Welcome!

We are the First Religious Society, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  We're glad you're here. We aspire to be a welcoming and inclusive community that encourages spiritual growth as we strive for truth and meaning and serve the social and spiritual needs of our larger community.

Chalice Circles Lite coming this summer

Have you been looking for a summer time activity at FRS? Traditionally our church year comes to a close in late June, but this year if there is enough interest the Chalice Circle program will continue through the summer months. Chalice Circles have become an extremely popular program at FRS. Perhaps you haven’t been able to fit one into your schedule but you’re curious. Or, perhaps you’ve been participating in a Circle and find that you’ll miss attending during the summer.

Make our church bloom on June 3

Order your Church in Bloom arrangements, to decorate the sanctuary windows as part of “Thank You, Newburyport!” Deadline for orders is Sunday, May 28. Three arrangements - $20, $35, and $50 - are available. Purchase in memory or in celebration of friends or loved ones. Bring your plant home after as a lasting memory. Donors’ names and messages will be on their plants as well as included in the Steeple Biweekly. Order forms are in the Sunday Order of Service and in the church office, and photos of the arrangements are on view in the church.

Thank you for your generosity to B'Link

Thank you to all the very generous donors who have participated in the B’Link (youth immigration justice trip) envelope fund drive. Our most recent donors include: Anne Donaldson and Terry Karnan, Tim Fountain and Sarah Spalding, Anne Mulvey, Annie and Lark Madden, Bill and Vicki Lincoln, Merryl Maleska-Wilbur and Nathan Wilbur, Kathy Desilets, Atticus Lawler, the Lawler family, Niki Rosen, Gail and Judith Fayre, Ray Wilson, Tom Stites and Alex Mezey, Walter and Ann Power, Howard and Dorothy Fairweather, Barbara Garnis, Sharon Broll, and Art Henshaw and Yvonne McQuilkin.

Julie Parker Amery completes spiritual direction program

Julie Parker Amery, our Director of Religious Education, completed the Rowe Certificate Program in Spiritual Guidance and was honored in a commissioning ceremony on May 3. Over the course of the two-year program, she’s been engaged in reading, reflection, discussion, and experiential work in various aspects of spiritual guidance: deep listening, spiritual practice, metaphor and imagery, theology, sacred activism, meditation, etc.

Role of the interim minister in the ministerial search

With a Ministerial Search Committee slate before you, it seems a good time to let you know the interim minister’s role in the search process. What the interim minister does not do is discuss specific candidates for the ministry with the search committee. Selection of a new minister is solely the congregation’s role.

But I will be available to your MSC in these ways, as laid out in the UUA’s Transitions Handbook:

Meet the proposed slate for the Ministerial Search Committee

by Barbara E. Garnis, Parish Board Chair

Your Parish Board is very proud to present the slate of seven candidates for the Ministerial Search Committee, as announced in church on Sunday, May 7. This is an exceptional group, and the congregation should feel proud of its recommendations. Congregation members will be asked to vote to accept this slate at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Worship Committee invites your participation

If you’ve ever thought of joining the Worship Committee, please come to our next meeting on Wednesday, May 17. We are a relatively small committee of about six members and we’re hoping to recruit a new member(s). Please contact Merryl Maleska Wilbur if you think you might be interested. The Worship Committee is responsible for facilitating worship services and for running the services when the minister is not in the pulpit. The Annual Report provides a full description of our goals and duties. We meet at 5:30pm in the Lower Meeting House conference room on a monthly basis. Thank you!

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