View the First Parish Calendar
Services are 10:30 a.m. at 50 School Street
Informal summer services start on June 26
Summer services begin at 9:30 a.m.
First Parish is a Welcoming Congregation and is Fully Accessible

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jobs Not Jails Rally

From the Jobs Not Jails Facebook Event:
Let us ALL bring together 10,000 people from across Massachusetts to say NO to incarcerating our family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Let us say YES to good jobs that are meaningful and pay living wages.


We will listen to speakers. We will chant with one another. We will be motivated to act with loud voices. 

This event is being organized by a statewide coalition. JOIN US!
www.jobsnotjails.org

Participating Organizations:

Action for Regional Equity

AIDS Project Worcester

American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

American Friends Service Committee

Arise for Social Justice, Springfield

Arlington Street Church

10-Point Coalition

Black and Pink

Blackstonian.com

Boston Feminist Liberation

Boston Living Center

Boston Workers’ Alliance

Children’s League of Massachusetts

Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, Fitchburg

Coalition for Effective Public Safety

Coalition for Social Justice, Fall River and New Bedford

Coalition to Fund our Communities

Committee of Friends and Relatives of Prisoners

Committee for Public Counsel Services

Community Labor United

Criminal Justice Policy Coalition

Dismas House

Dorchester People for Peace

EPOCA (Ex-prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancment)

Families for Justice as Healing

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

First Parish Church of Arlington

First Parish Church of Northborough

Fitchburg Minority Coalition

Harvard Law Students PLAP

Lesley College – PAWS

Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy (LYSOA)

Massachusetts CURE

Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery

Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network

Mothers for Justice and Equality

Multicultural Wellness Center

NAACP Youth Council, Boston Chapter

National Association of Social Workers, SIG

National Lawyers’ Guild

Old Cambridge Baptist Church

Prison Policy Initiative

Progressive Massachusetts

Prisoners’ Legal Services

Real Cost of Prisons Project

Roxbury Youth Works

St. John Missionary Baptist Church

SPAN, Inc.

Spontaneous Celebrations – Beantown Society

Straight Ahead Ministries

Teen Empowerment

Teens Leading the Way

Timothy Baptist Church

Toastmasters Prison Volunteers

United Church of Christ, Innocence Commission Task Force

Worcester Branch, NAACP

Worcester Homeless Action Committee

Worcester Youth Center

Youth Against Mass Incarceration

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Green Sanctuary Tip of the Month - Sustainability

Are you anxiously waiting for the first crocuses to show their color? Try cultivating a little summer with vegetables and herbs in pots to make your meals a little tastier.These tips are from Greenwrite on the Seventh Generation online news letter. www.seventhgeneration.com
Herbs A lot of herbs grow well in pots indoors – and you can keep them that way year-round if you like. Basil is probably the simplest herb of all to grow inside—just plant a packet of seeds and place the pot next to a south-facing window for maximum sunlight. You can also buy cuttings or small starter plants of oregano, parsley, thyme, or rosemary year-round and plant them in small pots.

Root Vegetables Imagine – a carrot patch with no four-footed invaders! Round varieties of carrots and radishes, which tend not to root as deeply as other varieties, do great indoors. Sow seeds at any point from late winter to mid-autumn. All you need is a box, trough, or pan.

Tomatoes 
No more mealy tomatoes for you! If you’re willing to put in a bit of extra work, you can grow small types of tomatoes inside. You’ll still need to stake the plants so they can bear the fruit’s weight, and most plants will need to be transferred from a small pot filled with starter mix to a larger container of potting soil as they grow, but the end product is like a delicious handful of summer!

Monday, March 10, 2014

The House I Live In

Wednesday, March 26 (snow date April 2)
7:00 pm with light refreshments beginning at 6:30

Join members and friend of First Parish Bridgewater for a viewing of The House I Live In, a  thoughtful video about mass incarceration and its repercussions in society. (See IMDb details; also available on Netflix, but join us for your first viewing if you can!)

First Parish invites the community -- especially people in law enforcement, public service, and social agencies, as well as students over 18 -- to view this one-hour film. The viewing will be followed by a discussion of ways to address the problems of mass incarceration.

Among the discussion leaders will be Jack Cole, the founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), who speaks frequently about the War on Drugs, prison reform, and related concerns.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stairway

Today we were treated to a thought-provoking sermon about the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-28), given by guest minister, Rev. Richard Trudeau. We learned to think about parables in general in a whole new way, and about some interesting implications for social justice of this particular parable .

