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 membership@firstparishportland.org. We look forward to connecting with you!


Meetings & Classes


What’s Going on in RE?- FMI about the RE program, please email Toben Cooney-Callnan, Director of Religious Exploration, at dre@firstparishportland.org.

  • Grades 1-7: Zoom Meetings most Sundays 9-9:45 am
  • Grades 8/9: Coming of Age Program Tuesdays 6:30-7:45 pm
  • Grades 10-12: Youth Group Sundays 6-7:15 pm

Save the Date! | December 6| 9am-9:45 am| RE Zoom Children’s Chapel  Kids from both First Parish and the UU Church of Brunswick will combine for a special Children’s Chapel featuring Rev. Justine from UUCB and Rev. Christina from First Parish along with teachers from both UUCB and FP! Please mark the date down in your calendar! It’s going to be a lot of fun!

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 dre@firstparishportland.org for more information.


First Parish Book Group | December 3 | 6-7 pm | Online  Pop in to share about a book you are reading or have read and to hear about books others are reading! This group meets on the first Thursday of every month. Members free; $5 non-members. To register and receive the Zoom link, contact Betsy Garnett: ekgarnett@yahoo.com.


Newcomer Coffee ONLINE! | December 6 | 11:30-12:30  Newcomers and visitors to First Parish are invited to chat informally with Rev. Christina to learn more about what makes this church unique. To join the conversation at 11:30am, 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! FMI: Laurie Hasty membership@firstparishportland.org.


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. FMI, please contact: Barbara DeSerres, Chalice Group Coordinator, at chalice@firstparishportland.org.


Pastoral Care Calls & Office Hours with Reverend Christina | Mondays | 9 am – 12 pm & Tuesdays | 2-5 pm  Reverend Christina will be holding Pastoral Care calls and Office Hours for meetings by phone or Zoom every Monday & Tuesday for members and leaders of First Parish. Please email Sheila to schedule a call.


ONLINE Breathing and Meditation Class | Wednesdays |  7:30-8:30 am  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://us02web.zoom.us/j/63098160.


Poetry Hour with Reverend Christina | Thursdays | 8-9 am  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://us02web.zoom.us/j/25029831


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 ristinesusannah@gmail.com.


Upcoming Events


Thanksgiving Service: Forgiveness, Gratitude & Blessings | 11/22  If you missed the Forgiveness, Gratitude & Blessings Sunday service last weekend, you can find it HERE, along with all other recorded First Parish worship services. All of the Staff at First Parish wish you & your family
a very happy and safe holiday.


Thanksgiving Eve Multi-Faith Service | November 25 | 7 pm | Zoom  Please join Reverend Christina and area clergy for a Thanksgiving Eve Multi-faith Service on November 25th. Zoom meeting info: Join Zoom Meeting; Meeting ID: 857 7504 8764; Passcode: 270754. One tap mobile: +16468769923,,85775048764# US (New York)




First Parish Closed for all Meetings & Rentals | November 27 – December 14  Our building will be closed starting 11/27, the day following Thanksgiving, until Monday, 12/14, at which time we will reassess the COVID-19 metrics from the CDC and decide if it is safe to reopen. This two-week pause will give us time to keep an eye on the data following the Thanksgiving holiday, as it is expected there could be a significant increase in the case rate, which should be seen 1-2 weeks following the holiday. We see this “pause” as a compromise between closing the building for the longer term and keeping it open and risking active infection among staff and increasing community spread. FMI: office@firstparishportland.org.


Hope for Spring 2021: A Message from Rev. Christina Sillari  The Unitarian Universalist Association recommends that we do not return to in-person Sunday worship until May 2021. I feel this is very wise. The great state of Maine has one of the lowest rates of COVID cases in the country, but these cases are on the rise. We have also seen serious outbreaks from a few religious gatherings. As a faith community with social values, it is important that we not only consider ourselves during these times, but all of our neighbors, especially the most vulnerable among us. We will soon share with you how we determine the most responsible pathway forward during these unprecedented times.


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.


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 (hfcjdc@gmail.com), Bruce Carver (brucedcarver@gmail.com), and/or Tom Rogers (trogers1@me.com).


Update on Church for EveryBody: This week the appearance of the building addition is beginning to reveal itself, as the masons have begun to lay red brick to match the Parish Hall exterior. Heat has been restored to the second floor office space and roof work has begun. You can learn more about the project’s status here.


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: minister@firstparishportland.org or cmsillari@gmail.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!


Native Justice Resource List: This Native Justice Resource List of educational, historical, and local action materials is offered in response to the interest expressed following the Truth, Grief & Reconciliation service on October 11th. Any suggestions for additions may be forwarded to Carl Cappello, ccappello@maine.rr.com.


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:

  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!


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 Sheila in the Office to sign up: office@firstparishportland.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.