Refugee Concerns Working Group

refugeeThere are currently more refugees around the world than at any time since World War II. The Refugee Concerns working group enables First Parish members to become active in a variety of efforts addressing the global refugee crisis.

Our current focus is working with Refugee Immigration Ministry to provide housing and support services for Asylum Seekers. The RIM program allows clusters of faith communities to work together. The First Parish Refugee Concerns group is working to build a cluster in Arlington, and is already housing and serving people in need.

How can you help? We are looking for volunteers for many activities such as providing one-time transportation to appointments, hosting our guest for a meal or coffee date, coordinating ESL study and practice sessions, fund raising or hosting someone in your home.

Contact the working group through email to express your interest, we can direct you based on your interest: refugeeconcerns @

As a volunteer, you are required to complete a RIM Covenant Agreement

See our web site for more information.

Eric Segal, Cluster Chair Coordinating Committee
Jennifer Bermant O'Brien
Suzi Lubar
Sarah Trilling

Sunday Worship head 



Sacred Circle Dance
circleMonday, December 18 from 7 to 8:45 pm  - Bailey Room
This dance will focus on the Winter Solstice - It is customary to wear something white.  Also fine to wear all black or anything else. There will be candle dances and live music for some of the dances.
All dances are taught  Some dances are slow…
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First Parish Holiday Office Hours
♦ Monday, December 25 Closed
♦ Tuesday, December 26, Closed
♦ Wednesday, December 27, 10 am - 4 pm
♦ Thursday, December 29, 10 am - 4 pm
♦ Friday, December 29, 10 am - 4 pm
♦ Monday, January 1, Closed

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Second Annual Bella Ciao Knit In
and Planetary Dance
earthrun score3New Year's Day, January 1, Noon - 4 pm in the Vestry 

On the first day of the year let us come together and knit hope into the community! Let us sing what we hold in our hearts, our dreams for ourselves and each other! Let us drum a beat of strength that pulses through…
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Women's January Book Group
Thursday, January 4
7:15 pm - Damon room

Join us to discuss John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. 

“Steinbeck has compounded a bitter and uproariously funny commentary on the futility of human aspiration and the barrenness of existence . . . an extraordinary mixture of wild laughter and searing pain.” 

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Alliance Annual Chowder Supper
uuaSave the Date! 
Friday, January 5, 6:30 pm
Come for the fine traditional chowder supper and stay for the great company! There will be a variety of chowders, salad, corn bread -- all gathered or made by Alliance board members. Bring a book you are finished with and that you think others…
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Annual Social Justice Potluck

Friday, January 19, 6:30 pm

Bring a dish to share to this community-wide event and learn about some of the great social justice activities here at First Parish.

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December Worship at First Parish in Arlington


Sunday, December 24, Worship at 10 am
Pagan Yule Circle in the Sanctuary
This purely Pagan service celebrates the turning of the year from darkness toward light. We will hear music from Diane Taraz with her dulcimer leading us in hymns and chants. Come contemplate what to…

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Ushers Needed - All Christmas Eve Services

leavesWe need volunteers to help with Christmas Eve services. This year there are more opportunities than ever with services at 10 am, 4 pm, 6 pm and 8 pm on Sunday, December 24. No experience needed. Open to all - grade 5 and older. Please contact Kate Tranquada if you are able to help…

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Holiday Cookie Bake

cookiesSaturday, December 23 at 11 am

Come join us in baking holiday cookies! Lots of cookies! Grand Parents, Parents, Aunts & Uncles, Youth, 'Tweens, and Kids. (Note - anyone under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult). We will be looking for some help supplying ingredients (and a few hand mixers)…

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Conversation with our Minister, Marta Flanagan

chaliceJanuary 21, 2018
After the Service

Are you new to First Parish? Do you have questions about our community and how we are involved in Social Justice and Climate Change issues? Are you curious about Unitarianism and Universalism? We are an active and engaged community. Are you…

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Unique Art Show

Sisters in Stiches BannerThe Sisters in Stitches Joined by the Cloth is a New England quilt guild dedicated to preserving the art, tradition and culture of African-American quilting. The following description of story quilts is from the Sisters' website: 

"The art of quilting has traveled across oceans, survived 400 years of…

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2018 Giving First Nominations

givingOur Giving First program donates 50 percent of the non-pledge offering each month to a charitable organization that we feel is consistent with Unitarian Universalist principles and our mission to challenge the excesses and injustices of our time. The program began in November 2009, and First…

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uuaThe Parish Committee recently approved First Parish's first two official Safer Congregations Policies. The purpose of these policies is to create a process for responding to concerns about an individual's behavior in a way that respects our desire for a physically safe environment, our…
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Graphic Designers and Artists - We Need You!

musicOver the past months, a varying group of people have been working to create a First Parish Song Book with a particular focus on social justice and multi-cultural songs. What comes to your mind as a graphic element for our own songbook? We will also need a cover design and will…
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Contemplative Retreat - Save the Date

walkingSaturday Feb 17, from 8 am - 4 pm
Edwards House in Framingham

Led by the Rev. Marta Flanagan
More details to be announced soon.

