Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 12/31/2015

Weekly Link 12/31/2015


This Week in Worship

Sunday, January 3 – Worship @ 10:30 am in Meetinghouse

This is the year. This is THE year. THIS IS THE YEAR! Yup this is the year when you, First Parish, get a new minister. THIS is the year, when you start the next chapter in your life as a religious community. Do you feel ready?

Is the church ready for this next stage in it’s life? Is the sanctuary spotless? Are the walls in the Link completely painted? Are the children’s classrooms spruced up and friendly? Has the minister’s office been painted? What about the parish hall, has anyone really thought about what it could use to make it function better. And all of the historical items, are they some place where they are safe and can be accessed?

Are there still things that you want to learn before your new candidate shows up? What about deepening your spiritual life, can that occur before July? Is there a weekend class that the entire church can take so that our spiritual lives will be up to expectations of the new minister?

So many things to do, and some you may not get to. But the new year means new chances, new opportunities to live into the values we subscribe to. The new year provides us possibility yet to be born. It is an exciting time.

Here’s to a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year!

Rev. Hank

Religious Exploration

Sunday, January 3rd

  • Children’s Church
  • Children and youth grades pre-k though 8th are invited to attend Children’s Church at 10:30am
  • Parents of musical-instrument-playing FP Kids:
  • We want them to add music to our worship with their talents. Please encourage your kids of ANY abilities to bring their instruments to the next Children’s Church service. If you can contact Leslie ahead of time, it would be helpful, but even if not, bring your instruments on January 3rd!
  • The Nursery is available for children ages 4 and younger

Thank you to all who worked hard on this year’s pageant. We had angels, a deer and cow; we had youth, teenagers and stressed parents and Walt (who brought it all together). We had an amazing pageant and could not have done it without you! To the parents and kids, thank you!

Very special thanks to Joel Hiller, the magic behind the pageant. Every year he takes on creating, writing, and producing the First Parish pageant always coming up with beautiful and creative ideas. Thank you Joel for your time and dedication!

News and Announcements

A CELEBRATION OF YULE: January 2, 2016 – 7:00 PM @ PARISH HALL

Cultures through history have celebrated the rebirth of the sun at the winter solstice. These celebrations typically took place during the coldest, darkest days of the year, but were celebrations that gave people hope that sunny days lay ahead.

Egyptians celebrated the return of Ra, god of the sun. Ancient Greeks held a similar festival called Lenaea. The Roman Empire held the week-long feast of Saturnalia, honoring the sun god Saturn. During the Iron Age, the Celts and other ancient Europeans welcomed the winter solstice by feasting, merrymaking and sacrificing animals. Scandinavia’s Vikings called the holiday “Yule”; families would light Yule logs and eat until the logs burned out – which could take up to 12 days.

The First Parish CUUPS group invites everyone to a one-night celebration of the darkest time of year and the rebirth of the sun. No animal sacrifices, just a lively celebration and potluck feast.

Questions: contact Mark Whall 617 282 4075


“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

Fair Food Inc: First Parish members will meet one Saturday a month, from 10 am – 1 pm, to help distribute food. Contact David. On December 19th, Dave was joined by 14 others to work at Fair Food Inc. Are you willing to join the team? A FP Milton delegation will be going to the program on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Mark you calendars now for Saturday, January 10.

Renewal House Toiletry Drive – January 2016

As previously announced, the Social Action Committee will be organizing a toiletry drive for the families at Renewal House each Sunday during the month of January. These are the specific items we are looking to have donated:
Toothbrushes and toothpaste, Floss, Mouth wash, Shaving cream and razors, Loofahs (lots of loofahs!) Body wash, Soap, Body lotion, Hand lotion, Deodorant, Laundry detergent, Fabric softener

If you are bringing items this Sunday, January 3rd, please put them in the basket in the Library.

Mentors Needed February to May – Mandatory Training – Saturday, January 30 from 1 – 3 PM @ UU Urban Ministry

We are in great need of mentors right now. We are working with Boston Partners in Education this year to offer a “Power Lunch” mentor model at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury. UU volunteers will be matched with a 6th grade child (or two). The goal will be for you to meet once a week for the spring semester (Feb-May) from 12:00-12:45pm to read with your mentee. (Depending on the child, you might read aloud, they might read aloud, or you both might read at home and discuss the book together). Tues, Wed, and Thurs are best. It looks like a lot of weeks, but please keep in mind you will not be meeting with your mentee during school vacation weeks, holidays, or standardized testing weeks.

BPE will be offering a mandatory and comprehensive mentor training for all mentors on Saturday, Jan. 30th from 1-3pm at the UUUM.

If you would like to sign up please fill out this application online.

For the “Group Affiliation” tab be sure to select UU Urban Ministry.

For further information on Renewal House and Focus on Children projects, please contact Social Action Committee member, Linda Carney-Goodrich.



SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, January 23, 2016

And please spread the word

What: Anti-Racism Summit

Where: UU Urban Ministry (10 Putnam Street Roxbury, MA 02119)

Time: 10am-2pm (Coffee and registration at 9:30am)

Featuring a panel discussion with representatives from Black Lives Matter Boston and the Muslim Justice League.

This summit for Unitarian Universalists engaged in and thinking about Racial Justice will provide an opportunity for UU groups to be together, meet others fighting for racial equality, and share best practices and ideas. Come learn how to be a more effective ally and stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Boston and the Muslim Community in Boston.

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

What: First Parish Milton’s Stewardship Celebration 2016 Campaign
(in Campy Style)
Time: 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 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.

Kiki’s Corner

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. If you have an outstanding pledge balance, you were mailed a statement in the last week. Please email me if you have any questions on your statement.

Furnace Conversion Update/Staff Schedule week of December 28:Kiki We are well into the throes of the furnace conversion. Williams Energy arrived last week to do the pre-work and are back this week to make the swap. The furance was disconnected December 28 and the building is without heat. We are hopeful to have the heat connected by late in the day December 30.

Best way to reach the office is via e-mail. If there is a pastoral emergency, contact Rev. Hank via his cell phone.


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!