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Connector June 4, 2014

Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Newsletter

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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A wise sage Swami Prajnanpad once shared: “In nature, action and reaction are continuous. Everything is connected to everything else. No one part, nothing, is isolated. Everything is linked, and interdependent. Everywhere everything is connected to everything else.” Our seventh Unitarian Universalist principle dovetails nicely into this wisdom, calling us to, “Respect… the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” As summer is finally upon us I am compelled to think about the interdependence of the past, present and future while trying to slow down the drive within towards action and reaction. I reflect on the moments that we have shared throughout this church year, and I imagine the days, months and activities that are yet to be planned, all while I endeavor to stay firmly planted in the present moment. The challenge to this practice of staying present is that our culture wants and, in many ways demands, that we think and plan ahead and at the same time be fluent in one’s past (short and long-term). In large measure, it seems that we are not rewarded for staying in the here and now. The only time that we really allow ourselves leisure is during the “lazy days” of summer. Summer permits one to stay present and to enjoy life a little bit more and not get caught up in minutia of calendaring or driving for some goal. We slow it all down and in many ways try to be mindful of our connection to everyone and everything else. <insert a sigh of relief here>

PAST: What an incredible ten month stint we have had from August to June! This last Sunday our Seniors bridged and graduated, and we engaged in the sacred ritual of the annual meeting. It was a time where I shared my thoughts about this last year in a Powerpoint presentation up on the big screen. I shared a litany of accomplishments that spanned as follows: “It all began with water… Animals, Samhain, cornbread, Hanukah, Yule, Christmas, Strategic Thinking, All Kinds of Love and chocolate, themed Saturday nights, Easter Morning, Passover, Pancakes, a May Pole, the sacred ritual of “The Annual Meeting” and Flowers…” Then I took a breath and continued to share all of the ways that the congregation of First Parish shared our gifts with the world; whether walking, volunteering, wrapping gifts, helping to distribute food, buying flip-flops or sunblock for children or needed toiletries for the Sudbury pantry. I shared how we made a partner in Cambodia to help provide fresh drinking water to a village and how we considered solar as a way to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. Friends, we have done some amazing work this year! We also began the process of thinking about our future strategically, no small task in itself. We engaged in two successful searches this spring: one for a Director of Religious Exploration and then another for a Congregational Administrator. I must admit that it is difficult to see members of the staff transition; Donna and Roberta have contributed in amazing ways during their time at FPS and in their current roles and I thank them for all that they have shared with us as well as the patience that they had with me this year, the new kid on the block!

FUTURE: I will admit that I am thrilled with the outcome of this spring’s search processes. Leslie Silva will be our Congregational Administrator and book keeper beginning on June 16th. She will share her years of experience as an office administrator of large law firms in Boston and having recently, last year, transitioned to being a Congregational Administer, she brings a wealth of knowledge. Laurel Whitehouse will be starting in August as our Director of Religious Exploration and will bring much to our nursery thru grade 8 religious education program. Laurel has spent the last five years working at the UU Church of Belmont, leading their program which is comprised of 189 children. I am very excited about the year to come, and Laurel and I have already begun to talk about themes and scheduling for the upcoming year. During June I will meet with our new staff members, preach two more sermons, and attend the UUA General Assembly and UU Ministers Association meetings in Providence, Rhode Island. I will meet with Sheila Murphy, the newly minted Board of Trustees chair, to review the 2014-2015 draft calendar and discuss best practices as well as summer plans. This month of June is all about wrapping up the details of the last ten months while putting the foundation in place to launch a successful 2014-2015 FPS year. The Board will not be meeting during the month of July, per the minister’s recommendation, and we will start again with two new Board members, Della Hughes and Susan Curnan, the first week of August. I will be on leave the month of July and will not be available via email, phone or in person; if you have an issue or emergency please contact a member of the Pastoral Associates Group directly. They will be checking the minister’s voicemail at (978) 443-2043 ext. 2.

PRESENT: Here I am in this moment… being both humbled and proud of the incredible effort that we all put forth and what we were able to accomplish together over the last ten months. I am trying to slow myself down a bit after the annual meeting and the June Board meeting and endeavoring to be more in the moment… I am watching the grass grow in my front yard, trying to be patient and trying not to be concerned about the water ramifications of having a lawn. I have to admit that this is a hard one. It isn’t always easy to just chill out and turn the UU activist mind off as I plan the many ways that I want to enjoy the summer, whether it is in Acadia National Park, in Syracuse, NY, on the Saint Lawrence River, or on/in Lake Boon. I try to remind myself in a moment such as this that, “Everything is linked, and interdependent. Everywhere everything is connected to everything else” and this makes me smile, because I think of all of you doing your thing, whether that is golfing, gardening, sitting on the beach, or boating…

Friends, be safe and travel safely wherever you roam and know that you have earned a rest, enjoy being in the luxury of the present moment and enjoy the summer services that the Worship Associates Group have imagined for you. This is how I will endeavor to balance my heart and mind over the coming weeks, being held somewhere between the past, present and future, not spending much effort in either the past or future, and instead being right here and right now. I invite you to join me!

Peace, Love, and Lightness of Being

Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

I know no one likes saying goodbye, and I am very sad to soon say goodbye to many of you. While it feels a little less traumatic because I will continue working as your Director of Youth Ministry, I know that Fall will bring the hard reality that I won’t see many of you more than once or twice a year. (Unless you sign up to help with youth ministry … not so subtle – hint, hint).

