Current News

Screening of “13th” Followed by Pizza and Discussion

Sunday, Jan 29, 4:30-7 pm
View the outstanding new film, “13th”, followed by pizza and discussion. Critic Ty Burr wrote that “13th” is “among the very best movies of 2016…and probably the most important.”  The film illuminates the crucially important and little-known history of the 13th Amendment to our Constitution, passed in 1865 and intended to abolish slavery.  A crucial loophole in its language is playing out in our lives today in the form of mass incarceration.  Directed by Ava DuVernay, who also directed “Selma.”

First Parishioners at the Women’s Marches in Boston & DC

January 21, 2017, 10 am, Boston Common and Washington, D.C.

womensmarchlogoMembers of First Parish in Needham plan to attend the Women’s Marches taking place in Boston and Washington, D.C., on January 21st. You can learn more about this national event on the Women’s March website, and about Unitarian Universalist participation in Washington through UUs for Social Justice, All Souls D.C., and the (All-Souls-sponsored) J21 Teach-in. The Boston branch of the March has a separate EventBrite listing.

The First Parish in Wayland has arranged for a bus and hotel rooms to go to the march, as advertised in the Bell Notes. If you’re interested in participating in the local march in Boston, please be in touch with Rev. Catie and Susan McGarvey. If you’re traveling to Washington, please be in touch with Rev. Catie.

A summary of the day’s events along with additional links can be found here.


Black Lives of UU

Conversation with Kenny Wiley
Monday, January 9th, 7-9pm in the Parlor

Join the Racial Justice Task Force for a conversation with UU World senior editor Kenny Wiley about Black Lives Matter from a Unitarian Universalist perspective. Wiley is a leader in Black Lives Matter: 5280 of Colorado and the national Black Lives of UU movement; he also serves as the Director of Faith Formation at Prairie UU Church outside of Denver.


New Year’s Needham at First Parish

As usual, First Parish will be a hub of activity for the New Year’s Needham celebration. All events in Parish Hall. This year’s schedule includes:

  • 3pm — The Great Plain Squares. Have fun with fast-paced energizing square dancing. No experience needed.
  • 5:30pm — West Newton Ceili Band. The West Newton Ceili Band delights you with jigs, reels, and other dance tunes, as well as soulful singing of Irish ballads. Come experience the sound of a fine traditional Irish session!
  • 8—9pm — Meeting Across the Water. Exploring gospel and American roots music from the 1850s to the present, including black gospel street tunes from the mid-1900s and post-World War II music, along with band members’ original folk and gospel tunes. The band’s music springs from the band ‘s deeply-held belief that African-American and white spiritual traditions can inspire and connect with each other. MATW concerts are joyful , uplifting, audience-involving celebrations and explorations of the human condition.
  • 9—10pm — Carolyn Waters. A Homegrown favorite, Carolyn fuses blues, jazz, roots and other musical genres as she performs from her catalog of beautifully crafted original songs and carefully selected covers. Her voice and stage presence have been described as powerful, soulful, rare, head turning, captivating and compelling. Come hear why Carolyn is the performer music lovers look forward to every year.
  • 10—??? — Chris Pahud and the Rounders. Eclectic evening of folk music, poetry, and a touch of indie. Chris Pahud, Tom Smith, Cheryl Perreault, and Steve Rapson are back with guest poet Bill Thibodeau. Bill, a founding member of the Carpenter Poets of Jamaica Plain. performs his poetry throughout Greater Boston, and has appeared on PBS and The Hallmark Channel. He joins one of NYN’s longest-running shows—Chris Pahud and the Rounders—ever popular for their fun, home-spun, original folk sound. Come smile, nod along, and welcome in the new year with music that stands the test of time and spoken word performances that enchant.

$5 NYN button are required for admission and can be bought at the venue or at several local stores. For more info, visit

Help Decorate First Parish with Your Photos

One of the tasks of the Interior Arrangement Committee is to display interesting, engaging artifacts and pictures in the church.  To showcase the vibrant life at First Parish, we would like to display rotating photos that feature the many activities that people are involved in.  If you are involved in such an event, please email us your photos at maryann.oldfield or We will be enlarging and putting up changing photos in the hallway outside Parish Hall.  If you don’t want to have your photo shown, please let us know.


Upcoming Grief and Loss Support Group

Loss is a universally shared aspect of our lives.  Research tells us that the support of others can lighten the burden of grief when we’ve suffered the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship, or one’s health, as examples.   On Sunday, December 11, the Pastoral Care Team is launching a group for those seeking mutual support in their loss.  The  group facilitator is Andrea Goldberg, licensed social worker and First Parish member, who brings both professional and personal perspective to this topic.  Join us after church in the Kiel Room, classroom 3, downstairs from 12 – 1:30. RSVP to Janet Klein if you plan to come, or just join us on December 11.

Listening Sessions with the Making Room Task Force

2016-in-gathering-18-all-churchHow can we expand the capacity of the sanctuary?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of growing our membership in the first place?  The Making Room Task Force is holding three listening sessions in early December to hear your opinions on various strategies.  We will be meeting on Sunday December 4 at 12:30pm in the sanctuary, Wednesday December 7 at 4pm in the parlor, and Sunday December 11 at 9:30am in the parlor.  Come tell us what options you find palatable and which ones are completely unacceptable.

The members of the Making Room Task Force are Amy Brown (RE), Ross Donald (Music), Eliot Jekowski (Parish), Jim Leffingwell (Worship), Kay Taylor (Membership), and Darren Zinner (Ministry).

For more background on this issue, read the blog posts by Darren Zinner and Eliot Jekovsky.

Annual Holiday Sing-a-long

Sunday, December 18
4-5:30pm in Parish Hall

Celebrate the season with an all-ages sing-along in Parish Hall. The event is hosted by the Music Committee.  Kate Loftus-Campe will lead the songs with accompaniment by Jim Sargent. We’ll provide lyrics and take requests.  There will be hot tea & cocoa as well as cookies to enjoy as we sing our favorite carols. Take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy cheery songs with family and friends.


Page 3 of 2612345...1020...Last »