Community Education Programs

West Parish Church, Community Education at West Parish seeks to serve the wider community with programs that connect us, nurture the spirit, challenge the heart, and change the world.   We seek peace, social justice, and transformational love. 

See details on how to register for these programs at the bottom of this page.


Transformitive Writing

Join us in exploring the question: Where do our personal lives intersect with the societal and the spiritual?  With writing prompts and guidance from a skillful facilitator, we will use our own experiences and knowledge to create our works of art.  Please feel free to join us on any or all of the dates.

 

Leader:  Jess Blas

Jess has bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism and a master’s degree in Women’s Studies.  Her writing workshops and seminars are offered to individuals who would like to use writing to help them understand their life and determine the path they desire with Passion and Spiritual Enlightenment.

 

Dates:  February 24, March 17, and April 7,  11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Praying through Lent

During the season of Lent, you are invited to focus on prayer. What is prayer, anyway? Is there a “right“ way to pray? What do we expect when we pray? Join Katrina for three sessions after church, as we explore these questions, and try out some ancient and innovative ways of praying. Open to all, regardless of age, beliefs or faith.

 

Leader:  Rev. Katrina Wuensch

Rev. Katrina  is the Senior Minister at West Parish Church, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ since 2000, and a certified Spiritual Director. Katrina received her Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, and then served UCC churches in Concord and Acton, MA prior to coming to Andover in 2016.

 

Dates:  March 10, March 31, April 7,  11:30 am

 

Active Bystander Training

What do you do when you see someone being hurt, either physically or with words? Hateful harassment and assaults on racial and religious minorities, on people who are immigrants, on people who are transgender, and others, are becoming increasingly publicized. This workshop trains people to respond to such conflicts in a constructive, nonviolent way.   They will also reflect on how small actions, like supporting people who are targeted for harassment, can have big consequences in society at large.

 

Leader: Valerie Nybo

Valorie is a retired college professor, public health professional and criminal court mediator. She has served as Director of state programs for Tobacco Prevention and Control, Congregate Housing Services, Elderly Nutrition, Guardianship of Public Wards, and Employee Health and Wellness for the Maine Dept. of Transportation.

 

Date: March 17, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

 

Cost: $15 donation requested

Be SMART for Kids Training:  A conversation about kids, guns and safety

Every year, nearly 300 children under age 17 gain access to a gun and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, and nearly 500 more die by suicide with a gun.  Many of these deaths are entirely preventable with responsible gun storage  .

 

The Be SMART campaign was created to bring together all responsible adults to reduce suicides and the number of unintentional shootings that occur when children get ahold of an unsecured firearm.  Learn how to keep kids safer in your own home or others’ with five easy steps.

 

Leader:  Rebecca Healey

Rebecca is a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteer, as well as a sixth grade teacher in Methuen Public Schools. 

 

Dates:  April 28,  11:30 am

Sacred Conversations on Race

A sacred conversation on race intends to build a community circle where each person can risk saying his/her/their own truth and to be open, even curious, about other people’s truth.   We will explore our questions about  privilege,  the effect of individual and collective history, the changes in our culture, our fears, and the stories we tell ourselves about news reports and current events.  


Leader: Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Waters

Dr. Waters is an intentional interim minister, professional coach, and church consultant. She is the member of the mothers/grandmothers of boys of color,  praying regularly for their safety in a world that misinterprets hoodies and cultural gestures.    


Date: Sunday, May 19, 11:30 am


How to register for Programs

To register for a program, please call  978.475.3528 or email westparishchurch@verizon.net

Please provide your name, phone number, and program selection.  You will then receive a call or email confirming your registration.

 

Late registration and drop-ins are allowed, but programs that don’t meet minimum registration are cancelled a week in advance. If you do not register by a week before the program is scheduled, call the church office to check whether the program is still running.

 

Program Location

Programs take place at West Parish Church, 129 Reservation Road in Andover, or across the street at the West Parish Garden Cemetery. There is ample parking available and the buildings are wheelchair accessible.

 

Cancellation

Programs require a minimum number of registrations to run. Under-enrolled programs will be cancelled a week before they run and registrants will be notified.

 

Childcare

If requested a week in advance, on-site childcare can be arranged for all programs. Free childcare in the nursery is always available during Sunday morning worship services.