Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 12/09/2021

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 12/09/2021

This Week in Worship

December 12, 2021

“Joy’s Welcome”

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate: Penny Partridge

Music: Tim Steele

Flowers: Lisa White

Ushers: Elise Henricks & Tony Dutzik

Audio: Nina Truog

Tent Crew: Richard Venable

This will be a hybrid service. You are welcome to join us in the Meetinghouse (masks required for those over 5 years old and childcare will be available). If you prefer, you are welcome to join us via Zoom.

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.

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

Staying Warm in the Meetinghouse

As the autumn days grow colder, we recommend you dress warmly for worship in the Meetinghouse. In order to keep our air circulating, we will need to keep a few windows open. We have a supply of throws in a back pew for extra warmth if needed.

I have had the privilege of being a part of several groups in town that are earnestly examining, advocating and analyzing the presence, or lack thereof of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in our society. I am learning loads. One of the discoveries in this work, is a pervading lack of buy-in or sense of priority advancing DEI. As is systemically true in our white dominant culture, we can talk a good game until true change is called for. Then there are other priorities which command our time and resources. Then there are reasons why “others” aren’t making it happen. Of course there is blatant resistance among some to DEI, which also distracts from the work, as we tend toward the drama of opposition and self-righteous positioning, neither of which will advance transformation.

While there are many dynamics at play, I’d like to focus in on one cultural characteristic that is hindering our progress: perfectionism. Perfectionism drives the need to get it right.

If we do the work out of fear of getting it wrong, we will not risk “failure”. Thus we will not grow or explore outside the discomfort of not knowing.  We will also be seeking approval for our perfection, which tethers us to judgment, the fastest avenue to guilt, shame, defensiveness and blame.

We need to shift this frame. DEI is not a discipline to perfect, but a wisdom to gratefully practice. The work of DEI is not to say we are not good enough. It is an invitation to open to the abundance of life that can be known in community. It is not an attempt to take away what we have or are used to, but to expand possibility, enrich our resources, and strengthen the fabric of society. DEI invites us to a resilient, creative, abundant, life-giving way of being a true interdependent web of existence.  

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

As we move towards winter, the weather has become more challenging for Religious Exploration. We are not yet cleared to hold class in the building. We anticipate being able to be in the building beginning on Sunday 19 December. Once we are able to be in the building for Religious Exploration, we will start and end in Parish Hall and include a 20-30 minute outdoor play when the weather cooperates. Until we are able to be inside for all or part of the morning, our plan is to gather in the courtyard and begin by lighting our Chalice and checking in. If the weather is temperate enough, we will include story and discussion. If it is too cold, we’ll go right into active play after check in. While Religious Exploration cannot be in the building, we will only cancel if the ground is wet from an earlier rain or if it is raining or if worship is online only. 

The Religious Exploration team will notify parents of any cancellation by email and/or text message no later than 8 AM Sunday.

Remember to dress kids in layers so we can respond appropriately to conditions.

Molly B. Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Education

Music Selections This Sunday

This Sunday a small ensemble of singers (Pat Neves, Grace Allendorf, Lisa White, and Jeff Stoodt) will be presenting an interesting “mash up” of two familiar tunes: one is an advent chorale melody and the other a popular secular song. This arrangement is by Craig Hella Johnson, founder of the Grammy-nominated choral ensemble Conspirare as well as composer of the oratorio “Considering Matthew Shepherd”. In addition Pat Neves will be singing a solo called “Feeling Good” by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse from a show called “Nina Simone — I Put a Spell on You”.

Specialized help needed for RE and Christmas Pageant!

We have need of a manger and at least one of our RE kids would like to help to make one for our Christmas Eve Pageant. There are several DIY videos and articles on the web. If you have carpentry skills and tools and could build a manger with our RE kids on 12 or 19 December, please email Molly Nolan at

Casting call for our Outdoor Christmas Pageant!  

If you would like a role in the pageant, please contact Molly at

Christmas Eve at First Parish

Two Services:

5:00 pm- Outdoor Only Family Service

10:00 pm -Indoor/Zoom Meditative Service

All ages welcome at both services.

Thinking outside the box, First Parish is adapting our successful Pageant-in-a-Box Christmas Pageant to be held outdoors so that all ages may participate and attend safely. This is an all hands on deck operation. The cast is easily expandable to include extended family or friends who may be visiting. However, if you know you and/or your family want to be part of the cast, please shoot Molly an email ( about who and what ages are planning to be in the cast.  If you want to participate, but not be in the cast, please email Sherri at and let her know who wants to volunteer and what they’d like to do (if preferences are known).

The outdoor pageant will be held at 5:00 on Christmas Eve, followed by a hot chocolate reception for cast, crew and attendees. There will be NO Zoom option for this service. The service will be 100% outside and accessible for those with wheelchairs, strollers, etc.

The indoor traditional candlelight service will be held at 10 PM in the Sanctuary. We will have a Zoom option at the 10pm service.

