Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 11/12/2020

Weekly Link 11-12-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship


Sunday, November 15, 2020 10:30am

“Discipline of Gratitude”

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Joe Ayoub

Music: Tim Steele

Audio Engineer: Brynne Mershon

Virtual Social Hour Host: Chris Pitt Please 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, 11/13.

Sunday’s offering will go to the Prison Book Program, a  non-profit located in Quincy, that sends free books to individuals in prison as everyone deserves the freedom to read. With each hand-selected book, volunteers send a note to help the recipient feel connected to a community outside the prison walls.  Due to Covid-19, people in prison are even more isolated now. Many prisons have been on lockdown for months, with no visitors and very limited library and educational opportunities. Your generosity is appreciated and needed now more than ever. 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.  Prison Book Program

2.   Milton Interfaith Clergy Association Thanks for Giving Service

3.  Climate Danger in the Fore River Basin

4.  Cooking Lessons

5.  Fair Foods volunteer opportunity

6.  First Parish Harvest Gathering

7. Holiday Gift Program

8. In Person Check-in Chats with Minister

9. Racial Justice Conversations

10. Father Bills volunteer opportunity

11. Volunteer Opportunity

12. Weekly Meditation

Veterans Day nearly passed right by me this year.   It wasn’t on my radar.  That’s a sign of my privilege, overlooking a day to pause from the routine of my life which others have devoted themselves to secure.

Many of you know that when I served a congregation in Harford County, I was near Aberdeen Proving Ground, a military base.  I felt a bit uneasy about this at first, because I was unfamiliar with the military culture and held many biases that I had absorbed in my life, which included being raised Unitarian Universalist.  Over the years, as I engaged with congregants who were either military or civilians working on the base, I recognized, bit by bit, how simplistic and self-righteous my views had been.  While I still believe that we must break our habit of war and dismantle the military industrial complex, I no longer find myself free of the system, nor find any one group responsible for its existence. 

So I was a little more prepared when I was asked in my first year here to give a prayer at the town Veteran’s Day Observance. Here’s the prayer written in 2017:

Wisdom beyond our knowing,

Life beyond our being,

Infuse us with the clarity of war’s ravages.

Help us honor those brave, life-giving women and men

Who devotedly put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.

They are in homes. They are in hospitals. They are living on the streets.

Hold our veterans in the grace of being, especially when haunted by war

Summon deep care when they brave brokenness of mind and spirit.

Sing praises for their courage, their strength, their resilience.

May we honor their service with true action and resolve for peace in the world.


With love and in faith, Rev. Lisa


Rev. Lisa will be on vacation the week of Thanksgiving: Nov. 23-30.

Religious Exploration

Christmas Eve Pageant: Planning is underway to create a pageant video following the Pageant-in-a-Box approach piloted last December. Costumes and props will be available to pick up and pageant participants will be able to record themselves acting out their parts. We will then stitch it all together into a video for the 5:00 pm Christmas Eve worship service.

Family Spirit Circle: Packets will be delivered this weekend to families of elementary school or younger children on the theme of Gratitude. The story for all ages during our Sunday worship service will be related to this theme. Families are encouraged to post photos of things for which you are grateful on our Padlet page so we can be inspired by each other’s contributions! Email if you need the newsletter or would like to be added to our list of RE families.

Minecraft on Sunday Afternoons: A Minecraft group will be starting this Sunday, November 15, at 4:30 pm. Please email if you would like to participate. This group will be open to all ages! We are building a new world!  Anyone who enjoys Minecraft is invited to come and build with us on Sunday afternoons.  We will play on a private Creative mode server, with lots of room to build anything you can think of as well as mini games and any other activities that interest the group.  You will need a copy of Minecraft (Java preferred but we will have a server for Bedrock players as well) and an account – please contact Bridget if you need help getting set up.  We will meet on Zoom to make some plans and add you to our server and then get started! 

High School Youth: The Youth Visionaries are soliciting ideas for our next youth event. Please email if you have suggestions for social justice, congregational life, or just plain fun events or projects.

[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:  This week David Won will be offering a solo by Scott Ward based on an e.e. cummings text: “I thank you God”. Jennifer Sgroe will be offering “Amazing Grace”, but not the version you probably expect. This setting is by African-American composer H. Leslie Adams, whose works have been performed by symphonies and choral groups throughout the world. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and currently teaches at Lawrence University.

