Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 1/14/2021

Weekly Link 1-14-2021

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, January 17, 2021 10:30am

January Worship Theme: BEING

“Reform the Assumptions”

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Elise Henricks

Music: Tim Steele

Audio Engineer: Brynne Mershon

Virtual Social Hour Host: Ruth HannonPlease see the zoom link below. Please log in at 10:20, to give some lead time for the service at 10:30. You will be muted, but you can communicate through the chat box. If you do not have zoom on your computer, please download it ahead of time. It is free. 

Please be on the lookout for an Order of Worship which will be emailed to you on Friday, 1/15

Sunday’s offering will go to the International Institute of New England.  The mission of the IINE is to create opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship.  Emma Tobin, Chief External Relations Officer at IINE, will tell us more about this important organization. Emma leads the effort to raise IINE’s external profile and expand its base of supporters. For more info

We’ve added the offering to the service with a new way to give- text to giving! We will continue having a social hour after services. Just stay on the Zoom worship call.  It will be good to worship together. Do join us on Sunday if you can!

And so we are coming into this next week with anticipation and apprehension, optimism and cynicism, freshly made perspectives and tired old assumptions.  We’ve already experienced nearly a year of “never before” life; walking into, yet again, more layers of recovery, reimagining, and restoring hope.  Breathe.

Be careful. Keep vigilant. Practice kindness.  Breathe.

When large conflicts are occurring and fear of the unknown hovers, it is hard to focus in on a way through.  My colleague, Rev. Stephen Schick pointed out that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., prophet, activist, and navigator of sustained hardship, spoke, right before receiving the Nobel Peace prize, of three dimensions of a complete life.  He described the qualities of length, breadth, and height.  Length has to do with an inward concern for one’s own welfare, for one’s own length of life.  Breadth has to do with expanding one’s circle of advocacy and agency by an outward concern for others.  And the height of life has to do with the reach toward God, however you might name that larger presence that abides. 

Care for yourself.  Care for others.  Practice faith.  Breathe.

I’ve had the opportunity to attend several First Parish meetings and gatherings this week.  What I am delighted and humbled to find is that this community is strengthening in length, breadth and height as we reach beyond assumed barriers to connect with one another.  We are teaching each other, assuring each other, and willing to support our aspirations of a just and healthy world.

Keep going.  Find each other.  Practice community.  Breathe.

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration


Family Spirit Circle: Family Spirit Circle packets will be delivered soon. The theme will be embracing winter and the silent wisdom of stones. Email if you need the family spirit circle newsletter or would like to be added to our distribution list of RE families.

Minecraft for All Ages: Our Minecraft group will meet on January 17 at 4:30 pm to decide whether the group wants to continue, change to a different format, or disband.

Please email if you would like to participate. You will need a copy of Minecraft (Java preferred but we have a server for Bedrock players as well) and an account. Let us know if you need help getting set up.

High School Youth: We are seeking ideas for our next youth event. Please email with suggestions or questions.

[In-person religious exploration programs are suspended until we are able to gather together safely. There will be no Sunday morning nursery care, classroom programming, or youth group activities at First Parish Milton while worship services remain virtual only. Fear not! Religious exploration is continuing as we experiment with new ideas and approaches in this time of liminal space.]


This Sunday we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Guest soloist Brianna Robinson will be singing “Decisions” by Adolphus Hailstork, based on a text by Dr. King. Ms. Robinson is an Emerging Artist with Boston Lyric Opera and will be one of the soloists for the livestream benefit concert on January 31st, “Still Dreaming: A Musical Tribute to MLK”.

Another eminent Black American composer will also be represented this Sunday, as Grace Allendorf will be singing “Grief”, by William Grant Still, text by Leroy V. Brant.

Table of Contents

For Events, News and Announcements 

1.   Inauguration Eve

2.   MCC

3.   Young Adult vision session via Zoom

4.   Social Hour Host sign-up\

5.   Yoga

6.   Covid Testing

7.   Blessing Bags

8.   Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Celebration-Virtual

9.   Zero Carbon Home Webinar

10. UUU Ministry Community Conversation

11  Racial Justice Conversations

12  Membership Committee Upcoming Events

13. Lunch brigade & Father Bills volunteer opportunity

14. Fair Foods volunteer opportunity

15. Weekly Meditation

Events, News & Announcements

Inauguration Eve

As part of the inauguration for President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris, a lighting ceremony is scheduled at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor those killed by the coronavirus. The Inauguration Planning Committee asks all places of worship nation-wide to participate by lighting their spiritual homes and ringing their bells on inauguration eve, January 19th at 5:30 pm. At that time, you may come to First Parish by car or by foot for the bell ringing. Of course, please wear your mask and maintain social distance.

photo courtesy of Owen Hartford


Please mark the date on your calendars for Milton Community Concert’s first event of the year, a one-hour livestream benefit concert on Sunday, January 31st at 3pm: “Still Dreaming: A Musical Tribute to MLK”.

This concert will feature a diverse and prestigious group of performers and composers in a program to benefit the Neponset Neighbors Together Fund through the UnitedWay.Produced in collaboration with Courageous Conversations for RacialJustice (

Join Rev. Lisa, Katie Vhay, and Jonah Beukman for a Zoom visioning session to discuss the possibility of a young adult group at First Parish Milton. (Zoom details forthcoming.)

Here are some questions we would like to explore with young adults (and their advocates)  

1) What brought you to First Parish in Milton?

2) What would you like to get out of a Young Adult Group?

3)How might a Young Adult Group be a part of our faith community?

