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Connector October 2, 2013

Connector October 2, 2013
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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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We Have Only Just Begun…

Momentum is building. Over the last several weeks we have met and discussed, we have cultivated a sense of hope and have begun to cultivate a culture of “yes.” In September we spent our Sundays thinking about the different ways that we can speak our truth in love to one another. I have asked you to enter into our new ministry with an open heart and mind, to suspend judgement, and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. These should be the guiding principles for any community and especially one such as ours.

We are an intentional Unitarian Universalist Community. We choose to come together to imagine the world as a safer more peaceful place that cares about the condition of all the inhabitants of this planet. We choose to spend our time, energy, and financial resources with the hope that what we create together will be special and will make a difference. In order to achieve this we will need to pull together and become one community working towards a goal… This is where is becomes a little tricky because from what I can tell there are several goals that we can work together to achieve.

The first goal is financial stability, which in truth, you are not that far away from. It seems that at various times in your history First Parish has faced into some challenging financial times and so this has become your story. What I mean by this is that the culture is one in which the members worry about having enough resources to keep staff, and the doors open because it wasn’t always easy to do. Throughout history the women’s alliance has had to pay for a minister in the lean times and the community has tightened its belt when needed. I am working with the Board and Finance Committee to better understand the reality of this years budgetary shortfall and we are already beginning to create a plan where we will not have to spend time worrying about FIrst Parish’s financial stability. Our goal should be sustainability and we are almost there.

Welcoming new members would be another goal that many of us would like to achieve. That one is pretty simple really… It requires that we create great worship, a welcoming and caring community that is energized about being together, and a way to include new people into the mix helping them to feel immediately like an insider. We then publicize what we are doing far and wide and we invite everyone we know and meet to come experience this special happening at First Parish. The community will grow if we are willing to invite people to participate. To create a community/world that is founded on hope and love we must do it one person at a time… I am working with the Community and Hospitality Committee as well as the Pastoral Associates Group and the Worship Associates group to imagine a community that really cares, supports, and is outward focused towards the needs of the larger metrowest  and beyond. If you stayed after worship for fellowship hour on September 22nd you may have participated in the Living Our Faith initiative this is just the beginning of being more present as a force for change in our local and global community.

Lastly, we want to create a welcoming place at the crossroads for people to find a sense of community and meaning. There is no better location for First Parish to be sitting in Sudbury. You are literally at the crossroads and our goal is fairly simple, to let our light shine. To reflect what makes us special into the surrounding community. On September 15th we came outside to picnic on the green and people saw us doing so… They saw us having fun together and our youth dancing, people noticed and wondered what was going on. Moving forward, I would like us to find ways of being seen at our crossroads whether it is through signage or our physical presence on the green. First Parish of Sudbury is one of the best kept secrets in town. I am working with your Board of Trustees, Building and Grounds, and the Landscape Committee to think about how we enter the building and use space inside and out always keeping in mind the seeker that arrives at our door.

If you, whether you are a youth, adult, or elder, have any ideas about how we can achieve these goals in the coming months and years please seek me out and lets talk. It will take each one of us working together to take First Parish to the place of your hopes and dreams. It will take us developing and agreeing on a plan to achieve our goals. Friends we are clearly beginning to move! Let us build consensus and momentum not as individuals per se but as a community of seekers who are engaged and empowered enough to believe that we can make a difference!

You are an amazing community and I am absolutely thrilled to be with you!

Rev. Dr. Marjorie J. Matty (aka Marjorie)

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Blessing of the Animals at Worship October 6

paw-print-clip-art-other-animals05-largeDo you have a special somebody in your family that has four legs and holds a special place in your heart? Or maybe you have a two-legged pal with feathers or even a no legged companion with scaly yet supple skin? First Parish of Sudbury welcomes your interspecies friends and family to worship with us on October 6th at 10:00am. Please bring your pals to worship in cages, crates and on leashes for the blessing of the animals.

For those extra special well-loved family members of the stuffed animal variety, and yes even your “My Little Pony” can come to worship this Sunday to be blessed! This will be an intergenerational worship and if you bring large animals the blessing will continue outdoors for horses, sheep, llamas or even those occasional white elephants that hang around.

All are welcome as long as they are well behaved and not aggressive.

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Name tags help newcomers & visitors feel included.  Please wear yours every Sunday.

 

R.E.flections by a chaliceD.R.E.amer

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

A few weeks ago, I was saddened to discover that Patricia DeVore, the music director I worked with in Watertown, passed away after a tragic car accident.  After battling a stage 3 cancer and then being cancer-free for five years, it was an unbelievable shock to her friends and family to have her go so unexpectedly and suddenly.  It reminded me of losing my grandfather 18 years ago to a heart attack on Christmas Eve.  We are never prepared to lose a loved one, but it is quite overwhelming when it comes with absolutely no warning.

