Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 4/1/2021

Weekly Link 4-1-2021

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, April 4, 2021 10:30am

April Theme: Creation

“Boundless Love”

Easter Sunday

Facilitated by:  Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Penny Partridge

Music:  Tim Steele

Audio Engineer:  Daniel Truog

Virtual Social Hour Host: Jonah BeukmanPlease 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.

Please be on the lookout for an Order of Worship which will be emailed to you on Friday, 4/02 Third Sunday’s offering will be dedicated to the services and ministry of First Parish.

We will continue having a social hour after services. Just stay on the Zoom worship call.  It will be good to worship together. Do join us on Sunday if you can!

Several of us from Milton and Mattapan are on the planning committee for a march on May 25, 2021.  On the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we will “March for George and Justice”.  Stay tuned for details. 

This week, and for the next few weeks, the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes, has begun.  Will we see justice?  It’s harrowing and heart-breaking to witness the trial, to relive the atrocity, and to wait for a verdict.  We are witnessing, as well, the trauma, guilt and sense of helplessness that bystanders of the murder are enduring.  The nation is watching.  Will we disrupt the chain of injustice?

This is our criminal justice system, walking through the crime for a jury of peers to render a verdict.  The defense is doing their job of counter messaging, which is infuriating in its echo of centuries of white supremacist reasoning: victim blaming, gas lighting and indiscriminate deference to police authority.

This is a time when we cannot look away.  This is a time when we demand accountability.  This is a time to understand the depth of trauma that so many are experiencing in the immediate recall of that terrible murder linked to countless racist murders throughout the centuries.  May they be ever held and heard in love.

Remember the wisdom and entreaty of James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  May we be open to facing what we have not yet learned about true justice.  May we dare the discomfort of systemic change.  May we encourage each other’s staying power in the work of transformation.

This I pray.  Amen.

Rev. Lisa


Religious Exploration

Note: There will not be an Easter Egg Hunt this year due to COVID

Family Spirit Circle: Family Spirit Circle packets will be delivered this weekend on the theme of celebrating Easter. Why is it that decorating eggs is so popular at this time of year? Where did the tradition of chocolate bunnies come from? What does all this have to do with Jesus?

Email if you need the family spirit circle newsletter or would like to be added to our distribution list of RE families.

Minecraft for All Ages: Minecraft is on break until after Easter Sunday. We will be sending out a poll to determine if there is enough ongoing interest to continue this group now that the spring weather is tempting us all to head outdoors on Sunday afternoons!

Middle and High School Youth: The Youth Visionary Volunteers are looking into potential service initiatives for youth in April and May. Youth are encouraged to attend the ‘Getting to Zero’ conversations online on April 21 and May 5. Also coming up is the ‘25 Days of Walking’ campaign in support of the 25th Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s Motherhood March for Peace (the 25 days are from April 5 to May 7, with an online finale on May 9th at 9:00 am).

We welcome suggestions for youth programming opportunities, especially regarding possible social justice youth activities.

[In-person religious exploration programs are suspended until we are able to gather together safely. There will be no Sunday morning nursery care, classroom programming, or youth group activities at First Parish Milton while worship services remain virtual only. Fear not! Religious exploration is continuing as we experiment with new ideas and approaches in this time of liminal space.]

~ Our bodies may not be touching, but our hearts are still connected.


This week’s Easter Sunday service will feature solos by two Hunsakersoloists and a guest trumpeter, Daniel Hirsch. We are so grateful to EricMiller for providing the technological expertise which enables us to bringin musicians remotely as well as feature live singing whenever possible.Jennifer Sgroe will be teaming up with Daniel Hirsch for “A Trumpet Tune”by Henry Purcell. Grace Allendorf will be offering “The Greatest of Theseis Love” by Daniel Moe.

Table of Contents

For Events, News and Announcements 

1.  MCC  Livestream Benefit Concert

2.  Church Event: Racial Justice Conversations

3.  Church Event: Weekly Meditation

4.  Volunteers Needed for Father Bills & Main Spring

5.  Social and Environmental Justice Committee News 

6.  Getting to Zero First Parish 

Events, News & Announcements

Milton Community Concerts, in collaboration with Courageous Conversations for Racial Justice, presents a live stream benefit concert event:

“LIFTING OUR VOICES: SONGS OF STRUGGLE AND HOPE BY AFRICAN AMERICAN COMPOSERS”, featuring an appearance by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

Sunday, April 11th at 3pm (available for viewing on Sparrow Live through May 11th; $10 minimum donation required; tickets available at

Net proceeds will go to support the Neponset Neighbors Together Fund through the United Way

Featured singers: Daon Drisdom, Yazid Gray, Symone Harcum, Michelle Johnson, Melissa Joseph, Brian Major, Davron Monroe, Neil Nelson, Brianna Robinson, Jermaine Smith, Ron Williams

Timothy Steele, pianist; Brother Dennis Slaughter, narrator

Featured composers: Leslie Adams, Margaret Bonds, Charles Brown, Uzee Brown, Jr., H.T. Burleigh, Cecil Cohen, Roy J. Cotton II, Duke Ellington, Hall Johnson, Byron Motley, Nkeiru Okoye, Florence Price, John W. Work, Jr.

Grants from Celebrate Milton! and the Milton Cultural Council support this concert.

