March

30 Good Friday: 12:30 p.m., Union Congregational Church, 218 Main Street, Groton.

Stations of the Cross: St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church will join together to offer a Community Stations of the Cross, a devotion that follows Jesus' path to his crucifixion. The public is invited to gather at St. Andrew's at noon for the Good Friday Liturgy. The Procession of the Cross, led by The Rev. Joyce Scherer-Hoock, Rector of St. Andrew's and The Rev. Susan Gaeta, Pastor of Shepherd of the Valley, will leave from St. Andrew's and move through Ayer, stopping at various points along the way to meditate on specific events from Jesus' last day. This mini pilgrimage will end at Shepherd of the Valley's new home at The Federated Church of Ayer. Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is an ELCA congregation. Sunday worship services are held at 10:15 am The Federated Church of Ayer at 21 Washington Street. For more information, please visit www.sov-lc.org. St. Andrew's is located at 7 Faulkner Street and is an open and affirming church. Sunday Celebration of the Holy Eucharist is at 9:30 am. Child care is available. Please visit www.standrewsayer.org for more information.

Good Friday Service: 7 p.m. Sanctuary, First Parish Church of Groton. Join us for this simple and peaceful service of reflection, silence and music as we encounter Jesus' last words, paired with poetry.


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The message of our Good Friday service is that life and death, sorrow and joy are intertwined. All are welcome to this time to prepare ourselves for the joy of Easter morning and those who are grieving a loss or in need of healing are especially welcome. This service is most appropriate for adults and older youth. Child Care will be provided.

31 Contra Dance: Groton Grange #7 invites you to our traditional New England Contra Dance, 7:30 - 10 p.m. at Historic Groton Grange Hall, 80 Champney Street. This will be an evening of live music and dancing with Groton's own Contra Banditos along with caller Beth Parks, who will teach traditional New England style contra, square, and line dances to the beat of old time fiddle tunes. Beginners are welcome, no experience or partner is necessary. Donation at the door is $5 per person, children under 3 are free, family maximum is $20. This is made possible by a grant from the Town of Groton's Trust Fund Lecture Series.

Easter Egg Hunt: Townsend VFW Post #6538 and its Auxiliary will hold an Easter Egg Hunt on the VFW grounds in West Townsend. Children nine years of age or younger who live in Townsend or are relatives of Townsend VFW Post or Auxiliary members are welcome to participate. The children should gather in front of the VFW Function Hall prior to the 2 p.m. (sharp) starting time. The young people must bring their own bags, pails, or baskets to hold their finds. It is rumored that the Easter Bunny might make an appearance at the Easter Egg Hunt. This very active Veterans group requests that you only bring children who live in Townsend to the Easter Egg Hunt unless you are affiliated with the Townsend VFW Post or its Auxiliary, that you are prompt, and that you allow the children to locate the Easter eggs without adult coaching.

Easter Vigil Service: 7:30 p.m., beginning in the Fellowship Hall. Shepherd of the Valley services are held in the sanctuary of the Federated Church, 21 Washington Street, Ayer.

April

1 Easter Sunday: 10 a.m., Union Congregational Church, 218 Main Street, Groton. Traditional Family Worship. Holy Communion will be served. Senior Choir, Handbell Choir and Trumpet.

Easter Sunday: 10:15 a.m. Shepherd of the Valley services are held in the sanctuary of the Federated Church, 21 Washington Street, Ayer.

Sunrise Service: 6:15 a.m., 100 Hollis Street, Groton. Come greet the dawn on Easter Morning! All are welcome to the Easter Sunrise Service in the field at 100 Hollis Street, Groton with a beautiful view of sunrise over Gibbet Hill. Dress warmly, hope for clear skies, bring your coffee and come greet Easter morning. In case of heavy rain or snow, call the church office at 978-448-6307 and listen to the outgoing recording or check the church website (www.uugroton.org) or our Facebook page (First Parish Church of Groton, MA). Easter services at the church, 10 a.m.

Easter Sunday: 9:30 a.m., St. Andrew's Church. The service will include a full choir, instrumentalists, and a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. The service will be preceded by a Colossal Easter Egg Hunt for young children at 9 a.m. The public is welcome. St. Andrew's is located at 7 Faulkner Street in Ayer and is an open and affirming congregation. Child care for infants and toddlers during worship services is available at no charge at 9:15 am. For more information, please visit www.standrewsayer.org. Easter Egg Hunt: 9 a.m. on the common in front of First Parish Church, Groton. Children of all ages from toddlers to middle schoolers are welcome to hunt for surprise-filled eggs on the common in front of the church (or inside if the snow piles are bad!) Bring boots for mud and your own basket if you like. The littlest ones and kids with mobility challenges or other special needs get extra time and we make sure there are plenty of eggs for all. There will be coffee and pastry for grown ups too.

