Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/11/2016

Weekly Link 2/11/2016


This Week in Worship

Sunday, February 14 Worship @ 10:30 am in Meetinghouse

Intergeneral Worship

I am at the point in my ministry when I have preached on just about every theme out there. I have addressed lots of ideas and hit every holiday out there, heck I have even a few Leap Day sermons. After 16 years of ministry I was sure that I must have preached on Valentine’s Day at some point, but after looking through my files I discovered that I had always given that Sunday over to seminarians to lead. What does that mean for this Sunday? It means that we’re going to do something a little different and hopefully a lot fun.

This Sunday I invite you to bring a brief poem, reading or a saying about love that can be shared as part of our worship. It could be about sweet love, innocent love, the pain of love, the love of friends and family, it certainly could be about God’s love for us, it could be about love in the absence of God. However, it does have to be family friendly as this is an intergenerational service.

I also want to let folks know that I will be out of the office next week, my family has decided to brave the madness of February Vacation and head to Disney World. I would happily accept your prayers of patience and grace for that time away. If you are having a pastoral emergency please do not hesitate to contact Kiki Giatis who in turn will get in touch with a local UU minister who will provide coverage.

I look forward to seeing all of you on Sunday,

Rev. Hank

Religious Exploration

Sunday, February 14th

Intergenerational Worship. All children invited to attend

No nursery care available today

Stewardship Sound bite

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures excludes them.” — C.S. Lewis

Giving to First Parish is an expression of our values and our desire for a better world. If you haven’t yet submitted a pledge during our annual stewardship campaign, please do so today!

News and Announcements

Showing Your Care for One Another – Keep forgetting to fill out the form at church? Try online.

The Caring Committee facilitates care giving within the community by matching needs with volunteers. Periodically the committee updates the bank of volunteers. Did you filling out the Caring Committee’s volunteer survey in church a couple of weeks ago? Not to worry! You can fill out the survey electronically here.

Another grand success: 18TH ANNUAL CHOCOLATE AUCTION

Many thanks to all who participated in this year’s Chocolate Auction – those who brought in the fabulous items we bid on, those who got into the spirit of the bidding, the dedicated bidders who stayed to the bitter end, the really helpful Youth Group volunteers who helped set up chairs, Sadie L who assisted with deliveries, and all who helped clean up. As always, a true group effort. A fun time was had by all, and we raised a whopping $1700 to support the work of our friends at Fair Foods Inc. in Dorchester! (Check out their website and volunteer to work with them through our Social Action Team.)

Your humble Auctioneer, Chris Pitt

Next First Parish Orientation

Saturday, March 5, 2016 9 am – 12 noon

Learn more about First Parish and Unitarian Universalist history, a tour of the campus, and the path to membership. Share your own spiritual path with like minded seekers. This orientation program is part of the path to membership as well as just learning more about the church. Only members are able to vote at congregational meetings, including the upcoming vote on the next settled minister. Please let me know if you are interested in attending this session hosted by Rev. Hank and me. On campus childcare may be arranged. – Kiki Giatis


Sunday, 2/14 at 4pm and more

Make your plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style this year. Milton Community Concerts is planning a special “Valentine’s Day Cabaret” on Sunday, February 14th at 4pm in the Meetinghouse. Austrian soprano Ute Gfrerer and pianist William Merrill are collaborating on an entertaining program featuring the music of Sondheim, Bernstein, Weill, Cole Porter, and more. Tickets for this concert (available at the door only) are $20 general admission, $10 for seniors 65 and above, and free for 18 and under. An alternate snow date will be Saturday, February 20th at 7pm.

As an added bonus two local restaurants are offering free menu items if you bring your concert ticket with you on that day: 88 Wharf (88 Wharf St., Milton) is offering a free appetizer, reservations requested; Ester (2261 Dorchester Ave.) is offering a free dessert with an entrée purchase for dinner. We thank these restaurants for their support.

For more information please visit

We need your help to have more items for the First Parish Silent Auction FUNraiser!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 7 PM

The more items we have to bid on the more successful our auction will be. The Auction Committee is hoping you will help by either contributing or asking for contributions amongst your family and friends or local businesses.

Items might include:

  • a restaurant or store or a gym gift certificate or merchandise game
  • tickets to the Sox, Bruins, Celtics, Patriots or to the Symphony vacation home rental
  • work of an artist or poet lessons from a musician or performer
  • services from a gardener or landscaper, a baker or chef. a piano tuner, babysitter
  • themed gift baskets, spa services, acupuncture or massage services
  • handyman services, tutoring, special meals, wine tasting, golf outing, sports equipment, gym membership, etc.