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Community Building During Upcoming Stewardship Campaign – Save the Dates!

stewardOur annual stewardship campaign will begin in early February. Save the dates for these fun, community-building events.

  • Sunday, February 25th: Luncheon after service for New Members within the last 3 years
  • Sunday, February 25th:  Dinner for…
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Climate Action Working Group (CAWG)
climate action

The First Parish CAWG is gearing up new efforts, and there are great opportunities for First Parish people to get involved. We are participating in a series of creative, strategic actions at the statehouse in Boston this October and November. The actions will take place mostly during…

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Job Opening: Part-time Building Maintenance Sexton (Custodian)

nowhiringposter1First Parish is seeking to hire a Part-time Building Maintenance Sexton. Please click here for the job description.

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handbell choir

Join Our Handbell Choir!

Thursdays, 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary starting September 7

Come ring chimes with us! Starting Thursday, September 7, the handbell choir rehearses in the Sanctuary on Thursdays at 7:00 pm for just under an hour before choir starts at 8:00 pm. You are welcome to join us! We have plenty of…

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blm banner

Black Lives Matter to Us

For Adam Jones and everyone else who has been subjected to bigotry, here or elsewhere.

For Alton Sterling, Jordan Edwards, Walter Scott, and so many more people who have died violently.

For the 63 percent of black children who live in low-income families that have difficulties covering…

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Participate in Music at First Parish

The Music Committee and Music Director welcomes anyone interested in participating in music this year. There are a multitude of opportunities including the Adult Choir, Children’s Choir, Bell Choir, as well as instrumental groups such as the C-Winds and other ad hoc groups. For…

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Sign Up to Bring Sunday Flowers!

Follow this link to use our online flowers signup form

The flowers that grace our Sanctuary on Sunday mornings are donated by parishioners, often with a special dedication that is printed in the order of service. The Flower Coordinator can assist in ordering an arrangement from…

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connection card

Get Connected/Stay Connected with First Parish

We invite newcomers to First Parish to fill out a Connection Card to receive our weekly email bulletin, give us your contact information, and (if you wish) indicate your interest in various aspects of life in our community. You can find the Connection Cards every…

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cartoon of man with bullhorn

How to Request a Spoken Announcement or Submit a News Item

Send requests for Sunday morning spoken announcements to announce @ Requests will be forwarded to the Worship Associates every Friday. Please note that Spoken Announcements must be relevant to the whole congregation, and will likely…

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Boston.  Racism.  Image.  Reality.

bostonAn important Boston Globe Spotlight series

Boston has a reputation for being the most racist big city in the United States. Is this reputation deserved?

A recent survey found that a majority of African-Americans living in Boston consider the city unfriendly to people of color – much…

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Nikole Hannah-Jones, 2017 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient

nikolListen to and/or read her award-winning journalism on school and housing segregation

Nikole Hannah-Jones combines historical and policy research with moving personal narratives to explain the persistence of school and housing segregation.  What public polices…

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Save the date: Rep. Byron Rushing speaks on abolition and slavery in Roxbury

byronTuesday, January 9, 6-8 pm
UU Urban Ministry
History & Justice Series
10 Putnam Street in Roxbury

We often associate slavery with the South, but it also existed right here in Massachusetts – Arlington, Medford, Boston, etc.  Many enslaved…

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Multicultural books for kids & how to talk with kids about race

seedsResources for families
Looking for good books for children you care about?  Want assistance in talking with your children about race? 

Check out this great website, How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help. It includes general tips,…

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Good reads for adults

good readsFirst Parish member Mary Fusoni highly recommends Philip Dray’s At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America.    

From Mary: “I read it a few months ago and it had a profound effect on me. While the subject is, of course, deeply disturbing, the book also tells the uplifting stories…

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Christmas Eve Candlelight Ceremony

candlesSunday, December 24 
4 pm, 6 pm and 8 pm

The Christmas Eve candlelight services are the favorite services of the entire year at First Parish. This year the three services feature all the same elements but for a few differences in musical selections. Come to any one of the services and experience the wonder of bringing light into the darkness.


