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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. 8th-w/o speech or languagePsalm 19

VESPERS October 8 2014

Wed. Oct 22nd-a world firmly establishPsalm 96

VESPERS October 22 2014

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

VESPERS November 5, 2014

Wed. Nov. 19th-look to the Lord” Psalm 123

VESPERS November 19, 2014

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

Vespers December 3, 2014

Mar 20 / Nancy

Holy Week


First Parish Church Congregational welcomes you to participate in these Holy Week services;


Palm Sunday March 25, 10:00 AM, Church


Maundy Thursday March 29, 7:30 PM, Church


Good Friday Ecumenical Service March 30, 12 Noon,

Cornerstone Church 20 School St. Manchester


Lenten Vespers March 31, 5:30 PM, Church


 Easter Sunrise Ecumenical Service April 1, 6:23 AM,

Singing Beach


Easter Worship April 1, 10 AM, Church

(Easter Egg hunt follows worship)

Mar 8 / Nancy

Worship Bulletins

Mar 18 2018

Mar 17 2018 Lenten Vespers

Mar 11 2018

Mar 10 2018 Lenten Vespers

Mar 4 2018

Mar 3 2018 Lenten Vespers

Feb 25 2018

Feb 24 2018 Lenten Vespers

Feb 18 2018

Feb 17 2018 Lenten Vespers

Feb 14 2018 Ash Wednesday

Feb 11 2018

Feb 4 2018

Jan 28 2018

Jan 21 2018

Jan 14 2018

Jan 7 2018

Dec 31 2017

December 24 2017 7 PM Christmas Eve

December 24, 2017 5 PM Christmas Eve

December 24, 2017 10 AM Christmas Eve

Dec 23 2017 Advent Vespers

Dec 17 2017 Pageant

Dec 16 2017 Advent Vespers

Dec 10 2017

Dec 9 2017 Advent Vespers

Dec 3 2017

Nov 26 2017

Nov 19 2017

Nov 12 2017

Nov 5 2017

Oct 29 2017

Oct 22 2017

Oct 15 2017

Oct 8 2017

Oct 1  2017

Sep 24 2017 Jazz

Sep 17 2017

Sep 10 2017

Sep 3 2017 Communion Sunday

Aug 27 2017

Aug 20 2017

Aug 13 2017

Aug 6 2017

July 30 2017

July 23 2017

July 16 2017

July 9 2017

July 2 2017

June 25 2017

June 18 2017

June 11 2017

June 4 2017

May 28 2017

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 2017 Ash Wednesday

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 2016 7 PM Christmas Eve

Dec 24 2016 5 PM Christmas Eve

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

Jun 5 2016 Confirmation

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

Feb. 10, 2016 Ash Wednesday 

Feb 7 2016

Jan 31 2016

Jan 24, 2016

Jan 17, 2016

Jan 10, 2016

Jan 6, 2016 Vespers Epiphany

Jan 3, 2016

Mar 6 / Nancy

Soup & Conversation April 15

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 a saint or about your faith?  On April 15th, 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:  story topics are “birth,” “death,” “miracle,” “saint,” and “faith,” but 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 a “saint” could be a story of someone who inspired your faith in some way.) RSVP to Jessica if you can bring soup or a salad or sign up online.  
Mar 6 / Nancy

Christmas Fair by the Sea 2018

Save the Date! 

The Christmas Fair will be on Saturday, November 10 from 9 to 1

Craft Workshop

Announcing a series of Fair Craft Workshops which will be starting the week of April 22.  We will be making little Woodland Faerie ornaments at Barbara Smith’s house.  Exact day to be announced.  

Fair News

An enthusiastic and happy group of more than a dozen met in January to set a date for this year's Fair, set goals and share new ideas (garnered from some scouting trips to other Christmas fairs).

Our goals are to increase our income from the Fair, increase involvement of young families and children, and try a new couple of new things, while keeping all the favorites.

How can you help now?  By remembering the Fair as you declutter this winter.  Contact Allison  (617-935-3362) to arrange a convenient drop-off.

