Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 1/26/2017

Weekly Link 1-26-17


This Week in Worship

10:30 a.m. in the Meetinghouse — Sunday, January 29, 2017

This month’s theme: Potential

Rev. LisaMessage from Rev. Lisa

So we were getting ready for the bus trip down to Washington to join the hundreds of thousands who converged there last Saturday: tons of details, a lot of excitement. Someone offered to lend a camera to take pictures – “we need media release forms” chimed in Kiki Giatis, our Congregational Life Director. We then spoke of how we each should have buddies to keep track of each other; “we need liability forms” reminds Kiki, “and they need to be signed and collected days before the trip”.

Kiki is often the voice in a discussion that reminds us of the larger picture and the need for process for safety and equal treatment of all. It could be felt like discouragement, when in fact it’s a clear sign that Kiki has our back. It’s no fun having to say “no” or “slow down” or “have you considered”, but it is often the best way to administer a smooth operation that can be repeated, or, perhaps, improved. In this first year, Kiki and I are focusing in on procedures, with the help of the Parish Committee, to build an infrastructure that supports church gatherings and programming.

With humor and care, Kiki is applying her expertise on our behalf. I’ve found her here on Saturdays and during holidays, just to chart out our goings on in a way that administrates our work safely, legally, and efficiently. We’ve had a resurgence of activities and filled in areas of operation that had lost some momentum. I’ve admired how Kiki juggles the changes and willingly steps into new learning curves. I am grateful to share the shaping of the ministry of operations with Kiki.

Blessings Be,

Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

Laurel Whitehouse
Director of Religious Education

  • Nursery care will be available from 9:00 am to noon for infants and toddlers.
  • Preschool children through grade 8 will attend the first part of the worship service in the Meetinghouse and then move to the Children’s Church for a service on the many forms of Prayer.
  • Please note that Children’s Church ends at 11:40 am. Children will be walked over to join Social Hour in the Parish Hall and need to be met there by a parent.
  • Our Whole Lives class for Grades 8 and 9: Does not meet this weekend.
  • Youth Chat will meet from 10:30 to 11:30 am and Youth Group will meet from noon to approximately 1 pm. Both groups meet in the Youth room upstairs.

Our Spirit Play Children Need Your Help

Our Spirit Play class is in need of adults to act as doorkeeper on seven Sundays this spring. After starting the service in the meetinghouse, the doorkeeper helps the children find their way to the classroom, joins them while they listen to a story, and then assists the storyteller as the children respond to the story with simple craft activities. It’s a great way to get to know some of First Parish’s preschool and kindergarten children.

We are hoping that many of you will be willing to act as doorkeeper for even a single Sunday morning, so that we can share our responsibility for our children as a community. If you would be willing to give your time on one or more Sundays this spring, please visit our Spirit Play Sign Up Genius at and choose a date to help out. If you’ve never taught before, or haven’t taught recently, please also fill out a CORI check form and drop it off in the office in advance of your scheduled Sunday.

If you are interested in other teaching opportunities, or taking on a larger role in the education of our children and youth, please talk to Laurel Whitehouse or Bridget Sitkoff – we would love to include more voices in our program!

Save the date: Spaghetti Dinner and Game Night

on Friday, February 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Don’t miss it!
Youth Group-sponsored Spaghetti Dinner includes pasta, meatballs, salad and bread for $5 per person (gluten-free pasta available).

Proceeds will help fund youth group participation in a spring service trip led by CityReach Boston.

Membership Committee will be providing desserts and co-sponsoring this event. Please bring feel free to bring your favorite game for all ages.

News and Announcements

Congratulations to Charlie Franich and Ruth Hannon – Proud grandparents of Darla June Sanders, born at 2:45 am on Wednesday, January 25th.


Father Bill’s meal prep and serving lunch is this Saturday, January 28th. Please contact Peter for more information!!!

InterPlay: Unlock the Wisdom of Your Body

When: Saturday, February 11 from 1 – 3 pm

Interplay is coming to First Parish! Rev. Lisa, a certified Interplay Leader, would like to start a monthly group at First Parish. Interplay is a way of engaging in community to inspire wisdom toward wellness through story-telling, movement, and play. All bodies of any ability are welcome. It is a way to release tension, find your groove and feel embraced in community. Try it for a couple of hours – wear comfortable clothes. Saturday, February 11, from 1pm – 3pm in the Parish Hall.


Plan ahead – think NOW about what you might be able to contribute for the auction and prepare for what you want to bid in our Auction!

Please see the Announcement in our Order of Worship for Sunday or on the Information Tables in the Parish Hall Foyer and Stebbins Parlor.

If you have any questions at all, call or email your Humble Auctioneer, Chris Pitt.

– All Church Council has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 12, 2017. Mark your calendars –

Stewardship News

Each week we will have a Faith in Action commentary from our various committees in The Link and Sunday Announcements leading up to Commitment Sunday, March 12. Thanks to the Caring Committee to be the First Faith in Action column.

