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


 Worship  Sundays at 10:00 AM

Parking at First Parish 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 entrances:

Upcoming Events

A public lecture at First Parish is coming up at 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 12. Dr. Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), will provide insight into his experience and sign copies of his new book, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator. The event is organized by the C-10 Research and Education Foundation.


Good Vibes Festival fundraiser for the First Parish Church Community Food Pantry, September 14th.  Join us on the Newbury Town Green from noon to 6 PM for games, face painting, puzzles, and more.  Parking is available at First Parish and the Newbury Elementary School. Admission 10.00

Antique Appraisal Event
September 21st, 11AM to 4PM
Bring in your fine art, jewelry, porcelain, silver, Asian items, and more! Let our expert team
of appraisers give you a verbal appraisal of the auction value of your items.
All proceeds will benefit the restoration of First Parish Church of Newbury, located at 20 High Road, Newbury, MA. There is an appraisal fee of $10 per item, or $25 for three items.  A light lunch of pizza and salads will be available (no charge, donations accepted). The handicap ramp at the rear of the church can be used to bring in larger items. | 117 Elliot St, Beverly MA | 978-927-2223

The 20th Outdoor Sculpture at Maudslay Exhibit runs from Sept. 8 to 29 at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport. First Parish’s community of artists will be well represented with works by Jane Wang, Chuck Mead, Cindy Schartman and Isabell VanMerlin. Visitors may see exhibits any time the park is open. Tours with opportunities to meet the artists will be from 2 to 5 pm on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Boston Camerata is returning Friday, December 20th to perform at First Parish. This exuberant, vivacious program celebrates Christmas with music from the Spanish speaking parts of the globe: Renaissance Iberia, and the Hispanic settlements of the New World. Encounters among indigenous Americans, the Spaniards, and West Africans produced some extraordinary musical results — unusual vocal colors, soulful melodies, and irresistible rhythms, sustained in our production by winds, keyboard, gamba, baroque guitar, and Iberian harp. The exceptional singers and instrumentalists of the Camerata are joined by local choirs, including the marvelous Fleurs des Caraïbes.

Choir rehearsals this month will be at 7 pm Wednesdays Sept. 11 and Sept. 18. All are welcome to join the choir as we begin this expansion of our music program.

The Pickup choir resumes September 15th.  Its an opportunity join the choir for a day the third Sunday of each month! Bring a friend who likes to at First Parish. 


Beth Coffey will be facilitating this year’s bible discussion again, beginning Sept 22nd at 8:30 am (4th Sunday of this month). Then we’ll keep going with our customary schedule: 2nd & 4th Sundays of each month, at 8:30 am.

At our first meeting we’ll be looking at the Book of Philemon. This is a letter written by Paul and which also happens to be the shortest book in the Bible. In fact, in the original Greek it consisted of only 335 words.


Communion is offered once a month, usually the last Sunday


Music opportunity at First Parish. Do children in your family play instruments? Or do you play? First Parish offers a standing invitation to play during worship in a supportive, encouraging atmosphere. Please speak with Rev. MacDonald or Music Committee Chair Virginia Champi to learn more.

The Food pantry is open every Friday from 3 to 5 pm for all who need food assistance. 

Want to help the First Parish Church Community Food Pantry? Help unload the monthly delivery from the Greater Boston Food Bank on Thursday, Sept. 19. Truck arrives about 8:45 AM. It helps if you can carry a load into the church.



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.

A map of the burial ground and a list of descendants buried here can be found at

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.

First Parish Missions: 

Fresh produce is provided during the summer.

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.


The 2019 New Eden garden organic community garden growing season is coming to a close.  If you want to know more about how it works and would like to consider renting a plot next year, contact Chuck Mead at  or Adam Kowal 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




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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