Hello & welcome to First Parish Church of Newbury!  We’re a United Church of Christ congregation with a traditional worship service and dynamic mission programs that serve hundreds in our community.  Please join us for worship any Sunday.  See below for more info.  We look forward to meeting you!
Rev. Jeff MacDonald, Pastor of First Parish Church of Newbury


Worship  Sundays at 10:00 AM

Parking at First Parish is available behind the church and is permissible at the front of the church. Entrances include the handicapped one near the parking lot, the pre-school entrance near the bottom of the driveway, and the front entrances:


6th Sunday of Epiphany
Sunday February 16, 2020

Pickup choir sings this Sunday. Our offertory singers comprise a one-day choir that’s open to anyone on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Just arrive by 9:15, have a quick rehearsal with Choir Director Nancy Reed & you’re in the pickup choir for the day! The next one will be Sunday, March 15. Come sing!

join our pick-up choir

Coffee hour after worship. Please join us downstairs for refreshments and visiting with friends old and new.

Potluck lunch next Sunday, Feb. 23. Join us downstairs after worship for food and fellowship in honor of our three new church members. Bring an Italian dish, salad, side or beverage if you can.

a typical pot luck lunch at First Parish

Bible study meets at 8:30 am in downstairs hall next Sunday, Feb. 23. Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. Newcomers always welcome. No background is expected. It’s conversational but also OK to just sit in and listen.

Choir rehearsal – 7 pm on these dates: 2/26, 3/11, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8. Newcomers are welcome to join this fun and meaningful ministry of music. No musical training required. Just show up & Choir Director Nancy Reed will help you get up to speed.

Super Saturday workshops, March 14 – A day of learning & inspiration is coming up in Wilbraham, MA for UCC churches of Southern New England. Workshops will cover practical topics related to First Parish’s stated goals, such as congregational growth, stewardship and addressing climate change. Rev. MacDonald will lead a workshop on the topic of his forthcoming book: vitality in congregations with part-time clergy. Registration deadline is March 1. More info & register at

Food pantry delivery help needed – Supplies from Greater Boston Food Bank arrive at 8:45 am Thursday, Feb. 20. Stop by if you can help sort or carry a few loads into the church. Food pantry is open Fridays 3 to 5 pm for anyone in need of food assistance.


some of our food pantry volunteers


We are hiring for our preschool at First Parish! Here is the job description, please share —
Our Secret Garden, an environmental preschool in Newbury, MA, , is seeking a director to begin September 2020.
Qualifications include a degree in early childhood education, Director 2 EEC certification, experience in pre-school administration and knowledge of EEC licensing requirements.
Please submit a resume, including references to: . Feel free to email or call the church with questions: 978-465-5597. 

Like to knit or want to learn? Speak to Wilma Buckley. She’s organizing a new group that will begin meeting in the spring.

Music opportunity at First Parish. Do children in your family play instruments? Or do you play? First Parish offers a standing invitation to play during worship in a supportive, encouraging atmosphere. Please speak with Rev. MacDonald or Music Committee Chair Virginia Champi to learn more.

Tour the First Parish Burying Ground anytime to see how preservation, restoration and maintenance efforts offer a glimpse into the area’s history as well as honoring and remembering the contributions of many Veterans and early settlers buried there.

A map of the burial ground and a list of descendants buried there can be found at

We are grateful to the Newbury Cultural Council for again granting the First Parish preservation funds, this time in the amount of $260.00  to support renovation of the Cast iron fence in the Burying Ground. Our friends of the cemetery planned the project depicted below.  You are welcome to join the group.

Before and after pictures of restoration


First Parish Missions: 

The Food Pantry provides food for special diets, toiletries, pet food, and perishable/non-perishable food.  We are open to all in need and welcome volunteers.  The entry door is located near the rear parking lot and is handicapped accessible.


The 2019 New Eden garden organic community garden growing season is complete.


Cooking lobster in the earth oven during a garden party

If you want to know more about how it works and would like to consider renting a plot next year, contact Chuck Mead at  or Adam Kowal at  Details can be found at


Re-purposing/recycling of used clothing:  

We’ve partnered with St. Pauly Inc., granting permission for them to put a clothing shed in our parking lot.  We support their efforts to:   

Reduce waste in landfills

Enable your clothing to be used worldwide

Redistribute donations as whole garments

The shed accepts donations of all clothing, shoes, sneakers, belts, purses, blankets, towels, sheets, pillowcases, curtains, and stuffed toys.

Our Secret Garden Indoor/Outdoor Environmental Pre-school is a nature based pre-school created to provide quality care and education for children ages 2.9 to 5.  The school is open 5 days a week from September through June and a summer enrichment program is available in July and August.

Now Offering Cooking classes:



What happens at First Parish Church?

Here’s a quick introduction:

*Worship. We praise, proclaim, petition and encounter the living God together every Sunday  morning in our historic 1869 sanctuary.

*Education. Our Biblically knowledgeable teachers ae able to help elementary & middle school kids learn and grow spiritually during worship hour (9:45 am – 11 am Sundays) from mid-September through mid-June.

*Formation. We explore scriptures in depth together in our discipleship & Bible study group, which meets twice a month before worship. Here we consider what it means for us, both as unique individuals and as a faith community, to live in light of the Gospel. Open to ages 14 on up.

*Outreach. Parishioners established a food pantry that provides non-perishable food and pet supplies every Friday afternoon.  During the growing season New Eden Organic garden share holders donate a percentage of their produce to the food pantry.

*Fellowship. We have social time with refreshments weekly after worship & monthly over a community meal.



Q: Do I have to be a member of the church to, say, attend Bible study or volunteer?

A: No! Newcomers are welcome to hop in anywhere and anytime. That’s how spiritual experiences happen and how authentic relationships grow.

Q: Am I supposed to dress up for church?

A: You may if you would like, but it’s not required. Some wear ties and dresses; others come in t-shirts and jeans. Whatever is comfortable for you is OK.

Q: Do I need to believe something in particular?

A: We teach the scriptures and doctrines of Christianity. We regard them as true and trustworthy. However, we don’t expect everyone to arrive as experts or anything close to it. We’re all curious to learn more. We strive to see our life experiences anew through lenses of Christian teachings and to live in relationship with the living God of the Bible. First Parish provides a safe space to ask questions, learn and grow. And we equip individuals and families with resources for making progress from week to week.

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