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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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Messiah Baptist Visit

Members of First Parish were warmly welcomed at Messiah Baptist Church in Brockton yesterday, where our Rev. Ed Hardy was invited to deliver the sermon, and many other members of both congregations -- including children and youth -- participated in a rousing service before enjoying a delicious lunch together. More details and photos will follow, but for now it seems appropriate to post the Mission/Vision Statement of Messiah Baptist Church, which illustrates some of the common ground shared by our two congregations.

"Our mission is to be a loving and supportive community for understanding our oneness with God. We practice the universal spiritual principles of love, abundance, wholeness, and happiness as taught by Jesus Christ. Our vision is to be an intentional welcoming, affirming, and progressive Christian community. Embracing the 1st and 2nd Testaments and Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, offering prophetic preaching, teaching, and healing ministries to strategically fulfill our role as the major servant-leader institution in Southeastern Massachusetts to synergize the total salvation -- economic, social, political, and spiritual -- of the community."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Golden Stage Tidings

I am sharing the following on behalf of Lisa Rue. The Hayes-Bohanan family looks forward to  making the same journey very soon!

Church member Lisa Rue, and her children, Clara and Graham, ventured north to enjoy the good food, gracious hospitality, beautiful sites and activities of southern Vermont at the B&B of former parishioners, Julie-Lynn, Michael, Samantha and Sadie Wood.

We were met at the door by Julie-Lynn and daughter, Samanatha, who was bedecked in a vibrant personalized apron made by Louella Mann. The Woods had finally realized a long-time dream of owning and operating a B&B when they moved in to a 'full house' at the Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville (a village of Cavendesh), on December 30th.

The house is great - a rambling old homestead - filled with books, artifacts, puzzles, games, and a piano and fireplace in the central Common Room. A tour of the 10 guest rooms reveals some of the history and much of the charm. The one current two-room suite offers a fireplace as well. A second suite is being considered.

Right now the sun is shining in brightly off of the snow covered landscape.  Sadie and Graham are sprawled in front of the fireplace playing a game of Mancala. Clara and Samantha are still getting their beauty sleep. And Michael and Julie are continuing to serve a delicious breakfast of Mexican Frittata and baked ham, with homemade coffeecake Julie was whipping up last night. Homemade granola, fresh yogurt, melon and honey from Julie's own Massachusetts bees were also availalble with the coffees and teas. When we arrived yesterday afternoon there was hot cider and soup waiting.

Today we're off to skate with the kids at Okemo, and check out cheese making at Grafton Cheese.  Tomorrow, the ride home home will include more farms and cheese in Brattleboro, which is hosting a Winter Carnival for the vacation week. Plan to snow shoe and take a sleigh ride there. This is a beautiful place to do lots or nothing....

--Lisa Rue

Naom Chomsky Event Coverage

Friday's Brockton Enterprise included front-page coverage of Naom Chomsky's talk at First Parish last Thursday evening. Speaking to a capacity audience, Professor Chomsky drew comparisons between current democracy movements in Egypt and Wisconsin.

The event was the most significant so far in a series of cooperative events between the church's Social Justice Committee and the Social Justice League at Bridgewater State University.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Adult Choir Information

Lisa Rue recently met with those interested in the adult choir, which always welcomes new members. She asked that the following information about the choir schedule be shared on the blog. Choir members with email will have already received this information.

Rehearsals will take place weekly before church. Warm ups will begin at 9:15. Please be on time. I look forward to joining you for rehearsal two times each month, and rehearsing with the Ringers two times each month.  The fourth rehearsal each month will combine both music groups. The monthly music plans are as follows:
  • First Sundays:  Choir rehearses hymns and an anthem with Marika, and leads hymns in the Service. 
  • Second Sundays: Choir rehearses anthems with Lisa and Marika, and sings an anthem in the service
  • Third Sundays:   Choir rehearses hymns and an anthem with Marika, and leads hymns in the service.  Lisa rehearses separately with the Ringers.
  • Fourth Sundays: Choir and Ringers rehearse together with Lisa and Marika, and sing/play together in the service.

Scheduled Music:
          March 6: 
          March 13: “Over My Head”
          March 20:
          March 27: “Wake Now My Senses”

          April 3:
          April 10: “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee”
          April 17:
          April 24: (Easter) “Hallelujah” (Cohen)

          May 1:
          May 8: (Mothers Day) “Just As Long As I Have Breath”
          May 15:
          May 22: “Spring Has Now Unwrapped Her Flowers”
          (May 29: Memorial Day Weekend/Separate music planned)

          June 5: “Today”
          June 12: (RE Sunday/Separate music planned)
          June 19: (Fathers day)

***Hymns will be TBA, depending on the service leaders for each Sunday,
and what is requested....***

In consideration of choral practice, it is expected that those who are present for an anthem rehearsal, or who have rehearsed hymn music independently, will be the members that are singing in the service that day. 
Thank you for respecting this expectation.

BSU Event: Women in Slavery, March 2

It is estimated that there are at least 27 million people living in slavery around the world today.

The Social Justice League at BSU has organized an informative presentation combining guest and student speakers, theatrical performances, slide shows, brief film clips, and discussion to raise awareness about the issue of modern day slavery.

AMIRAH Boston, an organization that provides shelters for females refugees in the Boston area, will join us to present about their work and how they have been helping thousands of women who have been displaced from their homes due to human trafficking, slavery, and other related causes.

