Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 9/02/2021

Weekly Link 9-2-2021

This Week in Worship

September 5, 2021

” Our Labyrinth”

Walking the First Parish Labyrinth led by Elise Henricks

Join us for a mindful service about turning inward, as we walk First Parish’s own labyrinth together. If the weather cooperates, we will meet on the front lawn. If it rains, we’ll be in the Parish Hall. Due to the nature of this service, we will not have Zoom access this week, but we hope you will join us in person in a circle of friendship and community.

Sunday Offering 

 Today’s offering will be dedicated to the services and ministry of First Parish.

HOW TO GIVE: Simply text (617) 539-7576 with the amount that you’d like to give. Do not add words, simply put the amount. You’ll get an automatic text message back, asking you to do a 1-time set up to create an account with your credit card/debit number. After the one time set-up, you can simply text the number with an amount to give, and it’ll be automatically debited from the account of your choosing. This is contained and safe — it goes directly to a designated First Parish account.


Volunteers Needed!

Our sign-up genius is up and running for the full church service year! 

Every year, members pitch in on Sunday to facilitate our gathering in worship. Please go to this link and click on “2021-2022 Sunday Service Participation” to add your name as volunteer. 

 Not everyone in our community is ready to attend our hybrid worship in-house (we will continue to broadcast via zoom as well), so it is especially important for those of you who plan on attending in person to pitch in. 

Thank you in advance!

As we gear into school and church re-openings, the word “variant” is ever present. Primarily, it refers to the latest Covid threat and call for precautions, but it also refers to our lives. We are living variant lives: ones we didn’t expect, ones we’ve never experienced before, ones which call for resources we never knew we had or fear we cannot muster. And we thought it would be over by now.

Know that if you feel tired, unable to concentrate, irritable or just plain foggy in general, you are not alone. We are navigating degrees of grief, fear, trauma and diminished hope. The good news is, we are more experienced than we may know simply by hanging in this long. Practice patience, forgiveness and kindness toward self and other as best as you can.

We’ve been practicing a “variant” faith community for some time now, finding ways to connect that we hadn’t thought of before, stretching our connective reach beyond what we are used to, and centering in, more mindfully, on the need for spiritual and/or grounding practices. What we need in such fluid times is the flexibility of shared balance. Some days we will lean hard on others, other days we will provide support, with all the varied states of being in between.

This congregation has a strong intuition about the need to support, encourage and connect with one another. Do check out the offerings in this weekly newsletter. Do reach out to me or church leadership if you are looking to connect. Do know that wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome here.

With Love, Rev. Lisa.

Religious Exploration

As Ingathering fast approaches ( September 12) the Religious Exploration Team, Rev. Lisa, the Youth Visionaries are busy making preparations for the re-start of our in person Religious Exploration program. It is wonderful to be planning to gather together in person again. Religious Exploration for Children and Youth begins on September 19th. All teachers (volunteers and staff) will be fully vaccinated. Everyone age 5 and up will wear masks when we come together, inside or out. Classes for children 12 and under will be held under a tent outdoors in the courtyard as long as the weather permits. As soon as we are up and running the Religious Exploration folks will work on how we will gather once the weather turns cold.

The youngest children will use Spirit Play as their curriculum. The 2nd through 5thgraders will be using Soul Matters. We will be adding 7-9 Our Whole Lives and Youth Group in the following weeks.

Religious Exploration for Children and Youth belongs to the whole congregation, not just parents of participants in our programs. If you have ever thought about teaching but were not sure if you were ready or knew enough, you can try leadership in our Religious Exploration program by becoming a classroom assistant or to help with special events.  Contact Molly Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Exploration at for more information or to volunteer.

Molly Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Exploration.

Safety Guidelines (as of September 12, 2021)

Yesterday, First Parish sent out an email with our safety guidelines for the beginning of this church year. We recommend that you read that email in its entirety, but here is a summary of the safety guidelines for returning to in-person worship.

