First Parish Church, 10 Central St., Manchester, is offering the following events during the holiday season.

Christmas Caroling in the Community will be held during the Festival by the Sea shopping night on Friday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m., on the steps of the church. A "twinkly light" photo booth will be available for guests to have their pictures taken in front of the church's outdoor decorations.

Quiet services of prayer, poetry, and candle lighting will take place from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on three Saturdays: Dec. 7, 14 and 21.

The First Parish Choir, including vocalists Rebecca Shrimpton and Paul Knox, will present "Once Upon a Night," a cantata with words and music by Pepper Choplin, during 10 a.m. Sunday service on Dec. 15. The piece is inspired by the events preceding the birth of Jesus and the celebration of his birth. 

Talk on guns in America

We Are America The Beautiful, a non-partisan civic action initiative co-founded by Manchester artist and activist Therese Melden, will host a dinner and discussion about "Gun Sense in America" on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.

State Rep. Paul Tucker, who previously served as chief of the Salem Police Department, and Rebecca O'Brien, member of Moms Demand Action North Shore, will lead the discussion at Pingree School, 537 Highland St., Hamilton. Topics include family safety, current gun laws and gun violence advocacy.

Admission is free. RSVPs are required at or by emailing Melden at

Melden founded We Are America The Beautiful in December 2016 alongside Kim Woods, an author and corporate strategist from Beverly. The organization seeks to engage neighbors to learn about the status of national events, the impact of local action and the importance of voting thoughtfully. Further information is available at the

Farmer workshop

Essex Greenbelt presents "Finding Farmland," a free workshop for farmers seeking affordable farmland, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 5 to 8:30 p.m.., at the Bee Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds, 207 Boston St., Topsfield.

The workshop’s goals are to discuss the costs associated with acquiring farmland, strategies for finding affordable tenure, and financing options. It will be led by Michael Parker, land access program associate with the National Young Farmers Coalition, a national advocacy network of young farmers fighting for the future of agriculture. 

A complimentary dinner will be provided before the presentation from 5 to 5:30 p.m. RSVPs are required at or by contacting Jane Rumrill at or 978-768-7241, ext. 17.  

For more information on the National Young Farmers Coalition, visit  

Quick hits

* All grave decorations at Manchester cemeteries must be removed by Monday, Dec. 2, for grounds maintenance, according to the Department of Public Works. Any items left behind will be disposed of. 

Town Talk is compiled by Michael Cronin. If you have a news tip or an item for Town Talk, please contact him at 978-675-2708, or

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