As the parent of a new driver, hearing about Patty’s route 95 accident made me want to declare that my daughter was no longer allowed to travel on highways.  But after attending Patty’s funeral, I had a change of heart.  Patty’s funeral was overflowing with her family and friends.  It was a beautiful remembrance featuring amazing music, stories, flowers, and photographs.  It truly was a celebration of life!  Patty was a person who lived life to the fullest.  She shared her love of music far and wide.  There were countless stories shared of how she enriched the lives of others, and it was clear that she had inspired countless people.  Patty would have been the last person who wanted us to respond to her death by being afraid to do the things we wanted.  She lived life with gusto and reminded all of us to settle for nothing less than our hopes and dreams.

Life is busy, and we fill it with lots of obligations.  I went to a staff training with Marjorie, Debra and Donna shortly before this, and a message presented there stuck with me – We need to discern between what is “urgent but not important” and “important but not urgent.”  Hmmmm … How often do we prioritize something as urgent that shouldn’t be?  And how often do we ignore things that are important because no one is calling our attention to them?  It is far too easy to let time go by and lose contact with a friend or loved one.  What’s that old saying … “The work can wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.”

I hope that my story will remind each of us to take a moment to enjoy life.  What have you done to strive towards a hope or dream?  What have you done to celebrate this precious life that we are living?  What have you done to let your loved ones know how much you care?

 Blessed be. Roberta

Religious Exploration NEWS

Religious Education “Meet and Greet” coming this Sunday: 

Sunday, October 6th will be our annual R.E. meet and greet (after social hour while the kids are entertained in the petting zoo).  Everyone is invited to join us for lunch and to hear about what is going on in R.E. this year at First Parish.  Contact Roberta with questions, and early RSVPs are much appreciated (to plan food), but still come if you forget to register.

TWO “This I Believe” Adult R.E. Classes Starting Soon

Roberta is pleased to announce in response to great feedback from last year’s “This I Believe” adult R.E. class that we will be offering two different classes this year.  “This I Believe – the Original” will meet Wednesday mornings at 10am and includes an adult exploration of many of the themes our youth explore in the Coming-of-Age class including history, theology, spirituality, faith in action, and more.  “This I Believe – the Sources” will meet Tuesday evenings at 7pm and will explore our six Unitarian Universalist sources and consider how each source can inspire our own spirituality and faith.  Contact Roberta today to sign up and/or ask questions.  You are welcome to take the Sources version whether you participated in the original class or not.

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Living Our Faith

Next Congregational Conversation Nov. 3 

We had a lively congregational conversation on September 22nd. Those gathered identified four important issues for First Parish’s work in the world this coming year: food, environment, equal rights, and community safety. So, what’s next? In keeping with our principle of belief in the democratic process, we’re going to vote. We invite everyone – members and friends alike – to vote through October 13th. There are two ways to do so. Posters will be in the Parish Hall; please put a colored dot (also in the Parish Hall) under the issue(s) on which you would be willing to work.  If you’re more technology-minded and want to use a slightly more detailed survey, we have a survey on the First Parish Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Parish-of-Sudbury/104705979571381. Just click on Survey Monkey at top of the page and take the Action Plan For Living Our Faith survey.  You can also access the survey directly through http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NLW5FM8.

Results will be announced in The Connector and on Facebook at the end of October and will direct the Living Our Faith action plan. Everyone is invited to join Rev Marjorie for a 30 minute action planning session in the Library immediately following the service on November 3rd (please note date change). We will leave the session with a list of projects that First Parish will engage in this year.

 Want to be on the Living Our Faith email list? Email with “Add me to email list” in subject line.

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From Your Faith In Action Team

 Attending, Joining, Mentoring and Suggesting

Our next meeting is scheduled for 8:30 am, Dec. 8, 2013 in our First Parish Library.

You are very welcome to attend and to join us.You are welcome, too, to become a mentor to the prisoner we visit once a month and to suggest an organization for which you’d like First Parish to share its offering. (Application blanks are on the upper right of the Faith In Action Team bulletin board.)  — Judy D, coordinator Faith in Action Team

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Share the Plate October 6 with UU Animal Ministry

UU Animal Ministry

UU Animal Ministry is a group of concerned Unitarian Universalists and UU friends who desire to grow and express their faith as compassion towards all beings. We do this by asking these fundamental religious questions: What does it mean to be human in mixed species communities? What is our response to this understanding?

To answer these questions we draw on our UU principles and sources, traditions, and congregational life to deepen our awareness of the interdependence of life. We then support one another in not just learning how caring for all beings is a moral and religious issue, but also engaging in concrete actions that bring about change on the individual, family, congregational, community, and societal level.