Mar 6 / Nancy

Easter Lilies

You are invited to purchase a traditional Easter Lily, ($15) to decorate our sanctuary for Easter. Following the Service, the plants may be taken home or left to be given to our homebound members and friends. A complete list of donors and those remembered will be included in the Easter bulletin. The deadline for ordering is Monday, March 26 by noon. Order online here Please pay for your plant by submitting a payment in the offering plate, by mail or drop to the office (note: "Lily" on payment). I (we) wish to donate a plant(s) please circle one: In Memory of                In Celebration of               In Honor of                                                                                                 Name of Loved One(s) ______________________________________________________   Name of Donor(s)  _________________________________________________________   Phone Number  ___________________________________________________________   Please check: _____  I will take plant(s) home   _____  Please give my plant(s)   _____  A donation to the Diaconate Fund   Number of Easter lily(s) desired: ________     Enclosed: $ _________    
Feb 6 / Nancy

Heifer Birthday Bash!

Birthday Bash and Heifer Talent Show

Sunday, March 11 following worship Join us to celebrate your birthday, eat some delicious cake
and watch amazing talent all to benefit Heifer International. Sign up to bring a cake and decorate a table or email
Feb 2 / Nancy

Lenten Offerings

Sermon Series & Discussion Group:  Noticing God

Starting February 4 and running through April 15th, Rev. Marlayna will be preaching a sermon series on “Noticing God” in our everyday lives. The series will be based on a book of that title  by Richard Peace. Also, beginning Sunday, February 4th, from 8:55 to 9:40 am before worship each week, Rev. Marlayna will lead an adult discussion group in the chapel based on this book.  Join us in the Conference Room of the Chapel (behind Santander Bank). We will do a different chapter each week.  Please let Rev. Marlayna know via email if you would like to attend—and if you would like her to order you a copy of the book.  (Or feel free to obtain the book on your own!) (Feb 11th’s topic will be “Noticing God in Mystical Encounters” (Scripture:  2 Corinthians 2:1-9.  Note: In this Scripture the Apostle Paul has a mystical experience and shares how he has learned to put it in perspective)

Ash Wednesday

Worship service:  7 PM on Wed. February 14 in the sanctuary.  This will be a 30 minute, meditative service where Rev. Marlayna will talk about the meaning of this sacred day, and people will be invited, if they wish, to receive ashes as a sign of repentance.

Lenten Vespers

Looking for a way to deepen your spiritual connections to God this Lenten Season?  Join us for a quiet service of prayer, poetry, and candle-lighting on the seven Saturday evenings of Lent as we remember the time Jesus spent in the wilderness.  Services focusing on how we can connect to God in “the desert wilderness” of our lives will be held at First Parish Church Congregational from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. starting on Saturday, February 17th and running through Saturday, March 31st.  Members of the church and the general public are welcome to attend.

Feb 1 / Nancy

Newsletters Newest March 2018

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Church Bell Newsletter Dec 2017

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Church Bell Newsletter April 2017

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Church Bell Newsletter March 2016

Church Bell Newsletter Feb2016

Church  Bell Newsletter Jan2016

Dec 19 / Rev. Marlayna Schmidt

Nothing says Christmas like the sound of a kazoo band! 

