Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 3/17/2022

Your Weekly Link – News and Updates 3/17/2022

Table of Contents

  • Message from Rev. Lisa Ward
  • This Week in Worship
  • This Week in Religious Exploration
  • This Week in Music
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Events and Meetings
  • News and Announcements
  • Beyond First Parish

Message from Rev. Lisa Ward

Lisa Headshot

Coming into the office this week has highlighted our slow and steady shifting to increase in-person engagement. With a process stewarded by the Phased Re-Opening Advisory Group, a confidence for gathering is growing. On Tuesday, laughter filled the Link hallway as a committee’s working group met in the Library. Snacks have been purchased for an ease back into coffee hour after worship this Sunday, with masks at the ready, windows opened and filters in place. Or perhaps we will converge for coffee hour outside, weather permitting, using the carts and equipment purchased last Fall. We are resilient and flexible, caring and careful, collaborative and creative. The ground of community remains strong, whether in person or remote, in the building or out beyond our walls.

We are now equipped, as well, for hybrid meetings in the Parish Hall and continued hybrid worship. Many thanks to Eric Miller for his expertise and willingness to continually show up to help with changes, training and trouble shooting. 

Another joy in coming into the office is to admire the wonderfully crafted quilts hanging on the Link hallway walls. Elise Henricks, Lisa White and Lynne Stack have shared their artistry to warm and invigorate the halls. Such a gift of creative presence. And as you turn the corner walking down the Link to go to Parish Hall, the “Branching Out In Service” mural is active with new contributions. Another gift of artistry from Liz O’Rourke Harris.

Come by when you can. Zoom in when you can. Get in touch however it suits you these days. Take in the warmth, caring, creativity and justice advocacy of this community. It is a privilege to be among you.

Blessings Be, Rev. Lisa

This Week in Worship

“Earth’s Calling”

Facilitated by: Rev. Lisa Ward

Worship Associate: Penny Partridge

Music: Tim Steele

Ushers: Natalie Monroe & Craig Perzan

Social Host: Jennifer Pinkus

Audio: Atticus D’Alessandro & Brynne Mershon

Worship Services are hybrid.

Join us in person or on Zoom.

Please 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.

Sunday’s offering will go to the Sunrise Movement Education Fund. The Sunrise Movement is a youth movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. They are building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and well being of all people. Marina Bayda, fundraiser volunteer will speak.

This Week in Religious Exploration

In person Religious Exploration continues to be held in Parish Hall. Whenever possible we will spend some time outside weather permitting. Please dress your children in layers so they can be comfortable inside and outside.

Nursery care will be available this Sunday after the Story For All Ages. We will return to nursery care being available before worship til noon on March 27th.

Molly B. Nolan, Transitional Director of Religious Education

This Week in Music

The last time the Meetinghouse Choir was able to sing an anthem from the choir loft was on March 8, 2020. Now, more than two years later, the Choir will be returning to sing an anthem during worship this Sunday. “My Faith, It Is an Oaken Staff” by Hans Vigeland. This anthem is based on a traditional Swiss melody with a text by Thomas T. Lynch. Jennifer Sgroe and Daon Drisdom will also be singing an unusual duet by Jacqueline Butler Hairston for “Classical soprano” and “Jazzy tenor”. It is called “Even So (Love Never Goes Away)”, with a text by Alice Walker. 

And don’t forget that this weekend also marks the return of live concerts in the Meetinghouse as Milton Community Concerts presents “The Heart of a Woman” in collaboration with Opera On Tap Boston. The concert is on Saturday, March 19th at 7pm. Tickets will be sold at the door ($20 general, $10 senior, free for 18 and under) and all net proceeds will go to support Renewal House. See you there!

Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday Service

We are in need of ushers, greeters, and social hour host for Sunday Service. We have appreciated your help in the past and hope you can help again. Please sign up here if you are interested.

Fair Foods

Fair Foods is a non-profit program that rescues fresh produce that wwould 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 Saturday, March 19th.

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 8:30 a.m. at their warehouse at 70 Amory Street in Roxbury.

Sign up here!

Other volunteer opportunities are also available at Fair Foods on weekdays from early morning until mid-afternoon.

Any questions or for more information contact Tony Dutzik at or 617-291-4685

Events and Meetings

On this Saturday, March 19th at 7pm Milton Community Concerts returns to live performance in an exciting program featuring talented singers from Opera On Tap Boston. The net proceeds from this benefit concert, “The Heart of a Woman”, will go to support Renewal House, a UU-sponsored shelter for individuals and families who have experienced domestic violence. Tickets are available at the door only ($20 general, $10 senior, free for 18 and under). Visit http://miltoncommunityconcert for more information.


