ga 2017

Go to UU General Assembly in New Orleans, June 21-25

You could be a First Parish delegate!

Every year, thousands of Unitarian Universalists gather for General Assembly (GA), the UU annual convention. The days are packed with worship, music, workshops on every aspect of congregational life, and business sessions that largely focus on social justice issues. This year, delegates will elect a new UUA president and GA will be located in New Orleans — a city known for its music, food, architecture, and rich multicultural heritage. First Parish’s Youth Group, and many other UUs from all over the country, helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the GA planning committee has worked with local partners to develop hands-on service projects during GA. The Ware Lecturer will be Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, the author of Just Mercy, and an exceptionally powerful speaker who has dedicated his life to helping people who are poor, incarcerated, or on death row. A Racial Justice Training Workshop will occur on the two days before GA and every workshop slot includes at least one workshop related to racial justice. First Parish’s own Aisha Ansano is co-coordinating the track for young adults.

Interested? Want to learn more?

Click here to read more and register. (Rates increase May 1, and early registrants get their choice of housing.)

If you might want to be one of First Parish’s nine delegates to GA, email the Executive Committee at parishexec @

Sunday WorshipAction Sunday!

Action Sunday is upon us! If you signed up in advance, you should receive an email from the captain for your site filling you in on the details.  If you did not sign up, do come to the service at 10:00, and we’ll tell you about your options. Even if you volunteer elsewhere in the morning, you can give blood at the Bloodmobile as late as 4:00 pm. EVERYONE is invited to lunch next week, May 7, after the service, to reflect.

Sunday, April 30 ♦ 10:00 am


be a hero give blood

Action Sunday Blood Drive: Donors Needed!

Sunday, April 30 ♦ 10:30 am to 4:00 pm at First Parish

We're grateful for the volunteers who've signed up, and we need donors to sign up! Spread the news! Everyone can help by getting the word out. Thank you!

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Blood…

Read More

tomato sale

Buy Tomato Plants, Support Asylum Seekers!

Please sign up to buy tomato plants and support two asylum seekers currently living with families from Church. When you purchase plants or donate funds, you help pay for the refugees' cell phones, T-passes or provide spending money. Patience Terry will be  in the Vestry…

Read More

active bystander

Active Bystander Peer Practice

Sunday, May 7 ♦ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm in Damon

As a follow up to the True Story Active Bystander training, a monthly Active Bystander peer practice group has started. Next practice session is Sunday May 7. During these sessions we welcome everyone to share their experiences and skills of…

Read More


It's Time for Annual Reports!

Due Date: May 8

Annual Reports for First Parish officers, committees, teams, task forces, groups, and other entities are due Monday, May 8. Annual reports are not just a formality! They serve as a blueprint for First Parish that anyone can use to get a sense of what goes on at the…

Read More

helping refugees2

Refugee Concerns Info Update

Wednesday, May 10 ♦ 7:00 pm in the Vestry

Please join us for a Refugee Concerns update, hosted by the Refugee Concerns group and the Arlington Cluster of the Refugee Immigration Ministry. This will be a comprehensive information session covering the guests we are currently hosting,…

Read More


Clean It/Fix It Day a Big Success!

First Parish had a very successful day (despite the bad weather) last Saturday in cleaning up our spiritual home. Property Committee members Mark Wilke (outside work) and Clarissa Rodrigues and Al Tosti (inside work) led the effort, with 18 workers showing up to trim, rake, pick…

Read More



Congregational Art Show!

Check out the wonderful art in the Parlor created by our fellow parishioners. Over twenty First Parish artists are presenting works in a variety of media! 

Read More


An Open Conversation About Racism

Wednesday, May 3 ♦ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm in the Parlor

The Parish Committee and the Racial Justice Coordinating Committee extend a special invitation to members of the First Parish community to gather for this conversatin about racism. This is a chance for anyone to speak about issues…

Read More

underground railroad

Women's Book Group 

Thursday, May 4, 7:15 pm in Damon

"The Underground Railroad: A Novel"

by Colson Whitehead

Email Jean Nagle at womensbookgroup @ with questions.

Read More


Potluck for People of Color & Their Families

Friday, May 5 ♦ 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Bailey

Bring  your spouse and your kids (both big and small) and a covered dish. We will eat, play games, dance (if you want to), and enjoy each other's company. 

Questions? Email us at racialjustice @ firstparish.infoRead More

deborah parker

Alliance Annual Meeting and Program: "Designing a Life" with Deborah Parker

Friday, May 5, in First Parish Vestry ♦ Program begins at 8:00 pm following the Annual Meeting. Everyone welcome!

Tucked away in Arlington where you've probably never noticed it is a very special enterprise: Deborah Parker designs unfussy,…

Read More

chalice and flame

Worship Associates Program Seeks Additional Members

Application deadline: Sunday, May 14

The Shared Ministry Committee is seeking a few members of the congregation to join the existing compliment of Worship Associates serving our community.

Those interested in becoming Worship Associates should have a deep…

Read More

uu chalice

Have YOU Thought of Becoming a Lay Minister?

Application deadline: Sunday, May 14

While listening to spoken candles, do you experience a calling for a role of deeper service to the congregation? Perhaps you would like to consider becoming a Lay Minister.

Those interested in becoming Lay Ministers should…

Read More


Join Us for Food and Fellowship at First Parish Potlucks!

May 14  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 -- it's truly…

Read More

cookies conversation

Join Us for an Evening of Conversation, Cookies, and Community

Sunday, May 21 ♦ 6:45 pm in the Vestry

The Religious Education Committee is hosting a parent potluck for Eighth Grade and Youth Group parents. After the youth go off to their evening programs we'll have round table gatherings to discuss topics that…

Read More


Fifty Years Ago: Martin Luther King on the Vietnam War

Two recommended readings from the Racial Justice Coordinating Committee

Fifty years ago this month, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his "Beyond Vietnam" speech in which he first spoke out against the Vietnam War and the triple evils of racism, extreme…

Read More

ga 2017

Go to UU General Assembly in New Orleans, June 21-25

You could be a First Parish delegate!

