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Oct 3 / Nancy

Vespers

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At the sign of the rose, we’re happy to announce that our new season of Vespers quiet time for prayerful meditation and peace, wonderful reflections from the Reverend John Hughes, candle-lighting at the altar, and perfect music, resumes this fall. All are welcome.

The Sanctuary opens at 6:30 for meditation

& prayer; our service is from 7 – 7:30 PM, followed by ten minutes of music.

Starting in the Fall on Weds. evenings when there is no Vesper program join us in our candlelit sanctuary for an Hour of Tranquility, 6:30 PM

A place of tranquility to enjoy peaceful music and private meditation, all faiths are welcome to join in this space.

For further information, call 978-526-7661.

Fall 2016

Weds., Sept. 21 – Vespers: “hallelujah” psalm 146

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Weds., Oct. 5 – Vespers: “wait patiently” psalm 40

Weds., Oct. 19 – Vespers: “no slumber” psalm 121

Weds., Nov. 2 – Vespers: “delights in people” psalm 149

Weds., Nov. 30 – Vespers: “peace within” psalm 122

Spring 2016

Weds., Jan. 6 – Vespers: Epiphany

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Weds., Feb. 10 – Vespers: Ash Weds.

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Weds., Feb. 24 – Vespers: “shall I be afraid?” psalm 27

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Weds., Mar. 9 – Vespers: “covered sins” psalm 32

Mar 9 2016

Weds., Mar. 24 – Vespers: Maundy Thursday

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Fall 2015

The Sanctuary opens at 6:30 for meditation

& prayer; our service is from 7 – 7:30 PM, followed by ten minutes of music.

For further information, call 978-526-7661.

 Weds. Sept. 23 – Vespers: “let evil recoil” psalm 54

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Weds., Oct. 7  – Vespers: “nothing hidden” psalm 19

Weds., Nov. 4 – “blessed is…” psalm 146

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Weds., Nov. 18 – “I take refuge” psalm 16

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Weds., Dec. 2 – “do not remember my sins” psalm 25

Fall 2014

Wed. Sept. 24th remember the wondersPsalm 105:1-6

VESPERS September 24 2014

Wed. Oct. 8thw/o speech or languagePsalm 19

VESPERS October 8 2014

Wed. Oct 22nda world firmly establishPsalm 96

VESPERS October 22 2014

Wed. Nov. 5th why cast down?Psalm 43

VESPERS November 5, 2014

Wed. Nov. 19thlook to the Lord” Psalm 123

VESPERS November 19, 2014

Wed. Dec 3rd:make your face shine” Psalm 80

Vespers December 3, 2014

May 2 / John

Bread for the Journey

“He took bread……eyes were opened…they recognized  Jesus …” Luke 24:31 

This Sunday, May 4th, our 1st Communion Class will be receiving the sacrament of communion following a two months of classes studying its purpose and meaning.  Members of the class attended 4-worship events:

  • Ash Wednesday service of Hippolytus
  • Catacomb Service with study of Christian Chants, early worship
  • Communion Preparation Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday, Passover Meal + Tenebrae of Lights service

Their classes had them learning communion prayers, discussing the meaning of the elements, understanding differing classifications, and doing scriptural studies.  They have asked questions, eaten new (exotic!) foods, and learned how communions are honored and performed in the many traditions and faiths.

First Communion is a wonderful “rite of passage” that brings people first-hand knowledge and experience to help them understand and define their relationship to God, the church, and their own personal faith.  I want to thank Jen Powers, Jessica Skidmore, and Nancy Klebart for their collaboration in making the program successful.

I hope everyone will come to celebrate this important milestone in the spiritual development of our youth… come and be a part of this important affirmation.

