Virtual Event: This year we are starting a new tradition, holding lay-led services throughout the summer. We have an exciting lineup that you won’t want to miss!
All services will start at 9:30am and be held on Zoom.
Meeting ID: 966 8426 8593
Dial in: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Download Summer Worship 2021 schedule for print here.
Sunday, June 27: Sunday Morning Service with UUA General Assembly
Please join us again this year the largest annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists in worship. We encourage all congregations to gather as is possible and practical to participate in this wonderful, communal event. For more information: https://www.uua.org/ga/program/highlights/sunday-morning-worship
*Thursday, July 1: Virtual Frederick Douglass Reading
RSVP Required: Register here!
The FRS and the Museum of Old Newbury will host a virtual community reading of Frederick Douglass’s impassioned 1852 speech, “ The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro.” Lend your voice to this powerful participatory event. The reading will be followed by a discussion led by humanities scholar Edward Carson. Carson, an independent historian, is also Dean of Multicultural Education and a member of the history department at The Governor’s Academy.
Sunday, July 5: No Service
Sunday, July 11: “The Moral Imperative of Thoughtful Followership” with Tom Stites
But isn’t leadership what matters? Indeed, it is crucial, but not all leaders are equally effective. In this time of injustice, and threats to the very foundation of our democracy, the best path to lasting change is through strategic application of the personal power of many justice-seeking people like us working together—with the right strategic leader. Thoughtful Followership means careful selection of leaders to align with.
Tom Stites, a 20-year member of the First Religious Society, served for a decade as the editor and publisher of UU World magazine and as a member of the executive staff council of the Unitarian Universalist Association. After retiring from the UUA he has remained active as a journalist. He has been a guest preacher in UU congregations in 14 states. This will be his 17th sermon for our congregation.
Sunday, July 18: “Lectio Divina” with Julie Parker-Amery
Many of us approach poetry as an academic endeavor, trying to “figure out” what the poet is saying. Another way to approach a poem is to simply notice what it stirs within as you listen. This is listening with the heart and spirit. Please join me for this time to dive into a poem through multiple readings, listening each time for something new.
Julie Parker Amery is the Director of Faith Formation and Spiritual Exploration and has been on the staff of the FRS for over 20 years. She is also trained as a spiritual director and works both one-on-one and with groups to assist people in listening for the deep voice within. She lives with her family in Amesbury.
Sunday, July 25: “Engaging Creativity in the Spiritual Journey of Life“ with Kristen Miller and Marcus Lisle
Composer/cellist Kristen Miller and visual artist/chaplain Marcus Lisle will share a worship experience about viewing life as a collaborative improvisational spiritual composition.
Kristen Miller is a practitioner of Unani Shamanism from Malaysian Borneo, and is a certified sound healer from the Atma Buti School of Vibrational Medicine. She has a private practice in Amesbury. Kristen is also an award-winning cellist and composer, and she enjoyed 10 joyful years as Youth Music Director at FRSUU.
Reverend Marcus Lisle is a Continuing Care Chaplain at Brooksby Village. A graduate of the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, Marc also has a degree in painting from University of Florida, and has worked as an artist and designer, too. He enjoys bringing art and creativity to his ministry.
Sunday, August 1: The Bodhisattvas among us with Bruce Deveau
Bruce will explore the Buddhist concept of the Bodhisattva and reflect on our Affirmation of Faith.
Bruce Deveau began practicing Buddhism at the UU Buddhist Fellowship at South Church UU in Portsmouth, NH nearly 25 years ago. Together with his husband, James Funston, he has practiced primarily with the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh ever since. Bruce enjoys leading Buddhist-oriented children’s stories during our Time for All Ages, and looks forward to being back to the sanctuary. He works as a psychotherapist.
Sunday, August 8: “Answering the Call: The Road to Sacred Activism” with Paula Estey
Paula will give a talk about evolving our activism into spiritual practices, by listening to the pathways of the heart and gathering our tribes, with a meditation by former Unity minister Shipley Allinson and music by Brian Doser.
Paula Estey is a sacred activist. She dedicates her life to gathering circles of community together as foundations for instigating good change. An artist, curator and writer, The PEG Center for Art & Activism, now nearly 7 years old, is a mainstay on the Arts & Culture scene in Newburyport. In 2017, Estey founded The Women in Action Huddle of Greater Newburyport, an activist and support group with over 400 members, creating advocacy and change in our area.
Sunday, August 15: “Discover Yourself Thru Zen Meditation” with Joyce Haydock
With continued practice we discover how our mind works. Eventually we will be able to control our mind, our emotions and our ability to love unconditionally by not attaching to random thoughts in the default part of our mind.
Joyce Haydock is a Senior Dharma Teacher with the International Kwan Um School of Zen, and has practiced with the school since 1989. She has been with the school for 32 years and started the Monday night Zen sitting at FRS over 11 years ago. She continues to lead the group via Zoom, and is looking forward to meeting in September when the Church reopens.
Sunday, August 22: Live and on Zoom at First Congregational Society Unitarian Church in Hampton Falls, NH with Reverend Rebecca Bryan
Reverend Rebecca Bryan has been the settled minister at First Religious Society since 2018. She is deeply committed to the work of collection liberation using the transforming and healing powers of love and community. A Unitarian Universalist since the age of nine, she is an advocate for our faith. When not at church, she enjoys time with her family and friends, spending time in nature and finding joy in every day occurrences. She sustains her faith journey through the practice of yoga, centering prayer, journaling, and authentic discussion.
Sunday, August 29: “Privilege and Kindness” with Ray Wilson
Many of us at FRS have privileges which others in our culture do not have. We should offer them kindness and help whenever we can; this can often take the form of cutting them some slack.
Ray Wilson was raised in the Congregational church, but threw it all out at twenty. For 36 years he never attended church except for weddings, funerals, and great music. Then he began to think a church community might be rewarding, provided it didn’t tell him what to believe. Twenty-one years later, he’s still at FRS, his spiritual and musical home. “I’m here for the duration,” Ray says.
Sunday, September 5: No Service, Labor Day Weekend
Sunday, September 12: Church Re-opening & Congregational Picnic