Greeting from Rev. Jeff MacDonald
Welcome to our site! We’re a Congregational Christian church with a  380-year history in Newbury and core ministries in worship, Bible study, fellowship and outreach. We believe loving God involves both serving neighbors and caring for the earth. Please have a look around and visit us on a Sunday morning. We’re glad you’re here.


Fall Happenings at First Parish

a new look to the church front this fall

Restoration funds enabled Mike Mullins and his crew  to paint the front of the church in September.

Sunday School began September 20th but its never too late to enroll.  It meets from 9:45 to 11:00 AM. most Sundays.  Child care for toddlers through age 4 and classes for grades K through 8 are available. Each Sunday all students will first meet at the Adventure Table for prayer and to complete a take-home project that will introduce “Our Awesome God”. Grades K through 3 will join together as a class using hands-on lessons from Genesis. Grades 4 through 8 will learn how to use the Bible to find om God’s truths for their lives. A long-term project for Sunday School will involve students designing bags for a community food collection at Thanksgiving time.

Bert & Sayre Noyes. 978-462-4250. are available to answer questions.

Bible Discussions in October will be on the 18th and the 25th at 8:30 AM.  These informative and engaging meetings with Rev. MacDonald take place twice a month and are open to newcomers.

A Harvest Communion and Pizza brunch October 11th will feature bread and pizza baked in the earth oven as well as grapes grown in the New Eden organic gardens,.  The Communion worship will commence in the church sanctuary and move outside to the earth oven (weather permitting). The service will end shortly after communion.  Pizza toppings and side dishes for the brunch are welcome.

Communion - 3 (4)

communion text for the community

pizza going into the earth oven

pizza going into the earth oven,  call or e-mail the church if you want to attend Super Saturday October 17th with a First Parish group

improvements made to the cemetery by the Jarvis team

Saturday, November 14th, Appreciation Day for Donald Jarvis and his volunteers at 10:00 AM in the First Parish sanctuary. This is an opportunity for the community to thank them for their spring and summer restoration work in the Old Burying Ground and to learn more about the cemetery project. Current Information about this undertaking can be found in a Newburyport Daily News article published July 1, 2015 at

The First Parish Music Series      

Saturday, November, 7, 7:30 PM

Harvey Reid and Joyce Anderson  Harvey and Joyce 

Joyce Anderson and Harvey Reid have combined their talents to create one of the most potent duo teams in acoustic music. They are both gifted instrumentalists, strong and versatile singers, and prolific songwriters, and are comfortable in a dizzying array of styles of roots and Americana music. They jump from showstopping celtic jigs and old-time fiddle tunes to house-shaking blues rockers, soaring gospel duets, and achingly beautiful ballads. Reid’s legendary acoustic and slide guitar work make a perfect backdrop for Andersen’s powerful fiddling, and they take turns on lead and harmony vocals to showcase a large and interesting repertoire of original, traditional and contemporary music. They have brought audiences to their feet at folk & bluegrass festivals, clubs, coffeehouses and concert halls across the US and in Europe, and have released 4 highly-acclaimed collaboration recordings.

Advance tickets can be purchased at  for $19.00 or at the door for $20.00

Saturday, December 19,  8:00 PM

Boston Camerata

boston camerata “A Medieval Christmas” is a Christmas narrative retold using songs, chants, and instruments…These works from Spain, Italy, Southern France, North Africa, and the Holy Land are drawn from old medieval manuscripts, archaic folklore, and oral traditions.

Tickets are available at

Friday, March 18, 7:30 PM

The Soggy Po Boys 

soggy po boys Much in the spirit of the great residency that exists at New Orleans’ own Spotted Cat Music Club where the legendary Vipers have thrown down on every Monday for the past god-knows-how-long, the Po’ Boys are steeped in tradition while in search of creating tradition all their own. With a repertoire of New Orleans standards, spirituals, contemporary music, and swing tunes, the Po’ Boys offer a lively blend of fun and insanity.

Advance tickets can be purchased at for $19.00 or at the door for $20.00

Friday, April 29, 7:30 PM

Don White 

Don WhiteIf you laugh and cry within the same ten minutes, you either need a vacation or are sitting in the audience at a Don White show.  This working class family man from Lynn, Massachusetts has emerged as the thoughtful song writer of the decade whose relevance to our lives is evidenced by the powerful reaction he evokes at every concert.  Radio audiences, too, are not safe from the Don White experience.  Valerie Adams of WNCS Radio, Vermont said, “I’ve never seen anything like it.  Everytime I play I Know What Love Is the phones light up like a Christmas tree.  Stereo Review Magazine called it, “a candidate for song of the year….”

 Advance tickets can be purchased at for $19.00 or at the door for $20.00

Paul waving from the boom

Steeple Repair Questions and Answers What’s happening with the FPC steeple?   Phase 1 raised funds to repair  the top part of the steeple to protect its structural integrity, which was at risk. Repairs included cross bracing to deter leaning, replacement of rotted boards, repair of historical millwork, rebuilding of louvers, replacement of flashing, sealing of areas that were enabling birds and water to enter, scraping, caulking, and repainting. Phase 2 has begun and the entire steeple and clock face has been repaired. Money was raised and allocated for painting the front of the church in the fall, including any windows on that side of the church.  Painting and restoring windows on the sides of the church will complete the project. How long to complete? Once funds are raised to paint and restore windows on the two sides of the church, the project will be completed.  Projected costs for this are $28,00. Many thanks to:  Paul Bastaanse and his crew from Steeple Restoration for their skillful work repairing the steeple and clock. Jim Dennis for cleaning and oiling, the clock so that it is running and ringing again. Friends of the church, Members, greater Newbury community residents, grants, and a bank loan that helped fund this project.  . Donations are always welcome and can be made by sending a contribution to The First Parish Church of Newbury, 20 High Road, Route 1A, Newbury,MA

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 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. We serve a meal for and with our neighbors at the Salvation Army (40 Water St., Newburyport). We do this from 4 to 6 pm on the first Thursday of each month. It’s among the most profound and moving experiences we have together as a church.

*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 at the Salvation Army?

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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