Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 10/22/2020

Weekly Link 10-22-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship


Sunday, October 25, 2020 10:30am

“The Thin Veil

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Chris Clifford

Music: Stuart Ryerse

Virtual Social Hour Host:  Steven & Guy YakutisPlease 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, 10/23. 

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

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!

Table of Contents

1.  Message from Communications Committee

2.  Updated COVID safety policies for First Parish

3.  Fun October Happenings

4.  Harvest the Power Week of Action

5.  Songs of Persistence, Power and Possibility Courageous Conversations event

6.  Social and Environmental Action Committee Happenings

7.  Racial Justice Conversations

8.  In Person Check-in Chats with Minister

9.  Volunteers Needed for virtual Social Hour

10. Father Bills volunteer opportunity

11. Fair Foods volunteer opportunity

12. Yoga

13. Weekly Meditation 

As I was wondering about Thursday’s presidential debate, with a healthy measure of dread, and fielding swirling thoughts, in general, about these challenging times we are in, I came across the international news of Pope Francis’ endorsement of civil unions for lgbtq folk.  Now, in the grand scope of things, Pope Francis’ endorsement is not a comprehensive step toward full equity, but it is a huge step in a progression towards affirming the inherent dignity and viability of all peoples as blessed gestures of creation in our authentic living and loving.

There still is the sensibility of making room for the “other”, and a concession still defined by “us” and “them” in the public reasoning, but it is fueled by a humility guided by love and a recognition that diversity has a wisdom beyond human edict.  This news lifted me out of my dread and centered me back to faith in the long arm of the universe which bends towards justice.  Stay in, this moment assured me, love abounds.

The reason that this is important news, even though I was hard pressed to find it the next morning, is that organized religion, and its fear-based dogma around lgbtq reality, has been the most profound deterrent to full equity in civic life.  Take note, that if Justice Amy Conan Barrett is confirmed, there will be six justices who are practicing Catholics. Though judicial neutrality is the aspiration, we are all guided in our seeing by the sensibilities of our lives. Pope Francis’ challenge of established doctrine will challenge oppressive assumptions about lgbtq life.  

May our collective consciousness and way of human being ever transform in the way of cosmic harmony.  This I pray. 

In Faith, Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

Family Spirit Circle: Packets were delivered last weekend to families of elementary school or younger children on the theme of Fall Bounty. Families are encouraged to create fall decorations using the packet contents and then celebrate the gifts of fall with a simple ritual. See the coordinating family newsletter for a link to one of my favorite fall stories, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, and a link to a great rendition of “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire. Families are encouraged to post photos of your completed decorations on our Padlet page so we can all see each other’s creations! And don’t forget to drop off your chalice to share in the bin inside the carriage sheds. Email if you need the newsletter or would like to be added to our list of RE families.

Middle School Connections: Come experience the Creepy Carriage House this Saturday! See below for the details of this fun event being planned by the high school youth.

Youth Group: The youth are excited to offer an outdoor version of their ever-popular Haunted Hallway, usually held during the annual Halloween party. Instead, this year there will be a Creepy Carriage House walk on Saturday, October 24, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. See article below for the full event details.

[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.]

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

OUR MUSIC THIS SUNDAY: Stuart Ryerse will be performing this week.  

Events, News & Announcements

The Great Pumpkin Event launch was a success!

Seventeen FP folks participated in some way on Sunday afternoon, enjoying the fabulous fall weather and our in-person company. Our green looks both fall-festive and civic-minded. It’s especially impressive that few (one: Xavier!) came with any scarecrow making experience. Bravo! Many thanks to all of you!

Remember: if you would like to add a pumpkin, gourd or even a scarecrow to the display, please do! The Communication Committee

Updated COVID safety policies for First Parish

Last week, the Parish Committee approved an updated version of our COVID safety policies as drafted b y the Phased ReOpening task group.  The full policy will be posted on the First Parish website.

Two key changes were introduced this month:

1.  Small group church meetings may now be held in the Parish Hall assuming all COVID safety requirements are met (scheduling/approval by contacting First Parish Office, masks, distancing, no physical contact, all group members feel safe).  Please read the full policy on the website for details.

2.  We have instituted a church sign-in process.  There are sign-in clipboards at the two doors into the Link (from back), at the Parish Hall door (from front), and at Basement door (off the lower parking lot).

All members, friends, renters, and guests are required to sign-in whenever they visit the church. We will continue to offer live streaming worship every Sunday.  Our weekly Link newsletter is an essential means of communication and connection – especially these days.

Please read the Link regularly to stay connected!

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

Get those aprons out and get ready to impress the family ! Miss Debbie will teach you how to make pizza crust and show you how to make a red based tomato sauce and a white sauce. Neapolitan Recipe Zoom link 

Email Debbie Alsebai at  and let her know if you would like to join this fun event !     

