Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 10/26/2023

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 10/26/2023

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

“The Ancestor’s Breath”

Worship Assistant: Lisa White

Greeter: Heather Scranton & Ellen Barr

Audio: Atticus D’Allesandro

Social Hour: Heather Scranton & Deb Alsebai

Sunday’s offering will go towards the service and ministry of First Parish.  

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.

In worship this Sunday we will honor loved ones who have died, and light a candle in their memory. We invite you to bring photos or mementos of those dearly departed from this physical world. There will be a time in worship for you to speak the name of your loved one and add the memento to the altar table. Those who are joining us by zoom will have an opportunity as well to name their beloved dead.

Last Sunday we opened our campus to a celebration of “trunk or treat” in collaboration with First Congregational Church. Fun was had, candy eaten, new encounters enjoyed. One of the gifts of Halloween, is that we play with the mysterious and challenge ourselves in community to ponder the unknown. 

There are many cultural and religious observances during this time that ponder and enliven the veil between life and death. Those who have died are still mysteriously with us and we must live knowing we will die. Attention to our connections beyond our lives gives grounding to this unnerving venture.

We need to dare to love even though those we honor and care for die. We also need to recognize when we are taking ourselves too seriously. We, too, are whisps of spirit here for a short time. And we are not here by our own power; we are here because of the choices our ancestors made.

When we become familiar with our fear it cannot take hold of us, when we name the dread it loses its power over us. When we accept the fact of death, we live more freely.

Come share in our annual observance of honoring our ancestors, our loved ones who have died. In community we strengthen our way in life.

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa

RE This Week

Music This Week

During this Sunday’s service you will be hearing two pieces by Ysaye M. Barnwell, a singer and composer who was a member of the African American a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock. The Meetinghouse Choir will be singing “Breaths”, with a text by Birago Diop. Grace Allendorf and Michael Aoun will be singing a duet version of “We Are”, arranged by Jim Scott.


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

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

Please join us for the annual potluck Harvest Supper, Saturday, Nov. 11, 6pm in the Parish Hall.  Check your email for the invitation and RSVP, and please indicate on sign up genius your potluck contribution. Childcare will be available.

Our First Parish session musicians will strike up the jam during dessert. We look forward to a wonderful evening of fellowship and good 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

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.

Engagement Opportunity

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.

Bridging Dinner

Mark Your Calendars! Friday, November 19 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM the next Bridging dinner with First Parish and Church of the Holy Spirit will be held at Restaurante Cesaria at 266 Bowdoin Street, Boston 02122.

There is parking to the side of and back of their building. There will be traditional Cape Verdean cuisine that will be set up Buffett style so we can try many dishes for $25 per person. For those interested in staying longer there will be live music at 8:00 pm.

Please email Debbie Alsebai at or call/text her at 617-821-9460 to sign up.


You need to address email to both and to assure your announcement will be included in the weekly Link. We, from time to time, will also publish non-church events with a connection to a member of the church. Your submission may be edited due to space requirements. We recommend that you submit no more than 1 – 2 paragraphs.


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.