Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 1/28/2016

Weekly Link 1/28/2016


This Week in Worship

Sunday, January 31 Worship @ 10:30 am in Meetinghouse

One part of last Sunday’s service that seemed to catch the imagination of many of you was the description of the old Charles Street Meeting House. “The pews were moved into a circle, surrounding an inlayed imaged of earth, so that the parishioners can see one another and know that they were representatives of the whole human race. There was a mural of the Andromeda Galaxy for the aspe, which was balanced by a mobile of the atom at the other side of the sanctuary, so that the parishioners would know their place in the cosmos as between the atom and the stars. In the altar was a bookcase, filled with the world’s scriptures, poetry, philosophy, and science. Adorning the walls are symbols of humanity’s strivings, and art reflecting humanity’s yearnings, and all around the meeting house were 65 beautiful brass symbols of the world’s religions.”
-Rev. Erik Wickstrom

I was asked if I could provide a few images for you, and here you go, a before, an after and one of a church fair where you get to see the symbols on the walls.

Charles Street Meeting HouseCharles Street Meeting HouseCharles Street Meeting House

Charles Street Meeting House

See you in church,

There is also an interactive poster with some of the symbols found here.

Religious Exploration

Sunday, January 31

  • Spirit Play Pre K – 2nd grade – Go directly to their class room at 10:30am
  • SGM 3rd –6th Graders – Will begin in the Meetinghouse before being dismissed to their Religious Exploration class
  • Junior Youth Group 7th –8th Graders – Meet in the Parlor at 10:30am
  • Youth Group 9th – 12th Graders – Meet in the youth room at 10:30am
  • The Nursery is available for children ages 4 and younger.


Shortly following the service, all current and interested teachers in the Religious Exploration program please come enjoy lunch with your peer spiritual guides for our children and youth. This will be an important time to renew our covenant and vision, exchange stories and ideas, as well as hear from our new Religious Educator, Anne Principe. She looks forward to giving her support to our Religious Exploration Program in the next 6 months, and we look forward to hearing her insights and ideas for enriching and enjoying our multi-generational relationships. RSVP regrets only.

Stewardship Soundbite

“Generosity brings happiness at every stage of its expression. We experience joy in forming the intention to be generous. We experience joy in the actual act of giving something. And we experience joy in remembering the fact that we have given.”
~ The Buddha

News and Announcements

In the bleak midwinter… Meditation and Quiet Contemplation

Many of us have a tendency this time of year to stay home during these shorter, colder days, and become more introspective. What better time to join a few friends in our lovely children’s church for 30 minutes of quiet contemplation or meditation? We meet Sunday’s at 9am and Wednesday evenings at 7:00.

We would love to see you. Questions? Contact Tracey Robinson.

S’More Fun – This Saturday Night, January 30th

Beat the winter blues with summer fun at Camp Run-a-Muk – First Parish’s stewardship celebration on Saturday, January 30 in the Parish Hall. Music, dancing, food, games – and a chance to win awesome door prizes for those with a turned-in pledge card. Dress up, dress down, come as you are.

Make sure you remember to bring

1) Your completed pledge card
2) Your beverage of choice

(and if haven’t already, add to the toiletries for Renewal House)

Hail Mid-Winter! Saturday, February 6 7:00 pm

“…Imbolc is an honoring of what’s not present yet. It represents the words yet to be spoken, the potential in our spirits, the ‘calm before a storm’ of growth, the quiet before the show, and the unknown baby
before its birth. Imbolc’s beauty is in its waiting and not knowing.”
– Heather Greene, The Wild Hunt

Join us to celebrate, renew, and refresh on Saturday, February 6, at 7:00pm in the Parish Hall. All are welcome to the Imbolc ceremony and Pot Luck social hour to follow. Please contact me for further information and to let me know if you plan to attend.
Blessed Be, Pam Dorsey, 617-698-0057


St. Valentine’s Day, when we celebrate the patron saint of Chocolate, is once again just around the corner. At First Parish, that means it’s CHOCOLATE AUCTION time again!

Looking for a tasty token with which to express your love for your Valentine? Or simply ready to satisfy your own sweet tooth?

