Latest News Archive

Christmas and Holiday Services for 2020   [ 2020-12-12 12:49 ]

Sunday, December 13:
Hanukkah Service at 9:45 am on First Parish YouTube channel
“Come Down From the Hills: Daring to Imagine The Future”

Just as the Maccabees of the Hanukkah story came down from the hills after the fighting was over to clean up the Temple and rededicate it, we too have to imagine a future for ourselves when the pandemic recedes and we can return to the world. Can we dare to imagine something new?

Alyssa, Matt, and Ezra Dallas will light the candles on the menorah and say the blessings and Barbara Rich will share a new poem, with some great music from Jon Frey.

Saturday, December 19:
Paper Bag Pageant Costume Pick Up, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

All costumes are welcome at our Annual No Rehearsal, No Stress, Paper Bag Nativity Pageant! However, if you would like to be a star, shepherd, angel, wiseperson, donkey, or camel or anything else we’ve got and don’t want to make or find your own, just come over to the church on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 19, 1-4 pm and pick up a costume in a paper bag. (We will have hot chocolate and cookies to add a little holiday cheer, as well as extra halos and crowns for those who might want to take a more subtle approach to a costume! We will also have Christmas Eve candles ready for those who would like them.)

Sunday, December 20:
Paper Bag Pageant at 9:45 am on Zoom

Put on your costume (or keep on your pajamas) and come join the story! Our Paper Bag Pageant will unfold will its usual slightly chaotic joy on Zoom this year. Turn yourself into a barnyard animal, a star, an angel or anything else you want to be. Bathrobes work great for wise people! Come help us bring alive the ancient story of hope being born in the world. The Adult Choir is sharing lots of carols with us and we will light the Chalice and the Advent Wreath.

Zoom information: See this page in the Members area of the church website. To follow the link you will need the login credentials; please email the webmaster or the church office if you don’t have this information. (Email links are at the bottom of every page on the main website.)

Monday December 21:
Winter Solstice Celebration at 7:00 pm on Zoom

Join Marisa Benson and the youth and young adults of First Parish to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This service is for all ages and includes music, singing, stories, and simple rituals to welcome back the light on the longest night of the year. Come rest in the darkness with us and celebrate the return of the light.

Zoom information: Please visit this page in the Members area of the church website.

Thursday, December 24:
Carol Sing at 6:00 – 6:45 pm on Zoom

All are welcome to join Shawn, members of the Adult Choir, and Friends for the annual Carol Sing.

Thursday, December 24:
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7:00 pm on Zoom and YouTube

The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will include some beautiful music, poetry, and the reading of the Nativity Story. We will light candles together in the darkness and, even though we are physically distant, we will share our light and our hope.

Zoom information: Please visit this page in the Members area of the church website.

YouTube information: The Christmas Eve service will also be live streamed on the First Parish YouTube channel starting at 7:00 pm for those who prefer to join there.

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Old Groton Meetinghouse Project Final Report   [ 2020-12-03 16:16 ]

The final financial report of the Old Groton Meetinghouse project 2013-2019 prepared by our Treasurer Paul G. Funch is now available.

This was an expensive, long, and complex project to perform. It successfully restored and rehabilitated the Old Groton Meetinghouse and showed our continuing commitment to the long-term preservation of this iconic and historic structure.

A large number of talented people worked to make it happen. That it was done so well and on budget is due to the enormous volunteer efforts of many of our talented members who care about Buildings and Grounds - Jim Moisson, Allen King, Don Torgersen and Ed O'Rourke combined with three key project contractors - Lynne Spencer from Spencer & Vogt (Lead Architect), Bob Levesque from American Steeple and Tower Co (Phase 1 Master Contractor), and Al Collins of Habitat Advisory Group (Project Manager). It's worth noting that Groton resident Al Collins who cares so deeply about Groton History went well beyond his formal role in this project and he deserves much of the credit for its success. And for raising all the money that was needed, and for always shining a light on the path forward from start to finish, we would like to call out Steve Lieman and June Johnson for their contributions.

To follow the link above you will need the login to the Members area. Please email the webmaster or the church office if you need the credentials. (Email links are at the bottom of every page on the main church website.)

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Giving Tree 2020   [ 2020-11-29 12:36 ]

The Giving Tree is open for signup at this link. The items you supply will go to families living at the House of Hope in Lowell, Transitional Housing in Devens, and Catholic Charities Family Shelter in Worcester. There are also items for The Fitchburg Meal Program and the International Institute of Lowell.
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Fitchburg Meal Program Needs Our Help   [ 2020-11-20 15:14 ]

The Workshop Class is asking for your support in a project for the Fitchburg Meal Program between now and Christmas. The program provides a number of services for the homeless and hungry in the city of Fitchburg, serving a rapidly growing population since the pandemic. If you are able, please bring any of the following items to the Parish House during office hours (Tuesday - Friday, 9:00 - 4:00pm) before December 25th. Items needed:

If you can contribute financially: donate online (using PayPal), or mail a check to: First Parish Church, 3 Powderhouse Road, Groton, MA 01450 with Fitchburg Meal Program noted in the memo line.

