Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/15/2024

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/15/2024

**The office is closed Monday, February 19, 2024 in observance of President’s Day**

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

“Hidden Figures”

Worship Assistant: Christopher Clifford

Greeter: Elise Henricks & Tony Dutzik

Social Hour: Steve Yakutis and Guy Pugh

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.

This week’s offering will be given to CCTRJ. Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice is a dialogue-centered initiative on racism and privilege, designed to address racial healing, equity, and justice in our community. Through dialogues, workshops, events, study groups, and collaborations, the Courageous Conversations leadership team, in partnership with the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association, brings together a diverse group of people representing a wide array of life experiences, circumstances, and choices. Karen Grace-Horan, Co-founder and Executive Director, will speak on its behalf.

On Wednesday, February 14, the citizens of Milton voted NO on complying with the State’s MBTA Communities Act. This law is designed to make it easier to develop multifamily housing in suburban communities. Having served on the Justice and Equity for All Advisory Committee for the town of Milton during COVID as part of the affordable housing subcommittee, I am disappointed that the resistance to change remains obdurate. Milton sorely needs affordable housing if the town has any chance of thriving as a diverse community.

“Like many affluent Boston suburbs,” came a statement in the Boston Globe, “Milton has long made it difficult to build multifamily developments, with zoning designed to protect and encourage neighborhoods of single-family homes.”

When Milton citizens voted not to comply with the law, they became the only community (of 12) with rapid transit service to do so, according to the Patriot Ledger. Some who voted “no” said that they do want to comply with the law, but the zoning must be redrawn so as not to burden certain areas.

When I arrived nearly 8 years ago to serve in Milton, there were heated discussions, which had lasted for years, about expanding the Neponset rail trail to Mattapan Square. It had ended in Milton. Similar resistances could be heard about “changing the nature of Milton”. The rail trail finally opened and is an asset to the town, on many levels.

The good news is that the voting turn-out was one the highest Milton has experienced. The issue is becoming more and more known. This was a contentious vote. The navigation of change can be difficult. May all find a way to open their hearts to each other and find a way to welcome diverse demographics.

 Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa

Music This Week

This Sunday the music will be led by guest pianist Arman Mohammad. He will be playing Samba em Preludio by Vinicius de Morais arr. Esperanza Spalding; Enoch’s Meditation by Robert Glasper and On Green Dolphin Street by Bronislaw Kaper.

RE This Week

Spirit Play

Events and Meetings



Sunday, February 25 at 3:00 pm:

Milton Community Concerts presents the ninth annual “Sing For Their Supper” benefit concert on Sunday, February 25 at 3pm. This is a free concert, and an offering will be taken to support the Milton Food Pantry and the Milton Residents Fund. Ten outstanding singers will be presenting opera arias and musical theater favorites. This promises to be one of the outstanding concerts of the MCC season, so please plan to attend.

Sunday, April 28 at 3pm: “In Community: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Stories”

Grief Support Group

Grief Support Group

Four Tuesdays: March 5, 12, 19, 26

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Facilitator: Rev. Lisa Ward

When we lose a loved one through death, the world is different, our lives shift in meaning, our ground is shaken. We can feel isolated by our grief. We can also feel a lack of strength or initiative to find a way through. One way to help adjust to the new reality and find our inner resources is to share our journey of loss and recovery with others. There are many ways that we grieve and many kinds of losses. This group is focused on loss due to the death of a loved one. The loss can be recent or from years gone by. We ask participants to commit to at least three of the sessions, no new participants after March 12.

Please contact Rev. Lisa:  if you would like to attend.

First Parish Spring Auction


First Parish Spring Auction

April 6, 2024

We’re looking for donations of items and services for our April 6 auction fundraiser.

Can you offer a homemade dinner or bake a cake?

How about a vacation home?

How about Red Sox tix?

Can you sing for a dinner party?

Do you make something you could donate—jewelry, quilts, artwork?

What item or service could you offer? 

If you have a item or service you can offer, we’d appreciate you filling out this form for us!

Paper forms will be available after Sunday’s service as well.

Thank you for your support of the auction!

