Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 6/15/2017

Weekly Link 6-15-17


This Week in Worship

10:30 a.m. – Meeting House

Flower Communion Sunday

This Sunday is First Parish’s annual flower communion. The tradition of the flower communion originated with Norbert Capek of Prague, Czechoslavakia in 1923 as a ritualized metaphor for unity in diversity through the lessons of nature. it was brought over to the United States by the Rev. Maya Capek, Chapek’s widow. The flower is a symbol of unfolding beauty. it also signifies, in the abundance of communion, diversity and the splendor of community.

We get the flowers from you — each participant is asked to bring a flower, which gets placed in a vase in the beginning of the service then distributed at the end of the service. Each person brings home a different flower than the one they brought. Come partake of the beauty of you in metaphor and celebration.

Message from Rev. Lisa

First of all, I send prayers to Rep. Steve Scalise and his loved ones, the Capital Police officers, and to all the Congress folk in Washington who, to the best of their abilities, are there to serve our country. The shooting at a morning baseball practice, apparently targeted, sends chills through our democratic system. Violence begets violence. We know this. What we are not paying enough attention to is the culture of violence that we engender, not only through physical confrontation, but in our words, our priorities, our divisiveness, our self-righteousness. When we demonize, when we blame and shame, when we disregard each other’s humanity, we are perpetrating violence, we are feeding malice. And far too often we look away, with phrases like “unbalanced person”, “extremist”, “crime of passion” and “loner” to remove ourselves from responsibility, to keep the myth that the violence isn’t in us but some foreign dynamic that needs to be labelled, or worse, given excuses. Violence begets violence. Any one of us is capable of violating others. Once we face that reality, new avenues toward peace will be revealed.

Grateful that we are on the journey toward understanding together,

Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

Religious ExplorationLaurel Whitehouse
Director of Religious Education

Throughout the year we collected an offering at each of our monthly Children’s Church worship services. At our final Children’s Church service, the children decided to split their money into two equal donations to local charities. This week both the Milton Animal League and Prayers for Charlotte (financial help for families of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma) will receive $50.00 donations from the generous hearts of our children.

  • On June 18 nursery care will be available from 9:00 am to noon for infants and toddlers.
  • Preschool children through grade 12 will attend the full multigenerational worship service in the Meetinghouse. The worship topic will be Flower Communion Sunday.
  • Youth Chat and Youth Group do not meet this weekend.

Over the summer there will not be religious exploration programming for children or youth. Programming will resume in September. Enjoy your summer, everyone!

News and Announcements



All are invited to join the choir at the closing of our service on Sunday to join in a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from MESSIAH. We will be rehearsing it at 9:45 if you can make it, but please join us even if you can’t. Music will be provided. This has become a tradition for our last Sunday before the summer.

Do join in!

Tim Steele, Music Director

Sunday, June 18th after worship

Summertime is nearly here — that means PICNIC! Sunday, June 18th! (*Father’s Day Too!)

Celebrate with First Parish friends beneath the spreading Honey Locust tree for our traditional year-end cookout. Young and young-at-heart are invited. If you’d like to bring a plate of something SIMPLE to share, please do although burgers/hotdogs/veggie-tarian options, slaw/spud salads, lemonade, cupcakes will be provided by Membership and the grillin’ by Buildings and Grounds Committees.

*Wet weather will move us into the Parish Hall but not dampen our summer spirits.

The B&G/Membership crew could use some help setting up before & after the service. Just show up and you will be put to work!


Last Chance to Choose – June 18

Summer Worship

It is time to join in making our worship services and coffee hours for next year welcoming, staffed and yummy! Please sign up for at least one date for each of the following : FLOWERS, USHERS; CHALICE LIGHTING, and HOSPITALITY.

The “Choose or be Chosen” sign up sheets will be in the Parish Hall through the June picnic. If you are a member of church and have not signed up, you will be assigned a date over the summer and will be notified by email, through Sign Up Genius. We encourage everyone to take a look and select a date that works for you! This is an opportunity to share our ministry with each other.

Thank you for giving of your time for these important parts of our Sundays!

Sunday Meditation Time Change effective June 25:

Meditation will be from 8:30 – 9 a.m. through July. Thursday evening meditation will continue to meet from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Both sessions happen in the Children’s Church.

General Assembly New Orleans June 21 – June 25

Rev. Lisa Ward , Debbie Alsebai and Jennie Mulqueen are First Parish’s delegates to General Assembly.

You will be able to livestream a variety of events. Here is the link that will give you more details.

Summer Worship Services Schedule

Time: 9:30 – 10:30 am
Location: Children’s Church

Come support our worship leaders over the summer.

*June 25 – Dianna Wilson ~ “Creativity”

Can making art move us spiritually? First Parish member Dianna Wilson will lead this interactive service to help us find out.
Musician:Emma Jean
Worship Associate: Leslie

*July 2 – Jeff Stoodt ~”Questioning Minds: Our Country’s Founders and the UU Way”

First Parish member Jeff Stoodt asks the question: How did our Unitarian principles inform the making of our country?
Musician: Joel
Worship Associate:

*July 9 – Robert Johnson ~ “Finding God in Buddhism?”

