Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 8/15/2014

Weekly Link 8/15/2014

Summer Worship

This Week in Summer Worship

Sunday, August 17

10:30am in the Parish Hall

Worship Leader: Jeff Stoodt

The Power of Song: In this age where music is constantly streaming and a part of the background, has the individual song lost its power? In this service we’ll reflect upon the various kinds of deep spiritual connections that can be made with music.

August 24 & 31 Rev. Hank Peirce

News and Announcements


Summer News from the Parish Committee Chair

August 11, 2014

Dear Fellow First Parishioners,

As we move quickly though the summer season, First Parish continues to hum, catching up on projects in the Office and around the church campus, readying for the new church season ahead.

Lay-led summer services have continued under the auspices of the Worship Committee. These have been well attended by a small but regular congregation. Worship Leaders have included Melinda Collins, Jennie Mulqueen, Joe Ayoub, Elise Hendricks and Jeff Stoodt. The services have included a Blessingway ritual for Parisa on her last Sunday and a service at Houghton’s Pond in July. Our new Interim Minister Hank Peirce will lead the worship service the last two Sundays in August.

Rev. Hank Peirce (pronounced like “Purse”) starts in his new office on August 19. On Saturday the 16th, he will join the Parish Committee for the second day of its annual summer retreat, this year in Chatham.

Parisa, Enrique, Kian and Darius have moved out of the parsonage on Waldo Road and into a condominium in Arlington. Since our interim minister and his family have opted to stay in their home in Medford and commute to us in Milton, the question has been put to the Parish Committee whether we should keep the parsonage on Waldo Road. Weighing the arguments for keeping the parsonage vs. selling it, the Parish Committee concluded that the better course would be to sell it.

The parsonage at 28 Waldo Road is not an historic parish asset. This house was purchased with funds from our unrestricted endowment when Laurie Bilyeu started her tenure as our minister in 1998. It has housed her, the last interim John Robinson and Parisa. The property was not donated to First Parish, and we are under no obligation to keep it, or to use the funds from its sale to purchase another parsonage.

Our options were to sell the parsonage now, or rent it out during the interim period, or close and keep it unoccupied until we know whether the next settled minister might want to use it. First, given the fact that we are challenged each year to raise the funds to cover our operating budget, moth-balling the parsonage for two years while bringing in no revenue would not be a prudent use of this asset. Second, FPM is not interested in being a landlord. We are busy enough with our own flock without worrying about tenants. Rental income received would by subject to income taxes and would need to be reported. The property would no longer be exempt from town real property taxes. The rental income would also put us into a different tax-filing category, requiring the preparation of a new IRS return. The Parish Committee concluded that the costs of holding onto the parsonage outweighed the benefits.

The argument most frequently heard in favor of keeping the parsonage at least through this interim period is that we should not sell it until we know whether our next settled minister might want to live there. The assumption has been that having an available parsonage might help to attract the candidate of our choice. To our surprise, the UUA informs us that fewer and fewer ministerial candidates are expressing interest in living in a parish-owned parsonage. Most apparently wish to live in a place of their choice. Historically First Parish has required that its ministers live within the Town of Milton, and given the cost of living in Milton, it was believed that providing a parsonage might be necessary to make this possible. There are today more options for enabling home-ownership. We will revisit the Milton-residency requirement during the minister search process.

The Parsonage is expected to go on the market shortly after Labor Day. Ruth Heiden, a parishioner who is also a realtor with Coldwell Banker here in Milton, is helping us with the sale. Anyone with interest in this property should direct inquiries to Ruth.

For your Parish Committee,
Chris Pitt

Hank PeirceWelcome Rev. Hank Peirce

Rev. Hank joins us at First Parish next Tuesday. He most recently served as Interim Minister at First Parish Church United of Westford (MA). Previously, he was the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford, MA. He grew up in Fairhaven, MA and graduated from UMass Boston. He received a Master of Divinity from Andover-Newton Theological School in 1998. Rev. Pierce did his ministerial internship at the Church of the Presidents in Quincy, and was ordained at the UU Church in New Bedford. He lives in Medford with his wife, Rebecca, and two daughters.

You can reach him here. He will be leading Sunday worship services on August 24 and August 31. It’s a nice opportunity to meet him before Ingathering on September 7.


Summer Office Hours:

Monday, July 14 – Thursday, Aug 28 Hours 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Monday – Thursday)

The office is closed Wednesday, August 12.

The Planner for September 2014 – June 2015 is now available here. We have even noticed a few sign ups. September is just around the corner, please think about when you might be able to usher, be a social hour host, donate flowers and the rest of the important Sunday morning positions.

August Committee Meetings

  • Parish Committee Retreat – August 15/16 (offsite)
  • Worship – August 20
  • RE Committee Retreat – August 21 (offsite)

Kiki’s Corner

Summer News

FREE CYCLE FP MILTON STYLE! Stay tuned for a special edition of the Link early next week to find a list of items that are ready to be given away. You must pick them up by August 24. We have a typewriter, safe, old style file cabinet. Contact me if you are interested. Otherwise they will find their way out of the building.

Planning for the Fall.

For Committee Chairs – Please let Miriam Febres know your schedule for committee meetings and needs you have for booking space. You may contact her here. We want to make sure your committee meeting or other event is posted on our church calendar and website.

The Link is a primary way to communicate to the congregation. If you have announcements for The Link, it needs to be submitted by Tuesdays at 5 pm. Items generally should be church related, or an event to be held on the church campus. Please add a title and offer a graphic if possible. Brevity is a good thing.


Follow First Parish on Facebook! “Like” our page and get updates, poems, announcements and more. You’ll be glad you did!


Worship, 10:30am in the Meetinghouse

Silent Prayer & Meditation, 9:00am in the Children’s Church


Please consider volunteering for important Sunday worship positions like ushering, hosting social hour, providing flowers for worship, and lighting the chalice. Sign Up Here!

Religious Exploration


Sign up to teach a Religious Exploration unit in the fall or spring of next year. We are a cooperatively run program and we are always in need of volunteers to teach, lead a single workshop, be a mentor to a youth in Coming of Age, chaperone a youth sleepover… the sky is the limit!

We offer plenty of guidance, training and support, so please don’t be shy. The kids have so much to teach and share, make this part of your spiritual journey!

We especially need folks who do not currently have kids at home to sign up. If you are interested please contact Miriam here.

We Need You to Register your Children!

On-Line Registration is open!

The RE committee and I are working hard putting together class list and recruiting teacher volunteers for our 2014-2015 RE Year. We ask that all parents with children returning to the program take a moment to register. Having an accurate count of children helps us greatly in the planning stage!

You can sign up on-line on the member’s page HERE.

Please feel free to contact me at the office with any questions or concerns. Email Us or contact us by phone at 617-698-6329.


Miriam Febres
RE Assistant