This Week in Virtual Worship
April 25, 2021
“The Ten Thousand Things: Multiplicity in Creation”
Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward
Worship Associate: Joe Ayoub
Faith Reflection: Tony Dutzik
Music: Tim Steele
Audio Engineer: Daniel Truog
Virtual Social Hour Host: Amy Kavadlo
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.
Please be on the lookout for an Order of Worship which will be emailed to you on Friday, 4/23
Today’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.
On Tuesday, April 20, for a moment, much of the nation took a sigh of relief, and a shared rejoicing in response to the guilty verdict on all three counts of Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd. I’ve been heartened by the general response amongst those I’ve spoken to and in the media, that this creates a mere inch in miles and miles to go for racial justice.
The verdict, finding a former police officer accountable for a crime committed on duty, could very well be an opportune beginning, if we stay vigilant and mindful of the road ahead. Step by step, shedding assumptions, conditioning and biases, we can find our way through — together. This means a whole bunch of listening for white folk: listening, abiding, showing up, staying with.
There are some exciting ideas being discussed and implemented toward redefining public safety in a few municipalities, primarily in regards to policing. The first step in this redefining is recognizing that the public – the whole public – is not safe in present policing policies. Once we recognize the disparity of regard and systematized racism, we see that reform is not enough. Indeed, we need re-visioning, risking letting go of assumptions and self-satisfied survival to come to a place of true public safety. If we get there, things will look and function very differently than they do now. None of us knows exactly what that will look like.
“Defining what policing looks like is by far the most consequential decision any local government can make,” offered Brandon Scott, mayor of Baltimore, in a recent interview, “Answering national calls for justice starts at home by fostering an environment of policing that is transparent and accountable.”
May it be so. Blessings, Rev. Lisa
Family Spirit Circle: Earth Day (April 22) poem for families: “Touch the Earth” by Jane Baskwill
The Earth touches you in many ways… in the way a warm spring rain washes your face. The Earth touches you in many ways…in the way a cricket’s summer lullaby sings you to sleep, in the way a field of daisies invites you to play, in the way the wind seems to call your name. The Earth touches you in many ways… in the way colorful gardens give you food, in the way cool winding streams give you water, in the way leaf-laden trees give you shelter. The Earth touches you in many ways. And you can touch the Earth, too. Touch the Earth with your kindness… when you feed the birds, when you create a butterfly garden, when you plant a tree. Touch the Earth with your thoughtfulness… when you adopt an endangered animal,
When you save an acre of rainforest, when you go on a beach sweep. Touch the Earth with your happiness… when you sing songs, when you share stories, when you draw pictures.
When you touch the Earth, you show you care.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the family spirit circle newsletter or would like to be added to our distribution list of RE families.
Middle and High School Youth: Social justice/climate justice options for youth this May are:
(1) Join the GreenUp Milton! litter collection effort on May 1. See the social justice column later in this newsletter for more info.
(2) Youth are encouraged to attend the final Getting to Zero conversation online on May 5.
(3) The 25 Days of Walking campaign in support of the 25th Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s Motherhood March for Peace is underway but it is not too late to join! Youth are encouraged to join the campaign for as many events as possible (the 25 days are from April 5 to May 7, with an online finale on May 9th at 9:00 am).
(4) March for George and Justice on May 25. Details coming soon. Youth are welcome to join the planning team for this event, let Rev. Lisa know if you’d be interested in helping out.
We welcome suggestions for youth programming opportunities, especially regarding possible social justice youth activities.
~ Our bodies may not be touching, but our hearts are still connected.
MUSIC THIS WEEK
Stuart Ryerse will be leading this music this Sunday.
Table of Contents
For Events, News and Announcements
1. Thank You
2. RAMADAN FOOD DRIVE
3. Solar Panel News
4. Milton Community Concerts
5. Church Event: Racial Justice Conversations
6. Church Event: Weekly Meditation
7. Worship Committe News
8. Environmental Committe News
9. Social and Environmental Justice Committee News
10. Membership Committe News
Events, News & Announcements
$1,236 was collected during April’s Third Sunday Collection( 4/18) for The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. Thank you for your generosity. Your support helps further thier mission.
RAMADAN FOOD DRIVE
Monday April 26th — Monday May 10th
Join your Muslim Neighbor! Ramadan is a very special time of year for Muslims to do good deeds. It is important to help and give to those struggling to put food on their tables.
Donate food, dry goods, and hygiene items. All items must have ingredient labels with current expiration dates.
Healthy snacks for kids
Peanut butter & jelly
Personal care items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap (unscented), shampoo, body wash
Mac & Cheese
Pasta & sauce
Canned fruit or vegetables
Dry or canned beans Condiments (incl. salt & pepper) Salad dressing
Cooking oil / Olive oil
Diapers (size 5 & 6), baby wipes
All donations can be dropped off between Monday, April 26 and Monday, May 10th in the Carriage House. There will be marked bins to store items.
Donations to be distributed by Interfaith Social Services in Quincy. This project is brought to you by Milton Muslim Neighbors (MMN), Milton Interfaith Clergy Association (MICA), and Milton Public Schools (MPS). For more info, please contact Tahra at email@example.com.
Solar Panel News
We’ve reached a milestone in our solar panel fund raising! Our short term loan is now fully paid, thanks to the generosity of many who have contributed. We are now concentrating solely on the long term loan, scheduled to be completed in just over 9 years. Faster repayment would, of course, save us in interest, so we are continuing to reach out for donations to support the solar array. We have been fully functioning now since fall 2020, the equivalent of planting 218 trees! It is with joy and pride that First Parish voted unanimously to shift to solar power, share some of the excess with the UUUM and offer a visual on the town green of environmental advocacy. This is one gesture, of many to come, to live into the interdependent web of existence. May the light of love, hope and courage shine upon you. Keep on keeping on.
