Upcoming Events at First Parish


Celebration of Life for Nancy Burns | October 13 | 2pm | Meeting House  Nancy Burns died peacefully in her home on September 26. Nancy was a long time member of First Parish, and spent many decades as our Treasurer. There will be a reception in the Parish Hall following the service.


Opportunity Fair | October 20 | 11am-12pm | Parish Hall  Meet representatives from a variety of teams to learn about all of the activities that our church offers and the opportunities to get involved in the life of First Parish.  FMI: Laurie Hasty membership@firstparishportland.org


The Fight to Make the Maine Constitution (1819-2019) | October 21 | 7pm | First Parish Meeting Hous  A Bicentennial look at the surprising backstory of the struggle to make the Maine Constitution in October, 1819, held in the hall of the First Parish “Old Jerusalem” — slavery, freedoms, and the rights of man argued out  anew. Followed by a panel discussion with Herb Adams, Marshall Tinkle, Donald Soctomah, Anne Gass, and Mary Bonauto . With audience Q & A.


Hungarian Youth Folk Dance Performance |October 28 | 7:30-8:30pm | First Parish Meeting House  17 dancers and musicians from the Transylvanian region of Romania, passionate about keeping their ethnic Hungarian folk music and dance traditions alive, will be performing in traditional costumes. They are members of the Vadrózsák Néptánccsoport & the Lelkes Zenekar, founded by two teachers at the Unitarian School in Székelykeresztúr. The performance will conclude with audience participation in a Hungarian dance. $10 at the door. FMI: laurie@maine.rr.com.


Memorial Garden Fall Clean-Up! | November 9 | 10am | First Parish Gardens  A great way to participate in community and steward our gem in the heart of the city. Bring garden gloves, rakes, shears or just come for the Tony’s donuts… The FP Garden Committee will meet at 9am inside briefly before we rake; if you’d like to consider joining the committee, you are welcome to attend the meeting beforehand. FMI: contact Linda Shary at lindashary3@gmail.com.


Meetings & Classes


Religious Exploration Volunteer Workshop |11:15am-12:45pm | 3 Workshop Offerings: 10/20 in the Youth Room | 11/3 in the Community Room | 11/17 in the Youth Room  If you would like to learn how to support the RE Program by volunteering in the classroom please attend. Pre-registration is not required.  If you have any questions about whether this workshop is right for you please email Toben: dre@firstparishportland.org.


Welcome Luncheon for Rev. Barnaby & Michele Lowy | October 27 | 12-1pm | Community Room  Join us for a potluck luncheon to welcome our visiting minister and his wife. Please bring food to share (about 6-8 servings –main dish, sandwiches, soup, side dish, salad, vegetables, dessert). Beverages will be supplied by the Membership Team.   FMI: Laurie Hasty at membership@firstparishportland.org.


Youth Group Halloween Party | October 27th | 6-7:30pm | | Youth Room  Grade 9-12 Youth Group- please plan on attending this fun event! We ask that all families regularly participating in Nursery Care, RE Classes, and Youth Group fill out the 2019-20 Registration Forms. Forms will be made available at the RE table during Coffee Hour.


Interested in Becoming a Member of First Parish? Please email Laurie Hasty to register: membership@firstparishportland.org:

Path to Membership Class | October 20th | 11:30am – 1:30pm | Community Room  Join Jason Shedlock, President of the Governing Board, to explore membership at First Parish. We will look at the benefits and responsibilities of membership, opportunities for spiritual development as well as community connections.


Breathing and Meditation Class | Wednesdays | 8-9am | Meeting House  Come and 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. Free to First Parish Members; $10.00 non-members.


First Parish Choir | Thursdays  | 7pm | Parish Hall  We welcome international opera stars, beginners and everyone in between, ages 14 to 104. Enthusiasm and the ability to carry a tune are the only requirements. We will kick off the new church year with a Choir Retreat on Saturday, September 7th from 10-2 in the Parish Hall. If you have any questions, please contact Scott at musicdirector@firstparishportland.org.


Join the Youth Choir! | Sundays | 11:15-11:45 | K-1 Classroom (upstairs)  Our Youth Choir is lucky enough to led by Scott Wheatley– a professional musician with an exceptional ability to connect with his audience! Assistant director, Arne Gronningsater, will help Scott to channel raucous enthusiasm into beautiful music. Any young person is welcome to join. Our first song will be “Happiness Is” from Charlie Brown. FMI: arne.gronningsater@gmail.com.




