Meetings & Classes


Religious Exploration Update: Religious Exploration Classes and Youth Group Meetings have come to an end for the year.  Have a great summer, and we look forward to seeing you back in the fall! FMI about the RE program, please email Toben:


General Assembly Social Justice Debrief | July 8 | 5 pm | Zoom Meeting: Did you attend GA last week? MUUSAN is hosting a zoom meeting to share your Social Justice learnings, inspirations, and concerns. Too often we come away from GA energized and recommitted, but life gets in the way of follow-up. So please register HERE to join us on Wednesday, July 8th at 5:00 pm to learn from each other and keep our momentum going forward.


Zoom Conversation on Maine’s Future with Senator Shenna Bellows| July 14 | 7-8 pm | Register HERE (free event)   The Faith in Action Team is co-hosting this Sierra Club Maine Community Conversation with State Senator Shenna Bellows (D – Kennebec). Sen. Bellows chairs the Labor and Housing Committee and is also Executive Director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center. How can we achieve sustainability in these times of pandemic, recession and growing opposition to systemic injustices? For more information, contact Marianne Hill, moderator, at


Newcomer Coffee ONLINE! | August 2 | 11:00 am-Noon: Newcomers and visitors to First Parish are invited to chat informally with church leaders to learn more about what makes this church unique. To join the conversation at 11:00 am, use the Zoom link posted above for this week’s online worship service or just stay online after the service. We look forward to meeting you!


Pastoral Care Calls & Office Hours for Meetings with Reverend Christina | Mondays 9 am – 12 pm and Tuesdays 2-5 pm  Reverend Christina will be holding Pastoral Care phone or Zoom calls for members of First Parish. Please email Sheila to schedule a call in the weeks ahead.


ONLINE Breathing and Meditation Class | Wednesdays | 8-9 am  Explore breathing techniques to nurture your mind, body and spirit. Pranayama is an ancient practice from India used to heal dis-ease, prepare for meditation, and access spiritual realms. All are welcome to join in these powerful tools of transformation. Taught by Rev. Christina. Join Zoom Meeting: ; Meeting ID: 630 981 602. One tap mobile (audio only): +19294362866,,630981602#


Poetry & Meditation Gatherings | Thursday Mornings | 8-9 am  Join Rev. Christina on Zoom on Thursday Morning’s for Poetry and Meditation. We will share poetry and spend time in silence together. All are welcome. Join Zoom Meeting:; Meeting ID: 250 298 315. One tap mobile: +19294362866,,250298315#


Upcoming Events


Year-Round Church Services!  As many of you know, the First Parish Governing Board voted last year to expand Sunday services through the summer and provide parishioners with the opportunity to worship year-round, beginning June, 2020. This summer will be our first in many years to hold services. Reverend Christina will be in the pulpit in July and Carolyn Barschow in August. Please join us via Zoom or Facebook Live throughout July and August as we continue to explore ways to nurture the spirit, grow in community, and help heal the world.




Faith in Action Team Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter- Portland: The FIA team voted to pull together in support of Black Lives Matter. Do you want to be in this FIA action loop? You will receive timely email announcements about urgent upcoming opportunities for you to support racial justice. Reply to Kris Minister at FMI or to DONATE please visit Black Lives Matter Portland.


Update from the Finance Team  Reminder: The church fiscal year ended on June 30. Please send remaining contributions on your 2019-2020 pledge and any reimbursement requests by July 31 so we can close the books. Donations received after July 31 will be applied to the 2020-2021 church year. Contributions can be sent by mail or paid through our website by clicking on the Give button at the upper right corner of the screen: If paying by check, please write “2019-2020 pledge” in the memo line. If paying online, please choose the “2019-2020” pledge year payment option. Please notify if you are not able to fulfill your pledge.


Office Update for July: Marge Stockford, long-time First Parish member, will be overseeing the First Parish Office for the month of July while Sheila Sullivan takes time off to enjoy the summer with her family. Marge will be answering email, checking phone messages, and compling this weekly eNews, amongst other jobs. Feel free to contact her if you have any questions!