MILTON COMMUNITY CONCERTS Now is the time to check out Milton Community Concerts livestream concertevent, “Lifting Our Voices: Songs of Struggle and Hope by African AmericanComposers”, with guest speaker Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. If youweren’t able to attend the concert live, you still have the opportunity(until May 11th) to log in and view it atsparrowlive.com/miltoncommunityconcerts. You will be supporting theNeponset Neighbors Together Fund when you do.The final livestream concert will be coming in less than a month, onMother’s Day, May 9th: “Music She Wrote: Songs By and About Women”. More details in next week’s LINK!
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 28th, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All are welcome to join for 30 minutes of silent meditation/prayer on:
Thursday evenings at 6:45 pm-7:15 pm
Sunday mornings at 9:00am-9:30am
Newcomers and friends welcome.
Please contact Tracey at email@example.com if you have questions or want to join us!
Worship Committee News
LAY LEADERS FOR SUMMER SERVICES We hope the following themes from past summer services will inspire you to come up with your own: Poetry That Sustains Us, Finding God in Buddhism?; Telling Your Story, Unitarian Universalist Humor, Living with Pain, Childhood in White: What Wasn’t Said; The Power of a Dream. What’s in your heart to share with us? Many folks have done this over the years and would be willing to bounce ideas around with you, if you’d like. Please direct a possible title and first and second choice of summer Sundays (6/27 through 9/5) to Penny by May 1. (Remember that we’re expecting summer services to take place in the meeting house with a way for people to watch and listen from other places.)
P.S. As of now, we think our summer services will take place in our main sanctuary – spread out, masked – with an option to watch it livestreamed. Lay leaders and their assistants will need to be at the church.
From S&EJ Committee: Environmental News
GreenUp Milton! May Day Weekend Saturday, May 1st, Milton residents have the opportunity to “greenup” town parks, streets, and roadways. If you would like to join *GreenUp Milton!*as a team, a family, or an individual, register in advance on the town’s website (link below). Trash bags will be provided — details online.Litter can be collected Sunday but all bags must be deposited at designated drop-off sites before Monday, May 3 for DPW collection. There is no rain date. To register: Green Up Sign Up Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask (required). Other tips:Dress appropriately (long sleeves and pant-legs, work gloves, brightly colored if on a busy street…); Stay hydrated; Protect against sun exposure; Know what poison ivy/oak looks like; Do a tick-check after!!!
“Getting to Zero”
“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 on what it means to become “net zero” and how to live more sustainably. All workshops are being recorded. “If you missed the workshop on April 21 and are interested in the recording, contact Tracey for the link and password. firstname.lastname@example.org 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 sessins as you can. Join us on this educational journey so that you will be prepared to vote on May 16. Wednesday May 5th 6:30pm-7:30pm
Getting to Zero 103: Process and next steps.
Online Speaker Series for April
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 https://www.bluehillsclimateaction.org/get-involved
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
Next one is:
Thursday, April 29th
Wetlands and Vernal Pools of the Blue Hills: Who lives there,
what do they do, and how will climate change affect these species?
Permanent and temporary freshwater wetlands are critically important communities in Southern New England. They are home to some of the most unusual and unique plant and animal species in our area. These wetlands also provide vital ecosystem services upon which we depend. In this informal talk, Rick Kesseli, Umass Biologist and Friends of the Blue Hills’ Board member, will look at some of the unique creatures in these systems, discuss what they do and why they are important, and peek into the future at how human activities and climate change might impact these communities.
Friends of the Blue Hills
From your Social and Environmental Justice Committee
From S&EJ: Social Action Committee News
Please see below all the programs and events the Social and Environmental Justice Committee is offering in the next few weeks.
Next date is May 5th – 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 email@example.com for instructions or if you already know the drill, signup on our schedule Mainspring SignupGenius – please indicate number of lunches you will bring.
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. The next volunteer date is Saturday, May 8th. 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. You can sign up to volunteer on Signup Genius. Any questions or for more information contact Tony Dutzik at firstname.lastname@example.org
This year, the Social and Environmental Justice Committee is coordinating our participation in the Louis D. Brown (Virtual) Mother’s Day Walk for Peace. It is the 25th anniversary of this event and it will be celebrated on May 9th.
The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute serves as a center of Healing, Teaching and Learning for families and communities impacted by murder, trauma, grief and loss. This walk is a powerful tradition and celebration for the community to come together to honor those we have lost.
We are reaching out to the Milton First Parish community in hopes that you will consider joining our mission to raise $1,500 toward this cause. As of today, we are at 18% of our goal, with three and a half weeks to go before Mother’s Day.
The official registration form from Louis D. Brown is below, but to register as part of the FP Milton team requires that you follow these specific instructions:
Then Click Download Info Sheet
· On Page 4, select “Donate to Team”. This will bring you to another page.
· On this new page, half way down is: Search Fundraisers – you will need to type in First Parish UU Milton. Then hit Search.
· A new page will appear with info on FP Milton. Scroll to the bottom where you will see; First Parish in Milton. Click on “Go to Page”
· This new page, First Parish Milton – Getting to Peace – Select the green Donate button top right. A pop-up saying “Log into Existing Account” will appear. DO NOT DO THIS, just X out of this pop-up. You will now be be on the Secure Donation Form where you can enter your donation.
Thank you for your support.
Social and Environmental Justice Committee