Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/25/2016

Weekly Link 2/25/2016


This Week in Worship

Sunday, February 28 Worship @ 10:30 am in Meetinghouse

From our Minister

As I have mentioned previously I am absolutely thrilled to have the Rev. Laura Everett with us this Sunday. Rev. Laura, a minister with the United Church of Christ, is the executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. The Mass. Council of Churches is a network of individuals, congregations and denominations convinced that what binds us together in faith is stronger than what divides us. It proclaims the vitality of the church in Massachusetts and works for a vibrant, hopeful witness in our local churches, on Beacon Hill and with our neighbors of other faiths.

Since its beginning as a Sunday School Association in the late-nineteenth century, the Massachusetts Council of Churches has played a leading role in racial reconciliation, interfaith dialogue, and church-state understanding. I can’t wait for you to hear her.
See you in church!
Rev. Hank

p.s. Many of you will remember the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon who was a student intern and then interim MRE here. Molly shared some exciting news last week.

“Friends, meet Eleanor Elizabeth Gordon! Nora for short. Born 2/16/16 at 11:48am. 8lbs2oz, 20.5inches, and a head of wild red hair. Everybody is healthy and happy, and James and I are in total awe!”

I’m sure you will join me in sending all three of them prayers and blessings as they begin this exciting new chapter in their lives.

Religious Exploration

Sunday, February 28

  • RE Classes resume
  • Nursery Care available for ages 4 and under

From the Religious Exploration Committee:

We are looking for interested persons — particularly youth — to assist Marie-Laure Brown in the Passages program for one or more sessions for the rest of this year! This is a beloved tradition and rite of passage at First Parish Milton for 2nd graders. Be in touch with the Religious Educator, Anne Principe, for more information.

Stewardship Sound bite

“When one loves, one does not calculate.” – St. Therese of Lisieu

This is it! The deadline to make a pledge in this year’s stewardship campaign is Monday, February 29. Your pledge will help determine our plans for worship, social action, religious exploration and so much more … and provide a strong foundation for our next settled minister. Please pledge today!

Pledges as of February 22, 2016: $164,660 — representing 55 households

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.

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

If you can’t attend this orientation but in interested in becoming a member, please let us know. Our next Membership Sunday is scheduled for April 10.

Mark your calendar!

Saturday, April 2nd @ 7 – 11 PM

There will be something for everyone at this year’s First Parish Fundraising Auction
on April 2nd!

  • Season tickets to Boston Baroque
  • Stays at several unique vacation homes
  • Professional family photo portrait
  • Gift certificates to all the local Milton eateries
  • Catered gourmet dinner for six

All these items, and dozens more, can be won during a very fun evening with your First Parish community. Come eat some appetizers and desserts, listen to music, hang out with friends, make new friends, and have fun bidding! Go home with a full belly, fun memories, and some great auction and raffle items in hand.

If you have any auction items you wish to donate, please contact Ruth Hannon.

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

What’s Next

We continue to meet face to face with candidates. We continue to feel so hopeful for the future of our faith tradition based on the quality of candidates we have to choose from, as we hold in mind the hopes, dreams, and concerns of our congregation. After February and March’s pre-candidate weekends, your search committee will deliberate until we come to agreement on the best candidate to present to the congregation.

We will make an offer to the final candidate on April 7. Note that we cannot make the offer earlier than noon that day, per UUA regulations. If the the chosen candidate accepts our offer and the negotiating team and the candidate can agree on terms of the ministerial agreement, we start planning the candidating week when the ministerial candidate meets the congregation and the staff and organizes the worship for 2 Sundays.

Please mark your calendars NOW: 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

At the conclusion of the candidating week (on the second Sunday), we will offer our candidate selection for a yes-or-no vote. You must be a member of First Parish to participate in this important vote; “Friends” are not eligible.

Many parishioners have asked us, “What happens if First Parish doesn’t vote to call the candidate the Ministerial Search Committee nominates?” The answer is simple: the congregation would start a new search, with a NEW search committee.

Thanks for your trust in this important task. 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.


Kiki’s Corner

Office Hours are generally 10:00 – 2:30 Monday – Thursday. Typically one or more of us is around other times as many of you can attest. Please call or email us if you are planning to drop by to chat or work with one of us. Also note that Miriam’s new schedule has her in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Rev. Hank’s office days are Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday. Anne’s office day is Tuesday. The office is closed on Fridays.

There is an updated Events Calendar and Staff Listing (March – June 2016). Check the Information Table in the Stebbins Parlor or the foyer of the Parish Hall for a copy. We will also have it posted on the website.

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. First Parish Milton UU. 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!