Our goal is to help children know how deeply they are loved by God and to help them find ways of sharing that love with others. Through participation in worship, church school, and an array of events and projects, children grow in their ability to see life through the lens of faith. They connect with others of all generations exploring their faith and asking questions. Rooting our faith journey in the wisdom of the Bible is key to our identity as we discover the power of stories to teach larger truths.
We offer church school concurrently with worship at 10 am. Classes for each age/grade of preschool through eighth grade explore the themes of the sermon through discussions and hands-on responses such as activities, games, or crafts. Nursery care and church school classes are located in Pilgrim House, diagonally behind the church on Cleveland Street.
Nursery care for infants and toddlers is available at 9:45 am. Our professional caregiver provides a consistent and loving presence. Parents are welcome to leave a cell phone number if they want to be contacted during worship. Children in grades K-8 start in worship with their families and then go to church school in Pilgrim House after the children’s moment. Preschoolers through 1st graders also come to classrooms before prayer begins. On Communion Sundays, older elementary children are included in communion as we offer the sacrament early in the service before they go to church school. Periodic intergenerational worship services bring all generations together in a dynamic worship experience that touches people no matter their age.
Advent-ure, the Strawberry Festival, and the Church Birthday Party, are just a few of the events that we host throughout the year to provide families and the congregation a time to celebrate and connect.
From mid-June through Labor Day, we mirror the relaxed pace of summer in Maine. Childcare for infants and toddlers is provided in the Pilgrim House nursery throughout the summer, starting at 9:45 am. Older children looking for an alternative to the sanctuary worship service may be able to join the nursery if there is space. Depending on the ages and number of children in attendance, this group may go outside to the playground.
Pilgrim Lodge is the Maine Conference of the UCC’s summer camp. Located on a beautiful lake-side property in West Gardiner, ME (about 40 minutes from Brunswick) Pilgrim Lodge offers programs designed for various age groups from Memorial Day through Mid-September. Click HERE to learn more about Pilgrim Lodge.
Each year we offer a confirmation class for High School students interesting in exploring their faith further, and preparing for the Rite of Confirmation. Confirmation celebrates the moment when our youth make a first-hand claim to the faith that they received as children. It marks their transition into full adult membership of our congregation and it provides us as a church the opportunity to confirm again the promises that we made to them in baptism, of unconditional care and love. If you are interested in more information about our confirmation program contact our Senior Pastor Rev. John Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FISHed (Middle School Youth Program)
FISHed stands for “Friday, Intellectual, Social, Hangout, extremely diverse”, named by the students. FISHed is a place where we host chaotic fun, thought provoking discussions and lots and lots of laughter. FISHed meets the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month from 6-8pm. We begin a 4-week series entitled “Drama, Drama, Drama” in October. Come see what all the talk is about!
WAVES (High School Youth Program)
WAVES (Welcoming, Accountable, Vibrant, Empowered, Students), our high school youth ministry group, is a place of connection, honest discussions, crazy games, and lots of laughter. WAVES meets the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month from 5:30-7:30pm. We launch a 4-week series entitled “FINSTA” in October.
Adult Christian Education
An Adult Christian Education Team works to provide and encourage opportunities for Christian education and spiritual growth for members of First Parish Church and for the wider community. These opportunities can include special guest speakers, regular book groups, creative retreats, and classes engaging in several issues. The group often helps coordinate Windows On… a multi-week exploration of an important topic impacting our world that we would like to examine through the lens of our faith.
Check our CALENDAR for upcoming events!
We are here if you need us. Our pastors provide support and care to people throughout life’s journey. You can make an appointment with a pastor to receive support around a difficult decision, for help with relationships, if you are grieving, or just feel a bit lost. Our pastors will also be glad to visit you when you are in the hospital, a rehabilitation facility,or if you are in prison. We also have a team of trained volunteers who visit our members who have difficulty getting out of the house for friendship and connection. If you would like to receive a call from our pastor to discuss care, please contact us.
Ann's Spirituality Library
Check out a book from our lending library in the parlor of Pilgrim House with a wide range of topics to support your journey of faith. The library is self-serve and open to anyone who would like to deepen their spiritual life with a good book.
Our collection comes from the generosity of Ann Barry, a devoted and inspirational member of our church, who left us her extensive collection of spirituality books.
First Parish Music Ministry
Music at First Parish Church is a vital ministry in our lives together. It offers education, enjoyment, enrichment, and challenge for all ages and abilities under the direction of Dr. Jane Hagness. The music ministry is open to any interested person. New members of the music ministry are always most welcome.
The adult choir, sings a wide variety of compositions throughout the year. The choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings and sings each Sunday during worship from September – June.
There are ample opportunities for children and youth to participate in music. The Cherub Choir (ages 4 through first grade) rehearses on Tuesdays. Junior Choir (grades 2 through 5) and Westminster Choir (grades 6-12) rehearse on Thursdays. These choirs sing in the Sunday services every three to four weeks and are the core of the Christmas pageant. They also present a fully staged musical each May.
First Parish Church has a very active handbell program. The Parish Ringers enrich worship about once a month with musical offerings. They also perform in concerts both at First Parish and in the community. This group rehearses each Wednesday evening from 6:00-7:15.
Intergenerational World Percussion Ensemble
Our Intergenerational World Percussion Ensemble welcomes players of all ages! We play instruments from many countries: djembes, doumbeks, axatses, guiros and more.
Labyrinths are an ancient practice. Walking meditation on the Labyrinth embodies our metaphorical faith journey and provides a spiritual connection beyond words.
In 2015, in partnership with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, we helped to create the Labyrinth in the woods on the grounds bordering the Community Garden to honor the life of long-time Labyrinth and Christian Education leader Susan Fitsgerald. We also have a 30’ canvas labyrinth in Pilgrim House diagonally behind the church.
A labyrinth tender is always available to answer questions, offer readings, or just to create a welcoming presence. All are welcome to explore this practice from dawn to dusk. To view the current schedule, be notified of labyrinth events, or receive a group presentation, please contact our Labyrinth Coordinator at email@example.com
We Build Our Lives Together
We come together to form a beautiful and loving community that holds each other up. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, we would love to share it with you. All religious questions are encouraged and gladly answered.
First Parish Church is a vital and active community. Here are some of the ways to join us in ministry and community.