Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 8/6/2020

Weekly Link 8-6-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, August 9 , 2020 9:30am

“The Fierce Urgency of Now

Whether in our own lives or in how we conduct ourselves in our community, action, not merely good intentions, is what matters-and it has never mattered more.

Facilitated by: Joe Ayoub

Worship Associate:  Elise Henricks

Music:  Liz Alvarez

Sound Tech: Madeline Miller

Virtual Social Hour Host: Jen Pinkus



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, 8/7.

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. Stop Junk mail

2. Solar Panel update

3.  Reclaim Our Vote Campaign

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

I am thinking about the catastrophic explosion in Beirut, Lebanon yesterday, due to poorly stored explosive materials.  May we hold that region in our hearts.  The explosion sent a supersonic blast throughout the city, heard in Cyprus 125 miles away, and breaking windows as far as 5 miles away.  The physical devastation is vast.  The death toll is rising, the injured in the hundreds of thousands and the homeless and displaced still hard to measure.  Stories of the Lebanese people responding quickly and with whatever resources they have highlights the humanity we all possess: to care for each other, respond to anguish and find ways through to healing.

This is a possible response, as a species, to this life we are given: to support one another, share in the challenge of our journeys,  respond when needed and address that which destroys.  But I am also reminded on this day, the anniversary of Hiroshima, that that is a choice we are given: to heal or to harm, to build up or to tear down.

There are so many opportunities, especially in these days of a pandemic, to deepen our understanding of interdependence and shared being.  There are many examples as well, of coalitions and campaigns, new funds and alliances toward health and well-being that are forming all over the world.  We need to answer the call for mindfulness.  How is it that we want to live, to inhabit this earth?

Do take a look at the initiatives of this faith community in the below articles.  Initiatives have formed and are forming as we find a way to dwell in community as best we can and continue our mission to “welcome all to build a just and healthy world, with faith, love, and compassion.”

It is good to be among you. 

Blessings Be, Lisa

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

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 disenfranchised and registered people of color in the southern states. They may include information that they were deregistered, how to get a mail in ballot and/or where to vote early. 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:*ordering of postcards should be done by Monday, August 10

 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, 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:

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.

Let your love shine on NEPONSET NEIGHBORS TOGETHER FUND to support residents in:

  • Mattapan
  • Milton
  • Dorchester
  • Hyde Park

STOP Junk Mail

In the COVID world even handling mail can be a worry to some. It is estimated that each American receives an average of 41 pounds of junk mail every year. New York University estimates that 5.6 million tons of junk mail end up in American landfills every year. One estimate suggests that we may spend as much as eight months of our life sorting junk mail.

Ready for a change? Move toward zero waste.  It’s easy.

Go to the Ecocycle website below for several ways to opt out including DMAChoice which only takes 5 minutes. Direct marketing associations (DMA) don’t want to send you mailings if you don’t want them. Note: DMA charges a small fee ($2) to unsubscribe. Other services such as Catalog Choice and OpOut Presecreen are free.

Stop junk mail !

Submitted by First Parish-Milton’s Social and Environmental Justice Committee

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! 

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 12 and August 16th.  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