Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 5/21/2020

Weekly Link 5-21-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship


Sunday, May 24th, 2020

​Beauty of the Heart

Guest minster Reverend Erik W. Martinez Resly

Our YouTube account is First Parish in Milton UU. Please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button on our Youtube channel and you’ll get notifications of when new videos are posted.

Please be on the lookout for an Order of Worship which will be emailed to you on Friday, 5/22. 

We’ve added the offering to the service with a new way to give- text to giving! 

Sunday’s offering will go to the ​International Institute of New England​.

You can donate anytime between May 21st and May 24th. See below for  text donation instructions.  It will be good to worship together.

Do join us on Sunday if you can.


Below in the Link:

1. Minister’s Message

2. RE Message

3. Welcome to our Guest Minister

4.  Phased Re-Opening task group formed

5.  Sunday Donation Info

6. We Reached Our Walk For Peace Goal

7. MCC

8. Theology on Tap

9. Green Gleanings

10. Digital Climate Lobby Days

11.  Fighting for Change

12.  Meditation Info


Rev. Lisa Ward

I was speaking with a congregant today who used an apt phrase for our current “physically distancing” way in community: “I could, but I can’t”.  We are willing to show up for one another, to assist in rides, or child care, or celebrations, or in-person volunteering, or even a cup of tea, but we can’t.  We’re there for each other, and yet we aren’t, at least not in the way we are used to.  This inspires creativity and loneliness, venturing out into new technologies and feeling overwhelmed, finding what we need and doing without.  We are learning every moment as we navigate these times.  We are growing into a different sense of what we can be to and for one another.  It’s not an easy road, but one we are, indeed, travelling.

This is particularly hard around experiences of illness and loss.  Most of us have experienced the ache of not being able to visit loved ones who are either sick, in isolation or dying.  We practice prayer and communication through cyberspace or our phones, and have asked countless health care workers to provide surrogate solace and loving presence in the midst of their caring duties.  The devotion to health amongst those who are supporting our loved ones by their presence, of which we “could, but can’t”, is a gift beyond measure.  True beauty to behold.

With the partial re-openings occurring across the nation this Memorial Day weekend, the ache of distance becomes more pronounced.  It is tempting to cast caution to the wind and find those connections we so value.  But we need to stay the course and devote our efforts to reason and humility, listening to scientists and medical professionals, believing we are getting closer but not yet there.

First Parish leadership, the day after being elected at Sunday’s Annual Meeting, responded quickly to the phase one announcement by Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker.  A Phased Re-Opening Task group has been formed for us to reason out together and support efforts toward health and safety for our faith community.  Please see the description below.  We will continue meeting virtually at least through the summer.  This is something we can do, and we can find strength of community in doing this together.

In Faith, Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

The Passages Program will resume online on May 24. Families with children in this much-loved program will receive class schedule information and a Zoom link soon.

Options for Children and Middle Schoolers: We are offering multiple short virtual programs throughout the week to help families feel connected to each other and to the heartbeat of First Parish Milton. 

Storytime: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00 pm

Show & Tell: Wednesdays at 4:00 pm

Middle School Hangout: Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:00 pm

See the RE family newsletter for more information about each option and the Zoom links to join in. Each session is password protected, participants will be admitted via waiting rooms, private chat will be turned off, and screen sharing and white board use will be restricted to the co-hosts. We will ensure that two adults are present before children or youth are added from the waiting rooms. Please let Laurel know if you need the family newsletter.

We are all learning and adapting to new ways of connecting and sharing. I welcome feedback about what feels possible and helpful as we experiment with virtual RE.

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

Coming of Age will resume online on May 24. We will be finishing the course content for the Coming of Age program via Zoom. There will be three online sessions for both youth and their mentors on the following Sundays from 1:00 to 2:30 pm: May 24, May 31, and June 7.

Virtual Youth Chat: All youth should have received Zoom links to join online Youth Chat sessions each week. Each session will give youth an opportunity to connect and share what is on their hearts and we will play fun group online games. Please let Laurel know if you need the link info.

Weekly sessions are on Thursdays at 7:30 pm. Note, the Sunday Youth Chat session is not currently meeting.

Events, News Announcements

Today’s Guest Minister is Reverand Erik W. Martinez Resly

Rev. Erik W. Martinez Resly is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who interned at First Parish with Rev. Parisa Parsa while attending Harvard Divinity School. After graduation, he went on to launch The Sanctuaries in Washington, DC, a multifaith arts community that has trained hundreds of artists to work on the front lines of grassroots organizing campaigns and national social movements impacting over 100,000 people nationwide. Today, he continues to work on local justice campaigns, oversees digital and cultural advocacy at the national civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, and serves as a fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

A Phased Re-Opening (PRO) Task Group

has been formed!

This PRO task group will consider logistics, communication, safety protocols and implementation toward  First Parish’s phased re-opening.

In preliminary research and consultation with parish leaders and colleagues, First Parish worship will remain virtual through the summer.  There will be no in-house worship gatherings till further notice. 

This decision is both prudent, all things considered, and gives the task group more time to iron out the many details that any phase of opening will entail.

Here is the task group:Tracey Robinson – Parish Committee, (Chair of the PRO task group)Lisa White –  Parish CommitteePaul Casaz – Safety Task Force and Parish CommitteeBecky Stiles – RE and Parish CommitteeGuy Pugh, MD – medical expertTom Kemp – Worship CommitteeRev Lisa Ward – MinisterSusan DeMinico – Church AdministratorLaurel Whitehouse – Director of RE ConsultantsEric Miller – TechnologyPeter Schneider – Health and Safety

Feel free to contact Tracey Robinson: with questions or comments.  

