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

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planet earth

Rev. Ken Reeves Guest Preaching

"During this campaign season," Ken says, "I have been hearing a lot of talk about our nation and about our presidential candidates, which has gotten me thinking about what I’d like our next President to say and do. Not hearing all of what I would like from our current candidates, I thought I would take on the job myself. So in this service I will announce my candidacy to become President of the United States."

The Rev. Ken Reeves is a graduate of the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, and has served congregations in Ohio and Delaware. He has also earned a Masters in Pastoral Counseling and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. He is currently a clinical psychologist with a therapy practice, a consulting psychologist with the Center for Career Development and Ministry.

Sunday, October 2, at 10:00 am


omran syrian airstrike children

Learn About Life-Saving Work in Syria

Sunday, October 16 ♦ 12:00 pm -12:45 pm in the Parlor

Ala’a El-Shaar, Coordinator of the New England Chapter of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), will come to First Parish to talk about SAMS’s life-saving work and her own experiences helping Syrian refugees.

The war…

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childrens choir

Children's Choir rehearsals begin Sunday, October 16

Music Director Jonathan Brennand will lead our young choristers in singing and drumming. We list the dates below -- watch for exact time and location of these lively half-hour rehearsals held just after church. Send questions to musicdirector @…

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Murder, Policing, and Race: A Discussion of Two Perspectives

Monday, November 21 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Parlor

Order your copy of Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside from the library now!

Ta-Nehisi Coates believes O.J. Simpson killed Nicole Brown, yet he also believes that the jury made the right decision when it acquited…

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Volunteers Needed for Sanctuary Captain Team!

Natalie Tyler, veteran room captain, has kindly stepped forward to captain our sanctuary and coordinate herself and two volunteers to prepare the sanctuary for Sunday service. Twice a month a captain will adjust seats and hymnal holders, to support our Ushers, Worship…

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heart in hand

Stones Placed for Our Concerns and Celebrations

Worship services at First Parish customarily include a time during which worshippers are invited to share —through ritual or (if desired) spoken word—a personal matter of concern or celebration. For nearly a year on the first Sunday of each month, participants lit one…

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Listen to Recordings of Sunday Services on Your Device

Recordings of our Sunday services are posted online and available for you to listen to on your device.

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Looking for Note Takers

Do you enjoy paying special attention to people's words during our times of  Celebrations & Concerns? If so, we hope that you’ll consider helping out the lay ministers. We are looking for someone to take notes while people speak about their joys and sorrows each Sunday, then email them to the…

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Justine Sheffler

Alliance Ingathering Meeting: Understanding More of What Makes You YOU!

Friday, September 30 ♦ potluck dessert at 7:00 pm, program at 7:30 pm in the Vestry

All are welcome! The Enneagram is a unique and highly nuanced personality system, distinct from astrology, the Myers-Briggs and other more well-known models of…

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save a life give blood

Blood Donors Needed! Volunteers Needed! Saturday, October 1 at First Parish!

Saturday, October 1 ♦ 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at First Parish

Our next blood drive will be in the Sanctuary and Vestry on October 1 with the American Red Cross. The usual summer dearth of donors happened again, and the unusual spread of the…

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welcome sign

True Story Theatre: “Stories of Welcoming” with the Medford Family Network

Saturday, October 1 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm 

Free Event -- All Welcome! Held at Medford Family Network, 489 Winthrop St., Medford, MA 02155

Co-sponsored by First Parish Diversity Inclusion Group. What helps you to feel welcomed in Medford? How…

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Tashlich Rosh Hashanah Ritual

Monday, October 3, at 6:30 pm ♦ RSVP by Sunday, October 2

The First Parish Jewish Connections group welcomes you to the ritual of Tashlich for Rosh Hashana. We will meet to schmooze and socialize on Monday, October 3, at 6:30 pm, at the 630 Mass Ave. door of First Parish. At 7:00 pm,…

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bill sinkford

See and Discuss Rev. Bill Sinkford’s Sermon on UUs and Race

Tuesday, October 4 ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in the Parlor

Rev. Bill Sinkford — who was the first black president of the UUA — gave a powerful sermon on the history of UUs and race at our General Assembly last June.  He started by remembering meeting Martin…

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Parents Adjusting to an Empty Nest