Yours in Faith, Rev. John G. Hughes

May 2 / Nancy

Worship Bulletins

May 21 2017 Children’s Day

May 14 2017

May 7 2017

Apr 30 2017

Apr 23 2017

Apr 16 2017 Easter

Apr 13 2017 Maundy Thursday

Apr 9 2017

Apr 2 2017

Mar 26 2017

Mar 19 2017

Mar 12 2017

Mar 5 2017

Mar 1 Ash Wednesday 2017

Feb 26 2017

Feb 19 2017

Feb 12 2017

Feb 5 2017

Jan 29 2017

Jan 22 2017

Jan 15 2017

Jan 8 2017

Jan 1 2017

Dec 25 2016

Dec 24 7pm 2016

Dec 24 5pm 2016

Dec 18 2016

Dec 11 2016

Dec 4 2016

Nov 27 2016

Nov 20 2016

Nov 13 2016

Nov 6 2016

Oct 30 2016

Oct 23 2016

Oct 16 2016

Oct 9 2016

Oct 2 2016

Sep 25 2016

Sep 18 2016

Sep 11 2016

Sep 4 2016

Aug 28 2016

Aug 14 2016

Aug 7 2016

Jul 31 2016

Jul 24 2016

Jul 17 2016

Jul 10 2016

Jul 3 2016

Jun 26 2016

Jun 19 2016

Jun 12 2016

Confirmation Jun 5 2016

May 29 2016

May 22 2016

May 15 2016

May 8 2016

May 1 2016

Apr 24 2016

Apr 17 2016

Apr 10 2016

Apr 3 2016 Membership

Mar 27 2016 Easter

Mar 24 2016 Maundy Thursday

Mar 20 2016

Mar 13 2016

Mar 6 2016

Feb 28 2016

Feb 21 2016

Feb 14 2016

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016

Feb 7 2016

Jan 31 2016

Jan 24, 2016

Jan 17, 2016

Jan 10, 2016

Jan 6, 2016 Vespers Epiphany

Jan 3, 2016

May 1 / Nancy

Newsletters Newest May 2017

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Apr 14 / John

Easter Obligations

“Why are you EasterLabel2017crying? Who are you looking for?” John 20:15

Easter is a spiritual reality, a spiritual gift.  People approach it as if it is one more thing to do on a crowded calendar.  “Does anyone want to get up tomorrow and go to watch the sunrise on Singing Beach?”, we query. We wait for an answer which will direct us to what we will do (or not do) on Easter.

Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb not for a miracle; she goes out of obligation.  She goes to do what women do after a death, preserve a body, complete a burial.  It is a “final thing” she must do before she gets on with her life.

She does not expect that she will encounter a “first thing” that will determine the rest of her life. No, for Mary, it is one more thing she must complete. She dresses appropriately for the ceremony she must perform.  She remembers to pick up the spices, as is customary. She moves slowly as there is no rush, “Jesus isn’t going anywhere”, she thinks to herself.

Arriving for the ritual, Mary is confused.  Things are not as they are supposed to be.  Where is Jesus?  What she sees is not what should be.  The stone is moved; the grave is disturbed.  There is no body to dress with spices.  What is she supposed to do? Did she get up for nothing? Is this a waste of time?

Why are you crying?” a voice asks.  Mary pours out her disillusionment and pain.  She is address personally, “Mary”.  She turns to find Jesus standing before her. She has been in his presence all along but did not realize it, she could not feel it. She addresses him softly with a familiar name, “Teacher”.  She barely contains herself.

Even today our church encounters people who believe their lives are coming to a sad, ‘final end’. They grieve the loss of people, dreams, hopes.  They come to the Church painfully disillusioned for how life has treated them. They come out of obligation to find the church has hope of new life, new relationships.

Our gifts make Easter possible.

Our gifts bring abundant life.

Rev. John Hughes

(P.S. – the sun will come up tomorrow … Tell Everyone!)

 

 

Apr 13 / Nancy

Soup & Conversation April 30

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Jen Powers, FPC member, Sunday School teacher and local business woman, will lead a conversation called

“Reflections On My Childhood in Saudi Arabia” at Soup & Conversation Sunday, April 30.

Where were you from 1973 – 1986?  Jen was in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.  From the age of 7 through 20 she was growing up with her family on an ARAMCO company compound in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.  She will share some of her experiences growing up in this unique setting:  exploring what it was like to grow up in a country with sharia law, without freedom of religion or freedom of the press and how it has shaped her world view today.  She shares that you will probably be surprised at how “normal” many of her childhood experiences were even though they were happening on the shores of the Arabian Gulf vs. the shores of Cape Ann.

This, free and open to all, Soup & Salad luncheon will be held on

Sunday, April 30, 11:30 AM

at the First Parish Chapel, 1 Chapel Lane, Manchester, MA.

To donate soup, Click here or contact Jessica cedirector.fpchurch@verizon.net  978-526-7661 ext. 3.

Mar 27 / Nancy

Soup & Conversation with Lisa Fenn, April 2

Lisa Fenn

First Parish Church hosts Lisa Fenn, author of “Carry On” in the upcoming Soup & Conversation, Sunday, April 2, 11:30 AM. Former ESPN producer Lisa Fenn shares the story of how she formed an unlikely family with Dartanyon Crockett and Leroy Sutton, two high school senior wrestlers who she covered in 2009. The three permanently altered the courses of each other’s lives. Leroy, who lost his legs in a childhood train accident, was often found on the back of the legally blind and homeless Dartanyon. Two remarkable individuals without the means or opportunities to succeed were in dire need of guidance. While there is nothing about Leroy, Dartanyon and Lisa that landed itself to an obvious bond, they forged community within each other. Lisa describes their ongoing journey together with Dartanyon, now a Paralympic bronze medalist, and Leroy, a college graduate. Soup & Salad luncheon served. Contact 978-526-7661 ext. 3 or cedirector.fpchurch@verizon.net for more information, to donate soup or salads or to RSVP.

