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. But this is just the start as our community continues to work together on many programs that extend through the week.
Some of our congregational groups and programs 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 as we began during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Yoga Flow — First Parish holds an all-levels hatha/vinyasa yoga flow class on the first and third Friday of the month, taught by Rev. Sarah Napoline, our Assistant Minister. Vinyasa yoga moves through the postures while mindfully linking breath with movement. These hour-long classes include stretching, strengthening, balance, and relaxation/meditation. Learn more about our Yoga Flow classes.
- Spiritual Practices — In addition to meditation and yoga, First Parish encourages members to explore different spiritual practices that nourish their souls. From Lenten devotionals to reading poetry, we all explore our connection with the divine in our own way. You can find more resources at the bottom of our Spiritual Practices page.
- Pastoral Callers — Pastoral Care at First Parish is offered in many ways; although Jeff takes the primary responsibility for pastoral support, First Parish members also volunteer through our Pastoral Callers group to help support members in need, offering a comforting card, a home-cooked meal, or a listening ear.
- Bereavement Support Group — In addition to direct pastoral care, First Parish hosts a monthly Bereavement Support Group on the first Tuesday of the month for those who have experienced the death of a loved one and would find it helpful to share their experiences with others.
Building Connections through Service
First Parish’s congregational life is vibrant and dynamic! In addition to connecting through social programs and spiritual practices, we work on outreach, social justice, and service projects, and frequently have an “All Parish Project” that targets a particular issue or need.
- Outreach & Community Service – First Parish supports and collaborates with various Outreach partners and offers many opportunities for community service.
- Social Justice – Members who participate in our Social Justice Task Force work to confront and combat systems that are unequal and unjust. This includes anti-racism work, housing inequity, refugee and immigration support, LGBTQ+ equality, and more.
- Current Initiatives – First Parish members are engaged with a myriad of different projects to varying degrees; this page lists the major initiatives that our community service and justice teams are currently working to support.
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.