Latest News Archive

Taste of Small Group at First Parish Church of Groton: March 19   [ 2017-03-15 ]

Looking for an opportunity to deepen spiritually and build meaningful connections? The First Parish Church of Groton (a welcoming Unitarian Universalist congregation) invites you to attend a “Taste of Small Group” on March 19 from 11:45 am to 12:30 pm. To attend simply enter the church through the side doors, and meet in front of the elevator. Those who attend will be divided into groups and experience a guided listening and sharing session, typical of the richer 6-week program. This program starts in April, with day and evening groups available. Located in Groton Center at 1 Powderhouse Road, this free event is open to all adults and older teenagers. For more information, call First Parish at 978-448-6307 or email

Proposed Bylaw Changes   [ 2017-02-24 ]

Several significant changes to the bylaws are being considered for acceptance at the annual meeting on May 21, 2017. To help facilitate discussion, members are encouraged to review a draft of the proposed bylaws changes. See the Governance page for two versions of the same changes, a draft version and a draft version with “track changes” displayed.

Thank You from the Kids at Kigali Reading Center   [ 2017-02-01 ]

Dear Everyone from First Parish Church,

Parfait and I would like to express our wholehearted gratitude for your support of Kigali Reading Center. Murakoze cyane (thank you very much) for all your generosity. The money will help accomplish our 2017 goal of doubling the number of children we serve. Thank you also for the books and the generous offers to volunteer your time. By giving the gift of literacy, you are giving some of Rwanda's neediest children a chance to break the cycle of poverty. Murakoze cyane, The Children of Kigali Reading Center in Rwanda

P.S. Turagukunda! (We love you!)

Rev. Kemler’s Christmas Eve Sermon, 2016   [ 2017-01-04 ]

Many of you have been asking for Rev. Kemler’s powerful sermon from Christmas Eve. Unfortunately it was not recorded, but here is a transcript: Something New Is Trying to Get Itself Born. Elea also posted it on the church’s Facebook page.

Christmas and Holiday Services for 2016   [ 2016-12-13 ]

Sunday, December 18: Paper Bag Nativity Pageant at 10:00 am. All are welcome and encouraged to attend our no rehearsal, no stress, usually hilarious, and always poignant pull-a-costume-out-of-a-paper-bag Nativity Pageant. We will bring the Nativity to joyous life on the spot as we tell the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. You can be a star! (Or a sheep or camel or wiseperson or shepherd.) There are costumes for everyone young and old and you are invited to wear your own favorite costume if you choose because everyone is welcome at our stable.

Wednesday, December 21: Winter Solstice Celebration at 7:00 pm. Our Winter Solstice service is an event for all ages. Come celebrate the passing of the shortest day. This participatory service will include music, stories, saying goodbye to the longest night of the year and welcoming the slow return of the light. All are welcome.

Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Come welcome Christmas with us! The 5:30 pm service includes the Children’s Choir and an interactive story for all ages. The 7:30 pm service includes the beautiful music of the First Parish Choir. Both services include lots of carols and the passing of candlelight to one another while we sing Silent Night. Cider and cookies will follow both services. There will be Caroling at 6:45 pm so plan to stay late after the first service or come early for the second.

Sunday, December 25: A Simple Groton Christmas Morn at 10:00 am. All are welcome for a simple, peaceful Christmas Day worship gathering.

First Parish Church joyfully welcomes all people and is wheelchair accessible. For more information about our congregation, please look around this webpage or on Facebook at First Parish Church of Groton, MA. We are located at the corner of Route 119 (Main Street) and Route 40.


Boston And DC Women’s March   [ 2016-12-13 ]

On January 21, 2017, people will unite in Washington and Boston to march in solidarity with communities most affected by recent acts and statements of hate, intolerance and violence — among them are women, Muslims, immigrants, people of color, refugees, people who identify as LGBTQIA, and many others. Together, we will demonstrate that America stands for human decency, equal rights, and freedom from discrimination.

All are welcome. Join us in Boston or DC to let the new presidential administration hear our voices!

Here is more information on the DC march and travel from Massachusetts. For details on the Boston march, search “Boston Women’s March for America” on Facebook or click here.


A Letter to the Editor(s)   [ 2016-12-03 ]

Here is the letter to the editors that Elea and the Board sent to local media outlets on Friday Dec. 2. The subject is the upsurge of incidents of hateful harassment since election day, and our church’s (and our faith’s) reaction to it.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities   [ 2016-11-11 ]

If you look closely at the “navigation” menu on the left-hand side of every page on the site, you will notice a new entry, “This Week.” Below this are “Volunteer Opportunities” and “Upcoming Events.” Check these two pages frequently. They will be updated at least once a week while church is in session. The entries on these two lists are taken from the weekly News, Needs & Opportunities email newsletter. (The Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs – page has moved beneath “About Our Community.”)

Upcoming Events   [ 2016-11-10 ]

Here are this week’s upcoming events at FPCoG:

– Look for the Giving Tree Starting November 26th
– Ritual Of Gratitude And Letting Go
– Time for another Bazaar: November 20th
– First Saturday at First Parish
– ART & Brown Bag Lunch Open Studio Fridays
– Mental Health Working Group Meets: Plan Ahead!


Welcoming Congregation 15th Anniversary Service   [ 2016-10-28 ]

Sunday’s service celebrated 15 years of working towards being a Welcoming Congregation. Here are some photos from the day (4 by Krista Ingram and 36 by Susan Fry), the Order of Service, and the audio from Rev. Kemler’s sermon, “This is the Sound of All of Us.” Also, by popular request: Pat Lawrence’s chalice lighting, audio and transcript.

Meetinghouse Gets New Clock Faces This Wednesday   [ 2016-10-25 ]

There will be some excitement at the Old Groton Meetinghouse this Wednesday, October 26th, starting around 8:00 am, as three huge, eight-foot-diameter clock faces are lifted into place by crane. Also on the agenda: raising up eight new shutters for the bell tower.

Here are photos of the old clock faces coming down (1, 2, 3, 4).

There will likely be some great photo opportunities as with these highly visible steps the Phase 1A Meetinghouse Rehabilitation Project draws to a close.


Jim Moisson’s Chalice Lighting   [ 2016-09-25 ]

Some of you have asked that Jim’s chalice lighting be posted. Here it is.

Words from the Gathering of the Water, 2016   [ 2016-09-11 ]

Every year in September, on the occasion of the first service of the church year, we hold a ceremony called the Gathering of the Water — 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 17 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 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. (The words for 2012 were, alas, not recorded.)


Big Church Resumes Sept. 11   [ 2016-09-08 ]

Come join us at our school for for compassion, gratitude, and generosity. Please remember to bring some water from your summer travels to help constitute the community’s homemade holy water. (Don’t worry if you forget, there will be water to share.)

Summer Services for 2016   [ 2016-06-20 ]

The summer 2016 schedule is posted. Later this summer we’ll explore balance, listening, and the problem of war; we’ll enjoy the traditional poetry service; and much more. Come join us in the cool of the vestry at 10:00 am!

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