Thanks for your support!

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FY20 End-of-Year Financial Report   [ 2020-11-10 15:45 ]

The First Parish Church of Groton FY20 End-of-Year Financial Report is now available in the Members area. If you need the password, please contact the church office or the webmaster (links are at the bottom of the page).
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Covid19 Fund Grant Approval Process Underway   [ 2020-10-30 09:55 ]

The Board of Trustees at FPCOG are pleased to announce that we are kicking off the grant process to start giving out the money from the COVID19 Fund!

Purpose of COVID-19 Emergency Fund: To provide small emergency grants to the surrounding communities who have suffered significant financial losses due to the pandemic. These funds are awarded to provide onetime, stopgap emergency funding and are not intended to provide long term, sustained financial assistance.

Application Process: Fill out the grant form – it can be found here. Your application will be held in strict confidence and shared only with Rev. Elea Kemler and a small group of Trustees who will be responsible for reviewing and awarding grants.

Please note that our funds are limited; our goal is to award as many small grants as our emergency fund allows.

If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 Emergency Fund or your specific application, please contact .

You may submit your application via e-mail to , call the office 978-448-6307, or mail it to COVID-19 Emergency Fund, First Parish Church, 3 Powderhouse Rd, Groton, MA 01450.

Due date for grant form submissions is Friday December 4th, 2020.

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All Souls Day Slide Show   [ 2020-10-18 13:56 ]

We are creating a slide show for the All Souls Day service on November 1 and would love to include photos of your loved ones. Please send us photos of your loved ones who have died along with their names and relationships to you. Or take a photo of you holding a photo of your loved one. Photos should be sent at the highest resolution possible. Send to .
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Protocol for Small Group Meetings in Covid Time   [ 2020-09-28 11:43 ]

Follow this link into the Members area to read the guidelines for small group meetings in the church facilities.
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Words from the Water Communion, 2020   [ 2020-09-19 14:03 ]

Every year in September, on the occasion of the first service of the church year, we hold a ceremony we are now calling the Water Communion — the beginning of the process of making the holy water we will use throughout the year for many purposes, including blessing infants and sending young adults on their way. Each member of the community brings some water from somewhere their life has taken them over the summer.

We begin the ceremony by pouring some of last year’s holy water into a large vessel. This water contains traces of the water from each year before, stretching back now 21 years. Then each member of the community adds their water to the mix and speaks a single word. As we do every year, we have gathered these words together into a single image (click the link to open a new window). Larger words were spoken more frequently.

In this pandemic year of 2020 the water collection honored social distancing and the words were taken down as uttered (through masks).

For comparison, here are our words from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. (The words for 2012 were, alas, not recorded.)

As a bonus, here is a brief video featuring all of the words from 2008 to 2019. (The password is the same as for the Members area of the church website.)

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Using the Church's Zoom Accounts   [ 2020-06-27 08:18 ]

The church has two Zoom licenses for use of community members. See this file in the Members area of the website to learn how to use them. If you need the access credentials for the Members area, email .
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Comprehensive List of Community Resources   [ 2020-06-05 11:23 ]

The Groton Public Library has put togethier a list of community resources for those seeking information or help locally during the pandemic.
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June 3 Circle Meeting   [ 2020-06-05 11:12 ]

Here are notes from the June 3 church-wide circle meeting held via Zoom. The link takes you to the Members area; if you need the login credentials, please email tech.help@uugroton.org.
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FPCoG’s Coronavirus Blog   [ 2020-05-02 16:34 ]

We have started a community blog to capture the experiences and emotions of this singular time: Suddenly at Home – FPCoG. Visit to sign up for email notification when a new post goes live. We now have 11 authors, who have posted 29 observations, poems, musings, and inspirations. You are invited to be the 12th! Email Ellen Brandt for your author account.
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Access to FPCoG’s YouTube Services and Zoom Coffee Hour   [ 2020-04-18 09:32 ]

We have collected in one place all the URLs and calendar reminders you need to get to the church’s Sunday service on the YouTube channel and then join the community in a virtual coffee hour via Zoom. See the top of this page in the Members area for all the links (members password required, please email tech.help@uugroton.org if you don’t have it). You can also find there the login information for the weekly Zoom coffee hour, which convenes Thursdays at 11:00 am.
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Notes from the 2020-04-15 Church-Wide Meeting   [ 2020-04-16 13:52 ]

On Wednesday April 15, the church leadership board convened a Zoom meeting to update the community on various church activities, from RE to pastoral visitors to the state of finances. Click here for slides, notes, and reports from the meeting (members password required, please email tech.help@uugroton.org if you don’t have it).
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