Be at Church on Sunday FEBRUARY 7th for the Chocolate Auction. This event, which has become an annual tradition at First Parish, will take place in the Parish Hall right after the worship service. ALL members of the congregation are encouraged to bring some goodie of substance for the auction. Items may be home-produced or purchased. Chocolate is the essential ingredient. [For those of you who have a sweet tooth but not a chocolate one – perhaps someone else will do a Non-Chocolate Auction, but this is not that event…] Please plan ahead – think NOW about what you might be able to contribute. Items should be attractively presented and ready to be carried home (meaning – don’t expect to get the plate or dish back). A small card or label identifying the item and any information (ingredients – especially whether there are nuts or nut oils, name of maker, interesting recipe history if any) – will be very helpful and much appreciated by your humble auctioneer.

Items to be auctioned are brought to the Parish Hall before church on the morning of the Auction, where they will be on display before the service and immediately after, before the Auction starts. Each item will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Children are permitted to bid, but only under the direct supervision of a parent, please. There will also be a Kids’ Raffle! All of the proceeds of the Chocolate Auction are donated to support the work of a local nonprofit service organization – to be announced shortly. This is a unique, fun and yummy way to raise funds for worthy local social action. Be there! Bring a guest – the more bidders, the merrier!

Any questions at all, call or email Chris Pitt.


When: Sunday, 2/14 at 4pm

Make your plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style this year. Milton Community Concerts is planning a special “Valentine’s Day Cabaret” on Sunday, February 14th at 4pm in the Meetinghouse. Austrian soprano Ute Gfrerer and pianist William Merrill are collaborating on an entertaining pro
gram featuring the music of Sondheim, Bernstein, Weill, Cole Porter, and more. While Ms. Gfrerer may not be familiar to American audiences she is a big deal in Europe, having performed at Barbican Hall in London, the Vienna Volksoper, and recently as a part of the Salzburg Festival. She is commonly known as one of the world’s leading interpreters of the music of Kurt Weill in particular. It is quite a coup for her to be performing in Milton. Don’t miss it! Tickets for this concert (available at the door only) are $20 general admission, $10 for seniors 65 and above, and free for 18 and under. An alternate snow date will be Saturday, February 20th at 7pm. Please visit for more information.

Hey Theater Lover’s!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with other First Parish friends and attend the fabulous production of Pippin at the Boston Opera House on February 14 at 6:30 PM. There are awesome seats in the orchestra and front mezzanine for $63 each and seats in the middle mezzanine for $38 each. It is recommended for anyone 6 and over. Pippin is a high-flying, death-defying hit Broadway musical! This unforgettable new production is the winner of four 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival. If you are interested in getting tickets please email Debbie Alsebai or catch me at coffee hour. (-: There is a bunch of us going right from the Valentine’s Day concert at the church so join us and we will carpool in together.


Where: Renewal House January 2016 Toiletry Drive
When: This Sunday, January 31 – Last Day to Add to the Contributions

Items Requested: Toothbrushes and toothpaste, Floss, Mouth wash, Shaving cream and razors, Loofahs (lots of loofahs!) Body wash, Soap, Body lotion, Hand lotion, Deodorant, Laundry detergent, Fabric softener – New, Unused and Regular Sized

Mentors Needed February to May

What: Mandatory Training

When: Saturday, January 30th from 1 – 3 PM UU Urban Ministry

We are in great need of mentors right now. We are working with Boston Partners in Education this year to offer a “Power Lunch” mentor model at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury. UU volunteers will be matched with a 6th grade child (or two). The goal will be for you to meet once a week for the spring semester (Feb-May) from 12:00-12:45pm to read with your mentee. (Depending on the child, you might read aloud, they might read aloud, or you both might read at home and discuss the book together). Tues, Wed, and Thurs are best. It looks like a lot of weeks, but please keep in mind you will not be meeting with your mentee during school vacation weeks, holidays, or standardized testing weeks.

BPE will be offering a mandatory and comprehensive mentor training for all mentors on Saturday, Jan. 30th from 1-3pm at the UUUM.

