Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 10/19/2023

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 10/19/2023

Table of Contents

  • This Week in Worship
  • Message from Rev. Lisa
  • This Week in Religious Exploration
  • Events and Meetings
  • News and Announcements
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Beyond First Parish

This Week in Worship

“Our Power for Positive Change”

Worship Assistant: Brigitte Miller

Greeter: Mallory Digges

Audio: Atticus D’Allesandro

Social Hour: Owen McGonagle & Cathy Sheedy-McGonagle

Sunday’s offering will be given to Reclaim Our Vote. Ongoing voter suppression and voter list purging have been disenfranchising millions of eligible voters — especially voters of color. Reclaim Our Vote works in those voter suppression states. Our volunteers inform and mobilize voters of color to make sure they are registered and they know how to get a ballot and vote. Deb Venable will speak on their behalf.  

Please join us for service at 10:30am.

 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.

The competing accusations of responsibility for the bombing of the  Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza continue, as the agony of nearly 500 killed, including hundreds of children, is suffered on the grounds. The blame game gives demonizing fuel when, in fact, nothing justifies it. I hear the echo of Edwin Starr’s iconic tune, “War”, in my head. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Joe Biden’s visit worsened matters in my opinion. Asked about the bombing, he responded, with his sadness and outrage, that “the hospital strike on Gaza seems to have been ‘done by the other team’” The other team??? This is not a sporting event. Rhetoric matters.

I remember being among the minority who opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq from the start, never believing the “weapons of mass destruction” rhetoric – rhetoric that successfully encouraged buy in. I watched on the news how people were treating the invasion, nicknamed “Shock and Awe”, like it was a video game. Deep nausea shuddered through me.

We can be outraged by Hamas’ indefensible, atrocious terrorist attack (terror and massacre was the aim), but we do not have to return fire with unyielding, indiscriminate militarism. We do not have to diminish the worth of Palestinian lives to show support for Israel. Giving ammunition for attack does not stabilize the situation, it creates broad strokes of “enemy”, irrecoverable trauma, and toxic give up toward humanity.

There is no simple solution, of course. However, we can lean toward protective deterrence instead of retribution, callously justified as deterrence. There is no one answer, no doubt. However, the bottom line of valuing life can lead us to wiser choices and more life-giving strategies. This is my daily prayer these days.

In Faith, Rev. Lisa

RE This Week

Music This Week

This Sunday the Meetinghouse Choir, under the direction of guest conductor Daon Drisdom, is singing “Let Freedom Reign!” by Wally Kleuker. The text for this anthem is by Nelson Mandela, who was President of South Africa from 1994-1999. In 1962, at the time he wrote this text, he was imprisoned in South Africa and refused to negotiate with President de Klerk to sign a promise of non-resistance. 

Daon Drisdom will also be singing a solo called “If I Can Help Somebody”, by Alma Androzzo. This solo was a favorite of Mahalia Jackson, who often sang it.


On Saturday evening, 10/28 at 7pm Milton Community Concerts presents a free benefit concert called “Embracing Coretta”, which will raise money through a free-will offering for the League of Women for Community Service. The concert will feature four singers, a pianist, and a narrator as they present songs and spirituals which will tell the life story of singer, activist, wife and mother Coretta Scott King.

This concert will also be repeated on Monday, 10/30 in Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory as a celebration of the 70th anniversary of Coretta’s graduation from NEC. This program is a collaboration between Embrace Boston and the NEC Office of Cultural Equity and Belonging, as well as a sabbatical project by Tim Steele.

Following the concert will be a “Meet and Greet” reception in the Parish Hall, sponsored by Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice and the Racial Justice Task Force.”

*See flyer below in the Beyond First Parish section

Events and Meetings

Trunk or Treat at First Parish!

Sunday, October 22 at 12:00 p.m.

Halloween is just around the corner!

On Sunday, October 22, bring your decorated car to First Parish, and give out candy to trick-or-treaters!

Ways you can participate:

•  Decorate the trunk of your car

•  Donate candy

•   Help out at the event (set up, direct cars to spots, clean up, etc.)

•   Bring your kids and their friends in their Halloween costumes to trick-or-treat from car to car

If you’re interested in helping, please let Lisa White know:

Ps. We are keeping an eye on the weather. If we need to cancel the event for rain, we will post on website before 8:30am Sunday.

Harvest Supper Saturday, November 11, 6:00 pm in the Parish Hall 

Please join us for our annual Harvest Supper, Saturday, November 11, 6pm, in the Parish Hall.

Watch your emails for an Evite and potluck sign up sheet to follow. 

We look forward to fellowship and conversation and great food!

Mark your calendars for a Holiday Fair you will not want to miss!  On Sunday, December 17 after the church service until 4:00 PM, the Membership Committee is envisioning a Holiday Fair where people of all ages can be in community, nosh on tasty treats, shop for meaningful gifts, listen to holiday music and support worthy causes. But we need your help to make it a reality! Look below to see how you can help. Maybe your committee can sponsor an activity? 


