Spiritual Development

First Parish provides opportunities to awaken and sustain love, compassion, service, and personal transformation. Unitarian Universalists are guided by a set of seven principles. One of these affirms our intention to accept one another and encourage each other's spiritual growth. Opportunities are offered to help you find your own path and strengthen the disciplines you have chosen.

UU Wellspring

UU Wellspring is a 10-month spiritual deepening course for adults. In 2023, Wellspring will include two groups participating in a new six-session UU Wellspring Reads: Sacred Earth, which is open to everyone.

Group members experience deep listening and spiritual reflection in small groups of about ten, inspiring personal and community transformation.  Between-session assignments are completed to stimulate session discussion and learning. Facilitators are lay leaders of the congregation who receive clear, complete, and easy-to-access and use materials. Upon completion of Sources, the first level of UU Wellspring, participants have the opportunity to register for advanced programming.

a drawn chalice logo with the text "uu wellspring"

Ripples of Peace Buddhist Sangha

Ripples of Peace Sangha is a community of people who study and practice teachings of the Buddha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. We are beginners and experienced practitioners alike, learning from and supporting each other on the path of awakening. 

Gatherings begin with sitting and walking meditation followed by a Buddhist reading and sharing our thoughts. The Sangha is an open gathering — come when you can. You are most welcome to any of our meetings in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.

We meet weekly, 5:15 - 6:45 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays in person; and the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Tuesdays on Zoom. Contact Sally Keene for more information. https://zoom.us/j/771430575?pwd=cXNPSIB2NGgvUkpxRGO5TUxYeGZOZz09

bamboo and some smooth stones on a reflection

Book Groups

Groups arise as interest flows. The books discussed have included Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser by Lewis Richmond, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Green Buddhism by Stephanie Kaza, and others.

the book cover for Aging as a Spiritual Practice by Lewis Richmond

Small Group Ministries

Small Group Ministries are intentional lay-led groups. Discussions are wide ranging, with the purpose of deepening relationships and spirituality, and sharing community. Newcomers are welcome to join in. 

small group ministries

Adult Discussion Group

The Adult Discussion Group has moved on-line via Zoom to the first and third Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. Members of the discussion group are given a password so that they can view the program to be discussed at their convenience. If you would like to join in, contact Patrick Conner, host, or the church office.

Anyone can join in occasionally or regularly. We encourage an open exchange of free flowing ideas on broadly spiritual themes based on selected books, videos, and articles of interest.

Adult discussion goup

Outreach & Consultation

Our minister goes to many local community activities and takes part in some, such as Kennebunk’s Bicentennial Celebration. She/He is a people person and wants to meet you. You can schedule time with her for personal consultation as well.

Women for All Seasons

Women for All Seasons (WFAS) is a women’s group celebrating the cycles and seasons of the earth, our lives, and spirituality through ritual, stories, and informal themed programs. All women are welcome. We usually meet from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, September through June.

Please contact the church office for more information.

women for all seasons

Men's Groups

First Parish Men’s Groups meet to discuss various issues that are important and of interest to men. They act in an atmosphere that promotes support, trust and confidentiality. 

One men's group was formed several years ago. It usually meets on Wednesday evenings at church, keeping its membership to no more than 10 individuals. New members may join when an opening occurs. Dan Lyons coordinates this group. 

A New Men's Group meets at the church on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, at 7 p.m. It is currently open to anyone, including those outside our church, subject to membership approval. It may split into two groups due to the high interest expressed, keeping membership numbers between 8 to 12 individuals per group. Mark Gallup and Jim Thompson are leaders. 

First Parish UU Choir

Our choirs sings during the Sunday Service once per month, and rehearsals are held most Thursday evenings at 4 p.m. Music Director Chris Staknys leads warm-ups, teaches songs, and guides singers to both vocal and technological independence. Current members report that choir rehearsals are the highlight of their week, giving them a sense of being a part of something greater than themselves.