Table of Contents
- Message from Molly B. Nolan
- This Week in Worship
- This Week in Religious Exploration
- This Week in Music
- Volunteer Opportunities
- News, Announcements and Meetings
- Beyond First Parish
*No column from Rev. Lisa Ward as she is on vacation until 3/8/22*
Message from Molly B. Nolan
Interactive Art Project Launched
This past Sunday First Parish launched an informative and beautiful Interactive Art Project. We introduced the project during the Story for All Ages in Worship on Sunday. A picture of the mural “Reaching Out In Service” created by Liz O’Rourke-Harris, showing a tree with few leaves, was printed on the front of the Order of Worship. We asked what was missing from the mural. We then distributed leaves to everyone in the sanctuary and asked, “What do you do to serve our community, our neighbors, the world around us?” and asked everyone to write down what they do that is of service, volunteer or otherwise, that is rooted in our UU values and Principles. And further asked folks to please write their service activities on their leaf. We invited those who were so inclined to add their names to the leaf so that others in the congregation could find out more about the service activities members of our community engage in.
You never know what will inspire another into service for our greater good. Or when someone will be looking for an opportunity to work in a new area, on a new project (even if it is only new to them). When will you have a friend or acquaintance with energy on a particular issue that someone in our congregation is already involved in? If you know someone working in that area, you can connect them with an individual or group working in their field of interest.
If the location of the volunteer activity is included on the leaves we fill out, we can see how far into the community our reach truly is. We are not a large denomination. With our” Deeds not Creeds” approach, we have wider and greater impact than our numbers might suggest.
In the Prayer of St. Francis we are reminded that “for it is in giving that one receives”. Isn’t it true that in all our service activities and actions we get as much as we give? Friendship, comradery, lifting up a worthy cause, sharing the concerns that got us involved in the first place, amplifying the messages of the causes we undertake, modelling what respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people looks like, in addition to the good we do for and with others. In our service we unleash grace, for ourselves, for those we serve and into the world.
Reaching Out in Service was not and is not a one and done activity. Did everyone get a chance to write down what service efforts they are engaged in? I suspect many of us are involved in more than one service action. We will continue to fill our tree with “Leaves of Service” for the next several weeks in worship and beyond. There are blank leaves and pens near the mural in the hallway off the Parish Hall vestibule. There is a pouch to place completed leaves as well. To involve our whole community in this project, the children of First Parish help distribute blank leaves in worship and post new competed leaves on Sunday morning (this was a huge hit last week). If you are worshiping remotely, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your service work and we’ll fill out a leaf to be posted with the rest on Sunday.
We wish and pray for a kinder world. Our service is part of that prayer. Let’s celebrate and inspire the service we crave.
Molly B. Nolan
This Week in Worship
Facilitated by: Rev. Carol Smith
Worship Associate: Amy Kavadlo
Music: Tim Steele
Greeter: Richard Venable
Usher: Jen Grant, Peter Schneider
Audio: Madeleine Miller & Sophie D’Allesandro
Worship Services are hybrid.
Join us in person or on Zoom.
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 go to Stone House. Stone House combines the security of a safe environment with a range of programs and services — residential and community based — to support trauma recovery, personal growth and development of essential life skills. Their overarching mission is to help participants create a path to a secure, positive and fulfilling life.
Rev. Carol Smith earned her Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and was ordained into the ministry of the Central Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ in 1981. She served for a time as Associate Pastor of the United Church of Christ in Wrentham and for the First Congregational Church of Boylston, Ma. She also pursued and earned her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University School of Social work and began a faith-based based psychotherapy practice which she has maintained until the present.
This Week in Religious Exploration
We all start in the Sanctuary on Sunday morning. After the Story for All Ages, children and their teachers go to Religious Exploration classes.
OWL resumes this Sunday! OWL meets 3-5 on Sunday afternoon in Parish Hall.
We are trying to organize monthly service and fellowship activities for Youth Group age eligible March through June. To that end we are collecting cell numbers from youth and their parents and permission room their parents, so we can coordinate the planning and such. Please email Molly at email@example.com with contact details.
Molly B. Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Education
This Week in Music
This Sunday Jeff Stoodt will be singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon. A small ensemble (Grace Allendorf, Penny Knight, Leslie MacPherson, and Dianna Wilson) will be singing “Gather the Spirit” by Jim Scott. And Pat Neves and Amy Kavaldo will be collaborating on “How Could Anyone”, by Libby Roderick.
Mainspring Lunch Bag Program
The next date is March 16th-volunteers needed!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that wwould 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, March 19th.
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.
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.
Events and Meetings
Many of us want to DO something about our climate emergency but are unsure where to start. Two ideas, below. Taking action together is empowering.
