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2017



August 2, 2017 - One Light, Many Candles: An Evening of Multifaith Word and Song

On Saturday, September 23rd at 7pm, The Rev. Betty Stookey and Noel Paul Stookey come to First Parish Church of Brunswick to share, One Light, Many Candles: a program of readings and music that reflect the diversity and integrity of individual faith while seeking a global spiritual community. Their performance comes as a part of First Parish Church’s 300 Years on The Way celebration of the church’s 300th anniversary. Admission is free for all ages. 

Elizabeth and Noel Paul Stookey have been working together for over 50 years, as husband and wife, as parents, as business partners and activists, and as two people constantly questioning how the spiritual informs the day-to-day realities of life-in both a small personal way and a larger global way.

Noel is a singer-songwriter and the “Paul” of Peter, Paul,
and Mary. He has been writing songs that reflect on the political, cultural, sociopolitical and spiritual dynamics of all of our collected stories for decades. Betty is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who has ministered and counseled many, including, as chaplain of a school, over a thousand students of many faiths ranging from Buddhist and Christian, to Muslim and Jewish.

Recognizing Love as the common calling to many different faiths, Betty and Noel’s presentation continues to evolve by referencing expressions of the Divine from a myriad of spiritual leaders and literature of many cultures. The program shifts dynamically from the spoken word to the sung word and back again, with Betty reading and Noel singing.



July 24, 2017 - First Parish Church Featured on Bill Green’s Maine

In honor of FPC’s 300th Anniversary, Bill Green of Bill Green’s Maine visited to interview Rev. Mary Baard and church historian/archivist Mildred Jones. View the segment in the link below:

First Parish Church of Brunswick enters fourth century

“After a meeting the year before, the First Parish Church of Brunswick was built as a meeting house in 1718. It has a long history of service to the town and Bowdoin College. It was the church of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Franklin Pierce and Joshua Chamberlain.”

 



April 5, 2017 - Scholar Diana Butler Bass to Explore “Spiritual Revolution”, May 6-7

The spiritual revolution, finding God in the world, is an invitation to new birth, most especially for religion. …It is time for the church to wake up. There is nothing worse than sleeping through a revolution. – Diana Butler Bass, Grounded

 

Diana Butler Bass, nationally known author, speaker, and scholar of religion and culture, joins First Parish Church’s continuing anniversary celebration of “300 Years on The Way” on May 6th and 7th for a weekend learning event. In keeping with the congregation’s hope to celebrate the past 300 years while looking to the future of faith and community, Dr. Bass brings rich insight to the trends and phenomena of our wider culture and our practices and expressions of faith. Throughout the weekend, she will share her work on changing perspectives of God and how those changes are transforming individuals and faith communities, building on her most recent book, Grounded: Finding God in the World, A Spiritual Revolution. 

The weekend begins on Saturday afternoon with workshops and presentations from colleagues and friends in the Maine Conference, United Church of Christ from 12:30-5pm across the church campus. After a break for dinner, Dr. Bass will offer the evening’s presentation in the sanctuary at 7pm.

Dr. Bass will also be the guest preacher at the 10am worship service and provide an afternoon presentation from 12:30-2 on Sunday, May 7th 

More information on Diana Butler Bass is available at her website.


Registration information:

First Parish Church members:
Please contact the church office at 207-729-7331 for complimentary tickets for any and all events.

Other community members joining us on Saturday:
• For the full Saturday workshop schedule and Dr. Bass’s evening keynote, please register with the Maine Conference here. ($25 registration fee.)
• If you would like tickets to Dr. Bass’s evening keynote only, please purchase tickets here. ($10 online or at the door as available.)



March 8, 2017 - Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Vision Alive

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Elizabeth Davidson as Harriet

On Sunday, March 5th, First Parish continued the celebration of the church’s 300th Anniversary by exploring a vision from our church that has become a cherished part of the church’s history and shaped the history of the U.S.

Harriet Beecher Stowe was a guest in pew 23 of First Parish Church in 1851 when she experienced a vision of the death of a slave in the midst of a communion service. Inspired, she rushed to her home on Federal Street and began to write the vision that would become Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel that would personalize and energize the abolition movement.

Now, Harriet is brought to life by actress and playwright Elizabeth Davidson, who has committed to bringing the vision and story of the author to others. Through a partnership with Bowdoin College, “Harriet” was able to welcome neighbors to a tea and a reading at the Stowe House, as she did in the 1850’s. She then joined First Parish for conversation with Mary in worship, greeting the children and sharing her own historic childhood in the line of the “Beecher preachers”, her later move to Brunswick, and life after Uncle Tom’s Cabin. All celebrated her work that led her to call people’s hearts to action and compassion in the struggle for liberation, and the ways Harriet’s faith and vision was shaped by and has shaped our communal life at First Parish.

This event is one of a series that will mark our congregation’s 300 years of ministry as we look to many more in the future!

 



February 19, 2017 - Bowdoin Sunday – John Cross

Scripture: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

1900 Commencement

The 1900 Bowdoin Commencement at First Parish Church Courtesy Bowdoin Special Collection & Archives

On a day filled with guests from “across the street,” John Cross, lifetime FPC member and Secretary of Development and College Relations at Bowdoin College joins us to reflect on the two hundred year relationship between the church and the college, and the vision of the future at the heart of each.

Download PDF here – 02/19/2017



February 6, 2017 - First Parish Embarks on Capital Campaign

Margo Knight, Church Council Chair

Margo Knight, Church Council Chair

From Margo Knight, Church Council Chair, to the First Parish Community:

On January 29, our congregation voted to enter our fourth century with a bold step. We will undertake a $2.5 million capital campaign to update our facilities in order to help fulfill our mission and our strategic plan. As you are aware, our congregation has been studying and planning for these changes over the past several years. These are changes that would positively affect accessibility, worship, connectedness, and intergenerational connections in our spiritual life together. These changes would reflect our common values and open our ministry to all of our members and to our community.

The core projects include:
1. Parking lot entrance addition on Pilgrim House with elevator and accessible bathrooms
2. Pilgrim House energy upgrades
3. Accessible ramp, chancel modifications, pew replacement in the sanctuary
4. Cleaveland Street entrance ramp to Pilgrim House, modified to reduce the recommended terrace and include a connection to a new patio/ garden/gathering place on the front lawn
5. Audio-visual upgrades to the sanctuary
6. Replenish the replacement reserve account for the cost of the vestry ramp not yet funded through capital contributions

There are several stretch projects that we will address once we near our financial goal for these core projects.

Mercie Normand and Hector Casas have generously and enthusiastically agreed to be co-chairs of this effort that will last from now until mid-June. The Church Council voted to enter into a service agreement with Full Harvest Fundraising for $50,000 for capital campaign consulting. Peter Heinrichs and Susan Lewis, principals with Full Harvest, have worked with our church about these issues over the past three years. More information will be forthcoming as volunteers are recruited and the fundraising begins.

On behalf of the Church Council, I thank you for your support, energy and enthusiasm for our faith home, now and into our fourth century. We are inspired by the support of the congregation and by the vision of these changes and their positive effects coming to fruition.



January 24, 2017 - 30 of 300: Anniversary Year Kicks Off with Celebration of Ray Cornils

On January 22nd, First Parish Church launched our 300 Years On the Way with a fitting party: the celebration of Minister of Music Ray Cornils’s 30th Anniversary with the Church. Ray will be retiring from his ministry closer to our official 300th anniversary, but this day was a chance to enjoy the ways we have sung together as a community since January 15, 1987, when Ray arrived in Brunswick. (more…)




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