The Poor People’s Campaign: We Must Do MORE Tour | October 10  Over 400 people marched down Congress Street and filled the pews at First Parish on Thursday night in support of the PPC’s We Must do MORE Tour. Rev’s Barber & Theoharis inspired the crowd with their call to action on behalf of poor people throughout the country. For more photos, videos, & reflections on the event, watch a great summary of the event HERE, read the Portland Press Herald article, and visit our Facebook Instagram pages! Read more about the PPC’s Moral Agenda and call all people of conscience to engage in deeply moral civic engagement FMI: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/.  Many thanks to all the Ushers and other volunteers who helped make this evening such a success!


Minister Exchange | October 21 – November 11  Reverend Christina Sillari will be exchanging pulpits with Rev. Barnaby Feder from the Champlain Valley UU Society in Middlebury, Vermont for three weeks from October 21st to November 11th.   Rev. Barnaby and Rev. Christina will be leading worship, attending meetings and community gatherings, and be available for pastoral care in each other’s congregations. They hope their exchange is a learning opportunity for themselves as ministers and for both their congregations. Stay tuned for an introduction to Rev. Barnaby in next week’s eNews!


Rev. Barnaby Feder is a native of San Mateo, Calif., where he grew up in a UU. He graduated from Williams College in 1972, and went to the Univ. of California at Berkeley School of Law. After graduating in 1977 with his law degree, he returned to journalism as a free-lancer in Scandinavia. From 1980 to 2008 for the New York Times as a business and technology reporter in New York, London, and Chicago. He entered Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, NJ, in 2008, served his internship at the Morristown (NJ) Unitarian Fellowship and the UU Fellowship of the Poconos in Stroudsburg, Pa. before being called to the Champlain Valley UU Society in 2012. He has been married to Michele Lowy for 32 years.


A Church for EveryBody: The Campaign for First Parish in Portland  First Parish has embarked on A Church for EveryBody Campaign, a project that will make our space accessible to everybody. To meet this need, we have set a goal of $1.2 million. To date, we have raised over $820,500! Our thanks go out to all of those who have supported such a successful endeavor. We have more to do though, as we have yet to receive a decision from EVERYONE at First Parish. Volunteers led by Reverend Christina are working to reach out to as many parishioners as possible by the end of November. Every family is invited to participate in this historic campaign. Please consider your support with an open heart and a wish for our success as we continue.


Security at First Parish  We are working closely with the Maine GuardSafe security agency to maintain our Sunday morning worship as a warm, welcoming, and safe experience for all. Now that our RE program has started back up, the Parish House doors will be locked between 10:15-11 am. The Meeting House doors will remain open during service. Our security guard is able to contact Moe for access to the building up the ramp, if it is needed during this time. Thank you for your patience as we work towards making Sundays at First Parish a safe and secure experience for everyone.


Come join the fun… Dinner for 2 ANYWHERE in the World- Fall Fund Raiser Raffle!  The raffle winner wins dinner for 2 at the restaurant of their choice anywhere (yes, anywhere) in the world!  Read all about it by through the link in this week’s eNews! The Grand Prize includes:

    • Airfare for 2 to any major international airport
    • Dinner for 2 (excluding alcoholic beverages)
    • HOTEL Accommodations for 2 nights*

      Instrumentalists Come Forth! If you are a “mature” instrumentalist looking to polish old skills or a “younger” player interested in more experience, the choir invites you to join us. Occasionally songs are enhanced with something more than the piano and our fledgling Folk Group would love to add a bass, mandolin or fiddle. If interested; please send your name, the type of instrument, and your contact information to brendafraney6@gmail.com. We look forward to making beautiful music together!


      Coffee Hour Snacks  Snacks for the coffee hour after the worship service are much appreciated by all! Please SIGN UP to bring a plate of cookies, crackers and cheese, or vegetables. Food should be brought into the church kitchen by 9:45am on Sunday morning before the service. Thank you.


      Library News: Thanks for making the Library book sale a success. Let us know if you have suggestions for new books. We have several new books which will be available to take out in October: Becoming by Michelle Obama, Dream Big Dreams by Pete Souza, and Obama- an Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza.  Thank you to our anonymous donor! Check out the library e-catalogue– go to Membership on the First Parish website and select Library- click a book cover to see what it is about.


      Volunteer SIGN UP’s Updated for the New Church Year! There are so many ways to get involved at First Parish:

            • Usher/Greeter
            • Community Dinner
            • Building Tours
            • Flowers for Sunday Service and more!

          Please CLICK HERE to sign up! Contact Sheila if you have any questions about signing up online: office@firstparishportland.org.


          Weekly e-News: Are you receiving our weekly email? It’s an online version of this bulletin, filled with valuable information on how to get involved at First Parish. Email Sheila in the Office to sign up: office@firstparishportland.org.


          Flowers for Sunday Service: Please help brighten up the Meeting House on Sundays! Sign up to donate flowers.