Use your imagination!! You don’t need to know the person or business to ask! Businesses are often willing to donate their services or products for a good tax deductible cause and it is good advertising for them!

Help us make this night of silent bidding a success for First Parish. Please let Ruth Hannon know what you can offer.

And remember to Save April 2, 2016 to come to our Silent Auction FUNraiser! A good time will be had by all.

In the bleak midwinter… Meditation and Quiet Contemplation

Many of us have a tendency this time of year to stay home during these shorter, colder days, and become more introspective. What better time to join a few friends in our lovely children’s church for 30 minutes of quiet contemplation or meditation? We meet Sunday’s at 9am and Wednesday evenings at 7:00.

We would love to see you. Questions? Contact Tracey Robinson.

Social Action Committee Volunteer Opportunities:

(Check out flyer on our bulletin boards & Information Tables)

Fair Foods (Our Chocolate Auction recipient)

Dates: February 20, March 19, April 16, May 21, June 18

For volunteers who want to unload, organize and sell produce to low-income residents, we will meet at 9:00 AM on the third Saturday of every month at the parking lot of First Parish Milton. We will then travel together to the UU Urban Ministry at First Parish Roxbury. Stay for 30 minutes or 3 hours! Contact: Dave Egan

Father Bill’s & MainSpring

Dates: March 19th, March 26th, April 9th, and April 23rd

First Parish volunteers will help prepare and serve a meal to our neighbors in need on Saturday evenings. Contact: Pat Gallivan

Roxbury Youth Programs Tutors

This is an out-of-school-time program that serves middle and high school students. Contact Linda Carney-Goodrich. Individual First Parish Milton volunteers will be trained to mentor at-risk middle school students from the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury.

Linda Carney-Goodrich represented our congregation at the training for mentors for the sixth graders at the Timilty School. The program provides reading buddies and mentors to students starting in February and running through June.

Renewal House

Renewal House is a domestic violence shelter for individ­uals and families who are fleeing violence or abuse. Contact Linda Carney-Goodrich.

The Social Action Committee would like to thank the congregation for their donations to the families of Renewal House. We collected all the bags, baskets and boxes of toiletries and have dropped them off at the shelter. We hope to make this an annual event.

Coming up, we will be purchasing a Mother’s Day gift for each woman living at Renewal House.

The Search Continues — News from the Ministerial Search Committee

Mark Your Calendars

During the months of February and March, members of the committee host pre-candidate weekends, where we meet our candidates face-to-face, have in-depth conversations, show them around the area, and see each one preach at a neutral pulpit. This is the time for us to get to know each candidate well and for each of them to get to know us. No announcement on the final candidate may be made (per UUA regulations) before April 7.

Currently there are two weeks that we are tentatively holding for “Candidating Weeks”:

  • Sunday April 24th through Sunday, May 1st
  • Sunday May 1st through Sunday May 8th

Please mark your calendars NOW to meet the proposed minister, and to participate in this important vote. Note that to vote, you must be a member of First Parish. “Friends” are not eligible to vote

Please know that you may 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.


Office Hours for the week of February 15. The office is closed on Monday, February 15 in observance of Presidents Day. Rev. Hank, Miriam and Anne will not be in the office on their scheduled days. I will be in the office on Tuesday and Thursday from about 10 am – 3 pm. I will be out of the office for a meeting on Wednesday morning but will be onsite in the afternoon. The office is closed on Fridays.

Please note that Miriam’s new schedule has her in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Our voice mail system is not working and we are trying to identify someone to repair it. If you are unable to leave a message, please email me next week. Hopefully we can get this resolved soon.

Snow closing information. Nothing new in the information, just a reminder.

If the Milton Public Schools close for snow, so does First Parish. Sundays we realize are trickier as well as public school vacations. We will call it no later than 8 a.m. on a Sunday. Look for closing information in three places.

Channel 5, WCVB television. We are listed as First Parish – Milton. Check their website if you want to get automatic, direct notification through the TV station.
Check our website. We put a banner on the home page with closing information.

Check our Facebook page. We will post office and worship closing there as well.

REMINDER: Any forms or notes you want to leave should go into the gray box next to the office. This includes pledge forms, caring committee forms, notes for Kiki or Miriam, checks that did not make the offeratory. This insures that your papers are getting to us.


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!