Latest News Archive

Balancing the Church Budget (updated)   [ 2019-05-12 19:51 ]

Based on congregational feedback from the recent budget survey and the latest financial data, the Board has prepared a revised budget for the coming fiscal year. The revised FY20 budget has been balanced via a combination of expense savings (approximately $35,000) and revenue increases (approximately $25,000). For a preview please click here. Any updates between now and the May 19 Annual Meeting will be posted as promptly as possible.

First Parish Passover Seder — Saturday April 27, 5:30–8:00 pm   [ 2019-04-21 14:19 ]

All are welcome to our annual celebration of the Jewish Festival of Freedom including potluck dinner in the Vestry, singing, telling the story of how the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt long ago, and re-dedicating ourselves to the work of liberation for all people. Our Seder is for everyone — all ages and beliefs, Jews and non-Jews alike. For more information or to sign up email: .


Vigil on the Common   [ 2019-03-19 13:55 ]

As dusk fell on Sunday March 18, 2019, several dozen First Parish members and friends gathered on the Common on Main Street to hold candles in silent vigil for those killed in two New Zealand mosques, and to express this community’s solidarity with Muslims everywhere. The vigil was organized by the Groton Interfaith Council. Follow this link for some of Steve Lieman’s photos from the event.

Blues Service: Sunday January 27, 10:00   [ 2019-01-22 14:16 ]

The Worship Service this coming Sunday, Jan. 27, will feature and celebrate the blues, a musical form which originated in the United States around the 1870s. Blues was created by African Americans; its roots include African musical traditions, African American work songs, and spirituals, as well as the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. A seven piece band will present a variety of blues and blues-themed songs from the standard repertoire along with some lesser-known gems. As Oscar Brown, Jr. says in his lyrics to the Miles Davis classic “All Blues”: “Some blues are sad, but some are glad / We’re all blues; all shades, all hues, all blues.” Join us for a morning of great music!

Christmas and Holiday Services for 2018   [ 2018-12-11 18:22 ]

Friday, Dec. 21:
Winter Solstice Celebration at 7:00 pm. All are welcome to this celebration of the passing of the longest night of the year and the return of the sun. There will be music, singing, stories and lots and lots of light. A great event for all ages and especially for anyone in need of hope during these short days of winter.

Sunday, December 23:
Paper Bag Nativity Pageant at 10:00 am. Come join this no rehearsal, no stress, no mistakes Nativity Pageant! All are welcome to put on a costume and enter the story as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. There are lots of simple costumes for all — stars, angels, shepherds, sheep and manger animals. Everyone is welcome to wear their own costume if they prefer. We do not worry too much about historical accuracy. We have had superheros, snow leopards, and dragons come to Bethlehem among many others and we believe that Jesus loves and welcomes them all!

Monday, December 24:
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5:15 pm. All are welcome to this child friendly Christmas Eve service. We will sing carols, have a story and lively music, and sing Silent Night as we stand side by side in the darkness and pass the candlelight from one to another. (There will be battery operated candles for the little ones.)

Cookies and Carol Sing for all ages between the services at 6:15 pm.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7:00 pm.
This service includes music from the choirs, carols, the telling of the Nativity story, some modern poetry, and a brief message from the minister. The service ends with the beautiful and traditional passing of candle light as we sing Silent Night in the peaceful dark. A service to welcome hope and joy.

Sunday, December 30:
The Worship of Making Lunch at 10:00 am. Join the First Parish Shelter Outreach Ministry for the annual service of lunch making for the residents of local shelters. We will begin with a brief worship service and continue with lunch making for all ages. We will make over 200 lunches (with a handmade card in each) to be delivered to five area shelters. A great way to start the new year in service to others.


2018 EOY Financial Report   [ 2018-09-21 11:45 ]

Treasurer Paul Funch has prepared an EOY Financial Report for FY18. It is an internal, non-independent audit report on all financial activity of the church during the fiscal year. Download it here from the Members area. You will need a password there; if you don't have it, please email the webmaster (an email link appears at the bottom of each page on the website).

