Blessing the Ties:
Fall 2023 and Regathering Sunday, September 10
As we regather this fall in worship, in meetings, and on retreat, we look forward to blessing the ties that keep us connected—to one another, to land and lineage, and to our truest selves. As the old hymn goes, “blest be the ties that bind!”
The word Religion is rooted in the Latin word “ligare,” meaning to “bind.” And indeed, “re-ligare” means to “re-bind” or to “bind again!” Here at First Church, through our community and covenant we are bound to one another, which is a good thing! The joys and challenges of our lives and our world are too great to encounter alone. We need each other, and the world needs our kind of multigenerational and intergenerational community that draws from the deep and timeless wells of wisdom, resource, and grounding, shared by elders and children, ancestors and descendants.
Join us for the first time or again this Regathering Sunday, September 10, for Hybrid Worship at 11:00 a.m. and for a Regathering Lunch in Margaret Jewett Hall at 12:15 p.m., as we bind together again and bless the ties that have kept this beloved community together “from generation to generation!” Staff and lay leaders will offer a brief orientation to our fall programs and offerings, as well as other important updates about our life together at First Church that you won’t want to miss!
sunday Adult formation @ 9:30 A.M.
Blessing the Ties & Honoring our Ancestors at First Church and Beyond
Sundays, September 17 & 24, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Harter Room and via Zoom
Join Dan Smith, Sue Reynolds, and Phil Jones for a two-part 9:30 Hour series aimed at honoring and better understanding our spiritual forebears!… Read more
For a Deeper Dive: Reflective Conversational Gatherings with Duncan Holloman
Sundays, October 15 & 22, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Harter Room and via Zoom
For those with a desire for more in-depth exploration of some of the key concepts and practices in our shared Christian life, Duncan Hollomon hosts two reflective conversational gatherings in October… Read more
Small Group Offerings this Fall
Women’s Community Book Group
Tuesdays, September 19, November 7, and December 12
6:00 – 7:30 p.m., via Zoom
All those who identify as women are warmly invited to join the Women’s Community Book Group. This fall, we will be reading Women Talking by Miriam Toews, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage by Joan Chittister. Check the events calendar for Zoom links. Please join us, and bring a friend!
Aging with Grace, Growing in Wisdom
Third Tuesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Harter Room
Beginning September 19
Join Ginny Harlan, Martha Cook, and Dan Smith for a monthly support group where we offer each other companionship and spiritual resources as we grow into our elderhood… Read more
Reflective Conversations about the Teachings of Jesus with Brent Coffin
Tuesdays, 7:15 – 8:45 a.m., via Zoom
Beginning September 26
Brent Coffin leads as we share in weekly reflection about biblical texts, bringing these ancient and often confounding readings into conversation with our own stories and lives… Read more
Fall Faith & Life Groups
Faith & Life Groups involve making a short-term commitment (a single session to several weeks, depending on the group) to something that might be delightful, deep, or even transformational. At the same time, you can get to know First Church friends who share your interests. Watch for registration info coming in late September!
Special events in the Regathering Season
Welcome Corps Info Session
Sunday, September 17, 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Harter Room and via Zoom
“First Church & Friends” is an official sponsor group for Welcome Corps, and two refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa are arriving to us soon! Do you want to learn more about what this will mean for our community and how you can help to welcome and resettle them? Please attend a special information session… Read more
Newcomers Meet and Greet
Sunday, September 17, 12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Those feeling new to First Church are warmly invited to meet up directly after worship in Hastings Common… Read more
Gates of Paradise: An Art Exhibit by Henry Gates
Sunday, September 17, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Margaret Jewett Hall
Gates of Paradise, an exhibition of ten paintings of the Hebrew Bible by First Church member Henry Gates, is on display in Margaret Jewett Hall… Read more
Guest Preacher Rev. Liz Walker
Sunday, September 24 at 11:00 a.m.
Sanctuary and via livestream
Join us as we joyfully welcome Rev. Liz Walker as guest preacher for our morning worship service. Rev. Walker is the recently retired pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal tradition, and a veteran television journalist, the first African-American weeknight news anchor in Boston. Co-founder of Embrace Boston, she is currently serving as Executive Director of the Social Impact Center and the “Can We Talk” network… Read more
All-Church Fall Retreat at Craigville Retreat Center
Friday, September 29 – Sunday, October 1
Join us on the Cape for a weekend of community-building in fellowship, formation, and fun. Take advantage of scheduled large group gatherings, small group sessions, supervised play/crafting time for kids, worship, group games, and more. Or, opt for a quiet walk on the beach, bird-watching at the marsh, or whatever your soul needs. Arrive on Friday evening, September 29, and stay through midday on Sunday, October 1, for the full event; or come for a portion of the weekend, for just one night, or even a daytrip on Saturday… Read more and register
2023 SNEUCC Justice Summit:
Trans and Nonbinary Belonging in the Church
Saturday, October 7, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Old South Church in Boston
The Southern New England UCC’s annual Justice Summit in 2023 will center on trans and nonbinary belonging in the church. This full-day event includes worship and preaching, workshops, relationship-building and connection… Read more and register by September 16