Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 2/4/2021

Weekly Link 2-4-2021

This Week in Virtual Worship

Sunday, February 7, 2021 10:30am

January Worship Theme: BECOMING

“Sacred Rest”

Facilitated by:  Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate:  Joe Ayoub 

Faith Reflection:  Katie Vhay

Music:  Tim Steele

Audio Engineer: Daniel Truog

Virtual Social Hour Host: Jonah BeukmanPlease 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. 

Please be on the lookout for an Order of Worship which will be emailed to you on Friday, 2/5

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

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! 

Two weeks into the new administration, I find my heart sink a bit when hearing mainstream media’s continued addiction to drama.  Of course, with the 24-7 news cycle and world-wide net, those tasked to inform the public feel a need to find something to talk about; and conflict, drama, outrage and self-righteousness sells.  However, very little of that speaks to health and wellness, let alone, justice. 

I get it. We are habitual creatures. We want to feel better than the latest conspiratorial nonsense or safe from the toxic conspiratorial demonization. Yes, we want to know whether it’s safe again to venture onto our streets and into our hope for a better world. But constant noise and sensationalism is not the way.

The other day, when the snow storm was forecasted (and some got a good bit of inches), there was a popular acknowledgement that “snow days” have less viability now that we are on zoom. So, we are choosing to pay attention to nature when it scares us (Covid-19) and ignore nature when it is telling us to slow down, pause in quiet and stillness, and honor the restoration of fallow ground.

Take heed, friends. We will not have the strength and clarity to do the work of our shared mission, to build a just and healthy world, if we do not pay attention to the needs of body and spirit. Put pauses in your day when you can. Honor the life you are given at least as passionately as you honor the world you want to build. By the way, this is a reminder that I, too, need on a regular basis.  Let’s help each other find that balance.

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa


Rev. Lisa will be on vacation the week of February 15th -21st

Religious Exploration


Family Spirit Circle: Family Spirit Circle packets are a bit delayed but will be delivered this weekend on the theme of spirituality and spiritual practices. Email if you need the family spirit circle newsletter or would like to be added to our distribution list of RE families.

Minecraft for All Ages: Our ongoing Minecraft group meets on Sundays at 4:30 pm and is open to anyone who enjoys playing this absorbing game.

Please email if you would like to participate. You will need a copy of Minecraft (Java preferred but we have a server for Bedrock players as well) and an account. Let us know if you need help getting set up.

High School Youth: Parents were invited to join a ‘Visionary Lunch’ on January 31st, hosted by our four Youth Visionary Volunteers who were in search of parental input to help ‘focus our binoculars’ on options for youth programming for the balance of the congregational year. Youth parents who attended the session expressed their hopes for activities and events that would provide social connection, fresh air, and exercise as these three things are in short supply in the online lives of most youth this year. Layering social action onto this type of event was seen as a big bonus in helping fulfill a high school requirement for social action hours and the spiritual goal of connecting youth to ‘something larger than themselves.’ Stay tuned for details as we attempt to plan youth events of this type over the coming months.

[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 is continuing as we experiment with new ideas and approaches in this time of liminal space.]


This Sunday we bring back a soloist who sang for us on December 6th. Soprano Esther Tien will be offering “Safe Within Your Arms”, words and music by Mark Hayes. Originally she was scheduled to record in the Meetinghouse, but do to a COVID quarantine she will be singing from her home this piece of (appropriately enough) restorative healing. Jennifer Sgroe will also be singing “Healing Circle” by Julia Hikory, arranged by Jim Scott.

For those of you who were not able to view Sunday’s online concert, “Still Dreaming: A Musical Tribute to MLK”, you will be able to access it anytime during the month of February, in celebration of Black History Month.

Simply go to and you can experience this one-hour benefit concert while also supporting the Neponset Neighbors Together Fund.

Table of Contents

For Events, News and Announcements 

1.   Church Event: TheChocolate Auction

2.   Church Event: Aging Together Group

3.   Church Event: Racial Justice Conversations  

4.   Church Event: Building Spiritual Resilience Class    

5.   Chruch Event: Grief Group

6.   Church Event: Weekly Meditation

7.   Church Event: Young Adult vision session via Zoom

8.   Stewardship Committee News

9.   Membership Committee News

10. Social and Environmental Justice Committee News

11. Community News: UU Urban Ministry Community Conversations

Events, News & Announcements

2021 First Parish Chocolate Auction 

Zoom Event, Sunday February 14, 2021

The 23rd annual Chocolate Auction will take place via Zoom this year.

You should have recieved detailed instructions on Wednesday about baking making treats, registering for the auction, and how to bid. If you need again please reach out to Sherri in the office at and she will send you.

To receive the zoom info, please email

Thsi year, you can bid on the confection(s) of your choosing from the comfort of your own home! The Auction will begin 10-15 minutes after the end of the Worship Service on Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2021.

Thank you for participating in the 2021 Chocolate Auction. We hope to see you at this unique, fun event !

Aging Together

February 10th 9:00am-10:30am

First Parish’s Aging Together group has settled into its life via Zoom with monthly meetings on Wednesday mornings from 9:00am to 10:30am.

At our next meeting on February 10th , Ruth Hannon will share her thoughts and experience as a psychotherapist about “denial.”

Anyone should feel free to join us for any of our gatherings, but please contact Penny ( at least a day in advance so you can get the Zoom invitation.

Racial Justice Focus GroupConversations by Zoom with Rev. Lisa, Timothy Ellis and Debbie Alsebaimeets on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays monthly

All are Welcome!