 Support Milton’s Climate Action Planning Process
Attend Milton Select Board’s next meeting (via Zoom) Wednesday night March 9*
Melinda Collins, Select woman, will introduce our Town Engineer’s proposal to launch a municipal Climate Action Plan. Learn what charting a viable path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 may involve. *[Important note: confirm date and time on the town’s website here, with Zoom link.]
 Make some noise together
March 11th Hour Calling – Climate Action Standout
Friday, March 11, 6-6:30 p.m. [“Wet”/Rain/Snow: Sat. 3/12]
First Parish Church lawn ~ Gather round the spotlight
Bring a drum (improvise, such as the household item below), a bell, a whistle…. a DIY sign.
Show that you care about the climate emergency, environmental justice, and Milton’s municipal response planning (see above). For safety: flashlights / headlamps / light-colored or reflective clothing. We welcome all to this energizing community event. Be bold: bring friends and neighbors… your Friday date! Spread the word.
MILTON COMMUNITY CONCERTS SUPPORTS RENEWAL HOUSE IN MARCH 19th CONCERT:
On Saturday, March 19th at 7pm a live concert in the Meetinghouse called “The Heart of a Woman” will take place to raise funds in support of Renewal House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Renewal House is a program of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, and for forty years has been providing safe housing and healing counseling to families fleeing from domestic violence and abuse. This concert will feature talented singers from Opera On Tap Boston. For more information visit http://miltoncommunityconcerts.com.
UU Elevator Speech– This course was designed by the UU Church in Dallas to help you voice what Unitarian Universalism and your membership at First Parish means to you, in a comfortable, conversational way.
UU Elevator Speech guides participants through developing an elevator speech about their Unitarian Universalist faith.It is called an “elevator speech” because on an elevator ride when someone asks you “what is Unitarian Universalism?” you only have a short time to make meaningful statement.
This isn’t just for new folks. This is meant for all to deepen their relationship with the wider community and church.
Next dates are Tuesday evenings in March 15th and 29th from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm over Zoom.
If you would like to participate, please email Leslie: at email@example.com
1. Walks– Debbie Alsebai and Dianna Wilson are leading walks after church, weather permitting. The next one will be on Sunday, March 20th. Meet up at Central Ave T stop in Milton at noon. Reach out to Debbie firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2. Theater – Debbie is also organizing a trip to see a performance of The Bluest Eye. Reach out to her for information: email@example.com
3. Cooking – Save the date! Membership is celebrating April Fools Day with FOOLISH FOODS! We will be cooking a silly assortment of foods that may or may not be what they seem. (Are they cupcakes or meatloaf??) Friday, April 1st. More info will be coming.
Racial Justice Focus Group
Next meeting is Wednesday, March 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: https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/cic/widening.
News and Announcements
Month of February Offerings
Milton Coalition $484.62
Reclaim Our Vote $537.74
Thank you for your great generosity !
March 13th is Commitment Sunday!
If you have not made your annual pledge for FY23, please fill out the annual pledge form sent to you from the Stewardship Team. Thank you for your commitment to First Parish!
Donation Drive Update
This Saturday, First Parish had its first donation drive for the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) in Mattapan Square. This organization has been able to place people arriving from Haiti into unfurnished apartments in Boston and Southeastern MA. A couple of weeks ago, we were able to bring them four van loads of winter clothing. This weekend, we filled a truck of furniture, kitchenware, bedding and toys (including a bike and sled). Many thanks to those who participated – know that your donations were very appreciated and will be well used!
Caring Committee Request
The Caring Committee has a request for information from our congregation. We are looking for the names, current addresses, and any food allergies or special requests for the college-aged youth from First Parish. The plan is to send “Care Packages” to our youth to arrive by mid-April. The packages will contain food items and fun trinkets to help our youth remember that they are still important to First Parish. Please send this information by email or text to Amy Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (857) 939-0716. (We will be setting up a table at social hour later in March to collect donations for the packages.)
Beyond First Parish
Mission & Vision (UUUM’s Community Conversations Series )
Mission and Vision: UU Urban Ministry leaders talk about achieving a new mission and how we will get there
March 15th 6:00 pm-7:30 pm
Virtual Lunch with an Artist
Bithyah Israel, UUUM’s Social Justice Fellow for the Arts and Humanities, has set up an exciting series for March, called Lunch with an Artist. This is a series of virtual lunchtime meetings where a Roxbury artist will share their virtual gallery and discuss process and worldview. Our first lunch will be on March 2 at 1pm, featuring Christle Rawlins-Jackson. Zoom link and more info here; a flyer is attached. Future events will feature Gloretta Baynes (3/16) and Hakim Raquib (3/30).
Follow First Parish on Facebook and get updates, poems, announcements and more. You’ll be glad you did!
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Other times by appointment
MINISTER OFFICE HOURS
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: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090d44aca728a02-sunday1
You can sign up for one our our Sunday volunteer positions.