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23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

First Parish Blog

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First Parish “Makes a Difference” — And So Can You!

We’re excited to launch the First Parish 2024-2025 Annual Budget Drive as we embark on a year of purposeful growth with the guidance of our 5 Year Strategic Plan Task Force. Your steadfast support has been instrumental in guiding us through dynamic times, and together, we’ve emerged stronger and more connected as a spiritual family. Now, we invite you to partner with us once again as we invest in our future and continue cultivating a thriving sanctuary of faith and fellowship.

In this commitment to one another, we become difference-makers, weaving a tapestry of faith — one thread of generosity at a time — that extends beyond these walls, making a difference not only in our church, but in the wider community around us. In this spirit, we invite you to join, not just in supporting our beloved First Parish, but in Making A Difference that resonates, creating and leaving a legacy of love and action in our world. As difference-makers, we extend “the ripples of giving” far beyond the edges of our own lives in pursuit of our mission “to create a welcoming, diverse, and compassionate religious community that celebrates the sacredness of all living things, nurtures lifelong spiritual and ethical growth, and works for social and environmental justice locally and throughout the world.”

In years past, the resources that you have pledged to our church have helped us Make A Difference:

  • Empowering social justice: Reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, climate action, racial equity, and immigration reform remain central to our mission.
  • Nurturing leadership: Ensuring fair and equitable compensation for our dedicated minister and staff and supporting spiritual growth for First Parishioners of all ages, from toddlers to elders.
  • Inspiring youth: Empowering our Senior Youth Group to participate in service trips (this spring, for environmental justice in Virgin Islands National Park), putting UU values into action.
  • Connecting near and far: Bringing our spirit to life through live-streamed worship and fostering a vibrant online community that transcends physical distance through adult enrichment programs.
  • Open hearts, open doors and growing our membership: Welcoming new voices through meaningful outreach, nurturing faith across all ages, and enriching souls with music.

 

Your pledges make up the backbone of our annual income, about 75%. This year, we’re aiming for a $335,000 Budget Drive goal, and your participation is more crucial than ever as we emerge from the pandemic. You can look at how First Parish budgets income and expenditures by reading through prior Annual Reports on our website. Our national denomination, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Fair Share Giving Guide suggests an annual giving range of 2-10% of household income. As a starting point, we invite each First Parish household to consider giving at a level of 2.5% to 3.0%, or whatever percentage feels right to you. We know and celebrate that many First Parishioners give generously to First Parish and many other worthy non-profits. The average First Parish household gave about $2,400 last year, and pledges ranged from under $100 to over $13,000. As we often say, “give until it feels good!”

It is our goal to collect your pledge plans as quickly and easily as possible with four convenient ways to pledge:

Please pledge as generously as you are able to our 2024-2025 Annual Budget Drive! Thank you for making a difference with your ongoing support of First Parish in Needham!

Previous Posts

Youth Led Sunday Worship

Our Youth-Led Sunday worship was absolutely wonderful, and so special to have in-person for the first time since 2019! The youth offered thoughtful reflections and words, skillful music, and surprised their service trip guides with a lovely gift. The whole community...

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Pastoral Message on the US Epidemic of Gun Violence 

  Dear First Parish,    My family and I were on the Cape this past weekend for my cousin’s wedding, and the morning of her wedding we took our daughter to a small playground in Hyannis. Little did we know that a walk for suicide prevention and awareness was...

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Annual Meeting 2022 – Including Documents

  Our First Parish Annual Meeting will be hybrid (in person and on Zoom), right after worship and social hour, on Sunday, May 15th, at 12:30 in person in the sanctuary. For folks participating online, use the same Zoom link as for worship and social hour. The...

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 Announcing our 2022-2024 Ministerial Intern

  The Ministerial Intern Committee, Parish Committee, and Rev. Catie are thrilled to announce that Darrah Bryans will join our staff team this fall as our 2022-2024 ministerial intern! Welcome, Darrah! Here’s a message from Darrah herself: Hi First Parish in...

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Other Oppressions

  I want to talk about the 8th principle, but not in the way you might expect.  When someone asks you what you think about the 8th principle, up for a congregational vote on May 15, usually what comes to mind is race, ethnicity, maybe sexual orientation or gender...

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Digital Order of Service

      This is our final Saturday Bell Notes because the order of service is now available on your smart phone or tablet via this QR code or by entering uuneedham.updates.church (bookmark it!) in your browser. Each Sunday's order of service will become available on the...

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It’s a Climate Emergency — But What Can I Do?

  Perhaps you heard them -- church bells ringing in Needham at exactly 11 a.m. on Friday, March 11. Our venerable Paul Revere bell, which has called people to worship, celebrated important events, and warned the community of imminent danger for over 200 years,...

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The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: A Community Teach-In

  Join Us for a Special Lane Lyceum: Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30 pm via Zoom link: https://bit.ly/UkraineLyceum   Speakers: Ilana Pavlotsky and Cinzia Solari Moderator: Smriti Rao   Is Ukraine part of Russia? Is Ukraine Europe? Why do some Ukrainians...

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