Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 5/21/2021

Weekly Link 5-21-2021

This Week in Virtual Worship

May 23, 2021

MAY THEME: Emergence

Sermon: “Resilience”

Facilitated by:  Rev. Lisa Ward 

Worship Associate:  Franc Graham

Music:  Tim Steele

Audio Engineer:  Brynne Mershon

Virtual Social Hour Host:   Jen Pinkus

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, 5/21

​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 !

What a wonderful Annual Meeting!  The attendance was good, we have a strong slate of leadership and we’ve agreed by vote to commit to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions and practice total sustainability in all congregational activities by 2035.  In this way we celebrated our innovative and resilient activities for the year and agreed to engage in vibrant faith community for years to come.

It was also a joy to lift up Laurel Whitehouse’s 5 years of service as DRE to First Parish and to thank our field education student, Timothy Ellis, for their engagement with the community this last year.   Thank you, as well, for the generous gift certificate to Kripalu that I received, encouraging me to rest and renew. 

Be sure to plan on attending the June 6th worship service.  Laurel Whitehouse is leading this RE Sunday.  This will be the last full Sunday worship that she will participate in.  Come share in this important day.

We plan on staying with livestream worship through June 13th.  The first in-house worship will be Father’s Day (June 20th) which marks the beginning of summer services.  Summer services will be in the Meetinghouse this summer.  We will continue to livestream the services as well.

Stay tuned for the safety protocols of engagement in community, which we will communicate widely.  It is important that we are all vigilant to the protocols, as we slowly find our footing back to in-house gatherings.  The pace of adjustment may be different than expected or desired.  We have been fortunate to have a strong Phased Reopening task group, which has considered viral trends, general comfort or accessibility in the congregation and physical logistics.  Hang in and hang on.  Step by step we’ll get there.

In gratitude for our beloved community. 

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa


Religious Exploration

Family Spirit Circle: Family Spirit Circle packets will be delivered this weekend on what it means to be a Welcoming Congregation. This June will be the 50th anniversary of the Boston Pride Parade, and although it is not possible to have the parade this year there will be virtual events to celebrate the golden anniversary of this important event.

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

Summer camp opportunity: Explore social justice issues for children entering grades 3 to 5 next fall (posted on the Milton for Social Justice FB page): Imagining More Just Futures. It is a virtual social justice summer camp run by  Harvard grad students. 

Middle and High School Youth: Seven middle and high school youth and the four wonderful Youth Visionary volunteers gathered last Sunday to help create posters commemorating the names of those who died by police violence in the year since George Floyd’s death. The posters will be carried during the March for George and Justice on May 25. We also enjoyed S’Mores over a fire pit, played some corn hole games, and expressed our best wishes to our graduating high school seniors as they step beyond the congregation on the next stage of their life journeys.

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.


This Sunday’s music will be led by Stuart Ryerse.

Table of Contents

For Events, News and Announcements 

1.    Photo Array 

2.   Thank you letter from Tahra

3.   Church Council Meeting

4.   March For George & Justice 5.   Church Event: Weekly Meditation

6.   Job Posting

7.   Worship Committe News: summer worship

8.   Environmental Committe News

9.   Social and Environmental Justice Committee News

Events, News & Announcements



To continue our tradition of a June flower communion, we invite you to submit a photo for our next photo collage. Please submit a photo of yourself and/or family with a flower.Laurel Whitehouse has volunteered to compile the photos. Please send your images to [] by June 6th, for inclusion in our June 13th livestream service. Thank you for sharing your images with us.

A Letter from Tahra…..  Dear Friends, Thank you so much for partnering and participating with Milton MuslimNeighbors in the Ramadan Food Drive. Thanks MICA, MPS, Town of Milton! Itwas a HUGE success! I appreciate ALL 6 Milton Public Schools for serving ascollection sites as well as First Parish UU Church and Congregation BethShalom of Blue Hills. The response was so tremendous that I could not keepup with pick up! I also want to give a special shout out to my 6 year olddaughter Noor who came up with the idea of a food drive (pictured belowwith Eileen Kelly of Interfaith Social Services and lil sis Sofia). It is very heartwarming and inspiring when we can come together to benefitthose in need. As the month of Ramadan comes to a close, I wish you all asafe and blessed Eid. Best Regards,Tahra *Tahra M. Goraya, MA, MPA* 

Please join us for All Church CouncilThursday, June 3rd at 6:30pm    All Church Council is a time for committees to report on their activities and share resources. It is open to all parishioners. We’re looking forward to seeing you all!

March For George & Justice

Join your Mattapan and Milton neighbors

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

One Year Anniversary March and Rally Milton to Mattapan   

5:30pm: Gathering & Music

Parkway Methodist Church

158 Blue Hills Parkway

6:00pm: March 1.2 miles to Walker Park,

550 Norfolk St., Mattapan

7:00pm: Rally for George & Justice

Featuring Representative Brandy Fluker Oakley

Ron Bell of the Dunk the Vote, the Branches Steel Drum Band & more !

Please bring your reusable water bottle, masks and social distancing will be observed. 

Join the sponsors and volunteers !



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 if you have questions or want to join us!

First Parish is still  searching for a part-time RE coordinator — please go to FP website more info. Spread the word!

Worship Committee News

LAY LEADERS FOR SUMMER SERVICES  The Worship Committee is still looking for three more people to lead summer services. (They are shorter and more informal than regular services!) Before you dismiss the idea, isn’t there something you’ve been wanting to share from your life experience or your current thinking?  Here is your chance to give it voice. Let Penny know, and she will give you your choice of the Sundays left. You will get a Worship Assistant, unless you want to ask a friend. You are likely to get Liz Alvarez playing the piano (unless you want to provide music some other way). And you will get huge appreciation from the Worship Committee. Thank you!



P.S. We think we’ll be livestreaming from the meeting house with people there responsibly distanced while others tune in from wherever they are.

From S&EJ Committee:  Environmental News

“FP commits to the Environment… At the recent Annual Meeting, FP congregants voted overwhelmingly to a commitment on climate change. Bravo! Specifically, our congregation committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions and practicing total sustainability in all congregational activities by 2035. Stay tuned to learn the specific strategies that we will devise and implement to accomplish this goal and fulfill our commitment to the environment. …and is committed to Others… Recently, the Parish Committee approved S&EJ’s proposal to increase our donations to charities from once per month to twice per month starting Fall 2021. Congregants have shown increased generosity to various organizations which address issues such as climate change, immigration, economic, racial and social justice. For the 2020-21 church year, our collective contributions from the Share the Plate program are expected to exceed $10,000. Soon, you’ll hear more about the selection process and charity designation.  

From your Social and Environmental Justice Committee

From S&EJ: Social Action Committee News

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, June 12th.  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

The Mainspring lunch squad is celebrating a year of delivering lunches to Mainspring shelters in Stoughton and Brockton. We deliver 100 lunches every other Wednesday – next date is June 12th.  Join the fun-new volunteers always welcome. 

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.

Looking to Make a Difference in a Students Life? Milton Interfaith Clergy Group partner church, Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan Square is offering remote tutoring on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM starting in May for students of the Mildred Middle School in Boston. For more information please reach out to Debbie Alsebai at 617-821-9460 or