Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/3/2022

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/3/2022

This Week in Worship

“Window to the Universe”

Worship is much bigger than devotion or adoration to a particular idea of God.  It is an opportunity to connect with our deepest selves, with each other, and with the complex truths of life.  Worship is, in the words of Unitarian minister Jacob Trapp, “the mystery within us reaching out to the mystery beyond.”

Facilitated by: Joe Ayoub

Worship Associate: Tom Kemp

Music: Tim Steele

Worship Services will continue to be remote-only through 2/6/22.

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 be dedicated to the Milton Coalition. The Milton Coalition brings together a variety of community stakeholders, professionals, students, and town leaders to work collaboratively on reducing, preventing, and addressing substance abuse and related mental health challenges in the town of Milton, primarily amongst youth. They are committed to making it easier for those afflicted with these disorders to get information about where to find help, and providing opportunities for them to contribute to and inform our work.  Stormy Leung, Co-Director of the Milton Coalition, will speak.

Lisa Headshot

On Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), there were several incidents of hate speech throughout the Boston area, primarily in the form of swastika graffiti. The town of Milton was not immune. Beginning on January 27,and continuing through January 30, there have been five incidents of hate speech at Curry College, totaling 20 swastikas and one racist epithet painted on residents halls and in communal spaces.

I had the opportunity to speak with Rabbi Fred Benjamin of Milton’s Congregation Beth Shalom this morning. The ripple effect of these hateful symbols reverberate in heart, mind and spirit. He and I are colleagues within the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association, who are standing at the ready to assist Curry College in processing this violation, this malice, which affects us all. The investigation is on-going.

In a local news broadcast, Rabbi Benjamin commented that “it really matters when good people speak out. It also really matters,” he added, “when good people don’t speak out.” We spoke of the many ways that we can “speak out”, from simply correcting a person when hearing a biased or bigoted comment, to organized public witness.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of New England reports that anti-Semitism is alarmingly common, according to CBS Boston. “In the last week, we’ve seen similar incidents in Newton. We’ve seen similar incidents in Marblehead. It’s really distressing,” commented Robert Trestan, ADL New England’s regional director.

Rabbi Benjamin shared with me wisdom from the Torah that upholds him in living into the possibilities of peace for all. “We are commanded to love your neighbor and the stranger, “ he said, “before the commandment to love God with all your might.” It comes round to love: to seeing one another fully, to defying malice, to opening to this diverse dance of being we are in.

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa Ward

Religious Exploration

 Soul Matters resources available for all members! There is great richness to be found in the resources Soul Matters provides. We can never get to all of it in Worship or Religious Exploration. We do not have any Soul Matters Small Group Ministry groups. However, the SGM packets are full of inspiration, readings, music, podcasts, and film recommendations to go deep into the month’s theme. 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. Please do not share outside our congregation. Please check it out!

This year our Soul Matters monthly themes invite us to think about not only what values our UU faith calls us to but also the actions and skills that our times require of us. Pandemic time, along with our racial, political and environmental challenges, exposes the need for humanity to change and adjust in key ways. So each month we explore a different skill that we need to lean into so that we don’t just return to normal after the pandemic is over, but actually bring about a “new normal.”

This month we explore the ways in which our times call us to “Widen the Circle.” There are four ways we will explore the ways we can widen the circle. Here they are:

Lesson A: Widening the Way We Accept Ourselves – Understanding our Outsides and Insides

Lesson B: Widening the Love We Share– Celebrating all kinds of love

Lesson C: Widening the History We Tell – Black History Month

Lesson D: Widening the Principles We Live By – The 8th Principle proposal

                                                                                                          From Katie Covey the DRE for Soul Matters

The theme this month also calls to mind the name of the “Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change . Widening the Circle of Concern, which analyzes structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and makes recommendations to advance long-term change.”

February is Black History Month. We are midway through the Thirty Days of Love which calls us to harness the power of love to stop oppression. So many opportunities for convergence, for deepening our understandings, to act in the name of love and Widen the Circle.

Week Three of the Thirty Days of Love, 31 January – 6 February is focused on Decriminalization and Racial Justice. Resources follow a Read, Watch, Act, Listen, Worship and includes Not My Idea-A Book About Whiteness, a discussion with Zach Norris the author of this year’s UUA Common Read, a suggested discussion about who needs help in our towns and how would it look if we met those needs, a podcast, “Jordan Talks About Systemic Racism” from A Kid’s Book About and several options for worship. All this and more can be found at:

Molly B. Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Education

Music This Sunday

This Sunday you will hear two songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney during the service. The first is “Across the Universe”, presented by Karl Pastore. The second is “Imagine” with Claudia Wellington.

Joe Ayoub, a long time First Parish member and Chair of the Worship Committee will lead the Congregation this Sunday.

Table of Contents

News, Announcements and Meetings

1.Chocolate Auction

2.New Breeze Membership Directory

3.Racial Justice Focus Group

4.Electrical Vehicle Presentation

5.Social and Environmental Justice News & Events

6.UU Urban Ministry Architecture Series- Episode 4

February is Stewardship Month – Stay Tuned!

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 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 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

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 username 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 to register, and a Zoom link will be provided to you the day before the training.

Breeze Training Session #1-2/15/21, 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 to schedule a different time.

Electric Vehicle Presentation

Sunday, February 6th, noon

Eric Miller will help you decipher Electric Vehicle (EV) terminology, how they work, and the factors that can help you decide which EV could work best for you.

After the presentation, Eric will show the EV specific features of some example vehicles. Presentation will be on Zoom only.

Please sign up and let us know you’ll be attending.

Thank you!

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:

 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!

Community Conversations


Root causes | Impact on individuals and families | What’s being done to combat it, and how others can help those efforts.

Tuesday, Feb 08th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Join us and our guests Ronel Remy, David Mynott and Paula Coar from City Life/Vida Urbana

City Life/Vida Urbana is a grassroots community organization committed to fighting for racial, social, and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power.

The organization promotes individual empowerment, development of community leaders, and building collective power to affect systemic change and transform society.

Thank you to our event sponsor: First Parish Church Weston

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

Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that would 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.

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

Behind the Scenes: Tackling a Major Restoration of an Historic Structure

Feb 07, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Join us for Episode #04 of Treasures of the Meetinghouse as we speak to architects and project managers from DREAM Collaborative and historical preservationist, Andrea Gilmore, about all that goes in to restoring and renovating a building – and historic landmark – like First Church Roxbury.

link for more information


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.