Breakfast: The Ayer Masonic Association will hold its monthly fund raising breakfast at the Ayer Masonic Center 11 Sculley Road, Ayer. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Menu includes eggs cooked to order or pancakes with bacon, sausage, or hash and potatoes, toast, juice and coffee. In addition to the usual menu as outlined above, specials for this month are Eggs Benedict and Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.

2 Friends of Pepperell Seniors: 1 p.m. at the Pepperell Senior Center. All ages from all towns are invited to join.

5 Spaghetti Dinner: The VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post No. 6538 will hold a spaghetti dinner at the 491 Main Street, West Townsend, VFW Post Home from 6 to 8 p.m. The meal of spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, and bread and butter will be served for $7. A meat-less sauce will be available for those who would prefer it. Dessert may be enjoyed for $2. The dinner is open to the public.

6 Dueling Pianos: Get ready for an evening of laughter and music with the antics of Rob Steen and company at Habitat for Humanity's "Dueling Pianos" event at the Devens Common Center. Tickets are $70 per person for Dinner and the Show or $40 per person for the SHOW ONLY. The Dinner and Show package includes a three-course plated dinner with choice of Baked Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, Marinated Beef Tips, or a Vegetarian selection as well as premium seating for the show. A cash bar will also be available. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. A Cocktail Hour with complimentary light appetizers and desserts along with the cash bar for "Show Only Patrons" will begin at 7 p.m. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. A Silent Auction will be held at the start of the evening. Winners will be announced during the show's intermission. Sponsorship opportunities for the event are also available, offered at various support levels with multiple recognition benefits for local businesses, groups and individual donors. For tickets, visit ncmhabitat.org Tickets and sponsorship information are also available by calling the Habitat for Humanity NCM office at 978-348-2749. The Devens Common Center is located at 31 Andrews Parkway in Devens.

Nature Photographs with Nancy Lebedzinski: 9:45 a.m. at the Pepperell Senior Center, free to all.

7 Halalisa Singers: Under the direction of artistic director Mary Cunningham reprise highlights from their extensive repertoire in Best of The Halalisa Singers: Favorites from 25 Years of Singing. The group's 30 singers includes Ayer resident Bob Williams. They will be accompanied by percussionist Bertram Lehmann and pianist Trevor Berens. Tickets are $20, $15 advance. For information call 781-648-5579, email info@halalisa.org, or visit www.halalisa.org. Saturday, April 7, 8 p.m. at Follen Church, 755 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington. Sunday, April 8, 3 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, 239 Woburn St., Reading.

Seder at First Parish Church of Groton: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All Are Welcome to the celebration of the Jewish Festival of Liberation. Our Seder is for everyone - all ages, all beliefs, Jews and non-Jews alike. Family, friends and guests are invited and especially welcome. We tell the story of how the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt and we re-dedicate ourselves to the present day struggle for freedom and justice for all people. If you have never been to a Seder before, this is a wonderful introduction. We explain all the rituals, translate the Hebrew so everyone understands what is being said, and focus on making a meaningful connection between this ancient story and our current circumstances and lives, all in a relaxed, lively, kid friendly atmosphere. The Seder is free of charge but donations will be gratefully accepted. Each family will be asked to bring a potluck dish (we can give you recipes as well as guidelines about unleavened foods to bring). For more information or to sign up, please call the church office at 978-448-6307 and leave your contact information or email us at dwebster@uugroton.org and we will get back to you with details.

Linen and Flax: In Colonial America most New England farmers grew some flax that could be processed, spun, and woven into linen. At 7 p.m., a display all about linen and flax will open at the Shirley Historical Society Museum. Spinning wheels, yarn reels, and a niddy noddy will be on display along with vintage items made out of linen. Information about the history of flax will be shared and visitors can try their hand at drop spindle spinning. The flax-to-linen display will remain up through the summer and visitors can come see it on Mondays or Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Museum is located at #182 Center Road in Shirley. For more information, telephone 978-425-9328 or email mail@shirleyhistory.org.

10 The Role of Tea in the American Revolution: 7 p.m., Lawrence Library, Pepperell. Danielle Beaudette of the Cozy Tea Cart in Brookline, NH will lead the discussion.

Wonderful World of Worms: Groton Grange # 7 invites you to the 3rd Lecture in the 2018 Agricultural Lecture Series, 7 p.m. at the Grange Hall, 80 Champtney St. Groton. The Wonderful World of Worms will be presented by Clio Fisher. Huge, big, little, littler and really tiny, worms come in all sizes and they do all sorts of fantastic things here on Mother Earth. Worms plow, bury, fertilize, eat garbage, bait hooks, and they think....or something very close to it. They have amazing abilities that make them the superheroes of the earth. There will be a bowl of gummy worms for you to try in case you have never eaten a worm before. Parking allowed only on the Grange side of Champney St.

