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Oct 3 / Nancy



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


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


Weds., Feb. 10 – Vespers: Ash Weds.


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


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

Mar 9 2016

Weds., Mar. 24 – Vespers: Maundy Thursday


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


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

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

VesperBulletinNov4 2015

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

VesperBulletinNov18 2015

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

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 for more information, to donate soup or salads or to RSVP.

Mar 26 / Nancy

Sunrise Breakfast


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 10 / Nancy

Worship Bulletins

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

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 28 / Nancy

Newsletters Newest March 2017

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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.


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 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.


Jan 24 / Nancy

Annual Business Meeting February 5, 2017


ABM BOT Church Report

FIRST PARISH CHURCH, CONGREGATIONAL United Church of Christ Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts


February 5, 2017

TO:  Active Members of the First Parish Church, Congregational, United Church of Christ, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

You are hereby notified to meet in the Church on Sunday, February 5, 2017 immediately following the Worship Service, for the following purposes:

To wit:

ARTICLE I: To accept the report of the Annual Business Meeting held on February 7, 2016

ARTICLE II: To see what action the Church will take in regard to the budget proposal for 2017 as submitted by the Board of Trustees.

ARTICLE III:   To hear and act upon the reports of  the Financial Secretary, the Board of Trustees, the Investment Committee, the Christian Education Committee, the Diaconate Board, the Missions Committee, the Music Committee, the Stewardship Committee, and the Vitality Committee.

ARTICLE IV: To authorize the Board of Trustees to borrow up to $10,000 from the Endowment Fund if needed to support the operations of the church and not as a permanent withdrawal if it becomes necessary during  2017 and until the 2018 Annual Business Meeting.

Article V: To hear and act upon any other business of a financial nature that may come before the meeting.

George A. Nickless, Clerk

Jan 11 / John


January 9, 2017

Dear Members of First Parish Church,

I have served at First Parish Church, Congregational for thirty-seven years.  During my tenure, I have always believed in the strength of our community and its congregational way of life.  The church community is the primary place to experience God’s grace and goodness. Our church presently is strong financially, programmatically and has never had a richer missions program and outreach.  I am grateful for the trust and faith the community has always shown in supporting me as pastor.

Over the past year I have been considering my role at First Parish Church and what the future should hold.  After much conversation and support from our church leadership and from my wife, Marilyn, I have come to the conclusion it is a good time for me to step down as your minister and seek a new calling from God in a part-time ministry.

Change is hard, yet, looking back over my time in Manchester-by-the-Sea I realize how much change we have weathered together with God’s inspiration and guidance.  It is with assurance and faith, that I trust God will see both First Parish Church and my family through to bright futures.

This transition will take several months and I expect it will be seamless because of the confidence I have in our church and its leadership.  Though worries and concerns will surface in the upcoming months, I am certain our church is in a strong position to meet any challenge.

So much has changed in the thirty-seven years I have served as your pastor, but one thing has not changed – – God’s continuing love.  I believe that love, God’s love, will sustain us all in the months ahead.

Yours in Faith, Rev. John G. Hughes

Jan 3 / Nancy

Transition Information

Timeline of the Pastoral Search Process