Programs That Help Us Connect, Grow, and Serve
Learn more about how to get involved at First Parish to connect with one another, grow your mind and spirit, and serve your community.
First Parish is a self-governing church, which means that our programs are overseen or guided by volunteers. Although we have a dedicated Ministry & Staff team for our pastoral needs and day-to-day operations, First Parish truly is “our” church. Click the link below for a list of our committees and project teams.
Our Sunday service, Fellowship Coffee Hour, and Sunday Children’s Programs are the touchstones of our week where we see our friends and neighbors and our community-building begins. This is just the start as our community continues to work together on many programs that extend through the week.
We have a wide variety of events and programs, including social gatherings, educational programs, and spiritual growth. We work on service projects (and frequently an “All Parish Project” that targets a particular issue or need) and we work with our Outreach partners based on our time and passion.
Some of our congregational groups and resources include:
- First Parish Book Group — A lively combination of fellowship and discussion on a book chosen by the group. The group generally meets on the third Thursday morning of the month.
- Knitters and Stitchers — This weekly gathering of fiber enthusiasts makes prayer shawls for those who are ill or compromised and garments for children in need. They meet in the Parlor, on the Patio, or via Zoom on Mondays at noon.
- Parish Library — A collection of books with a concentration on topics of religion and personal development. It also includes a children’s section and a surprising number of books authored by First Parish members.
- Dinner Connections — Congregants who sign up for Dinner Connections are split into groups and gather for lively monthly “potluck” dinners in rotating houses. The hosts cook the main course and the guests bring appetizers, salads or dessert. In May all groups gather in the Parish Hall for a potluck supper. We typically sign up for a new round of Dinner Connections each fall.
- Senior Men’s Lunch Group — known affectionately as the “Old Geezers.” A monthly opportunity to bring a bag lunch and join in for discussion and fellowship. Meets in the Library (or via Zoom) on the first Tuesday of the month from September through June.”
SPIRITUAL LIFE AT FIRST PARISH
There are many different ways to connect to our personal faith. We love coming together every week for our Sunday Services, but churches are also a resource to help us deepen our individual spirituality. There are many different ways First Parish guides us in cultivating our own personal devotional practices.
- Weekly Meditation — In our busy and complex world, it is beneficial to step back to find a peaceful place in our heart. A few moments of mindfulness meditation open ourselves to a better world and a brighter outlook for our day. Join our Weekly Meditation Wednesday mornings at 8:30 AM — in the beautiful Sears Chapel when in person, or on Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Spiritual & Pastoral Care — Our spiritual practices help keep us connected to faith, but it is our human connections that sustain us in our day-to-day lives, when we experience crises and when we celebrate connection.
- Pastoral Callers — Although Rev. Jeff takes the primary responsibility for pastoral support at First Parish (check out the helpful list of “When to Call the Minister” on the Pastoral Care page!), we also have a small team of pastoral callers who help reach out to congregants in need. This internal “in-reach” group helps out by stopping by for visits in hospitals and homes, delivering meals to our sick, providing rides to doctors’ appointments, providing shawls from the Knitters and Stitchers group, and offering a helping hand whenever it is needed.
- Bereavement Support Group (New in 2022) — This new group is open to anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one and would find it helpful to share their experience with others. It does not have to be a recent loss or one related to COVID – grief takes time to process and no two people go through it in the exact same way or on the same timeline. Contact Jeff Barz-Snell or the church office for details about the next gathering.
Explore what First Parish Has to Offer!
First Parish hosts a diverse array of events and programs for children, teens, & families, adult education, spiritual & devotional practices, music & choir, and community service, but we’re always open to new ideas.
- Is there a program that you’re curious about that isn’t listed here?
- Is there something that you think First Parish members would love…
but you’re not sure how to make it happen?
- Are you new and not sure how to get connected or even where to start?
Contact Rev. Jeff Barz-Snell or Rev. Sarah Napoline – they would be more than happy to answer questions, get you connected, or support a new initiative.