Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/28/2019

Weekly Link 2/28/2019

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/21/2019

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Worship at 10:30 am in the Meetinghouse

“Spirited Giving”


Rev. Lisa Ward

As we approach the March 8th all-church gathering to share thoughts and inspirations about the mission of First Parish, some questions have arisen about the nature of a church mission and our process to determine one.  The mission discernment team has been gathering data, through surveys, conversations, and listening circles from membership about their impressions, expressions and aspirations of the life of this faith community. 

On March 8th, we will explore this data in the spirit of curiousity and intention to see what meanings arise among us.  A writing team will then be charged with drafting a mission statement which will be shared for comment and response.  If a sense of consensus is discerned, then the statement will be on the warrant for adoption by vote at the Annual meeting in May.

A frequent question has been whether the mission statement is the same as our covenant.  No. they are different statements.  We are not redoing the work of the covenant process.  Some clarifications:

Our covenant, beautifully written several years ago,  is a statement of the spiritual grounding in which we gather.  The mission is a statement of what we do or intend to do, grounded in that faith, as a congregation.

The mission statement is a guidepost for leadership to prioritize our efforts and aspirations as a functioning congregation.  What do we intend to do with our shared time and resources?

The reason a mission statement is revisited every 5-7 years is that demographics and circumstances can change.  The mission is an immediate statement, for NOW and the near future.  It is a companioning document to our covenant.

We do not have to say everything in this mission statement, simply what we want to emphasize, strategize or manifest as a faith community.  In this way we will deepen our understanding of our own abilities to be what we want to see in the world.

I look forward to that discernment. 

Blessings, Rev. Lisa

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We’re getting busier!

Do you have an upcoming meeting or gathering and need to book a room at the church?

Contact our Church Calendar Keeper, Megan Benders, at to reserve space.

Religious Exploration

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

On Sunday, February 3, all children from preschool through grade 8 will begin in the Meetinghouse and then move to the Children’s Church for a multi-age worship service about celebrating the return of longer days and helping to save the monarch butterfly from extinction. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “overall the North American monarch population has declined by more than 90 percent in the past two decades based on comparisons of the most recent population size estimates to the 20-year average. […] A primary threat to the monarch is the drastic loss of milkweed caused by increased and later-season use of the herbicide glyphosate.” They recommend listing the monarch as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

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Our Whole Lives Program (Grades 8 and 9, parental permission required): The Our Whole Lives class will meet on Sunday, February 3, 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.

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


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The Meetinghouse Choir will be offering a beautiful new setting by British composer Paul Ayres of “Love is the Spirit of This Church”, with text by James Vila Blake.

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The offering selection will be a duet arrangement of the Shaker folksong “Simple Gifts” by Phil Mattson and Jay Althouse.

Events, News and Announcements

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Join us after worship this Sunday in the Parish Hall for our

Montly Potluck Social Hour!

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To the All Church Potluck and Workshop on



6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Parish Hall

Bring a dish to share

Childcare available upon request (72 hours notice, please)

 We will be sharing stories, lifting up the data from the feedback in our recent surveys and listening circles, and hearing each other’s priorities to focus in on what we want to do or create as a faith community


Rsvp at or via the sent evite

First Parish has a Podcast!

With many, many thanks to the talents of Eric Miller

– you can now listen to each week’s sermons via podcast! Podcasts will typically be made available within 48 hours of the service.  We will have podcasts available to download on both ITunes and Google Play. This week, we’re sharing the instructions for ITunes!

To subscribe to the First Parish podcasts on Apple devices, open the iTunes Store, click the Search button at the bottom of the app and type in “fpmilton” and tap “Search”. (This search should get you only one listing.)

You will see available episodes as well as the Podcast itself, to subscribe to get every new Sermon, tap the bigger image instead of the episode and it will take you to the Apple Podcast app and you then click “Subscribe”. 

Now every new sermon will automatically become available to you and you can catch up on ones you’ve missed or re-listen to your favorites!(You may have to download the Podcasts app if you don’t already have it on your phone.) 

We’ll have similar instructions for android devices next week!

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First Parish Needs Your Support!

What does that mean in addition to participating in the spiritual life of the community, coming to church, or doing the work of one or more of our committees?

It means making a financial commitment to our wonderful faith community and the work we do in and out of church.  Right now, we are asking for pledges for the year beginning July 1, 2019 (FY20). Our budget goal for pledges from the congregation for next year (FY20) is $211,000.  We already have $138,000 committed from our Sustaining Contributors (households that annually pledge $3000 or more).We need to raise $73,000 from the rest of the congregation to reach our goal – and of course a little extra wouldn’t hurt.

Where do you fit in?

–      Could you possibly become a Sustainer?  Your commitment is only for this coming year.

–      Could you possibly commit to giving some percentage of your household income (say, 1% or 2%)?

–      If this year’s pledge is close to a stretch, could you possibly stretch just a little further and increase your current pledge by 10%?

–      Your Stewardship Committee does not tell anyone how much to pledge.  Every pledge is welcomed and appreciated, regardless of the amount.  We do ask simply that everyone pledge.  Whatever amount you decide is right for your household, it is your participation that is most important.  All should contribute in any amount they can to the operation of our faith community.