Events, News & Announcements

“Since 1972, the Prison Book Program, a  non-profit located in Quincy, has been sending free books to individuals in prison as everyone deserves the freedom to read.

With each hand-selected book, volunteers send a note to help the recipient feel connected to a community outside the prison walls.  Due to Covid-19, people in prison are even more isolated now. Many prisons have been on lockdown for months, with no visitors and very limited library and educational opportunities. Your generosity is appreciated and needed now more than ever. There are several ways to support the program: Book Drive.

From now until December 1, you may donate gently-used and new paperback books in the following categories: Nonfiction: almanacs, trade skills, hobbies such as writing, gardening, crochet, and chess, Spanish dictionaries and books in Spanish, spirituality, sports, history, current events, and books by LGBTQ authors and people of color.Fiction: trade paperback books, especially westerns, thrillers, and mysteries. (We cannot accept textbooks, books with spiral binding, hardcovers, or books in poor condition.) Books may be dropped off at First Parish through the mail slot. Purchase Books. You may purchase a book for a specific person with a special request.

For more details, email Katie Vhay at Donate! The Prison Book Program is the designated Third Sunday Donation on November 15.

You are Invited to Our Annual

 Milton Interfaith Clergy Association

 Thanks for Giving Service

 Sunday, November 22, 2020  @ 4:00 PM

 Please join us in gratitude for our many blessings, including this year’s Extraordinary Honorees

 from many of our Communities of Faith

 and Civic Organizations

Register in advance for this virtual webinar by clicking this link

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


“Gratitude can transform common days

into thanksgiving, turn routine… into joy,

and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

William Arthur Ward

Climate Danger in the Fore River BasinThursday, November 12th @ 6:30pm

The Algonquin (Enbridge) transmission compressor station sited in theFore River Basin brings many dangers to our region and to our planet. AliceArena is the founder and president of the Fore River Residents Against theCompressor Station in Weymouth, and she will discuss what a compressor isand does, what it means for our health and safety, and what the push formore methane distribution and use will do to our planet.

Blue Hills Climate Action Coalition’s next virtual presentation.

Pre-register at

The Membership Committee brings you Zoom cooking lessons !Friday, November 13th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PMPumpkin 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 !

Recipe:1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of chocolate chips 

1 teaspoon milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 egg

2 cups flour 

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter/oil  

1. mix baking soda with milk in a small bowl. Set aside

2. In another bowl, mix pumpkin, egg, sugar, vanilla, and oil.
3. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda mix. 

4. Stir in chocolate chips.

5. Spoon onto cookie sheet.

6. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, or until middle set.Zoom link here

Friday, December 11th 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 both 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.

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.

Next session is Saturday, November 14th Please wear a mask – gloves will be available at the site.  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.

It’s this Saturday! The First Parish Harvest Gathering is almost here November 14th, 7:00 – 8:30-ish

Zoom link here Our time-honored Harvest Supper will be virtual in 2020 – minus the supper! Featuring some of our fabulous First Parish musicians, poets and storytellers. What better way to spend a Saturday night this fall?

The Holiday Gift Program for Milton Residents and Parish Members in financial need has started its annual gift card collection.

Gift cards in $25 increments to Target, Star Market, Stop & Shop and TJ Maxx/Marshalls are most welcome but gifts of funds or cards are most welcome in any denomination. 

 Gift card donations can be put in the grey box outside of the church office, in the church mailslot or mailed attn: MRF 535 Canton Ave.  Please label the envelope: Holiday Gift Program. 

Please include your name and email address when donating so that a tax donation letter can be sent to you. 

Questions ? Contact Noreen Kearney Dolan at


Another way to give this holiday season: sponsor a child!

The Interfaith Social Services in Quincy has 300+ children registered for the Help for the Holidays program.

To sponsor a child, click here to complete the Google form and you’ll be assigned a child to “adopt.” Then, the fun begins as you provide “your” child with items that can make their holiday magical!”

Thank you for your generocity


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:

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.

Racial Justice Focus GroupBi-weekly Conversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa and Debbie Alsebai

Next Session: Wednesday, December 9, 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:

Mainspring lunch program – HELP needed! 

Volunteers are needed on November 18th.  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.