Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 11/23/2023

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 11/23/2023

Table of Contents

  • This Week in Worship
  • Message from Rev. Lisa
  • This Week in Religious Exploration
  • Events and Meetings
  • News and Announcements
  • Social & Environmental Justice Committee (SEJC)
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Beyond First Parish

This Week in Worship

“Blessing of the Long Spoons”

Speaker: Louise Smith-Erb, Family Ministries Director

Worship Assistant: Amy Kavadlo

Greeters: Elise Henrick & Tony Dutzik

Flowers: Tess Clearman & Ethan Deyle

Audio: Nina Truog

Social Hour: Elizabeth Menne, Cathy & Owen McGonagle

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.

Christmas Eve Volunteers Needed

Our traditional candlelight service- come into the meetinghouse or join on Zoom where we will share reflections, sing carols, lift up the prayerful message of peace for the world.

Greeters and Ushers needed. Click below to sign up.

Christmas Eve Sign up to Volunteer 10:00 pm Service

This week, we’ve installed a heat pump system in the Children’s Church. We have now, officially, ended our use of oil on our campus. With the solar panels and heat pump in this adjacent church, we have invested in the future of our children, as a gesture toward climate change. Well done. There is far more to do, of course, but it is important to lift up the incremental steps toward a carbon free campus.

The Children’s Church came about in 1937 under the leadership of Dorothy Pomeroy, spouse of Rev. Vivian Pomeroy, who was serving as minister at the time. There is a plaque hanging near an exit that lifts up Dorothy Pomeroy “whose dream became this little church”. The building is an old school house with an added belfry and working bell.

Life Magazine published an article in June of 1946: “There the youngsters sit in a scale-model replica of their parents’ church, its pulpit, choir loft and pews cut to child’s size.”

This is a wonderful part of the campus, being used again after a COVID hiatus for worship, meditation, rentals and small group ceremonies. A unique, charming, mindful gathering space.

Blessings Abound, Rev. Lisa

RE This Week

RE This Week
RE This Week
RE This Week

Music This Week

This Sunday Jeff Stoodt will be sharing an Irving Berlin favorite called “Counting My Blessings”. We are also happy to welcome our old friend Brandon Grimes who is in town making his solo debut with the Boston Pops this month. Brandon will be singing a song called “Grateful” by John Bucchino. Violinist Jiuri Yu will be providing service music during the prelude and postlude.

Events and Meetings

Holiday Fundraiser

Andy Strang, a recently deceased beloved member, created many prints of his photography. 

For the next few weeks a silent auction of his photos is in place. The bidding will end December 17, at our holiday fair.  The proceeds will go to church operations. 

Come and admire his work, displayed in the Link Hallway. And feel free to bid!

Climate Action@HOME – upcoming discussions

The Climate team is planning monthly updates after worship for those who want to learn more about climate action. If you have topics you would like to discussion please contact Tracey Robinson tdr02186@gmail.

December 10th How can I reduce PLASTICS? – discussion led by Mary Blanchette

Join us December 10 at 12 noon after social hour in the Chase Parlor.

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

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

Social & Environmental Justice Committee (SEJC)

Planting More Trees on Our Campus

The Social and Environmental Justice Committee and the Building and Grounds Committee recently joined forces and planted 2 oak trees in front of the Meeting House. In time they will grow to 50′ tall by 15′ wide in a columnar shape. They will sequester carbon and decrease our carbon footprint in addition to providing shelter and nutrients for insects and birds. 

Maggie Oldfield of Thayer Nursery generously donated one of the trees in honor of her husband, Philip Laing’s relatives – Fra (Frances) Field, Judy Laing and Harley Laing, long time members of First Parish. 

Chase Berkeley, the director of the Milton Department of Public Works graciously agreed to plant the trees free of charge. 

We are very grateful to Maggie and Chase for helping to achieve our goal of planting more trees on our campus.



At a Special Milton Town Meeting (December 4), Town Meeting Members will vote on whether to adopt two proposed Warrant Articles o amend the town’s General Zoning By-Laws to create an “MBTA Communities Multi-family Overlay District” and remain in compliance with state law. Inform yourself with facts available on the town’s MBTA Community Zoning webpage and on the Planning Board Public Hearing presentation on October 26. Please:

  • read and reflect on these articles through the lens of our shared UU beliefs and values  
  • contact your precinct’s Town Meeting Members and advocate for your position

First Parish Milton’s Social & Environmental Justice Committee joins Affordable Inclusive Milton (AIM) and Sustainable Milton in supporting these articles in the belief that they will: address the state’s acute housing shortage and in Milton: expand multi-generational housing options and affordability; expand social and economic diversity; support smart growth through climate-friendly and sustainable development; boost the town’s tax-base through increased residential and mixed-use properties. Check out our bulletin board at church, too, or stop by our table during Sunday Social Hours.

Article to Read, suggested by the Social and Environmental Justice Committee:

Leave the Leaves: Winter Habitat Protection

December 6th 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

Community Conversations: A Long Road Home: Roots of Homeownership Inequity

Join us and our guest, Aja Kennedy from the Boston Indicators to discuss some of the state’s homeownership support programs, and policy tensions related to design and implementation of these programs, as well as recommendations for how to strengthen them.

A Long Road Home: Roots of Homeownership Inequity

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 – 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Co-sponsored by: First Parish in Lexington and Follen Church

About Aja and Boston Indicators:

Aja is a Racial Wealth Gap Research Fellow with Boston Indicators. She is currently pursing a Ph.D. in Economics and Public Policy at Tufts University, where her research areas include urban and public economics, with a particular interest in housing, residential segregation, and land use.

Boston Indicators special report “A Long Road Home: A Racial Equity Analysis of Homeownership Support Programs in Massachusetts” leads with a history of our region’s racial homeownership gap and provides a thorough landscape scan of affordable homeownership programs in Massachusetts, diving more deeply into six key state programs and policies. The paper ends with recommendations for strengthening the existing system, derived from a series of focus groups and stakeholder interviews.


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.