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

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planet earth

Rev. Mary Margaret Earl Guest Preaching

Broken Hearted and Open Wide: Reflections on Race and Justice
A reflection on how the human heart makes a path to racial healing

The Rev. Mary Margaret Earl was installed last year as Executive Director and Senior Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry. She arrived at the UU Urban Ministry in John Eliot Square in Roxbury after spending the previous 10 years at McAuley Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit in Providence, RI, that provides food, shelter and clothing to those who were homeless or at risk of becoming so. She is past president of the Board of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, recipient of the 2014 Heroes of Faith Award from the Rhode Island State Council of Churches for her interfaith work, and served on the Pro Bono Advisory Board, which brings together large Providence law firms and underserved communities in need of free legal assistance.

Sunday, May 29, at 10:00 am


UUUM logo

UU Urban Ministry Picnic for Roxbury Children

June 11 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Thanks to the generosity of First Parish members, we're moving along with planning the UU Urban Ministry picnic for Roxbury school children on June 11. Many members asked if they could contribute this Sunday, so we'll be circulating again…

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two people exchanging plants

A Perennial Favorite! 7th Annual First Parish Plant Swap

Sunday June 12 ♦ 9:00 am - 10:00 am, rain or shine

This is becoming an anticipated annual event for many gardeners in our congregation. Come join us in the church courtyard at 9:00 am! Bring pots to share of seedlings, plant babies, and divided perennials. If…

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communities for restorative justice logo

Erin Freeborn on Communities for Restorative Justice

Tuesday, June 28 ♦ 7:00 - 9:00 pm at First Unitarian Society in Newton, 1326 Washington St., Newton

First Parish’s restorative justice process with “Peter” was organized by Erin Freeborn, the executive director of Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ).…

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blind spot book cover

"Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People" -- A Book Discussion

Thursday, June 2 ♦ 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm in Stanton Parlor

Join us for an extended conversation about Unconscious Bias and how to overcome it, based on the book "Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People" co-authored by leading psychologists Mahzarin…

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save a life give blood

First Parish Blood Drive June 4

Saturday, June 4 ♦ 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at First Parish

Be a hero -- give blood! Donation appointments can be quickly and easily scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins are welcome to this blood…

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cradle will rock poster

Social Justice Film Series: "Cradle Will Rock"

Sunday June 5 ♦ 12:15 pm to 3:00 pm in Bailey

During the 1930s, as the Depression deepened, organizing labor unions was a physically risky proposition for workers, including famous artists like Diego Rivera and Orson Welles. Strikes broke out across the country and New…

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Welcoming New Members in the Parlor Following the Service

June 5 ♦ in the Parlor following the service

We would like to celebrate all of you who are new members to our churchin the past 2 years or who feel new to First Parish. The Membership Committee invites you to a special coffee to be held in the Parlor after…

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aids walk pariticpants

Support our AIDS Walk Team!

Sunday, June 5 9:30 am

Join our NEW First Parish Social Justice AIDS Walk Team. Inez Folsom, who has been team captain for PFLAG AIDS Walk team for 15 years, will now be captain of our NEW team. You can participate as a Walker (10K, or 6 miles), a Runner (5K, or 3 miles), or as a…

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sen. cynthia creem

Senator Cynthia Creem on Massachusetts’ Justice Reinvestment Initiative

Tuesday, June 7 ♦ 7:00 - 9:00 pm at First Unitarian Society in Newton, 1326 Washington St., Newton

Sen. Creem is one of 25 legislators, judges, sheriffs, prosecutors, and other key players whom Governor Baker, the State House leadership, and…

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gun statue in knot

Help Make Arlington Safer -- June 11 Gun Buy-Back, 2-Hour Volunteers Needed!

