This Week in Worship
Sunday, December 22nd, 2019
Rev. Lisa Ward
We woke up this Thursday morning (December 19) with an impeached President of the United States. This was the result of a divisive, polarizing and constitutionally valid vote in the US House of Representatives. During this serious, historic vote, the President was holding a rally in Michigan; name-calling congress folk, disdaining its outcome and generating explosive terms like “witch hunt”, “hoax” and “hatred for the American voter”.
What do we do, one might ask. How do we respond in this season of peace, within this holiday hope for justice and goodwill toward all? We pay attention. We educate ourselves about our system of government. We recognize that a democratic republic only works with mindful participation of every voter. We do not feed willful ignorance, name-calling, “us” and “them” dysfunction, or the pull of demonizing difference. We show up and say “no” when such behavior threatens the fabric of our culture.
The political outcome of our current President of the United States is unknown at this time. The spiritual deepening within our own communities need not be distracted by the political dance. We each can find our own clarity, our own wisdom of justice, equity and compassion. Indeed, it is what we must do.
Talk to each other with curiosity and generosity and defy malice.
So may it be. Amen.
And the holidays are underway…
Do scroll down to see the many offerings of festivities in this next week. A holiday movie night, admiring the work of church member Tom Kemp, a Yule celebration with potluck gathering, this Sunday’s service including carol singing and, of course, our two Christmas Eve candlelight services.
Our 5 pm Christmas Eve service is a new adventure this year: Pageant-in-a-Box: an engaging shared telling of the nativity story. Please see below for the full description in the Religious Exploration article.
Our 10 pm Christmas Eve service will be meditative, with carol singing and special music from the Meetinghouse Choir. With all the political rancor and divisiveness, let us remember the light within that knows of peace, equity and justice. Let us share in each other’s longing to find our way through to an inspired, loving, boldly compassionate world.
Nursery care will be available from 10:15 to 11:45 am in the Link hallway for infants and toddlers up to age 3.
On Sunday, December 22, all children from preschool through grade 7 will begin in the Meetinghouse and then move to the downstairs Activity Room for a discussion of Winter Solstice, practicing carols, and preparing props for the Christmas Eve pageant service.
Calling performers of all ages for the 2019 First Parish Christmas pageant!
On Christmas Eve at 5 pm come and participate in the telling of the Nativity story. This year we will be offering a Pageant-in-a-Box with roles for all who volunteer. No rehearsals necessary, just raise your hand when we call for actors. Music by Stuart M.V.S. Ryerse and lots of Christmas carols. Let’s make Christmas memories together!
Youth Chat does not meet on December 22. Next meeting will be on January 5.
Coming of Age does not meet on December 22. Next meeting will be on January 5 with mentors.
Save the Date: The youth group will be hosting a spaghetti supper and karaoke night on Friday, January 10. Set-up begins at 5 pm. We will be sending out a signup for groceries and helpers. Following the event, there will be a youth overnight!
The music for this Sunday, 12/22 and for the 10pm service on 12/24 will feature both familiar and unfamiliar holiday melodies. Soloists and the Meetinghouse Choir will offer arrangements of “Deck the Hall”, “Ding Dong Merrily on High”, and “O Holy Night”. You will also hear the traditional spiritual “Behold That Star”, and a lyrical anthem called “Follow the Light”, by Gael Berberick and Kevin Keil, along with other seasonal tunes.
Events, News and Announcements
Friday, December 20th
Held in Activity Room- enter through Carriage House Nursery School Door
We’re going to watch a feel good Christmas movie starring one of our very own: Tom Kemp – in a Hallmark movie, The Spruses and the Pines !!
“A Romeo and Juliet romance takes place among two feuding New England Christmas Tree lot families. Against their families’ wills, Julie Pine and visiting-from-Texas, Rick Spruce, fall in love, but are forced to hide their Yuletide relationship.”
So drop your tedious shopping and stop in and have some heartwarming food, drink and fellowship!
