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Holidays at First Parish of Sudbury

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in General News

abstract color christmas tree from xmas lightsSaturday, December 17 at 6:00pm Yule Celebration

The Earth Center traditions group’s annual Winter Solstice Rite.  We will celebrate the Shortest Day of the year, turn the wheel of the year and bring back the sun, a chance to leave things in the old year and gather others for the new.  The rite will be followed by a pot luck feast and carols in the Parish Hall.

The ceremony is appropriate for those approximately 12 years and up – use your own judgment. Childcare is available if requested by Thursday before the event (12/15). The children are welcome to join the adults for the feast.

If you are interested in helping in any way ( reading, singing, drumming, setting up, clean up), see Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh.

Christmas Eve at 5:00pm Family Christmas Eve Service

(details coming soon)

Christmas Eve at 7:00pm Candlelight Service   There will be lots of music, candle lighting, readings, a short homily by Rev. Marjorie and, of course, the traditional candlelight ending with Silent Night just as we do at the family service.

Christmas Morning Service at 10:00am Carols and Stories with the minister  Join our minister and friends by the fire for an informal time of carols and stories and sharing on Christmas Morning.

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Christmas tree can be yours

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in General News

Christmas tree with lights and gifts isolated on white

The Davisons have a lovely 7.5 foot artificial Christmas tree used twice. They would like to pass it on to someone who would make a financial contribution ($150?) to the First Parish Service Auction.  Please talk with Sheila for details.

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Insights: Embodiment

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in General News, Minister's Column

hands holding a burning candle in dark

My Dearest Friends,
Be Love, Bring Love, Share Love this was the sermon that I offered on Homecoming Sunday in September;  LOVE is the foundation that we must endeavor to build upon. In my experience there are two root emotions from which all other emotions stem, Love or Fear. If you feel hurt or angry or lost, in some way or another, when traced back to the root emotion one will most likely find fear. The same is true of love… if one feels happy, confident, inspired when traced back the feeling one usually comes to is love. Reading an article on the website psychcentral.com I uncovered this wisdom, “When it comes to love versus fear, the only way to is through. In other words, I must first acknowledge and allow myself to deeply FEEL my fear before I have any actual chance of – not replacing but transforming – the fear into an experience of love.”
My hope for this fall has been to cultivate within us a sense of loving kindness for oneself and for all other beings on this planet – it is a tall order but it needs to be done. I endeavor, on a daily basis, to cultivate a sense of wonder and love. The teachings for September centered on seeking and finding love in our respective communities and lives; love for oneself particularly. October held the key to forgiveness as a means to personal healing, how without forgiveness we can have little personal peace and spiritual advancement. November’s teachings coalesced with taking risks in our lives as a means to cultivate love in this world – sitting in our fear until we transform it. During November we faced our fear of the other and handed out LOVED buttons to friends, family and strangers. I also  encouraged us to not remain silent about what you believe to instead share our passions, risky for sure. If you were unable to attend all of the worship services this fall I would recommend that you check out our website and the worship archive. Since September we have been conciously building towards December’s theme, Embodiment.
Embodiment is about taking all of the learnings and experiences that we have cultivated in our lives and mindfully assimilating them into a way of being, to truly embody them. This month we begin with Joy and Awareness in our Revels service, then we move into a place of realization and acceptance of our spiritual connection with all beings and to answer the call to be what I am calling an “Earth Angel.” You know those people who inherently know what their call to action and are inspired to follow that call towards action, inspired by loving kindness, compassion, and mission. All fall we have been working towards this moment of embodiment… To let go of all of those things that hold us back, to truly heal and then to begin the work of healing a broken world one person at a time. Through the work of unpacking and re-membering our lives we will have an opportunity for transformation of fear and all of its resultant emotions into love. First and foremost on this journey we begin by realizing, accepting and stepping into the fear of self and others. Instead of expecting to be disappointed in others as a means of protection let us accept the call to let go of the fear and instead embrace our vulnerability – risky yes but absolutely transformative.
I invite us, over the next week or so, to catch up on or review the teachings held within the sermons from this fall and participate fully during the month of December. This is the foundation that we will need to enter into the work of the new year fully “charged” and ready to be the agents of change, the earth angels, of our time.
If you feel slighted or if you do not feel loved take this moment to imagine and realize that you truly are LOVED.
I am including a mediation on personal transformation:
Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it’s just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.

Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.

Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.

i can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.

What’s needed here isn’t more prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy – seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.

Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

(Danna Faulds)
Peace and Love,
Rev. Marjorie
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Religious Education December 4th

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Coming Up in RE, DLRE Column, Religious Exploration

220px-will_kemp_elizabethan_clown_jigAll RE classes will be joining the special service this Sunday in the sanctuary. The annual Festival of Revelry to “wake up the sun” in this month of darkness and dormancy. Led by our Morris Dance teams, we honor our earth-centered traditions by reenacting ancient rituals to bring back the sun and ensure the rebirth of the natural world.

 

The service for all ages will include singing, dancing, storytelling, readings and a surprise or two!

Nursery Care will be provided.

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Seekers Gatherings Sat. Dec. 3 at 5:30pm (with childcare)

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in General News

story-of-god-morgan-freeman

 

 

Seekers Gatherings—monthly film, discussion and potluck

Join us for our thought-provoking monthly get-togethers on Saturdays. This year we offer a new format. Rev. Marjorie will show an episode of the popular National Geographic series hosted by Morgan Freeman “The Story of God”.

Our third Seekers Gathering will be on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 5:30pm in the Commons. We will begin with our potluck, then watch the episode “Why Does Evil Exist?” which runs for about 50 minutes. We will follow with dessert and discussion. Childcare is provided.

Upcoming episodes: “Beyond Death”, “The Power of Miracles”, and more.

All are welcome for this stimulating topic and discussion.

For information, please contact Fran Sharp in the office.

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Emergency Closing Info–First Parish of Sudbury

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in General News

Winter landscape with frosty trees and bushesDuring the winter months, here is how to know if our Sunday service has been cancelled due to inclement weather.

First and foremost, please use your own judgment. If it is snowy and icy, even if you have volunteered to usher or help on Sunday morning in another way, only come if you feel it is safe. Individual circumstances vary.

To find out if worship at First Parish is cancelled:

By phone—check the recorded message at the First Parish number, 978-443-2043.

First Parish website—Go to www.fpsudbury.org. The front page will show any emergency closing of our worship services and other meetings (as long as there is electricity to change the website).

By television—Tune in to WBZ-TV and watch the scrolling message at the bottom of the screen for cancellation of Sunday worship service only. (Other events cancellations cannot be listed.) If you think a meeting or event might be cancelled, please contact the coordinator/leader.

 

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Daffodils will return in the spring

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in General News

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daffodil-planting-1A message from the Landscape Committee:
When Spring comes……Our historic property will be brightened by 550 daffodils planted along the front stone wall.  These bulbs are replacements for the bicentennial bulbs which were disturbed during construction.  Thank you to everyone who helped plant the bulbs and especially to our generous anonymous donor who provided the bulbs! The bulbs have been put to sleep for the winter with a layer of loam provided by one of the landscape committee members, and we hope you all will be pleased come April!
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