Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 12/21/2023

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 12/21/2023

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

“Silence, Sing-A-Long and Sentiment”

First Parish is offering 3 worship services this Christmas Eve. Please see the information below about each service.

10:30am Service

Worship Assistant: Christopher Clifford

Flowers: Bebe Seymour

Audio: Colin Glazer

Social Hour: Marie-Laure Brown

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.

5pm Christmas Pageant

Join us outside for our walking Christmas Pageant. Paths are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Hot cocoa available at the conclusion of pageant.

There is no Zoom available for this service.

10:00pm Service

Join us in the Sanctuary for a Reflective Service with candlelight and music.

Worship Assistant: Elise Henricks

Greeters: Dale Golembski & Amy Kavadlo

Ushers: Tom Kemp & Tony Dutzik

Flowers: Bebe Seymour

Audio: Colin Glazer

Sunday’s Christmas Eve 10:00 pm offering will be given to The Association of Haitian Women in Boston. AFAB-KAFANM’s mission is to empower Haitian women by helping them develop their individual and collective capacity to improve social, economic and political status and thus be able to effect positive changes in their life and their families’ lives. Morning service will go towards the service and ministry of First Parish.

I will be helping facilitate a community forum on the Israel-Palestine turmoil in early January representing the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association. I’m sure you can understand that it feels like both a daunting task and an important event. Entering in with curiosity and compassion, integrity and a willingness to learn is what people the world over are grappling with when concerned with this complex, historically intractable situation.

When I think of the people willing to help shape this conversation, as well as those who will attend, I honor their courage, their heart, their grief, and their hope. This does not negate nor dismiss the anger, trauma and despair that will accompany many as well. It simply frames a beginning conversation towards restoration and transformation, rising out of our stuck places and into unknown possibilities.

There are many lists of ground rules to encourage brave spaces. I thought I’d list a few, for, in the midst of holiday celebrations, prickly conversations can arise anywhere, especially in a polarizing time such as this – on so many levels.

Though there are many, I’ll share three basics in this column: listen well, speak for yourself, and honor difference. When we listen well, we are not trying to formulate our answers, rather, we are listening to understand. When we speak for ourselves, we are releasing assumptions and ‘staying in our own lane’. When we honor difference, as long as it is not imminently dangerous, we are recognizing that there is room enough for more than one perspective. None of this is easy, though all of it will bring people further into a conversation and stronger towards expansive welcome. 

And sometimes, this inner refrain can help: “Do I want to be right or in relationship?” When mutual respect is present, worlds of difference and understanding can thrive.

So may it be. Lisa

Rev. Lisa will be on vacation from December 25 through Jan 1

Join us on December 31st for a special service with guest minister, Jim Scott.

Jim Scott’s songs (like “Gather the Spirit”) are in our Unitarian Universalist hymnals. He has led services and performed concerts at more than 700 UU churches over the course of 35 years. As co-chair of the UU Ministry for the Earth, Jim was one of the creators of the Green Sanctuary program. A longtime member of the Paul Winter Consort, Jim was co-composer of their celebrated “Missa Gaia/Earth Mass.” He has produced 9 albums and created the “Earth and Spirit Songbook.” Pete Seeger called Jim “Some kind of a magician.”

Music This Week

On December 24th there will be some wonderful music at both the 10:30 service in the morning and during the evening 10pm service. In the morning, Hunsaker soloist Elaine Daiber will be singing a newly composed Christmas solo by Carol Koffinke, called “I Am Christmas”, while the congregation will also sing many favorite Christmas carols, while learning a little about the history of each one. 

For the evening service, plan on arriving at 9:45 to hear some festive pre-service music by vocal soloists Dana Varga, Grace Allendorf, and Brandon Grimes, as well as violinist Hannah Solomon. The evening service, beginning at 10pm, will feature much congregational carol-singing as well as three anthems by the Meetinghouse Choir, including a gospel version of “Go, Tell It On the Mountain” arranged by Harold Best and featuring soloist Daon Drisdom. And for the postlude Hannah Solomon will play the violin on a composition by choir member Trisha Tu, called “The Joyful Dance”.