Most significant, I want to say thank you. I would like to thank each and every one of you for six years of love and support. I know I am supposed to be the “professional leader,” but you all have taught me so much. And I truly have appreciated how affirming and patient you were as I grew into the leader I am today. As the Bette Midler song says, you truly have been the “wind beneath my wings” that has allowed me to fly (and laugh and love) in the work I do.

I will also forever be grateful to you for the care and compassion you have shared with me as my life has transitioned through a divorce and the blending of a new family. And I am equally grateful for welcoming my older daughter into your community with open arms. Being a part of First Parish has meant so much to her.

I met with one of the trustees for my exit interview last week, and it was especially nice to reflect on what I love about First Parish. First of all, it is such an AWESOME community of people. Starting with all of my amazing R.E. volunteers and our incredible children and youth and continuing onward and upward to the entire community, this really is a wonderful congregation because of the people here. My parting wish for you is that I honestly hope you can all practice the unconditional compassion you have shared with me with every child who comes to First Parish. Practicing radical hospitality to children (especially those with special needs) is a vital ministry … and one that will insure the congregation’s health in many ways. My ex-husband and I used to call Watertown the “handicapped capital of the world.” The name seemed obvious being home to the world famous Perkins School for the Blind, but it also came from never walking through Watertown Square without seeing someone with a disability. The remarkable thing was that this was what made Watertown so wonderful. People with disabilities brought many gifts to the community that I cherished. Many of them became my friends. Beyond just my personal experience, there was a level of kindness and compassion in the entire town that I have only since witnessed in religious communities. I hope that each of you will consider carrying forward this hospitality and ministry.

At the end of the This I Believe service in April, Tom Arnold wished that I would someday share my personal credo with you and got some of you to agree with him. I don’t have a service left in which I have the time to share that, but in many ways, I feel you know what I believe. I am a humanist in that I believe there is a spirit of love that is bigger than any one of us. I believe in the power of collaboration. We truly create magic when we work together. I believe that each individual has gifts to share with us, no matter how much it can seem like they don’t. And as my previous paragraph reveals, what is most important to me about my faith is putting it into action and living it in the real world. I love Unitarian Universalism because it is about deeds, not creeds. I love this faith that calls us out into the real world to spread love and compassion instead of staying home debating who is right or professing who is more loving. Let’s go live our faith! Now!

You have all loved me for who I really am and for that, I will be forever thankful. You all mean so much to me and I’m sincerely sad I have to say goodbye as your DRE. I know the future holds incredible things for you individually and collectively. T hank you for listening to my words and stories for these past six years, and I look forward to continuing to hear your stories.

Blessed be. Roberta

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Coming Up in R.E. this month

June 8 ~ Annual Celebration Sunday with Flower Communion (and Roberta’s last Sunday service with us as our DRE) followed by an awesome potluck/pool party at the home of the Prince family from 12 to 4pm. Everyone is invited who wants to come say goodbye to Roberta and/or who volunteered in RE this year.

Saturday, June 14th for most of the day is the Boston Pride Parade and the youth would love to have our families join us to march.

June 15 ~ Special all-kids-together “Father’s Day” activity followed by our ice-cream sundaes at Social Hour.

All month: Please bring sunscreen and/or beach towels to donate to local homeless families. Items we take for granted are hard to find for kids who are homeless. A collection bin is located in the downstairs lobby.

EVERYONE IS INVITED to Come Say Goodbye to Roberta…and Celebrate our R.E. Volunteers June 8

All First Parish members and friends are invited to a potluck/pool PARTY on Sunday, June 8 from noon to 4pm to celebrate Roberta’s six years as our Director of Lifespan Religious Education and to thank our R.E. volunteers. Bring a potluck dish and a bathing-suit/towel to swim at the home of the Prince family. Fun for all ages!

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Interested in Living Our Faith? Interested in the FPS Strategic Plan?

The Living Our Faith Task Force warmly invites the congregation to a conversation on June 10 at 7:00 PM about the many and varied living our faith activities and how they can be supported and become an integral part of the FPS strategic plan.

It’s been almost a year since we created Living Our Faith as an “umbrella” for all the social and environmental justice work that so many people and groups are doing at First Parish. Once Rev Marjorie arrived, she created the Living Our Faith Task Force to focus on congregation-wide activities. But, as Marjorie said recently, Living Our Faith is not a committee and, in fact, everyone at First Parish is a member of Living Our Faith.

We’ve gone through a church year with this model and, with a new strategic plan in the works, it’s a great time to get together and talk about how we can create synergy across groups and committees and make “work for justice” a core element in the FPS strategic plan.

If you aren’t able to attend, please feel free to email your thoughts in advance to

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Anyone going to General Assembly?

ga 2014General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and this year it is in Providence RI. Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. There are tons of workshops, and just imagine hanging with hundreds of other UUs!

The theme for General Assembly 2014 is Love Reaches Out. Liz Rust, Fran Sharp and Sheila Murphy are First Parish delegates – let us know if you’re planning to attend so we can all connect while there. ( or )

Living Our Faith

Hot time, summer in the city! Help us keep things cool!

summer funWe are finishing up our collection supporting homeless children in Marlborough, who are part of the Families in Transition program, living in homeless shelters in 2 hotels, while their families wait for permanent housing. At any one time there are between 50 and 85 kids in the program.

As summer is nearly here, all kids look forward to playing outside and maybe going swimming. For kids who live with their families in one small hotel room, getting outside is a special treat but their parents often can’t afford to buy the summer supplies we all take for granted. That’s where we come in.