Tuesday, October 4 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in Damon

Join Lay Ministry and others from First Parish for a time of support and fellowship as we explore the feelings and issues that arise after children leave home.  Anyone living in an empty nest, regardless of the circumstances, is…

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under the same moon

Diversity/Inclusion Group Movie: "Under the Same Moon"

Sunday, October 9 ♦ 12:00 pm in Bailey

Join us as we discover Carlitos, a Mexican adolescent living with his grandmother while his mother works as a maid in the U.S., hoping someday to send for her child. When the grandmother dies unexpectedly, Carlitos must…

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tree grows in brooklyn book jacket

Women's Book Group 

Thursday, October 6, 7:15 pm in Pierce

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
by Betty Smith

Email Jean Nagle at jsn0708 @ with questions.

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cash and dylan

Cash & Dylan: Classics of Americana

Friday, October 21, at 6:30 pm

Mark your calendars now for a First Parish Sing on October 21. We'll gather for a light "finger foods" pot luck supper at 6:30 pm and start singing at about 7:00 pm. Our family-friendly sing will be in the vestry, set up "coffee house" style. Bring…

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Nancy Crasco

Art Show: Fabric Art by Nancy Crasco

Longtime First Parish member and internationally known fabric artist Nancy Crasco ( is exhibiting her just-created stitched monoprints in the Parlor. Nancy combines printmaking, quilting and embroidery to create beautiful works of art. This exhibit…

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Musicians Alert! An Opportunity to Contribute to the Harvest Moon Fair

Each year at our annual fair on the Saturday before Thanksgiving (November 19), our vestry is transformed into a lively cafe with great food and live music. Our pianists and small ensembles positioned near the cafe entrance add a great deal to…

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black lives matter and Arlington Police Dept. support banners

Opening Our Hearts and Minds

We are displaying both a Black Lives Matter banner and a statement of appreciation and support for the Arlington Police Department and its commitment to justice and compassion. 

Can they sit side by side without contradiction?

We ponder and pray about many issues from the safety of our…

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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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workers ahead

Construction 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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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!


music painting

Music at Frist 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 more information, visit the music pages of our web site, or email music @

artisan table

Are You Crafty? Donate Your Creations to the Artisan Table!

The Artisan Table is looking for donations of new art/craft and specialty creations for the Harvest Moon Fair. , which takes place this year on Saturday, November 19. Please contact Erica Licea-Kane if you have questions, suggestions or would like to make a donation, at erica.licea.kane @ or 617-901-5948 Thank you!

uu chalice

New UU Class this Fall

Wednesdays, October 19, October 26, and November 2 ♦ 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm in the Parlor

Are you new to First Parish and the UU faith? Are you contemplating joining First Parish? Are you seeking ways to get more involved? Consider participating in the three-session New UU Class being offered this fall. Please plan to attend all sessions. We will cover the sharing of our religious paths, UU faith and history, and participation in the First Parish community. The class is limited to 20 participants. Preregistration is required by sending an email or phoning ​Janis Fleishman, Membership Committee New UU Class facilitator, at 617.823.0027 or jfleishm @

re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

What's happening in RE in October? Lots of fun activities and opportunities for community building, learning and growing together.

On Sunday, October 2, we will offer a One Room Sunday School program in the Bailey Room, for children in grades 1-5. Younger children may go to the nursery and PreK classroom. Older children are encouraged to stay with their families to worship in the Sanctuary. No regular religious education classes.

What's happening in…

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yg img

Youth Group Announcements

Our Youth Community is off to a great start! Sunday evenings in the Bailey are bustling, and we've dedicated lots of time to community bonding and to building our covenant together. And so much more to look forward to: a Youth Group hike, picking our Social Action theme for the year, and the Fall retreat! We ask families to complete program registration by this Sunday, October 2.

Here are some important dates coming up:

Sunday, October 2, 6:45 pm - 8:45 pm --…

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

sacred dance

Sacred Circle Dance

3rd Mondays September - December ♦ 7:15 pm - 8:45 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…

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aging well

Aging Well Within Our Community

Thursday, October 27 ♦ 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, October 17 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

client stories

Giving First Recipients for October: Victim Rights Law Center

The Victim Rights Law Center's (VRLC), based in Boston, provides legal representation to victims of rape and sexual assault to help rebuild their lives and to promote a national movement committed to seeking justice for every rape…

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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, October 2 ♦ 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, authenticity,…

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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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