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 offered once a month, usually on the first Sunday.  

Bible Discussions are every 2nd and 4th Sunday from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM

Knitting for all levels, including beginners the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 PM. The next meeting is March 20th.  All are welcome!   For details contact Susan at

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 is open to all .  Meet our teachers and caretakers any Sunday morning!  Details and registration materials can be found at Details and registration materials can be found at

Snow Cancellations are posted here and on Channels 4 and 7.

Visit our Facebook Page at


a lenton rose

a Lenten rose

The season of LENT is when Christians traditionally ask the deepest questions of life and eternity to commemorate the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his public ministry.  It represents the suffering and sacrifice of Christ as well as the suffering of others. Lent officially begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday.

Please join us for worship during this time and in our collective participation in the Ecumenical Carbon Fast.  This UCC initiated fast is recognized by many denominations and faiths, throughout the U.S. and beyond.  As Stewarts of Earth and Spirit we’ve chosen this challenge and view it as a source of empowerment..

An introductory quote from this initiative talks of how  “Climate change now connects each and every one of us in a mutual web of interdependence.  So ‘the fast that is required of us’ (Isaiah 58:6-9) is no longer limited to personal fasting.  Truly we are all in this together.  

You can sign on at


Holy Week 

 On Palm Sunday, March 25th,  a Potluck Lunch will be served immediately after worship in the downstairs fellowship hall.

A Maundy Thursday service with Tenebrae (diminishing candlelight) is March 29th at 7 PM in the sanctuary.

A Good Friday service is at the Rowley Congregational Church from noon to 3 PM Friday, March 30th.  This is a regional UCC service and worshippers are free to stop in for as long as they are able.

Easter Sunday service is April 1st in the sanctuary at 10 AM.  We’re looking for voices to sing in the Palm Sunday and Easter choirs. If you’d like to participate, rehearsals are in the FP Sanctuary at 9 AM Sunday, March 25th and Easter Sunday.



  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

One of our Garden founders, Erin Stack, is the owner of a local organic farm.  She has a Garden Club “geared toward the home gardener/homesteader who wants a deep understanding of environmental stewardship and a holistic approach to their landscape and garden.”  You can find more about this offering by following the link to her website 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

Stone Cleaning

A grant funded preservation project at First Parish’s Old Burial Ground enabled Joshua Gerloff and Rachael Meyer to restore and clean many valuable stones last summer.  Visitors and community members are always welcome to tour the grounds and join us for upcoming stone cleaning workshops.

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

seeking historical relics during the scavenger hunt

Rails and Trails scavenger hunt participants











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.

Applications are now being accepted for the Summer Camp Sessions.  Details and registration information are available at

The OSG website is at

growing organically in the children’s garden



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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