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Adult Education

Adult Education opportunities at First Parish

Contact or 978-526-7661 ext 3 with questions about any of these programs

PrayerTeam“For where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. Matthew 18:20

All are welcome to gather in the parlor of First Parish Church on the first and third Thursday of each month beginning on February 2. We will start promptly at 6:00 PM and end at 7:00 PM. We will be praying in one accord, a form of conversational prayer. Bring your concerns to the Lord whether they are for Yourself, Family, Friends, Our Country, The World!  You may pray along silently or pray aloud.

    Book Group meets once a month all year

We continue with a new selection for May; “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin…Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose. goodreads. We will meet on Monday, June 26, location to be announced, at 7 PM.

We have fun visiting, discussing the book and sharing stories. Each month is a new host, who provides light snacks, beverages and dessert but only once a year!!!! The host then chooses the book for the next month.  When we meet we will rate the book and give comments which we will record in a journal that hopefully the FPC book group will continue with many years from now!!!


May “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

April “Hillbilly Elogie” by J. D. Vance

March “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

February “Hissing Cousins: The Lifelong Rivalry of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth” by Marc                          Peyser and Timothy Dwyer

December 2016/January 2017 “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman


November:  “Inferno” by Dan Brown

October: “Carry On” by Lisa Fenn

Summer: “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathaniel Philbrick

June: “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto” by Mitch Albom

May: “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd.

April: “The Secret Diaries Of Charlotte Bronte” by Syrie James

March: “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff

February:  “The Little Paris Book Shop” by Nina George

January: “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown


November/December: “Fish in a tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and “Out of Dust” by Karen Hesse

October 10: “I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives” By Martin Ganda

Summer 2015 “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay

May 2015: “Caleb’s Crossing” by Geraldine Brooks

April 2015: “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr.

March 2015: “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese

Thursday Bible Study

4 PM at 37 Beach St. Rev. John Hughes guides a group on Thursday afternoon as they take a closer look at the scriptures for the upcoming Sunday.  Please join in as we prepare for worship and get ready to understand the background of the Sunday sermons, no preparation needed.  Everyone is welcome to start their weekend with this wonderful time of fellowship. Join us Thursdays from 4-5:30 PM – there is a cozy seat waiting for you, a cup of coffee and friendly faces!

The Seaside Parish Knitters

The Seaside Parish Knitters are looking for knitting needles and yarn that you might be considering “casting” aside. We continue to knit blankets, shawls, and scarves; and for our military troops: helmet liners, neck gators, and scarves.

We use both 100% wool and synthetic fibers for yarn, and straight and round knitting needles….all sizes. Contact Penny Lapham at 978-526-7128 or We welcome anyone wishing to join us.

Meetings the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1 Chapel Lane, 3 PM

Soup & Conversation

Join us on Sunday, April 2, for a conversation with Lisa Fenn, author of “Carry On”, In the spirit of The Blind Side comes a deeply moving memoir about the unexpected bonds that would transform three lives. Lisa Fenn produced human-interest features for ESPN for over a decade, but one particular story came into her life and never left. After seeing a newspaper image of two young wrestlers from one of Cleveland’s tougher public high schools, Lisa followed a hunch and flew back to her hometown to meet the boys that very day. What she found caused her spirit both to sink and to soar. Soup and Conversation Soup & Conversation is a luncheon event with discussion led by guest speakers. Each event is open to all and we hope you can join us at the Chapel at 1 Chapel Lane Manchester, MA at 11:30 AM for this event. Contact Jessica Skidmore at 978-526-7661 ext. 3 or with questions or to donate soups or salads.

April 30 Jen Powers


October 23 – Edward M. Matuvhunye, the past President of the United Church of Christ of Zimbabwe.

October 2 – Margaret Bendroth, “Congregational History”, a 300th Anniversary Event

February 28 – Barbara and Richard Smith presented “Courage and Light” Exploring Passion, Renewal and Creativity.

March 13 – Rev. Lelly Smith presented Pilgrimages: Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and African American.


March 22, 2015 we kicked off our Soup and Conversation with Wendy Booker

April 26 – Larry Kirby visited with us and provide a fascinating afternoon of  conversation on “The Emotions of War”.

May 31 – We had Vin Terrill, Henry Lapham and George Nickless visit with us all about the history of the FPC Steeple and clock

October 25 –  Rev. Rona Tyndall on The Grace Center

Past programs have included:


     The Art Of Prayer

There are many types of prayer in the Christian tradition, including intercession (praying for others), petition (asking God for something), thanksgiving (giving thanks to God), and penitential prayer (expressing sorrow for your sins). Another type is meditation, which has been described as simply “listening to God.” Most Christians throughout history have probably prayed using a mix of types and styles. Our last session will be on April 15th titled “The Process of Prayer”. The wonderful Maren Tirabasi will help us look at the rituals, routines and many different ways we pray.  We will examine the 7 different ways to pray and identify the role they play in our lives. We will meet from 5:15 – 6:15 PM in the Chapel room. We hope you can join us for this special program even if you have missed the first two – each one stands alone so you will definitely not be lost!

“Make Prayers Count”  will repeat on March 18th (the last time it was offered was a stormy night) Those who attended thought it was a wonderful introduction and history of prayer beads and felt it was so special. You are welcome to join us and make your own beads to pray with – all ages will enjoy this so feel free to bring you children.

Please join us in the Conference room from 5:15 – 6:15 for a look at prayer in a different light.

Wednesday, Feb. 4th “Make Prayers Count” – a discussion on the prayer bead system – the history and traditions, why it is so meaningful and how you use beads to pray.  Everyone will receive a set of beads and will have the option of creating their own prayer bead design in the narthex during the Hour of Tranquility.

Tuesday, Feb. 24 6:30-7:15 PM “The Power of Prayer” – a discussion on the impact of prayer – what happens when we tell someone we are praying for them? Are your prayers powerful – how do we know?

Wednesday, March 18 – 5:30 – 6:15 Repeating a program from the stormy night of Feb. 4th “Make Prayers Count” – a discussion on the prayer bead system – the history and traditions, why it is so meaningful and how you use beads to pray.  Everyone will receive a set of beads and will have the option of creating their own prayer bead design in the narthex during the Hour of Tranquility.

 Ten Best Ways to Live:  The Ten Commandments for Today’s World


“Ten Best Ways to Live:  The Ten Commandments for Today’s World,” led by Dr. Judy Haley has started. Far from an outdated code of do’s and don’ts, the Ten Commandments still offer God’s expansive perspectives and anchoring practices that bring life and joy to families and communities. Combined with Jesus’ incisive enactment of them, they provide a framework for making decisions, guiding children and living a vibrant life together. May, Commandment 10, Desires.