Faith in Action – Caring Committee

The Caring Committee is here to help members of our faith community in times of need. Our mission states that we challenge ourselves and our fellow congregants to be aware of our connections to each other. Our intent is to respond with compassion to the expressed needs and concerns of the members of our community. We send cards, deliver meals, provide rides, and make phone calls. We also facilitate this care within the congregation so that other willing congregants participate in meeting needs. It is important work.

Quotes from Caring Committee members tell it all …

This work of this committee lets people know that the congregation cares about them and has the resources to help with short-term life challenges – that there is a lifeline.

A helping, caring community is the very foundation of our congregation.

The work of the Caring Committee allows the opportunity to connect with people at a time when the windows into their lives are open.

Spirituality is found in deepening our connections to one another. A major role of a faith community is to support and care for each other.

The work of the Committee serves an important role in making our church a welcoming and caring place and in strengthening our community.

The Caring Committee has a very small budget and relies on the generosity of the community. Access to additional resources would allow needs to be met when congregants can’t be found, particularly in the case of last-minute requests. When a crisis first happens, there may be a need for transportation or a meal without time to solicit volunteers. Financial flexiblity would ensure that no need goes unmet.

Stewardship Conversations

When: Sign Up Starting this Sunday, January 29

The Stewardship Committee’s goal is to generate a congregation-wide, year round, conversation about stewardship at First Parish, and for that we are hoping for buy-in from as many of you as possible. We want to begin by having everyone in the congregation talk with one another about how we identify ourselves as a spiritual community, what we value, and how we each demonstrate our values to one another and to the larger community. To that end, we are scheduling some evening and daytime opportunities for you to be involved in directed conversations around stewardship. The evening and after church dates below are definite, the daytime dates and times will be finalized in the next week – a couple in the morning and a couple in the afternoon. We are aiming to create as many opportunities for conversation as possible so that all can participate. Please take a look at your calendar and get one of these on your calendar.

  • After Church Sun., Feb 5; Sun., Feb. 26
  • Evenings Wed., Feb. 8; Mon., Feb 13; Thurs.; Feb 23; Tues., Feb. 28
  • Potential Daytimes – (3 of 6 of the following dates will be chosen)
  • Mon., Feb. 6; Thurs., Feb.9; Tues., Feb.14; Thurs., Feb 16;
  • Wed., Feb 21; Fri., Feb. 24; Mon., Feb 27

Social Action

Check out the Social Action Flyer on the Information Tables in the Parish Hall and Stebbins Parlor. Most Sundays, the Social Action Committee will also have information available on their table during social hour.

  • Social Action Committee Meeting is Sunday, February 5th at 8:30am in the Parlor! Hope to see you there!


RENEWAL HOUSE – TOILETRY DRIVE Extended through February 12!

Please consider giving to the toiletry drive, which has been extended through February 12. Helpful items would include laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste and ziplock bags for the kids’ lunches. Baskets are located in the church entrance (the narthex) and the Parish Hall foyer.

Renewal House is a domestic violence shelter for individuals and families who are fleeing violence or abuse. Since 1980, Renewal House has provided temporary emergency shelter and advocacy services to more than 1,000 individuals and families escaping domestic violence. Renewal House is run by the UU Urban Ministry in Roxbury, MA. (

Sign up during social hour at the SAC table to join for our next volunteer date taking place on Saturday February 11, 2017.

Fair Foods Inc. rescues surplus fruits and vegetables from Boston industry source and distribute the food to those in need. (

Dialogue on Race

When: Sunday February 12 @ 5 – 9 pm

Come join the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Social Action Team, in coalition with Milton for Peace, on Sunday February 12, 2017, in our second of a monthly series of opportunities for deepening our understanding about the dynamics of race in society. Join us as we form connections and continue this important talk with a potluck dinner and discussion. Please contact Debbie Alsebai or call 617-696-1276.

Women’s March on Washington

The women’s march was a great success. It was inspiring to be among a crowd of over five hundred thousand people standing up for justice for all. Many thanks to the tremendous work and energy both Rev. Lisa and Debbie Alsebai put into making the trip happen. We have many stories to tell. Come see us at the SAC table at coffee hour.

Women’s March in Boston

Thank you to all those who helped organize and participated in the Boston March. It was wonderful to have representatives in both cities. Come share your stories at coffee hour!


Kiki’s Corner

The Master Calendar

Calling on Committee Chairs and Other Meeting and Event Planners to help us show off our activities here at church.

Please send an email to Kathy Tracey and me to provide your Commmittee meeting dates, times and locations (even if it is offsite) from now until mid June.

Our master calendar is available on the home page of our website. Our website is often viewed by potential visitors as well as long time members.

We are also want to publish an All Church Calendar in the next few weeks to highlight how vibrant our congregation is!


Follow First Parish on Facebook and get updates, poems, announcements and more. You’ll be glad you did!


Worship, 10:30am in the Meetinghouse

Silent Prayer & Meditation, 9:00am in the Children’s Church


Please consider volunteering for important Sunday worship positions like ushering, hosting social hour, providing flowers for worship, and lighting the chalice. Sign Up Here!


  • Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 3 pm
  • Other times by appointment


  • Tuesday – Thurday 10:00 am – 3 pm
  • Other times by appointment

The Church office is closed on Fridays.