Wednesday, March 2
7:00 PM

Moakley Center Auditorium
Bridgewater State University

This event is sponsored by the Social Justice League and the Christian Fellowship at BSU. Learn more at the event page on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Religion and Science Discussion Group

Our next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, March 16th from 7 to 9pm at the Brockton UU Church, 325 West Elm Street. We will discuss the works and thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche, Noam Chomsky, and Bertrand Russell. There are many books and on-line resources available which cover the opinions of these writers. Possible reading material includes, Will Durant: The Story of Philosophy and Adventures In Philosophy. Both of these are currently in print and readily available.

Our last meeting was the 66th; we discussed the following items:

· Recent news of a large number of planets discovered outside our solar system, Some of which are Earth-like orbiting solar-like stars and which fall within the Goldilocks zone (not too hot, not too cold).

· After reading the book, Carrier: Untangling The Danger In My DNA, by Bonnie Rough; discussion regarding how understanding our genetics can influence our medical decisions.

· What role does traditional, orthodox religious beliefs play in our medical decisions?

· What would non-religious philosophers say about these same questions?

Feb 24 reminder

It is a busy time at First Parish. Naom Chomsky -- the Naom Chomsky -- will be our guest on Thursday evening at 5:00. See details below.

Feb 27 reminder

Members and friends of First Parish: On Sunday, Feb. 27, Rev. Ed will be speaking at Messiah Baptist Church in Brockton. The service will be at 10:45, and we will not hold a service in Bridgewater.

Earlier that morning, the new First Parish jazz ensemble, The Barn Goats, will be part of the regular jazz service at Messiah Baptist. See details and a map in the original post.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dog Rescue Announcement

From Jess Chartier's, details of the announcement she made today:

The City of Hartford Dog Pound picks up strays off the streets or from abusive/neglect cases. The dogs have ten days from the day they're brought to the pound to be rescued or claimed, or they are euthanized. The Animal Control worker who runs the adoption program's name is Sherry. She is a great woman who's very easy to work with.
To adopt, you need simply speak with her, come and meet the dog, and present a five-dollar money order. There are three URGENT dogs who need homes right now- there are always URGENT dogs here. The website is WWW.CITYOFHARTFORD.PETFINDER.COM, there are links from this page to their Petfinder page, which lists the current dogs with pictures.

To contact Sherry directly, call 860-305- 6764 or email her at
I am more than happy to answer any questions or even arrange transportation. My email is There are some great dogs here that deserve a chance at life and happiness!

February 27: Messiah Baptist

To celebrate the growing collaborations between our two church communities, the church services of First Parish Bridgewater and Messiah Baptist Church in Brockton will be combined on Sunday, February 27, 2011. Rev. Ed Hardy will be the guest minister at Messiah Baptist, and no service will be held at the Bridgewater church that morning.

The service at Messiah Baptist will begin at 10:45. A map and directions (from First Parish) are provided below. Carpooling is encouraged! An earlier service will also be held -- at 8:00 a.m. -- that will feature the jazz music of First Parish's own Barn Goats.

The two congregations will share lunch at around noon, following the second service.

View Larger Map

Driving directions to 80 Legion Parkway, Brockton, MA 02301-7205
  1. 19 mins
    MA-28 N
    7.6 mi
50 School St
Bridgewater, MA 02324
1. Head west on School St toward Cedar St
0.1 mi
2. Turn right at Central Square
0.1 mi
3. Turn left at Main St
7.3 mi
4. Turn left at Legion Pkwy
194 ft
5. Take the 1st left to stay on Legion Pkwy
125 ft
80 Legion Parkway, Brockton, MA 02301-7205

Friday, February 11, 2011

Noam Chomsky at First Parish

The Social Justice Committee at First Parish, along with the Social Justice League of Bridgewater State University, are hosting a talk by Noam Chomsky on February 24, 5-8pm at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 50 School St. Bridgewater, MA.

Professor Chomsky's talk will focus on the people-centered movements happening in Egypt and the surrounding region, along with general information about social justice and a people-centered sustainable society.

Tickets will be available at the door. A $15 donation, or $5 for students (no student ID required), is suggested. All proceeds go to the church's Social Justice Committee for its projects locally and globally.

Professor Chomsky has taught at MIT for 56 yrs. He has authored over 100 books and is the most quoted person in the world. His propaganda model of the media is the definitive work on the topic. He is considered the "Einstein" of linguistics having shown that the acquisition of language is due to an unpacking of a genetically pre-programmed system. He is also the world's leading critique of the unjust use of power.

Ballou Channing District will meet at First Parish Bridgewater

On Monday February 21st the Ballou Channing District Board will be having their monthly meeting at First Parish Bridgewater. They usually begin with a dinner of pizza and salad at 6:00pm, followed by a conversation with any interested members of First Parish, followed by their meeting. If anyone would care to have pizza with the District committee followed by a brief meeting, which would probably be finished by 7:00pm, please contact Rev. Ed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dance of Love -- Snacks!

The Social Justice Committee will be selling snack items at Saturday's Dance of Love, which features the Male Bonding Band and the new Barn Goats jazz quartet. (See details below.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


We Can Help is a five-week food drive that is a partnership project of the children and youth of Messiah Baptist Church of Brockton and First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Bridgewater. The children have created their own project web site that tells the story of their collaboration, provided educational material on food security and -- best of all -- lets us all know how we can support the project.

Friday, February 4, 2011

One Book One Community

Dark Tide : The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 is the One Book One Community read for Bridgewater and Raynham for the spring 2011. This compelling read tells the true story of January 15, 1919 when a molasses tank exploded on Boston's north end, killing 21 people and injuring hundreds. Read the book to find out how anarchy, corporate coruption, prohibition, and World War I are are connected to this tragedy. Click the link above for event listings, including an author talk on April 25 at the University. Read the book and join in the conversation!