RE This Week

RE This Week

Events and Meetings

Christmas Party Invitation

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 at tdr02186@gmail.

January 14th- Heat Pumps: Come hear a panel of FPM members share info about their experience with installing heat pumps in their homes. 

Join us 12:00 pm after social hour in the Chase Parlor.

News and Announcements

Thank You

Thanks to all the First Parish elves who made the Holiday Fair a huge success! The Parish Hall was alive with crafts, free or affordable repurposed gifts and decor, music, food and lots of new faces seeing what our Holiday Fair was all about. Seeing folks of all ages gathered at the card and reindeer craft table was a multi generational gathering that melted my heart. In First Parish style we came together and shined to create this community event that many are hoping will become an annual event.

Thanks to all the home bakers, chili makers, folks who set up and cleaned up, folks who spread the word, musicians, crafters, table/room managers, gathers and organizers of gifts for the kids shop and Freecycle Table, and of course Santa and the First Parish staff! You all make me proud to be a member of First Parish!

Childcare during Choir Rehearsals

Starting in January 2024, childcare will be available in the nursery starting at 8:30am for caregivers to attend choir rehearsal. If you have any questions about joining the choir, please contact Tim at If you have any questions about childcare, please contact Louise at

News and Announcements

January is a great month to volunteer!

It is cold outside – but warm at First Parish!



Haven’t done this before or need a refresher? No worries! A committee member will reach out to you the week of your sign up to provide instructions and guidance.

Thank You and we look forward to your participation!

Social & Environmental Justice Committee (SEJC)


from First Parish Social & Environmental Justice Committee

We know we can make individual choices to live more sustainably, to lessen impacts on our shared planet (thus far, no Planet B. ) Collectively, our choices matter. ADVOCACY, supporting key legislation and informing our legislators about important pending bills, is even more important. It’s easy to identify your state legislator (s) here — input your zipcode.

For a proposed bill to become law, State House co-sponsors give it clout and influence its chances of approval. Legislators represent you: make sure they know what matters to you. Call, email, text, and/or post on social media. Hearing from as few as five or six constituents about a particular bill puts it on their radar. Really.

Here are two bills with impact which merit your action:

H3690 and S2104— the Bigger Better Bottle Bill represents a proven way to reduce plastic pollution by expanding product categories and raising the deposit fee to 10 cents. Our state’s current system is outdated and insufficient. Imagine: no more alcohol NIPS, water, or sports/vitamin beverage bottles littering the streets, riverways, or beaches.  [a MassPIRG initiative]

S.481 / H.872 (aka Polluters Pay) — this establishes a climate change superfund and promotes polluter/manufacturer responsibility to “clean up its act.” Right now, consumer-citizens pay for all the bad outcomes like solid waste, litter, and public health risks. [a UU MASS Action campaign item]

It’s wonderful that First Parish members live in many different municipalities: Boston, Canton, Milton, Quincy, Randolph, and more. Together, we can make an an impact IF we advocate for it.

Zero Waste for the Holidays

Celebrate the holiday season with zero waste. Waste from holiday meals, gift giving, and packaging can trash our holiday spirit by harming the environment. We throw away at least 25% more trash during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than any other time of year.

Learn how to reduce your waste during the holidays with our panel of experts from PIRG and Environment America.

Watch Here

January 3rd 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

RYP Holiday Concert (feat. John Muratore)

Dec 22, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

UU Urban Ministry, 10 Putnam St, Boston, MA 02119, USA

Join us for a heartwarming celebration of the holiday season, with the music of acclaimed classical guitarist, John Muratore!

This concert is free, and we hope you will join us for an evening of celebration and world class music. Donations are welcome, and will benefit UUUM’s Roxbury Youth Programs.

SAVE THE DATE to join us for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day Project

Monday, January 15th 10:00 am-11:30 am

Cunningham Hall-75 Edge Hill Road., Milton

We invite families and friends to join us in assembling “blessing bags” for those in our area facing the challenges of housing and living in harsh weather. 

Sponsored by Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice.


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.