Audiobooks and Your Empire of Words: Groton Public Library, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Ever wonder how audiobooks get made or how to start producing your own? Audiobook voice-actor and producer Colby Elliott will show you how it's done! Come learn about this unique, local business!

11 Let the Landscape Speak: Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Structures in the Northeast: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Lawrence Library, 15 Main St., Pepperell. The forests of New England are dotted with living prayers of stone (Ceremonial Stone Landscapes) created by the Indigenous peoples of this region. The traditional belief is that these stone structures were placed to create and restore harmony between human beings and Mother Earth. The prayers they embody continue to live as long as the stones are kept intact. Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office will give an illustrated talk about the various forms of ceremonial stone landscape in our area and how you can help preserve them. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Pepperell Local Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Preparing, Dividing, Planting, and Soil Improvement by Weston Nurseries: 6:45 p.m. at the Pepperell Senior Center, sponsored by Pepperell Garden Club. $5 guest, $2 seniors. All welcome and refreshments served. This lecture will help us with a great spring start.

Invasive Species: Groton Invasive Species Committee will hold a session on the Emerald Ash Borer, Legion Hall, 75 Hollis St, Groton. Refreshments and networking at 6 p.m., presentation at 7 p.m.

12 Friends of Lawrence Library Pepperell: 10:15 a.m. at the library. Come discuss plans for future activities at the library. Free babysitting is available and refreshments served.

Sisters In Crime: Ayer Library, 6:30 p.m. A panel of accomplished crime authors, Kate Flora, Ruth McCarty and Leslie Wheeler, will discuss how real life events inform their work.

14 Concert: The Shirley Meeting House welcomes singer-songwriter Nancy Beaudette at 7p.m. Blending brave and honest songwriting, first-rate musicianship, and a huge helping of native Canadian wit, Nancy Beaudette is an artist of songs and heart. She was raised near Cornwall, Ontario, a place sustained by farming and millwork where French and English languages were friendly neighbors. Her songwriting delves into those roots, weaving a nostalgic past into lush songs of familial history, good-humored folly and poignant observations of life and loss. Come and experience first-hand all the warmth and welcome of a Canadian kitchen party! Suggested Donation: $15

15 Nashua Valley Model Railroad Association: Open house, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 2 Shaker Road, Shirley. Attractions include the operation of our 2,000 square foot model train layout which depicts the Boston and Maine Railroad running from Portland Maine to Mechanicville NY. Multiple trains with sound will be running and will be fun for both young and old. Model railroad enthusiasts are encouraged to attend.

18 Ed the Wizard: "Reading is Magic," will appear at the Ayer Library starting at 10:30 a.m. Inspired by the book series "Harry Potter," Ed the Wizard weaves together the importance of building and maintaining one's reading skills with his interactive magic performance. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Ayer Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

21 Groton Litter Clean-Up: Groton Grange #7 is holding its annual Town-wide Litter CleanUp on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Our booth will be in front of the Prescott School on Main Street. We will have the Bikes not Bombs organization with us again. They will be accepting used bikes to be re-conditioned for distribution around the world. They will be there on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be a $10 donation to cover their cost for re-conditioning the Bikes. Gloves and trash bags will be provided for those who join us in the Town-Wide Litter Cleanup.

Finding and Shaping your Story with Paul Hertneky: Seven Bridges Writers Collaborative,10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thayer Memorial Library, 717 Main Street, Lancaster.

22 Energy Healing with Hannelore Nalesnik: An introduction to energy healing, a practice to activate the body's subtle energy systems to remove blocks and stimulate healing, 2 p.m., Groton Public Library.

27 Spring Plant Sale: Friday 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon at Kimball Farm, 400 Littleton Rd, Westford. All items may be ordered in advance through March 31; to place an order visit middlesexconservation.org or call 978-692-9395 to request a catalog. The sale includes tree/shrub seedlings, perennials, fruits, groundcovers and garden supplies. All sale proceeds benefit environmental programs, protecting soils and waters in Middlesex County.

29 Concert: The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden will host Indian Hill Cello Ensemble, led by Indian faculty member Cynthia Forbes at 3 p.m.. Enjoy the beautiful setting of the Healing Garden, combined with phenomenal acoustics, as you listen to a variety of classical works. The Healing Garden, a non-profit organization, is located at 145 Bolton Road in Harvard and offers support, educational and therapeutic services to those affected by cancer. Admission is $15 (tickets only sold at the door). All proceeds benefit the services of the Healing Garden. Visit healinggarden.net for event updates or cancellations.

May

19 Armed Forces Day: Open House at the Fort Devens Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June

30 Pepperell 4th of July: 10 a.m. parade, fireworks after dusk, more events to come!

July

12 The Wall That Heals: On display from July 12 to 15 at Crocker Field in Fitchburg.

28 World War I Living History Weekend: July 28 and 29, Fort Devens Museum.