Saturday, June 11 ♦ 10:00 am- 3:00 pm at 51 Grove Street (DPW Yard)

Are you passionate about gun control? First Parish is an interfaith partner with the Arlington Police Dept.'s "Safer Homes, Safer Community Gun Buy-Back." The purpose is…

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stick figures in circle

Circle Conversation on Envisioning Racial Justice at First Parish

Thursday, June 16 ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Parlor

The Parish Committee has created a new Racial Justice Coordinating Committee — a two-year experiment — with the mission of identifying and supporting activities that promote racial justice both within…

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Women's Book Group 

Thursday, June 2, 7:15 pm in Pierce

"The Elegance of the Hedgehog"
by Muriel Barbery

Email Jean Nagle at jsn0708 @ with questions.

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smiling dog

Say Cheese!

Need a photo for your Realm profile? Your face isn’t on the Vestry photo wall? During the month of May, there will be a pop-up portrait studio in the Narthex during coffee hour. Portraits will be taken by Larry Osgood, Leah Stark, and Paul Howard. Stop by! Questions? Contact Kate Tranquada at…

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safety committee

Updated Draft Privacy Guidelines Available for Comment

The Safety Committee invites you to comment on the updated draft Privacy Guidelines for First Parish.

Please submit your comments to safety @ We appreciate all the comments on the previous draft. Thank you.

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addiction banner

End the Stigma of Addiction

First Parish joins with the Arlington Police Department in a call to save lives by ending the stigma of addiction.

Do you or someone you love need help? Call the #StateWithoutStigMA Hotline at 1-800-327-5050 or contact the Arlington Police Department  at 781-643-1212 or 112 Mystic Street…

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See the Congregational Art Show!

You’re invited to view the wonderful and varied works of art at this year's Congregational Art Show. The show is in the Parlor, with three-dimensional creations displayed in the showcase in the narthex.

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workers ahead

Construction Begins on Our Corner

MassDOT's Arlington Center Safe Travel Project is expected to start the first week of April. The Arlington Center Safe Travel Project will provide a safe connection for the Minuteman Bikeway through Arlington Center, improve roadway safety and mobility for all users, plus upgrade…

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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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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!



The Congregation Acts!

At the annual meeting on May 15, the members adopted an annual budget of $675,000 beginning July 1, 2016, as presented.

The following officers were elected:

David Klingsberg, Treasurer
Jean Nagle, Assistant Treasurer
Lori Kenshaft, Clerk

Steve McMullin and Jeff Roberts were elected to…

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re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

Sunday, May 29 -- Member of the Religious Education Committee will be offering a One Room Sunday School program for children in grades K through 5 in the Bailey Room (the basement space in the RE wing) on the subject of "Memories."

Children attending worship should go into the Sanctuary at the beginning of the service as usual. They will be dismissed from there to go to their program. Older children are encouraged to stay with their parent(s) to…

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yg img

Youth Group Announcements

Dear Youth Community, what a wonderful opportunity we had last weekend to bask in the awesomeness that is the Coming of Age class. Thank you so much for putting on a lovely dinner on Friday for them, and coming to the service on Sunday. It's so exciting to see the newest group of folks that will hopefully join our community. And to hear their amazing, inspired, and poignant credos! What stars!

Here are some important dates coming up:

Saturday, May 28, 9:15 am…

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

aging well logo

Aging Well Within Our Community

Thursday, June 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. The meeting room info will be sent to all on the Aging Well mailing…

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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, June 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

bwa logo

Giving First Recipient for May: Boston Workers Alliance

Rev Paul Robeson Ford, our 2016 Shinn speaker, writes to us about our May Giving First recipient, Boston Workers Alliance:

The Boston Workers Alliance was formed more than ten years ago at the intersection of the crisis of joblessness…

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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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knitting yarn

Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing Group

First Sundays ♦ 11:45 am - 12:45 pm

Please join us in the Damon Room from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm on the first Sunday of the month. Whether you are experienced or would like to learn, bring your knitting, crochet, embroidery, or sewing. Our first meeting…

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men's group

First Parish Men's Group

Next up: Sunday, June 12 ♦ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Note: Men's Group will not meet on May 29

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…

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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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