Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 9/28/2018

Weekly Link 9-30-18


This Week in Worship

Sunday, September 30, 2018
Worship at 10:30 am in the Meetinghouse
“Beloved Community”


Rev. Lisa Ward

I received the Massachusetts Information for Voters Ballot Questions Pamphlet. As a citizen of a democratic republic, I welcome the efforts to help me become an informed voter. In fact, that’s the only way a democracy can thrive – if its people pay attention and know what they are saying when they vote. I urge you to research what each of these questions mean.

As a faith community, it is important to maintain the church-state boundary. It’s good to revisit what that means when an election is on the horizon. As a faith leader, serving a church, I cannot promote voting for a person; I can, however, encourage supporting an idea and/or issue. This is true for the public voice of First Parish as well whose spokespersons are determined by the Parish Committee. As UU communities are diverse in theology and thought, I tend to promote issues that speak clearly to our faith values, mission and/or covenant within the church.

One such covenant which First Parish Membership approved at a congregational meeting on June 2009 is to be a Welcoming Congregation. A Welcoming Congregation, as stated in the wording of that vote “commits to actively support and affirm bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people by warmly welcoming BGLTQ (bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, queer) people into our congregation, developing programming and worship services designed to deepen understanding of issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity; and engaging in social action to promote full equality for BGLTQ people.”

With this in mind, please consider question three: “Transgender Anti-Discrimination”. Do not assume, as many do, that because we are in Massachusetts, this is a no-brainer. The statistics right now have this question in a dead heat. The fact that it got on the ballot at all, questioning full and equal rights for transgender people, is sign enough that our affirming voice is needed. A “yes” vote will keep the anti-discrimination statute in place and not pull back the gains we have made toward equal rights for our transgender citizens.

It is such a privilege to be part of a democracy. Let’s keep the dialogues going and the voting vibrant.

Blessings, Rev. Lisa

Religious ExplorationReligious Exploration

Laurel Whitehouse, Director of Religious Exploration

Nursery care will be available from 10:15 to 11:45 am in the Link hallway for infants and toddlers up to age 3. Our caregivers are Bella and Tanisha.

On Sunday, September 30, all children from preschool through grade 8 will begin in the Meetinghouse and then move to their classrooms.

Register your child or youth! The Religious Exploration Committee requests all families to register your child or youth before attending classes (use this link to our online form, or paper registration forms are available on the RE bulletin board in the Link hallway).

Religious Exploration classes will be meeting this Sunday, September 30. All classrooms are located downstairs. Preschool through grade 5 will focus on World Religions this year. Preschool through grade 2 will be enjoying the Spirit Play program in the Preschool classroom. Grades 3 through 5 will be exploring the Holidays and Holy Days curricula, meeting in the Juniors classroom. Grades 6 through 8 will be continuing a curriculum called Friends and Neighbors which is based on both the Crossing Bridges and Neighboring Faiths programs. This group will meet in the Activity room.

Our Whole Lives Program (Grades 8 and 9, parental permission required): The Our Whole Lives class will meet on Sunday, September 30, from noon to 1:30 pm in the Children’s Church. Please drop off and pick up your youth from the front of the building so they can use the Children’s Church entrance as all other external doors will be locked. It is mandatory for all custodial parents to attend an orientation session and complete registration and permission forms in order for their youth to attend this program.

Register your child

Youth Yaking on September 30, 2018

10:00am – 10:30am: Join together in the youth room for bonding and to use the Keurig for your morning coffee, tea, or hot chocolate!

Youth Chat, 10:30am – 11:30am: We will be finishing our covenant as well as discussing and deciding on topics and themes for this year’s Youth Chat curriculum!

CAT, Community Activity Time, 12:00pm – 1:30pm: Games! Music! Bonding! Let’s discuss ideas for future CATs as well as spend some time getting to know one another better through community.


This Sunday the choir will be singing a unique anthem by Ysaye M. Barnwell, called “Would You Harbor Me?”

Image result for would you harbor me sheet music

Peter Smith will also be offering a moving setting of “Bless This House”, words by Helen Taylor and music by May H. Brahe.

Events, News and Announcements

Celebrate Milton!

  • This Sunday, September 30th, 2018, Rain or Shine
  • Pierce Middle School
  • 451 Central Ave. Milton, MA 02186
  • The event will be held at the rear of the school building.
  • 12:00-4:00pm
  • Free Admission

Come visit First Parish Milton at our table! We are passing our customized fortune cookies and information about the church.

All Church Council Meeting

All Church Council business meeting for the committee chairs and parish committee members will be held on Friday October 5th at 6:00pm in the Parish Hall. All are welcome to attend.

Grief Support Group

Four Tuesdays: October 2, 9, 16, 23

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm

When we lose a loved one through death, the world is different, our lives shift in meaning, our ground is shaken. We can feel isolated by our grief. We can also feel a lack of strength or initiative to find a way through. One way to help adjust to the new reality and find our inner resources is to share our journey with others who welcome time together devoted to the jorney of loss and recovery. There are many ways that we grieve and many kinds of losses. This group is focused on loss due to the death of a loved one. We ask participants to commit to at least three of the sessions, no new participants after the 9th.

Please contact the office if you can attend.

Evening Service of Centering, Starting October 3rd

Wednesdays, Children’s Church 7:00 – 7:30 pm

Give yourself some time, in this busy and distracting world, to replenish your spirit in meditative community. This half hour of centering will include one meditative reading, time for meditation and the sharing of insight. Attend when you can.


Second Wednesdays each month, 7:30 – 8:30, Children’s Church

Beginning on October 10th

Please contact the office to RSVP, we need at least 5 to sign up.

