Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 7/11/2019

Weekly Link 7/11/2019

Sunday, July 14, 2019

9:30am- 10:30am in the Children’s Church

I Am Not Responsible for My Thoughts”

What I’ve learned through my Buddhist practice about my own responsibility for my thoughts and the world around me.

Facilitated by: Robert Johnson

Worship Associate: Pat Neves

Musician: Emma Jean Moulton


Rev. Lisa Ward

**This column was written in June to keep continuity through Rev. Ward’s vacation in July.  She will be back in the office on August 1st.*

Spiritual Practice #2 of the Link Summer Series:  Gratitude

David Stendl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, offers this poignant reminder:  “It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.” 

Find a particular time or ritual to focus on gratitude every day.  It can be when you first wake up or as you settle in to sleep.  It can be at a meal or coffee break.  Perhaps on your way to work, or waiting in a line.

Your choice of gratitude does not need to be momentous, or even make sense to anyone else.  It’s simply an exercise to shift focus into the gift of life.  It doesn’t have to be for all time, just in that moment.

When we practice gratitude we get better at it, and bit by bit we see more and more of the abundance all about us.

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

Summer RE and Youth Break: Formal youth and religious exploration programming will resume on September 8 when regular worship services start again. Enjoy your summer, and remember to make time for spiritual practices – especially practicing gratitude!

It is time to register your child or youth for classes next fall! The Religious Exploration Committee requests all families to register your child or youth before attending classes. Please use this link to our online form: Online registration form (or paper registration forms are available on the RE bulletin board in the Link hallway).

Events, News and Announcements

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As you may have seen in an earlier email, First Parish was targeted for an email scam. The hacker/bot asked First Parish members to purchase things, posing as Reverend Lisa.

In light of this scam, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind people of ways to identify an email scam.

1.       Always check the email address: Often, the email address will be CLOSE to but not the correct email for the person supposedly sending it.  Before you open any emails, hit reply, or open attachments- make sure you’ve verified that the email address is correct.

2.       Tone/Grammar Oddities: Many times, there will be spelling and grammar mistakes; or the tone of the email won’t be a fit for the person supposedly sending the email. If the email seems a bit strange to you, it probably is. You can always verify if the person actually sent the email the old fashioned way- picking up the phone and calling the person!

3.       Urgency: Scammers will often make their requests sound urgent and very important. They often try to make people feel special by asking for secrecy or confidentiality. Because they are preying on folks that just want to help others, using these ploys can easily deceive you.

4.       Money: Almost all scammers end of asking for money- in form of your bank information, gift cards, or wire transfers. A reminder that Reverend Lisa would never reach out to folks to ask for money via email.

5.       Double-Check– If an email makes you uncomfortable, sounds strange, or just seems off in any way, trust your instincts, and contact the person who sent it via email. Do NOT reply to the email, open any attachments, or otherwise engage the person. If you have correctly identified the email as  a hacker, mark it as spam using your email program. If you accidentally open an attachment, it is recommended to run a virus scan on your computer and change your password.

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2019-2020 Pledges

As we start a new fiscal year in July, we wanted to remind folks that use VANCO (or auto-pay from their bank) that pledge amounts should be updated to reflect your planned pledge amount. If you use VANCO, we’d be happy to make that change for you in the office- all you need to do is email Susan ( with your new monthly pledge amount, and she can change it in VANCO.

If you’re not using VANCO, and you’d like to, you can sign up on First Parish’s website. If you’ve forgotten your username or password, you can request on the website. You can then set up to have your pledge (in any amount you choose) automatically deducted from the account of your choice on the same day each month. 

If you don’t want to sign up for VANCO, another option would be to set up FirstParish in Milton as  a vendor in your bank’s online banking portal. You can have your bank send checks to First Parish monthly on your behalf. 

If you have any questions about how to fulfill your pledge, please feel free to contact Susan at . She will be happy to help you!

Summer Projects

by Susan DeMinico, Office Manager

The restoration work continues! This week, all the sanding and scraping has been completed on one side of the meetinghouse. The next stage is the nail holes being filled, loose clapboards getting “nailed down” with stainless steel fasteners, and rotted wood being replaced.  So far the carpentry work is minimal (good news!); a truly astounding amount of the original wood from the Meetinghouse’s original construction is still in great shape. We should see the first coat of primer going on this week.

Our restoration company is going to great length to make sure the Meetinghouse has historically accurate repairs done.  I’m sharing a section of an email from the owner of the company, just to illustrate the level of detail happening here. “A quick reminder about the beveled clapboards. The gap at the butt joints where the clapboard meet have, incorrectly, been caulked tight over the years. Lucas and crew removed nearly all of this caulking during the shaving/sanding. The clapboards are original and, when the church was built, the ends were beveled by hand to overlap.  This is unlike today’s clapboards that have a straight edge and butt up against each other when installed.  The beveled ends should never be caulked so we won’t be caulking these joints as part of the restoration.  Some may question this but it is the correct way to preserve the authenticity of the meetinghouse and the function of the clapboards.”

I hope you all enjoy learning as much about this process as I have.

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Courageous Conversations

July 16th 6-9pm  

First Parish Milton

535 Canton Ave. Milton, MA 02186

Viewing and discussion of the movie BlacKKKlansman

Tickets not required

Filmmaker Spike Lee presents a time of great social upheaval as the struggle for civil rights rages on. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the firstAfrican-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department’s rank and file. 
He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.

Following the movie, join us for a conversation on racism and anti-semitism.

Light supper will be served.

Want to help host? contact Deb Alsebai:

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Social Justice: Faith in Action 

Please join me at Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps on Friday, July 12 at the State House in Boston.  We must speak up with a loud, common voice to demand that Congress stop the cruel and inhumane practice of detaining migrants and asylum seekers. If you plan to attend, let me know and send me your contact number so we can try to meet up downtown. Tracey Robinson at 617-312-6019 .

Sign-up for Church Directory Photos!

First Parish members: More information will be coming about our new church directory but you can sign up for your photo session *now*. Each group will need about a half-hour for their session and we currently have three dates that we will be taking photos: August 6 and September 13 and 14. 

Please use this link to choose your spot:

You can reach out to Leslie with your questions:

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Rev. Lisa Ward, Minister

Out the month of July and August 11-19 on study leave

Susan DeMinico, Office Manager

Tuesdays/Wednesdays 8:30-4:30, Thursdays 8:30-12:30pm

Megan Benders, Administrative Assistant

In the office on Tuesday-Thursday 11:00am-2:00pm

Laurel Whitehouse, Director of Religious Education

Working regular hours July 14-21

Sara Elizabeth Santa Cruz, Youth Advisor

Back in the Fall

Tim Steele, Music Director

Back in the Fall