Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 5/25/2023

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 5/25/2023

The office will be closed on Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day

Table of Contents

  • This Week in Worship
  • Message from Rev. Lisa
  • This Week in Religious Exploration
  • Events and Meetings
  • News and Announcements
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Beyond First Parish

This Week in Worship

“Don’t Take Life Too Seriously”

It’s concerning to see that society, in general is losing it’s sense of humor and taking life a little too seriously. I really don’t want to be in a world without a sense of humor. We need to think about how taking life too seriously affects how we deal with everyday issues, with not only our only family and friends but with encounters with people in general regarding work, politics, debate, etc.

Road rage, cancel culture, and hate crimes are growing categories of intolerance and fear built around the demise of humor. Join me on Sunday with an open mind and a sense of humor. Kevin Harnden will be our guest speaker this Sunday.

Guest Speaker: Kevin Harnden

Worship Assistant: Penny Partridge

Music: Tim Steele

Audio: Casey Miller

Sunday’s offering will go towards the service and ministry of First Parish.

What an invigorating Annual Meeting we had last week. The lunch arranged by the Hospitality Committee nourished our bodies, the wonderful informative annual reports uplifted our spirits, the moment of silence for the deaths of Chris Pitt and Natalie Albers brought deep care in the room, and the smooth and skilled facilitation by our Moderator, Joe Ayoub, helped us settle in.

And, yes! We voted to unanimously adopt the 8th Principle as a part of our covenant in community. This is actually the third unanimous vote in our Annual Meeting history of the last 7 years. Some queried, are we still Unitarian Universalist? Full consensus!? Yes we are.

It was pointed out by a resident theologian (of which we all are) that we have developed a process that lends itself toward agreement by the Annual Meeting. This process takes a full church year of listening circles, shared expertise from varied aspects of church life, room for questions, surveys, if needed, and time in worship to connect to the faith initiative that brings the issue to the congregation. Trust in leadership greatly helps, as well, as does the openness to difference of opinion.

Well done, First Parish UU in Milton! Unanimous votes will not always occur, but the process you have found together can. Now, of course, as you have voted to be accountable to issues of racial justice and other oppressions, the work ahead deepens. Many thanks to the Racial Justice Focus Group.

Blessings Be, Lisa

Kevin Harnden has been serving as the First Parish Church sexton for nearly 12 years after nearly 45 years in the advertising/marketing profession in the Boston area. He has lived in Milton for 40 years and is the proud father of 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 4 grand dogs. Kevin has adopted writing, photography and sketch art as creative hobbies. You may have seen some of Kevin’s work displayed in the office link this past winter.

Music For Sunday

In keeping with the light-hearted theme for Sunday’s service, Grace Allendorf will be singing two very familiar favorites, “What a Wonderful World” by George David Weiss and Bob Theile, and “Accentuate the Positive” by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. Guy Pugh will also be contributing to the fun with a lesser-known piece originally for “Solo Czakan”, a popular instrument back in 1800.

Religious Exploration

Religious Exploration

Middle School Youth Group Program

Middle school aged youth (5th-8th grades) are invited to gather for an occasional junior youth group program.

If your registered junior youth is interested in the Sunday evening gaming group, please email Friends are welcome, but will need to register with the RE program (at – choose Youth Group or Junior Youth Group as your program option).

The group will have one more meeting before breaking for summer on June 4th.

Events and Meetings

Climate Action Update

As promised at the Annual Meeting, we have posted a summary progress report for our Getting to Zero initiative for 2022-2023. Thanks to collaboration with Buildings & Grounds, Social & Environmental Justice, and the Parish Committee we had a productive year of planning and activity. We are also posting the results of our Climate interests survey. Check it out on the website to see the Climate Action Report and Climate Change Survey Results.

From the Membership Committee

Walking Group

Like to walk and chat? First Parish Membership is starting up our walking group again. Dianna Wilson will gather interested walkers at 12:15 pm on May 28th at the entrance to the Pope John Paul Park in Dorchester.

And afterwards if there is interest, going to lunch at a nearby spot!

