This Week in Worship
“Here We Have Gathered”
Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward
Worship Associate: Chris Clifford
Music: Tim Steele
Worship Services will be via Zoom this week.
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 services and ministry of First Parish.
In the last few years, the acronym DEI has become a part of mission guidance for justice centered organizations. I was asked recently to draft definitions in the effort of working within a common language. Here is my response, with help from research. Comments are welcome.
Diversity encompasses identified characteristics that differentiate one individual or group from another. Some examples of identities are: race, ethnicity, age, national origin, religion, physical and neuro ability, sexual orientation, gender expression, socioeconomic status, education, language, political values and physical appearance.
Equity means a situational status of equal access. Equity is different from equality, because each person has unique abilities and contexts. Equity is not an aspiration for all to be the “same” or even have the same resources. It is about assessing equal opportunity and ensuring that each individual has what she/he/they need to achieve his/her/their full potential.
Inclusion means bringing individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power. In considering DEI, it is important to assess which groups or individuals are traditionally excluded from the power base.
DEI – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: This is the interaction of primary factors which create the ground in which justice can thrive. The work of DEI is an invitation to open to the abundance of life that can be known in community. It expands possibility, enriches our resources, and strengthens the fabric of society. DEI invites us to a resilient, creative, abundant, life-giving civic society.
May we, all, learn how to thrive in a shared life. Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa.
There are more Soul Matters resources available to all members as of 1 February. If you are trying to find a reading for your meeting, a chalice lighting or closing words, the Worship packet is a good place to look. If you want to go deeper into the theme of the month, check out the Small Group Ministry packet. If you are looking for family activities, conversation starters, or meal grace, the Soulful Home packet may have what you are looking for. If you want to find additional activities or games to do with your children that explore the month’s theme, if your child missed a class and you want to read the book or do some of the activities, look at the Religious Education packet. Soul Matters resources are available for all members! There is great richness to be found in the resources Soul Matters provides. To access the resources go to the Member Section of the First Parish website. Click on the Soul Matters link to see all the resources available to us through the current month. First Parish subscribes to Soul Matters. We can make the resources available to all the members of First Parish as long as we do not share the materials outside our congregation.
In Religious Exploration (sent to parents on Friday afternoon while we are still remote) we will look at Widening the Circle with a lesson onWidening the Love We Share- Celebrating all kinds of love. How do we extend our love to people we don’t know? The lesson uses extending love to refugees and asylum seekers who are often “unloved”.
February is Black History Month. We are in the last week of Thirty Days of Love which calls us to harness the power of love to stop oppression. The things we are invited to explore intersect in a big way this week. Climate Justice is the focus of the last week of Thirty Days of Love. Who is hurt the most by climate injustice? Marginalized and vulnerable communities who do not have a voice, often communities of color, suffer from decisions of all kinds made without considering all who are affected by the choices governments and industry make.
Week Four of the Thirty Days of Love, 7-14 February is focused on Climate Justice. Resources follow a Read, Watch, Act, Listen, Worship and include a read along video, “Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea” by Elizabeth Suneby, The UN Climate Summit poem, “Dear Matafele Peinem”, actions for children, individual adults and as a group, a podcast “What’s Your Climate Action Superpower?” from STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum and a live concert by Emma’s Revolution and several worship opportunities. All this and more can be found at: https://sidewithlove.org/week-four-february-7-14-climate-justice
Molly B. Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Education
Music This Sunday
This Sunday Grace Allendorf and Daon Drisdom will be joining on a duet composed by Oklahoma native Donna Butler, called “In This Place”. We will also be hearing music by talented violinist John Matters, currently a student at Milton Academy.
Table of Contents
News, Announcements and Meetings
2.All Church Council on 2/11
3.Chocolate Auction on 2/13
4.Breeze Trainings on 2/15 and 2/17
5.Membership Updates and Events
6.Racial Justice Focus Group on 2/23
7.Social and Environmental Justice News & Events
8.Beyond First Parish: UU Events and Opportunities
February is Stewardship Month
Thank you for responding to the letter from the Stewardship Team by making a pledge for the ’22-’23 church year. Your support for FY23 in any amount is most appreciated. Please let the office know if you were not contacted.
All Church Council
Friday February 11, 2022 -7:00-8:00 pm
Topic: Developing a community-wide climate action plan for First Parish Milton
On Feb 11, the Climate Action Team will lead a brainstorming discussion about how we can all think creatively and expansively about the resolution we approved at our annual meeting last May:
Our Congregation commits to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions and practicing total sustainability in all congregational activities by 2035.
In the fall, the Parish Committee charged a small task group to begin to develop a climate action plan for First Parish. The charge includes the goal of engaging the congregation in this ambitious program. This ACC meeting is one step in this process and all committee chairs are urged to attend or send a representative. The meeting is open to all. Zoom info below.
Climate Action Team: Marie-Laure Brown, Henry Maclean, Hale Smith, Richard Venable;Co-chairs: Mary Blanchette, Deb Larsen-Venable, Tracey Robinson
All Church Council meets several times every year: a gathering of church leadership to discuss important topics that strengthen our faith, our community, and our work together.
Topic: FPM All Church Council
Time: Feb 11, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Flash! The Chocolate Auction will be held on ZOOM this coming Sunday February 13, right after our Zoom Worship Service
This will be the second and hopefully last Zoom Chocolate Auction. That said, we had fun last year and with your help will do again this year. Please check the Chocolate Auction Email you received on Wednesday Feb 2 (Groundhog Day, wouldn’t you know) for all the rules.
