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September 10, 2017–a new year begins

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in General News

Steel, ChurchDanceOur regular worship and program year will begin on Sunday, September 10 at 10:00am for people of all ages.

We will gather for our Ingathering which will feature our Water Ritual and after the service, we will continue with our community potluck.


What to bring on September 10?

  1. Yourselves, whole families, friends and neighbors
  2. A tiny bit of water (actual or virtual) from your summer experiences. These can be collected waters from your travels, from your backyard kiddy pool, tears of joy or tears of sadness. They will be blended together with our waters from last year (which contain waters from all the years going back since we began this tradition decades ago!) Our water is used for baby dedications, blessings of marriages, visiting the sick, and many other sacred purposes.
  3. A salad, side dish or dessert (homemade or store bought) for the community potluck. Our Community and Hospitality Committee will provide us with grilled items and drinks.
  4. Your renewed selves back to our community for a new year of worship, fun, celebration, fun, learning, fun, social action, and fun! We are looking forward to seeing you.

Any questions, contact Fran Sharp, congregational administrator, in the office 978/443-2043 or

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The Search for Beauty by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in General News, Minister's Column

“The Search for Beauty” by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

There is a saying that was coined in 1613 by Sir Thomas Overbury, “All the carnal beauty of my wife, Is but skin deep.” I am not sure as to what Sir Thomas was eluding to with regard to his wife or how she may have responded, but what I do know is something that I shared repeatedly with my god daughter, Emilie “the most important long lasting beauty is not what we see when we look in the mirror, it is what we hold within us that defines our true beauty.”

As we look into the faces of humankind, beyond the peculiarity of our physical characteristics and delve into our humanness, we see so many different layers of identity. It is difficult to go deeper than clothes and skin to uncover the true beauty that resides within. In Charlottesville, we saw hate, anger, frustration and fear all because of how people looked, dressed, and the signs and torches that they held. Beneath the color of one’s skin or their gender or political views resides so much more. We all herald from the same basic framework, a skeleton, and then layer upon layer sinew, muscle and organ are built and refined. The body alone is an inanimate physical “thing”, a vessel of sorts, until a cultivated mind and inspiration of spirit is added. Unfortunately, in the conflicts that we witnessed this month there was no time or way to go deeper to discuss difference and there was probably little interest to know one another. It is easier to ostracize, persecute and hurt those whom we do not know or see as being a member of our human family, but the one thing that studying DNA ancestry over the last couple of years has shown is that ultimately we are all connected and hardly different at all.

Beauty at first glance is not the real beauty that we ultimately need to acknowledge, true beauty resides far beneath the surface of our being. It resides in the conviction of character cultivated in the essence of one’s soul. Even though I was not in Charlottesville I can imagine the lack of beauty in intolerance and the rhetoric of hate that was being spewed but I can also imagine that there were moments of beautiful grace.

It is difficult to see and experience the reality of our world right now, the greed that inhabits the recesses of our culture, the ugliness that taints the natural beauty that could define our lives, our priorities and the trajectory of our world. The Buddha once shared, “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?” Beauty and specifically inner beauty is the worship theme at First Parish for September–an important topic during these challenging, divisive and unpleasant/ugly times in our human history. We cannot force others, especially those who feel disenfranchised or afraid, to remain peaceful, “We cannot obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” (Dalai Lama) So let us begin this year with courage, love and an openness to see and experience the beauty that lies deep within ourselves and one another.

Blessings and love,

Rev. Marjorie

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FPS buildings shutdown for annual floor and rug cleaning Tuesday July 25 at 3pm

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in General News, Newsletter


Our annual floor waxing and rug shampooing will take place from Tuesday, July 25 at 3pm until Saturday morning July 29.

All meetings have been cancelled. This applies to every space in the buildings, so please don’t try to squeeze in. 😉

Thanks for your help! We are sorry for the inconvenience.

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Summer Services 2017

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in General News, Worship Services

Summer Sunday services take place in our air-conditioned, hearing assisted Commons. Nibbles are available at 9:30am and the service begins at 10:00am.

Come hear a wide range of worship topics offered by our lay leaders. All are welcome, but no childcare is offered in the summer.

Click here for a table of host, music, and nibbles volunteer assignments and open slots.


Sunday, June 18, “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know Ya”, Judy Deutsch

Sunday, June 25, “Hope is in Action”, Della Hughes and Carolyn Lee

July 2, No Service

July 9, “Beauty”, Steve Smith

July 16, “Being Moved”, Jan Hardenbergh

July 23, “The Four Gospels”, Fred Rust

July 30, “Lammas”, the Celtic group

Aug 6, “Unitarian Variations”, Nancy Moore

Aug 13, “Existentialism in a Parallel Universe”, George Duval

Aug 20, “Being”, Sheila Davison

Aug 27, Poetry Jam


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Flower Communion, Bridging and Celebration Sunday (for News U Can Use)

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in General News, Sunday Service Copies

This Sunday is a culmination of a year’s worth of worship, work and commitment. It will be a very busy, fun-filled Sunday as we help our graduates celebrate their official entrance into young adulthood. This Sunday also marks our annual flower communion so please bring flowers to share. This Sunday is also the date for our annual picnic and ice cream social! Join us to celebrate and to imagine the warmer and sunnier days to come. This will be Rev. Marjorie last official Sermon until September. The summer services begin next week with the Rev. Judy Deutsch speaking.

Flowers–please bring one stem for each person in your family. This will be part of our flower communion during the service.

Food–a side dish if you can. Our Community and Hospitality Committee will be grilling meat and veggie burgers.

Come be part of this community celebration on the last Sunday before our summer services begin.

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