The UU Book Study Group will explore the nature of Unitarian Universalism through the frames of UU authors. Our first Book Study will be Our Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism by the Rev. John A. Buehrens and F. Forrester Church. The 2nd edition is named A Chosen Faith (with different preface authors). Both and the UU Bookstore have copies. We will cover Part One (through p.38) at our first meeting. Feel free to contact Rev. Ward ( if fiscal assistance is needed to purchase the book.

Parenting As A Spiritual Practice: Parenting Teens

Third Friday of the Month, Parish Hall

First Gathering: October 19th, 6 – 8:30 pm, Pizza and salad provided

Suggested donation toward dinner: $5. Do not let cost prohibit you from attending.

Facilitator: Rev. Lisa Ward

Parents encounter many issues living with teen children that surprise, delight and challenge us. We all need support, encouragement and a chance to explore ways to navigate these precious years. We will enjoy a simple meal then share wisdom in a format that invites conversation, workshopping ideas, and hearing each other’s stories.

Please contact the office if you can attend. We need at least six people to attend.

Story for All Ages Troupe Forming

Rev. Lisa invites those who would like to render a story for all ages as a story troupe. We will find ways to express meaning through acting, movement, sound. This year we’ll tell a story together every two months. This requires at least one midweek rehearsal (1 ½ hours) and coming in early on the given Sunday. Our first story telling will be September 30th., rehearsal 7 pm Thursday the 27th.​ All ages and abilities welcome. Please contact the office if you are interested.

A recommendation from UU Church in Wayland on helping those displaced in Andover and Lawrence communities by the gas explosions:


Rev. Lee Bluemel, of the North Andover UU congregation, writes: “Those most at risk of having their lives truly ruined are lower-income folks in Lawrence who lost homes, and may be at risk of becoming homeless once FEMA funding runs out.”

Below is an organization that Rev. Bluemel recommends sending donation to:

Emmaus House, for Rapid Rehousing Funds

Emmaus House administers the Rapid Rehousing funds from the Department of Transitional Assistance for Lawrence and the surrounding communities. These funds are used for short term rental assistance and security deposits to rapidly rehouse persons in shelter. As with most government funds, there are restrictions on income; those low to moderate families that fall just outside of the DTA limits are left on their own to find other resources. Emmaus can use DONATED funds to supplement the government funds, to assist those families that don’t meet the very low income levels for the federal funds, or to assist with needs that are not eligible- such as furniture.

As this disaster unfolds and short term care runs out, people will need help and funds to find affordable apartments and resettle their lives. We are grateful for all who will help in the process.

To donate, click here.

Meal Delivery

The Caring Committee is looking for some parishioners to sign up for meal delivery for one of our parishioners and his family. Robert Johnson has found a weekly meal drop off to be a blessing as he supports his wife Sandra, his twin daughters Annie and Susie, and his son Spencer. Sandra has been battling cancer and continues to undergo treatment. If you can help out, click on the link above to sign up. Thanks so much for the ways you care for one another.

Fair Foods

The Social Action Committee needs volunteers to help with Fair Foods, which provides healthy produce to low income familites in the greater Boston area. We compile bags of donated produce to distribute.

Meet to carpool in the First Parish lower parking lot, 10am, Saturday, October 13

Courageous Conversations

Courageous Conversations is a monthly series of dialogue-centered programs on racism and privilege designed to address racial healing and justice in our town. Each month the Courageous Conversations leadership team in partnership with the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association brings together a diverse group of people representing a wide array of life experiences, circumstances, and choices. All events are open to the public—anyone can attend a meeting whether or not they have attended in the past.

Saturday, October 13, 10-3pm First Parish Milton (535 Canton Ave, Milton). Workshop with artist, activist and musician, Soyinka Rahim on articulating our journey with race and racism through storytelling, music and user friendly embodiment exercises.

Monday, November 19th, 6-9pm, Milton High School (25 Gile Rd., Milton). Conversation with Debby Irving author of “Waking Up White.”

Looking for New Members

The Caring Committee is looking for several new members! This committee facilitates care giving within the First Parish Community, providing such services as meal delivery, rides to appointments or to church, emergency child care, and hospital visits. While there are times when committee members complete these tasks themselves, it is equally important to extend these opportunities to the larger FP community – the committee serves as the facilitator of that process.

If you are interested, please contact Amanda Tobey.

MainSpring in Brockton

Sunday, October 21


The Social Action Committee is seeking volunteers to prepare and serve dinner at MainSpring in Brockton from 3pm-6pm on October 21st. Sign up at the Social Action table during social hour or email Peter at


Our Neponset Community Celebration

Saturday, September 29, noon-3pm (rain date Oct 6)

Between Mattapan Square and Central Avenue at the Harvest Bridge and Ryan Playground.

Please join Mattapan Milton Neponset Community to celebrate the Neponset Greenway Extension of the path joining Milton and Mattapan. We have a beautiful river and pathway and it is time to come together as one community and claim it.

Festivities include:

· A family friendly 2 mile bike ride.

· Live musical acts and spoken word.

· Community sponsored displays and food.

· Make your own tree ornament and other arts and crafts for kids/adults.

Image result for office closed sign

The Church Office will be closed on Monday, October 8th 2018.


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


Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 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, 10:30 am in the Meetinghouse
  • Choir Rehearsal (most Sundays) at 8:45 am
  • Silent Prayer & Meditation, 9:00am in the Children’s Church


Silent Prayer & Meditation, 7:00 pm in the Children’s Church (Note new time)

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.