Inspired, encouraging, serving and seeking… Together in life’s joys and challenges… Making a difference! 

If you want to include any special announcements in this Weekly Email, please reach out to me in the Church Office via email at:

Thank You & God Bless,

Spencer Aguiar

Church Administrator

WINTER WALK on 2/11/24


As in the past, we will have a team walking in the Winter Walk in Boston on Sunday morning, February 11th. The walk raises awareness and funds for organizations that serve the homeless. WW2024 leaves from the Boston Common on Sunday morning, and goes for two miles through the city in winter's coldest month. The Missions Ministry will be donating funds on behalf of First Church, but individual donations are also welcome. Please contact Janet Fischer, if you are interesting in walking.

COVID-era Winter Walk!

Reflecting on our Advent Liturgy

We experienced some very different music and liturgy for last Advent as we prepared for Christmas in December.  We changed many things around to explore how we might encounter something new during that season, with new songs, music, and prayer elements. We drew on Christian traditions that go back more than 1000 years for inspiration. But it may have been both beautiful and strange. Familiar to some and very different for others.

We will soon enter Lent, and will reuse some of the elements and forms from our Advent Liturgy. We will again draw on the talents of our Artist-in-Residence - Brittany Betts.

I would like to hear from you about your experiences with the new liturgy.

And drawn on some resources that I can think about for next year.

Join me, Pastor Ian, in the Library after worship this Sunday at 11:30 (or so) for a conversation ...

School of Prophetic Action Training: Base Building and Issue Selection

When: Tuesday, February 13th from 6:00 to 8:30 PM 

Where: First Church Swampscott, 40 Monument Ave., Swampscott, MA

What: This year’s School of Prophetic Action is a training series will bring ECCO leaders together from around the North Shore to develop the skills we need to build power and win our campaigns. This training will focus on how to recruit a base to come together and choose an issue to fight for. If you’re serious about gathering more people together to build power and make change on the most urgent issues facing our communities, this is the place to be! All are welcome, whether you’ve been involved with ECCO for many years or have never attended an event. 

Stipends: A limited number of stipends is available for expenses incurred. Apply here or contact your organizer.

RSVP: Please RSVP at this link.

Contact: Please don’t hesitate to reach out to organizers Colette Lima (, Julieth Cabral ( or Allen Lipson ( with any questions at all.


To support ECCO’s ongoing work for to invest in local leader leadership development, click on the button below.




Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin

The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of AI

7:30 until 8:30pm, on-site in the Library at First Church and on Zoom


Wednesdays, February 7/21

Join Pastor Ian in this Book Group to learn about AI and its social considerations.

The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of AI

by Fei-Fei Li 

"The Worlds I See is a story of science in the first person, documenting one of the century’s defining moments from the inside. It provides a riveting story of a scientist at work and a thrillingly clear explanation of what artificial intelligence actually is—and how it came to be. Emotionally raw and intellectually uncompromising, this book is a testament not only to the passion required for even the most technical scholarship but also to the curiosity forever at its heart."

Please let Pastor Ian know you might participate.

A Message from Brittany Betts

I am writing to invite you to a fantastic concert that I am playing with Henry Lucas's Riverside Renaissance Swing Band next Friday night (2.9.24) 7-9PM at the First Baptist Church at 221 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA.

Here is a link to the First Baptist Church website which when it opens has the event at the top of the page! Go in through that and it should navigate you to where you need to go. To be clear though, tickets will also be available at the door.

Though I am not a congregant at FBC, I have long admired their extensive outreach into the Beverly community. Northshore folks may recall that First Baptist Church began a food pantry in the basement that has bloomed into BOOTSTRAPS.

When Renaissance Riverside Swing Band approached FBC about partnering to raise funds for a church project of their choice, they were interested in helping, and they immediately wanted to continue by donating proceeds to Amirahinc, a Beverly, Massachusetts organization "Helping Women in the Commercial Sex Trade Find Hope". You can learn about the amazing work they are doing here:

THIS is a concert in their fantastic sanctuary with an amazing sound. We will be returning on June 28, and there is a discussion now as to whether THAT EVENT should move into the gym, so that those that want to dance can do so. Stay tuned, and please share your feelings if you have a strong opinion.

Please spread the word. The band is hot, and our fabulous vocalist, Kim Arazia reminds me of Billie Holiday. You will leave happy and fulfilled.

 “Where words leave off, music begins.”

Hope to see you there,



Spiritual Conversations with Coffee in January

Group led conversations before church, about scripture and the life of faith, and the journey we are on with God and each other. The January meetings will take place on January 21/28 at 9:10 AM in the Library.


Al-Anon is an organization that offers experience, strength and hope to families who are

struggling with alcoholism and addiction. It is a very safe place to share the challenges of

difficult family situations. We at Al-Anon are very grateful to the First Church of Swampscott which has offered us space to hold our meetings, as below:

Tuesday nights at 7:30

Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. in the library

Thursdays at noon in the library

Please join us! For more information, please email Jodie or Laurie. Thanks.

The First Church Swampscott

40 Monument Avenue

Swampscott, MA 01907

Senior Pastor: The Rev. Ian Holland

Director of Music Ministries: Patricia Clark

Church Council 2023-2024

Chair: Clarke Orzalli

Clerk: Sharon Thomas

Treasurer: Sharon Scofield

Members: Diana Beaupre, Betty McNeil,

Susan Hamilton, Heidi Whear, Melissa Foye

The First Church in Swampscott UCC |
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