Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 3/23/2023

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 3/23/2023

Table of Contents

  • This Week in Worship
  • Message from Rev. Lisa
  • This Week in Religious Exploration
  • Events and Meetings
  • News and Announcements
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Beyond First Parish

This Week in Worship

“Highlights and Reflections from Our Summer Service”

Guest Minister: Penny Partridge

Worship Assistant: Christopher Clifford

Usher: Tracey Robinson

Music: Tim Steele

Social Hour: Steve Yakutis & Guy Pugh

Audio: Colin Glazer

Sunday’s offering will be given to two organizations with the recent earthquake in mind:

 The Fund for Global Human Rights. Created in 2002 by a group of prominent activists and donors, the Fund fills a critical gap in the charity sector by connecting grassroots human rights defenders to flexible funding, long-term strategic support, and a global network of allies. They look for local leaders who are protecting and promoting the rights of their community—then we provide the money, tools, and training they need to succeed. For more information visit their website.

The second organization, The White Helmets (also known as the Syria Civil Defence) are humanitarian volunteers who risk their lives to help anyone in need – regardless of their religion or politics. Known for their distinctive head-wear, the rescue workers operate in the most dangerous place on earth and have saved more than 100,000 lives over the past five years. For more information visit their website.

Masks are strongly recommended in the meetinghouse; masks are still required for those who have not been vaccinated. Respect and consideration should be given to all regardless of their masking choice.


This Sunday’s service will bring you highlights and reflections from our summer services. Some wonderful things happen at these “lay led” services – things too good not to be reprised for those who missed them. Many of you got an example of this when Tom Kemp reprised his August service in December. Just one feature of this Sunday’s “Highlights and Reflections from Our Summer Services” will be the story for all ages, a story/song presented by Guy Pugh and Steve Yakutis. We get to know each other in new ways from the services we plan for each other in the summer. Please come and be inspired.

 – Penny Partridge

In this week of the Spring Equinox, when fertility, creativity and renewal are celebrated, I thought I’d add a seed of hope to the mix.

Many of you may already know that a new position and office were created this year in Massachusetts government: the position of Climate Chief to head up the Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience. Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to establish such a position at the cabinet level. 

In a January press release Governor Healey commented: “It’s essential that we begin coordinating our climate policy across all state agencies and all communities in Massachusetts so that we can make the progress we so urgently need and drive our clean energy economy.” 

What is hopeful about this step is the whole-of-government approach to addressing climate change. It is an acknowledgement that stewardship of the environment and the effect of governance policy are intricately related. The more we recognize our interdependence within nature and in the living of our lives, the more we will find ways toward both resilience and innovation. We will be working within the aspiration of harmony rather than control and seeking clear-eyed understanding rather than the spin of magical thinking.

The more we see ourselves as a part of it all, co-creators in the living of our lives, health, justice and mutuality will become the wisdom that influences our future.

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa 

** Rev. Lisa will be on study leave from March 23 –March 30th. She will be attending evening church meetings on the 30th **

Music For Sunday

During our worship this week several musicians from our congregation who took part in last summer’s worship services will be offering musical selections. Musicians are Steve Yakutis, Guy Pugh, Jennie Mulqueen, Amy Kavadlo, Jeff Stoodt, J. Dale Graham. Thanks to all who are participating!

Religious Exploration

Religious Exploration

RE is looking for a youth (age 14 or older) to facilitate a Dungeons and Dragons group for our middle school youth. This experienced player would plan and run games for four two hour sessions on occasional Sunday evenings this Spring. We are happy to offer community service hours or childcare pay rates. Please email if interested.

If your middle schooler might be interested in joining this group, please email Friends are welcome, but you will need to register with the RE program ( choose Youth Group or Junior Youth Group as your program option).

Events and Meetings

UU Elevator Speech Group is happening again!

Last spring, Membership held a series called the Elevator Speech, meaning: if you were going to try to explain to someone what being a UU means during the length of an elevator ride, what would you say? 

We are doing it again! Everyone is welcome to join us for a virtual conversation. Next meeting is on Wednesday, March 29th from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm.

Last year’s group found it to be an empowering experience. If you are interested in joining us, please email Leslie:

Something New!

The Membership Committee is organizing a low-key gathering for the evening on Friday, March 31st. We have reached out to the members who have joined within the last five years and a group of them are coming. We want to connect with them AND the wider community.

We will have pizza, sides and drinks starting at 5:00 pm and will have simple crafts going or feel free to bring your own. Games are being offered by First Parish’s former Youth Leader: Sara Elizabeth-Dyer-Santa Cruz ! Youth who miss Sara should come! We will sit around the fire and talk a bit, play games and just “connect”.

Please let Leslie know if you are coming so we can plan on enough food and include dietary needs/restrictions. Contact Leslie:

Hope to see you there !

Grief Support Group

Four Tuesdays: April 4,11,18 & 25

7:00pm – 8:30 pm

In Rev. Lisa’s Office

Facilitator: Rev. Lisa Ward

When we lose a loved one through death, the world is different, our lives shift in meaning, our ground is shaken. We can feel isolated by our grief. We can also feel a lack of strength or initiative to find a way through. One way to help adjust to the new reality and find our inner resources is to share our journey of loss and recovery with others. There are many ways that we grieve and many kinds of losses. This group is focused on loss due to the death of a loved one. The loss can be recent or from years gone by. We ask participants to commit to at least three of the sessions, no new participants after April 11. Please contact Rev. Lisa if interested: minister@ops

Committee Fair

The Committee Fair is back! Please join us on Sunday, April 2nd at social hour in the Parish Hall.  

