Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 3/17/2016

Weekly Link 3/17/2016


This Week in Worship

Sunday, March 20 Worship @ 10:30 am in Meetinghouse

The Reverend Doctor Farley Wilder Wheelwright died at the age of 99 on the 27th of February. Farley, was a one of a one of a kind person and one of the more memorable ministers of my childhood. Always an outspoken atheist, when I told him that I believed in God he shook his head and said “where did we go wrong?” I never knew if he was serious or not. I remember as a child attending a meal with my family at the parsonage, when in a middle of the meal a great screeching noise was heard over the stereo. Farley went running into the kitchen and yelling for his son to come down. It turned out that the younger Wheelwright had just returned from a trip and had returned to New Bedford with a monkey, one who liked to play with record players. That was when I discovered that ministers swore.

Farley was a champion for justice helping to establish an ‘underground railroad’ that would help young women get to Canada where they could safely end unwanted pregnancies. He was best known as a social activist who gained sometimes noisy public attention in the ’60s and ’70s as a leader in the Civil Rights movement (marching beside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), the abortion rights and the Vietnam antiwar movements. Dr. King was assassinated a week before he was to have delivered Farley’s installation address at the UU Church in New Bedford, Mass. For all the notoriety, however, Farley valued his career as a pastoral minister above all else. From a recent interview with him he said “When I think of an afternoon spent supporting a grieving mother because of the crib death of her two-month-old baby, my participation in the social activist movement seems almost inconsequential,” he says. “It was the most exalted job I could possibly conceive of for myself and my talents.”

At this time in the church calendar it is easy to talk about rebirth and new life, but Farley wouldn’t appreciate that, so let me pivot and simply thank him for the spark of life that he showed me, and the passion by which he lived his life and ministry.

See you all in church,

Religious Exploration

Cradles for Crayons

Volunteer Opportunity for kids and adults!

This spring, the children in our religious exploration program are partnering with Cradles to Crayons to collect books for children in need and to help sort and package items at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse. You can help both by bringing a new or gently used children’s book (board books are especially needed) to church between now and April 3rd and by signing up to come work at our volunteer shift at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse in Brighton on April 3rd. Volunteers at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse must be at least five years old, but everyone can help us collect books over the next few weeks.You can sign up for our shift here or contact Bridget for more information.



It’s that time of year again: the First Parish Easter Egg Hunt!

Each year the church hosts an Easter Egg hunt the Sunday morning of Easter service for the children of the church. The youth group is organizing the logistics of the Easter Egg hunt and needs your help! We are asking for donations of fun size, wrapped candies to fill Easter Eggs for this coming Sunday, the 20th. There will be a basket on the steps leading up to the youth room for any candy donations.


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 March 15, 2016: $184,792.00 representing 66 households

News and Announcements


When: Saturday, March 19th at 7:00pm

The First Parish CUUPS Chapter invites you to a celebration of Ostara, the Spring Equinox. This is a time of hope and renewal, growth and rebirth.

Join us as we turn our energy toward opening ourselves to the potential of the season to come, planting the seeds of our goals and wishes.

The Ostara celebration will be held in the Parish Hall on Saturday, March 19th at 7:00pm. All are welcome to join the celebration and a pot luck social hour following. For more information contact Pam Dorsey at 617-698-0057

Looking for Cooks and Servers for Father Bill’s

When: March 19 and March 26 (Dates in April also available)

We are looking for cooks/ servers on the following dates: 3/19, 3/26, 4/9 and 4/23. There is some flexibility on the ages of teens allowed in the kitchen. They prefer age 18, but with great supervision we could allow 17s, 16s and maybe 15’s.

Please contact Pat Gallivan if you can help.

Meditation has moved to Thursdays at 7pm beginning March 24

Come enjoy quiet contemplation or meditation in our lovely children’s church for 30 minutes. We meet Sunday’s at 9am and Thursday evenings at 7:00.

We would love to see you!

Questions? Contact Tracey Robinson,

Fair Foods

Next Volunteer Date: March 19 (Family Friendly)

Please join us the 3rd Saturday of every month (March 19, April 16, May 21, June 18) at 9:00 AM at First Parish Milton’s parking lot. We will then caravan into Roxbury to help unload, sort and distribute fresh produce to an underserved community. This is a family-friendly event… kids of all ages are welcome. Feel free to stay for 30 mins or 3 hours!”

Mark your calendars!

When: Saturday, April 2nd · 7 – 11 PM

First Parish Silent Auction FUNraiser!!

Please join your FP community for a really fun event, with music, friends (old and new), fun activities, and some amazing auction items for every pocketbook – both large and small. We will have:

  • Six different vacation homes
  • Season tickets to Boston Baroque
  • Gift certificates to all the local restaurants
  • Yoga packages

And because we’re UUs, we have a variety of parties to choose from:

  • a beer tasting party
  • a painting party
  • a karaoke party; and
  • Several catered dinner parties

The proceeds for this event will go towards closing the gap in our operations budget – so while we’re having fun, we’ll also be helping our church to have a healthy financial future! Can’t beat that!

P.S. It’s not too late to donate items. If you have something to offer, please contact Ruth Hannon.

“IT’S STRINGTIME” At First Parish

When: Sunday, April 3

Symphony Hall come to Milton! On Sunday, April 3rd at 4pm Milton Community Concerts presents BSO violinist Bonnie Bewick Brown, Boston Pops cellist Jennifer Lucht, and pianist Timothy Steele in an entertaining and virtuostic program of classical and fiddle music. Tickets are $20 general, $10 seniors 65 and over, Free for 18 and under. See for more information.

Politics and Church from Rev. Hank. (From the Link in February 2016)

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 applies to national, state and local elections.

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.

Social Justice News – from First Parish in Bedford, MA

Sunday, April 3 @ 3:00 pm

First Parish in Bedford — Unitarian Universalist

Address: 75 The Great Road, On the Bedford Town Common Bedford, Massachusetts

Invites you to a workshop with

  • Debby Irving
  • Racial Justice educator and author of
  • Waking Up White

Reception and book signing follows workshop

Decision Time is Approaching!

We are now fully engaged in discernment. Once we come to agreement on the one ministerial candidate to present to the congregation, we will make an offer on April 7. If the chosen candidate accepts our offer, we start planning the week long visit when the candidate meets the congregation and the staff and organizes the worship for two Sundays. At the conclusion of the candidating week, the congregation will be asked to put in a yes-or-no vote, after the service.

Important News: Candidating Week is now scheduled for the week of April 24th through May 1st.

Candidating Week therefore starts on the second Sunday of the school vacation. Please plan accordingly.

You must be a member of First Parish to participate in this important vote. If you have questions about whether you are a “member” of First Parish, please contact Miriam or Kiki. If you are considering becoming a member, please read the information in Kiki’s Corner below.

Thanks for your trust in this important task.

Debbie Alsebai, Charlie Franich, Franc Graham, Elise Henricks, Jim May, Brigitte Miller, and Tracey Robinson.

KikiKiki’s Corner

Membership Sunday is April 10th. If you have attended a First Parish Orientation or New Member Class, have financially committed to the church and feel you have found your spiritual home, please complete a Membership Application no later than Wednesday, March 30. If you have questions on the process, please contact me or Rev. Hank.

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!