Adult Education opportunities at First Parish
In the introduction to his book, “Making Sense of the Cross,” Luther Seminary Professor David Lose raises many questions, including these: “How should we regard the cross? Is it a sad tragedy that we should grieve? Is it the moment of God’s victory and redemption that we should celebrate?…what kind of God would require such a gruesome death to achieve redemption?” And then he says, “By the time you are done [reading this book], you should not only understand what other Christians have said about the cross, but also what you believe about this central symbol and element of our faith.” If you have ever asked any of these questions and haven’t quite yet found answers that are completely satisfactory, you might enjoy exploring this book with your fellow church members. Rev. Marlayna will be leading a 6 week book discussion group on Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 11:45 starting on Saturday, October 5th and running through Saturday, November 2nd. Please talk with Rev. Marlayna if you are interested in attending.
The Jordan Peterson Discussion Group
The Jordan Peterson Discussion Group will meet next at 7:30 pm in the Parlor on Monday, August 12.. The topic will be lecture 3 of the Biblical Series, God and the Hierarchy of Authority. No preparation is necessary; clips of the video lecture will be provided as a springboard for discussion. However, if you would like to view the full lecture, it may be found here: https://www.youtube.com/
This group is open to the public, so please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested. Subsequent meetings are scheduled for the first and third Mondays of each month at the same time and location. If you have any questions, contact Richard Smith (978-590-7497) or Steve Carhart (978-407-8454)
Book Group meets once a month
Book group is open to everyone! This is a time for church members as well as non-church goers to come together and engage with one another, build relationships, and share in discussion of books that are of interest to people of various backgrounds.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. **See our list of Books read further down this page.
Meeting, Monday, Oct. 28, 6:30 PM
“News of the World” by Paulette Jiles. In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. Donna Johnson’s home 9 Hickory Hill Rd. Please RSVP to Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-870-6493 for planning purposes.
Meeting Monday, November 25 at 6:30 PM
The book for discussion is “Last Christmas in Paris” by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Web. August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris. But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…
Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. goodreads At Joanne Hadaegh’s home , 29 Hickory Hill Rd. Manchester.Please RSVP to Joanne at 413-221-4518 or email@example.com for planning purposes.
Meeting Monday, December 30 at 6:30 PM
In place of reading a book we will gather for a potluck dinner and Yankee Swap (bring a wrapped used book!) At Nancy Peterson’s home, 111 Chebacco Rd. Hamilton. Please RSVP to Nancy at 508-284-0883 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the date! Soup & Conversation Sun. Oct 27 following worship.
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. If you can bring soup or a salad we have you sign up online. *Past topics listed below.
We ask if you provide a soup that it is warmed and ready to be served, (in a crock pot is OK). Also, if you have any dietary restrictions please bring something you can eat and share, such as: gluten free, dairy free, or vegetarian. Sign up to bring soups, salad and more here
Thursday Bible Study
Weekly Bible Study begins again in September on Thursdays, 4:00 to 5:30 at the home of Vin Terrill, 37 Beach Street. Format of the study is as follows: we begin with sharing joys and concerns, we have a time of prayer (where people are free to pray silently or out loud), and then 2 volunteers read the text out loud, while we all notice which words the Spirit draws our attention to. (This way of reading Scripture is called “Lectio Divina.”) We each have the opportunity to share with others the words “speak” to us, as well as ask questions about the text. We also discuss how the text might apply to our lives today. The study is led by Rev. Marlayna. All are welcome to join us! Email or call Rev. Marlayna for more information, email@example.com or 978-526-7661 ext. 2.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org We welcome anyone wishing to join us.
Meetings the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1 Chapel Lane, Read more about us
*Soup & Conversation Topics:
- March 24 Maren Tirabassi
- February 24 Christiane Alsop “We Are Our Stories”
- January 6 Steve Carhart and Richard Smith “Jordan B. Peterson and a Psychological Approach to Scripture”
- October 14 Rev. Paul Nickerson “Best Practices of Growing Churches”
- April 15 Christiane Alsop “We Are Our Stories”
- October 29 – Rev. Dr. Llewellyn Smith “Reformation”
- April 30 – Jen Powers “Reflections On My Childhood in Saudi Arabia”
- April 2 – Lisa Fenn, author of “Carry On”
- 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
**Book Group – Books Read
- November “Last Christmas in Paris” by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Web
- October “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles.
- September “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith
- August “The Island of Sea Women” by Lisa See
- June “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
- May “There There” by Tommy Orange
- April “Becoming” by Michele Obama
- February/March “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by Zora Neale Hurston
- January “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood
- Summer “Leaving Before the Rain Comes” by Alexandra Fuller
- June “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott
- May “Small Great Things ” by Jodi Picoult
- April “The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story” by Hyeonseo Lee
- March “The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman
- January/February “King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village” by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman
- November/December “Waking Lions” by Aylet Gundar-Goshen
- October “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate
- September “The Storied Life of AJ Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin
- Summer “Last Hope Island” by Lynne Olson
- 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
Past programs have included:
Sermon Series and Discussion Group
In spring 2018 Rev. Marlayna taught a sermon series on “Noticing God” in our everyday lives. The series was based on a book of that title by Richard Peace, and included an adult discussion group before worship that discussed a different chapter each week.
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. Maren Tirabasi helped us look at the rituals, routines and many different ways we pray, we examined 7 different ways to
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, 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.