We are collecting bottles of sunscreen, flip-flops, sunglasses, beach towels, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and any other outside “stuff” you can think of. These don’t have to be fancy or expensive items, just everyday brands will do. And any size from toddler through teens will be helpful.

The families also need individually packaged snacks, which can be expensive for parents to buy and which aren’t usually available at food pantries. During the school year, the program makes sure the kids get snacks through their schools, but it’s harder for them to do that in the summer.

We will wrap up our collection during our Ice Cream Social on June 15th, so as you shop for your family’s summer supplies and snacks, please buy some things for a family in need. Use those 2-for-1 coupons to help some kids to have a fun and healthy summer!

Collection bins are in the Parish Hall, near the doors to the sanctuary stairs.

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Come Build a House with us!

First Parish of Sudbury has reserved Saturday June 14 to build with Habitat in Wayland. As you probably know, volunteer groups are integral to helping Habitat fulfill their mission of building homes, communities, and hope.

We still have some spaces for people to participate. People can sign up for all or half day (8-4 or 8-12 or 12-4). Volunteers must be over 16 to build and over 18 to use power tools.

Habitat for Humanity – MetroWest/Greater Worcester is building 4 affordable homes on donated land on Stonebridge Road in Wayland. Homes will be sold to qualified homeowners who demonstrate a need for housing, ability to partner with Habitat and ability to pay a mortgage. The four families have been selected, and will probably be building with us.

This is a great opportunity to make a difference by helping to build a home for some new neighbors. For more information, see the MetroWest/Greater Worcester Habitat For Humanity at http://www.habitatmwgw.org

Please contact Liz Rust for more information or to sign up. ()

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From Your Faith In Action Team

Gun Control Bill Pending

It’s too late for you to appear at the State house on June 3 in support of this bill, but it’s not too late for you to tell your state legislators that you want them to vote for it. PLEASE DO! Even those legislators already in favor of it will want to show the support of their constituents.

Here’s what the bill (which so far has only a Docket Number, HD4253) includes:

  • Background checks for all secondary gun sales, including for all private sales. Such sales would have to take place with a licensed firearms dealer present.
  • Massachusetts coming into compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS). There are provisions to protect the privacy of the submitted information.
  • Expanded police chief discretion in issuing gun licenses for rifles and shotguns in addition to handguns. This gives police chiefs discretion to not issue when there are known dangerousness issues.
  • Improved data collection about guns used in crimes and suicides, tracing the ownership history of all guns used in and recovered from crime scenes to help determine the source of these guns.

A fifth very desirable provision, a limit on handgun purchases per month, will probably be introduced as an amendment and so, if you do, please tell your legislators that you support it.

Interfaith Forum on Economic Justice: FREE Including dinner

Wednesday, June 4, 6:00 to 9:00 pm, at All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA. Sponsored by Cooperative Metropolitan Minstries (of which we are a member)

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From UU Animal Ministry

calmJoin with other Unitarian Universalists at www.uuam.org if you “…acknowledge and affirm the kinship and interdepend­ence of all beings, and adopt an ethic of inter­spe­cies com­passion as an integral com­po­nent of liberal religion.” [break-wrap]?

Your Welcoming Congregation Committee invites you June 14 to the PRIDE Parade for GLBTQ equal rights

Contact Roberta Altamari, this year’s coordinator, to make plans to gather and march as a group representing First Parish at Pride Parade, Saturday, June 14 at 11:30 in Boston. Wear a FPS rainbow t-shirt. It’s an easy walk and an upbeat fun time.

At uua.org, you’ll find a wealth of information. Check out Identity 101: Learn more about sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as identity-based resources at http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/identity/index.shtml Stay connected to the work of welcome and inclusion. Subscribe to The Welcoming Congregation Bulletin at http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/welcoming/230747.shtml

Just released – an amazing infographic that shows more than 2.7 billion people live in countries where being gay is a crime – and a full rundown of laws that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people: http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/may/-sp-gay-rights-world-lesbian-bisexual-transgender

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From the Board of Trustees

The Trustees held their final meeting of the church year on June 2nd. Heartfelt appreciation was extended to outgoing Trustees: Sherri Cline, Chair, Sue Carboni, and Bettie Rose. Incoming members were warmly welcomed: Susan Curnan, Della Hughes, and Fred Rust. A special thank you goes to Alex Andrews who will continue as a Trustee next year, filling the final year of a term. The Trustees elected Sheila Murphy as Chair for the 2014 – 2015 year.

The Trustees meet the first Monday of most months at 7:00 PM in the Commons. Our meetings are open to the congregation and all members and friends are warmly invited to attend. Our next meeting will be August 4th at 7:00 PM.

Gathering of Men – June 21

mens group w mjm 2014At our last meeting we had a very interesting discussion about our “ministries” – – helping those closest to us or total strangers – – and why.

At our next meeting on June 21 the topic will be our fathers: who they were, how we saw them as we grew up, and how we see them now.

All who identify as men at First Parish (new comers and long-timers) are invited to join us at 10:30am in the Library for coffee, donuts and a lively discussion.

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Coming soon… July 4th FPS Grill

Join us for the annual 4th of July grill when we will serve hot dogs, sausages, cold drinks and other goodies during the Sudbury parade. Lisa LaCava and Susan Curnan will be coordinating the grill this year, so let them know if you can help cook, serve, cashier, shop, or other myriad jobs. In addition to helping raise funds for First Parish and getting a prime viewing spot for the parade, it will be a fun day!

