First Parish Church, Congregational

All Offerings2021-06-07T18:20:11+00:00

Tuesday Spiritual Studies

Tuesdays: April 27; May 4, 11, 25; June 8 and 22 
7-8:15 PM on Zoom

During these weeks, we will examine the complex, multidimensional, inspiring, humorous and tragic lives of several of the women presented in the Hebrew Scriptures. From flawed heroes like Ruth and Rahab to warriors like Deborah and Jael, we will discuss what these foremothers of our spiritual tradition have to say to us in our time and place.

Each session will be independent enough that you need not be concerned about not participating because you cannot attend all of them.

Prayer and Meditation

Wednesday, June 9 & 23 at 7pm

An opportunity to come together for a time of quiet reflection, sharing of Scripture, and the offering of any prayer intentions that are on participants’ hearts and minds. To join us with your computer, tablet, smart phone or phone contact for details.

Bible Study

Thursday- Bible Study sessions, also continuing on Zoom at 4 PM. Participation in this has significantly increased since going online, another sign of how many of our community are using this time of necessary distancing wisely and well for the benefit of their spiritual lives. To join us with your computer, tablet, smart phone or phone contact for details.

Summer Programs for Children and Youth

The following programs are offered this summer. To pre-register, Sign Up online now or fill out a registration form, more information below.

Send direct questions to Jeanne Westcott, Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries, at

Family Scavenger Hunt

Pre-register by June 20 to receive the first clue and follow additional clues in downtown Manchester by the Sea. Prize to the winning family – a cache of specially chosen, family-friendly items to use to create a video of the story the items represent. (Story script sample available). First Parish will use the video in a Faith Formation lesson in the Fall. June 30, 4-7 PM Sign Up online now

Breakfast Buddies

Breakfast Buddies introduces a Bible character with a short presentation over breakfast. Children engage in an activity and a craft. Each day will introduce a different character so sign up for one day or all five. Ages 2-4 with an adult. July 12-16, 8-9:30 AM Sign Up online now

Bible Arts Program

An interactive storytelling, music, song, imaginative movement, yoga & meditation, games, visual art (in a variety of mediums) food creations and group creative writing using 5 different Bible stories for children ages 4-12. Free, all materials included. Pre-register by July 16, space is limited. August 16-20, 4-7 PM

Youth ages 14-16 are invited to apply as a junior counselor and parents are encouraged to volunteer.

Sign Up online now

Download and mail us a Summer Events Registration Form to First Parish Church P.O. Box 187 Manchester by the Sea, MA 01944

Faith Formation for Children & Youth – Open Houses

Meet our new Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries, Jeanne Westcott

Learn about:

  • Our new hands-on Children’s curricular model for Faith Formation classes, mission & service projects and special events.
  • Youth Fellowship special events, themed celebration evenings and special service projects to warm the heart and ignite the spirit! In full swing in September.

The dates are:

June 27: Families with children of all ages are invited to worship at Tucks Point, 10 AM and then meet us at 1 Chapel Lane, 11- 1 PM for a tour of the revamped Faith Formation wing. Snacks available.

July 28: Youth (ages 12-18) and parents are invited to a Youth Fellowship Open House, Wednesday evening, 6-8 PM. Join us to explore our Youth space, play a youth game, share a snack and register for the 21-22 Program Year.

August 14: If you did not get a chance to attend either of the prior Open Houses, here is another chance. Saturday, 10 – noon. Faith Formation Classes Open House, come meet us, find out about the upcoming programs. Registration materials will be available.

Family Scavenger Hunt

Sponsored by the First Parish Church Christian Education Committee. Don’t miss out. Fun. Free. Family Friendly!

When: June 30, 2021, 4-7 pm

Where: Downtown Manchester by the Sea

What is Involved? Families pre-register by June 20 to receive the first clue. Additional clues will be found around the downtown area.

Winner will find a cache of specially chosen, family-friendly items.


Your family agrees to use the items to create a video of the story the items represent.

(Story script sample available)

First Parish Church will use your video to teach a Faith Formation Lesson in the Fall!