Before his readings and sermon, however, First Parish organist Marika Grossman treated us to a moving rendition of Stairway to Heaven on our congregation's magnificent and historic pipe organ. Those who enjoyed the piece by Messrs. Page and Plant might also enjoy the 2012 performance by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. They performed it at the Kennedy Center, with President Obama and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin in attendance. They were backed by a full orchestra, a choir, and drummer Jason Bonham. Chris LeDrew explains why the presence of this young drummer helped to make this such a moving experience for Robert Plant -- and a spiritual experience for many viewers.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Evolving Thoughts

In recognition of his upcoming birthday, our community minister Rev. Rachel Tedesco spoke yesterday about the religious ideas of Charles Darwin. He was born on February 12, 1809, the very same day as Abraham Lincoln. First Parish had recognized that amazing coincidence with a special program at the time of their shared bicentennial, but that program had been focused mainly on the theological implications of his scientific work. Yesterday, science was of course part of Rev. Tedesco's sermon, but she also share some interesting insights about Darwin's spiritual and social thinking.

For example, the idea of "social Darwinism" was already being discussed during his lifetime, and he made his opposition to the idea very clear. As a Unitarian, he was far more interested in cooperation. In fact, he argued:
In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
I immediately thought of a line in an interview with Pete Seeger that I had heard earlier Sunday morning. Pete explained his embrace of the term "communist" in the anthropological sense by saying:
If there is a world here, if there is a human race here in a hundred years, we will have learned how to share again. 
Pete Seeger was, naturally, mentioned in the sermon itself and the congregation enjoyed singing several of his songs together in recognition of the decades of inspiration and leadership he provided.

Rev. Tedesco also connected the discussion of Darwin to another aspect of evolutionary thinking that has long fascinated me -- the role of electronic media in the consolidation of a global form of consciousness. As she mentioned, this was foreseen in some ways by the French theologian and anthropologist Teilhard de Chardin more than a half century ahead of the Internet itself. I had done some reading and writing about Teilhard many years ago, and was surprised to hear this idea twice in a week, as Krista Tippett had recently interviewed Andrew Revkin about Teilhard's concept of the Planetary Mind.
Cartographer Martin Vargic has recently prepared what might be considered a map of such a planet, as he applied National Geographic cartography standards to the Internet itself.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

First Parish in the News!

The Bridgewater Independent provided front page coverage of First Parish's Empty Bowls painting party. See the Facebook page for more information.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

GREEN SANCTUARY TIP of the MONTH

Cutting back on eating animals products will help to limit environmental problems, including greenhouse gases, that are created during their production. The United Nations report, Livestock's Long Shadow - Environmental Issues and Options, released in 2006, stated that the meat industry is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s serious environmental problems" and that "urgent action is required to remedy the situation. The report states that the livestock sector is one of the top contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortages and pollution, and loss of biodiversity. (Wikipedia.com quote)
A good resource is the Meatless Monday website: http://www.meatlessmonday.com/

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

GREEN SANCTUARY TIP of the MONTH

A Holiday Green Tip from the Green Sanctuary Committee

Simple Gifts - Do yourself and the Earth a favor this holiday season by simplifying your gift giving and decorating. Here are some ideas to get you started.

 Shop locally—perhaps at First Parish’s Holly Day Artisan Faire!!
 Consider the life of your purchase.
 Donate unwanted gifts.
 Resist the temptation to buy more.
 Give your time, not stuff.
 Give a donation to the charity of your recipient’s choice.
 Use reusable shopping bags.
 Use wrapping paper that is responsibly made and includes high recycled content.
 Reuse wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons and bows.
 Use recycled card art and sprigs of live evergreen in place of tags and bows on your gifts.
 Reuse newspapers or magazines to make your own wrap.
 For someone you no longer want to exchange gifts with, send a gift exemption voucher.
 Decorate your home with items from nature.
 Use real dishes and cloth napkins when entertaining.
 Spend time with loved ones doing things that bring you joy—don’t get caught up in the stress of commercialization.

Many of these tips came from http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/publiced/holidays/LessWaste.pdf

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HOLLY DAY ARTISAN FAIRE



Friday, December 6, 2013
6pm – 9pm
Saturday, December 7, 2013
9am – 3pm
First Parish UU Church
50 School St, Bridgewater
***Cookie Walk***
**Handcrafted gifts from Local Artisans**
***Antiques          Greens            Raffle***
***Delicious Desserts- Friday Evening***
**Famous Soup Lunch – Saturday 10am-2pm**
****Visit from Mrs. Santa- Saturday****