“Garden Buddies” needed!”

garden buddiesWould you be willing to help Landscape Committee members with a variety of outdoor tasks this year? We are initiating a buddy program so that we can get more done for the parish without placing a burden on anyone.

Folks who are interested in helping out can water plants this summer or assist our knowledgeable committee members for an afternoon or two of invigorating work in the sunshine. We can make it better than a work-out at the gym if you want! Please direct any questions to Valerie Tratnyek at

Our New Director of Religious Education

The DRE search team, along with the RE Committee and the Board of Trustees, are very pleased to announce that we have a new Director of Religious Education who will begin with us in late August. She will oversee the children’s RE program from birth through 8th grade. As you have read previously, Roberta Altamari will oversee the Youth program including junior high Our Whole Lives (OWL), senior high OWL, and the Coming of Age program.

Let us introduce to you our new DRE—Ms. Laurel Whitehouse. Laurel lives with her family in Wayland, and for the past five years has served as the Director of Children’s Religious Education at The First Church in Belmont UU. Prior to that she chaired the RE Committee at First Parish in Wayland during which time she fulfilled many DRE responsibilities at a time when Wayland was without a DRE. She has taught RE groups from kindergarten through 8th grade, and OWL for 8th graders and kindergarteners. She also has extensive experience teaching preschoolers at Wayland Creative Preschool and through the Beach Buddies program for the town of Wayland. Prior to RE involvement, Laurel worked at Digital Equipment Corp as an Information Systems Analyst and Financial Analyst.

On accepting the position, Laurel writes:

I am excited to be coming to the First Parish of Sudbury next fall! I was in search of a congregation that values children’s religious education and is willing to embrace new possibilities for extending religious exploration outside the Sunday morning classroom experience. I choose this congregation among others I applied for due to several factors: the magical spirit of community displayed on your vibrant website, the amazingly thoughtful care with which the search team approached the interview process, and the overall sense I have gained of a congregation with a commitment to service and a sense of fun. My philosophy is that religious education should provide strong roots in our Unitarian Universalist identity and supple wings to engage in a lifelong search for knowledge and spiritual meaning. It should develop caring, committed UUs who willingly reach out to serve the local congregation, the wider community and the earth with compassion and justice. I look forward to walking this path together with you.

Please join us in welcoming Laurel to the FPS staff!

The DRE Search Team: Abby Bridgemohan, Daphna Cox, Rich Davison, Lisa LaCava, Rev. Marjorie Matty, Sonia Prince, Fran Sharp (chair), and Oliver Willett.

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Strumstick details

strumstick2On May 17 I played a 3-stringed instrument called a strumstick during service, and a lot of people asked me where they could get one. A fellow named Bob McNally in northern New Jersey has been making them for more than 20 years and you can order them online. Here’s the link: http://www.strumstick.com/

The strumstick was designed for people who don’t play guitar or think they can learn … you simply strum it and whatever you do sounds pretty good. It uses banjo or mandolin strings and so has a nice Americana sound. It’s fine as a solo instrument and also adds a nice, bright stringed voice to someone else’s guitar playing.

The one I played is the original model (I bought it 20+ years ago), tuned to a G chord, and now lists for $169. There are many options available, including number of strings, tuning, exotic woods, electric pickup and so on. I believe he also makes ukuleles. The site is loaded with information and audio clips for anyone interested in checking it out.

– Rob

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Support First Parish on Amazon.com.

If you start shopping by using one of the links below, at least 4% of what you spend will be given to First Parish. All you have to do is start by clicking on the link http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=firsparisudbu-20 or http://tinyurl.com/amzfps

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Our Pastoral Associates

Julia Dixon Eddy, Mary Ellen French, Heather Merrill, Fred Pryor, Paul Reising

In the event of a pastoral need,

please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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Local, District, Denominational News/Events reflecting UU values

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.

Friday, May 23 at 7:00 pm A FREE COMMUNITY PRESENTATION by Steve and Deb Boczenowski, parents and founders of TADS – Teenage Anxiety and Depression Solutions (www.tadsma.org) at Billerica First Parish UU Church, 7 Concord Rd (on the common) Billerica. Free and open to public – Disability accessible – All welcome – Light refreshments. www.uubillerica.org

You and your partner are invited to the 2nd Annual ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expo in Providence on Sunday, Aug. 3. Dozens of gay-friendly exhibitors will participate, eager to help you and your fiancee plan the ceremony of your dreams! Photographers, DJs, Officiants, Wedding Planners, Venues, Jewelers, Invitations & more. FREE Raffle Giveaways, LGBT-Planning Tips & Trends! Aug. 3rd (12:30-3:30pm) Providence Marriott Downtown, 1 Orms St., Providence, RI 02904. FREE TO ATTEND – Couples, singles, and allies interested in marriage rights are all invited. Rainbow Wedding Network (Box 2434,Weaverville, NC 28787 Tel. 828-645-8750) has produced 100 Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expos throughout the nation. RSVP at www.SameLoveSameRights.com

F.I.S.H. NEEDS DRIVERS – F.I.S.H. is a volunteer organization that provides transportation for Sudbury residents to medical appointments. The volunteer drivers are under no obligation to accept any assignment unless it fits comfortably with his or her schedule. There is no weekly or daily schedule or requirement. You only drive when and where it is convenient for you. F.I.S.H. is a great way to help your neighbors who are in need. If you are willing to become a driver, or would like more information, please the F.I.S.H. answering machine 978-443-2145, or call Ed Gottmann 978-443-9233.

Aug. 8-10 at UMASS Amherst Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference. Over 200 workshops in eight 90-minute sessions, covering farming, gardening, land care, nutrition, & food politics. www.nofasummerconference.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 to be announced

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.

