Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 10/1/2020

Weekly Link 10-1-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, October 4, 2020 10:30am

“Living with Uncertainty

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Franc Graham

Music: Tim Steele  

Virtual Social Hour Host: Lynne StackPlease 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, 10/02.

Sunday’s offering will be dedicated to the services and ministry of First Parish Milton.

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!

It is with pleasure that I welcome Harvard Divinity student Timothy Ellis to our staff team this year.  Timothy will serve as our Field Education student.  This is an offering in collaboration with Harvard Divinity School for a student to explore practical elements of ministry on site as part of their curriculum.  As site supervisor, I will work with Timothy in creating a learning agreement for 12-15 weekly hours of engagement with First Parish.  I have no doubt that this will be a mutually inspiring and educative experience for both Timothy and First Parish.  Without further ado, their introduction:  

Hello First Parish! My name is Timothy Ellis and I am so excited to be joining you as your field education student for this year. I’m currently in my second year of the Master’s of Divinity program at Harvard Divinity School pursuing ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. I come to this work as a lifelong UU with all of the deep joy and deep wrestling that entails. Please check out my bio below and I’m looking forward to meeting all of you in church on Sunday! Timothy Ellis (they/them) originally hails from Wisconsin and moved to MA eight years ago to attend Wellesley College. Timothy previously served the Eliot Church of Natick (UU/UCC) as a part of their ministry team. They like large bodies of water and learning about outer space. Timothy lives in Jamaica Plain, Boston with their partner Shaya, two housemates, and lots of plants.

Religious Exploration

Family Spirit Circle: packets will be delivered to individual families of elementary school or younger children this weekend on the theme of our UU Chalice and its history. The coordinating family newsletter contains links to a related song and story and to our Padlet page for posting photos so we can all see each other’s beach mandala creations! Email if you need the newsletter or would like to be added to our list of RE families.

Middle School Connections will continue online this fall. We are seeking suggestions from our middle school youth and their families about what types of activities they hope to see offered and when the best time to schedule them would be.

Youth Group possibilities are being evaluated by a team of volunteers who have stepped forward to help reimagine how to sustain youth connections, foster resiliency, and encourage social activism as we move forward this year. The hiring of a new Youth Coordinator is on hold awaiting the results of this analysis and feedback on new options we might try out. The Youth Group Visionaries have some exciting prospects for what a revitalized youth program might include!

[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 will continue as we experiment with new ideas and approaches in this time of liminal space.]

~ Our bodies may not be touching, but our hearts are still connected.~

OUR MUSIC THIS SUNDAY:  This week we are happy to welcome a distinguished guest soloist, Anthony Turner. Anthony is on the voice faculty at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY and last year sang a concert at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. He will be singing “Lost in the Stars” by Kurt Weill, from the show with same name, based on the book “Cry the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton. Also you will hear a piece with a Buddhist text, “In Safety and Bliss” by David Brunner.

Events, News and Announcements

All Church Council Meeting

Friday, Oct 166:00 pm-7:30 pm

Several times a year, we gather for our All Church Council.

All committee chairs or representatives are encouraged to attend. The gathering is open to all church members and friends. This is an opportunity for church leadership to connect and discuss goals and challenges for the year.

We will be holding the meeting over Zoom this fall. Stay tuned for details.

*Pledge to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter*

 Interfaith Power & Light conducts education and advocacy campaigns toengage faith communities in a religious response to global warming. IPL’s40 state affiliates include over 20,000 congregations. This is a moment for fundamental change.

We can help make that change by electing leaders who are committed to working to end structures of oppression, environmental injustices and take action to tackle climate change. Join the movement. Sign the voter pledge. *Follow this link.*

Brought to you on behalf of the Social and Environmental Justice Committee

**Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice Book Club** We started October 1 at 12:00 PM but it is not too late to join “The Bluest Eye” bookclub.   Next week- Octobrt 8- we will finish the AUTUMN Chapter and go week by week through the seasons. Will run for 5 weeks.

Inviting family and friends is welcome and encouraged!  There is so much we can learn from each other!

 Email Debbie Alsebai at  for more information.

Where Are We In the Cultural Shift Toward Racial Justice? Bi-weekly Conversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa and Debbie Alsebai

Next Session: Wednesday, October 7, 7:00pm – 8:30 pm

The isolation due to Covid-19 and the stark, unequivocal events of racial injustice in this nation has encouraged a widespread willingness to examine what is needed for true equity and justice for all.  Let’s answer the call.Part of the work is seeing more clearly.  This does not call for shame and blame, but for the courage of discomfort and openness to new choices and new changes. What does it mean that history is white washed?  How does white privilege play out, even among well-meaning liberals?  What is the networking of systemic racism?

We’ll meet every other week to share stories, examine articles and short videos, and encourage one another to further see the culture we have been taught to navigate.  This is a hope-filled endeavor.Please join us and invite your friends.  A zoom link will be sent out the week of the conversation. Interested?

Contact the office:

On Saturday, October 10th from 10am-12:00pm Reverend Lisa will be in the courtyard of First Parish Milton to bless your animal(s), one animal household at a time.  (weather permitting)

If you would like to have your animal blessed please come on by. If you come by vehicle, we kindly ask that you remain in your vehicle until there is an opening with Reverend Lisa.  And if you come by foot with your pet, we will ask you to socially distance yourself to wait for an opening.