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First Parish Joins Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries

cmmCooperative Metropolitan Ministries (CMM) is the oldest interfaith social justice network in the Boston area.  Founded in 1966, its goal was to help build Rev. Martin Luther King's vision of a Beloved Community for all citizens.  It now includes nearly 100 congregations in Boston and its nearby suburbs, including Muslims, Jews, Bahai, many types of Christians, and of course Unitarian…

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re announcements

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Religious Education Announcements

Dear Families,

I hope to see you and your families at First Parish over the next few weeks to celebrate the holidays in whichever ways you choose. During this season of giving and generosity please remember our neighbors in need, and donate generously to the Arlington Food Pantry. They are in special need of cereal, so please bring boxes of cold and hot cereals with you when you come to First Parish. You may leave your donations in boxes…

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Youth Group Announcements

Dear Youth Community, ​

​May you find some warmth and rest in these holiday times! Our December looks exciting, with lots of opportunities to build community and celebrate one another. Join us.

Please note some upcoming events:

Sunday, December 17, 5:30–6:30pm: Prom Planning Committee – We plan for our upcoming dance, January 20th!

Sunday, December 17, 6:45–8:45pm: Youth Group Evening Program – Our holiday party, hosted by the freshmyn reps!

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STAR: spirit, transormation, adventure, reflection

 Aging Well in Our Community

aging wellThursday, December 21
10 am - Noon in the Parlor 

Purpose of our group is to foster engagement and build community among women over fifty who wish to explore themes related to planning and consciously living out our later years. We are an open group facilitated by Kit…

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Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina

Tuesdays at 7 am to 8 am in the Parlor
and Thursdays at 8 am to 9 am in the Parlor

Lectio Divina is a method of reading and listening,lingering with, and sharing personal responses to selected biblical texts. Diverse responses to the text provide new insights and help us grow in…

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social justice section header

Giving First Recipient for December: Artsbridge

artsbridgeArtsbridge, Inc., brings transformational change to young adults from communities in conflict. Our unique training model inspires future leaders to work creatively through their differences to develop innovative approaches to complex human problems.…

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Refugee Concerns Working Group

refugeeThere are currently more refugees around the world than at any time since World War II. The Refugee Concerns working group enables First Parish members to become active in a variety of efforts addressing the global refugee crisis.

Our current focus is working with

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UU Urban Ministry Volunteer Positions

ryp afterschool students

Be a part of First Parish’s turning outward --Click here to view current volunteer opportunties with the UU Urban Ministry to promote social justice and equality. Urban Ministry works side-by-side with individuals and communities in Boston, primarily in…

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Arlington Food Pantry

pastaCollection baskets are located at the front and office doors. Monetary donations can be sent to:
The Arlington Food Pantry
Health and Human Services
27 Maple Street
Arlington, MA 02476

The Arlington Food Pantry welcomes donations of unexpired, unopened, non-perishable food and…

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First Parish Men's Group

men's groupThe First Parish Men's group provides a forum in which we help each other with spiritual, emotional, and personal questions and concerns. Discussion themes often interweave questions of security, identity, authenticity, and purpose. We provide a place where men can share…

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Join the Climate Change/Climate Action Vigil After Coffee Hour!


Sundays, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Please come join us for the weekly Climate Action Vigil on Sunday after coffee hour! And please stop by our table at coffee hour for information, sharing ideas, and discussion! If you'd like to join us…

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Prayer Shawl Ministry

painting of woman knittingDo you like to knit or crochet?  Would you like to provide support to members of the congregation? Our supply of prayer shawls is running low and we could use your help. Participants in the First Parish Prayer Shawl Ministry knit or crochet prayer shawls for Marta or the…

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The First Parish Meditation Group Welcomes You

hand ringing a chime bowl

Please join us! We hold drop-in meditations on Mondays (gather at 6:00 pm and start at 6:15 pm at First Parish in the Damon Room.) We sit for 35 minutes in the style of Vipassana (Insight) Buddhist meditation, and beginners are welcome. By…

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Calling Older Men

older mens groupFirst Thursday of each month ♦ 12:00 pm in the Parlor

First Parish is organizing a monthly fellowship gathering for older First Parish men, aimed at reinforcing camaraderie and providing a forum for discussing topics of general interest. We meet on the first Thursday of each…

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First Parish Music Programs

Click here for more information on First Parish music programs for youth and adults.

Concerts by First Parish Musicians

The Musical Connections page on the First Parish website provides information on concerts and events with First Parish musicians participating.…

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Diversity/Inclusion Group

All interested First Parish folks are invited to meetings of the Diversity/Inclusion Group (D/IG). Our mission: to work together to make First Parish as welcome and inclusive as we can be and to assist outside efforts with a similar goal. We define diversity to…

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