May 26, 2021
Annual Ministry Theme: Imagine

May Ministry Theme: Praise

“In today's sharp sparkle. . . any thing can be made, any sentence begun. On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp, praise song for walking forward in that light.”

― Elizabeth Alexander

Sunday Worship
"Young Church Sunday"
"Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded."
-Jess Lair

Our Young Church Sunday Service will be in-person and outdoors on Sunday, May 30th at Atkinson Common. This service will feature some of the children in our Young Church program as well as special guests and a Blessing Ceremony for our graduating seniors. We are thrilled that we can be together for this special service and hope you can join us!

To attend in person, please RSVP here!
Join on YouTube only:

Following the service we will host a virtual coffee hour on Zoom.
Meeting ID: 817 2180 1499  /  Passcode: 668856
One tap mobile:
+19292056099,,81721801499# US (New York)
Dial by phone:
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Sign up to participate in Sunday, May 30th's outside Worship Service at
Atkinson Common here!
FRS Unites Newburyport Community in
Rededication of Black Lives Matter Banner
On Tuesday, May 24, FRS hosted a Rededication Ceremony to rehang our Black Lives Matter banner which was stitched back together after vandals slashed the banner last week. Parishioner Mary MacDonald helped mend the banner, and FRS worked alongside Newburyport's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Alliance to organize last night's program.

View the full program that was captured via Facebook Live here.

Check out the coverage in the Newburyport Daily News here.
Don't Miss Out on the FRS Dinner for 2 Anywhere in the World Raffle! Only 2500 tickets will be sold -- drawing on June 20th
This one-of-a-kind annual FRS Raffle is a fun way to make a dream come true for a lucky winner! Tickets are $25.00 and we have a limited amount.

All proceeds go to supporting the FRS ministry. Purchase tickets here and please share the link widely on your FaceBook page, with family and friends, co-workers, neighbors, and more!
Congratulations Reverend Sophia Lyons!
Rev. Rebecca provides "Charge to the Minister"
Ordination Prayer by Rev. Chris Jablonski
"The Presentation of Gifts" delivered by Emily Bruce and Rev. Lisa Garcia Sampson
Watch the Ordination of Sophia Lyons here!
Calling All Writers!
Do you have a passion for writing? Do you enjoy learning about people? Are you looking to connect more with our parish community?

The FRS Communications Team has the perfect opportunity for you. We are looking for writers to support the development of 1-2 short stories per church year (Sept-June) for the Steeple.

Successful volunteers will have fun and be able to inform and entertain our readers.

Please contact Cynthia Walsh at
Summer Series: Joy
Each summer, Reverend Rebecca offers an email series open to everyone. This year's theme is joy. Registrants will receive an email each Monday for nine weeks, from June 2-August 16. Each week will include a brief reflection and suggested exercises, including writing prompts, conversation starters, and embodied spiritual practices.

Sign up here! Please share with a friend or relative who may be interested. They need not be a member to participate.
Spiritual Gatherings
When: Sunday, May 30 and Sunday, June 13, from 3:30-4:30pm

Spiritual Gathering is an opportunity to gather and reflect on our own spiritual experiences and journeys together. We will meet at The Mall across from CVS on Pond Street in Newburyport.

If interested email Susan at
ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) 
When: Tuesday, June 8, noon at Loretta's, 15 Pleasant Street, Newburyport

To attend you must have had both your Covid shots (one if J&J) at least two weeks before the meeting. RSVP required as seating is limited to 12, two tables of 6, under current rules.

Please bring small bills to facilitate payment of your portion of the check, and your sense of wonder at being able to experience new things.

To RSVP, please email Will Buddenhagen at or call 978-463-0882.
Monday Night Meditation on Zoom
When: Mondays, 6:30pm

These weekly sessions are led by Joyce Haydock, Senior Dharma Teacher with the International Kwan Um School of Zen. She has been with the school since 1989. This FRS UU Monday group was established over ten years ago. Our sessions consist of two or three chants, two readings/teachings and 30 minutes of sitting meditation. Beginners are welcome.

Contact Joyce at 978-363-5457 or email to be added to our list and receive access information.
Spiritual Practice with Julie Parker Amery
When: Tuesdays, 11am

This is a drop-in program, so come as often as you'd like. Each week, we dive into a poem, reading, photograph, painting, or wisdom tale and notice what it's saying to us in that particular moment. This is not interpretation—it's not about trying to figure out what the writer or artist is trying to convey—but what it stirs within you. Questions? Contact Julie Parker Amery at

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 944 4098 2749
Passcode: 867415
Dial by phone: +1 646 558 8656
Guided Relaxation with Susan Cooper
When: Wednesdays, 10am

Join FRS member and LICSW Susan Cooper on Wednesdays at 10am for a brief period of mid-week relaxation and renewal. Each 30-minute session will include a guided visualization and reflection on questions around where we hold stress and how we can release it. You'll also learn some relaxation techniques to use on your own. This is a drop-in program; come one time or many.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 873 4945 8812
Passcode: 884416  
Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656
Online Friday Book Group
When: Fridays, 10-11:30am

We are reading the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This stunning work of fiction follows a blind French girl and a German orphan boy whose fates intertwine in the siege of Saint-Malo during WW II. Despite the war setting Doerr captures the goodness of people under dire circumstances.

We will reading through Chapter “Weakest” in Part Three. The group agreed that we can handle reading more than fifty pages per week so we are reading about 64 pages for next week.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 870 4388 5100  
Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656
closed captioning is available
The deadline for the next Steeple newsletter is Sunday, May 30, 2021. 
Send your questions, ideas, and submissions to
Minister–The Reverend Rebecca Bryan; Affiliate MinisterStan Barrett; Affiliate MinisterHelen Murgida; Minister EmeritusThe Reverend Harold Babcock. Staff: Multimedia Specialist-Andrew Bakhit; Religious Education Assistant–Sharon Broll; Office AdministratorDiane Carroll; Youth Group CoordinatorBecky Dill; Director of Children's MinistryMara Flynn; Director of Church Music–Justin Murphy-Mancini; Director of Faith Formation and Spiritual ExplorationJulie Parker Amery; Business Administrator-vacant; Director of Congregational and Community Engagement–Cynthia Walsh. Parish Board: Chair–Rebecca Brodish; Vice ChairJudy Fayre; Clerk–Holly Cashman; Treasurer-Endowment—Kim Kenly; Treasurer–Finance-Rich Johnson; Finance ChairTom Himmel; Maureen Adams, Juliana Beauvais, Micah Donahue, Vern Ellis, Michelle Kimball, Jennifer Rabold, Forrest Speck, Renee Wolf-Foster.
First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist | 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport MA 01950
978-465-0602 |