Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 9/17/2020

Weekly Link 9-17-2020

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, September 20 , 2020 10:30am

“The Book of Life

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Joe Ayoub

Music: Tim Steele  

Sound Tech: Madeleine Miller

Virtual Social Hour Host: Chris PittPlease see the zoom link below. Please log in at 10:20, to give some lead time for the service at 10:30. 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. Here is the zoom link for Sunday: 

Please be on the lookout for an Order of Worship which will be emailed to you on Friday, 09/18.

Sunday’s offering will go to the The Right Question Institute. The Right Question Institute aims to make democracy work better by teaching a strategy that allows anyone, no matter their educational, income, or literacy level, to learn to ask better questions and participate more effectively in decisions that affect them. Asking better questions allows people in low-income communities to think about the services that are most important to them, prepare questions to advocate for themselves, and effectively participate in decision-making when interacting with those services. Self-advocacy skills help people make the connection between the services they need for themselves and their families, the elected officials who make decisions about those services, and the importance of voting in choosing those officials.

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!

On facebook and email, parents are sending photos of their children starting school this week.  Some fully remote, others hybrid.  There are pictures in homes and on porches, children posed in a moment marked in time.  The love and hope and grit is apparent.  This is a time when we do what we have to do, and parents, especially,  are navigating layers of circumstance, each calling for different coping skills: home management, conflict resolution, teaching, monitoring homework, cheerleading, being providers.  Let us lift up prayers, love, strength and resilience to these nurturers of the covid generation. 

All of us are in the midst of making history and finding a way to get through the day.  We are trying to create a temporary normalcy and develop our flexibility muscles.  We are hoping for a new world every day and living into the new day every minute.  Many of us have relational responsibilities as well as caring for our own well-being.  Many of us have to juggle limited resources.

And we’re doing it.  Remember that.  We’re showing up as best as we can.  It’s good to remind ourselves that we are, indeed, in this time together.  We can be guided by kindness, patience, pausing to breathe, curiosity, willingness to learn, willingness to lend a hand.  All these and more will carry us through.  Share with others what helps you cope.  Breathe in the reality that you cannot do it all.  Be open to each other.  We will wend our way through this, and, in keeping an open heart, we will be the wiser for it. 

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa

Religious Exploration

[In-person religious exploration programs are suspended until we are able to gather together safely. There will be no Sunday morning nursery care, classroom programming, or youth group activities at First Parish Milton while worship services remain virtual only. Fear not! Religious exploration will continue as we experiment with new ideas and approaches in this time of liminal space.]

Family Spirit Circle packets will be delivered to individual families of elementary school or younger children this weekend. The theme for this first packet is the ocean and water. I will be sending a coordinating newsletter to families with links to related activities to help engage with the theme at home on your own schedule. I hope families will enjoy posting photos to our Padlet page (link will be in the newsletter) of what they make together with the packet contents so we can all see each other’s creations! 

Middle School Connections will continue online this fall. We are seeking suggestions from our middle school youth and their families about what types of activities they hope to see offered and when the best time to schedule them would be.

Youth Group possibilities are being evaluated by a team of volunteers who have stepped forward to help reimagine how to sustain youth connections, foster resiliency, and encourage social activism as we move forward this year. The hiring of a new Youth Coordinator is on hold awaiting the results of this analysis and feedback on new options we might try out. The Youth Group Visionaries have some exciting prospects for what a revitalized youth program might include!

~ Our bodies may not be touching, but our hearts are still connected.~


During the prelude Tim will play a “folk song without words” by composer Amy Beach, who was the first American woman to write a symphonic work which was played by the Boston Symphony. During this weekend when Rosh Hashanah is being celebrated Grace Allendorf will be sharing a solo by Cantor Robert Solomon, called “Peace by Piece”. And finally, guest vocalist and folk-singer Carrie Cheron will be sharing “Common Ground”, arranged by Jim Scott.

Events, News and Announcements

The Sun shined on First Parish Milton on Sunday, September 13 at 4:00 PM when so many members came to celebrate the installation of the solar panels. As a community we have taken a big step towards lowering our carbon footprint by using renewable energy and showing our neighbors that “Going Green” is possible.

I would love to thank all the Poster Makers for decorating our campus,  Lynne Stack for helping me set up the signs and balloons, J.B. And Dana Clancy for their Legacy Design props, Juan Navarro for his drone pictures, Reverend Lisa and Tony Dutzik for their meaningful words, Andrea Geyling for being our Bike Captain and Cathy McGonagle and Laurie MacIntosh for being our traffic directors, and for those who helped set up and take down the signs and balloons. It truly was a team effort!

The Solar Panel Legacy Campaign Team is looking for more Legacy Design suggestions and people to donate for the Solar Panels.

Please contact Sherri in the office directly if you need a form emailed to you or mailed.

Who would you want to celebrate and publicly list on the installation project?

Solar Panel Legacy Campaign

To register:

The Social and Environmental Justice Committee would like to encourage you to join us in an activity.

From UU the Vote:

On Wednesday, September 23rd at 7:30 pm there is a UU the Vote virtual event gathering of leaders from across our faith to celebrate all that we have done so far and introduce a powerful week of action during #AllinOctober.

We’ll roll out helpful tools to equip us for this week of action, learn how we can sustain this work through the Fall, and highlight some of the work of our UU the Vote volunteers and teams!

Please consider joining us in this virtual meeting to nurture us as we work together to encourage voting. For more information and registration go to:


(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:

 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 4:00pm-6:00pm 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.

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.

Where Are We In the Cultural Shift Toward Racial Justice?

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

Next Session: Wednesday, September 30, 7:00pm – 8:30 pm

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:

The Hospitality Committee welcomes everyone to the new church year!

FirstParish will continue to have Zoom social hours while the church servicesare remote.

If you haven’t attended, you should!  It’s a great way to touch base with friends, old and new. But in order to keep this going, we need your help!  Please sign up to host one or more social hours this fall.

For those of you who love doing it, the more dates the better!  (If you haven’t done it yet, the Zoom skills required are pretty rudimentary and we’ll provide training.) Please sign up!

Please click here for more info on hosting.

Mainspring lunch program – HELP needed! 

Volunteers are needed on  September 23rd & October 7th- 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.

Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that would otherwise be wasted and uses it to feed our communities.

The beginning of the new church year brings the return of a regular Fair Foods volunteer schedule for First Parish.

We will volunteer together the 2nd Saturday of every month, starting at roughly 10 a.m at First Parish Dorchester, 10Parish St. in Dorchester, near Fields Corner.

Please wear a mask – gloves will be available at the site. Next date is October 10th Fair Foods has numerous other volunteer opportunities during the week – including every Friday and Saturday at First Parish Dorchester.

Please contact Tony Dutzik at 617-291-4685 or  to find out more or with any questions.

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!