MacDonald2Greeting from Rev. Jeff MacDonald
Advent greetings from First Parish Church of Newbury! This season offers so many opportunities for connecting anew with God, neighbors & meaningful traditions. Join us if you can on Sunday mornings & on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile scroll down for latest news, and enjoy this site as a resource for your life. We’re glad you’re here.

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.

In case of inclement weather cancellations: Information can be found here, the church website, on channels 5 and 7, the church facebook page, and via an e-mail.  If you don’t have e-mail, let know and someone will call you
What’s New at FPC:  keep scrolling to see it all


March meetings/events: 



Sunday, March 8th, 8:30 AM: Bible discussion with Rev. MacDonald

Monday, March 9th, 7:00 PM: Deaconate meeting

March 10th, 7:00 PM: Council Meeting

March 21st:  Super Saturday.  church funded registration is still open for one more slot.  Contact if you’d like to attend

New Eden Organic Community Garden Ploys are Now available.  For info check the face book page at  e-mails can be sent to:




Registration deadline for the UCC sponsored Super Saturday March 21st is running out. 
The church will fund the cost for 5 people to attend.  It is an opportunity to meet and confer with like minded people seeking to enrich the offerings of their churches.  Lunch, refreshments, workshops, and  a discussion group are provided as described below:
“Participants will be able to attend two 90-minute workshops related to various aspects of church life, mission and ministries, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In addition, participants can attend a 30-minute workshop, forum or discussion group during one of the mid-day lunch periods.”    Check out the link to learn more at the UCC web site:  Contact if you are interested in attending.   
bible study 1
  • The Bible discussion group meets the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month with Rev. MacDonald at 8:30 AM.  It is open to anyone interested in participating and there are no pre-requisites for joining the lively and enriching discussions.

Seeking Information:

First Parish Church is looking for information on the Newbury Cemetery Association which owns a piece of the cemetery across from the church building, behind the Thomas Parker cemetery.  Anyone with information is asked to call the church office at 978-465-5597.

finished and unfinished

The Clock is now running and chiming on the hour!  Thanks to the efforts and expertise of Jim Dennis and a team of parishioners who made this happen and plan to keep it wound and oiled. Repainting of the clock is scheduled for the spring to finalize phase 1 of the steeple project.
Paul waving from the boom


Steeple Repair Questions and Answers

What’s happening with the FPC steeple?  Phase 1 included repair of 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 will include scraping, painting and restoring the bottom portion of the steeple and church, repairing gutters, and restoring windows. All windows need to have rotted sashes replaced, weights and pullys repaired, and to be re-caulked, re-glazed, and sealed.

How long to complete? The top portion of the steeple has been beautifully and skillfully restored and is almost complete. Winter weather delayed  painting one of a clock faces and the area just below the clocks.  Thanks to Jim Dennis’s generous assistance, the clock has been cleaned, oiled, re-wound and is now running and ringing automatically.

Many thanks to Paul Bastiaanse and his crew from Steeple Restoration for accomplishing so much in spite of  challenging fall weather events.  They will return in the spring to complete the painting.

Phase 2 will be scheduled once funds are raised..

Funding? Phase 1 cost $50,000. Many thanks to Friends of the church, Members, greater Newbury community members, grants, and a bank loan that helped fund this project.  We raised enough to cover the costs of a portion of phase 1 repairs. Additional fundraising and donations will enable us to more fully cover the costs of Phase I and begin planning phase 2, projected to cost $40,000.

Donations are welcome and can be made by sending a contribution to The First Parish Church of Newbury, 20 High Street, Route 1A, Newbury,MA



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