First Parish is a distinctive church where everyone can take part, where a food pantry feeds up to 100 people a week, where neighbors tend 40+ organic gardens, and preschoolers learn each day how to be curious, respectful caretakers of the earth.  Have a look around & be in touch if questions arise.
Grace & peace,
Rev. Jeff MacDonald


Join us for:

Sunday Worship every Sunday 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.

 Fellowship and refreshments are offered after Sunday worship services.

Communion is the first Sunday of each month

Bible Discussions resume September 10th at 8:30 AM and every 2nd and 4th Sunday thereafter.

Monthly pot lucks are the last Sunday of every month. Bring a dish or beverage if you can but don’t let that stop you from breaking bread with us..

Nursery care and Sunday School, which begins Sunday, September 17th.  Meet our teachers and caretakers for an open house opening day.

Sunday school students leading a Passover Seder for bible study participants

Details and registration materials can be found at 






Upcoming Events and Missions:

The First Parish of Newbury is a participant in the Essex Heritage Trails to Sails event!  Come visit 9/23 from 9 AM to 12 PM.

The historic sanctuary will be open and volunteers in the burying ground will host scavenger hunts for children from 9:00 to noon. The scavenger hunt is designed to enlighten both children and adults on the history of the stones and founders buried there. .

Visitors are also invited to join volunteers cleaning stones (instruction and materials provided), see some recent restoration,  and meet our preservationists!

a recently cleaned stone


First Parish Missions: 

The Food Pantry provides food for special diets, toiletries, pet food, and perishable/non-perishable food. Summer offerings include fresh produce from local sources, including the New Eden Organic gardens. The entry door is located near the rear parking lot and is handicapped accessible.

We welcome anyone who’d like to be part of this worthwhile community partnership. Read  more about it below.


Yet another New Eden garden organic community garden growing season is coming to an end.  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


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

Due to a generous grant there is a preservation project underway at the First Parish’s Old Burial Ground.  Professional conservators, Joshua Gerloff and Rachael Meyer have been restoring and cleaning many valuable stones this summer.

We hope to offer community members opportunities to tour the grounds and join us for upcoming stone cleaning

 Let us know if you are interested in joining our efforts to preserve this historical gem by becoming a member of our preservation committee.  Details are highlighted in an April Newburyport Times article:

Let Karen King know if you’d like to help.

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.  A summer enrichment program happens in July and August.  Information about the program is available at


growing organically in the children’s garden


Church members learn to dance at an OSG fundraiser


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.

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