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Community Involvement

Local Community

Love is the spirit of our church, and service our law. Beverly Bootstraps Community Services is our church-sponsored local community program. This and other programs are described below. To learn more about social action at First Parish or to volunteer, contact the Social Action Committee via the church office. We welcome your help, even if is only for a few hours.

World Community

ASAPROSAR in El Salvador is our church-sponsored international program. We support ASAPROSAR’s “Barefoot Angels” Urban Youth Program by conducting an annual Learn and Serve Volunteer Trip (described below) and through donations of money, clothing, toys, school supplies, and toiletries. To learn about the Learn and Serve Trip,  please and contact Carol Ballantyne or Martha Brennan.

First Parish also supports the Guest At Your Table program of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (see below).

Guest At Your Table

At a church service, usually before Thanksgiving, small collection boxes will be handed out and stories of courageous individuals will be shared as we join others promoting human rights around the world. Read More >>


First Parish Church is governed with by-laws created by the congregation. Committees and Task Forces plan and oversee operations, conduct fundraising and special events. Parish Council with leaders from each Committee meet to coordinate their efforts. A Nominating / Volunteer Involvement Committee encourages participation and recruits team members for Committees and Task Forces. We have various opportunities for service. Volunteers make coffee and bring snacks, teach Sunday School, sing, plan worship services, paint, prune, and trim. Our meal coordinators, webmaster and treasurer, among others, are volunteers. Contact Laura Knight about Volunteer Involvement.

Who We Are

First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist is a religiously liberal and welcoming spiritual community in the heart of Beverly, Massachusetts affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson

Rev. Kelly keeps office hours at the church from 10 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You’re welcome to drop-in and see if he’s free, but can be assured he will be by making an appointment. You may reach Rev. Kelly by phone at the church, or by email at


Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson was called by First Parish Church in June of 2010 to be our settled minister. He is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, a science fiction buff, and a vegan. Kelly summarized his calling to the ministry in an introductory letter to the congregation with these words:

“…I believe with a resolute faith in the power of religious community to save lives, grow souls, and heal the world. As a minister, I have chosen to devote my life to strengthening, leading, and transforming such communities, to help kindle the fires in our hearts that will draw us into and sustain us in the work of justice and peace.”

Kelly holds a B.A. from Bard College and a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. Before coming to First Parish, Kelly served as a hospital chaplain and part-time parish minister in Western New York. Kelly and his partner Sara were married in 2004 and welcomed their first child, Miriam, in 2008 and their second, Mordecai, in 2012. Miriam, Mordecai, Sara, and Kelly live in Beverly where, after many vagabond years, they are happy to finally be at home.

Other Outreach

Groups of First Parish members and friends participate in programs and fund-raisers: Read More >>

Settling In

For several weeks now I’ve been settling in to my new life in Beverly, getting used to the church and to our new home here in town. There’s plenty of “new” to adjust to – a new library and new parks for my daughter to play in, new towns to learn the feel of and new roads to start memorizing. There have been plenty of adjustments, big and small that have to be made – adjustments in my self, to match the new location, and adjustments in the location, to match myself. The biggest of this second sort of adjustments have come to my office here at the church, which I am currently giving a makeover. (“Well,” I thought, “if the President can do it…”) Read More >>

Small Group Ministries

The Small Group Ministry Program is an intentionally structured way for people to deepen their spiritual life and to get to know other people on a more intimate level. The Small Group Ministry at First Parish grew out of a Mass Bay District conference held at First Parish in October 2000.

Since that time as many as eight groups have met, some at the church and some in people’s homes. Small Group Ministry generally meets once a month around a structured topic. During the first meeting a covenant is established and members commit to coming to the monthly meetings during the church year. The established group also does a group community service project during the church year. Read More >>


Meditation has been proven to calm the mind and increase patience, empathy and compassion. At FPC we combine breath and insight meditations to increase our selflessness and non re-activeness. The group usually meets on Sundays at 7:30 pm for one hour. (Please see church calendar.) The format is a half hour of breath meditation followed by a brief break and another half an hour of insight meditation. The session is typically led by David Flynn (a certified Yoga instructor through Yoga Spirit studios, Hamilton).

