Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 7/9/2020

Weekly Link 7-9-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, July 12, 2020 9:30am

“Do and Do Not: There is a Try”

Facilitated by: Leslie MacPherson

Worship Associate: Pat Neves

Music:  Liz Alvarez

Virtual Social Hour Host: Deb Alsebai


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, 7/10.

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. Milton-Mattapan Stand Out Against Racism

2. Pledge Reminder

3. Where Are We In the Cultural Shift ZOOM series

4. Yoga

5. Fair Foods volunteer opportunity

6. Main Spring volunteer opportunity

7. Meditation

8. Office Summer Hours


Rev. Lisa Ward

Yesterday, I was helping facilitate a zoom Courageous Conversations Toward Racial Justice event and the internet connection failed.  It was unnerving.  This is nothing new in our Covid conducting world, when the demands on internet, zoom and time collide to disable communication.  The fact that we are able to connect through cyberspace at all is a gift that humanity did not have during the 1918 flu pandemic.  So why would it bother me so, I asked myself, to be accidentally cut off?

The substance of the gathering, of course, was important to me, but I think it was a jolt to a now accustomed pattern of relating that I have started to take for granted.  We humans habituate our lives on a regular basis, creating foundations of being that we can recognize.  To have yet one other way of relating unavailable jarred me more, really, than the moment warranted.

Isn’t it remarkable that it has been merely four months  since Governor Baker’s emergency order regarding COVID?  Feels like a lifetime to some – everything is so different.  A colleague’s four year old son calls this the “sad time”.  “When the sad time is over,” he says to his mother in looking forward to new beginnings.  With many months to go before safer ways to congregate in person, it is important to pay attention to what we hold dear and what we take for granted.  It is also important to find a way to hold this experience, and to envision new beginnings.

Let us stay in conversation, in connection, in community however we can; covid-careful and relationally ready for the days that we are given.

Take good care.  With love, Rev. Lisa

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.

This week’s Sunday service music will be led by Liz Alvarez Dunn.  Liz will be performing “Tis a Gift to Be Simple”, “Voice Still and Small” and “What a Wonderful World.” Liz says,  “I am a local girl, married to a local boy that I met in the Pierce Middle School band led by the miraculous Nancy Johnson. I went on to earn a few degrees in Music, and have been teaching piano and singing in preschools and nursing homes ever since.”

Events, News & Announcements

Join the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association and CCTRJ

for the upcoming Milton Stand Out Against Racism!

Thursday, July 9th, beginning at 6:00 PM!

Abolish racist systems and join us in a Stand Out Against Racism. This is what justice and democracy looks like! Work together to help shape Milton to be a community that is anti-racist.

Sign up for block captains for the July 9th Standout – available from 5:15 PM – 6:40 PM along Parkway to ensure proper distancing, masks and safety. Please email Karen at if interested.

Pledge Reminders for New Fiscal Year for First Parish

First Parish began its new fiscal year on July 1, 2020, and thus, we are into the new pledge year! Once again, we in the Office thank everyone in the First Parish Community for your continued support.

If you changed your pledge amount for July 2020-June 2021 from what it has been this past year, and have  automatic payments scheduled either through FPM’s VANCO system or through your own bank, YOU will need to change your monthly pledge withdrawal order (even if you filled out a pledge form with a new amount). Please understand that this is not out of a desire to make things more challenging, but to ensure security for you.  We in the Office only change credit card information when explicitly asked by you the card holder. Of course, we are always happy to help you in whatever way we can, with your permission.

If you have an automatic payment set up with VANCO, I can send you the instructions on how to update – or you can simply call the Office from 8:30-1:30pm Monday-Thursday and speak to Sherri. We will get your change info to our lovely bookkeeper. If you have automatic payments through your own bank, you can usually easily update the withdrawal amount through your bank’s online banking app.

If you’d like info or help with setting up automatic payments through VANCO, please just send me an email to We have very easy instructions (promise!) written out, with helpful screenshots. 

Thank you again for your pledge!  If for any reason you did not have the opportunity to turn in a pledge for this new fiscal year during the Stewardship Committee’s annual budget drive this past spring, it’s not too late.  Email me and I will be happy to send you a pledge form.

Where Are We In the Cultural Shift?

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

Wednesdays at 7 pm:  July 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:

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.

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 9:00 am and on 10:00am 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 July 15.  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 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