Welcome VISITORS! To receive more information about First Parish, please fill out the Visitor Card linked HERE or email our Membership Coordinator, Laurie Hasty, at email@example.com. We look forward to connecting with you!
Meetings & Classes
BLUUBerries Saturday Jam | April 24 – June 19 | 2pm | Zoom
Black Lives UU is offering education and community building opportunities for Black children and youth. The Spring 2021 session of BLUUBerries Saturday Jam for Black children and youth (ages 6-18) begins Saturday, April 24th and meets online each Saturday until June 19th. To register, click here.
UU Book of the Year Discussion | Sunday, May 23 | 1-2:30pm | Zoom
Breathe by Imani Perry, the wonderful UU Book of the Year, is now available from our UU Library. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to pick up a copy on Tuesday-Thursday from 12-4pm. It can be borrowed for 2 weeks and then returned to the office during those times or left in the mailbox. Breathe is also available through the Public Library System, and for purchase on Amazon.
What’s Going on in Religious Exploration (RE)? For more information about the RE program, please email Toben Cooney-Callnan, Director of Religious Exploration, at email@example.com.
- Grades 1-7: Zoom Meetings most Sundays 9-9:45 am.
- Grades 10-12: Youth Group Sundays 6-7:15 pm
Storytellers Invited! We can always use storytellers to tell stories or read books for our messages to younger kids and for the Time for All Ages part of our online worship services. Email Toben at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Religious Exploration Updated Calendar The RE Calendar has been updated to reflect our shared classes with the UU Church of Brunswick. Our Online RE Calendar is the best place to go for the most up to date information on what is happening each week in the RE Program.
Pastoral Care Breakout Room | Sunday Mornings after Worship All are welcome to join a confidential pastoral care breakout room each Sunday after worship. Please send a chat message to the worship tech person during the service if you would like to join. A member of the Pastoral Care Team will be present with an open heart. Any questions or concerns please contact team leader Judy Micoleau: email@example.com.
Breathing and Meditation Class | Wednesdays | 7:30-8:30 am | Online
The practice of pranayama is essential to a calm mind, a healthy body, and a free spirit. Through breathwork, kriyas, mudras and sutras we prepare for silence and stillness. Taught by Rev. Christina. Free to members. $10.00 per class for non-members. Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/630981602.
Poetry Hour with Reverend Christina | Thursdays | 8-9 am | Online
We listen to poems, reflect on them, and share how they touch our beings. Some of us have begun to write poems. All are welcome. Free to members. $10.00 per class for non-members. Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/250298315.
Peaceful Harbor Sangha | Sundays | 6:30 – 8:00 pm | Online
Peaceful Harbor Sangha meets weekly for shared Buddhist practice. Meetings include sitting meditation, walking meditation, dharma reading and discussion. Come experience the calm in the storm! Meetings are now held on Zoom, and all are welcome; donations are gratefully accepted but not required. To receive the Zoom link, contact Susannah Ristine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONLINE Worship Service | Sundays | 10 am | Join Zoom Meeting HERE
Join us online each Sunday for our Unitarian Universalist worship service. Use the Zoom link below to call in as early as 9:30 am to say hello to other First Parish friends. Or watch the livestream service on our Facebook page.
Update on Church for EveryBody We’re getting down to the last few details – adding the last electrical outlets, painting the walls, putting the kitchen back together, etc. We’re still waiting for the elevator completion and final brick work, but we are almost there! In related news, the church has a new phone (although same number) and Internet service – expect a new recording on the voicemail service when you call the main number and faster Internet service if you connect to the network. You can learn more about the project’s status here.
COVID and First Parish Meetings Due to sharply rising COVID cases in Maine, it is important for all First Parish committees and chalice groups to be on the same page about meeting guidelines. If you have not begun to move your groups to an on-line only meeting method, please do so now. All First Parish sanctioned church activities should only convene through an on-line platform for the foreseeable future. If you are already doing this, thank you. If you are experiencing challenges making the transition, please feel free to reach out to your Ministry Liaison Team representative, Chalice Group Coordinator, or Hannah in the Office to help you navigate the transition. Please read the full letter from the Safe Congregation Task Force HERE.