We do this not just for nonhumans, but for ourselves and all of life. For as we live a life of awareness based on our interdependence (UU 7th Principle) and the inherent worth and dignity of all beings (UU 1st Principle) we live fully, deeply, and authentically. As we come to love our neighbors as ourselves, we liberate not just others, but ourselves as well.

What We Do:

  • We serve as a central source of nonhuman animal awareness and education for UUs by relating the religious and spiritual aspects of our tradition to justice and ethical issues.
  • We provide a community to support one another. Whether we are undertaking personal changes in our everyday choices, or engaging in advocacy for nonhuman animals, we cannot do this work alone. We need one another.
  • We promote and support justice making efforts for nonhuman animals within congregations and within UUA as a whole.

Our Guiding Principles:  The seventh principle of Unitarian Univeraslism calls us to respect the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part. We of UUAM understand that human beings are only a strand in the intricate web of life.  While our Unitarian Universalist principles affirm the “inherent worth and dignity of every person and call us to seek justice and compassion in human relations, we extend these principles to include other species who also possess an intrinsic value.

Recognizing the beauty and interconnectedness of all species that call us to wholeness and toward justice for all beings, we dedicate ourselves to:

  • Growing our Unitarian Universalist faith in the interdependence of all life that reveals itself in the inherent worth and dignity of all beings
  • Informing ourselves about nonhuman suffering
  • Seeking and promoting ecological justice
  • Inspiring respect and reverence for the earth all its creatures
  • Living in harmony with the natural world, which includes a deep respect and commitment to human as well as nonhuman animals.

For more information go to www.uuam.org.  Please give generously on Oct. 6 to the Share The Plate Offering for the UU Animal Ministry.  Thank you.

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From your Welcoming Congregation Committee

Boycott Barilla Pasta and Show Your Support for Equality

Barilla Pasta President Guido Barilla made it clear how he felt about  gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality by saying that he’d never show gay families in advertisements for Barilla.  He said that gays could eat another pasta if they didn’t like his message.  Guido Barilla can say whatever he wants. But those of us who stand against discrimination – gay and straight – should also speak out. We can show Barilla that thousands of us won’t support a company that rejects our friends and families.  Won’t you sign the petition that says:   “Barilla Pasta President Guido Barilla’s statement that he’d never consider showing gay families in his advertisements is outrageous. I’m supporting gay families by boycotting Barilla Pasta.”  Stand on the Side of Love with our First Parish of Sudbury Welcoming Congregation Committee and click here:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/no-barilla-pasta-for?source=s.em.mt&r_by=1147624   

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potluckNEW 1st Saturday Worship Potlucks Start Oct 5

Starting Saturday, October 5th from 5:30-8:00 pm in the Commons…and every first Saturday of the month…Rev. Marjorie will lead  a potluck dinner to discuss the worship theme for the month.  All are welcome – all ages.  Gathering and set up begins at 5:30;  dinner starts at 6:00.  Special children’s programming and childcare will be available.

Coming Soon…Our 112th Harvest Craft Fair October 19

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The 112th Annual Harvest Craft Fair is Saturday, October 19th from 10:00 to 4:00. This is First Parish’s second largest fundraiser so we appreciate the support from volunteers to make this a successful and fun event for all. We have 63 crafters coming with a variety of items for sale including jewelry, knitted items, wood carvings, scarves, handmade soaps, and more. Please plan to bring your family and friends.

There are still a few volunteer opportunities for people who can help on Sunday, October 13, Friday, October 18 and, of course, the day of the Fair. Please contact Mary Ellen F for more details on how you can help. We are looking for a two hour commitment for a variety of tasks.

We also sell baked goods and jellies and jams made by our members and friends. If you can bake ANYTHING, please bring it in Friday evening or Saturday before 9:30. Cakes, cookies, breads, muffins, brownies are all welcome additions to our bake table. And jellies and jams and other preserved yummies would be gratefully accepted. Please label foods with nuts and indicate whether gluten free. .[break-wrap]?

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News from Your Web Committee

The Web Committee continues to work to revamp the First Parish of Sudbury UU web presence. We have spent many hours analyzing and documenting our needs.

Here is the current plan:

  • We will retire our current proprietary platform software and move the content to WordPress, with a new look-and-feel, and navigation.word press logo
  • The work of porting the old content to the new WordPress site will be done by volunteers.
  • After the content has been ported, we will hire a professional web designer to help us redesign our site.
  • The ongoing work of updating the new website with new content will also be done by volunteers and First Parish of Sudbury staff.

To this end, the Web Committee has created a prototype WordPress website which we are busy populating with content from our current website. We are also evaluating professional web designers to find one we would be comfortable working with.

Want to help? We can use volunteers with WordPress experience to help us port our old content to the new site. We are also seeking individuals who might want to help as webmasters for the new site. Send email to .

