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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. Would you like to request prayers? Email  

Book Group meets once a month all year

We continue with a new selection; “Waking Lions” by Aylet Gundar-Goshen. Dr. Eitan Green is a good man. He saves lives. Then, speeding along a deserted moonlit road in his SUV, he hits someone. Seeing that the man, an African migrant, is beyond help, he flees the scene. It is a decision that changes everything. Because the dead man’s wife knows what happened. Goodreads  Next gathering, January 29, 7 PM at the home of Nancy Peterson, 111 Chebacco Rd Hamilton. Please RSVP to the hostess so she knows how much food and drink to provide 508-284-0883 or 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!!!


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

Thursday Bible Study

4 PM at 37 Beach St. Rev. Marlayna leads Bible Study on Thursday afternoons.  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, Read more about us

Soup & Conversation

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 for upcoming dates, questions or to donate soups or salads.  


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  

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

10Commandments “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.