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

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planet earth

Dr. Diana Ventura Guest Preaching

Facing Vulnerability and Uncertainty: Mary an Example for Our Times

Diana Ventura holds a PhD in Practical Theology and Spirituality from Boston University School of Theology, serves as an ethical reviewer for New England Institutional Review Board, and is Chief Data Administrator for the Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research at Harvard University.…

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safe congregation

Listening Session with Safe Congregation Task Force

Sunday, December 11 ♦ 11:45 am in the Sanctuary

The Parish Committee (the elected governing body of First Parish) has appointed a Safe Congregation Task Force to draft a policy for their consideration later this winter. The Task Force will be proposing conditions…

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Come to a Conversation with Marta, Our Minister

Sunday, January 8 ♦ following the service in the Parlor

Following the service on Sunday, January 8, you will have an opportunity to meet with Marta to talk about becoming a member of First Parish, her point of view on church issues, etc. This informal meeting is…

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antique camera

Stewardship Seeks Pictures for Next Campaign

Do you have pictures of activities at First Parish that you would be willing to share?  Leaders of The Stewardship Campaign are looking for pictures to use in the publicity for next year's campaign. Please contact bill.gardiner1942 @

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Christmas Ushers Needed!

The ushers need volunteers to help with 3 Christmas Eve services and a Christmas Sunday morning service. If you are able to help out with ushering before, during or after the 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm or 8:00 pm Christmas Eve services, or the 10:00 am Christmas morning service, please see Kate…

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Gagy Travelers

Art Show: Partner Church Project

Check out our current art show in the Parlor! The First Parish Partner Church Committee are exhibiting photos, carvings, embroideries, and other art objects from or inspired by the folk traditions of Transylvania. Come get a sense of the rich cultural heritage of our brother and…

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sustainable world

Action for Climate Justice: A Lunch Conversation with Evan Sietz, UU Mass Action Climate Justice Organizer

Sunday, December 11  11:45 am in Stanton Parlor

Can we create a more just and sustainable world economy that is not dependent on fossil fuels? Can we build a climate justice movement that capable of getting…

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Stories of Welcoming, Brought to Life by True Story Theater

Thursday, December 15 ♦ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm ♦ A free community event!

Held at the Medford Public Library, Community Room, 111 High St., Medford, MA. Wheelchair accessible. Co-sponsored by the Diversity/Inclusion Group (DIG). 

  • What helps you to feel…
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xmas tree

Support a Family for Christmas

First Parish will once again be purchasing Christmas gifts for children in the Arlington school system. Please see Patience Terry at Church on Sundays December 4 and 11. Please deliver unwrapped gifts to church no later than December 11, or Patience can pick them up from you (please…

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Partner Church Trip of a Lifetime

We are planning another exciting, trip-of-a-lifetime visit to Transylvania for next August. Don't miss this opportunity to expand your horizons and visit important sites in Unitarian history (not to mention spending time with our partner congregation in Gagy). Please stop by the…

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Join Us for Food and Fellowship at First Parish Potlucks!

Dec. 18 and Jan. 29 11:45 am to 1:00 pm in the Parlor

We're organizing a series of Potlucks at First Parish to give people an opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed setting. Everyone is welcome. Please bring a dish to share (anything is fine…

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Holiday Cookie Bake -- All Are Welcome!

Wednesday, December 21 ♦ 6:00 pm

Come join us on December 21 to bake holiday cookies! Lots of cookies! All invited! Grandparents, parents, aunts & uncles, youth, tweens, and kids. (Note: anyone under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult). We will be looking for some…

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Nominate Your Favorite Org to be a Giving First Recipient!

Application deadline: December 31, 2016

Online Nomination Form:

We are seeking Giving First nominations for recipient organizations for February 2017 through January 2018. The Giving First program donates 50% of the…

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Non-Violent Communication Class Starting in January!

Wednesdays, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in Grady ♦ January 11 through May 31

At long last another non-violent communication class for beginners and people interested in reviewing the basics is starting in January!

Non-violent communication (NVC) is also known as…

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national geographic cover

We Need Your Old Magazine Covers

We are collecting magazine covers (heavy stock paper) to use for this year's ringlets on the Christmas tree. If you have any magazine covers that we can use, please drop them off at the reception desk in the church office. 

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arlington food pantry

Arlington Food Pantry Expanding Hours, Needs Volunteers!

The Arlington Food Pantry will be expanding hours starting in January to be open every Wednesday, with morning and evening hours. With that comes a need for more volunteers! Individuals or groups of 6-8 volunteers, high school age and older, are welcome to…

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mlk banner3

First Parish Displays Martin Luther King Quote

On election night, the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington posted a banner with the following quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., on our front lawn: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Please follow this link to read First…

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Holiday Hours

Office Hours:

Thursday, November 24 -- Closed

Friday, November 25 -- Closed

Friday, December 23 -- 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Monday, December 26 -- Closed

Tuesday, December 27 -- 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Wednesday, December 28 -- 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Thursday, December 29 -- 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friday, December…

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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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Participate in Music at First 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…

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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!


congspot 12 2 15

Worship in December

"Embracing the Darkness"
Friday, December 9 7:00 pm
A contemplative service providing comfort and acknowledging the dark side of the season, with music by the UUlations.

Guest Preacher: Dr Diana Ventura
Sunday, December 11 10:00 am

"A Christmas Carol"
Sunday, December 18 10:00 am
This service for all ages will include decorating the tree.

Candlelight Services
Saturday, December 24 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 8:00 pm
First Parish will hold three services on Christmas Eve to ensure that everyone who would like to gather in our Sanctuary will be able to find a seat. There will be receptions after the first two services, when we will mingle over cookies and cider.

Musical selections will vary, but the rest of the service will be the same. We will pass candle flames among us until our Sanctuary is filled with  light. Rev. Marta Flanagan will offer brief reflections.

One of the services (not yet determined) will be interpreted for the deaf — please check the church website to find out which one.

"Christmas Day Tea"
Sunday, December 25 10:00 am
A contemplative service for those longing for community on Christmas morning. Tea will be served

"Poetry for the Ending and the Beginning of a New Year"
Sunday, January 1 10:00 am
Bring a favorite poem that provides wisdom and perspective at the turn of the year.

re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

Dear Friends,

This Sunday, December 11, marks the end of the fall teaching term. I want to thank all of our amazing volunteer teachers and classroom aides for all they've done to make it such a fun and rich time for the children. Over the past few months children have learned rituals, made new friends, shared stories about family challenges and triumphs, discussed ethical dilemmas, figured out ways to stand up for those who need help, created art and…

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yg img

Youth Group Announcements

Dear Youth Community, congratulations again on our wonderful Winter Wonderland dance! It was so nice to see this community event come together, and it is amazing to see all the efforts you all put in.

For all new and newish members, we have a newcomer orientation this Sunday, December 11, at 6:00 pm. Please join! Also, our first overnight "Lock-in" of the year is coming up on January 7 thru January 8, so save the date!

Here are some important dates coming…

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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, December 15 ♦ 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, December 19 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

haley house

Giving First Recipient for December: Haley House

Haley House is dedicated to helping those made vulnerable by the harshest effects of inequality move toward wholeness and economic independence. Haley House uses food and the power of community to break down barriers between people, transfer…

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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, November 27 ♦ 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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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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