Spiritual Life

The spiritual growth of our members is at the heart-center of our church’s purpose. We do not share a common creed rather we share a common sense of humanity in search of deeper connections to each other and to our individual understandings of a higher power at work in our lives.

Welcome, Rejoice & Come In

Welcome to First Parish Church! Whether  a guest, friend or member, you are warmly invited to step into our freshly-painted historic building in the center of Beverly. You will find a congregation rejoicing in a diversity of personal spiritual journeys, an outstanding music program, and a nurturing environment for all lifestyles. We seek to lift each others’ spirits through a strong sense of community, caring fellowship, rich educational opportunities for all ages, as well as service outreach.  Come and see what First Parish has to offer. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

Simple Abundance – September 26, 2010

It is sometimes said of Unitarian Universalists that our greatest competition for attendance on Sunday mornings is not our Catholic neighbors down the street, nor the Methodists up the road or the synagogue across town, but rather a pot of coffee,

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a comfortable chair and a copy of the newspaper. Read More >>

The Gospel According to Ben Parker – September 19, 2010

In 1858, Henry Whitney Bellows gave a lecture in New York City. Well, he most likely gave more than one lecture in 1858 – he was a prominent citizen and a renowned speaker, but I have one particular lecture in mind. Bellows was, for four decades the minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York. In the audience of this particular lecture was one George Templeton Strong, who is best known today for the detail, whit and sharp opinions contained in his diaries. In his entry for that day, he commented on Bellows’ lecture as follows: Read More >>

Love, Love, Love

“This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings. So love, love, love.”

I spent most of the last week in Minneapolis, where the General Assembly – the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association – was held this year. I was there to attend and lead workshops, to listen to lectures and to celebrate my very good news with friends and colleagues. (The good news being that I have been called to the First Parish Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, and that they are an awesome congregation which I am thrilled to serve as minister.)

I heard the quotation above at one of the several beautiful and moving worship services I attended in Minneapolis. The words come from Hafiz, the 14th century Iranian poet and mystic; in the service, they were set into a beautiful choral arrangement. The message is one that resonates with the Unitarian Universalist spirit. After all, we sing together that “There is more love somewhere,” and profess that “Love is the spirit,” or for others,

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“the doctrine,” “of this church.” “We need not think alike to love alike,” witnessed the great Unitarian leader Francis David, and our current, association-wide justice campaign is entitled Standing on the Side of Love. As a people, love is what we are about. Read More >>

The Ocean Refuses No River – September 12, 2010

As most of you know, I am new to Beverly, and to the North Shore. I’ve spent the last month settling in and getting a feel for this place. In addition to the more obvious things: finding a new friends, a new favorite restaurant, a new grocery store, there is a process, whenever you move to a new town and decide to make it your home, of getting to know the local sacred sites and stories. What things do these people, whom you are trying to become a part of, really treasure and love? Read More >>

Beverly Bootstraps

As part of our commitment to Beverly Bootstraps:

Annual Auction

The First Parish Auction is not only a major fund raiser for the church; it is also a wonderful time of fun and fellowship. Usually held in late April or early May, the Auction is a highlight of the church year. Donated items include trips, Red Sox tickets, gourmet meals, sailing trips, weekends in beautiful places, exercise equipment, art work, toys and so much more. The silent auction begins early in the evening featuring smaller items followed by a live auction hosted by auctioneer Mark Boden. Mark is both witty and outrageous in his banter and bid seeking. You won’t want to miss a moment! Read More >>

Pot Luck Suppers

Several times a year, pot luck suppers are held in Hale Hall at First Parish Church. Many of our members are excellent cooks and all are excellent eaters. Announcements of dates for pot luck suppers are listed in the monthly Chalice and in the Sunday morning Orders of Service. All are welcome!


First Parish Church

225 Cabot St

Beverly, MA 01915


Office Hours: Mon 8:00 - 11:00 am & Tue-Fri 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

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