Update from Phased Re-Opening Task Group

Several committees and church members have recently requested changes to our COVID safety policies, and the Phased Re-Opening (PRO) task group is hard at work reviewing the requests, researching relevant safety guidelines, and forming recommendations to send for approval to the Parish Committee. As a reminder, the current COVID safety policy is posted on our website—see the hyperlink in the bright yellow bar at the top of our homepage. PRO is considering how to adjust our safety policy for winter gatherings that prioritize the health and safety of our congregation, as well as allowing individuals to determine how to meet their own needs for safety and connection. The latest changes will be developed by the PRO task group and finalized by approval of the Parish Committee in the next few weeks. All are welcome to continue to send proposed changes or questions about existing policies to PRO, by contacting Tracey Robinson, chair of the task group at

Table of Contents

News, Announcements and Meetings

1.MainSpring Lunch program

2.Milton Residents’ Fund Gift Card Drive


4.Social and Environmental Justice News & Events

5.Prison Book Program

6.Milton Community Concerts Season Announcement

7.UU Urban Ministry Architecture Series

Mainspring Lunch Bag Program

Next date is MONDAY, December 20th (last Monday)

Starting in January we will shift back to delivering lunches on WEDNESDAY (instead of Mondays).

Peter Schneider is the team leader next week and will drive lunches to shelters in Brockton and Stoughton. We are still looking for a few more volunteers for Monday!

 If you require more information or have questions please contact Peter Schneider at

Sign up to volunteer on Sign up Genius

Milton Residents’ Fund Annual Holiday Gift Drive

The Milton Residents’ Fund is again operating the annual Holiday Gift drive for Milton families and children. To date, about 100 Milton Families have applied. Gift cards for Target, Star market or for gasoline would be most appreciated. Gift cards are most often given in $25 increments, but any amount is welcome and will be passed along to individuals and parents most in need during this holiday season. Any questions please email Noreen at Gifts can be left in the church mail slot labeled “Milton Residents Fund,”, left in the Grey box outside the office or mailed to First Parish attn: Milton Residents’ Fund


Meetings are generally on the Third Saturday in the Meetinghouse (masks required at this time)

10:00 am-12:00 pm (next meeting: ) December 18th

The Imaginarium is a group that explores our monthly worship themes through discussion, stories and creative play. We meet once a month, crafting ideas and experiences inspired by the themes. Come, enjoy the shared wisdom, creativity and connection. Each meeting stands on its own. Interested? contact the office:

News from S & EJ Committee

“11th Hour Calling” – Stand Out & Stand Up for Climate Action

Saturday, December 11, 6:00 p.m-6:30 p.m. (Sunday, 12/12 if rain or snow

First Parish Church lawn ~ Gather round the spotlight

JOIN US THIS MONTH! First Parish Milton, Sustainable Milton, and several other organizations (nearly 40 multi-generational people) launched this national climate action event last month. We rang the bells, beat drums, and waved signs with gusto. Your presence and bold DIY signage demonstrate to our community that we care about the climate emergency, environmental justice, and Milton’s municipal response planning. For safety, flashlights or headlamps and wear light-colored or reflective clothing, please. Spread the word: bring friends and neighbors. We welcome all ages and organizations because standing up together promotes change and purposefulness. Next stand out: Tuesday, January 11.

Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that

would otherwise be wasted and uses it to feed our communities. We volunteer together unloading and sorting food and packing bags once a month.

The next volunteer date is Saturday, December 11th

If you want to volunteer, please sign up on Sign up Genius by Thursday

evening before the event. Start time and locations vary depending on Fair Foods’ needs, but typically start at 8:30 a.m. at their warehouse at 70 Amory Street in Roxbury.

Other volunteer opportunities are also available at Fair Foods on weekdays from early morning until mid-afternoon.

Any questions or for more information contact Tony Dutzik at

Sign up to volunteer on Sign up Genius

Book Drive Still going now till December 15

You may donate gently used and new paperback books in the following categories:

Nonfiction: dictionaries (in all languages), thesaurus, almanacs, trade skills, business, hobbies, self-help, sports, spirituality and books by LGBTQ authors and people of color.

Fiction: Westerns, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction.

To learn more about the program, visit

Milton Community Concerts is now offering the opportunity between now and December 31st to view any of the live stream concerts from this past year for free. Just go to the website to find the link, and to donate to the concert series if you are so moved. You will also find a listing of upcoming concerts for 2021-22.

“Do you love our historic meeting house?? This is a program for you!! For those interested in old Boston churches, architecture, and the Urban Ministry, zoom on in!”

The Treasures of the Meetinghouse series

Episode 3

January 10th 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

In the third installment of the “Treasures of the Meetinghouse” series, William Cheney, Executive Director of the Willard House & Clock Museum, to discuss the many historic clocks on both the exterior and interior of First Roxbury Church.

link for more information


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.