This Week in Virtual Worship
UNITY SUNDAY LIVESTREAM WITH FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
THIS SUNDAY AT 10:00 AM
This Sunday is our annual “Unity Sunday”, when First Parish and First Congregational worship together, a tradition of more than 100 years. We will be livestreaming from the Congregational Church, with Rev. John Allen preaching and Rev. Lisa assisting.
NOTE THE TIME CHANGE: 10:00 AM
First Congregational streams from their website.
To access the service, at 10 am, use this link: www.fccmilton.org/livestream
A pdf of the order of worship will be available on their website.
Come join us for our virtual shared worship across the town green!
The nation experienced another set-back in the movement toward diversity, equity and inclusion this week. Arkansas has become the first US state to outlaw gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender people under the age of 18, including banning doctors from providing puberty blockers, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment. It was not a close vote. In fact, the vote in the legislature was broad enough to override Governor Hutchinson’s veto. There are 16 other states considering similar legislation. Plus some that are considering banning transgender girls from girls’ school sports, as has occurred in Mississippi.
The ramifications of this othering are far and wide. First and foremost, the mental health of transgender youth just became more endangered, because a state has now codified in law invalidation, suppression of one’s truth and justified bias. None of these experiences are new to the transgender community, but the blatant violation of rights and one’s being intensifies fear and isolation. This affects family and loved ones as well.
In political terms, politicians are following the age-old manipulation for power by choosing the most vulnerable to rally against, targetting a “they” to blame for the ills of society. In theological terms, it indicates a toxic arrogance, a lack of humility towards Creation, as if we are capable of defining the depth and breadth of human being. How about we not go back to this pre-covid “normal”?
Dr. Rachel Levine, United States assistant secretary for health, named transgender healthcare an equity issue, not a political one. “You know,” she said in a recent interview, “Fear is the path that leads to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I think that people fear what they don’t understand.” Let’s transcend these fear-based tactics and advocate for justice for all.
This I pray. Amen. Rev. Lisa
Family Spirit Circle: Family Spirit Circle packets and Easter treat baskets were delivered this past weekend on the theme of celebrating Easter. Just like Christmas, Easter is a mix of Christian and older Pagan celebrations. Although we couldn’t hand out ‘Good Eggs’ as usual during the Easter service since it was online this year, to keep the tradition alive the children were provided materials to make a couple of ‘Good Eggs’ to hand out to someone who has been kind or helpful to them.
Email email@example.com 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 over for the spring and summer seasons as we all head outdoors on Sunday afternoons. A huge thank you to Bridget Sitkoff for hosting the sessions and sharing her Minecraft server skills with us!
Middle and High School Youth: Youth are encouraged to attend the ‘Getting to Zero’ conversations online on April 21 and May 5. The ‘25 Days of Walking’ campaign in support of the 25th Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s Motherhood March for Peace has begun 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).
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.
MUSIC THIS WEEK
For Unity Sunday Pat Neves and Guy Pugh will join with two singers from FirstCongregational Church on a quartet based on the Hebrew round, “How Good ItIs”. Grace Allendorf will also be singing “Draw the Circle Wide”, by GordonLight.
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. Social Justice Committee News
5. Environmental Justice Committe News
6. Getting to Zero First Parish
Events, News & Announcements
This Sunday, April 11th at 3pm will be our next Milton Community Concert,”Lifting Our Voices: Songs of Struggle and Hope by African American Composers”. This livestream concert, produced in collaboration withCourageous Conversations Toward Racial Justice, will raise money for the Neponset Neighbors Together Fund through the United Way. Eleven outstanding singers of color from around the country will be offering a varied program, including songs about Negro League baseball, reactions to 9/11, and a touching true story of an abandoned infant. We are also honored to presentCongresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who will speak on the topic of social justice and racial equity. Tickets are now available for a $10 donation at sparrowlive.com/miltoncommunityconcerts. The concert will stream for a full month. We hope you can join us! For more information on the performers, or to make additional donations to NNTF, please visitmiltoncommunityconcerts.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com if you have questions or want to join us!
Social and Environmental Justice Committee News
Please see below all the programs and events the Social and Environmental Justice Committee is offering in the next few weeks.
We are STILL IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS for Wednesday, April 21st. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 time 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 email@example.com
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.
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
“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. 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 April 21st 6:30pm-7:30pmGetting to Zero 102: What’s involved & learning from other congregations. Please complete this online survey before the workshop on April 21st.
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
SAVE THE DATES
Thursday, April 15
At the Foot of the Hills: Water and Watersheds in a Warming World
Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA)
Climate change is here, and waterways like the Neponset River and the neighborhoods around them are already seeing real impacts. NepRWA Executive Director, Ian Cooke, and Advocacy Director, Kerry Snyder, will discuss the major “water changes” that communities face, the risks they pose, and the potential local solutions to protect the environment, and public health and safety.
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?
Friends of the Blue Hills
From your Social and Environmental Justice Committee