Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 11/26/2020

Weekly Link 11-26-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, November 29, 2020 10:30am

“Choosing Joy”

Facilitated by: Guest Minister Erik Resly 

Worship Associate:  Elise Henricks

Music:Tim Steele

Audio Engineer: Daniel Truog

Virtual Social Hour Host: Andrea Geyling-MoorePlease 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, 11/27.

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.   Guest Minister

2.   Christmas Tree Ordering Information

3.   Holiday Giftcard Program

4.   Prison Book Program

5.   Gifts From The Kitchen

6.   Racial Justice Conversations

7.     UUU Ministry Community Conversation

8. Lunch brigade & Father Bills volunteer opportunity

9. Fair Foods volunteer opportunity

10. Weekly Meditation 

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

While Rev. Lisa is on vacation this week, I wanted to take an opportunity to share with you some of the things the office has been working on, keeping the building in tip top shape while we wait for everyone to return to in person services.

Our solar panels went live in October! In November (thus far), we have saved 4,592 pounds of CO2 emissions. While it may be hard to conceptualize  that impact- here’s a beautiful image. It is the equivalent of planting 35 trees, in just over 3 weeks.

We had a hard hitting storm in October. The weatherman labeled it a ‘derecho’ a  fast moving storm with damaging lightening and wind. The trees at First Parish were hard hit. We lost the tallest branches on 2 of our courtyard trees, as well as limbs from the tree outside the Carriage House. One limb hit the meetinghouse roof, scraping the side of the meetinghouse as it fell. We were, however, very lucky. While the clapboards and window sills did have damage, branches landed a hair’s width from the windows. The original hand blown glass windows survived another storm.

But – we have repairs to do. The slate roof will need work; shutters rebuilt; trees trimmed. You’ll notice a flurry of activity in next few weeks, as we race against winter’s ticking clock.

We also repaved the walkways in the courtyard. No more cracks, lumps or bumps. A huge improvement in accessibility for the congregation.

And for those that miss congregating in the kitchen at social hour, it’ll be a little warmer the next time it’s open. We insulated the windows (thanks to sexton Kevin) and are putting storm windows in. The kitchen will be more energy efficient and a touch cozier.We will be ready for everyone to return, as soon as safe to do so.

Wishing you all a happy, safe Thanksgiving. Susan DeMinico, Church Administrator.

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 the first weekend in December to families of elementary school or younger children on the theme of Celebrations of Light. 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 at 4:30 pm: This is an ongoing Minecraft group for all ages! Please email if you would like to participate. Anyone who enjoys Minecraft is invited to come and build with us on Sunday afternoons. You will need a copy of Minecraft (Java preferred but we have a server for Bedrock players as well) and an account. Let us know if you need help getting set up.

High School Youth: Calling all youth to join our Zoom session on December 5 at 1 pm to discuss upcoming events in January and March. Email if you have not received the link to participate in our discussion and planning.

[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.~


As we observe the first Sunday of Advent, Grace Allendorf will be singing “Wondering”, by Dr. Diane White-Clayton, a native of Washington, D.C. who is a classically-trained soprano, pianist, conductor, and composer whose music combines elements of classical, gospel, and jazz. Guest vocalist Keith Brinkley will be offering “The Season of Love (A December Wish)” by Sally Albrecht and Jay Althouse. Mr. Brinkley is a graduate of the Longy School of Music and sings regularly at Pilgrim Trinitarian Church in Dorchester. The prelude will be provided by Owen Hartford, who will be playing two of his own compositions on the mandolin.

Events, News & Announcements

Rev. Erik W. Martinez Resly is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who interned at First Parish Milton with Rev. Parisa Parsa while attendingHarvard Divinity School. After graduation, he went on to launch TheSanctuaries in Washington, DC, a multi faith arts community that has trained hundreds of artists to work on the front lines of grassroots organizing campaigns and national social movements impacting over 100,000 people nationwide. Today, he continues to work on local justice campaigns, oversees digital and cultural advocacy at the national civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, and serves as a fellow at the John F.Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

There are still trees left to order and pick up this Saturday -November 28th 9:00am-12:00pm.

You can just show up on Saturday, from 9am-12pm, even if you didn’t pre-order!

This year may be different but our tree tradition continues.First Parish has ordered Frasier firs from the same farm we used last year; this year, we have ordered their premium, 6-7 foot trees. The price is remaining the same — $65 — with proceeds going to the church.  You may come to the pick up and pay at that time or text to pay.

Pick-up this Saturday – November 28th– from 9-12. If this time does not work for you and you’d like to purchase, please contact Leslie at for alternate arrangements.

We will follow all safety protocols during pick-up.You can pre-pay by check (mail a $65 check made out to First Parish in Milton, with Christmas tree in memo line, to 535 Canton Ave, Milton Ma 02186 OR pay by text, a contactless way to pay for your Christmas tree.

Simply text (617) 539-7576 and in message body, the payment amount (for example, $65). You’ll get an automatic text message back, asking you to do a 1-time set up to create an account with your credit card/debit number. If you’re used text for giving for Sunday giving, you do not need to set up a new account. You can simply text the $65 and we’ll apply to a tree order automatically. 

But wait, there’s more!

While your tree is being tied on top of the car we encourage all ages to come by the RE table and pick up ready to make Holiday craft kits. Help yourself to one kit or take a few. Do your holiday crafting at home whenever you have time. Keep the completed decorations for your own holidays or bring them back to hang on our Sharing Tree for others to take to brighten their homes. Craft kits will be available in the Carriage House to pick up anytime until supplies run out. The Sharing Tree will be in the Carriage House throughout December to leave or collect a holiday craft.

Deadline to donate is December 1st

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!

 Do not forget that you can donate books from now till December 1st

“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

Gifts from the Kitchen

Friday, December 11th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM  This night 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.

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:

Tune in to UU Urban Ministry Community Conversation  Several weeks ago, the Rev Mary Margaret Earl joined our worship service to share news from the Urban Ministry at First Church in Roxbury.  She invited us to participate in a series of Community Conversations organized by the Urban Ministry.  The next Conversation is on December 22:Mental Health and the Holidays in the Black Community,” presented by Toy Burton, founder of DeeDee’s Cry, a mental health awareness organization focused on communities of color. Tune in from 6 to 7:30 on the 22nd here.  Special thanks to Conversation sponsor The Aegis Group at Morgan Stanley.

“As of this week, First Parish members have made 1,737 lunches for the clients of MainSpring House in Brockton and Evelyn House in Stoughton. With much gratitude to all the lunch makers who have contributed to this ongoing effort since March. We hear that the clients appreciate our nutritional meals.”

Volunteers are needed on December 2nd & 16th.  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.

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, 10 Parish St. in Dorchester, near Fields Corner.

Next session is Saturday, December 12th 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.

Meditation continues ….

All are welcome to join for 30 minutes of silent meditation/prayer on:

Thursday evenings at 7:00pm 

Sunday mornings at 9:30am

Newcomers and friends welcome.

Please contact Tracey at if you have questions or want to join us!