Membership committee is putting together a group of First Parish Theater goers to attend “To Kill A Mockingbird” on Sunday, April 10 at 6:30 at the Boston Opera House. This is the stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel starring Richard Thomas as Atticus Finch. Limited Orchestra seats are available for $108 or $80 (Seniors& Students $70 or $50) and Mezzanine seats for $102, $80 and $65 (Seniors & Students $60, $50 or $40). Masks are required if you are not actively eating or drinking in the theater. Please email Debbie Alsebai at with the number of seats you would like to purchase and the price range you are interested in. Please also note if you would like to carpool. 

UU Elevator Speech– This course was designed by the UU Church in Dallas to help you voice what Unitarian Universalism and your membership at First Parish means to you, in a comfortable, conversational way. 

Even if you missed the first session, you are welcome at the next two. We recorded last week’s so you can watch it and get caught up. 

Next date is Tuesday, March 29th from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm over Zoom.

Please email Leslie and let her know if you plan to attend:

2. Walks– Debbie Alsebai and Dianna Wilson are leading walks after church, weather permitting. The next one will be on Sunday, March 20th. Meet up at Central Ave T stop in Milton at noon. Reach out to Debbie for more information.

3. Cooking – Save the date! Membership is celebrating April Fools Day with FOOLISH FOODS! We will be cooking a silly assortment of foods that may or may not be what they seem. (Are they cupcakes or meatloaf??) Friday, April 1st. More info will be coming.

The Racial Justice Focus Group invites you to join us in understanding the Widening the Circle of Concern UUA report.

In a nutshell, the report, which reads more like a book than a report, is about addressing the White Supremacy Culture within Unitarian Universalism.

Explore with us why we are engaging in studying the recommendations in the report with the intent of taking action toward implementing the recommendations. For example, many UU churches, have placed BLM signs on their front lawns, now many are adopting or in the process of deliberating adoption of the 8th principle which is about building a “beloved” community and dismantling racism and other systems of oppression within ourselves and within our communities. These are great first steps, but what does it mean to actually “live” the 8th principle?

We meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month from 7-8:30PM. All are welcome. Contact Rev. Lisa for the zoom link:

If you can’t stomach yet another zoom meeting, we encourage you to at least pick up a copy of the report to read on your own and provide suggestions or feedback on what recommendations speak to you. Several copies are available at the office. You can also access a pdf, with audio access, here:

News and Announcements

Worship Committee

There are different ways to worship and different ways we can minister to each other. Our Summer Services are a good time to expand what we can do together as a spiritual community. Here are some things you might want plan a service around: What have you learned in the recent past that you would like to pass along to others? Who has been a role model to whom you would like to pay tribute? What has your experience on an FP committee taught you? If you could recommend a book, film, good deed , or new habit to everyone in the congregation, what might it be? Is there someone you’d like to partner with to do a summer service? What would it be like to ask them (today!) to do it with you? Surprise us with what you have to share. Contact Penny Partridge ( or 413-658-4717) with questions, ideas, and/or a summer Sunday for which you’d like to plan a service. Thank you!

Caring Committee

The Caring Committee has a request for information from our congregation. We are looking for the names, current addresses, and any food allergies or special requests for the college-aged youth from First Parish. The plan is to send “Care Packages” to our youth to arrive by mid-April. The packages will contain food items and fun trinkets to help our youth remember that they are still important to First Parish. Please send this information by email or text to Amy Norton at or (857) 939-0716. (We will be setting up a table at social hour later in March to collect donations for the packages.)

Safety Guidelines (updated March 20, 2022)

As COVID cases improve and federal and state authorities reduce restrictions and eliminate mandates, First Parish is adjusting its COVID safety protocols. We appreciate the many ways in which this congregation has worked (and played) together with respect, compassion, and patience during the last two years. The Parish Committee has approved some important changes to our COVID safety guidelines which will go into effect on March 20. A complete list is posted on the First Parish website. Here are some of the highlights:

Hybrid worship will continue indefinitely. This will enable congregants to choose between in-person and remote worship experiences, based on individual preferences.

Although we will continue to require masks in the meeting house, we are thrilled to welcome our wonderful choir back to the choir loft starting March 20. We will also be resuming social hour. Weather permitting, we will have coffee and snacks in our courtyard. We will move inside to the Parish Hall if necessary due to bad weather. Masks are still strongly recommended for indoor social hours but may be removed for eating and drinking.

We will NO LONGER require worship attendees to sign in. We respectfully remind everyone to please stay home if you are feeling sick or have even mild symptoms of illness. If you test positive for COVID within a week after attending a worship service (or other church event) we request that you inform the office. This proactive individual action will replace the need to collect data for contact tracing. 

For more details, including room bookings for meetings, religious exploration, rentals, and more check out the updated policy on our website.

Beyond First Parish

Virtual Lunch with an Artist

Bithyah Israel, UUUM’s Social Justice Fellow for the Arts and Humanities, has set up an exciting series for March, called Lunch with an Artist. This is a series of virtual lunchtime meetings where a Roxbury artist will share their virtual gallery and discuss process and worldview.. Zoom link and more info here; a flyer is attached.


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.