Mar 26 / Nancy

Sunrise Breakfast

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The Diaconate invites you to join in a Family Breakfast before worship

on Sunday, April 9, 8:30 AM in the Chapel.

Come and enjoy a delicious hot breakfast to begin your day, then head to Sunday School, Church or off to sport obligations.

All are welcome!

Mar 1 / John

Observing Lent

Create in me a pure heart, O God, 

and renew a steadfast spirit  within me.Psalm 51

    “I’m giving up Netflix for Lent”, a woman recently told me – – she is serious!  Her binge watching, she feels, is getting out of control.  Traditionally, most Americans give up chocolate or alcohol, but more recently social media is coming into vogue when people participate in observing Lent.  The truth is that Three-quarters of Americans (76%) don’t participate in the discipline of Lent at all. [LifeWay Research, 2016]

Why is Lent so poorly celebrated?  Experts believe it is because it is not built into the social fiber of American Life as Christmas and Easter are.  Easter and Christmas celebrations get families together and celebrate giving gifts.  Lent is a solitary pursuit of discipline; Americans prefer the social.

Let us go down the list of what people typically do to observe Lent:

Giving up a favorite food or beverage (57%)

Attending Church services consistently (57%)

Praying more (39%)

Increase giving to others (38%)

Fast from a bad habit (35%)

Fast from a favorite activity (23%)

None of the above (5%)

In the case of the woman I recently spoke with, she is part of the 35% who wish to break the grip of a bad habit.  As we celebrate Ash Wednesday, we remember that Lent is a time to ask God to remove some aspect of our personality that prevents us from living the life God intends, or, to call forth a quality of character that brings us closer to the Image God has for us.  These two responses are what constitute a spiritual discipline in preparing for Holy Week and, particularly, Easter Sunday.

Do you feel as if you should participate in something truly counter-cultural?  Try the spiritual discipline of Lent! The idea of focusing on not what I want but on what God wants is revolutionary.

It begs the question: “What would happen in (or to) America if everyone celebrated Lent?

God only knows, Rev. John G. Hughes

 

Feb 1 / John

Giving a Lift

Who may live on your holy hill? Those who walk blamelessly, Who do what is righteous, And speak the truth from the hearts.” Psalm 15

This is a story of a Man who fell into a pit and could not pull himself out.  A Spiritualist walked by and said, “I have compassion for that person in the pit.” An atheist walked by and said, “It is logical that someone would fall into the pit.” A news reporter walked by and asked, “Can I have the exclusive story of the man in the pit?” A government official walked by and questioned, “Were the taxes paid to repair the pit?” A fire and brimstone preacher exclaimed, “This man deserved to fall into the pit for he is a sinner!” A psychologist walked by and pondered, “Perhaps your father and mother are to blame for you falling into that pit.” An optimist noted, “Things could be worse.” A pessimist stated, “Things will get worse!” Then a young Rabbi named Jesus, who was walking by, saw the man, jumped down into the pit, and lifted him out.

Our Mission Committee should be congratulated for their recent project, “The Brown Bag Lunch”.  When the brown bags are filled with fruit, the sandwiches made, small water bottles added, and cookies included for dessert, people are so appreciative, when they receive our deliveries, for the “lift” we provide while they continue to search for a new way to live.  First Parish Church again reaches out with concrete solutions to real life problems.

Blessings,

Rev John G. Hughes <’}>< <’}}><< <’}}}><<<<

Jan 26 / Nancy

Mid-Week Sunday School

SSMidweek2First Parish Church, Manchester  is excited to offer Mid-Week Sunday School for several weeks this winter due to the conflict we experience with skiing and winter sports. We will offer the program on Wednesday evenings, 2/1, 2/15, 3/15, 3/29, and 4/5,  from 6-7:00 PM. The curriculum offered is Godly Play, a Montessori based look at the many Bible stories. We hope your children can join us at 1 Chapel Lane (behind Santander Bank). Newcomers welcome! Contact Jessica at cedirector.fpchurch@verizon.net or 978-526-7661 ext. 1 with any questions. We also continue to welcome all to our Sunday morning program which begins at 10 AM same place, same curriculum.