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







When the Magi approached the child Jesus, new understandings came to them and to all about who Christ would be, a messiah for the entire world. Epiphany is an opportunity to capture the profound and fresh understandings that follow the spiritual emphases of Advent and Christmas and the beginning of a new calendar year.



Hello friends,
Jan. 20 worship is cancelled due to snow. Please be safe in the storm.

We hope you can join us next Sunday, Jan. 27. Bible study meets that day at 8:30 AM. Worship begins at 10 AM, followed by potluck lunch.

In the meantime, Go Patriots!

Rev. Jeff

Sunday Worship at 10:00 AM:  Parking  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 entrance In the event of a weather related cancellation  you will be notified on this website, Facebook, and TV channels 4 & 7.

Our Pick Up Choir sings next week.  If you’d like to participate, please arrive at 9 AM for a brief rehearsal. Then have fun singing together in our 10 AM worship! Anybody can jump in anytime.

Food pantry is open every Friday from 3 to 5 pm for all who need food assistance. If you can help unload the monthly delivery truck, please stop by at 9 AM Thursday, Jan. 17. It comes on the 3rd Thursday of each month.

Potluck lunch will be served after worship on Sunday, Jan. 27. Theme is chowders, stews and soups. You’re welcome to bring one or something to go with a warm bowl such as bread, salad, beverage, dessert… Or just come for the food & fellowship! There’s always plenty.

Communion is offered once a month, usually the first Sunday.  

Bible study meets Sunday, Jan. 13 at 8:30 AM in our downstairs hall. Our exploration of the Book of Job continues. Newcomers are always welcome; no background is expected; you can just come & listen if you would like.

Deacons meet next Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7 pm.

A time to share and break bread

Nursery care and Sunday School  runs from mid-September through mid-June in the Holton Hall pre-school area (downstairs) between 9:45 and 11:15, while the congregation worships upstairs.  Details are below:

Sunday school students leading a Passover Seder 

Vacation Sundays are synchronized with Christmas, Easter, and school vacation dates.
Children, ages 3 to Pre-K have supervised play with “hands on” educational and fun toys. Their large play space is a separate area where they build, draw, and look at books.  They observe older students engaged in learning from this area.
Students K – 5th grade participate together in hands-on, active learning from the Bible concentrating on the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31), the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39), the Lord’s Prayer, the Good Samaritan, Jesus the Good Shepherd and Psalm 100.
6th grade through 9th grade students use an advanced adult study Bible to look into many aspects of the Christian faith – prayer, discipleship, serving God and worship.
Each Sunday participants enjoy popcorn, fruit, and healthy snacks.

All students are invited to do presentations during Christmas, Palm Sunday, Easter, and Children’s Day services. We collect donations for mission projects.

Details and registration materials can be found at

Visit our Church Facebook Page at

View our November, 2018 Newsletter at

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.



family visit








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 group will be planning the project and you are welcome to join the group.

Upcoming Events:

Save the date to attend Death Café on March 4th at 6:30 PM. Participation will be limited to 20                            
Death Cafés are designed to create
a culture with a more open, honest engagement
death. We plan to hold gatherings with professionals in the field who will discuss a
variety of topics related to death and burying ground topics. Epoch Preservation will be
the first guests. They will answer any of your
questions about stone repair. Participants
are free to bring photos of stones about which they want advice. This will be an
opportunity for the general public to get answers to some of their questions, to discuss
various subjects related to death and for professionals to meet one another.
Refreshments will be served. There will be an admission price of $10.00, the entirety of
which will go to the preservation fund of the Burying Ground on High Road.

For a reservation, contact


Church Council meets the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm in the Parish Hall, August through June.

Church Deacon’s meet the second Tuesday of every month  at 7:00 PM in the church library.


First Parish Missions: 

food pantry volunteers

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.

One of our patrons recently described her experience. highlighting ways in which the pantry has served her special needs as “a disabled resident of Newburyport living below the poverty line.  “At many pantries there is very little I can take because of my environmental illness (allergies and such.)…The foods I receive have contributed enormously to my health.”

She and we want to thank every person who works to make the First Parish Food Pantry successful.  Farmers, volunteers, gardeners, drivers, coordinators, and community members.


The 2017 New Eden garden organic community garden growing season has ended.  If you want to know more about how it works and would like to consider renting a plot next year, contact Chuck Mead at   Details can be found at

A stone being repaired



Cemetery Preservation: To find a family member or founding father buried in the First Parish burying ground a comprehensive map of the burying ground can be viewed at

Also available to assist are Karen King at 978-465-8101 and Tracey Goodwin at 

Stone Cleaning

A grant funded preservation project at First Parish’s Old Burial Ground enabled Joshua Gerloff and Rachael Meyer to restore and clean stones.  Visitors and community members are always welcome to tour the grounds. Visit the Burial Ground page to see our new restoration initiative

 If you are interested in joining or supporting our preservation committee contact Karen King.

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.

Photos from Summer enrichment camp 2018:  Hands on learning about sea creatures in “Mermaid Lagoon”

The OSG website is at

growing organically in the children’s garden



Dear members & friends of First Parish Church,
With the forecast calling for a storm this weekend, please note where notices are posted whenever worship is cancelled due to winter weather:

*Our Facebook page:
*Our website:
*TV channels 4 & 7
*Church phone recording: 978.465.5597

If worship is cancelled, notification will go out before 7:30 AM Sunday. Please share this information with anyone who might be interested but is not on our email list. Be safe in the storm!

Grace & peace,
Rev. Jeff MacDonald
Pastor, First Parish Church of Newbury

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. 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 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.

Designed by: