prefer a daytime meeting—the day and time to be decided depending on the schedules of the leader and participants. Contact us if you are interested, or if you’ve signed up for an evening group but would prefer daytime. In…

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Straight Man by Richard Russo

Women's Book Group 

Thursday, December 3, 7:15 pm in Pierce

"Straight Man"
by Richard Russo

Email Jean Nagle at jsn0708 @ with questions.

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stone bench

We Have a New Stone Bench!

As you walk to First Parish from the library side entrance, you will notice a new addition to our landscaped garden. A new bench has been added, courtesy of a generous gift from Cliff Hakim, who designs benches and tables from reclaimed materials. The granite bench is designed to fit into…

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re-tagging defaced building

Letter to Islamic Center in Burlington after Fourth Vandalism in Five Years

Letter to Islamic Center in Burlington after Fourth Vandalism in Five Years

The Parish Committee voted to send a letter of support to our neighbors, the Islamic Center in Burlington, after their building was recently vandalized for the…

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huntington uu fellowship

Contributing to Fire Repairs for UU Congregation in Appalachia

The Parish Committee voted to pledge $500 from the Parish Committee's contingency fund to the fire repairs fund of the Unitarian Fellowship of Huntington, WV.  This small congregation had an electrical fire and needs to raise $8,000 by December 2 in…

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environmental justice

Wonderful Opportunities at the UU Urban Ministry

Calling all Unitarian Universalist Teens! Join with the youth in the Roxbury Youth Programs for Environmental Justice in the City, a year of learning, sharing, and justice making as we explore the intersections of environmental and racial injustice. Facilitated by ACE…

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thought of the week

Stewardship Committee Thought for the Week

Psychologist Robert Ornstein and physician David Sobel are well know for the examination of the health effects of altruism. In their book Healthy Pleasures, they describe what they call the "helper's high," a kind of euphoria volunteers get when helping others -- a warm…

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social justice google group

Join Our New Social Justice Google Group

How often have you found out too late about a demonstration you wish you had attended? How often have you found out almost by accident that someone in our community is meaningfully involved with a cause important to you? Are you involved in work you'd like more people to know…

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people puzzle

How to be Included in the First Parish “Realm” Database and Directory

If you’ve used our online Realm directory, you know how useful it is for matching names to faces, and finding contact information for other First Parish members, friends and groups.

If you haven’t created an account and uploaded your photo,…

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Join Our Handbell Choir!

Join our chime ringers on most Thursdays at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary, or contact ringers @ for more details.

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Our New Online Archive is Ready!

First Parish started with a Parish Committee in 1733. Thousands of volunteers and staff have continuously labored since then to create and maintain the wonderful community we enjoy today. All that time we've been keeping notes on who, what, why and more. We've expanded our membership…

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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!


giving first nominations

Tis the Season: Nominate Your Favorite Org to be a Giving First Recipient!

Application deadline: December 31, 2015

The Giving First program donates 50% of the non-pledge offering each month to a charitable organization that we feel is consistent with Unitarian Universalist principles and FP Arlington’s mission to…

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We Have Paper Directories!

The directory includes contact information (name, address, phone, email) of our congregants. If you'd like a printed directory, please either email layministry @ or contact any Lay Minister.

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xmas tree

Support a Family for Christmas

The Health and Human Services of Arlington has asked for our help this year, as in the past, to purchase Christmas gifts for children in the Arlington school system. The Justice Committee has been given 3 families, totaling 5 children. Patience Terry will be at Church on Sundays…

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30 days of gratitude

To Give Thanks: A Month of Gratitude at First Parish

The theme for the month of November at First Parish is Giving Thanks. We will be engaging this theme in worship, music, religious education and more.

Gratitude Project Blog
First Parish is launching a blog!  Throughout the month of November we will be posting…

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derrick banks

Welcome to Our New Weekday Sexton!

Please join me in welcoming Derrick Banks to our staff as the new Weekday Sexton. Except for Sundays, Derrick is taking over the work that was handled by our previous sexton and, over the last year, by a cleaning service and Property Committee volunteers.  Derrick will be working…
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black lives matter banner

A New Black Lives Matter Banner

Some have asked -- what does the banner mean?  The Parish Committee therefore voted on November 10 to install a new Black Lives Matter banner that briefly explains why we think it is important to affirm that Black Lives Matter.  For previous articles about First Parish's Black Lives…

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sea captain

Short and Sweet, 15 Minutes a Week!

If you've got 15 minutes a week to give First Parish we are still looking for two people for room captains. On a Thursday or Friday, anytime, a room captain visits their room to take role call and check that all furniture and clean-up supplies are present and accounted for. Check…

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re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

What’s Happening this Sunday, November 29? RE Committee Member Betsy Allen will lead a One Room Sunday School program for children in grades K-5. Older children are encouraged to stay with their families in our worship service. The Nursery and PreK classrooms will be open for our youngest children. NO evening programs – OWL or Youth Group.

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Carolyn Griffith as our new Religious Education Assistant. Carolyn is a…

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yg img

Youth Group Announcements

Thanks are in order! Thank you Cheri, Aaron, and Katherine for reaching out to the youth community and getting us involved in all things Harvest Moon Fair. Thank you to Seth, Goat, Nick, Margot, and Aaron for all the parts you played in organizing the first Youth Group band performance. Thank you Ellie for coordinating the artwork projects — that crawfish turned out fantastic. Thank you to Lia, Eva, Claire, Lucy, Rowan, Nicole, and the many others who helped set…

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

faith symbols

Living Our Faith: Theological  Diversity

Next Up: David WhitfordTuesday, December 1 ♦ 7:00 pm in the Parlor

We are pleased to have David Whitford lead our next event, a Panel on Individual Experiences of Theological Diversity.

David Deakin, Mary Finn, Ginny LaCrow, Mary-Beth…

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aging well logo

Aging Well Within Our Community

Thursday, December 17 ♦ 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. The meeting room info will be sent to all on the Aging Well…

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man reading under tree

Contemplating Poetry -- New Meeting Time!

Third Monday of Each Month (formerly first Mondays)
Next up: December 21 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…

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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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social justice section header

doctors without borders worker

Giving First Recipient for November: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides emergency medical care to millions of people caught in crises in more than 60 countries around the world every year. MSF provides…

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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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men's group

First Parish Men's Group

Next up: Sunday, December 6 ♦ 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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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…

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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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