– Coffee, Tea, Hot Cider and Healthy and tasty treats prepared for after church hunger

– Vegetarian and meat chili’s, salad and cornbread for sustenance

– Holiday bake sale table


– Caroler’s for hourly opportunities for sing alongs

– Provide background Holiday music, either on CD or streamed.


– Kids table or room: Where kids can purchase gifts for family and friends for a $1 or less.

– Holiday Resale table or room: Holiday Gifts or Decor you are ready to pass along to another family. (What does not sell will be given to the Refugee ministry.)

– Crafters: are you or someone you know a crafter that would like to present at our fair for $25 a table?)

– Holiday Gift Wrapping Station

– Fair Trade Products and Gifts


– Holiday Movies in the Basement Function Room with popcorn. Short fun seasonal movies where kids and adults alike can relax and take in some holiday cheer. At 2:30 come see Tom Kemp in the Hallmark Holiday movie “The Spruces and the Pines”. 

Worthy Causes

– Holiday tree to be set up the first week of December (Church, Foyer?) to be decorated with hats, gloves and scarves to be donated to the Refugee Project. Gently used winter coats, boots and outdoor attire are welcome too. 

– Coordinate donations to the Refugee Project

Pre and Post Event Opportunities

– Make a flyer

– Post on Facebook and other Social Media

– Distribute and Post flyers

– Make Crafts or Bake

– Sunday Morning set up at 9:00 AM and Clean Up at 4:00 PM

Contact Debbie Alsebai at or 617-821-9460 for more information or to offer to help.

News and Announcements

“Hymns of the Spirit” Give Away

We will soon be donating copies of “Hymns of the Spirit”, an older hymnal First Parish has not used in many years. If you’d like a copy of it before it gets donated, please let the office know at and we will keep a copy for you to pick up this month.

The Milton Resident’s Fund gratefully accepts financial or gift card donations throughout the year to assist families and individuals who are experiencing a financial crisis.

We especially need gift cards during November and early December to respond to holiday gift requests for those requesting additional assistance with the purchase of food or basic necessities, and teens/young adults/parents and seniors who have requested help with a holiday gifts, sneakers, or winter clothing. The following would be particularly helpful: grocery (Shaws or Star Market work best), $25 target (as they sell everything), or Amazon. Gently used snow boots for teens and young adults as well as gently used snow jackets are also welcomed (leave in FP library marked MRF). Gift card donations can be left in the grey box in the church hallway. Provide the donor name and mailing address if a tax donation letter is requested. The goal is to distribute all gifts and items b 12/15/23.”


Noreen K Dolan, MSW, LCSW

Fund Coordinator

November 1st is the next date !

S&EJ (Social & Environmental Justice committee) is looking for volunteers the first and third Wednesday of each month to contribute lunches. We hope to deliver 70 lunches twice a month to support shelter guests.

 See updated instructions on the Mainspring SignUpGenius page and signup whenever you can help out.

We are counting on your support!

Beyond First Parish

Engagement Opportunities for October & November

Don’t miss these opportunities to visit Roxbury! 

Roxbury Rustic Apple Festival (Saturday, October 21st)

Dillaway-Thomas House (across the street from UUUM)

Event details here

Co-sponsored by the Dillaway-Thomas House, Shirley Eustis House, and UUUM, this is a full day that includes cider pressing, music, crafts, and a lecture in the evening. If you haven’t had a glass of Roxbury Russet cider, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Bulb Planting in the Peace Garden (Saturday, October 21st – 3pm-5pm)

Event details here

Come for the Roxbury Russet Festival and stop by to help plant bulbs that will grow into beautiful flowers in the spring! Bring your family and friends and spend time with us outdoors. The Peace Garden is on the corner of Putnam and Roxbury Streets.

If you can join us, email: If you decide to stop at the last minute, that’s okay, too!

Roxbury Youth Program’s Halloween Party (Monday, October 30th – 4pm-7pm)

Event details here

Get ready for a spooktacular extravaganza at the Roxbury Youth Program’s Halloween Party! This event is centered around teens from age 13- to 19-yrs old. We will have many activities, including a photo booth to capture unforgettable moments, a fashion show, pumpkin painting, classic Halloween games like bobbing for apples and donuts, and a DJ, DJ Rozay B, to keep the beats going all evening long.

Meet and Greet Reception

Following the concert will be a “Meet and Greet” reception in the Parish Hall, sponsored by Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice and the Racial Justice Task Force.


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


Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Other times by appointment


Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Other times by appointment

The Church office is closed on Fridays

Sundays through mid June

  • Worship, 9:30 am in the Meetinghouse
  • Choir Rehearsal (most Sundays) at 8:45 am

SIGN UP GENIUS (formerly known as the Planner)

The link to SignUp Genius is:

You can sign up for one our our Sunday volunteer positions.