Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/17/2022

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/17/2022

This Week in Worship

“Radical Welcome”

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate: Joe Ayoub

Music: Tim Steele

Worship Services will be hybrid starting Sunday 2/20

Join us in person or on Zoom.

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 to Reclaim Our Vote.  Ongoing voter suppression and voter list purging have been disenfranchising millions of eligible voters — especially voters of color. Reclaim Our Vote works in those voter suppression states. Our volunteers inform and mobilize voters of color to make sure they are registered and they know how to get a ballot and vote.

Lisa Headshot

There is a bill travelling through the Florida legislature, having just cleared the Florida Senate Education Committee, that would prohibit the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the state’s primary schools. This is popularly known as the “don’t say gay” bill. Make no mistake – this is a dangerous civic statement of exclusion, oppression and dehumanization. If people are barred from speaking about themselves, their contexts and/or their loved ones, they will be and feel isolated both in themselves and their lives. This isolation can be devastating, even fatal.

According to a recent survey by the Trevor Project, which provides 24/7 crisis support services to LGBTQ+ youth,  42% of LGBTQ+ youth, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth, seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. If their way of being and becoming is silenced and deemed “inappropriate” in schools, it is likely the numbers will rise.

According to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), there are currently more than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ bills primarily targeting transgender and nonbinary youth, moving through state legislatures across the country.

We are seeing the politics of silencing and exclusion find its way on many fronts, from voter suppression tactics, to the banning of books and the demonization of critical race theory. 

The politics of division, exclusion, exceptionalism and privilege are forever busy, intent on dismantling the progression of diversity, equity and inclusion. Any bill or campaign that garners support at the expense of others hurts us all. The backlash that follows advanced liberties is simply fear and a desperate attempt at maintaining privilege. We can do better than this. We can see this clearly. We can find another way. That is our work, our calling, our humanity.

So may it be. Amen.

Rev. Lisa Ward

Religious Exploration

Sunday 20 February we will be worshiping in person as well as remotely. Our worship will be a multigenerational service. We will have no Religious Exploration classes, but we will have childcare available if some of our younger congregants need to leave the worship service. And we will have some quiet activities available for use during the service.  

We are looking at radical welcome in the worship service this week and what that means in our sanctuary and beyond. We are also looking at how we live out our Unitarian Universalist Principles and values beyond our walls. What activity do you engage in, volunteer or otherwise, that is an expression of how you experience and share your UU values? Would you be willing to share what those activities are? This isn’t an activity just for adults. What do you do as a family in service for and with others that is our Principles made tangible? How do you widen the circle? You will have an opportunity in the worship service and afterwards to share how you bring our shared UU values to life.

The 30 Days of Love has concluded. The good news is that the resources, for all ages, from 2022 Thirty Days of Love, stay up after the campaign is over (https://sidewithlove.org/30-days-of-love-2022). If you are looking for resources in these areas, Climate Justice, LGBTQ+ & Gender Justice, Democracy & Voting Rights, Decriminalization, Side With Love is the place to go. There is an organizing school (https://sidewithlove.org/organizing-school), Skills Building webinars (https://sidewithlove.org/skill-up-trainings) and more. Side With Love (https://sidewithlove.org/skill-up-trainings/) is a resource and inspiration for UUs to use year round, not just during Thirty Days of Love!

Molly B. Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Education

Music This Sunday

This Sunday Grace Allendorf will be joined by Guy Pugh, playing the viola da gamba, on “A Perfect Day”, a charming song by an American singer and songwriter from the early 20th century, Carrie Jacobs-Bond. Ms. Bond was the first woman to establish a music publishing firm in the US and also the first woman composer in the US to sell one million copies of a song (“I Love You Truly”). Grace will also be singing a selection called “Look at All the People” from the musical CHAPLIN, by composer Christopher Curtis (a first cousin of our own Brian Kelley!).

Table of Contents

News, Announcements and Meetings

1.Stewardship

2.Membership Updates and Events

3.Racial Justice Focus Group on 2/23

4.Social and Environmental Justice News & Events

5.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.

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 7:00 pm-8:30 pm over Zoom.

If you would like to participate, please email Leslie: at lesliecmacpherson@gmail.com

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. debalsebai@gmail.com

3. Theater – Debbie is also organizing a trip to see a performance of The Bluest Eye. Reach out to her for information: debalsebai@gmail.com

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

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS DRIVE FOR HAITIAN MIGRANTS

Saturday, February 26th ~10:00 am-12:00 pm

THANKS to those of you who donated winter items for our urgent drive for the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) and the individuals and families it supports.

Now there is another opportunity to help. On Saturday, February 26, First Parish will be holding a household items drive for IFSI. To donate: drop off any items to the Carriage House between 10:00 am-12:00 pm on Saturday the 26th. If you have any questions, contact Tony Dutzik at ddutzik@gmail.com or 617-291-4685.

Items that are needed include: 

Babies/children:

Diapers/wipes, toys, winter items, strollers, car seats, baby carriers.

Household items:

  • Bed sets (mattresses, cribs, toddler beds, adult beds);
  • Bed sheets, comforters, pillows, towels, wash cloths
  • Curtains, shades, blinds
  • Cookware (pots, pans, cups, plates, utensils)
  • Storage (portable closets, hangers, laundry baskets, dressers, chests of drawers)
  • Cleaning supplies (brooms, mops, vacuums, cleaning solutions, sponges, brushes)

Toiletries: for men and women

Gift cards: To stores such as Target, Walmart or Macy’s

ALSO, IFSI has an Amazon wish list of items their clients need. You can find the list by clicking on button below:

Click to view Amazon Wish list

For more information on IFSI, or to ake a monetary donation, please visit www.ifsi-usa.org

BIGGER, BETTER BOTTLE BILL (S.2149)

CONTACT YOUR SENATOR NOW

Milton’s Sen. Walter Timilty co-sponsored S.2149, which updates legislation to expand bottle deposits on water, sports drinks, “nips,” teas, and other beverages. If he’s “your guy” on Beacon Hill, thank him and encourage him to influence his colleagues. If you live elsewhere (Canton, Quincy, Randolph, Dorchester, etc.), please contact YOUR senator asap: 16 have endorsed; 21 are needed for a slim Senate majority. We know plastic bottles are a plague upon our environment, both manufacturing and disposing of them. Solid waste burned in incinerators pollutes surrounding neighborhoods — this is an Environmental Justice issue. It’s easy to find your senator here, and MASSPIRG has an action guide to inform you. Thank you.

Mainspring Lunch Bag Program

Next date is Wednesday, March 2nd

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 peterlschneider@gmail.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, March 19th

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.

Sign up here!

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 tdutzik@gmail.com


STAY CONNECTED

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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

EVERY THURSDAY

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.