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




begin on Zoom Sunday April 5

Dear friends in Christ,

Holy Week and Easter are coming. Though we can’t gather in person, we will observe these special days together online. Details for doing so are below.

We now have one link for all our worship services: Just click it 5 or 10 minutes before worship begins and follow prompts. Feel free to arrive earlier & enjoy some fellowship.

Got a friend who prefers the phone? Have them dial 301-715-8592. Then enter Meeting ID: 442 272 605.


Holy Week schedule:

10 AM Sunday,  April 5: Palm Sunday will also be Passion Sunday. We’ll recall Jesus’ journey to the Cross.

7 PM Thursday,   April 9: Maundy Thursday reflection on the Last Supper

Noon Friday,  April 10: Good Friday reflection on the Atonement

10 AM Sunday,  April 12: Easter worship

Offerings during this pandemic may be made at or by mailing a check payable to First Parish Church to 20 High Road, Newbury, MA 01951

If you have questions or know someone who’d like to be on this list, please drop me a line. Our ministries are in high gear during this crisis, and we want to keep everyone informed. Please forward this email to anyone who might be isolated, stressed or struggling in any way. It’s time for us to come together in the Spirit.

Meanwhile remember in these trying days: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phillipians 4:13). Also: “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Blessings & hope to see you in Holy Week,
The Rev. Jeff MacDonald
Pastor, First Parish Church of Newbury

Lastly, please share the links. Our community is a refuge for all. Let’s make sure people know they’re invited, especially in stressful times. And note: it’s a different link for every Zoom meeting.


Tune in the April 2nd broadcast about our Pantry when its put online at

The following Food Pantry change begins Saturday, April 4th.

If you need delivery of groceries beginning Friday, April 10th (no transport available or high risk for virus) please place order here:
We will delivery between 11 am and 3 pm.

If you can pickup your own groceries, beginning,, Friday April 10th, use this form:

Beginning April 10th, we will call to tell you what time to come (between 2:30 and 5).  You’ll need to drive in, park, display your name on a piece of paper, and wait in the car while we retrieve/ load the groceries in your trunk.   

If you don’t have internet, call us at 978-358-1077 on April 4th for deliveries beginning April 10th.  .

Due to the volume of need at this time, we will  begin serving the communities of  Newbury, Byfield, Plum Island, Newburyport, Rowley and West Newbury only as of April 10th. 


Church and Community links:

If you want to be added to our e-mail list for updates on worship & how you can help during this crisis, email:

The Town of Newbury:

The State of MA:

The number 211 is a hotline you can call anytime if you experience symptoms or have coronavirus questions

Remember that when the Israelites thirsted in the desert, God brought water from a surprising source – a stone – and reminded them to trust in God’s ways (Exodus 17). May we travel this wilderness with patience and expect hopeful signs ahead.

Missions and offerings:

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 there 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 planned the project depicted below.  You are welcome to join the group.

Before and after pictures of restoration



The 2020 New Eden garden organic community garden growing season should be gearing up for spring.  Many of the garden plots have been rented but the situation with the Coronavirus is fluid.  Contact info is available below if your are interested in either participating or want to know the status of this year’s gardens. 


Cooking lobster in the earth oven during a garden party

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


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.  Our teachers are providing home learning activities for parents and students to do, video stories,  and morning meetings during the coronavirus generated closure of the school.  Though uncertain, when it re-opens, it will be resume its schedule of  5 days a week from September through June and are accepting new students.  We hope to offer a summer enrichment program in July and August.  For more info contact information is available at

Here are some links to the home learning happening now:




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 ae able to 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?

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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