Racial Justice Focus Group

Conversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa, Timothy Ellis and Debbie Alsebai meets on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays monthly

All are Welcome!

Next Session: Wednesday, April 14th, 7:00pm – 8:30 pm This focus group has been meeting since August. Each session is rich with stories, insights, questions, learning, re-learning, sharing of resources, sharing of wisdom. Each session stands alone, so you are welcome to attend at any meeting. Consistent attendance helps deepen trust and exploration. Dismantling systemic racism in ourselves and communities occurs incrementally, discovery by discovery. We recognize the importance of this life-long journey toward transformation and that it is a shared endeavor.  Contact the office to receive the zoom link:

Meditation NEW TIME

All are welcome to join for 30 minutes of silent meditation/prayer on:

Thursday evenings at NEW TIME 6:45 pm-7:15 pm 

Sunday mornings at 9:30am

Newcomers and friends welcome.

Please contact Tracey at if you have questions or want to join us!  

Father Bills & Main Spring

STILL IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS on Wednesday, April 7th. Volunteers acquire food and pack 10 lunches and deliver to the church between 12:45-1pm on Delivery day. One team lead drives all the lunches to the shelter in Brockton.

 If you can help, please contact Peter Schneider at for instructions or if you already know the drill, signup on our schedule Mainspring SignupGenius – please indicate number of lunches you will bring.


Social & Environmental Justice Committee 


First Parish is joining the Blue Hills Climate Action Coalition to offer trees and shrubs to be planted within our community. Planting a tree is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help clean the air we breathe. This year, a variety of trees such as red oak, red maple, river birch, crab apple, and Colorado spruce will be provided. In addition, three shrubs will be offered for those who are short in space. These are grey dogwood, red twig, and common nine bark.They will arrive in the first week of April when they will be potted, then distributed in our church parking lot. Dates are to be determined. We were told that we will get a variety of the above and can’t chose specific trees.In our parking lot, you will be able to chose from the ones we have. If you would like to participate, please contact Cynthia Guise at  by April 2. We may need additional volunteers, so please let us know if you are available. Happy Planting!

For their Zoom book club CCTRJ is reading “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent” by Isabel Wilkerson.

CCTRJ Book Group

 Next one TODAY April 1st:  Part 5: The Consequences of Caste

  Come join us every other Thursday at7PM

Dates:  April 1st, 15th, and 29th.

Link to join 

A Green Medley

Online Speaker Series for March:

Climate Change in the Blue Hills

The Blue Hills Climate Action Coalition invites the community to explore how climate change will alter the Blue Hills and surrounding communities.  Experts from organizations in and around the park will reveal how the warming climate will affect the watershed, woodlands, birds, food production and other flora and fauna of the Blue Hills area.  To sign up for the Zoom link, visit

The series’ aim is to raise public awareness about the local impacts of climate change and

showcase the groups in the Blue Hills area working to address them.  Each lecture will take place at 6:30 pm on the dates listed below. The issues and organizations featured in the series are:

TODAY Thursday, April 1st

Managing Climate Impacts on Diverse Plant Collections

Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum

The Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum is a 25 acre property that lies within the much larger Blue Hills and Neponset River ecosystem.  The arboretum’s plant collection includes a very broad range of both native and non native species. This allows a unique opportunity to study the impacts of a changing climate on a variety of species. Arboretum Director Debbie Merriam will highlight some of the observations of the cascading impacts of a changing climate on plant species and its management strategy to adapt to these changes.

The 25th Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be taking place over a twenty fiveday period beginning in April and finishing with a virtual celebration onMother’s Day, May 9th at 9:00 AM. First Parish Milton has participated in this Louis D. Brown fundraisingevent for many years and we will have a team again this year. With a newname, “Getting to Peace, First Parish UU Milton” we will be beginning ourrecruitment of team members over the next few weeks. Louis D. Brown founder,Tina Cherry, will be speaking at a FP Sunday Zoom service in April. Moreinfo to follow soon.

Crew at Fair Food Warehouse   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 on the 2nd Saturday of every month.

Next session is This Saturday, April 10th If you want to volunteer please signup on Signup Genius by Thursday evening before the event. Start time and locations vary depending on Fair Foods’ needs, but typically start between 8:00 and 10 a.m. at Fair Foods’ warehouse in South Boston. Please wear a mask and bring gloves if you have them.

Signup on Signup Genius  Any questions or for more information contact Tony Dutzik at

Getting to


“Getting to Zero” declares our intention. First Parish Milton’s Social and Environmental Justice Committee plans to propose this intention — to become Net Zero by 2035 — for a vote at the church’s Annual Meeting in May 16.  In advance of the annual meeting, we will learn together through a 3-part virtual discussion series:   what it means to become “net zero” and how to live more sustainably.  This is a critical issue, not only for our church but for our community, climate, and planet.  Each session stands on its own, so we invite you to zoom in to as many sessions as you can.  Join us on this educational journey so that you will be prepared to vote on May 16.  Save the dates: Wednesday, March 17th

Getting to Zero 101: The Big PictureRecorded session available if you missed this oneContact  Tracey Robinson at for more info  Wednesday April 21st 6:30pm-7:30pmGetting to Zero 102:  What’s involved & learning from other congregations

Zoom link  Wednesday May 5th 6:30pm-7:30pmGetting to Zero 103:  Process and next steps

Zoom linkFrom your Social & Environmental Justice Committee