• All members of the congregation are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated . The science indicates that this is the most important action we can take to keep ourselves and our community safe.

• Updated mask recommendations for Sunday worship :

  • Masks are required in the meetinghouse for all , regardless of vaccination status ; please continue to wear your mask when sitting in your pew .
  • Masks are optional for children 5 years and under .
  • Worship leaders may remove masks when speaking in the front of the meetinghouse; each worship speaker /soloist should have a dedicated microphone and podium ; social distancing between worship leaders should be maintained throughout the service.

• Social distancing ( at least 6 feet) will be required in the meetinghouse ; seating will be limited to alternate pews .

• Special requirements for choir members: because of the close proximity among singers in the choir , vaccines will be required for all active choir members , including soloists. Special mask s for vocalists will be provided by the church and will be required f or all singing performers in the meetinghouse.

• We are asking everyone attending worship to sign in for every worship service . This will facilitate contact tracing if needed.

• All worship participants are asked to leave the meetinghouse directly after the service . Social hour will be held outdoors in the courtyard until further notice.

• Plans for religious exploration for children and youth are still under development with the expectation that programming will be held outdoors until further notice.

More details will be forthcoming soon.

URGENT! Emergency Response in Haiti

On August 14, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, causing widespread destruction and devastating communities. Please find below two organizations that are highly recommended:


Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is responding to the disaster in Haiti and are in contact with long-term partners in the region to assess the crisis and the most urgent needs in order to direct resources in a strategic way that supports those who are most affected.

Donate to Emergency Response Fund


The Saint Rock Haiti Foundation, headquartered in Milton, is also a reliable donation distributor. Their mission: “Motivated by the inherent worth of each individual and our great care for the people of Haiti, the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation works side by side with the people of Saint Rock and the surrounding rural communities to enhance their lives”

Locate donation portal here 

Table of Contents

For Events, News and Announcements

1. Meditation

2. Yoga

3. SJ&E Action Committee News


All are welcome to join for 30 minutes of silent meditation/prayer on:

Thursday evenings at 6:45 pm-7:15 pm

Sunday mornings at 8:30am-9:00am

Newcomers and friends welcome.

Please contact Tracey at if you have questions or want to join us!


Yoga classes are now hybrid !

6:30pm on Monday evenings

You can come into Parish Hall with  guest yoga instructor, Jayne Ogata.

Or if you choose to continue with Zoom, link below:

Zoom link

From S & EJ : Social Action Committee News

On Saturdays between now and October 30, consider shopping at Mattapan

Square Farmers Market. This is one way to support local farmers and

vendors and meet neighbors across the Neponset River. Its location near

Mattapan Square is convenient. Its organizers, Mattapan Food & Fitness

Coalition, offer volunteers a variety of Saturday market tasks, too. Call

MFFC’s office at 617-696-2900 or check its informative website

Sign up to volunteer

Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that would

otherwise be wasted and uses it to feed our communities. We volunteer

together unloading and sorting food and packing bags once a month.

The next volunteer date is SaturdaySeptember 11th

If you want to volunteer please sign up on Sign up Genius by Thursday evening

before the event. Start time and locations vary depending on Fair Foods’

needs, but typically start at 8 a.m. at their warehouse in Roxbury.

Any questions or for more information contact Tony Dutzik at

Sign up to volunteer on Sign up Genius

Lunch Program on break this Summer

The Social & Environmental Justice team will be discussing future plans for supporting Mainspring at our summer retreat. Many thanks to all the generous volunteers who have helped make the lunch program a success over the last 14 months. You are the best!


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


Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Other times by appointment


Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Other times by appointment

The Church office is closed on Fridays

Sundays through mid June

  • Worship, 9:30 am in the Meetinghouse
  • Choir Rehearsal (most Sundays) at 8:45 am

SIGN UP GENIUS (formerly known as the Planner)

The link to SignUp Genius is:

You can sign up for one our our Sunday volunteer positions.