Summer Spirituality, Connection & Worship

There is a lot going on at North Parish this summer.  To view the events calendar and see all that is happening, visit the North Parish Events page or click here for a link to our Summer Services flyer.


Summer Worship Services

Summer worship services are lay-led and inspired, relaxed and comfortable. They provide a wonderful chance to benefit from the wisdom and passions of other UUs! They will be held at 10 am on Sundays in the air-conditioned, well-ventilated Chapel.

Please note: Summer services will be in person only; there will be no zoom service.

Masks are still required to ensure all are comfortable in the space.
Some services may be held outdoors if noted in the description.


July 10th – The Magic of Nature

In every season, the natural world brings transformation and spiritual inspiration! Join us as we share some of these powerful experiences – those not made by mere mortals such as ourselves.

Music: by Æring, North Parish’s Early Music Group
Leader: Rev. Helen Cymbala. Helen is a longtime member of North Parish, and also an ordained Wiccan Priestess with lifelong passions for music, history, and comparative religions.

July 17th – Inspiring Compassionate Action: Criminal Justice Through a Universalist Lens

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40 Lora will share her reflections and insight working with inmates and correctional staff and the use of compassion practices when working with those we find difficult. Allison will discuss examples of how churches and their members can transform justice and public safety by attending to “the least of these” – those who have committed crimes of violence.

Leaders: Lora Freeman Williams is a master’s level clinician in mental health counseling and expressive arts therapies. She worked with inmates in a medium-security prison during her master’s internship and now provides counseling to them upon their release from prison. She also works for Gender Equity & Reconciliation, International. Lora lives in Andover with her husband and son.

Allison Jordan has been a public defender for over 15 years. She began her career in 2005 in NYC before coming to Massachusetts in 2011. She began attending North Parish in 2015 and was married here in 2016. She resides in Andover with her husband, two children, and pandemic puppy.

July 24th – Practicing Love Through Meditation

Join members of the Buddhist group Great Pond Sangha for this summer service, which will include an extended guided meditation. (Great Pond Sangha is part of North Parish, gathers for regular sitting and moving meditation time, and is always open to visitors.)

Leading: Susan Malloy and friends

July 31st – “My Spirit Journey with the Blues”

Music touches people’s hearts in deep and enduring ways that words often fail to do. Music helps people live through desperate situations, provides soothing comfort in times of loss, brings back sweet memories of certain relationships, connects individuals to one another in a kind of musical community. (We’re “one in the spirit” when we sing certain songs congregationally). Come learn about how the blues feeds my soul and see how your favorite music can evoke stirrings of hope, faith, and love, and carries you to places beyond ourselves where we can connect with others and with Spirit.

Leader: Cara Forcino, a life-long UU, has been a member of North Parish for over 29 years. She has taught in the RE program, was an Our Whole Lives facilitator, a Coming of Age mentor and Senior Youth Advisor. Cara has facilitated/participated in Small Group Ministry, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, Women of Wisdom & the Assistant Minister Search Committee. She facilitated a yearlong series on “isms” which laid the ground for the Racial Justice Team. Cara has been Assistant Collector, Worship Assistant Trainer/Coordinator, a delegate at many UUA General Assemblies and a regular summer worship leader. Currently, she serves as a Worship Assistant and Usher. She has worked at Northern Essex Community College for 23 years, 20 in the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services. Her daughter and grandchild live near-by, as well as her mother. Since 2018, she has been involved in the dog rescue transport world which is very rewarding.

August 7th – Prayer in Many Forms

“Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred.” -Hafiz
Music, poetry, movement, mantras etc. are all forms of prayer as much as traditional recitations. Let’s experience some of these together and maybe learn to appreciate new ways to pray.

Leader: Rev. Denise VanVooren is an ordained Interfaith Minister, Chaplain, End of Life Doula and Reiki Master who loves all forms of spiritual inquiry and expression. She will be leading three summer services and Tuesday evening vespers.

August 14th – “Finding the Joy”

The past couple of years have provided an opportunity for us to clarify what is essential for joy in our lives as well as where it’s been lacking. What that means and how we get there are unique to each one of us. Join Simone, Jess, and Lorryn as they share what they’ve learned about their journeys of joy in hopes that we all can capture more of it in the days to come.

Leaders: Lorryn Kinkaid has been coming to North Parish with her family since 2004. Adulting throws her off completely. Married with 3 sons, 2 jobs, and a dog, she is learning that connection and creativity, in its many forms, opens pathways for grounding and joy. She’s also a self-proclaimed UU nerd.

Jess MacLeod has been a member of North Parish since 2017. She has recently become dedicated to the task of knowing herself beyond the terms and limits she created as a workaholic. Jess is a mother of a creative young person and tries to spend as much time making art with her daughter as is tolerable to the youth.

