Current News

Delegates Sought for UUA General Assembly 2016

Are you interested in getting involved with Unitarian Universalism at a national level? Every June, Unitarian Universalists from across the country — and the world! — gather to worship together, learn from one another, and vote on important denominational business, priorities, and justice statements. First Parish in Needham can send six voting delegates to General Assembly (GA), which is in Columbus, Ohio, from June 22nd through June 26th. You can learn more about this year’s GA on the UUA’s website or by connecting with any of the First Parish members who attended last year (Rev. Catie, Mark LaPointe, Katie Edwards, Rebecca Keller Scholl, Marianne McGowan, Deborah Niles, and Becky Siebens). If you are interested in attending in person or through the new online livestream system, please be in touch with Rev. Catie or any member of the Parish Committee by June 5th. 


Pride Parade — Welcoming Congregation

On Saturday, June 11, a group of us will be joining the First Parish in Brookline (where our own Rebecca Keller Scholl is the DRE) to worship at the Arlington Street Church (where our own Rev. Catie spent her internship year) and then march in the 2016 Boston Pride Parade.  The service begins at 10, so we plan to meet in the parking lot behind our church at 9am and travel into Boston together.  If you wish to attend, just show up at 9!  And feel free to wear or bring any pride clothing, flags, or other accouterments you may have.  We look forward to seeing you then!


Summer Services Outreach 2016

Be a SUMMER SERVICES SUSTAINER for the Needham Community Council’s Food Pantry. Simply bring a food item or a small household item to each summer service you attend this summer in Parish Hall, starting on July 5th at 10:30. You can select which food item you want to bring by viewing the Monthly Food Pantry Wish List, or you can select a small household item you want to bring by viewing the Items Always Needed list. 

FYI – The Needham Community Council is a private, non-profit organization which supports people in Needham who have under-met health, educational, or social needs. It promotes volunteerism, community, and a sense of shared responsibility. The Needham Food Pantry serves 200 Needham families per month from September through June with the support of various Needham groups which run food drives for the Pantry. In July and August these groups take a summer break.

Last summer First Parish collected items for the Food Pantry on Sunday mornings before each summer service. On Monday mornings the items were taken to the Pantry. This year we look forward to our second year, collecting items and delivering them to the Food Pantry. Please join us. It’s fun! It’s helpful! It’s greatly appreciated!

Questions? Please contact Marguerite Robbins. 

Bell Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Bell Award winners, who were recognized at the Annual Meeting:

  • Phil Murray for 30 years of service including serving as Parish Clerk, Treasurer, Trustee, long-time Small Group Facilitator, chair of the Search Committee which brought us John Buehrens, and through countless other special projects.
  • Carolyn Lynes for her service as a Pastoral Care Team member, SGM facilitator, and Caring Crew member, and her active participation in the Racial Justice Task Force and Green Congregation.
  • Bruce Barnett for his years of service as THE Human Resources Committee. In the last five years Bruce has guided us through the contract negotiations, insurance arrangements and other nitty gritty aspects of hiring no fewer than 12 individuals.
  • The Lorimier family for enriching our lives these past 10 years with their music, love, warmth, inspiration, generosity and strength.

Tour d’UU – 5/21 – Spots are still available

By , April 28, 2016
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HBP-TourdUU2The second and now world-famous takes place on Saturday, May 21st and there are a few spots still open for any cyclists who may have missed their chance to sign up at the auction in November.  Essentially an excuse to carbo-load on French food, with a small bike-ride thrown in. Three ride options of 14, 23 or 41 miles on offer, so you can find the one which feeds your inner Bernard Hinault.  All will tour through the rolling Massachusetts countryside, passing some of our prettiest UU churches along the way.  On the day we’ll send you off with a power breakfast and then have quiche, baguettes, fromage and other delicious French words awaiting you at the finish.  All participants also receive a finely-wrought hand-crafted Tour d’UU Medal – sure to become a invaluable collector’s item in years to come!   All this can be yours for just a $30 contribution to First Parish.   Please contact Alan Robins if you’re interested.