First Parish Closed for all Meetings & Rentals Our building will remain closed until further notice. We are continuing to reassess the COVID-19 metrics from the CDC and decide when it is safe to reopen. We are keeping an eye on the data regarding the number of COVID-19 cases and percent of people getting vaccinated. For more information, please email Hannah at email@example.com.
Sunday Plate Needs Help! Sunday Plate donations are currently less than half of pre-pandemic levels. Weekly donations are an important revenue source keeping our church on sound financial footing. Even though we can’t gather in person, there are still ways to contribute during or after Sunday worship. Click here to learn all the Ways to Give to First Parish.
Join a Chalice Group! Chalice Groups are a great place to get to know other people and to get to know yourself. Groups of approximately 10 people meet monthly to reflect upon and discuss significant life topics. The conversations are respectful and caring. Currently we are going strong and making connections using Zoom. For more information, please contact: Barbara DeSerres, Chalice Group Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee on Ministry: The Committee on Ministry (COM) assists the minister and the congregation in promoting the well-being of the congregation’s ministry. Should a member have an inquiry or feedback pertaining to The Reverend’s ministry at First Parish, please contact a member of the COM team: Andrew Bloom (ABLOOM@maine.rr.com), Jen Caswell (email@example.com), Bruce Carver (firstname.lastname@example.org), and/or Tom Rogers (email@example.com).
Phishing Emails from Rev. Christina: Please be aware of an emails you receive from Rev. Christina asking for help, money, or a return email, as there have been many recent phishing emails that claim to be her. “I would never ask Members or Friends of First Parish for money, gift cards, or help in any way, other than regular FP business,” says Rev. Christina. These emails are always sent from fake email addresses that look real. Christina only uses the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. These scams are an unfortunate reality for many churches these days. The UUA published an article on this issue titled, “Phishing: Don’t Take the Bait!”
Need Help Getting Started on Zoom? Thanks to Kate Stenberg, Worship Team, we now have our very own First Parish Zoom Guide linked HERE! Or, watch this helpful video to make sure you are up and running for Worship Service on Sunday, as well as other Zoom offerings!
Watch Previous Online Services: Did you miss a service recently? You can watch all of our online services on our FaceBook page, or read the transcripts of the services HERE.
Text to Give: You can now make donations to First Parish via TEXT by following these steps:
- Type in (833) 763-0068 in the “To:” field of a text
- Type in the amount you want to give in the text box
- Click on the link to enter your billing information
- For subsequent donations, simply text the amount you want to give to the (833) 763-0068 & hit SEND.
OR… Mail Your Pledge Check! Many of our parishioners usually pay their pledges with a check placed in the Offertory, and may prefer not to give online. If this is YOU, please mail your pledge checks to the church office at 425 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101. It is essential for us to maintain a smooth cash flow in these difficult times. Thank you for your generosity!
Sermons: We receive many requests for copies of Rev. Christina’s thought-provoking sermons. You can now find her sermons in this Shared Sermons Folder. Please allow up to a week for sermons to be posted here.
Weekly eNews Tips: Are you receiving our weekly eNews email? The eNews is filled with valuable information on how to get involved at First Parish. Email Hannah in the Office to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope the following tips will help you get the most out of this important mode of communication:
- CLICK on the rectangular buttons & blue underlined words throughout the eNews to link to more information.
- Click on the “ORDER of SERVICE” button above to get more information on readings and music from each service.
- Wait…there’s more! Click on the “View Entire Message” link at the end of this email to read the full eNews!
- Is someone you know not receiving the eNews even though they signed up? Encourage them to check their Promotions or Junk folders, and then move the eNews into their Inbox.