First Parish member and practicing Buddhist — Robert Johnson — explores the theological aspects of Buddhism.
Musician: Emma Jean
Worship Associate:

*July 16 – Francesca Cipriani (HDS Student) ~ “If You Have One Good Parent, You Have A Chance”

Harvard Divinity School ministerial student Francesca Cipriani explores the topic of assumptions about good parenting, particularly when there are complicated roles and factors.
Musician: Emma Jean
Worship Associate: Mallory

*July 23 – Elise Henricks ~ “Walking a Labyrinth”

First Parish member Elise Henricks will lead a discussion and a walk around First Parish’s portable labyrinth.
Musician: Emma Jean
Worship Associate Susan Batson

*July 30: A.J. van Tine ~ “Articulating Our Pluralism”

In the text of the UU Principles and Sources, it is said that our living tradition draws on “many sources,” and that we are “grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith.” However, this implied pluralism is not clearly defined anywhere in our covenant. How might we articulate it, both to the world and to each other? And what might a greater focus on religious pluralism mean for our practice? Come and hear Harvard Divinity School ministerial student Andrew van Tine contemplate these questions.
Musician: Tim
Worship Associate:

*August 6: Alex Engel ~ “Fear is the Mind Killer”

Fear can motivate us and drive us to excellence, but too often fear cripples and paralyzes our minds. What can scripture and teachings tell us about our fear, and how can we live with it in our uncertain world?
Musician: Tim
Worship Associate: Leslie

*August 13 – Susan Batson and Pat Neves ~ “The Magic Within That Allows Us to Connect with the Divine, Ourselves and Others”

Pat and Susan share the sacred aspects of creativity, inherent in all humans in all cultures, that has helped them to take risks, live with more purpose and joy and to become the creative beings they were meant to be.
Musician: Tim
Worship Associate: Susan and Pat

*August 20 – Rev. Lisa ~ “”Body Wisdom”

In Interplay, a common phrase is “unlock the wisdom of your body”. We are embodied creatures, we humans. There is much we know in our cells.
Musician: Peter Smith (tentative)
Worship Associate:

*August 27 – Rev. Lisa ~ “The Physicality of Grace”

To piggyback the previous sermon, yet standing on its own, we can feel and find grace in the living of our lives. It comes over us, passes through us, alights upon us. Let us welcome grace into our days.
Musician: Tim
Worship Associate: Mallory

*September 3 (Labor Day weekend) – Leslie ~ ~ “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”

First Parish member Leslie explores what it is that gives us hope and keeps us going.
Musician: Tim
Worship Associate:


Kiki’s Corner

Add to our “Road Map to Next Year”

On Friday evening, June 9 at the All Church Council (ACC), the assembled group began to work on next year’s calendar. Ruth Heiden, ACC Facilitator & Vice Chair of the Parish Committee, called this our Road Map to Next Year.

If your committee/group was not represented at the meeting, spend a few minutes taking a look at our creation on Sunday in the Parish Hall. Add your own committee events or wishes. I’m happy to walk through what has been done so far.

Summer Office Information

  • Office Hours for the summer generally are Monday – Thursday 10 am – 2 pm. (This may vary depending on vacation schedules).
  • If you are coming to the church office, please let us know in advance. We may not hear the doorbell with the window unit air conditioners purring.
  • The Link will continue to be published weekly. There will be no written announcements at Summer Services. The deadline remains Tuesday.

I will be attending AUUA’s Professional Administrator’s Program and General Assembly in New Orleans. I will be a delegate at GA for my home congregation of Arlington, MA. I will be out of the office the week of June 19.


Follow First Parish on Facebook and get updates, poems, announcements and more. You’ll be glad you did!


“Brevity Matters” – Peter Bowden, Social Media Guru and wise UU

Deadline for submissions is Tuesdays. You need to address email to both and to assure your announcement will be included in the weekly Link. Written announcements for the Sunday Order of Worship are derived from the announcements for The Link. We, from time to time, will also publish non-church events with a connection to a member of the church. Your submission may be edited due to space requirements. We recommend that you submit no more than 1 – 2 paragraphs.


Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Other times by appointment


Tuesday – Thurday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Other times by appointment

The Church office is closed on Fridays


June 25 – September 3
Worship, 9:30 am in the Children’s Church
Silent Prayer & Meditation, 8:30 am in the Children’s Church
No Religious Exploration Program , Nursery Care, Choir Rehearsal

Beginning Sunday, September 10

Worship, 10:30am in the Meetinghouse
Choir Rehearsal (most Sundays) at 8:45 am
Silent Prayer & Meditation, 9:00am in the Children’s Church


Silent Prayer & Meditation, 6:30pm in the Children’s Church

SIGN UP GENIUS (formerly known as the Planner)

The link to SignUp Genius is: