Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 7/30/2020

Weekly Link 7-30-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, August 2 , 2020 9:30am

“Finding Inspiration”

Where do you find inspiration? What have you relied upon for your entire life–and what new sources have you developed? Why is inspiration hard to sustain? Jeff Stoodt will be interweaving his own experiences with the thoughts of writers and philosophers on the importance of inspiration.

Facilitated by: Jeff Stoodt

Worship Associate:  Robert Johnson

Music:  Liz Alvarez

Sound Tech: Madeline Miller

Virtual Social Hour Host: Lisa White



Please see the zoom link below. Please log in at 9:20, to give some lead time for the service at 9:30. 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, 7/31.

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. Just stay on the Zoom worship call.  It will be good to worship together. Do join us on Sunday if you can!

Below in the LINK:

1.Solar Panel update

2.  Voter Participation

3. IT Projects

4. Where are we in the cultural shift toward racial justice?

5. Yoga

6. Fair Foods volunteer opportunity

7. Main Spring volunteer opportunity

8. Meditation

9. Office Summer Hours


Rev. Lisa Ward

Rev. Lisa will be out of the office from July 19 – August 3.  Pastoral concerns can be directed to the Caring Committee chair, Brigitte Miller at​ 

Administrative concerns can be directed to the office:

Thriving during the Pandemic


Lisa White, Parish Chair

Last week was my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. I’ve been thinking about which qualities that helped them achieve that milestone might be useful to thriving during this pandemic. 

The first one that comes to mind is a sense of humor. My parents laugh a lot. We’ve all heard “laughter is the best medicine”—and it certainly helps to relieve stress, lift your mood, and defuse conflict. Early on in the pandemic, a friend sent me a series of jokes (along the lines of “you can’t touch your face if you have a glass of wine in each hand”). Of course there is nothing funny about Covid-19 and the destruction it’s causing, but finding small moments of humor wherever you can can help you stay resilient. 

My parents share an attitude of, well, get on with it. My mother is fond of saying, “Don’t complain, don’t explain.” They are not people who ruminate or second-guess themselves. We are experiencing a once-in-a-century event, and while we can learn lessons by reflecting on our behavior and our circumstances, wallowing in self-pity will get us nowhere. It’s more constructive to be clear-eyed about our situation and determine how to best move forward.

With generosity is one way to proceed. Growing up, I watched my parents model service and kindness, from the institutional—like doing volunteer work for numerous organizations—to the individual—like helping the elderly neighbors across the street. If there were ever a time when we need to be generous and kind, isn’t this it? Those of us in privileged, fortunate circumstances have so many opportunities to help others—scroll down in this email for information on making lunches for Mainspring and volunteering at Fair Foods, which are just a couple of ways to lend a hand.

Humor, a positive attitude, and compassion can be helpful in any situation, from marriage to a pandemic. With any luck, these qualities and others will see us through to the other side. Until then, I hope to see you on Zoom.

Religious Exploration

Religious Exploration

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.

Events, News & Announcements

Solar Project UpdateA date has been set!  The solar panels are due to be installed starting August 24th. If you have not turned in the 2020 part of your solar panel donation please try to do that by 7/31/2020. If you are not able to pay your pledge at this time please let Susan Deminico at  know. 

If you’d like to make a payment during your solar panel pledge, you can do so on our website, and select “solar” as the fund your wish your money to go to.

Please email creative installation ideas or pledge extension requests to Debbie Alsebai at

For questions about the solar project as a whole, please contact Tony Dutzik at

A group of First Parish members recently met to discuss the importance of voter participation in the upcoming election. There are several organizations supporting voting rights and encouraging voter participation in the 2020 election.

The Social and Environmental Justice committee is reaching out to these groups to learn more about how we can assist in “Get out the Vote” activities. We will be reviewing materials from these organizations and will present ways in which First Parish members can participate over the next few months.

 First Parish Projects

Summers are typically very busy times at First Parish- this year is no exception. However, our focus on big projects has shifted a bit this year; with the need for strong virtual connections, we’ve working on two big  IT projects.

The first- we’re migrating our email system to google. This will give us fewer delays (hopefully!) and perhaps be a step towards maintaining more first parish data in the cloud.

The second is a complete remodel of our website. For this project, I am asking for your patience and grace. The new demo site is up. You can take a look! It is incomplete, has many blank pages, and needs much work. However- it’s a start towards the goal of a more complete website by mid-September.  The goal is to make the website cleaner, more user friendly, and more intuitive. Stay tuned for more updates!

 Where Are We In the Cultural Shift Toward Racial Justice?Bi-weekly Conversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa and Debbie Alsebai We are postponing the start of this group till August, come share your voice!

Wednesdays at 7 pm: August 5 & 19, September 2

The isolation due to Covid-19 and the stark, unequivocal events of racialinjustice in this nation has encouraged a widespread willingness to examinewhat 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 andblame, but for the courage of discomfort and openness to new choices and newchanges. What does it mean that history is white washed?  How does white privilegeplay out, even among well-meaning liberals?  What is the networking ofsystemic racism?  We’ll meet every other week to share stories, examinearticles and short videos, and encourage one another to further see theculture 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 theweek of the conversation. Interested?  Contact the office:

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.

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 10:00 am and on 9:30 am Saturdays at First Parish in Dorchester,  though details vary by week.

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

Mainspring lunch program – HELP needed! 

First Parish has delivered more than 800 lunches to Mainspring in Brockton since the COVID emergency was declared. We plan to continue providing 100 lunches every other Wednesday through the summer.

We noticed a drop in volunteers last week and are hoping we can get a few new volunteers for our delivery on August 8. 

Volunteers acquire food and pack 10-20 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 for instructions or if you already know the drill, signup on our Mainspring Signup Genius website – please indicate number of lunches you will bring.

As always, thanks for your generosity!

Meditation continues ….

All are welcome to join for 30 minutes of silent meditation/prayer on:

Thursday evenings at 7:00pm 

Sunday mornings at 8:45am

Newcomers and friends welcome.

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 14-24

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