Committee’s are essential to the life and growth of First Parish. At the fair, you can find out more about our committees and decide which ones you may want to join. Joining a committee is a wonderful way to deepen your engagement to church, make new friends and do great work. Come and share your talents or try something completely new. We need you!

Committee Chairs – please plan to staff a table at the fair!

Presenting Bill McKibben “Climate Change, Migration and Racism”

A Live Watch-Party Invitation 

Sunday, April 2, 6-8 p.m.

First Parish Church Parish Hall

First Parish Milton Social Environmental Justice Committee is hosting a potluck supper to “view and chew” together on these interconnected headline topics, presented by well-known Climate activist/author/teacher Bill McKibben (founder of and We know the timing has never been more important to gather, listen, and learn in community to inform our actions. Watch for a signup. All are welcome. Sponsored by First Parish in Concord’s social action community.

News and Announcements

From Stewardship: a Heartfelt Thank-You

For all your support during our Annual Budget Drive

And for a very moving Gathering in Gratitude

The Stewardship Committee of First Parish are very grateful for all those who stepped up over the past several weeks to commit their financial support for the efforts of our congregation for FY2024. Pledging in advance is vital to allowing our Finance Committee to develop an operating budget that can realistically meet our needs for the coming year.

As of Commitment Sunday, we have heard from 81 households that have pledged a total of $211,535. This figure, which is not quite final yet, represents an approximately 6% decline from the pledged amount we closed with a year ago. However, we are still hoping to hear from at least another 9 or 10 households, and they could make a notable difference. 

Of the 81 households who have pledged, 63% raised their pledges by the 3% requested, 26% of households maintained their pledge at the same level, and 11% reduced their pledge for next year.

The Stewardship Committee are thrilled with the response to our inaugural Gathering in Gratitude Celebration on Sunday, which brought together more than 60 folks for some great food, some lively entertainment, and many expressions of gratitude that served as vivid reminders of why we cherish one another and the community of First Parish.

Thank YOU!

Mallory Digges, Charlie Franich, Eric Miller, and Mark Ostrem

Bottle Water Outreach

Father Bill’s and Main Spring is in high need for individual size bottled water for our guests at our MainSpring House Shelter. Any amount is welcome.

If you are interested in donating, you may drop off water any days between 9:00 am-11:00 am or 1:00 pm-3:00 pm at MainSpring House, 54 N. Main Street, Brockton.

Job Opportunity at First Parish Milton for a Family Ministries Director

FP Milton seeking a ¾ time Family Ministries Director (FMD) to co-create, innovate, and administer a Religious Exploration (RE) Program for all ages.

This position presents an opportunity to work with a congregation seeking a new religious exploration model for all ages. Current goals are to maintain an RE program for children and youth as well as to integrate family ministry, adult faith development, and intergenerational community building.

A detailed job description can be found here. Cover letter and resume should be sent to by April 15, 2023.

Thank you for your interest! We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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, April 15th.

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, especially on Friday and Saturday mornings. Contact Tony Dutzik at or 617-291-4685 with any questions or for more information.

First Parish Milton volunteers provide bagged lunches to MainSpring adult shelters in Brockton twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. Members of the Social & Environmental Justice committee will make the delivery to Brockton.

Volunteers are needed to acquire food and pack 10 lunches and deliver to the church between 12:45 pm-1:00 pm on Delivery day. One team lead drives all the lunches to the shelter in Brockton. Please note how many meals you are making in comments. We are looking for 70 lunches for each delivery day. Lunches should include sandwich, fruit, drink, snack/chips and sweet/cookies.

The next delivery day will be on Wednesday April 5th and then every other Wednesday throughout the year. We will meet in the lower parking lot between 12:40 pm and 1:00 pm.

If you haven’t made lunches in a while OR if you are a new volunteer, sign up on MainSpring Sign Up Genius or contact Pat Gallivan at for more info.

Thanks to all the volunteers that have made this program a success for more than two years !!

Sign up here

Memorial Service for Natalie Albers

The Albers family will be holding a memorial service for Natalie here at First Parish on Saturday, May 6th at 1:00 pm. Peggy Albers will be officiating.

Beyond First Parish

Restoration of First Church Roxbury, home of the UU Urban Ministry

The Pews Project

As of today, 50% of the pews in the Meetinghouse have been sponsored. Thank you to all those who have supported this initiative – and the restoration of our Meetinghouse. For those who haven’t yet, there is still time…

Sponsor the work that restores the Meetinghouse pews. 

  • Your $1,000 donation will help fund the work that brings the 106 box pews back to life, and ready to welcome guests again.
  • When you sponsor a pew, we will send you a photo of “your” pew, along with any historical information that we know about it. 
  • Then when the work in the Meetinghouse is completed, join us for a celebration and sit in the pew you helped restore

The restored Meetinghouse will be a home for the arts, humanities, and civic engagement in Roxbury – and one that our neighborhood needs and deserves.


Email Vinnie Myles, Director of Development and Communications:

Click here to sponsor a pew

Community E-Waste Collection

Save the Date-Tuesday April 18, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm

Milton Academy’s Sustainability Coordinator, Linnea Engstrom, extends a town-wide invitation to spring clean and recycle your electronics. Read all about EarthDay – 4-2023.pdf here for a comprehensive list of acceptable items (no CRT [tube] TVs). Spread the word.


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.