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



Join us during the advent season

The Advent Season

The lighting of an Advent wreath is a custom that began in 16th-century Germany. 

Set on the branches of the Advent wreath are four candles: three purple and one pink, representing Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love.

Each Advent Sunday, beginning on 4 Sundays before Christmas Eve, a candle is lit. The final candle is lit on Christmas Eve. 




A Christmas Eve choir is open to everyone.  Rehearsals begin Sunday, December 9th, at 9:00 AM.  Feel free to join us by showing up.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols at 5:00 PM






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.

A Pick Up Choir for anyone who wants to sing and lead hymns the third Sunday of every month, except during December when people are welcome to rehearse for the Christmas Eve service (9:00, December 9th and 16th.  Participants simply arrive at 9:30 to go over the hymns with the organist prior to the 10:00 service.

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

Bible Discussions are the  2nd and 4th Sundays of every month from 8:30 to 9:30 in Holton Hall, downstairs, except in December.  Newcomers are always welcome.

Potluck lunches are after  worship the last Sunday of every month.     

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.  .










Upcoming Events:

Our next potluck lunch will be served after worship Sunday, October 28th.  Please bring a dish or beverage to share, or just join us for the food & fellowship.  There’s always more then enough!

Upcoming Book Discussion TBA on Healing Spiritual Wounds by Carol Howard Merritt. “Merritt does not sugarcoat the wrongs institutions long seen as trustworthy have inflicted on many innocent victims. Sympathetic, understanding, and deeply positive, she offers hope and a way to help them heal and reclaim the spiritual joy that can make them whole again

All are welcome!


Church Council meets the first Tuesday 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 many valuable

stones last summer.  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



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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