 

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Connector May 7, 2014

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Newsletter

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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You Rock!!!

Okay, I admit it my feet are slightly sore after walking through Boston, Newton and Cambridge on Sunday, May 4th. However, it was well worth the effort as First Parish of Sudbury was the 8th largest fundraising team to participate in the Walk for Hunger! Last year a few stalwart souls walked, but on Sunday we were 40+ people strong walking and volunteering. I wouldn’t say that it was hard work, but it was work that required one step in front of the other to get where we needed to go. In many ways the effort we put forth this last Sunday is a metaphor for the effort that so many of the members and friends have offered throughout this year. Having just completed my annual report I was amazed at all that we have begun and accomplished. It takes all of us to make it happen. I believe that one of the biggest accomplishments thus far is that the shortfall in the budget this last year never really arrived and we have come away from the budgeting process with the goal of a balanced budget, and it looks like we are going to achieve that goal. My friends, I told you this year that you were financially not that far off and that First Parish of Sudbury was in good shape. We worked hard this year, especially the Stewardship Team, to bridge the gap, and we have succeeded and that is good news indeed!

There is so much more to be done! To begin with we have two staff members transitioning, Donna and Roberta, and I would like us to celebrate their leave-taking with gratefulness. Roberta Altamari will be staying on with us but in a different role so we will not be seeing her on Sundays and I for one will miss her. Donna Scalcione will be transitioning from staff back into the congregation; she has worked hard for the congregation for the last six years, and I know that it has been much appreciated! We are still sorting out our “shift in roles” party so stay tuned for more information. Over the next several weeks we will be seeking two new staff members, a Congregational Administrator, a role which we have filled and will be sharing more information about in the very near future and a Director of Religious Education which we are interviewing candidates for presently. Your leadership is working hard to bring it all together for you the members and friends of First Parish.

I know that I promised that we would slow down a bit and in May for the most part we will, but here are a few highlights over the next several weeks to get on your calendars: appreciation Sunday will be on May 18th, all are encouraged to attend with a special treat after worship (well at least I hope it will be a treat) I will be making pancakes, our annual meeting will be take place after worship on June 1st, flower communion will take place on June 8th, we will be working on the Habitat for Humanity build in Wayland on June 14th, and attending the Unitarian Universalist Associations General Assembly in Rhode Island at the end of June. All of these events will be fun to participate in and offer opportunities to get to know one another and broaden our community. What an incredible way to begin summer services!

I have to say as we move into May and the flowers are starting the bloom and the bees are a buzzing it is mind boggling how fast time has flown. It was just a year ago last week that we first met and that it was clear that we would begin a journey together. I feel blessed that I am with you at FPS and I hope that you feel something similar. This congregation of individuals is what makes this meetinghouse come alive and the work that we choose to do in the world makes it a little bit better for all. I am so proud of what we have done together this year this congregation rocks in the best way possible.

Thank you for being you and for all that you do every single day!

Peace,  Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”  ― Kurt Vonnegut

“And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”  ― C. JoyBell

As I watch both myself and the congregation prepare for the upcoming transition (of me leaving my Director of Lifespan Religious Education position while staying to work just with the youth and young adult ministries), numerous online quotes come to mind about needing to have faith that we will fly when we jump off the proverbial cliff. And other quotes about new doors opening when others close. Life can be quite scary when we welcome change, and yet we also know that it is the only way to open our lives to new adventures.

When I announced my resignation last January, I assumed I would know more about my future plans by now than I do. I optimistically believed that I would have my dream business or career handed to me on a silver platter. All I do know is that I have decided to take one path that will give me more time to transition carefully, thoughtfully, and thoroughly. This past weekend, I was offered and accepted the INTERIM Director of Religious Exploration position at First Parish of Framingham UU.  So I will work for one year as both Sudbury’s Youth Director and Framingham’s Interim DRE.

I know some of you might not be happy with me as you previously said the only reason you accepted my resignation so gracefully is that I was moving on to different work. To you, I say that this feels right for me right now and it is different in that it is interim. While some of my job responsibilities will be similar to my work here, many duties will be new as it will be my role to guide them through their time of transition. It is intentionally and mutually only one year which gives us both a transitional year to discern what we want for our future. This will enable me to support my daughter as she chooses her college path and to do some more soul searching about my future career path. As I turn 45 this week, I recognize that I am at some mid-life stage that is opening my mind and spirit to questioning who I am and what kind of life I want to life. All of this is a part of it that process.

As I accept this one-year role, I hope you all will understand that I am both sad to not be here in Sudbury on Sunday mornings, but excited to be able to offer all of the gifts that I have developed here at First Parish to one of our nearby congregations. Your guidance as I’ve grown as a leader and my experience during our two long interim years have left me feeling confident to guide one of our neighbors through a similar transition.

Likewise, I hope that my leaving the leadership of the Religious Education program here will open doors to wonderful possibilities for Sudbury. I wrote in my Annual Report that I was sad to note that we have gone full circle with having increased and then decreased our RE participants from 49 up to 63 and then back down to 49 this year. New guidance may be just what is needed to bring new energy and families to Sudbury! I wish only the very best for you and your R.E. program!!

