Latest News Archive

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

Medicine Wheel Garden Ceremony for Mike Roberts   [ 2018-06-26 18:58 ]

On Sunday June 24, 2018, 1:00 pm, members of United Native American Cultural Center and the Morningstar Singers met in the Medicine Wheel Garden behind the Parish House. They led a simple ceremony of smudging, singing, and the offering of tobacco, along with prayers and spreading of some of Mike’s ashes in the garden he dreamed of and which he and church friends created. Click for some photos from the ceremony.

Kaitlin Kramer’s Reading   [ 2018-06-10 17:18 ]

On Sunday June 10 Kaitlin read a short piece she had written for the youth-led Soulful Service earlier this month. It was titled “We In This Earth We Share” and you can listen to it here.

Memorial Service for June Adams Johnson   [ 2018-06-05 18:49 ]

A celebration of June’s life was held on Saturday June 2, 2018, at First Parish. Follow the links below for the order of service and for audio of the testamonials and reflections spoken by June’s colleagues, friends, and family.

Memorial Order of Service (PDF)

Lighting of the Chalice: Barbara Rich
Words for Gathering: Rev. Elea Kemler
Telling the Story of June’s Life: Rev. Elea Kemler
Reflection: Jan Kuniholm
Reflection: Bob Pine
Reflection: Donna Nowak
Reflection: Gina Perini Benedict
Reflection: Ben Lieman
Reflection: Steve Lieman
Benediction: Rev. Elea Kemler


Emma’s Revolution in Concert   [ 2018-05-22 17:11 ]

Mark your calendars: on June 1, experience this powerful duo singing for social justice. The concert benefits cancer research in memory of June Adams Johnson. Get your tickets now — click on the badge in the upper left of the home page. (You may have to wait for it to come around on the guitar.)

Annual Meeting — Sunday, May 20   [ 2018-05-10 12:07 ]

The Annual Meeting of First Parish will take place on Sunday, May 20th at 11:30 am in the Vestry.

Childcare will be provided during the meeting. As always, it is extremely important that all members and friends stay after the service and participate.

Here are the proposed budget for FY19 and the Warrant and Slate of Officers for the meeting, in PDF format. Note: these links lead to the Members area; if you need the access credentials, please .


Mother’s Day Vigil, Sunday May 13 at Noon   [ 2018-05-03 17:36 ]

On Sunday, May 13, we will gather on the Common in front of First Parish Church of Groton for a Mother’s Day Vigil. We will gather in solidarity with mothers everywhere who have lost beloved children, young or old, to gun violence and in recognition of the true meaning of Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day was established in 1870 as a Mother’s Day for Peace. (Follow the link for the text of the Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe.)

All are welcome. You are invited to bring a sign with the name and/or photograph of someone who has died due to gun violence of any kind. Our vigil will be silent except for a public reading of some of the names of those who have died by gun violence in the United Stated so far in 2018, an average of 96 people every day. Many of their names are not public record, yet each life deserves to be recognized and remembered.

Contact Rev. Elea Kemler for more information. The Common is located on Main Street across from the public library.


Great Circle Meeting on Church Finances, April 15   [ 2018-04-19 20:20 ]

Follow this link to the Members area for slides from the 2018-04-15 circle meeting on church finances. (If you have mislaid the login credentials, please email the .)

Photos from Michael Roberts Celebration of Life   [ 2018-03-25 09:57 ]

Bob Lotz has posted 53 photos from yesterday’s celebration of the life of Michael Roberts (March 24). They are available here on SmugMug without a password. If you have trouble accessing this page, please .

Chalice Lighting by Carol Bousquet   [ 2018-03-13 10:15 ]

On March 11 Carol Bousquet lit the chalice for International Women's Day and rededicated the embroidery that hangs in the East Wing, titled “Each Stitch a Thousand Prayers of Hope.” Here is the audio.

2018 Easter Week Services at First Parish   [ 2018-03-09 13:31 ]

Good Friday Healing Service — Friday March 30, 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Join us for this service of reflection, silence and beautiful music as we reflect on the truths and lessons of Jesus’s last words and his death. This service is a chance to reflect on the reality that life and death, sorrow and joy are intertwined and to prepare ourselves for the rebirth and joy of Easter morning. All those who are grieving a loss or in need of healing are especially welcome for this simple, quiet, spacious service. This service is most appropriate for adults and older youth. Child Care will be provided. (Have dinner at Groton Community Dinners in the Vestry and then come upstairs for the service!)

Easter Sunrise Service — Sunday April 1, 6:15 am at 100 Hollis Street, Groton

All are welcome for the annual Easter Sunrise Service in the field behind Bob and Becky Pine’s house (100 Hollis Street, Groton, look for the sign and balloons) with a beautiful view of Gibbet Hill. Dress warmly, bring your coffee, and come greet Easter morning. This service is brief, informal, and full of the peace and beauty of sunrise on Easter morning. In case of heavy rain or snow (oy vey!) call the church office and listen to the outgoing recording or check the church website or Facebook page. But we will hope for clear skies and a beautiful sunrise.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Common — Sunday April 1, 9:00 am on Minuteman Common (in front of church)

Do not miss the 8th Annual First Parish Easter Egg Hunt! Children of all ages from toddlers to middle-schoolers are welcome to come at 9:00 am to hunt for surprise-filled eggs on the common in front of the church (or in the Vestry if the snow piles are bad!) Bring boots for mud and your own basket if you like. The littlest ones and kids with mobility challenges or other special needs get extra time and we make sure there are plenty of eggs for all. There will be coffee and pastry for grown-ups too. All children are welcome regardless of whether they come to First Parish so feel free to invite neighbors and friends.

Easter Service for All Ages — Sunday April 1, 10:00 am in the Sanctuary

Join us for the joyful celebration of Easter. Our service focuses on the joy and mystery of Easter Morning and the celebration of renewal and rebirth and all are very welcome. There will be beautiful music from the Adult choir and childcare for babies and toddlers. Coffee Hour to follow and contributions of nut-free food are especially welcome.

First Parish Passover Seder — Saturday Night, April 7, 5:30–8:00 pm in the Vestry

All are welcome to our annual and well-loved celebration of the Jewish Festival of Liberation. Our Seder is for everyone — all ages, all beliefs, Jews and non-Jews alike. Family, friends and guests are invited and especially welcome. We tell the story of how the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt and we re-dedicate ourselves to the present day struggle for freedom for all people. If you have never been to a Seder before, this is a wonderful introduction. We explain all the rituals, translate the Hebrew so everyone understands what is being said, and focus on making a meaningful connection between this ancient story and our current circumstances and lives in a relaxed, lively, kid friendly atmosphere.

As has become our tradition, the meal is a potluck of nut-free, unleavened food based on the tradition of eating unleavened bread during Passover — come to the Seder to find out why! Children have lots of special jobs from asking four very important questions to searching for the hidden piece of matzah which gets exchanged for a prize.

The Seder is free of charge but donations will be gratefully accepted to cover the cost of wine and supplies. Each family is asked to bring a (nut-free) potluck dish to share and to contribute something for the Seder plates as able. You may sign up at Coffee Hour or by contacting Sara Woods (


Chalice Lighting by Marion and Brenton Stoddart   [ 2018-02-27 01:40 ]

On February 25 Marion Stoddart introduced her grandson Brenton, who is a member of the UU church at Harvard, in lighting the chalice to honor the youth who are standing up for justice and a better world. The audio is here.