The E-Bulletin

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

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planet earth

"Unitarian-Universalism and the 2016 Election"

Led by Chris DiMeo

Ideally, an election campaign is a type of public conversation; the manner in which that conversation is conducted, and its choice of topic(s), both say a great deal about the state of the nation. As the final phase of Campaign 2016 begins, three First Parish members share their beliefs about the relationships between faith, UU principles, and this election.

Sunday, July 31, at 10:00 am


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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save a life give blood

First Parish Blood Drive August 6

Saturday, August 6 ♦ 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…

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ferry beach

Ferry Beach Registration is Now Open!

Register online beginning June 16

This year's Ferry Beach retreat will take place from September 30 to October 2, 2016. The UU conference center and retreat, administrated by the Ferry Beach Park Association, is on the coast of Southern Maine between Saco and Old Orchard Beach.…

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pie palace

Time to Start Thinking About Pies!

► 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 activities our community undertakes…

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Come Sing with Us!

Are you interested in joining the Adult Choir? Come sing with us in the fall: rehearsals resume on September 1, 2016. Please contact Jonathan Brennand at musicdirector @ for more information. September 8 will be a short, fun rehearsal followed by a dessert potluck to welcome new…

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Lost & Found Summer Clean-out in July -- What are You Missing

Happy summer! We still have many Lost & Found items; please come and take a look on Sunday. What are you missing? We have 5 water bottles, 2 baseball caps, 3 sunglasses, one child's sock, 2 children's sweaters, a folding umbrella, 2 books, a sweatshirt,…

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washing building

Our Building Is Getting Brighter

The Property Committee arranged for a much-needed power-washing of First Parish’s bricks. Our contractor began cleaning on Wednesday, July 13 -- see the stunning in-progress photo of the work!

A big thank you to everyone who made this project possible: Mark Wilke for test cleaning…

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Making Space Available to Local Black-Led Organizations

Last week Black Lives of UU (BLUU, a nationwide group that helped organize part of the UU General Assembly) put out a call for UU congregations to provide meeting and healing spaces to local black community organizers free of charge. First Parish has responded…

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youth group

2016-2017 High School Youth Advisors Needed!"

Steve Carmody, the Youth Program Coordinator, is currently soliciting applications for adult advisors next year! Being an adult advisor to the Youth Group means regularly participating in our Sunday evening program, encouraging youth leadership, and acting as a mentor to…

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Free Tickets to NAACP Freedom Fund Breakfast

Saturday, August 6 9:00 am at the Menotomy Grill and Tavern, 25 Mass. Ave., Arlington

Would you like to learn more about the local NAACP? David Dreyfus has purchased ten free/subsidized tickets to the Mystic Valley Branch's Freedom Fund Breakfast on August 6. This is a…

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First Parish Honored for Food Pantry Support!

We are pleased to announce that First Parish was among the faith-based organizations recognized at the recent Housing Corporation of Arlington's annual meeting. This year the HCA chose to present its annual award to The Arlington Food Pantry, FoodLink, Arlington EATS,…

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the bully pulpit

Women's Book Group 

Thursday, September 1, 7:15 pm in Pierce

"The Bully Pulpit"
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Email Jean Nagle at jsn0708 @ with questions.

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UUUM logo

UU Urban Ministry Summer Showcase!

The UU Urban Ministry is hosting a series of free events this summer celebrating music, art and culture in Roxbury. All events held in the UUUM's historic First Church in Roxbury meetinghouse. Please join them in uniting communities through art and music! Visit

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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!


summer services

First Parish Summer services

Click here to download a PDF of the Summer Service schedule.

June 19       
"Visions of Fatherhood "
led by Mary-Beth Landy
As part of the ongoing evolution of our social, political, and economic institutions, our understanding of “traditional” family relationships and (especially)…

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First Parish Summer Office Hours

Full schedule continues through Friday, July 1:  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Summer schedule (6 weeks):  Wednesdays only: July 6, 13, 20, 27, and August 3 and 10, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Full schedule resumes Monday,…

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now hiring poster

First Parish Hiring Executive Assistant

Sarah Hawkins, Executive Assistant to Rev. Marta Flanagan, will be resigning her position at the end of June. Although we are sad to see Sarah leave, we are excited for her and wish her great success in the new career opportunity that has opened up for her!

We are now…

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watering plants

Help Us Keep Our Gardens Watered and Weeded this Summer!

We have planted wonderful gardens by the library entrance, and in the courtyard. We even have a children's garden on Pleasant Street. We need help in keeping them watered and weeded over the summer. We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to work in…

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re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

Dear First Parish Families,

I would much prefer to be sending you an email wishing you the joys of summer holidays, connections with families, and finding happiness in the wonder of the season - but instead, I find myself sending a message about talking with children about trauma and ugly world events again...

Our children and their innocence are precious to us. Maybe we would rather shield them from the news about Orlando if they are very young. But…

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yg img

Youth Group Announcements

Dear Youth Community! With our final youth group evening program behind us, may you have a wonderful, relaxing, and enjoyable summer. May you cherish this time to be with friends and family, and have new adventures. I cannot wait for our community to reconvene this fall. You should expect to hear from me in late August. We will have a picnic in early September, and our first Youth Group program of the Fall will be September 18. 

Over the summer, sometimes not…

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

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, August 15 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

aycc mystic

Giving First Recipients for June/July/August: Arlington Youth Counseling Center, Mystic LGBTQ+ Youth Support Network

The Giving First proceeds from June/July/August will be split between the Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC) and Mystic LGBTQ+Youth Support Network.

Arlington Youth…

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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, July 24 ♦ 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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