Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 8/13/2020

Weekly Link 8-13-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship


Sunday, August 13 , 2020 9:30am

“Living With Pain

The service is about how pain is a teacher, how it shows us what’s unchangeable about ourselves, what parts of us are changeable, and most importantly which parts of us need to change.  I’ll pull from personal experience as well as several scripture passages to illustrate how we can use pain to learn more about ourselves and move beyond those times that hurt us.

Facilitated by: Alex Engel

Worship Associate:  Jeff Stoodt

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, 8/14.

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!


Rev. Lisa Ward

So…in a time when we are all living history, navigating a global pandemic, US history was made this week.  Senator Kamala Harris, a woman of color with Jamaican and East Asian (Indian) descent has been chosen to run as Vice President on the Democratic Presidential ticket with Joe Biden.  When I heard the news, I noted that progress had already been made in our culture, for this choice is considered by many as “safe” or “conventional”.  Would we have thought that even four years ago?

A newscaster commented that when her 8 year old daughter heard the news about Senator Harris she said: “A woman with a Jamaican father and an Indian mother!  This means anything is possible!”.  Yes, our vision of what is possible in this system of government has collectively expanded.  Perhaps we are diving deeper into celebrating the richness of diversity in our nation.  Nevertheless, vigilance and advocacy of the value and health of diversity is crucial.

We can do this in many ways and on many fronts.  Indeed, that is what is needed.  One way is the voter registration drive that our social and environmental justice committee is promoting.  This is not an advocacy for any one candidate, it is an advocacy for every voice to be heard, every vote counted.  Diversity is our survival, but it will not be generated in a strong and healthy way unless we support, promote and work it in our ways and walking.  Do check out the Reclaim Our Vote Campaign to help end voter suppression in this year’s critical election. Postcards are being sent to disenfranchised people of color in the southern states. Contact Cynthia Guise for more information (,

We build community together, thinking globally and acting locally.  Step by step we will find our way.

Blessings Be, 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.

Events, News & Announcements


(Have mask will travel, while the weather is good)

As we will remain in physically distanced community, exploring ways to connect through cyberspace most likely through 2020, I’d like to check-in with as many members and friends of First Parish who would like a physical visit or a brief time together outside on our campus. 

On Campus:

Five Adirondack chairs, lovingly crafted by Karl Pastore, will be set out in a safely distanced circle for a 45 minute chat.

I have set aside Thursdays, from 4-6:45 (excluding Aug 27th) for folk to come on by, by appointment.  We can have as many as four people meet together.

We meet for 45 minutes, which gives me 15 minutes to sanitize the chairs for the next small gathering.  Masks required.  We will honor the 6 foot distance.

Here is the sign-up genius for those meetings, which will begin August 20th.

Please sign up by the preceding Wednesday here.

At your home:

Have mask will travel:  I am open to house calls.  We can meet outside your home.  Masks required.  We will honor the 6 foot distance. If you are interested in a visit to your home, please contact me at

All ages welcome for a check-in.  Minors must have a parent or guardian present. 

It is good to be with one another.

Blessings, Rev. Lisa

Solar Project

Thanks for all those folks who scrambled to get their Solar Panel Pledges in by 7/31/2020!

Every dollar we collect now helps reduce our loan and interest paid. Some folks have done financially well and were able to save during the pandemic!

If you would like to contribute some of your savings to Solar Panel’s your contributions will be recognized on the Solar Panel Installation Project and will be a boost in making the First Parish Campus greener.

So far 86.25 out of 240 solar panels have been donated. Recognize loved ones in this once in a blue moon legacy project. Debbie Alsebai (-: 

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

 First Parish is pleased to be joining the Reclaim Our Vote Campaign to help end voter suppression in this year’s critical election. Postcards will be sent to people of color in the southern states. The focus at this point is Texas, as strong volunteerism has covered other campaigns.

Our goal is to send 2000 postcards in the next 2 months. We will provide the postcards, labels, script and addresses. Writers will be responsible for paying the $.35  postage per card.

For more information –


Contact Cynthia Guise at

To order postcards through our church, click on the link below

Where Are We In the Cultural Shift Toward Racial Justice?

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

Wednesday August 19th & September 2nd at 7:00 – 8:30 pm

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:

Building Bridges !

Exciting Youth Summer Project !!!

Saturday, August 22nd

First Shift: 10:00am-11:30am or 2nd shift: 12:00pm-1:30pm 

Church of the Holy Spirit, 525 River St., Mattapan

Youth between 6th and 12th grades from Mattapan, Milton, Hyde Park & Dorchester are invited to create a Heart as a fundraising activity to support Essential Workers.  For additional information please contact:  Debbie Alsebai @ 617- 821-9460 Social Distancing will be maintained and masks must be worn. Cleaning will take place between shifts.


to support residents in:




Hyde Park

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.

Fair Foods

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! 

Father Bills

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 26th and September 9th.  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 at 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