Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/5/2016

Weekly Link 2/5/2016


This Week in Worship

Sunday, February 5 Worship @ 10:30 am in Meetinghouse

Well the first voting in the 2016 presidential race is just beginning and as always I know that all of you are interested and passionate about the electoral process. As I may have mentioned before, no religious group in the United States votes in as high a percentage as Unitarian Universalists do. This makes being a religious leader with such a passionate group of folks exciting. However, we do need to be aware that who and what you are passionate about may not be the same as the person in the pew next to yours.

This is not to say that First Parish should be a politics free zone. Each of us should feel free to speak to our friends about what and who we are passionate about, what we can’t do is to try and recruit folks to support a person or a party, nor can we try and rally a bunch of folks formally or informally at church events. For tax reasons the church can’t be a campaign site for a politician or a political party and can’t be seen as partisan. Of course the church can speak out on referendums because these are moral issues. So just remember that we want to be respectful of all the diversity of beliefs in our church, not just the religious ones.

See you in church,
Rev. Hank

Religious Exploration

Sunday, February 7

Children’s Church

Calling all kid musicians! Were you one of the ones who offered to play your instrument or sing for the next Children’s Church service? If so, then please BRING YOUR INSTRUMENTS when you come to the service, next Sunday. Our theme is “LOVE” and if you happen to be able to play some music related to love, even better! We are going to do readings, sing songs and hear stories about love, so come and join us with your music. Please let Leslie know if you can contribute.


Nursery care available for children 4 and younger

Stewardship Sound bite

“Giving is an essential for spiritual unfoldment, for until we give and give abundantly, we don’t really realize that we are not the giver; we are just a channel for giving.” ~ Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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

Hail Mid-Winter! Saturday, February 6 7:00 pm

“…Imbolc is an honoring of what’s not present yet. It represents the words yet to be spoken, the potential in our spirits, the ‘calm before a storm’ of growth, the quiet before the show, and the unknown baby
before its birth. Imbolc’s beauty is in its waiting and not knowing.”
– Heather Greene, The Wild Hunt

Join us to celebrate, renew, and refresh on Saturday, February 6, at 7:00pm in the Parish Hall. All are welcome to the Imbolc ceremony and Pot Luck social hour to follow. Please contact me for further information and to let me know if you plan to attend.

Blessed Be,

Pam Dorsey, 617-698-0057

Sunday, February 7th


St. Valentine’s Day, when we celebrate the patron saint of Chocolate, is once again just around the corner. At First Parish, that means it’s CHOCOLATE AUCTION time again!

Looking for a tasty token with which to express your love for your Valentine? Or simply ready to satisfy your own sweet tooth?

Be at Church on Sunday FEBRUARY 7th for the Chocolate Auction. This event, which has become an annual tradition at First Parish, will take place in the Parish Hall right after the worship service. ALL members of the congregation are encouraged to bring some goodie of substance for the auction. Items may be home-produced or purchased. Chocolate is the essential ingredient. [For those of you who have a sweet tooth but not a chocolate one – perhaps someone else will do a Non-Chocolate Auction, but this is not that event…] Please plan ahead – think NOW about what you might be able to contribute. Items should be attractively presented and ready to be carried home (meaning – don’t expect to get the plate or dish back). A small card or label identifying the item and any information (ingredients – especially whether there are nuts or nut oils, name of maker, interesting recipe history if any) – will be very helpful and much appreciated by your humble auctioneer.

Items to be auctioned are brought to the Parish Hall before church on the morning of the Auction, where they will be on display before the service and immediately after, before the Auction starts. Each item will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Children are permitted to bid, but only under the direct supervision of a parent, please. There will also be a Kids’ Raffle! All of the proceeds of the Chocolate Auction are donated to support the work of a local nonprofit service organization. This is a unique, fun and yummy way to raise funds for worthy local social action. Be there! Bring a guest – the more bidders, the merrier!

This year’s Chocolate Auction proceeds will go to Fair Foods Inc.

Fair Foods is a non-profit food rescue organization dedicated to providing surplus goods at low or no cost to those in need. Since 1988 we have rescued and delivered millions of pounds of fresh produce and quality building supplies to low income communities throughout New England and around the world.