News & Announcements

Commitment Sunday is Coming

Make Your Pledge

And Join Us for a Celebration on March 10th!

We have now passed the halfway mark in this year’s Annual Budget Drive, and thus far we have heard from approximately 1/3 of our congregation regarding their financial commitment to First Parish for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2025, which begins this July. The Stewardship Committee is once again planning a Gathering in Gratitude Celebration after the Commitment Sunday service on March 10 th . During that celebration each of you are invited to express your gratitude and appreciation for any of our members who you feel have made notable contributions to the welfare of our First Parish community or to you personally. Please join us and give some thought to whom you would like to recognize.

If you have not yet submitted your financial commitment, we respectfully request that you do so soon. Making such a commitment in advance is crucial to allowing our Finance Committee to prepare a realistic budget for next year in time for it to be approved at our Annual Meeting in May. Reminders to all are going out this week so that you don’t have to dig back through three weeks of emails to find our first one. If it is more convenient, we are also including here the link to our pledge form.


If you have already submitted your pledge for next year THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. If you have not yet done so but are a past financial supporter of First Parish, we are grateful for your support. Our hope is that you would consider a 3% addition to the amount you contributed last year. If this is your first time making a financial commitment to First Parish, we will be grateful for whatever you choose to contribute. 

Thank you,

The Stewardship Committee of First Parish in Milton—Charles Franich (chair), Rob Dahl, Mallory Digges, Eric Miller, and Mark Ostrem

Social & Environmental Justice Committee (SEJC)

February 21st 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!

Climate Action@HOME upcoming discussion

February 25, 2024 12:00pm-1:00pm Chase Parlor

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


The next Racial Justice Task Force meeting is:

Wed. Feb 28th

7:00 pm-8:30 pm

Beyond First Parish

The RJTF will be offering First Parish Members and friends a chance to read “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving.

Copies are in the Racial Justice Library and at local public libraries.

The first session will start on Zoom Thursday 2/22 and meet every other week ( 3/7, 3/21) from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. We will review 3 chapters each session. Whether this is your first time reading this book or you have read it before it can be eye opening, life changing and surely will generate courageous conversations. 

If these Thursday nights do not work for you on Sunday’s February 25 and March 3 we will gather in person after church for informal discussions of the book from 12:0O to 1:00.

Please RSVP Debbie Alsebai at if you would like to participate in either event.

Name change event at First Parish in Needham
Sunday February 25th 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Beyond First Parish
Beyond First Parish

This event is in partnership with Mass Trans Political Coalition. Registration is highly recommended. For any questions email:

Join Us UU Urban Ministry Delegate Regional Meetings

Join Rev. Mary Margaret Earl and members of the UUUM Team to discuss how we can work together in new and meaningful ways in 2024 and beyond. 

Together, we will discuss how your congregation wants to engage with the work of UUUM, how the UUUM can support you in this partnership, and look at the description of the role of a delegate created with thoughtful input from our Congregational Engagement Task Force – a group made up of delegates and others from member congregations.

Dates & Locations

To make it as convenient as possible for folks from our member congregations to be a part of these important discussions, we have scheduled 3 opportunities throughout the month of February. Join us for one of these meetings [with food/refreshments] with your fellow delegates and volunteers:

Thursday, February 15th (5:30pm-7:00pm) at UU Urban Ministry in Roxbury

Tuesday, February 20th (11:30am-1:00pm) at First Parish in Lexington

If you know in advance that you will be joining us please RSVP to But if you decide to be there last minute, you are still more than welcome. Please share this invitation with anyone who might be interested. A promo flyer is attached (JPG and PDF) and we encourage delegates and anyone interested to join us. Hope to see you!

First Parish & Church of the Holy Spirit’s 4th Bridging Dinner

Friday, March 1 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

First Parish Milton, 535 Canton Ave, Milton.

We are excited to be able to host more people and provide Babysitting. The dinner and dessert will be catered by a local black owned restaurant. Suggested donation is $25 per person. Please RSVP to Deb Alsebai at alsebai@verizon. net if you would like to join the gathering.


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.