Contact Dianna for more information:

On Sunday June 11th, we will join together in pot luck community immediately after our service, outside in the church courtyard. 

This year, we are making it even more fun by asking you to offer a bit of entertainment. Could you sing a song ? Can you tell jokes ? Would you read a poem ? What about a skit ? A magic act ? Juggling ? Let’s add a bit of fun to our gathering. We will also be applying temporary tattoos and blowing bubbles!

Please use the link and let us know if you can bring something to eat or have something to perform!! 

Looking forward to this First Parish tradition!

Flower Communion

Sunday, June 11th

This is a time when congregants bring a flower to share. We gather the flowers in the beginning of the service, then invite people to bring home a different flower, as an offering of shared beauty and blooming!

News and Announcements

Summer Services at First Parish UU 9:30 am

(in Meetinghouse except 8/13 and 9/3)

6/18  Dan Di Angelo- Father’s Day                             

6/25   Carole Bundy and friends -“Let the Mystery Be”                              

7/2    Jeff Stoodt- What is America to me?

7/9   Elise Henricks – Kindness of Strangers

7/16  Laurie Macintosh – See No Evil

7/23  Ellen Barr- Fresh from General Assembly                      

7/30 Jennie Mulqueen- Song into Prayer                 

8/6  Katie Vhay – Joy

8/13 Chris Clifford- Worship in the Woods  (Outdoor location t.b.a.)

8/20 Leslie MacPherson –  Why are UU? An Elevator Speech Refresher                                                            

08/27 Chris Clifford- Kindness                                                                                             

9/3* Elise Henricks – Our Labyrinth  (outside in courtyard)                                                                                 

Join us virtually from anywhere; but if you can, please come in person.

* Not available virtually.

Start your spring cleaning ! The First Parish Yard Sale is happening again. We’ll be collecting items in June, specific dates and times TBD. The yard sale date is:

June 24th, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

.  Much more to come…

First Parish Milton volunteers provide bagged lunches to MainSpring adult shelters in Brockton twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. Members of the Social & Environmental Justice committee will make the delivery to Brockton.

Volunteers are needed to acquire food and pack 10 lunches and deliver to the church between 12:45 pm-1:00 pm on Delivery day. One team lead drives all the lunches to the shelter in Brockton. Please note how many meals you are making in comments. We are looking for 70 lunches for each delivery day. Lunches should include sandwich, fruit, drink, snack/chips and sweet/cookies.

The next delivery day will be on Wednesday June 7th and then every other Wednesday throughout the year. We will meet in the lower parking lot between 12:40 pm and 1:00 pm.

If you haven’t made lunches in a while OR if you are a new volunteer, sign up on MainSpring Sign Up Genius or contact Pat Gallivan at for more info.

Thanks to all the volunteers that have made this program a success for more than two years !!

Sign up here

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 once a month.

The next volunteer date is Saturday, June 3rd.

If you want to volunteer, please sign up on Sign up Genius by Thursday evening before the event. Start time and locations vary depending on Fair Foods’ needs, but typically start at 8:30 a.m. at their warehouse at 70 Amory Street in Roxbury.

Sign up here!

Other volunteer opportunities are also available at Fair Foods, especially on Friday and Saturday mornings. Contact Tony Dutzik at or 617-291-4685 with any questions or for more information.

Beyond First Parish

Standout Against Racism

8th Principle Gathering, Tuesday, May 30, 6:30-8PM (virtual)

You are cordially invited by First Parish in Waltham’s 8th Principle planning group to join us  for an evening of discussion on adopting, promoting, and practicing the 8th Principle.  We will host a set of knowledgeable panelists, followed by smaller group discussions amongst our guests.

Our panelists feature leaders from experienced Massachusetts UU organizations:

Bill Holland, First UU Society of Newton’s Racial Justice Ministry Co-chair

Marianne McGowan and Vicky Makrides, First Parish UU in Needham’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Co-chairs

Dr. Rashid Shaikh, First Parish of Cambridge, Co-Coordinator of UU BIPOC Caucus on Climate Justice

Tuesday, May 30, 2023  6:30-8PM

Zoom Registration Link:

Questions?  Send email to