If you would like to sign up please fill out this application online.

For the “Group Affiliation” tab be sure to select UU Urban Ministry.

Caring Committee News

Showing Your Care for One Another

First Parish is a Caring Community. The Caring Committee facilitates care giving within the community by matching needs with volunteers. Periodically the committee updates the bank of volunteers and this Sunday parishioners are asked to complete a volunteer form listing tasks that they might be willing to fill for a fellow parishioner. When there is a need an email will be sent and, if it is a time you can help, you will be sent the details. Many thanks for the caring you show each other. Other times forms are available on the Information Table in the Stebbins Parlor or on the bulletin board next to the office.

Caring Committee & Youth Group Partner again for Care Packages

The Youth Group and the Caring Committee are partnering again this year to send packages to college-aged youth. If you know of a college-aged youth who has been involved with First Parish and would appreciate receiving a care package, please email or give their name and mailing address to a member of the Caring Committee or a member of the Youth Group. This information can be emailed to Sara Elizabeth Santa Cruz or to Amy Norton. Stay tuned for more information as this project develops.

The Search Continues

News from the Ministerial Search Committee

Narrowing the Search…Still

After spending well over 350 hours collectively during the month of January, your Ministerial Search Committee has now completed a few important steps in the process of finding a new minister: we’ve reviewed ministerial records, we’ve studied their packets, we’ve listened to online sermons and we’ve conducted preliminary Skype interviews with candidates.

So where are we now? We are discussing how to narrow down our choices to a few candidates. We are impressed with each of the candidates. We agree that all of them are good fits in many ways and all of them have special gifts they could bring to First Parish. We continue to meet regularly as a group, and are hard at work calling references, and planning the next round of interviews and pre-candidating weekends.

Please know that you may contact the members of your Ministerial Search Committee with questions or concerns:

Debbie Alsebai, Charlie Franich, Franc Graham, Elise Henricks, Jim May, Brigitte Miller, and Tracey Robinson.

P.S. Currently there are two weeks we are tentatively holding for “Candidating Weeks” Please mark your calendars.

Sunday, April 24 – Sunday May 1
Sunday May 1 – Sunday May 8

We need stuff for the First Parish Silent Auction FUNraiser!

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 7 PM

We need stuff for the First Parish Silent Auction FUNraiser!

When: Saturday, April 2, 2016, 7 PM

Do you know someone who –

  • owns a restaurant or store or a gym?
  • has season tickets to the Sox, Bruins, Celtics, Patriots or to the Symphony?
  • has a vacation home they would be willing to donate?​

Are you or is someone you know –

  • an artist or poet who could donate some work?
  • a musician or performer who could donate entertainment or lessons?
  • a gardener or landscaper? a baker or chef? a piano tuner? babysitter?

You don’t need to know the person or business to ask! Businesses are often willing to donate their services or products for a good tax deductible cause and it is good advertising for them!

Help us make this night of silent bidding a success for First Parish. Please let Ruth Hannon know what you can offer.

More Ideas: themed gift baskets, spa services, acupuncture or massage services, handyman services, tutoring, special meals, wine tasting, golf outing, sports equipment, gym membership, etc. Use your imagination!


Kiki’s Corner

There are many of you that are working, mostly behind the scenes, to make many of the events outlined above happen. Please say thank you to this partial list of those I know are part of teams working on special projects. (Stay tuned for others in the weeks to come.)

Social Action – Dave Egan, Dave Goodrich and Linda Carney Goodrich have taken the lead on the UU Urban Ministry activities and Pat Gallivan continues to coordinate Father Bill’s.

Camp Run-a-Muk – Tucker Smith, Jen Erbe Leggett, Karl Pastore, Lauri Webster, Paula Bennett, Myrtle Flight, Marie-Laure Brown, Ruth HannonTasha Bello, Mark Whall, Membership Committee, Stewardship Team.

FunRaiser – Ruth Hannon, Ruth Heiden, Allison Zippay, Jen Pinkus, Amy Kavadlo, Melinda Collins, Anita Penta, Pat Neves, and there may be other Hospitality Committee members as well.


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!