Our signature program provides large bags of mixed fresh produce for a suggested donation of two dollars. We operate Two Dollars a Bag five days a week, distributing food at over twenty sites in churches, schools, and public housing and senior centers across Boston.


Any questions at all, call or email Chris Pitt.

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.


When: 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. Ms. Gfrerer has performed at many major concert venues in Europe and around the world, most recently as a part of the Salzburg Festival. 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 or brunch (just mention our concert). We thank these restaurants for their support.
For more information please visit

Hey Theater Lovers!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with other First Parish friends and attend the fabulous production of Pippin at the Boston Opera House on February 14 at 6:30 PM. . If you are interested in getting tickets please email Debbie Alsebai or catch me at coffee hour. (-: There is a bunch of us going right from the Valentine’s Day concert at the church so join us and we will carpool in together.

Have you completed a new Caring Community form yet?

Showing Your Care for One Another

First Parish is a Caring Community. The Caring Committee facilitates care giving within the community by matching needs with volunteers. Periodically the committee updates the bank of volunteers and this Sunday parishioners are asked to complete a volunteer form listing tasks that they might be willing to fill for a fellow parishioner. When there is a need an email will be sent and, if it is a time you can help, you will be sent the details. Many thanks for the caring you show each other.

Forms are available on the Information Table in the Stebbins Parlor or on the bulletin board next to the office. Drop off in the gray box next to the office.

Toiletries Drive a Success! Thank you from the Social Action Committee

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 will be dropping them off at the shelter this week.

We hope to make this an annual event.

Your giving directly helps a family in need. We so appreciate your generous support.

Update on Mentor’s Training

Linda Goodrich represented our congregation at last week’s 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.

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. We are fortunate to have met some truly wonderful ministers, and we look forward to getting to know well those candidates that we feel will offer the best fit for our congregation.

From among our pre-candidates, the committee will select one to whom we will offer our ministerial position. UUA rules require that we cannot offer the position until the first Thursday in April, which this year is April 7th. Once our chosen candidate has accepted our offer and we have agreed on a Candidating Week, we will formally announce to all that we are presenting this candidate for your consideration.

The candidate will then be invited to spend a long week with the congregation, including two Sundays on which the candidate will preach. Immediately following the service on the last Sunday of Candidating Week, we will hold a meeting of the congregation in the meetinghouse to vote on whether to call the candidate to be our minister. Best UUA practice encourages ministers to expect at least a 95% approval, and that is what the committee will be looking for.
The candidate will not be present for the vote but will be informed of the results immediately following the meeting, and hopefully thereafter we will have a celebration.

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” will not be 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.

We need stuff for the First Parish Silent Auction FUNraiser!

When: Saturday, April 2, 2016, 7 PM

Do you know someone who –

  • owns a restaurant or store or a gym?
  • has season tickets to the Sox, Bruins, Celtics, Patriots or to the Symphony?
  • has a vacation home they would be willing to donate?​

Are you or is someone you know –

  • an artist or poet who could donate some work?
  • a musician or performer who could donate entertainment or lessons?
  • a gardener or landscaper? a baker or chef? a piano tuner? babysitter?

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.

More Ideas: 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!


Kiki’s Corner

Next First Parish Orientation

When: 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. 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.

First Reminder: Return your pledge card in the gray box next to the office. If you are using a blank form be sure your name is printed and signed on the form. You are welcome to mail it in as well.

Have you thanked your Camp Run-a-Muk team for the wonderful event last Saturday? Tucker Smith, Paula Bennett, Myrtle Flight, Deb Larson Venable, Richard Venable, Jen Erbe Leggett, Karl Pastore, Lauri Webster, Dottie Pitt, Tony Dutzik.

Social Action with other UU’s – A Message from UU Mass Action

On February 13th, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., UU Ministers and others will gather at Theodore Parker Church to build our Unitarian Universalist climate justice community and plan next steps. We hope you will join us!

What: UU Mass Action sponsored convening of UUs working to stop the West Roxbury Lateral pipeline
When: Saturday, February 13th, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Hosted by Theodore Parker UU Congregation in West Roxbury, 1859 Centre St.
Why: In April Spectra Corporation returns to continue construction on the West Roxbury Lateral methane gas pipeline. We will be ready.

Contact: Evan Seitz, 413-687-8444


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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!