Dear Members and Friends of First Parish Church, Congregational UCC— Nothing says Christmas like the sound of a kazoo band! Those of you who attended the Dec 3rd holiday concert, held in the church prior to the Community Friendship Tree Lighting on the green, know what I’m talking about.  For those of you who weren’t there, you may know that every year the church hosts this holiday “kick-off” event, sponsored by the Manchester Woman’s Club, where children and youth choirs and bands from Memorial Elementary School and Manchester Essex Regional High School perform Christmas and Hanukkah music.  This year, the chorus from the high school played kazoos during one of their songs.  It was marvelous!!  (And, for the record, the whole concert was marvelous—not just the kazoos—the young people at the concert were so talented!!) As the interim pastor of the host church, I was asked to give a welcome.  As I was writing the welcome, I thought of the 300th Anniversary of the church that the congregation celebrated last year.  One of the things that means is that for 301 years, the church (the people and its buildings) has been hosting not only worship gatherings, but also secular meetings for the town.  (And the December 3rd concert—with various types of holiday music--was an interesting blend of sacred and secular.) It also struck me, on December 3rd as I sat in a pew watching the concert, what a wonderful gift the church has to offer the town:  the gift of hospitality.  Hospitality is a gift that is praised throughout the Bible.  In fact, the book of Hebrews reminds us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”  (Hebrews 13:2) As I was giving the welcome that day, I looked out at the “standing room only” crowd, and I spotted at least a few dozen church members interspersed among the people gathered there.  Plus, there were members of the Sunday School and youth groups in every group that performed.  So, not only is our building offering hospitality, but all of you—young and old-- are ambassadors of God’s Love as you participate in town events. It is my hope and prayer that you/we (pastor and people) consciously see ourselves as God’s ambassadors and continue to offer hospitality to the people we interact with every day—through our church building, programs, and the friendship/care we extend.  And if there are people we meet who do not already have a faith community, may we respectfully invite them to come and experience the Love of God that we see revealed in Jesus during our Advent/Christmas worship (Sunday morning 10 am, Saturday evening 5:30 vespers, Christmas Eve 10 am, 5 pm, 7 pm.) I enclose a Christmas offering envelope if you wish to give an extra gift to the church for the Christmas season to help us continue all of this good work. Blessings, Rev. Dr. Marlayna Schmidt
Oct 31 / Nancy

Church Council

Committee Directory

Committee Directory with Contacts

Current Bylaws


Annual Business Meeting

ABM Report 2018


Covenant 2017

Third Congregational Meeting

Topic:  Drafting a One-Sentence Mission/Purpose Statement (which is like a slogan or motto that describes, in a memorable way, the primary work of our church)

Sunday, January 21st, 11:20 to 1 PM In the Chapel, A light lunch will be served

All members and active congregants invited! Come and help shape the future for FPCC!


INTERIM VISION PROCESS  To the 41 people who participated in our second (of four) “Whole Church” Congregational meeting that took place after worship last week—THANK YOU for your input!  We had a very thoughtful, inspiring, and respectful conversation about VALUES, that is, the principles or standards of behavior that are most important to us, that drive the ministry and mission of our church.  We looked at both “current” values (values we currently reflect by our actions as a congregation) and “aspirational” values (values we would like to live into in the future.)  We then participated in a group exercise where we prioritized our top values and described what they mean to us.  The Transition Team has drafted a statement based on those descriptions. (See insert in today’s bulletin) Please keep our VISION process in your prayers, and please mark your calendars for the NEXT meeting in our process, which is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, January 21st.    Your Transition Team (Paul Driscoll, Lauren Gudonis, Mary Lumsden, Jeff Parker, Jason Smith, Lelly Smith) VISION SCRIPTURE FOR JANUARY to create a Biblical foundation for the Vision Process, the Transition Team is spending a few minutes at their meeting each month prayerfully discussing a different Scripture reading.  The Team invites the congregation (and its various boards, committees, and groups) to join them in this practice, reflecting on the following questions for each reading:  1) How does God give vision in this Scripture to God’s people?  2) How might God give our church vision for the future?  The reading for January is:   Isaiah 6: 1-8 (Isaiah has a vision of angels where God asks him, “whom shall I send?”)      Church Council minutes, Congregational Meeting minutes and documents can be found online.


Interim Vision Process Meeting 1 - History

History Highlights - table form

History Key Events - table form

History Struggles - table form

History - Reflective Sentences

Church Council Minutes & Committee Reports

CC Committee Reports Jan 2018

CC Minutes Dec 2017

CC Committee Reports Dec 2017

CC Minutes Nov 2017

CC Committee Reports Nov 2017

CC Minutes Oct 2017

CC Committee Reports Oct 2017

CC Committee Reports & CC Minutes Sept 2017