Blessed be.  Roberta

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Religious Exploration NEWS

Sign-Up NOW to help in R.E. next Fall and get a chance to WIN a raffle being held on Sunday, May 18

Let’s get next year off to a great start!! Commit now to volunteering in the RE program next Fall (September 2014 to December 2014) and be entered into a raffle to win one of four $25 gift cards (to Karma Coffee, Serendipity Cafe, Panera, or Bertucci’s). You get one raffle ticket for each time you volunteer. Volunteering for the R.E. (Religious Education) Committee or the YAYA (Youth and Young Adult) Committee for the 2014 to 2015 year counts as 10 tickets

Go to www.SignUpGenius.com/go/8050D45A9AD23A46-fall

 Save the date of June 1 for a fabulous field trip after the Annual Meeting

Yes, all children, adults, and families (and teens in Breakfast Club or higher whose parents are okay with them being on their own with a friend) are invited to join us to go to Canobie Lake Park together. (If it rains, we will go trampoline jumping at Skyzone instead). Our estimated time for departure is 1pm. Please RSVP to Roberta if you want to be included in planning emails for this trip.

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How can UUs expand our faith to serve the world?

ga 2014“Love Reaches Out” is the theme of the 2014 UUA General Assembly, June 25-29 in Providence, Rhode Island. The First Parish of Sudbury nominating committee seeks 4 members willing and eager to represent us as voting members at this year’s annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Please let Deirdre Menoyo () or Kelsey Thompson () know if you wish to participate in this unusually convenient assemblage of the leaders of our faith. From the website:  “A core purpose of our faith is to help people grow in spirit and in service. We believe that our faith provides a path for each of us to unlock our transformational capacity to serve the world with love. We want to expand our faith not just to grow Unitarian Universalism, but also to better achieve this transformational purpose. Therefore, the General Assembly Planning Committee, the UUA Board of Trustees and the Administration want the General Assembly in 2014 help our association live into a future where our “Love Reaches Out” to share our faith both within and beyond our congregations’ walls.”  For further details, visit http://www.uua.org/ga/

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FPS Walk For Hunger Team May 4, 2014

Living Our Faith

 sunshine2   Bring some sunshine to some children’s lives (then protect them!)

  This spring we are supporting homeless children in Marlborough, who are part of the Families in Transition program, living in homeless shelters in two hotels, while their families wait for permanent housing. At any one time there are between 50 and 85 kids in the program. As the summer approaches, all kids look forward to playing outside and maybe going swimming. For kids who live with their families in one small hotel room, getting outside is a special treat, but their parents often can’t afford to buy the summer supplies we all take for granted. That’s where we come in. From May 11 through June 15, we will be collecting bottles of sunscreen, flip-flops, sunglasses, beach towels, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and any other outside “stuff” you can think of. These don’t have to be fancy or expensive items, just everyday brands will do. And any size from toddler through teens will be helpful. The families also need individually packaged snacks, which can be expensive for parents to buy and which aren’t usually available at food pantries. During the school year, the program makes sure the kids get snacks through their schools, but it’s harder for them to do that in the summer. So, as you shop for your family’s summer supplies and snacks, please buy some things for a family in need. Use those 2-for-1 coupons to help some kids to have a fun and healthy summer! Collection bins are in the Parish Hall, near the doors to the sanctuary stairs.

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Come Build a House with us!

habitat2First Parish of Sudbury has reserved Saturday, June 14 to build with Habitat in Wayland.  As you probably know, volunteer groups are integral to helping Habitat fulfill their mission of building homes, communities, and hope. We have spaces for 8 – 12 people. People can sign up for all or half day (8-4 or 8-12 or 12-4). Volunteers must be over 16 to build and over 18 to use power tools. Habitat for Humanity – MetroWest/Greater Worcester is building 4 affordable homes on donated land on Stonebridge Road in Wayland. Homes will be sold to qualified homeowners who demonstrate a need for housing, ability to partner with Habitat and ability to pay a mortgage. The four families have been selected, and will probably be building with us. This is a great opportunity to make a difference by helping to build a home for some new neighbors. For more information, see the MetroWest/Greater Worcester Habitat For Humanity at http://www.habitatmwgw.org Please contact Liz Rust for more information or to sign up. ()

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From Your Faith In Action Team

May 18 Share the Plate with Hudson Community Food Pantry

Helping to alleviate the increasing need for food of people in Hudson, Berlin and Bolton, the Hudson Food Pantry served 179 individuals and families (43 seniors, 196 younger adults, and 130 children) in 2013. From January 1 through April 22, 2014, it served 187 individuals and families (50 seniors, 190 younger adults, and 109 children), in 963 visits. It distributed 3100 bags of food during this period, and also distributed 130 hams for Easter. The Hudson Community Food Pantry considers itself to have been lucky the last couple of months because, due to the generosity of some of the local stores, it has been able to offer milk and butter in addition to the other foods it ordinarily has available. It is open Tuesday and Saturday mornings from 9:00 to 10:30, and the first Thursday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30pm. Clients are welcome to get food twice a month. In addition to canned and dry goods, The Hudson Community Food Pantry also provides as much meat, cheese, eggs, produce and bread that it can.

Faith In Action Team To Meet 8:30 am, May 18, in the Library

You are very welcome to attend and to join.. The main agenda item will be choosing STPs for at least the first few months of the next church year. If there is a 501 C(3) organization with which you want us to share a Sunday offering, please fill out the form on the FIA bulletin board and put it in the FIA file in the office or give it to Judy Deutsch.

We Are Invited to the Tuesday, May 13, UU Advocacy Day at the State House

9:30 to 3:00: breakfast, worship, speakers including David Wilson (advocate for marriage equality in the successful 2004 case), celebration of 10 years of same sex marriage in Massachusetts, and visiting legislators.  Contact www.uumasssaction.org to register.  Speakers will talk briefly about Raising the Minimum Wage, The Jobs Not Jails Campaign and Working Towards Immigration Reform.  Join Us!

