Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 11/5/2020

Weekly Link 11-5-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, November 8, 2020 10:30am

“Embracing the Moment”

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Franc Graham

Music: Tim Steele

Audio Engineer: Madeleine Miller

Virtual Social Hour Host: Lynne Stack 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, 11/6.

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.  Looking for Something ?

2.  Holiday Gift Program

3.  Prison Book Program

4.  Handel and Haydn at the Urban Ministry 

5.  Racial Justice Conversations

6.  Climate Danger in the Fore River Basin

7.  Cooking Lessons

8.  First Parish Harvest Gathering

9.  In Person Check-in Chats with Minister

10.Father Bills volunteer opportunity

11.Fair Foods volunteer opportunity

12.Weekly Meditation

My guess is you are exhausted, under slept and on edge.  My guess is you vacillate from moments of hope to moments of dread, moments of rage to moments of resolve.  The radical uncertainty of these times, challenging our political, physical and spiritual health is unprecedented.  Congrats on facing the day this morning.

If you feel anxious, on the edge of dread or overwhelm, it simply means you have the courage to pay attention and the heart to care about shared being.  So tend to your being.  Check in with your own health, breathe through bodily tensions, stay hydrated, schedule rest, even stillness if possible.

We’re in for a long haul, folks, the speed of transformation is often slower than the speed of hope.  Don’t despair, just get back to the moment.  Diversity is inching into our civic life at a painstaking pace.  Change is afoot.  Hang in.  As Valerie Kaur, Sikh activist, reminds us, “America is waiting to be born. Stay in the labor”. She speaks of the aspiration of “we the people”, underrepresented in its beginning, but summoned to more inclusivity by the power of words like “equality”, “justice” and “liberty”. 

So let yourself grieve the stark divide presently stressing this nation.  Let tears flow, sighs fall, rage be safely released.  Move your body, dance out your feelings in the living room if that appeals, talk with trusted friends.

Last night I was bolstered and brought to tears when regarding our Social and Environmental Justice Committee.  The zoom gallery view presented such beauty of being, each square full of the hope and embodiment of the ripple effect of goodwill.  Stay in the labor.

With love and in faith, Rev. Lisa

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 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 were delivered this past weekend to families of elementary school or younger children on the theme of Celebrating the Day of the Dead. Families are encouraged to post photos of your completed memorial altars 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 Youth: A Minecraft group will be starting soon. Please email if your youth (or parent!) would like to participate. This group will be open to all ages!

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 soprano Melissa Joseph will be returning to sing “I’m Still Here”, an art song by Byron Motley and Barbara Sherrill, text by Langston Hughes. Mr. Motley is a composer, singer, filmmaker, author, and photographer. He has sung with the Boston Pops, sung on Broadway, and has written a musical about Jazz and Negro League Baseball. Also, vocalists Lisa White and Jeff Stoodt will collaborate with guitarist Claudia Wellington on “Who By Fire”, by Leonard Cohen

Events, News & Announcements


~Child “Old Navy” denim jacket~

~”Eddie Bauer” black vest~

~”North Face” gray zip- up jacket~

~”GAP” blue fleece zip-up jacket~

~Woman’s red cape style sweater~

~Woman’s black cardigan~

If you are the owner of any of these items please contact the office to arrange for pick up.  Items not picked up by months end will be donated.

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

  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. 

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. 

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

Thank you for your generocity!

“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.

Handel and Haydn at the Urban Ministry

November 8th 3:00pm

Every year, H & h offers a community concert at the First Church Roxbury, celebrating the many voices of the Boston community.  This year’s livestream concert celebrates female composers-including queer women of color-in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendement, led by Reginald Mobley.  Also featuring a special livestream Q & A hosted by Emily Marvosh.

Add more music to your life by registering for this wonderful concert and support the UU Urban Ministry !

Go to the H & H website to register  

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

Next Session: Wednesday, November 11, 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 theweek of the conversation. Interested?  Contact the office:

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 !


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.

Please join us for the (not-annual) First Parish Harvest GatheringSaturday, November 14th, 7:00 – 8:30-ish  Our time-honored Harvest Supper will be virtual in 2020 – minus thesupper!Featuring some of our fabulous First Parish musicians, poets andstorytellers.What better way to spend a Saturday night this fall ?  The Zoom Link will be sent on Thursday, Nov, 12th


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.

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.

Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that wouldotherwise be wasted and uses it to feed our communities. The beginning ofthe new church year brings the return of a regular Fair Foods volunteerschedule for First Parish. We will volunteer together the 2nd Saturday ofevery 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 – gloveswill be available at the site.  Fair Foods has numerous other volunteer opportunities duringthe week – including every Friday and Saturday at First Parish Dorchester.  Please contact Tony Dutzik at 617-291-4685 or  to find outmore 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!