The E-Bulletin

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

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northern lights

Sunday Worship Service

Cathie Desjardins September 7 at 10:00 am
“Poetry as Celebration and Consolation”


jonathan brennand

Welcome to Our New Music Director!

Our new church year begins under the musical leadership of Jonathan Brennand, the unanimous choice of the Search Committee. Jonathan brings excellent musical training and skills, an array of experience in many genres, and a warm and collaborative personality that has impressed…

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Sarah NapolineWelcome to Our New Youth Group Coordinator!

Sarah Napoline recently completed her Masters of Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School and holds a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College. This past June she finished a two-year ministerial internship at First Parish in Brookline, and will be ordained by that…
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deck chair on beach

Get Ready for Ferry Beach!

Registration begins September 4 ♦ Deadline September 21 ♦ Ferry Beach Weekend October 3-5

This is a reminder that this year's Ferry Beach retreat takes place from October 3-5. Due to the late Ingathering this year (September 14), we plan on opening the Ferry Beach website to registration…

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"spoken memorials" engraved on stoneSpoken Memorials

Sunday, September 7 ♦ 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…

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community conversationCommunity Conversation About Our Values, Goals, and Aspirations

Saturday, September 27 10:00 am to noon or 1:00 pm in the Sanctuary, Vestry, and Narthex

Please join us for a community conversation about our core values and where we want to be headed as a community. We will use a small-group format that encourages…

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ellen and her service dog, ricky

Doggie/People Social & Potluck Lunch

Sunday, September 28 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm at First Parish

Please join us in the Sanctuary for a Dog Dedication Ceremony for your beloved Canine. Help us honor those who bless our lives every day. This is a special event where you can bring your well behaved dog (on leash, after…

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bring up the bodies book cover

Women's Book Group 

Thursday, September 4 ♦ 7:15 pm in Pierce

"Bring Up the Bodies"
by Hilary Mantel


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first parish choir members

First Parish Choir Welcomes Singers -- It's a Great Time to Join Us!

Thursdays, September 4 and 11 8:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Our choir will begin rehearsal on its traditional "Thursday after Labor Day" at 8:00 pm in the sanctuary. This first rehearsal will be a time to get acquainted with Jonathan Brennand, our new…

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water dropsChild Dedication Ceremony

Sunday, October 19 ♦ during worship services
Child Dedication Ceremonies occur twice a year during Sunday worship at First Parish. The next scheduled child dedication is Sunday, October 19. During a child dedication ceremony, children are welcomed into our community and blessed by our minister…

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staffing the pie palace

Time to Begin Thinking About Pies!

Click here to see our Pie Palace video!

Click here to fill out our online Pie Palace Volunteer Form!

Each year, First Parish comes together as a community in a pie ministry -- donating, cutting, and serving pies on Town Day to raise money for the myriad vital social justice…

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construction scene

See Recent Pix of the Building Transformation in Progress

Check out Mark Wilke's pictures of the ongoing renovation at the First Parish Building Design Blog.

Also, please note that First Parish's office entrance has moved to the Pleasant Street door. The only other working door is the Mass Ave. entrance. If you need…

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first parish office door

First Parish Featured in Arlington Advocate Article

Check out this recent article in the Arlington Advocate about the renovations to our building and the growth of our church community.
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hand ringing a chime bowl

The First Parish Meditation Group Welcomes You this Summer

Please join us! We hold a drop-in meditation at the church on Mondays (gather at 6:00 pm and start at 6:15 pm in the Sanctuary). We also have a new location for our Sunday morning drop-in (gather at 9:00 am, start at 9:10 am at the West Medford Community Center,…

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small image of evacuation route

Evacuation Plan for Construction Period

There is a new First Parish evacuation plan for the construction period. Be aware that only three doors will be available for use during construction. See the new evacuation plan at

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cartoon of scissors and thread

Stitch and Sew Workshops

Thursdays, 10:30 am, meet offsite

Note: Over the summer, we will be meeting at various offsite locations. Please contact Jean Nagle at 781-646-5352 or jsnagle @ for the location each week.

Calling all sewers, knitters and crafters: please join a group that prepares for the…

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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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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!




sun and ocean

First Parish Summer Services

Follow this link to download a PDF of the Summer Service schedule

September 7: Cathie Desjardins
Poetry as Celebration and Consolation

Worship Associates
Cathy Modica
Mary-Beth Landy
Elizabeth Hunter
Woody Kay

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stone with etched "begin again"

Ingathering Sunday:
September 14

Intergenerational Service
Homily by Rev. Marta Flanagan

Everyone is invited to bring water from a treasured place to contribute to a silent blessing of the common water.

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the spire

The Spire Returns for Ingathering

As Ingathering is delayed by a week, the next Spire will be published on Sunday, September 14. The new, easier-to-remember deadlines are one week before publication, so this means the deadline for the September…

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owl behind deskFirst Parish Seeks New Office Associate

Our Office Associate, Katie Stroud, left First Parish in August to go to Utah where her husband could take advantage of a wonderful career opportunity. So, we're looking for a new Office Associate to start…
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Rosie the Riveter

Construction Update: Expect the Unexpected -- We Ask for Flexibility

Be sure to check out our brand new Building Design Blog at for ongoing updates!

The Schedule

  • Construction expected to begin early July,…
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summer Hours

Summer Office Hours

Regular church office hours have resumed
The office will be closed on Labor Day.

Publications for the summer:

The weekly E-Bulletin will continue through the summer. Deadline is noon each Wednesday.

The printed…

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hand crafted

Artisan Table

We are looking for hand-crafted items and other works of art to sell at the Artisan Table for the 2014 Harvest Moon Fair. We will take up to 4 items per artist, and price the work no more than $30 per piece. At this time we are…

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Look for Our Brochure: "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…

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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…

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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 @…

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re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

Thank you to all who helped make this such a great year in the RE Wing!

Summer childcare will be provided, in the Vestry,  for summer worship services. Please be sure to check in with one of the youth helpers upon arrival, and provide them with any important information about your child (allergies, health issues, etc) as well as your cell phone number.

Fall start-up: A reminder that Ingathering Sunday will be September 14,  and it will be an All Ages…

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youth group members

Youth Group Announcements

The Youth Program is off for the summer. We will restart youth group after the start of the church year in September.

Please visit for more information about our program.

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

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 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

kiva logo

Giving First Recipient for June, July and August: Kiva

Kiva connects people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Once that…

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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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heart with Jacob's Mother written on it

Jacob's Mother: A Group for Parents with Challenging Children of all Ages

First and third Sunday of the month7:00 pm in Damon

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…

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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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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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