Next Session: Wednesday, February 10th, 7:00pm – 8:30 pm

This focus group has been meeting since August. Each session is rich with stories, insights, questions, learning, re-learning, sharing of resources, sharing of wisdom. Each session stands alone, so you are welcome to attend at any meeting. Consistent attendance helps deepen trust and exploration. Dismantling systemic racism in ourselves and communities occurs incrementally, discovery by discovery. We recognize the importance of this life-long journey toward transformation and that it is a shared endeavor.  Contact the office to receive the zoom link:

Building Spiritual Resilience Class 6 session class – Sundays 4:00pm-5:30pm2/21, 2/28, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28  Timothy Ellis, our field education student, is teaching a 6-week class about identifying and building up our spiritual resources to be able to face struggle and difficulty without looking away. Building the spiritual endurance and resilience to face harm, struggle, and oppression without looking away can help us to work against injustice and build stronger and more enduring relationships. Through the class, we’ll explore where we already have spiritual resilience, look at times when we find it lacking, and identify sustainable spiritual practices to support us moving forward. There will be an emphasis on how this is used in justice work, but it can of course be applied to all parts of life and relationships. All levels or non-levels of engagement with justice work are welcome.

Please email to sign up or with any questions.

Grief Support Group

Four Tuesdays: Feb 23, March 2, 9 & 16

7:00 pm– 8:30 pm

Facilitator: Rev. Lisa Ward

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 of loss and recovery with others.  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.  The loss can be recent or from years gone by. We ask participants to commit to at least three of the sessions, no new participants after March 2.

Please contact Rev. Lisa:  if you can attend.

Meditation continues ….

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

Thursday evenings at 7:00pm 

Sunday mornings at 9:30am

Newcomers and friends welcome.

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

Join Rev. Lisa, Katie Vhay, and Jonah Beukman for a Zoom visioning session to discuss the possibility of a young adult group at First Parish Milton. (Zoom details forthcoming.)

Here are some questions we would like to explore with young adults (and their advocates):

1) What brought you to First Parish in Milton?

2) What would you like to get out of a Young Adult Group?

3)How might a Young Adult Group be a part of our faith community?   Interested?

Please contact the office:

COMMITTEE   February is Stewardship Month! You should have received a letter from the Stewardship Committee along witha copy of the Draft Budget. Take a look at both and then record your FY-22 (beginning July 1, 2021)Pledge online. It’s SO easy!  Be among the first to pledge. Click on this link to pledge



Improv Night

Febuary 13th 7:00pm-8:30pm

*Love comedy?  Want to make people laugh (intentionally)?

Come to First Parish Milton’s NO FEAR IMPROV NIGHT, Saturday, Feb. 13, 7-8pm.

Learn how to say “Yes!  And . .” in a guided set of sketches.  Come ready to have a good time, go with the flow, and laugh along with others.  Chris Hart will be our Master of Ceremonies. Questions? Reach out to Leslie at lesliemacpherson@gmail.comZoom link

Poetry SalonFebruary 23rd 7:00pm-8:30pm   

Hope to see you there !

More information coming

FROM THE Social & Environmental Justice Committee 

CCTRJ is excited to begin another Zoom book club. This  time we will be reading “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent” by Isabel Wilkerson.

CCTRJ Book Group

Come join in the discussion.  On Feb 4th, TODAY we will be discussing the first section.  All are welcome (even if you didn’t get the reading done). Thursdays, 7pm

Link to join 


*Race and opinions on climate change of Boston area residents * There is a growing consensus that climate change places a disproportionateburden on communities of color. Voices from these very communities howeverare often left out of the discussion. Last fall an important report wasreleased by UMass Boston summarizing the results of a survey on attitudestowards climate change along racial lines. Follow the link below to findout more. LINK



Our Fore River Basin neighbors are still fighting to keep mega-energy giant Enbridge’s Compressor Station from being activated in Weymouth. It’s a pipeline linkage between PA fracking fields and Canadian depots; its toxic emissions pose dire public health (inhalation) and planetary health(burning fossil fuels) risks.  There are two certified Environmental Justice (EJ) neighborhoods in Quincy Point and Germantown as well, defined in MA by: annual income level, ethnicity, and English proficiency demographics.

*Help Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FFRACS) pressure the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to grant a new hearing to prohibit this project from going live.* There is an online portal with detailed instructions.  Let’s amplify their voices and act on our UU social and environmental values.


Volunteers are needed on Wednesday, February 10th. 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 schedule Mainspring SignupGenius – 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. We volunteer together unloading and sorting food and packing bags on the 2nd Saturday of every month, starting at roughly 9 a.m.

Next session is Saturday, February 13th. If you want to volunteer please signup on Signup Genius by Thursday evening before the event. Start time  and locations vary depending on Fair Foods’ needs, but volunteering typically takes place at First Parish Dorchester, 10 Parish St. in Dorchester, near Fields Corner, or at Fair Foods’ new warehouse in South Boston. Please wear a mask and bring gloves if you have them. Any questions or for more information contact Tony Dutzik at

Tune in to UU Urban Ministry Community Conversation:Equity in Education

Several months ago, the Rev Mary Margaret Earl joined our worship service to share news from the Urban Ministry at First Church in Roxbury.  She invited us to participate in a series of Community Conversations organized by the Urban Ministry.

The next Conversation is on Tuesday, February 16th 6:00pm-7:30pm

Lecture and Facilitated Q & A  Featuring historian Joseph D. feaster, Jr. Esq. speaking on the NAACP on Urban League’s work in Boston.  

Zoom link