Every year, thousands of Unitarian Universalists gather for General Assembly (GA), the UU annual convention. The days are packed with worship, music, workshops on every aspect of congregational life, and business sessions…

Read More


Refugee Concerns Working Group Spring Fundraiser 

The Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM) is sponsoring the annual “Walk for Refugees.” The Arlington cluster, of which First Parish is a part, is currently hosting an asylum seeker and will benefit 100% from any funds raised. Funds are used for necessities that only…

Read More

aids walk

Join First Parish's AIDS Walk Team!

Sunday, June 4

Join our First Parish AIDS Walk Team for our second year. Info and flyers will be available at our table in the vestry after Sunday's service. Please take a flyer and post it in places you frequent. Thank You! Questions? Contact Team Captain Inez Folsom at

Read More

swedish chef

Calling All Cooks!

We need your help to restock the lay ministry freezer. Soothing soups and easily digested casseroles are especially welcome. Brings your offerings in containers that are labeled with both date and the ingredients to the lay ministry freezer in the church kitchen. Thanks so much for your very…

Read More


We Are Called to Heal and Sustain the Earth

Unitarian Universalists believe in using our minds, hearts, and hands — in heeding the evidence of reason and science, practicing compassion for ourselves and other living beings, and making a difference in the world around us.  

In this springtime season of the earth’s…

Read More

community circle

Black Lives Matter and our Restorative Justice Process

Last winter First Parish entered into a restorative justice process with a man who had vandalized our Black Lives Matter banner.  We are especially grateful for the Arlington Police and the Center for Restorative Justice for making this possible. In November…

Read More

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…

Read More


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…

Read More


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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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!



Join Us for Food and Fellowship at First Parish Potlucks!

May 14  11:45 am to 1:00 pm in the Parlor

potluck[2]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 -- it's truly "pot luck"). Our next potluck is May 14. All potlucks will be held from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm in the Parlor after Sunday…

Read More


With People of Color

On March 30, the President of the Unitarian Universalists Association, Peter Morales, resigned. His resignation comes after weeks of controversy surrounding the hiring of a white professional to fill a leadership position in the Association. The occasion forces all of us to consider again the predominately white and privileged positon of most Unitarian Universalists.

The most important thing I want to say is to the…

Read More


Think Summer!

No, it is not to soon to be thinking of summer...Summer Services at First Parish that is! Have you ever thought of leading a service here at First Parish? All summer services are lay led, giving members an opportunity to get creative with many of the aspects of worship. Have you had a sermon idea bouncing around in your head? Perhaps you’ve been wanting…

Read More

re announcements

re img

Religious Education Announcements

Sunday, April 30: Turning Outward Sunday -- NO regular morning programming for our children. Families are encouraged to include their children in their social action projects! The Nursery will be open for our babies and toddlers during the short worship service. OWL, Coming of Age and Youth Group will all take place in the evening at their regular starting times.

Food Pantry Drive: This is the last Sunday of our month long initiative to help Arlington…

Read More

yg img

Youth Group Announcements

Dear Youth Group, as we settle into springtime, we'll be soon wrapping up the year with exciting projects, celebrations of our community, and preparations for the upcoming year.

Here are some important dates coming up:

Sunday, April 30, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm: Action Sunday Service Morning – the whole First Parish community will be volunteering all morning! Youth Groupers will be headed to Groundwork Somerville.

Sunday, April 30, 6:45 pm - ​8:45 pm: Youth Group…

Read More

STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection


God is Beautiful and Loves Beauty: Experiencing Islam through the Visual, Auditory, and Literary Arts

Monday, May 1 ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm in Bailey

A STAR Adult Education Program with Ali Asani, Harvard Professor of Indo-Muslim Religions and Cultures. Muslim history and cultures are full of…

Read More

man reading under tree

Contemplating Poetry

Third Monday of Each Month
Monday, May 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,…

Read More

aging well

Aging Well Within Our Community

Thursday, May 25 ♦ 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 for…

Read More

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…

Read More

sacred dance

Sacred Circle Dance: Spring Schedule

Monthly April - June ♦ 7:00 pm - 9:00 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…

Read More

social justice section header


Giving First Recipient for April: Refugee Immigration Ministry

The Refugee Concerns Working Group, an effort sponsored by the First Parish Social Justice Committee, is part of the Arlington Cluster of the Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM). Refugee Immigration Ministry was founded in 1986 as…

Read More


Refugee Concerns Working Group

There are currently more refugees around the world than at any time since World War II. The Refugee Concerns working group enables First Parish members to become active in a variety of efforts addressing the global refugee crisis.

Our current focus is working…

Read More

"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…

Read More

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…

Read More


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…

Read More


men's group

First Parish Men's Group

Next up: Sunday, April 30 ♦ 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,…

Read More


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…

Read More


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…

Read More

cartoon of scissors and thread

Stitch & Sew Returns

Thursdays, 10:30 am in Pierce

Join us for a weekly gathering of people to knit, sew, talk, eat lunch and  prepare items for the November Harvest Fair. Everyone invited to come or let us know if you can prepare items at home that would be appropriate for the Stitch and…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

older mens group

Calling Older Men

First Thursday of each month ♦ 12:00 pm in the Parlor

First Parish is organizing a monthly fellowship gathering for older First Parish men, aimed at reinforcing camaraderie and providing a forum for discussing topics of general interest. We meet on the first Thursday of…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More


Copyright 2017 First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

Editor log-in & log-out