To pre-register, sign up on the Sign-Up Genius, fill out a registration form. Direct questions to Jeanne Westcott, Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries, at


Sunday Morning Worship Service, 10 AM, 10 Central St. Manchester by the Sea, MA

Click to watch online at Facebook Live

Sunday, May 2 we will regather for Sunday morning worship in the sanctuary. We will be following MA Covid protocols.

We will go forward as a “hybrid” Church, you can continue watching our service online if you are more comfortable doing so.

Worship is led by Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea with Dr. Herman Weiss, Rebecca Shrimpton and Paul Knox.

Past Worship services also available on YouTube, here.

The Still Speaking Seminar

The Still Speaking Seminar meets on the first and third Mondays of each month from 7:30 to 9 pm via Zoom.  Its purpose is to look at a variety of modern intellectuals’ thinking on issues of faith, morals and justice as they relate to our spiritual tradition.  Topics rotate in response to the interests of the group.  In recent weeks we have spent time with topics such as Harvard Philosophy Professor Michael Sandel’s exploration of the ethics of meritocracy; twentieth century Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s work on social ethics in relation to economic inequality and warfare; Catholic Social Teaching and Christian Democracy movement; Pope Francis’ recent encyclicals on the environment and immigration:  The Fourth Turning by demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe; and spiritual experiences in eastern traditions.

The name Still Speaking Seminar is a play on the UCC’s slogan “God is Still Speaking” and is intended to  highlight our view that faith is constantly renewing itself and presenting fresh insights in the present moment.  We will continue to use our  format of a video exploration of some aspect of  modern thought from an authoritative source, followed by discussion.  No preparation is required; additional background material will be available for those interested in deeper explorations of the ideas under consideration.  The group is coordinated by Richard Smith and Steve Carhart.  If you are not already on our email list and would like to receive regular notifications of topics and Zoom invitations, contact us at 978-590-7497 (Dick) or 978-407-8454 (Steve).

Book Group

Book group is open to everyone!
Consider Joining Us

Do you know we have a book group at First Parish?
It is open to anyone and we are now meeting again in person on the last Monday of the month. The book for our June discussion is Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan.

This is a time for church members as well as non-church friends to come together and engage with one another, build relationships, and share in a discussion of books that are of interest to people of various backgrounds. We have fun visiting, conversing about the book and sharing stories and would love to have you join us!

Questions?  Please call Mary Ellen Cook 978-500-0018.

June 28 “Saving Fish From Drowning” by Amy Tan 6:30 PM 23 Harold St.
With picaresque characters and mesmerizing imagery, Saving Fish from Drowning gives us a voice as idiosyncratic, sharp, and affectionate as the mothers of The Joy Luck Club. Bibi is the observant eye of human nature–the witness of good intentions and bad outcomes, of desperate souls and those who wish to save them. In the end, Tan takes her readers to that place in their own heart where hope is found.

We will take the month of July off to read our own summer books. We can share some of these at our August meeting.
On August 30 “The Book of Longings” by Sue Monk Kidd 7 PM. Location to be determined. 
Everyone is welcome to join us at these groups. Come for one or come each month.

The Seaside Parish Knitters

Meeting the 3rd Thursday of the month at the FPC Chapel building, 1 Chapel Lane, 3 PM. 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.

Read more about us

**Book Group – Books Read


  • August The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
  • June Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
  • May The Exiles by Christina Kline
  • April The Searcher by Tara French
  • March This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
  • February The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
  • January Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout


  • December No book to read. Let’s get together to share how we are celebrating the holidays, share a recipe…
  • November Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
  • October Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson
  • August/September Free read month-read at your leisure and we will share our reads at these meetings
  • July I Feel Bad About My Neck” Nora Ephron
  • June Leaving Lucy Pear” by Anna Solomon
  • May We Must Be Brave” by Frances Liardet
  • April “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett
  • February “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • January “Nutshell” by Ian McEwan


  • November “Last Christmas in Paris” by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Web
  • October “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles.
  • September “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith
  • August “The Island of Sea Women” by Lisa See
  • June  “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  • May “There There” by Tommy Orange
  • April  “Becoming” by Michele Obama
  • February/March “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • January “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood


  • 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


  • 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 Elegy” 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

Soup & Conversation Topics:


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


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


  • 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


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