Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 6/25/2020

Weekly Link 6-25-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, June 28, 2020 9:30am

“I am the One I’ve Been Waiting For: Reflections on examining my own biases in a time of upheaval

Facilitated by: Elise Henricks

Worship Associate: Joe Ayoub 

Music: Liz Alvarez


Please see the zoom link below. Please log in at 9:20, to give some lead time for the service at 9:30. A zoom greeter will admit you into the zoom room. 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, 6/26. Sunday’s offering will be dedicated to the services and ministry of First Parish Milton.

We’ve added the offering to the service with a new way to give- text to giving!  We will continue having a social hour after services. The full schedule of summer services will be mailed to members and contributing friends.  It will be good to worship together. Do join us on Sunday if you can!


Rev. Lisa Ward

What a wonderful and inspiring Coming of Age service this last Sunday!    Many thanks to our youth, mentors, Laurel Whitehouse and Sara Elizabeth Dyer-Santa Cruz.  The authenticity, the fresh look at our lives together, the courage to express a sense of truth in the shared credos brings hope, light and wisdom to our faith community.  The Coming of Age service is a treasured worship service in the life of First Parish.  It is something that holds cherished memories, pride in our faith and a sense of connection with our youth.  Judging from the joy and admiration expressed after Sunday’s worship, I would offer that building community amongst children and youth is an assumed core value of the congregation.  So, my friends, we have some work to do.  And I have no doubt that we are up to the task.

Over the past few months, I, Laurel, the RE and Parish Committees have been discussing the need to focus on the viability of the congregation in light of the diminishing numbers of children, youth and volunteers in our RE programs.  The numbers have been diminishing, for a variety of internal, external and demographic reasons for many years.

We have come to the point when we need to address this trend.  This is a congregation-wide discernment that will take at least a year.  One of the positive consequences of this quarantine era is the opportunity to consider how we want to shape community.  What can we let go of? What can we strengthen?  We have several offerings in place that are strong threads in the fabric of our Religious Exploration programs.  What new possibilities can we interweave to enrich the overall life of RE and, so, the congregation?

Maria Harris, 20th century religious educator, helped articulate that everything we do in a congregation is its curriculum. This next year we will be evaluating and re-imagining a culture of welcome for all ages.   Do we express our value of welcome at church-wide events?  How about coffee hour?  Do we have opportunities to get to know each other cross generationally?  When a family with young children enters our doors, will they feel included and supported?

This summer, we will be forming a leadership team to consider how to shape the conversation.  This is a challenging and invigorating conversation to have, because the wisdom of any age expands the possibility of celebrating life for all.  If this discernment interests you, please contact the office at

In Faith, Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

The Passages Program: The final celebration for the children in this much-loved program will be held during the 9:30 am worship service on June 28.

Children, Middle School and High School: Programming will resume next fall. Wishing all families a summer full of moments of connection, beauty, and spiritual renewal !

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

As we say farewell to Sara Elizabeth Dyer-Santa Cruz as Youth Advisor and to Alex Engel, our seven year youth program volunteer, the congregation created a collage of goodbye wishes.

Click here to see the results of our Group Hug for Sara Elizabeth

Events, News & Announcements

Where Are We In the Cultural Shift?

Bi-weekly Conversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa and Debbie Alsebai

Tuesdays at 7 pm: July 8 & 22, August 5 & 19

The isolation due to Covid-19 and the stark, unequivocal events of racial injustice in this nation has encouraged a widespread willingness to examine what is needed for true equity and justice for all.  Let’s answer the call. Part of the work is seeing more clearly.  This does not call for shame and blame, but for the courage of discomfort and openness to new choices and new changes.

What does it mean that history is white washed?  How does white privilege play out, even among well-meaning liberals?  What is the networking of systemic racism?  We’ll meet every other week to share stories, examine articles and short videos, and encourage one another to further see the culture we have been taught to navigate.  This is a hope-filled endeavor.  Please join us and invite your friends.  A zoom link will be sent out the week of the conversation. 

Interested?  Contact the office:

Green Gleanings

Social & Environmental Action Committee [S+EJ]


How are your tree seedlings faring?  Whether or not you planted one, dry times are with us.  Coupled with intense summer sun, it is critical to water all of your trees and shrubs regularly, slowly and deeply — not a quick “spritz.”  Forget about your lawn.  Really.  Grass is meant to go dormant in Summer but will revive with Autumn rains.  If your soil is healthy, grass will survive.  Trees and shrubs, though, which provide significant value to your property, need watering.  If anyone would like to help water First Parish’s 7 young trees around its campus, let Tucker Smith know. 

Stay hydrated!

Offered by First Parish The Social and Environmental Justice Committee

“What does this sign mean to you? And what do you want to do about it?”  Please email suggestions to the Social and Environmental Justice chair, Pat Gallivan:

Fair Foods is back!

After shutting down in the wake of COVID-19, Fair Foods is back up and partially running again, rescuing produce and other food items that would otherwise go to waste and distributing them in Boston and beyond. Currently, volunteers are needed on Fridays and Saturdays at First Parish in Dorchester, typically from 10:00am-1:00pm, though details vary by week.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Tony Dutzik at

Yoga Classes Are Back !

First Parish has restarted  Monday night yoga classes- virtually via Zoom! Elyse, our yoga instructor for many years, will be teaching Mondays from 6:30-7:30pm. Elyse describes her yoga classes as slow flow Vinyasa with modifications offered to allow for all levels. Use your breath, poses and meditation to regulate your nervous system and allow yourself to come up for some air. This class is open to all- even  if you never attended the in-person yoga classes before!

Cost for the yoga classes: $15 for one class, or 8 for $80. If you previously paid for yoga classes that were cancelled due to the pandemic, we are honoring those payments.

If you are new and need to pay for classes, you can do so with ease from your cell phone. Text (617) 539-7576 and the amount you are paying with the word “yoga”- so a text message would say “$15 yoga”. For those of you that have already set up text giving with us, it is the same phone number and system, so you will not have to set up another account. If you haven’t set up text for giving, when you text the number, it’ll prompt you to create an account. Once you create the account, giving really is as simple as a text message. You can always mail a check to the church (putting yoga in memo line) if that is more comfortable for you.

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!


Rev. Lisa Ward, Minister

Vacation:  June 27 – July 6

In office weeks of July 7 and July 14

Vacation:  July 19-July 26

Study Leave:  July 27 – Aug. 3

Vacation: Aug. 24 – Sept 1

Susan DeMinico, Office Manager

Summer hours:

Tuesday and Wednesday 8:30-4:30,  Thursday mornings

vacation: August 15-22

Sherri Moldaver, Administrative Assistant

In the office  Monday-Thursday 8:30am-1:30pm

Laurel Whitehouse, Director of Religious Education

Out of Office June 25-June 30 & July 20-24

Tim Steele, Music Director

Back in the Fall