Simone Vermette has been at North Parish since 2014. The past 3 years have included coparenting two teen boys, working from home, singing, and farming.

August 21st – Contemplative Circle – Our Unique Gifts

“You are unquenchable spirit, a heart of light called to make more than just an appearance”. We’ll share music, poems and prayers that express how we are all worthy and needed to create beloved community.

Leader: Rev. Denise VanVooren is an ordained Interfaith Minister, Chaplain, End of Life Doula and Reiki Master who loves all forms of spiritual inquiry and expression. She will be leading three summer services and Tuesday evening vespers.

August 28th – An Introduction to Unitarian and Universalist Theology

We UUs know what it feels like to attend a UU church, especially if we’re comparing it to a different church–perhaps the one we grew up in. But defining what UUism is can be a challenge; explaining it to someone unfamiliar with the church can be tricky. What do these words “Unitarianism” and “Universalism” actually mean? What is their origin story, and how did we get from those origins to the denomination we are familiar with today?

Leader: Aaron Pawelek is chair of the worship committee at North Parish. He is also involved in the music program and leads a Soul Matters small group. He is a licensed clinical social worker practicing psychotherapy with the New England Pastoral Institute in Salem, NH. He has a dual masters degree from Boston University in social work and theology. While at BU, he learned a lot about the history of Unitarian and Universalist thought and is pleased to share his perspective with you.

September 4th, Labor Day Weekend – no service!


September 11th, Ingathering & Water/Shell/Stone Communion

10:00 am in the Sanctuary, with the Rev. Lee Bluemel & John Middleton-Cox.

Additional Gatherings and Events

A Summer Gathering

At the home of Linda and Jeff King
Friday July 1st, 5:00 pm (rain date Sat. July 2nd)
Register here (Registration closes June 27th.)

Gather at the North Andover home of Linda and Jeff King for social time with North Parish friends. The Kings will supply non-alcoholic drinks and snacks/appetizers. Bring any other drinks you wish. We will have a hot grill available after 6pm if you would like to bring dinner to cook (along with a side to share). Please bring chairs and warm clothes to put on as the sun sets. If the weather allows, we will have a firepit after dinner for those that wish to linger. We will send the address to those who register.

Historic Speeches on the Common

North Andover Town Common
Monday, July 4th, 12:00 pm

Please join The Friends of the 1836 Meeting House including John Lenhoff, Keith Wentzel, and the North Andover Historical Society for this 3rd annual event. The program will include local leaders and activists reading the Declaration of Independence and other historic speeches and documents including segments from the Frederick Douglass speech The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Susan B. Anthony On Woman’s Right to Suffrage, Martin Luther King’s speech I Have a Dream, and President Johnson’s speech to Congress on Voting Rights and the American Promise.

North Parish @ the Sunday Concerts on the Common

Sundays at 6 pm, July 10th – August 21st
White Street Band on August 7th!
Alice and the Groove Diggers on August 21st!

The Sunday night Concerts on the Common are an opportunity for the whole family to meet up with other North Parish members and friends and enjoy some outdoor musical entertainment just outside our doors on the Town Common.
Concerts are every Sunday, July 10th – August 21st at 6pm. North Parish will be out in force on August 7th and 21st, to support our own White Street Band and Alice and the Groove Diggers! Bring your own blanket or chairs; come early with snacks and drinks to socialize ahead of the music. The shows are put on by the town’s Youth & Recreation Services. See the line-up of all the performers here.

Family Outdoor Adventures:

Saturday, July 30th (rain date Sunday July 31)
Saturday August 20th
(no rain date due to need for advanced reservations)

Join Keith Connors and Heather McNeil outdoors to connect with each other and commune with nature. We will be hosting two outings – one to the Charles W. Ward Reservation/Holt Hill in Andover on July 30th and one to Pawtuckaway State Park (Park Reservations Required in Advance) in Nottingham, NH on August 20th.

RSVP/Forms/Reservations required. Click here for all you need to know and the RSVP. Email or call Keith at or 617.571.7477 or Heather at or 978.387.4254 for more information.

Tuesday Evening Vespers

In Person, once a month the 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 – 7:15 pm
June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13
Via Zoom once a month the 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 – 7:15 pm
June 21st, July 19th, (skipping August), September 20th

Vespers are an opportunity to refresh your spirit with recorded music, poetry, prayer, and silent reflection. In fine warm weather, we will meet in the Labyrinth, and in inclement weather meet in the Chapel. Please contact Denise VanVooren at with any questions. To view the full Vespers schedule, click here.

Meeting ID: 836 3180 2386; Passcode: NP2022

Monthly Vespers Themes

June: Approaching Summer
July: In Need of Community
August: Listening
September: Vision of What Can Be