Interested? Please contact the office: office@fpmilton

The Hospitality Committee wishes everyone a Happy New Year!  First Parishwill continue to have Zoom social hours while the church services areremote. If you haven’t attended, you should!  It’s a great way to touch base withfriends, old and new. But in order to keep this going, we need your help!Please sign up to host one or more social hours. For those of you who love doing it, the more dates the better!  (If youhaven’t done it yet, the Zoom skills required are pretty rudimentary andwe’ll provide training.) Please sign up!Please click here for more info on hosting

Start the new year off with something that is good for body and mind with Yoga!

Monday nights 6:30-7:30pm with yoga instructor Elyse ~ virtually via Zoom

Elyse describes her yoga classes as slow flow Vinyasa with modifications offered to allow for all levels. Use your breath, poses and meditation to regulate your nervous system and allow yourself to come up for some air. This class is open to all- even  if you never attended the in-person yoga classes before!

Cost for the yoga classes: $15 for one class, or 8 for $80. If you previously paid for yoga classes that were cancelled due to the pandemic, we are honoring those payments.

If you are new and need to pay for classes, you can do so with ease from your cell phone. Text (617) 539-7576 and the amount you are paying with the word “yoga”- so a text message would say “$15 yoga”. For those of you that have already set up text giving with us, it is the same phone number and system, so you will not have to set up another account. If you haven’t set up text for giving, when you text the number, it’ll prompt you to create an account. Once you create the account, giving really is as simple as a text message. You can always mail a check to the church (putting yoga in memo line) if that is more comfortable for you.

Town of Milton to  host free, drive-through Covid-19 testing on – Sunday, January 17th, from 10am to 3pm at the DPW Yard located at 629 Randolph Avenue.

On Monday, January 18th,  the towns of Milton and Mattapan will celebrate the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King by contributing to a Blessing Bag service project, offered through the MIlton Interfaith Clergy Association (MICA).

First Parish invites you to contribute to this Blessing Bag project by  purchasing and dropping off items (from the list below) at First Parish.   There are bins in the carriage house (lower parking lot), which are labeled “Blessing Bags”. You can begin dropping items off at First Parish starting Saturday, January 9th until noon on January 17.  You can also assemble full bags at home and drop them off in the bins as a family project.

The blessings bags will be brought downtown for distribution to the MANNA community duringits weekly Monday Lunch Program. This is the list of items we are collecting: 

  • white unscented barsoap
  • toothbrush
  • comb
  • shampoo
  • deodorant
  • toothpaste
  • hand lotion
  • sunblock
  • tissues
  • small hand sanitizer
  • paper face mask
  • all sized to be packed into a gallon sized freezer Ziploc bag.

Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Monday, January 18, 2021 @ 6:30pm

2021 Theme

We Must Learn to Live Together

as Brothers and Sisters or Perish as Fools

Keynote Speaker

Reverend Irene Monroe

ordained minister and motivational speaker

Monroe does a weekly Monday segment, “All Revved Up !” on WGBH (89.7 FM),

a Boston member station of National Pulic Radio (NPR), that is now a podcast.

How to Access the Celebration

The public is invited to join the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association (MICA)

as we remember and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click to Register

Does the new year have you wondering “How to Cut your Heating Bill,Electric Bill, and Carbon Footprint to Zero”?

What does it actually mean to be net-zero, and how does it relate to Climate Change?

Tune in to *THE ZERO CARBON HOME*, a free webinar sponsored by First Parish ChurchConcord’s Environmental Team on Thursday, January 19, at 7-8 p.m.

The presenter (“someone who has done it”) is author David Green.  Q+A follows the presentation.  Event participants receive a free copy of his e-book. Pre-register here:

Tune in to UU Urban Ministry Community Conversation Several months ago, the Rev Mary Margaret Earl joined our worship service to share news from the Urban Ministry at First Church in Roxbury.  She invited us to participate in a series of Community Conversations organized by the Urban Ministry.

The next Conversation is on January 26:“What’s Happening to Roxbury: A Conversation on Gentrification and Displacement,” featuring Roxbury Native, Marisa Luse, a life-long Roxbury resident who considers her neighborhood the “village” that nurtured and raised her. She has extensive nonprofit management, community engagement and civic leadership experience.

Tune in from 6 to 7:30 on the 26th. Link coming soon! Register here!

Special thanks to Conversation sponsor First Parish in LexingtonBrought to you by the Social and Environmental Justice Committee

Racial Justice Focus GroupConversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa, Timothy Ellis and Debbie Alsebaimeets on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays monthlyAll are Welcome!

Next Session: Wednesday, January 27, 7:00pm – 8:30 pm

This focus group has been meeting since August. Each session is rich with stories, insights, questions, learning, re-learning, sharing of resources, sharing of wisdom. Each session stands alone, so you are welcome to attend at any meeting. Consistent attendance helps deepen trust and exploration. Dismantling systemic racism in ourselves and communities occurs incrementally, discovery by discovery. We recognize the importance of this life-long journey toward transformation and that it is a shared endeavor.  Contact the office to receive the zoom link:

Upcoming Zoom Events sponsored by the Membership Committtee

Chili & Cornbread

January 29th 6:00pm-7:30pm

Email Debbie Alsebai at  and let her know if you would like to join this fun event !  Recipe and shopping list will be sent to you.

Improv NightFebuary 13th 7:00pm-8:30pm 

 ~~~ Poetry SalonFebruary 23rd 7:00pm-8:30pm

 Hope to see you there ! more information to come

Volunteers are needed on January 27th. Volunteers acquire food and pack 10-20 lunches and deliver to the church between 12:45-1pm on Delivery day. One team lead drives all the lunches to the shelter in Brockton.

 If you can help, please contact Peter Schneider at for instructions or if you already know the drill, signup on our Mainspring Signup

Genius – please indicate number of lunches you will bring.