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Adult Education

Adult Education opportunities at First Parish

Jessica Skidmore, Christian Ministry Coordinator

Contact cedirector.fpchurch@gmail.com or 978-526-7661 ext 3 with questions about any of these programs

Book Group meets once a month

Meeting, Monday, February 25 at 6:30 PM at Nina Gadmer’s home at 20 Hickory Hill, Manchester, the book for discussion will be “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by Zora Neale HurstonOne of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. Amazon RSVP to Nina at ngadmer@hotmail.com or 978-412-5017.

Meeting, Monday, March 25 at 6:30 PM at Mary Lumsden’s house, 18 Woodcrest Rd., Manchester, the book for discussion will be “Becoming” by Michele Obama. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same – from becomingmichelleobama.com

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.  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!!! **See our list of Books read further down this page.

Save the date! Soup & Conversation Sun. February 24, following worship.

We will meet to talk about “We are our stories”, led by Christiane Alsop.

We are our stories. We get to know one another by listening and telling them. Do you have a story to share about a birth or a death in your life, about a miracle or hope? On February 24th, after worship, we will gather in small groups in the chapel to listen to each other’s tales guided by a moderator. After lunch you will select one topic of your choice to listen and share about during the event. Together we’ll marvel at facets of each other we never knew and yet recognize, as we’ve been through something like it ourselves. Our goal in this story-sharing process will be to deepen our faith and strengthen our connections with one another in community. (Note: The list of topics is similar to those we had last year: “Birth,” “Death,” “Miracle,” and “Hope,” and the topics can be interpreted as widely as you wish. For instance, a story about a Birth could be a story about a new chapter in your life when you felt you “started over;” a story about “Hope” could be a story of someone who inspired your faith in some way.  If you attended the event last year, we invite you to consider selecting a different topic this year.)

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.

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 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, revschmidt.fpchurch@gmail.com or 978-526-7661 ext. 2.

2019

  • January 6 Steve Carhart and Richard Smith “Jordan B. Peterson and a Psychological Approach to Scripture”
  • February 24 Christiane Alsop “We Are Our Stories”
  • March 24 Maren Tirabassi

2018

  • October 14 Rev. Paul Nickerson “Best Practices of Growing Churches”
  • April 15 Christiane Alsop “We Are Our Stories”

2017

  • 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”

2016

  • 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.

2015

  • 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

2019

  • March  “Becoming” by Michele Obama
  • February “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • January “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood

2018

  • 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

2017

  • 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

2016

  • 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

2015

  • 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

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  laphenpen@live.com We welcome anyone wishing to join us.

Meetings the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1 Chapel Lane, Read more about us

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.

prayer

     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

10Commandments

“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.