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A Strategic New Year…

Happy New Year FPSers!

We had an amazing Endings and Beginnings service yesterday, January 5th, to honor and celebrate the milestones of 2013. It was a very meaningful new tradition for me to share our grief and our joy with those in attendance. As part of my sermon on January 5th I called us all to be fully present in the here and now, bolstered but not held back by our history with an eye on the horizon of our future. In reflection about calling you to be more firmly rooted and present in the here and now I also called us to do the right thing for our progeny and the world . How can we effectively do this you may wonder. With a solid foundation would be my response… Here is what that might look like for us as a congregation. I would begin with the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism they hold us accountable to our mission in the world. I am including the children’s version here because frankly it gets directly to the point:

1. We believe that each and every person is important.

2. We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.

3. We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.

4. We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.

5. We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.

6. We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.

7. We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.

Another cornerstone of our free and liberal faith, in my humble opinion, is the golden rule as a means to become grounded in a practice of caring compassion: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. (wikipedia) There is a movement a foot called the Charter for Compassion that would have the entire world endeavor to live by the Golden Rule and care for each other in a deeper manner. To find out more information about this movement please visit their website charterforcompassion.org and please take a few moments to watch Professor Karen Armstrong’s TED talk on the topic: charterforcompassion.org/charter-karen-armstrong.

The third cornerstone is the development of your personal daily practice… I would highly recommend that we all endeavor to include some weekly practices that engage the mind, the body and the spirit. If the term spirit does not work for you how about including a practice that engages your inner child – such as a romp in the woods? I loved the hymn that we sang yesterday I Seek the Spirit of A Child in which we were reminded, “That children are real beyond all art, fears, and lies” and in closing the hymn we ask “May I see Joy, Hope and Faith a gift to our Heart, Tears, and Eyes.” Embracing that child-like essence is in fact very similar to embracing the spirit.

The fourth cornerstone that I would like to reveal is keeping an eye on the horizon of our future while remaining in the here and now. How do we do this… We focus on our daily and weekly mind, body, spirit/inner child practices and at the same time plan strategically for a future in which we realize our dreams. If we imagine and visualize the life and community that we desire we will take the steps, and not always consciously, to achieve our goals. On January 11th the Board of Trustees will be meeting to begin this process of thinking strategically for the future of First Parish of Sudbury. An overall vision will be created which will help the congregation to decide on individual committee goals and tasks to achieve our overall vision. Remember the Board’s mantra: Welcome, Inspire, Connect, Work for Justice! Let us each echo this mantra through the hallowed halls of First Parish!

Friends as we begin again with the New Year may we do so with a light heart, lots of laughter and love three of the primary ingredients to concoct a happy and fulfilling life.

In Faith,

Rev. Marjorie

*** If you ever have comments, concerns, or ideas about First Parish, your life, or any little or big topic please do not hesitate to contact me at