Thursday, May 15, UU Urban Ministry Annual  Meeting

10:30am to 1:30pm (including lunch). 10 Putnam Street, John Eliot Square, Roxbury, MA, 02119.

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FYI from the Welcoming Congregation Committee

Governor Patrick signed a bill on April 24 that makes Massachusetts anti-bullying law LGBT-inclusive.

Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer are at much greater risk of being bullied. This updated legislation builds upon the 2010 Massachusetts anti-bullying law, adding in language that acknowledges this and aims to strengthen the protection of LGBTQ students (actual or perceived) as well as for students with disabilities and brings us one step closer to ending bullying for our LGBTQ youth.

Join Us at Boston’s 44th Pride Parade on June 14

Clara Barton and Mass Bay District congregations are invited to march with the District at Boston’s 2014 Gay Pride Parade on Saturday, June 14. This year’s theme:   “Be Yourself: Change the World.”  PLEASE NOTE: The parade will start at 11:00 AM – one hour earlier than usual – due to the Government Center MBTA construction.

If your congregation has not signed up to march behind its own banner this year, you are welcome to join us. REGISTER yourself or a group at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e96nwcvse5d0ec4e&oseq=&c=&ch=

Marchers will be asked to show up by 10:30 AM. Those attending the Pride Worship at Arlington Street UU prior to the march (at 10am) are welcome to join us as soon as they can get to us after that service.  Further details about exactly where to meet us are still forthcoming from the Pride Committee but we will be in touch with everyone who registers a few days before the event with final instructions.

Please note that those who march with the district cannot carry a banner for their congregation. One banner per contingent is the rule. However, you are welcome to bring signs or wear t-shirts that advertise your congregation. You are also encouraged to don Standing on the Side (SSL) of Love paraphernalia if you have it. To order SSL clothing or signs, go to the SSL online store at http://standingonthesideoflove.org/store/

For more details about:  Boston’s Pride Parade  http://www.bostonpride.org/parade/ or this year’s Parade route  http://www.bostonpride.org/parade/#route

No fee is required to participate, though you are welcome to make a freewill offering of any amount toward the cost of registration. Checks can be made out to MBD and sent to our office at 182 Main St., Watertown, MA 02472. Hope you can come.

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From UU Animal Ministry

wheat field“If we gave up eating beef we would have roughly 20 to 30 times more land for (growing) food than we have now.”  —  James Lovelock, British climatologist

Going Meatless at least once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions (see below). It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.  But keep in mind that just going meatless is not enough. Try to add healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives to your diet each week. Further, if you do eat meat on other days, we strongly recommend grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible. Health Benefits  – LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.  REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.  FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.  CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.  LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality. IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat. Environmental Benefits:   REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation.  MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.  HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Save Lives – go meatless often.  It’s good for you, good for the planet and sends a strong economic message that you do not support the cruel treatment of sentient animals on factory farms.

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Coffee House Saturday, May 10

Come be part of the folk music scene, a New England tradition throughout the greater UU community. Proceeds benefit FPS as well as Don Arte, a music program in Cusco, Peru for disadvantaged children.

Join us for two features at the Coffee House on the Rocky Plain on Sat. May 10 at 7pm Jackie Damsky and String River and the Kenny Selcer Band will be here to entertain us with their own songs as well as traditional bluegrass and folk songs.

We need volunteers to help set up the tables and chairs at 3:30-6:00pm to transform the Parish Hall into an intimate music stage and inviting space for the audience. We’re down to only two volunteers at set up time and really do need four people for that job. Please call Judith Christianson or Leslie Lowe to sign up to help.

Homemade cakes, pies and other gastronomic wonders will be available. Come early to settle in at your favorite table or wing chair. Doors open 6:30pm for tickets and refreshments.

kennyselcerband-300x245Kenny Selcer Band is a warm, eclectic group that plays a wide range of material: folk rock, Americana, country and reggae. They traverse the musical map with infectious melodies and unstoppable rhythms. The stunning guitar work, intimate vocals, 3 part harmonies and heartfelt songs, keep audiences asking for more. They soothe the spirit, rock the house and melt into a seductive, bluesy groove. It’s a unique uplifting sound that comes through both live and on disc! It is an uplifting and transcendent romp through style after style that will get you tapping your feet and singing along. The Band is Kenny Selcer(vocals, guitar), Phil Punch(congas), Liz Buchanan(vocals, percussion) and Steve Gilligan(bass, vocals). kennyselcer.com

Jackie-Damsky-String-River1-300x225Jackie Damsky & String River is the unique genre-bending acoustic trio featuring Jackie Damsky on passionate violin & sweet vocals, supported by gifted guitarists Rich Caloggero and Bryan Tucker. Their material reflects each member’s broad range of style, as they perform jazz standards, folk waltzes, country blues, bluegrass, pop, gypsy jazz, and more. They joyously share the emotional essence and nuance of the music they love, and are guaranteed to move and delight you. jackiedamsky.com/jackiedamskystringriver.cfm

A Gathering of Men May 17

gathering of men 1  The next meeting of the men of First Parish will be in the library on Saturday, May 17 from 11am -12:30 pm. Our topic of discussion will be our own ministries – in our families, jobs, and at First Parish. All are welcome. As usual coffee and donuts will be provided. [break-wrap]?

