Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 12/23/2015

Weekly Link 12/23/2015


This Week in Worship

  • Thursday, December 24 — Christmas Eve Worship & Pageant @ 5:00 pm in the Meetinghouse
  • Thursday, December 24 — Christmas Eve Music Service @ 10:00 pm in the Meetinghouse
  • Sunday, December 27 @ Worship @ 10:30 am in the Meetinghouse

John Waters, the outrageous Baltimore film director, shot a scene in one of his early movies that has to be every parent’s worst nightmare of Christmas morning. In it Divine, a 300 lbs drag queen, plays a daughter who destroys the family Christmas tree and gifts because she didn’t get the “cha-cha heels” that she wanted. It is hilarious in part because we all have been that brat, or at least wanted to be that brat, I remember one Christmas in particular when I was the most ungrateful teenager ever. My parents bought me a very nice backpack, one that I used for years and brought across Europe and the States. But, that is not what I wanted for Christmas. Thinking back I’m not sure what I wanted, maybe I just wanted to throw a moody hissy fit. And I did.

So as this holiday season approaches I am filled with gratitude. Gratitude that although that Christmas went badly all those years ago, my parents still love me. Gratitude that our children are happy and too young to really throw a holiday spoiling feat. Gratitude that we have been blessed to be a part of this community. And I’m filled with gratitude for all of you. For all of the hard work that you and others have done to make this religious community authentically you. For the work of the hands, the work of the head and the work of the heart to keep this place alive and vital.

On behalf of all of the staff here at First Parish and our families, I want to wish all of you a Christmas full of joy and a New Year full of excitement and good health. May you feel the blessing of the Spirit during this holiday season, and may you in turn be a blessing to others.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Rev. Hank

Religious Exploration

NO RE Classes or Nursery Care on Sunday, December 27


Calling all Angels, Animals and Shepherds!

NOT to late to be in the PAGEANT! Come to our final dress rehearsal and we will find a part for you! Final dress rehearsal and cast party at 3:00 – 4:30 PM Christmas Eve, Thursday, 12/24 in Meetinghouse. Pageant at 5pm.

News and Announcements

Save the Date for “S’More Fun” ~ Saturday Night, January 30th

First Parish Milton’s Stewardship Celebration 2016 Campaign
(in Campy Style)

When: 7:00 – 10:30 p.m. in the ol’ Mess Hall

Come for chow and cheer at “Camp Run-A-Muk”

Evite details soon!!!!!


The Junior Youth Group would like to extend our gratitude to the congregation for participating in the sock drive for the homeless. We distributed approximately 300 pairs of socks to the homeless during the outdoor church, in addition to sandwiches that we made to bring with us. We had a really eye-opening and heart-warming experience and we were very proud of our congregation’s contribution.

We asked each of the Youth to share one thought from the experience. Following are some of their insights:

  • It was humbling to see how people had to live under those conditions
  • It was very interesting
  • They [the homeless] were very nice to us, and very appreciative.They liked to have conversation.
  • It was a very insightful experience
  • Their faces were filled with joy and they were glad that other people cared about helping them
  • The Outdoor Church community was kind and seemed to care about others.

Finally, Jr. Youth parent, Jen Erbe Leggett, took a video (with permission) of one of our new homeless friends reciting a poem that he wrote about his experiences. We encourage you to watch the (very short) poem, as it was quite powerful. Here’s a link to the video.

The Search Continues — News from the Ministerial Search Committee

Ready, Get Set…

During the month of December, prospective ministers are reviewing our Congregational Record to determine whether they will express interest in our position. Meanwhile we are putting the last finishing touches on our Congregational Packet. Once complete, the Congregational Packet will take the form of a password-protected website. Later this week we will be making that website accessible for the congregation to view via the members’ page of our main First Parish website. We have all put many hours into the website to ensure it shows all the great things a new minister would gain from joining us, so if you see any your MSC members and we seem a little sleep-deprived, please offer us a smile or a hug … And if any of you are in touch with Laurie Macintosh, make sure to express your gratitude to her for the enormous number of hours she has put into constructing our website.

In January, we will begin the process of reviewing Ministerial Records from those interested in First Parish. When we determine there is mutual interest, we will exchange Packets, which contain much more information than the Records. We will study candidate materials, and conduct preliminary interviews (either by phone or Skype) with the candidates that look best to us.

We will have a list of our top candidates by the end of January. We will provide as much generic information as we can about the process, but as mentioned previously, we will be operating in confidential mode, and will not be including specific information about any candidate. Thank you for your understanding and support!

As always, feel free to contact the members of your Ministerial Search Committee with questions or concerns:

Debbie Alsebai, Charlie Franich, Franc Graham, Elise Henricks, Jim May, Brigitte Miller, and Tracey Robinson.

Social Action Committee Needs You!

Want to Save the World? — “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

The First Parish Social Action Committee is currently involved in the following projects through The U.U. Urban Ministries in Roxbury and Father Bill’s & Mainspring in Quincy.

The First Parish Social Action Committee is currently involved in the following projects through The U.U. Urban Ministries in Roxbury and Father Bill’s & Mainspring in Quincy.

  • Father Bill’s & Mindspring: First Parish volunteers will help prepare and serve a meal to our neighbors in need. Date: TBD
  • Renewal House: Two projects: (1) The First Parish Social Action Committee will be organizing a toiletries drive to collect items to give to the Residents of Renewal House. (2) Purchase of Mother’s Day gift for a woman living at Renewal House
  • Fair Food Inc: First Parish members will meet one Saturday a month, from 10 am – 1 pm, to help distribute food. Join us Saturday, December 19. Contact
  • Boston Public Schools: Focus on Children: Individual volunteers will work with UUUM staff for out of school-time program for at risk students from Timilty Middle School in Roxbury.
  • Jericho Road Roxbury: Individual First Parish Members will be teamed up with a non-profit, who is need of your unique talents.

If you are interested in joining us for one of this fun and transforming events, please contact: David Egan, Social Action Chair or after church during Coffee Hour.

Details are available HERE. Flyers on the Information Table in the Stebbins Parlor and in the Parish Hall Foyer.


Kiki’s Corner

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Year End Pledge Payments. Please remember if you are writing a check to the church for the 2015 tax year, the check and postmark must be dated December 31, 2015 or earlier. We are mailing pledge statements this week. Thank you for your generosity.

Furnace Conversion Update: The upgraded gas meter is in. Williams has had plumbers on site since Monday working on adding pipes and making connections. Next Monday, December 28, the actual conversion takes place, out with the old oil furnaces, in with the gas. We will be without heat from about 3 days starting on Monday.

Christmas Week Office Schedule: Miriam, Kevin and I work in the office on December 28. We will be in the office if we can make it comfortable enough without heat. Rev. Hank is always reachable by cell phone for any pastoral emergencies. If I am not in the office, I will be working remotely. So feel free to email.


Follow First Parish on Facebook and get updates, poems, announcements and more. You’ll be glad you did!


Worship, 10:30am in the Meetinghouse

Silent Prayer & Meditation, 9:00am in the Children’s Church


Please consider volunteering for important Sunday worship positions like ushering, hosting social hour, providing flowers for worship, and lighting the chalice. Sign Up Here!