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Participate in the Survey for the UUA’s Multicultural Ministries Sharing Project

Are you:

a person of color, a multiracial/multiethnic person, and/or someone with racial/ethnic/cultural heritages that are marginalized today?

a person whose visual, hearing, mobility, mental health, intellectual, learning/attention, and/or other physical abilities (including chemical sensitivity and food allergies) make it difficult to participate fully in mainstream spaces?

lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or otherwise have a sexual orientation or gender identity/expression that doesn’t conform to cultural norms?

If you have one or more of these identities and are a UU or have a current or former affiliation with Unitarian Universalism, you are invited to participate in the UUA’s Multicultural Ministries Sharing Project to help our faith grow and best minister to you and your family in the 21st century.

The Sharing Project Survey is open now and ends October 31, 2013. Learn more and take the survey now! www.uua.org/sharingproject

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femclipAll Women Welcome Oct 20 at Alliance Meeting

The Women’s Alliance of First Parish will hold their October monthly meeting on Sunday, October 20 at 11:45a.m. in Class Room 2 on the lower level.

You are encouraged to bring your lunch and./ or a snack item to share.

Alliance gatherings always a great time to socialize and to meet other women of the Church. All women of the church are always invited, even if you’ve never participated before.

At this meeting we will discuss possible grants, a grant proposal process and fundraising for the coming year.  There will also be discussion of both topics and timing for exciting potential programs we might have after the first of the year.  Please plan to attend. No RSVP required.    – Betty W, President

Did You Hear About the Coffee Hour Experiment?

The Community and Hospitality Committee (CHC) would like people to have choices about how to support Coffee Hour and has decided to try a Coffee Hour experiment. The sign-up sheet is now divided into three sections: coffee, sweets (pastries, etc.), healthy stuff (juice, fruits, veggies, cheese, etc.). Individuals – singly or in pairs, as committees or interest groups – may sign up for all or one of these opportunities for Sunday mornings. While we hope there always will be coffee & tea available, some Sundays might not include snacks. This division obviously makes it easier for everyone to contribute to the hospitality we offer to each other on Sunday mornings. It offers you the opportunity to participate to your best ability. The CHC will welcome feedback in early October after we have tried this for a while.

In addition to Coffee Hour, there are many ways to contribute to hospitality at First Parish without being on a committee!

  • Sign up to provide flowers for the sanctuary one Sunday.
  • Pair with an experienced usher. Please contact Nancy M or the office.
  • Pair with an experienced greeter to welcome people as they enter. Please contact Ginny S or the office.

CHC: Sheila D, Carolyn L, Nina , Cilla R, Ginny S

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Our Pastoral Associates

Julia D E, Mary Ellen F, June H, Heather M, Fred P, Paul R

In the event of a pastoral need,

please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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Local, District, Denominational UU News

image026Please check the bulletin boards in the Parish Hall for events at other churches, the Clara Barton and Mass Bay Districts of UU Congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) and others who share our values.

Oct. 18-Greater Boston PFLAG welcomes you to join us at a concert with Jason and deMarco, co-sponsored by PFLAG and the Welcoming Congregation Coordinating Committee of the Follen Church Society Unitarian Universalist.  At the concert, Dr. Samuel Pang will talk about the Reproductive Science Center of New England. The concert is on Friday, October 18 from 7 to 8:30pm at Follen Church, 755 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA. To reserve your seat, RSVP to: – donations will be gratefully received during the show.

Author Anne Lamott is returning to the First Parish in Bedford on Thursday, November 7 at 7pm as a benefit for First Parish and for Amirah House, a north shore shelter that helps women survivors of human trafficking. Tickets are $25 (https://lamottbedford.eventbrite.com/) and include an unreserved seat as well as a copy of her newest book, Stitches. Sanctuary seating is limited, though video will be available elsewhere in the building. For more information, visit  http://www.uubedford.org/

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FIRST PARISH OF SUDBURY UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST

327 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776

www.fpsudbury.org 978-443-2043

WORSHIP & RELIGIOUS ED. SUNDAYS 10:00 AM

Newsletter submission deadline is 5 pm Wed., Oct. 9 for the issue of Wed., Oct. 16

Send to administrator or phone 978-443-2043

We are a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers; we strive to learn together and support one another as we celebrate life’s important moments and serve the larger community. At First Parish of Sudbury we welcome all who wish to explore their own spiritual journeys in the company of others and any who are seeking a religiously liberal community of faith. Our ministry is for people of all ages: we are a religious community that combines spiritual exploration, religious education, music, caring and compassion, service, advocacy, public witness and action. Our community is not confined to Sunday worship, rather we live our faith in service and action both inside and beyond our historic meetinghouse. Please visit or call or check out our website.

Minister: Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty —

Director of Lifespan Religious Education: Roberta Altamari —

Director of Music: Debra Morris-Bennett —

Congregational Administrator: Donna Scalcione —

 

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Events Calendar Link

Click here to see the block calendar.