Bring your snacks, come and get in the Christmas spirit. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, December 21st
3:00pm in the Parish Hall
And the people saw that in the cycle of the seasons, the days grew shorter and colder as the sun seemed to withdraw, and the days grew longer and warmer when the sun began its return. And the people celebrated the day that marked the beginning of that return. It became a time for reflecting on the blessings and challenges of the old year, a time to prepare minds and hearts for the New Year. On the Winter Solstice, the darkest of nights, the Goddess becomes the Great Mother, and once again gives birth to the Sun, beginning the yearly cycle anew, bringing new light and hope to all the world – the spark of hope, the sacred fire, the light of the world.
All are invited to join the First Parish Great Blue Hill CUUPS as we gather to welcome the new light. We join the Goddess in greeting the Sun, and welcome the new light and hope within ourselves.
Pot Luck Social Hour to follow including Yankee Swap – if interested, bring a wrapped $20 gift.
Join us for Christmas Eve Services
December 24th in the Meetinghouse
5pm Service- Pageant & The Living Nativity
Music performed by Stuart M. V. S. Ryerse
10pm Service- Choral Music, Light of the World & Candlelight.
Music performed by Tim Steele
New Year Drumming Circle
Time: Wednesday, Jan 1st, 2020, 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Location: Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills
(18 Shoolman Way Milton, MA 02186)
Shira Moss brings over 20 years of teaching and performing as a professional percussionist. She plays with several projects and finds every performance to be an opportunity to create the magic that makes music such a powerful voice in human experience.
Drums provided, but you may bring your own drums.
Dinner will also be provided.
Interested in joining us? Please RSVP here by Dec. 28th.
Donations to Courageous Conversations welcomed, but not required.
Congregational Discernment Toward Installing Solar Panels
We are progressing toward a congregational vote scheduled for Sunday,
A brief summary of the proposal is posted at the end of the link hallway. An executive summary is available upon request. We have also sent this information via email to members and contributing friends.
EXPLORING AGING TOGETHER
Second and Fourth Wednesdays of the Month
11 am to 1 pm, (Bring a Bag Lunch)
Chase Parlor (next to the kitchen)
Open Meeting. Come when you can. Newcomers welcome.
Next Session: January 8th
What can we learn from each other as we age? We all have stories within us of facing the unknown and navigating changes, of adjusting to loss and appreciating what’s before us. We will meet twice a month to share our wisdom, our queries, our wonderings. Each session will focus around a theme. More questions? Contact Penny Partridge at email@example.com.
Fair Foods is a nonprofit organization that rescues nutritious wholesale fruits and vegetables about to be discarded for distribution to members of the community. Join First Parish’s Social Justice Committee for our monthly volunteer day with Fair Foods at the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, 10 Putnam St. in Roxbury. Arrive in Roxbury at 10:30 or e-mail Tony Dutzik at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join a carpool leaving from First Parish at 10 a.m. or if you have any questions. January 11 is our next date.
Coming this spring: The First Parish Auction on March 28, 2020!
Traditionally held on a biannual basis, we are now gearing up for the 2020 auction. And that means volunteers – LOTS of them. We need folks to work on Donations, Food and Beverage, Music and Entertainment, Decorations, Check out and Operations, Publicity, and Online. This is truly an all church effort. Won’t you join us?
June 24, 2020-June 29, 2020, Providence RI
Early Bird Registration is now Open!
Click here for more informaiton.
Snow Cancellation Information:
If the Milton Public Schools close for snow, so does First Parish. Sundays we realize are trickier. We will call it by 8 a.m. on Sunday. Look for cancellations in three places. If you don’t see cancellation information, we are open.
~Channel 5, WCVB television. Look for First Parish – Milton. Check their website if you want to get automatic, direct notification through the TV station. www.wcvb.com.
~Check our Facebook page. First Parish Milton UU. We will post cancellations there. Our Facebook page also feeds our Twitter account @FPMilton.
~Check our website, www.fpmilton.org. We put a banner on the home page with closing information.