–      This year’s average pledge from non-Sustainers was $989.

Please consider your financial contribution as seriously as you do your participation in all other aspects of the life of First Parish, and give to the best of your ability.  For your review, you can find our draft budget for fiscal year 2020, as well as the pledge form, under the donations section in the members section of the website. The password is miltonuu.

Join us during the Worship Service on Commitment Sunday, March 10, as we ceremonially bring our pledges forward to a common chalice at the front of the Meetinghouse, to celebrate our accomplishments and look forward to all we can accomplish together.

Thank you for your commitment and for all you continue to do for First Parish!

The Stewardship Committee

Charlie Franich, Chris Hart, Eric Miller, Chris Pitt, Dottie Pitt

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First Wednesdays: 7 pm – 8:30 pm (Next workshop March 6th, 2019)

Children’s Church, First Parish in Milton

Facilitator: Rev. Lisa Ward

There are many paths that awaken the heart.  What helps in the journey is finding words to guide you along the way. These words are in you. Come find your voice through writing exercises.  We will compose invocations, meditations, prayers, hymns, benedictions, and readings.  You do not have to be experienced at writing, simply bring your experiences.  Ages 16 and older welcome. 

Please RSVP to Megan at:  Plan on two more sessions.

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Integrated Stewardship that Engages All Workshop

Hosted by New England Region UUA

Saturday, March 9th, 2019

Parish Hall, 9:30am- 3pm

A workshop designed for board members, stewardship & finance committees, religious professionals, and new leaders who want to align their efforts to spark the generous gifts of their community to bless the world.

As First Parish has agreed to host this session, registration can be waived for a small number of attendees. Let us know if you wish to attend!

For more details or to register, click here:

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Concert notice for fifth annual “Sing For Their Supper”

On Saturday, March 16th at 7pm Milton Community Concerts presents the fifth annual “Sing For Their Supper” free benefit concert. It will take place at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. Ten local opera singers will be performing a variety of songs, arias, and musical theater selections to raise money for the Milton Food Pantry and the Milton Residents Fund.

Admission is free; an offering will be taken. (Snow date is March 23).


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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.

Join the March Courageous Conversations event

March 18th, 2019

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Church of Christ, 330 Edge Hill Road, Milton, MA 02186.

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Spokane, Washington

June 19-23, 2019

“The Power of We”

General Assembly is the annual business meeting of our denomination, and it’s a whole lot more. Inspirational worship services, informative workshops, entertaining programs, and a bustling exhibit hall help make GA an unforgettable experience for the thousands of Unitarian Universalists that attend. Attendees leave with a renewed sense of energy, inspiration, and innovative ideas to take back to their congregations and communities.

Visit for

• Programming Information

• Registration and Housing

• Financial Aid Information

• Volunteer Opportunities

Green Gleanings

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How Our Order of Worships Become Compost

A note from our Admin Assistant, Megan Benders

Every week I shred First Parish’s Order of Worship leaflets and take them home to use as bedding for my two bunnies. After that I put them in two 5 gallon buckets which are picked up weekly and hauled to local farms by Bootstrap Compost, a Boston-based residential and commercial food scrap pick up service.  There, the local farms turn my food scraps/bunny bedding into compost.

3 things then happen to the compost:

1)The farms keep a portion for their crops. 

2)Bootstrap Compost takes a portion and brings it back to their customers. 

3)Bootstrap Compost donates a portion to schools and non-profits.

Thus, at the end of the cycle, our Orders of Worships are helping to grow crops on local farms, being used in school gardens and keep Boston residents’ gardens and houseplants nourished and happy!

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How do I create an account on Signup genius??

By creating your own account you can log in and sign up for Sunday Service Participation opportunities, swap your dates with other congregants, or enroll in signups created by the Church.

Here’s how to creat your own account:

-Go to

-Then click on new account. (Located below the facebook login option)

-Enter your own email and password.

-Click on the search button/magnifying glass icon that in the right top corner.

-A page should appear that says ‘search for a signup’. 

-Enter the office email ( and click the “I’m not a robot button’. Then the church’s signups will appear.

-Be sure to go back into your email account and open the email from Sign up Genius, subject line “Welcome to SignUpGenius”. Then click on the orange button that says “Activate my account.” Otherwise you won’t be able to log in again.

That’s it! You’re all set to use SignupGenius!

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Snow Closing Information

Winter is coming. Just a few reminders about how First Parish handles Sunday worship and weekeday office closings. On Sundays, we will make a snow closing decision by 8 a.m. Look for cancellations in several places:-First Parish Milton Website-First Parish Milton UU Facebook page

-Channel 5/WCVB television & website

If the Milton Public Schools close for snow, so does the First Parish office. 

If you don’t see cancellation information, we are open.

Worship and Meditation at First Parish 

Sunday Worship Weekly

Worship, 10:30 am in the Meetinghouse

Weekly Meditation Offerings

Sundays, Silent Prayer and Meditation, 9am in the Children’s Church

Thursdays, Silent Prayer and Meditation, 7pm in the Children’s Church


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.