Remember masks required but not for pets : )

On Sunday, October 11th, we will show our second photo array during worship.  Calling all pet owners to send in a photo of you with your animal companion(s) by October 3rd.

This will offer a virtual blessing of the animals for the congregation.  

If you’d like you and your animal companion(s) to be featured in the next photo array, please send a photo to by October 3rd.

We’re are looking for voluteers to help put together photo arrays periodically this year. Laurel Whitehouse has graciously agreed to put this next array together, but we are looking for a volunteer who would take this on for future photo slide shows.

Please contact the office:, if you are willing to help create these wonderful renderings of our community.


New Dates Added!

(Have mask will travel, while the weather is good)

As we will remain in physically distanced community, exploring ways to connect through cyberspace most likely through 2020, I’d like to check-in with as many members and friends of First Parish who would like a physical visit or a brief time together outside on our campus. 

On Campus:

 Adirondack chairs, lovingly crafted by Karl Pastore, will be set out in a safely distanced circle for a 45 minute chat. 

I have set aside Thursdays, from 4:00pm-6:00pm for folk to come on by, by appointment.  We can have as many as four people meet together.

We meet for 45 minutes, which gives me 15 minutes to sanitize the chairs for the next small gathering.  Masks required.  We will honor the 6 foot distance.

Here is the sign-up genius for those meetings.

At your home:

Have mask will travel:  I am open to house calls.  We can meet outside your home.  Masks required.  We will honor the 6 foot distance. If you are interested in a visit to your home, please contact me at

All ages welcome for a check-in.  Minors must have a parent or guardian present. 

It is good to be with one another.

Milton Domestic Violence Prayer Vigil

In Memory of Loved Ones Taken by Domestic Violence and in Honor of Those who Survive Domestic Abuse

  When: Thursday, October 15, 2020, at 6:00 PM

Virtual Prayer Vigil Hosted By:  Parkway United Methodist Church

158 Blue Hills Pkwy, Milton, MA 02186

Contact: (617) 698-8583 for more information

**The Membership Committee brings you Zoom cooking lessons!**

Zoom by yourself and or with family. You will certainly have fun!! Each remaining month of 2020 we will introduce a new recipe and you can cook or bake alongside in the comfort of you own kitchen.

Friday, October 23 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Pizza Pizza

Miss Debbie will teach how to make pizza crust and Steve and Debbie will be showing how to make a red based tomato sauce and a white sauce. Let’s get creative with toppings too. What would you like to see On your pizza?

Email Debbie Alsebai at and let her know. 

Friday, November 13 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Roast a sweet pumpkin and then you will be ready to make the most delicious chocolate chip cookies you have ever had.

Friday, December 11 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Gifts from the Kitchen Tonight we will make hot cocoa mix and granola to package up so you can give them to your friends and family as gifts.   

Please sign up for one or all three classes by emailing Debbie Alsebai at Classes are for all ages.  Kids will need adult supervision in the kitchen.  Recipes will be sent out at least one week before the class for your shopping convenience. 

**Neponset Neighbors Together Fund**

If you have not donated and received a heart shaped sign to hang up at your home showing support for essential workers, it is not too late!! There are still signs available for a $25 or $100 donation to the Neponset Neighbor’s Together Fund.

Funds so far have been distributed to the Concord Baptist Church Food Panty, Shirleys Healthy Baby and Healthy Child Food Pantry, Neponset Health Center Panty and  Hyde Park Food Pantry. Over $30,000 have been raised so far and the needs are increasing.

Above are some of the signs embellished at the Milton Mattapan Teen event held a few weeks ago at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan.

If you are interested in a plan heart or a particular design please email Debbie Alsebai at  or call her at 617-821-9460.

Mainspring lunch program – HELP needed! 

Volunteers are needed on  October 7th and October 21st.

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 website – please indicate number of lunches you will bring.

Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that would otherwise be wasted and uses it to feed our communities. The beginning of the new church year brings the return of a regular Fair Foods volunteer schedule for First Parish.

We will volunteer together the 2nd Saturday of every month, starting at roughly 10 a.m at First Parish Dorchester, 10Parish St. in Dorchester, near Fields Corner.

Please wear a mask – gloves will be available at the site. Next date is October 10th Fair Foods has numerous other volunteer opportunities during the week – including every Friday and Saturday at First Parish Dorchester.

Please contact Tony Dutzik at 617-291-4685 or  to find out more or with any questions.

There are still a few slots that need filling…..The Hospitality Committee welcomes everyone to the new church year!  FirstParish will continue to have Zoom social hours while the church services are remote.

If you haven’t attended, you should!  It’s a great way totouch base with friends, old and new. But in order to keep this going, we need your help!  Please sign up to hostone or more social hours this fall.

For those of you who love doing it, the more dates the better!  (If you haven’t done it yet, the Zoom skills required are pretty rudimentary and we’ll provide training.) Please sign up!

Please click here for more info on hosting. 

Meditation continues ….

All are welcome to join for 30 minutes of silent meditation/prayer on: