This Week in Virtual Worship
June 6, 2021
JUNE THEME: Arrival
Sermon: “Enlarging the Spirit”
Facilitated by: Laurel Whitehouse
Worship Associate: Christopher Clifford
Music: Tim Steele
Audio Engineer: Madeleine Miller
Virtual Social Hour Host: Amy Kavadlo
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, 6/04
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.
June already! And much is going on at First Parish. We are beginning the transition out of fully remote congregational life to incremental steps toward full gathering. Please do read the guidelines, lovingly, carefully and pragmatically rendered by our Phased Re-Opening Task Group. I give a shout out to this dedicated committee who have abided with the ever-changing news of the pandemic for over a year. The guidelines are referenced below in this newsletter and posted on our website.
This Sunday will be the last RE Sunday Service with Laurel Whitehouse, so be sure to tune in. The RE Committee has compiled a scrap book of comments and memories for Laurel. If you would like to add a comment or memory, there will be an opportunity at the church picnic, with cards supplied, to add your voice of gratitude and farewell.
Be sure to scroll down for information about our church picnic on June 13th, and prepare for our first in house worship on Father’s Day (June 20th).
One more June note. This is PRIDE month, honoring and celebrating LGBTQI friends and neighbors. We have added the newest PRIDE flag to our church sign for the month. Laurel has included an explanation of its symbolism in the RE column below.
It is a delight to be in community with you.
Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa
June is Pride Month: First Parish Milton has a new Welcoming flag flying out front. It combines the rainbow LGBTQ pride colors first used in San Francisco in 1979 with the blue, pink and white trans pride colors designed in 1999 and a brown and black stripe first used in Philadelphia because people of color were experiencing non-welcoming discriminatory behavior even in the LGBTQ+ community. Family activities to celebrate Pride month are plentiful this June, for instance check out 35 Ways to Celebrate Pride and LGBTQ Rights at mommypoppins.com
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.
[In-person religious exploration programs are suspended until we are able to gather together safely. There will be no Sunday morning nursery care, classroom programming, or youth group activities at First Parish Milton while worship services remain virtual only. Fear not! Religious exploration is continuing as we experiment with new ideas and approaches in this time of liminal space.]
~ Our bodies may not be touching, but our hearts are still connected.
MUSIC THIS WEEK
Our music selections for this Sunday combine themes of farewell and of religious education. Grace Allendorf will be singing “We Shall Be Known” by Karisha Longaker. Jennifer Sgroe will be sharing “Wherever You May Go” byTimothy G. Bushong. And violinist Julia Cash will join with Grace to offer”Remember My Song” by Sally Albrecht and Jay Althouse. If you haven’t had the chance to view the final benefit concert of this year by Milton Community Concerts, you still have until June 9th to do so.”Music She Wrote: Songs By and About Women” is a fundraiser for Rosie’sPlace, a women’s shelter in Boston. You can find the concert at sparrowlive.com/miltoncommunityconcerts; the cost is $10. Please consider supporting Rosie’s Place and MCC by logging in to this special event.
Table of Contents
For Events, News and Announcements
1. Church Council Meeting
2. Parish Committee News
3. Greeters Needed!
4. Membership Committee News
5. SJE Committee News
6. Worship Committe News: Summer Worship
7. SJE Social Action News
8. Photo Array
10. Important Notice about Yoga
11. A Message from Peter Smith ,Hunsaker soloist
Events, News & Announcements
Please join us for All Church Council
TODAY-Thursday, 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!
Parish Commitee News
The Parish Committee has approved revised COVID safety guidelines for public gatherings of the congregation effective June 1, 2021. These changes will align us with CDC guidelines and with the MA state guidelines. We also considered UUA guidelines and in particular we want to emphasize the need for all members of our community to be respectful of others during this transition period. We are not all moving at the same “speed”. Some of us are not able or ready to be vaccinated yet and we are all grappling with many different feelings: relief, joy, and excitement; but also worry, fear, insecurity, social awkwardness, lack of trust, and uncertainty. With that in mind we suggest relaxing guidelines but continue to encourage all to observe safety measures that allow all participants to feel safe and welcome in our community.
Please review and ask any questions you may have by contacting the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GREETERS for summer services needed !!
Beginning on June 20th, summer services will be held in the church sanctuary and will be live-streamed. Because we will be in person, we need volunteers to help with greeting. Let’s get this going again! If you have any questions about being a greeter, please reach out to Leslie at email@example.comPlease sign up for a date using sign-up genius.
Committee NewsFirst Parish Picnic is coming!! On Sunday, June 13th, starting at noon, we will gather — IN PERSON — to celebrate the delight of being together again. The 6/13 service is still virtual. Regulations have been changing rapidly, so here is the plan. We will gather on the lawn between the church and Parish hall entrance. Each family/group will bring their own food. Please don’t share with each other. Membership Committee folks will have tables and chairs spread around and there will be ample signage directing everyone about hand sanitizing and using restrooms. The Parish Committee approved our plan with the latest COVID guidelines, below:
- Masks are optional at this outdoor gathering, but all should bring a mask for maximum mobility (going indoors, close proximity, congregant’s request)
- We are requesting all (except those 5 and under) to wear masks when going inside the building – e.g. to use the bathroom
- Everyone should be considerate of social distancing needs of others — at this point we should assume most are accustomed to 6ft distancing and we should ask permission to enter someone’s “personal space”
- Bathrooms should be disinfected by user after each use
- Hand sanitizer should be readily available
- People should be advised to stay home if they are feeling unwell
- Sign-in for contact tracing is not required
Reminder to create panels for banner by June 6th
We are coming to the end of what we call our church year. No one knew what the past fourteen months would mean for us. This year, the Membership Committee focused on hosting virtual events that we hoped would make people feel that they were still part of something. We weren’t sure if we could make it happen. What we discovered – something I’ve heard again and again – is that many of now know each other better AND more deeply after these gatherings. We may not have been physically together, but we have absolutely been connected.
As we move into spring and the return of life around us, we are beginning to think about moving forward in being physically together again. With the approval of the Parish Committee, we are now planning a gathering in June: our annual First Parish Picnic! The details are being worked out and everyone’s safety is the priority. The date will be on June 13, starting at noon. Watch for more news about this.
To make our first time back together even more special, we are inviting you to help us create a special banner. In this envelope are fabric panels. We invite you to think about what this year has shown you and what wishes you have for next year. Using markers, glue, fabric or whatever materials you have, please decorate your panels. These could be words, pictures or simple colors. Have fun!
When you have finished your panels, please drop them off at church. There will be marked drop box in the Carriage House. Please drop off the panels by June 6th. We will link all your visions and hang the banner for all to see.
Leslie and everyone on the Membership Committee
SJE Committee NewsFP commits to the Environment
At the annual meeting, FP 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 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.
Worship Committee News
2021 Summer services ‘Lay Leaders & Themes
6/20 Rev. Lisa Ward, On Behalf of Fathers: A Father’s Day Sermon
6/27 Penny Partridge, 10 Things Poetry Has Done for Me
7/11 Robert Johnson
7/18 Leslie MacPherson, What Covid Has Shown Me
7/25 Jim May, Stories from Stone House8/1 Katie Vhay, TBD
8/8 Jeff Stoodt, The Benefits of Being Religious Rather than Spiritual
8/15 Elise Henricks, Making Meaning: Handcraft as a Spiritual Practice
8/22 Joe Ayoub, TBD8/29 Jennie Mulqueen, Emerge with a Song
9/5 Elise Henricks and Penny Partridge, Our Labyrinth
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 once a month. The next volunteer date is Saturday, June 19th (Note new date!) If you want to volunteer please sign up on Signup Genius by Thursday evening before the event. Start time and locations vary depending on FairFoods’ needs, but typically start between 8:00 and 10 a.m. at Fair Foods’ warehouse in South Boston. You can sign up to volunteer on Signup Genius. Any questions or for more information contact Tony Dutzik at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 16th. 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 email@example.com for instructions or if you already know the drill, signup on our schedule Mainspring SignupGenius – please indicate number of lunches you will bring.
OUR FINAL PHOTO ARRAY OF THE YEAR!A PICTORAL FLOWER COMMUNION
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by June 6th, for inclusion in our June 13th livestream service. Thank you for sharing your images with us.
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 email@example.com if you have questions or want to join us!
There will be NO classes on Monday, June 7th. Yoga classes will resume on June 14th with Jayne Ogata.
A message from Hunsaker Soloist Peter Smith
I’m writing to express my gratitude to the First Parish Community for a wonderful eleven-year (!) run as a member of the music program. When the pandemic halted community-based singing (including my weekly rehearsals and regular concerts with the Back Bay Chorale), I realized that I wouldn’t be comfortable this season contributing primarily as a pre-recorded soloist, and so stepped away from my role. This seems a good time to close this chapter and to create space for a new musician to participate at First Parish. I’m grateful to Chris & Dottie Pitt (who recommended me as an interim soloist in 2009), to Emma Jean Moulton and Tim Steele who have been incredibly helpful and flexible in supporting my role at First Parish, and to Grace and Jennifer – it’s been a treat to be a duet & trio partner with you!
For me, music has always been a gateway to spirituality. I’ve learned a lot in my time here, from Rev. Parisa, Rev. Hank, Rev. Lisa, and from the example of this community. Finally, and most of all, thank you to my fellow choir members: it’s been a great pleasure to sing, to learn, to laugh, and to become friends with you. I can’t imagine a more welcoming bunch. I look forward to joining you all periodically when in-person music-making returns.