STAR Adult Education:
Spirit, Transformation, Adventure, Reflection


Welcome! Since 2009, STAR has been bringing new religious education programs to First Parish Arlington. STAR programs help adults learn more about Unitarian Universalism, deepen our spiritual explorations, and discover new ways to come together in community. STAR also offers interested First Parishioners an opportunity to teach, explore and share their passions with one another.

Please consider joining us as a facilitator, a participant, or both! If you would like to propose a STAR program, please email We welcome program ideas from September to May.

Read the Events page for more details on these programs and for more information on late-developing (but equally inspiring) new offerings. Below please find our ongoing events. If you do not see what you are looking for here, the Events page has all of our one-time offerings.


Ongoing Events


Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a method of reading and listening, lingering with, and sharing personal responses to selected biblical texts. Diverse responses to the text provide new insights and help us grow in our spiritual lives and set intentions for our daily lives. Drop­-ins are always welcome!

Meets Tuesdays at 7 am to 8 am and Thursdays at 8 am to 9 am in the Parlor


Conversation Circles

Conversation Circles are a quieter alternative to coffee hour. All are welcome, from longtime members to first-time visitors. Join us after Sunday morning worship for an opportunity to connect and reflect through small-group facilitated conversation. The group will meet on alternating weeks. Please check the Events page for exact dates and the most accurate information. The following are tentatively proposed dates for spring 2020: Feb. 16, March 1, March 15, March 29, and May 10.


A Revolution of Being: Opening your Mind and Heart to Who You Really Are

American teacher Adyashanti Gray

Please come and join others in exploring the foundational guidance of the respected and well-known American spiritual teacher, Adyashanti. With a Zen Buddhist background, his own teachings are free of any tradition or ideology. He encourages all people to have an “unquenchable thirst for truth and love, and a willingness to access the experience of where you are and what’s happening.” He offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. He says “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view or doctrine.” He hopes to challenge your conditioning, beliefs, judgments and thoughts in order to embody an open mind and open heart in each person’s everyday relationships.

The group is perfect for anyone for whom true understanding of who and what you really are might be meaningful, compelling or consequential. All are welcome. The gatherings are open to all people, are not sequential and carry no obligations of any kind.

Meets every other Sunday evening 6:45 to 8:45 PM in the Hedge room. Please check the Events page for exact dates.

Directions: First Parish Unitarian Universalist, 630 Massachusetts Avenue (corner of Pleasant Street and Mass Avenue), adjacent to the Robbins Library. Enter the building through the door closest to the library, take the elevator to the first floor of the “Parish House” or go up the small flight of stairs.


Playreading Group

Get in touch with your inner actor! The Playreading Group is an open group that meets in the spirit of fun and exploring our playful sides. Come join us for a rollicking and enlightening evening of reading a play aloud. Now is your chance to star in a play or be a character actor without memorizing lines or rehearsing. (Wear costumes and makeup if you like, but not required!)

The group has read such plays as The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Summer Preacher by First Parish member Nancy Hayden Gray.

Depending on attendance and number of parts, participants can rotate characters or even be multiple ones. There will be time at the end of each evening to discuss the themes, the characters and the message of the play, as well as what you liked or didn’t like about the play.

The next play will be Harvey and will begin in March 2020. Meetings are typically on Tuesday evenings for two hours (7-9pm). Please check the Events page of the First Parish website for exact dates and location, or contact Joanna, STAR Adult Education chair, at Joanna will put you in touch with Linda who facilitates the First Parish Playreading Group.


This picture shows chicken and vegetables in a resusable container.

Bring your lunch! Remember, First Parish composts now.

Lunch and Deep Conversation

Have you been looking for a daytime activity to fit into your schedule or a reason to stop and take a break? Join Chloe Briede, intern minister, for lunchtime conversation about the spiritual questions of our time. Chloe will pose a question or two each time. She will provide light facilitation of the discussion. Previous topics have included friendship, lifelong learning, whether heaven or hell exists, and many more. If you have a burning question you would like to discuss in a small group, do not hesitate to reach out in advance and ask if it might be appropriate for a future lunch and deep conversation topic.

Please bring your own lunch. Drinks will be provided. If you have questions, please reach out to Chloe. Lunches are on Wednesdays in the Parlor, 12-1PM. Please check the Events page for up-to-date information. All are welcome!