Creepy Carriage House WalkSaturday, October 24, 6:30pm-7:30pm

The youth group will once again bring us a scary Halloween treat. Since the pandemic prevents us from our usual indoor Haunted Hallway we had to get creative. This year the ghastly youth will be lurking outside, haunting the Carriage House. [Note that the Halloween Dance party will not be held this year.]

All guests must wear a pandemic face mask (not just a Halloween mask) and keep 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and the youth or other guests. Park in the upper lot off Canton Avenue or behind the Link on Engine Road. Gather beside the Children’s Church at the start of the harrowing adventure. There will be Creepy Ushers to tell you when it is your turn to Experience Chills and Thrills as you face the Gruesome Gauntlet of the Creepy Carriage House Walk!
Come in costume or come as you are. Bring your friends, tell your neighbors, this event is open to all! The more victims – whoops – the more guests, the better.  

First Parish Presents Virtual Halloween Open-Mic

Stories, Music, Poetry, and Maybe More

Theme: Trick or Treat

Costumes are optional but encouraged.

Saturday, October 31, 7pm-9pm

Zoom Link forthcoming

Attendees who want to tell a story, play a song, read a poem, or otherwise share the fruits of their creative labor, can send a chat to the hosts at the start of the show to put their name in the hat. The hosts will randomly pick names, one at a time, and ask that person to unmute themselves. For the next 5-10 minutes, you will have the virtual stage. 

We’re inviting everyone to join us for a week of action to harvest thepower! Running Wednesday, October 21st through Tuesday, October 27th, thisis one of our final pushes to ensure we reach 1,000,000 voters beforeElection Day. Join us! See the link for detailsBrought to you by the Social and Environmetal Justice Committee

                Songs of Persistence, Power and Possibility !Sunday October 25, at 6:30 – 8:00 PMJoin us on ZOOM as Brother Dennis Slaughter of Milton music fame brings together talented musicians -Voices of Persistence, to present an evening of musical exploration with the historical framing of activist-artist, Lorraine Hansberry’s profound question, “Will I remain a Revolutionary?” The songs and the words are from different genre and times, but they are all to embolden us to stay in the struggles until there is change.

Link to register for event

Member Update

Myrtle Flight, resident artist and member, has moved to Natick. This brings her nearer to family. Though further away, she remains connected to First Parish. Here is her snail mail address:

Myrtle Flight

Whitney Place at Natick

Three Vision Drive, Route 9 West, Natick, MA 01760

Social & Environmental Action Committee [S+EJ]*

Countdown to Election Day, 11/3 !*

Reclaim Our Vote is a National UU the Vote Partner.  Our church community sent 2000 postcards to support its efforts in voter-suppressed states. Their phone banking system is very easy to use – join us

Wednesday, October 28,and we’ll have staff on hand to help you!*

You can also take breaks and connect with fellow UUs.  At the beginning of the gathering, we’ll offer a brief chalice lighting to ground us and a short debrief at the end.

*FINAL Phone-Banking UU Zoom Gathering: Wed Oct 28, 5:00 – 7:00 PM*


We’ll send important info before the gathering ~~~~ *Please get trained before phone-banking*This will make your experience much better!  Choose an in-person training, led by our ace volunteer Mary Cummnings (First Parish UU of Arlington).Monday 10/26, 5:00 PM & Wednesday 10/28 2:00 PM

*RSVP FOR A 30 MIN TRAINING HERE*or watch this 10 minute video


Climate Justice and Covid-19: What can we learn from these intersecting crises?*Rebecca Herst, Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston, will speak about how climate change and Covid-19 are disproportionately impacting historically marginalized communities and strategies for ensuring that our response efforts focus on the people most impacted and keep everyone safe and healthy in our changing climate. Pre-registration is required here

Our Climate Crisis: Research and Action for Change, a virtual lecture series, is co-sponsored by nine key regional non-profits.

Racial Justice Focus GroupBi-weekly Conversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa and Debbie Alsebai Next Session: Wednesday, October 28, 7:00pm – 8:30 pm The isolation due to Covid-19 and the stark, unequivocal events of racialinjustice in this nation has encouraged a widespread willingness to examinewhat 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 andblame, but for the courage of discomfort and openness to new choices and newchanges. What does it mean that history is white washed? How does white privilegeplay out, even among well-meaning liberals? What is the networking ofsystemic racism? We’ll meet every other week to share stories, examinearticles and short videos, and encourage one another to further see theculture 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 theweek of the conversation. Interested?  Contact the office:


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.

First Parish 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 to touch base with friends, old and new. In order to keep this going, we need your help!  Please sign up to hostone or more social hours this fall.  If you love doing it,the more dates the better!  (If you haven’t done it yet, we’ll providetraining.) Please sign up!