Support Food Insecurity in our Native Communities  When we are blessed, we are called to share our blessings. During this crisis, many people in our Native communities are not able to work, without a safety net to catch them. Maine-Wabanaki REACH established a Community Response Fund to help those in need by putting food on the tables in Wabanaki homes. You can be part of this call to action by:
  1. Making a donation to the REACH Community Response Fund at Call to Action: Wabanaki Food Security, or
  2. Sending a check directly to one of the Wabanaki community food pantries.


Request an Absentee Ballot for the July 14 State Primary Election  Maine law makes it easy to cast an absentee ballot. Any registered voter may cast an absentee ballot instead of voting in person and you don’t have to be out-of-town or have any other reason to take advantage of this easy way to cast your vote. Just complete an absentee ballot application to get a ballot; then fill out and deliver the ballot back to the municipal clerk, or to the Secretary of State, Division of Elections. You can also request your own ballot electronically, using the Secretary of State’s online absentee ballot request service. See the state’s Absentee Voting Guide to get answers to all your questions. July 14 will be here before you know it!


Help Wanted: Public Safety Team  A new First Parish Public Safety Team is forming, and we are looking to for folks with skills in the following areas: basic web research on topics such as police use of force, citizen participation in review of complaints against the police, model policing reforms and policies adopted by other U.S. cities & states, etc.; social media & email lists; website building & maintenance;  fundraising;  writing letters to the editor; emails and phone calls to elected officials;   connecting with allied organization e.g. MUUSAN, Poor People’s Campaign, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc. Our city needs your energy and skills NOW! FMI: email Angus Ferguson at


Honoring Steve Jenks, former President of the First Parish Trustees: The dogwood shrub pictured here was planted recently in the First Parish Memorial Garden in honor of Steve Jenks and his legacy as President of the Trustees for the last 14 years. While this dogwood is a bit hidden at present, it remains in the background until it grows to full size of 5 or 6 feet. Perhaps this is symbolic in how Steve worked somewhat in the background to accomplish so much for First Parish. Furthermore, Steve’s tireless tenure will also be represented by this plant’s all-season display, as in the fall-winter it will have showy red branches that you will be able to see from the street.


Mass Poor People’s Assembly & ONLINE MORAL MARCH on WASHINGTON: The June 20th broadcast of the Virtual Moral March on Washington was a profoundly powerful experience. If you didn’t see it, or didn’t see Rev. Barber’s speech at the end (at about 2 hours & 50 minutes in), you should watch! Please spread the word about the Poor People’s Campaign- both national & the Maine chapter. They need our support in action & dollars! Please visit the PPC website for more information about this event and its importance.


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 We look forward to connecting with you!


Kids’ Art & Music in Online Services: As a fun summer project , I would like to encourage the children and youth of First Parish to send me photographs or pictures of their artwork to be used in our Sunday worship services.  No people, just nature, buildings, pets or examples of their own drawings, paintings or sculptures. In addition, any musically inclined children could submit short videos of them sharing their music-making, as long as the parents are comfortable with us sharing during a service. The benefits are many: foster creativity in our youth, give them a role and voice in our worship services, and avoid copyright infringement using online content. Please help us feature the amazingly creative youth we have at First Parish. If you have questions or wish to send submissions, contact Scott at

Text to Give: You can now make donations to First Parish via TEXT by following these steps:

  1. Type in (833) 763-0068 in the “To:” field of a text
  2. Type in the amount you want to give in the text box
  3. Click on the link to enter your billing information
  4. 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 04010. It is essential for us to maintain a smooth cash flow in these difficult times. Thank you for your generosity!


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 Sheila in the Office to sign up: 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.


    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.


    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 e-News: Are you receiving our weekly email? It’s an online version of this page, filled with valuable information on how to get involved at First Parish. Email Sheila in the Office to sign up: Please check your Promotions/Junk folders for this email, and move it into your Inbox to “teach” your email program that it’s not Junk!