Annual Laurie Ann Gerber Vegetarian Potluck

The annual Vegetarian Pot Luck in memory of Laurie Ann Gerber will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at First Parish, Unitarian, 23 Dedham Ave., Needham, MA.

The pot luck starts at 6pm.  Following this at 7pm will be a video called “Brain Maker” with neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter.  Perlmutter shares new research on the importance of the human micro biome in your health, including the nervous system.  He explains the interplay between intestinal microbes and the brain.  Simple dietary recommendations are given along with a highly practical program of six steps to improve gut ecology.

Dr. Perlmutter believes that many health conditions can be improved, including Autism, ADHD and dementia using his recommendations.

For more information or to confirm a reservation call Jeanne or Joe Gerber at 781 444-8461.

Rev. Catie Participating in May 4 Minns Lecture

By , April 15, 2016
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The 2016 Minns Lectures are coming up on April 27, May 4, and May 11 at First Church Boston by the Rev. Stephen Kendrick. The talks are being sponsored by First Church Boston and King’s Chapel as part of the Minns Lectures, an annual series of public talks by prominent Unitarian Universalist clergy.  Rev. Catie will be giving one of the “responses” at the May 4 session.

Stephen Kendrick’s lectures are titled, “Kosmos: Remembering a Future for Unitarian Universalism.” He will be asking us to think about the changing American religious landscape and how religious liberals can face this future boldly and creatively. Stephen writes, “In a world growing hotter by the day and more confusing in terms of religious and national borders, we could use a refresher course in Margaret Fuller’s ‘A New Manifestation Is at Hand,’ and Emerson’s cry, ‘I will left up my hands and say, Kosmos!'”

Stephen Kendrick is the author of four books, Holy Clues, Night Watch (a novel), and, with his son Paul, two books of history, Sarah’s Long Walk (Beacon Press) and Douglass and Lincoln (Walker & Co.). He has also written an illustrated book for older teens (and anyone else) about UU history called, A Faith People Make. His articles have appeared in the UU World, Utne Reader, American Heritage, the New York Times travel page, and the editorial pages of the Boston Globe and the Hartford Courant.

Please tell anyone who might interested about these talks, and encourage them to register at The talks are free. Dinner will be served at 6:00PM and the lectures will begin at 7:15PM. We would like to get as good a count of attendees as possible in advance.

First Parish Roll and Stroll is Coming May 22nd

Roll and Stroll is a church wide, multigenerational event to demonstrate and live our commitment to taking care of the earth.  Your neighborhood groups are organizing to walk, bike, scooter or car pool together to church.  Feel free to contact your neighborhood captains if you have not heard from them.  This year we are adding some twists to make it extra special! We’ll be welcoming our beloved dogs to the Roll and Stroll.  The Perez family has volunteered their fenced in back yard to host a “dog playdate” during the Sunday morning service.                                                                                     

Everyone will gather on the First Parish lawn for lemonade and a group photo at 10:05.  Then those families with dogs will walk them to the Perez’s where there will be pet sitters.  The Perez’s live a half block down from First Parish on Dedham Avenue.  Please let your neighborhood captain or Laura Perez ( know by May 1st if you will be walking your dog, so we can plan accordingly.

There will also be a fun but easy en route scavenger hunt.  We are asking everyone to keep track of how long it takes to walk to church as well as the distance because we will be calculating how much CO2 we are saving as a congregation, and how many calories we are burning.  Neighborhood groups are encouraged to be creative, e.g. with banners, matching colored shirts or hats, and /or balloons.

There will be no children’s music practice, adult choir, or forum before church so everyone is free to participate.  This is a rain or shine, hopefully shine event.  If you have any questions please contact your neighborhood captain, or Laura Perez( or Elinor Brady. 

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