With great appreciation and admiration for such devotion to the health and well-being of this faith community.

Rev. Lisa, Minister

Lisa White, Parish Committee Chair

Tracey Robinson, Parish Committee Vice-Chair, and Chair of the PRO task group

Last Sunday’s Donations

Last Sunday, we collected donations for the UU Mass Action COVID19 Emergency Fund. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to donate $504.71

From today 5/21 through 5/24, we are accepting donations for the International Institute of New England.   The mission of the IINE is to create opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship.  They recently established an emergency fund to support their clients.  They have been able to raise funds to support over 1,000 clients’ rent and groceries. For more info:      

HOW TO GIVE: Simply text (617) 539-7576 with the amount that you’d like to give. Do not add words, simply put the amount. You’ll get an automatic text message back, asking you to do a 1-time set up to create an account with your credit card/debit number. After the one time set-up, you can simply text the number with an amount to give, and it’ll be automatically debited from the account of your choosing. This is contained and safe — it goes directly to a designated First Parish account. We will write one check of the compiled donations to the organization.

Thanks to your donations from collections, we were able to reach our goal this year for the Louis D Brown Walk for Peace.  A very big THANK YOU to all who contributed!


This Memorial Day, May 25th, Milton Cable Access (Channels Comcast 9/RCN 13) will be broadcasting a 14-hour marathon of Milton Community Concerts from 8am-10pm. These concerts have been recorded live over the past four years at First Parish. For a complete schedule of times, please visit

Theology on Tap (the At Home version) returns on Tuesday, May 26

BYOB and munchies etc. (to your computer, ipad phone or laptop), and join Rev. Lisa and First Parish friends for a lively Zoom discussion focusing on “Lessons of resilience in these times”.

The Theology on Tap Zoom meeting will begin at 6:00 pm.

Please RSVP to Dottie Pitt at by noon on May 26 with your email address and we will include you in the Theology on Tap Zoom invitation.

Hope to “see” you there!


There are many demands on our attention in the these times, aren’t there?  This week’s Glean is an encouragement is to do something that “feeds” you. 

Two recent online events offer examples.  The first was ClimateXChange’s ( interview with Bill McKibben, environmental activist-professor and founder of  He said the following (paraphrased): honor the deep wisdom of indigenous leaders; take action NOW — speed up and stand up to break the political power of the fossil fuel industry; only by joining together will the movement be large enough to make systemic change. 

The second was a virtual lecture sponsored by Milton Public Library and Blue Hills Climate Action Coalition (  B.U. Professor Richard Primack, spoke about his 18 years as a field biologist, documenting evidence of Climate Change in New England and resulting in his book Walden Warming. He urged participants to: observe nature, live simply, and try to affect society positively. All nutritious for the spirit.

Offered by First Parish The Social and Environmental Justice Committee


Week of May 25

Are you looking for meaningful ways to make a difference in pandemic times?  Climate Change, unfortunately, isn’t in shut-down mode.  First Parish member and Our Climate activist, Izzy Goodrich, alerted the Social & Environmental Justice Committee [aka S+EJ] that a Digital Youth Lobby Week is being planned for the week of May 25.  First, an online training session will cover the legislation and positions championed as well as tips for effective advocacy.  Following that, digital appointments will enable constituents (“us”) to “meet” with our congressional legislators.  YOU MUST PREREGISTER at   Alert Tucker Smith if you will participate.  [Note: FP members Jennie Mulqueen, Atticus D’Alessandro, Deb Larson-Venable, and Andrea Geyling, and Milton Academy students had a rewarding experience doing this last January.] 

Here are the specific bills in the pipeline:

1) S.453/H.826 and S.464/H.761 – An Act relative to Environmental Justice – Sen. DiDomenico /  Rep. Madaro and Sen. Eldridge/ Rep. Dubois & Rep. Miranda   

2) S.1958/H.2836 An Act Re-powering Massachusetts with 100% Renewable Energy – Sen. Eldridge / Rep. Decker & Rep. Garbally

3) H.2810 An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions – Rep. Benson

 4) S.2106/H.3008 An Act to Advance Modern and Sustainable Solutions for Transportation – Sen. Lesser / Rep. Ehrlich

Fighting for CHANGE in Massachusetts

The MA State Legislature adjourns for the year on July 31.  Contacting your MA legislators is a powerful way to make change happen during the last few weeks of this legislative session.  Of course, we encourage as many of you as possible to participate in the Digital Climate Lobby Day(s) — see previous article.   We also encourage everyone to PLEASE contact your own state legislators about the following, critical Immigration Justice initiatives (to find contact info for your state representative / state senator go here: ) Thanks to the great work of UU Mass Action, we have solid guidance and tools to reach out to our state legislators on issues that align with First Parish’s social and environmental initiatives.  It feels good to ACT for social and environmental justice — try it!


The pandemic has painfully reminded us that our communities are only as strong as the most vulnerable person.  The http://Massachusetts Public Health Associations Report on Racial Disparities and COVID19 found that in the Latinx community COVID19 cases are >3x higher than the white community (for the Black/African community it’s >2x higher).

The culture of fear created by punitive federal immigration policy contributes to this dangerous situation.  Massachusetts leadership needs to take action now and protect our immigrant neighbors.

Today, we want to flood legislators’ inboxes with messages about the Safe Communities Act.  

http://Use our super-easy Phone2Action system
You’ll be able to personalize your message!

Meditation continues ….

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

Thursday evenings at 6pm 

Sunday mornings at 9 am

Newcomers and friends welcome.

Here are the links — these should remain consistent every week 

but note that the link for Thursday is different from Sunday!

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