Story Telling Workshop with Matthew Dicks, Oct. 21   [ 2018-09-18 16:58 ]

This Master Storyteller, MOTH champion, and founder of Speak Up will hold a workshop on Sunday October 21, noon - 1:30 pm. All are welcome to attend this workshop on the art of storytelling. Develop your storyteling prowess even if just to hone your skills at how to tell the best bedtime story ever! Free but let us know you are coming. Contact the church office at 978-448-6307 or for more information or to sign up.

Healing Conversations Begin Oct. 25   [ 2018-09-18 16:54 ]

Healing Conversations is a small group for those grieving the death of a loved one, six Thursday nights beginning October 25. The group will gather to share stories and experiences, to learn about the grief process, and to talk about what it means to move toward healing. Coached by Rev. Kemler and Kathy Parliment Benson. Attendance at all sessions is strongly encouraged. Contact the church office at 978-448-6307 or for more information or to sign up.

Liverpool Night, Oct. 27   [ 2018-09-18 16:52 ]

Please join us for the 4th Annual Liverpool Night on Saturday Oct. 27th at 7:30 pm, in the Vestry. (Click on the image at right for the event poster.) Sing and dance along as a live band plays your favorite fab songs from the 60s. We'll have live karaoke, too: take the microphone to sing a fab song with the band! Snacks and alcohol-free beverages will be available. Wine and beer will also be available (permit pending) for $5 per glass. Suggested donation is $10 per person. An additional small donation is requested of anyone wishing to sing with the band. If you are a 60s music fan, this event is not to be missed!

Working Notes of FPCoG Committees   [ 2018-09-15 09:33 ]

In the Members area we have posted links to folders in the church’s Google G-Suite account containing notes and other working documents for all the committees that comprise the running of First Parish Church of Groton. If you need the password to the Members area, you can email the church office or the webmaster — links to do so are at the bottom of each page of this website.

Words from the Water Communion and In-Gathering, 2018   [ 2018-09-11 15:16 ]

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 19 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.

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


Water Communion and In-Gathering, 2018   [ 2018-09-08 09:39 ]

Big Church resumes on Sunday Sept. 9 at 10:00 am, when we will celebrate Water Communion. All are welcome. Remember to bring some water from your summer — and don’t worry if you forgot to collect some, we will have plenty.

Full details here.


Blessing of the Backpacks   [ 2018-08-13 16:56 ]

Friday August 24, 5:00 pm

Bring your backpacks, briefcases, and work bags of all kinds for a blessing as we begin the new church and school year. Kids and youth of all ages are all welcome and there will special blessings for teachers, educators, and parents. Iced tea, lemon­ade, and snacks will be served and all are encouraged to stay afterwards for a free, delicious dinner at Groton Commun­ity Dinners!


Summer 2018 Services   [ 2018-07-03 09:50 ]

Thanks to Pat Fairchild for organizing the summer services this year. Read about them here.

Pieces from the Miracle of Music Service   [ 2018-07-03 09:48 ]

The June 24 service featured performances by a quartet consisting of Paul Funch, flute; Margery Goldstein, piccolo and flute; Michael Jacobs, alto flute and flute; and Claire Rindenello, piccolo and flute. Here are the pieces they performed.
Quartet in D Minor (Andante; Allegro) — Georg P. Telemann (1681-1767)
She is Fair to Look Upon — Claude Debussy (1862-1918), arr. M. Goldstein
Village Dance from Suite Pastorale — Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894), arr. J. Gibson
Matona Mia Cara — Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594)
Sarabande — Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), arr. M Goldstein
Ragtime — Tamas Beischer-Matyo (1972-)
Caprice — Margery Z. Goldstein
Quartet in D Minor (Largo; Vivace) — Georg P. Telemann
I Whistle a Happy Tune — Richard Rogers (1902-1979), arr. J. Christensen