Remember – in order to bid or even attend, you must register in advance. There’s no cost to register, but you must Send an Email to email@example.com to request the zoom link you’ll need to get in (it will be different from the worship service link). You will also be sent a bidder number. Do it today. Registration really closes at the beginning of the worship service on Chocolate Auction Sunday. No exceptions.
Items for auction – As usual, we need chocolate items for the auction. But you can’t just bring them to church on Sunday as usual. You need to decide now what you will make and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and a description of what you’re making. Please do this no later than Friday night Feb 11. Again, see all the details in the Feb 2 email.
Read the Feb 2 Chocolate Auction Email and Act NOW so you can join your First Parish friends at the Zoom Chocolate Auction next Sunday! All of the proceeds will go to support the First Parish Wayside Pulpit renovation project. Questions? Send them to email@example.com.
New Breeze Membership Directory
Ever wanted to call another member, but not sure if the phone number in the old printed directory up to date? Think you remember a face, but not 100% sure on their name?
Our new Breeze directory will help with that. First Parish has been using a membership database system for the last two years, and we’re ready to roll out a new feature: an online, searchable membership database.
Next week, every member will get a unique user name and password emailed to them, to the email they have on file with the office. Please log in with the information provided in the email and check all of your information- your phone number, email, address, etc.
And you can update your profile by adding a picture- making it easier for folks to connect a name to a face!
If you’d like to attend an Zoom training on how to use Breeze, you can attend either of the sessions below. Please email the office firstname.lastname@example.org to register, and a Zoom link will be provided to you the day before the training.
Breeze Training Session #1-2/15, 2-3pm
Breeze Training Session #2- 2/17, 7-8pm.
If neither of these times work, and you’d like help, please just reach out to Susan at email@example.com to schedule a different time.
Memberships Updates and Events
Membership has plenty going on this spring. More cooking! Walks after church! UU Elevator Speech conversations! See below and join in.
UU Elevator Speech– This course was designed by the UU Church in Dallas to help you voice what Unitarian Universalism and your membership at First Parish means to you, in a comfortable, conversational way.
UU Elevator Speech guides participants through developing an elevator speech about their Unitarian Universalist faith.It is called an “elevator speech” because on an elevator ride when someone asks you “what is Unitarian Universalism?” you only have a short time to make ameaningful statement.
This isn’t just for new folks. This is meant for all to deepen their relationship with the wider community and church.
Dates are on Tuesday evenings in March: 1, 15 and 29th from 7-8:30 over Zoom.
If you would like to participate, please email Leslie: at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Walks– Debbie Alsebai and Dianna Wilson are leading walks after church, weather permitting. The next one will be on Sunday, February 20th. Reach out to Debbie to find out where the meet-up will happen. email@example.com
3. Theater – Debbie is also organizing a trip to see a performance of The Bluest Eye. Reach out to her for information: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Cooking – Save the date! Membership is celebrating April Fools Day with FOOLISH FOODS! We will be cooking a silly assortment of foods that may or may not be what they seem. (Are they cupcakes or meatloaf??) Friday, April 1st. More info will be coming.
Racial Justice Focus Group
Next meeting is Wednesday, February 23rd 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
We will be concentrating on two related initiatives offered by the the larger UU community. The first is to examine our own history and culture in Unitarian Universalism and in our congregation as applies to racial justice. There is a Report from the UUA Commission on Institutional Change, named Widening The Circle of Concern, equipped with a study guide and advocacy suggestions. We will be engaging this report for the rest of our church year, taking our time to continue the deep and wide discernment of the call in both our hearts and much of nation for systemic change.
We welcome all who are interested to come to our monthly meetings, the fourth Wednesday of the month, from 7-8:30 pm. We have hard copies. There is also online access: https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/cic/widening
News from S & EJ Committee
“11th Hour Calling”
Monthly Climate Action Standout
Friday, February 11th 6:00 pm-6:30 pm
(rain/snow Saturday 2/12)
First Parish Church lawn-Gather round the spotlight
Show up ! Show that we care about the climate emergency, environmental justice and Milton’s municipal response planning.
For safety: flashlights/headlamps/light colored or reflective clothing. For impact: signage posters and noisemakers.
We welcome all to this energizing community event. Be bold: bring friends and neighbors… your Valentine date!
Mainspring Lunch Bag Program
Next date is Wednesday, February 16th
The Sign up Genius has the Wednesday dates listed- you can sign up now!
If you require more information or have questions please contact Peter Schneider at email@example.com
Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that wwould 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, February 12th
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyond First Parish:
UU Events & Opportunities
Join First Parish in Concord for: The Democracy Movement: Where it Stands Today and Where it Needs to Go
Wednesday, Feb 16th 7:30 pm
Adam Eichen is a writer, researcher, and organizer, working to build a democracy that represents and empowers all voices in society. He is the co-author of Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want (Beacon Press, 2017), with Frances Moore Lappé and serves as the Executive Director of Equal Citizens, a non-partisan pro-democracy organization founded by Lawrence Lessig.
This event is sponsored by the Reclaim Our Democracy group at First Parish in Concord.
Follow First Parish on Facebook and get updates, poems, announcements and more. You’ll be glad you did!
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Other times by appointment
MINISTER OFFICE HOURS
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
- Silent Prayer & Meditation, 9:00am in the Children’s Church
Silent Prayer & Meditation, 7:00 pm in the Children’s Church (Note new time)
SIGN UP GENIUS (formerly known as the Planner)
The link to SignUp Genius is: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090d44aca728a02-sunday1
You can sign up for one our our Sunday volunteer positions.