Spiritual Studies

Word and Deed: Ethical Living in the Book of James

Tuesdays: January 12, 26; February 2, 9, 7:00-8:15pm, Via Zoom

It is considered the New Testament’s “Manual for Ethical Christian Living”

During these four weeks, we will explore the Book of James – closely examining the text, as well as James’ sense of what it means to engage in what Buddhists call “right action” from a Christian perspective in our daily lives and the society we are part of.

Join us for any or all of these evenings during this sacred time of year.

If you are on our email list you will continue to receive details on times and how to participate in all our offerings from the Church Office either on the day of or day before each gathering. To join our email list just return to our homepage and sign up.

Prayer and Meditation

Wednesday, February 3 and 17, at 7pm, the Prayer and Meditation session scheduled for February 17 will be devoted to a Virtual Ash Wednesday service.

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 office.fpchurch@gmail.com for details.

Worship

Sunday- Morning Virtual Worship Service, 10 AM

Led by Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea with Dr. Herman Weiss, Rebecca Shrimpton and Paul Knox. Streamed on Facebook. Click to watch at 10 AM.

Past Worship services also available on YouTube, here.

The Still Speaking Seminar

The Still Speaking Seminar is currently studying The Fourth Turning by demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe.  Published in 1997, this work proposes a cyclical theory of social evolution based on the culture in which successive generations come of age.  Most significantly, the authors outlined and predicted the process by which the present “unraveling” of our social structure might come about, and offered some useful insights regarding the actions we might all take to deal with these circumstances.

The purpose of the group is to look at a variety of modern intellectuals’ thinking on issues of  faith, morals and justice as they relate to our spiritual tradition.  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; and Pope Francis’ recent encyclicals on the environment and immigration.

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 has agreed to meet on the first and third Mondays of each month, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm (via Zoom for the immediately foreseeable future).  The group will be 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

Looking Ahead: Monday, February 22, 7:00 PM
Join us as we discuss “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” by Jan-Philipp Sendker

A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.  When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains. goodreads

Monday, March 22, 7:00 PM “This Tender Land” by William Kent Krueger

In the summer of 1932, on the banks of Minnesota’s Gilead River, the Lincoln Indian Training School is a pitiless place where Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to Odie O’Banion, a lively orphan boy whose exploits constantly earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Odie and his brother, Albert, are the only white faces among the hundreds of Native American children at the school.
After committing a terrible crime, Odie and Albert are forced to flee for their lives along with their best friend, Mose, a mute young man of Sioux heritage. Out of pity, they also take with them a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy. Together, they steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi in search for a place to call home.
Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphan vagabonds journey into the unknown, crossing paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en­thralling, bighearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole. goodreads

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.

This is a time for church members as well as non-church members 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.

The host chooses the book for their month.

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.

Currently not meeting – but will resume when possible on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1 Chapel Lane, Read more about us

**Book Group – Books Read

2021

  • March This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
  • February The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
  • January Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout

2020

  • 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

2019

  • 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

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 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

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

Soup & Conversation Topics:

2019

  • 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”

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