May 18 First Parish to be part of Historic Sudbury Town Center Tour

Sunday, May 18 as part of  Sudbury Celebrates 375.  Details at http://www.sudbury.ma.us/departments/Sudbury375/news4750/

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May 25 Guest Speakers

Spirituality & Interfaith is the topic of worship on Sunday, May 25, when our service will be led by two student ministers from Andover Newton Theological School, Lisa Kirk and Sam Teitel who write, “In line with our covenant with our world through our seven principles we are moved to continue the conversation of what it means to integrate our promise and our spirituality with the diversity that surrounds us. With our sermon, Spirituality and Interfaith, we hope to open a path for a continuing thought process on this important and timely topic.”  All are welcome.

From your Landscape Committee

Now is the time for new Memorial Garden Plantings

If you would like to honor a deceased loved one with a planting (tree, shrub. or wildflowers) in the Memorial Garden, please contact Marge Langmuir before May 16.

Announcing “Garden Buddies!”

Would you be willing to help Landscape Committee members with a variety of outdoor tasks this year? We are initiating a buddy program so that we can get more done for the parish without placing a burden on anyone.

garden buddiesFolks who are interested in helping out can water plants this summer or assist our knowledgeable committee members for an afternoon or two of invigorating work in the sunshine. We can make it better than a work-out at the gym if you want! Please look for a sign-up at coffee hour in May!

At the same time, we are looking for potential new members to “check us out.”  You will be welcomed at our next meeting on May 18th, at 11:30am in the library. Please direct any questions to Valerie Tratnyek at

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Welcome to the Village of First Parish, Sudbury!

The Web Committee of the First Parish has launched the Members and Friends Private Website, which allows us to communicate internally on issues that are important to us individually and to the parish in general, as well as to committees and groups.

It’s simple to use and more organized than email so your communications to others won’t get lost in a flood of unrelated email. With it we can discuss issues, see meeting minutes, edit and comment on documents and otherwise stay in touch.

Later this week you will receive and email from the Web Committee with your username and password so you can log onto the Members and Friends Private Website (Internal website).

When you receive it, please log in and bookmark the URL so it will be easy to find the next time you want it.

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

The Village WebsiteWhat’s on the internal website?

• Reference documents, such as Annual Reports, budgets, meeting minutes, photos and more.  http://fpsudbury.org/members/docs/

• “Groups,” which are a collection of people who share an interest. For example, the Conscious Eating committee has a group, as has the Finance Committee.  http://fpsudbury.org/members/groups/

• Discussion forums where Groups collaborate and share information.  http://fpsudbury.org/members/forums/

• The First Parish Directory, which gives contact information for all members and friends.

What can I do with the website?

There are a lot of new ways the Members and Friends private website will help you to interact in an online community. Here are a few of the things our new website facilitates:

Share information easily with a group. Put your data on the website and everyone in your group will have access to it, can be notified if it changes, and can respond to it. No more vast, confusing, or contradictory email chains!

See what’s new on the website. Click the Activity menu item to see what has been changed on the website recently.

Find out what’s going on at First Parish. You can “listen in” on a group’s activity and see what’s happening. Join if you like, or just keep up to date.Store important documents where they’re safe and available. You can upload all kinds of material, including pictures and video, as well as regular documents. They are easily categorized and you can decide who can change them. Imagine never again losing an important document or frantically sorting through a dusty old manila folder to find what you need. Learn more.

Learn More

Check us out at coffee hour. The Web Committee will be showcasing the new website at coffee hour to answer questions and help you get started.

Attend a beginner’s forum. There will be sessions scheduled to help new users.

Ask for help. The Web Committee can answer questions and give individual assistance.

See you in the Village!

– Tom Yelton, Jan Hardenbergh, Susan Stocker

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 From the Rummage Sale chairperson

 femclipI would like to thank the many, many First Parishioners who helped make the Women’s Alliance April 5 Rummage Sale a success this year. We took in more than the median for recent years, and we did it with the help of those who donated, those who publicized, those who sorted, those who sold, those who monitored, and not least of all, those who helped set up, take down, and clean up for Music Sunday the following day. Oh, and also those of you who bought! We hope you found some real treasures. — Peg Espinola

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Support First Parish on Amazon.com.

If you start shopping by using one of the links below, at least 4% of what you spend will be given to First Parish. All you have to do is start by clicking on the link http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=firsparisudbu-20 or http://tinyurl.com/amzfps Make this into a bookmark or favorite in your web browser so you will always have the link on hand. There is also a link at the end of this newsletter, or visit fpsudbury.org and use the link on our homepage.  If you need help, Marc K will be happy to assist you.

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image020People We Care About

Our sincere condolences to Jenaabi Finlay on the death of her brother, James D. Finlay, of Jonesboro, Maine…and wishes for good heath and speedy recoveries to Dianne Hoaglin and Lois Ames.

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Our Pastoral Associates

Julia Dixon Eddy, Mary Ellen French, Heather Merrill, Fred Pryor, and Paul Reising

In the event of a pastoral need,

please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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Historic Reflection

Rev. Carl Scovel, minister here 1957-67, sent this note entitled Beloved Community written by Maryann Moore, member of First Parish from 1960 to 1970-something, and a member of the Edgecomb, Maine UU Fellowship:

I became a Unitarian Universalist in the 1960s, at the First Parish Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  I chose to do so because I loved sitting in the historic church sanctuary on a Sunday morning – a simple, beautiful space, where years before the Revolutionary uprising was plotted, planned, begun.  The small congregation was made up mostly by young families with children of corresponding ages to my five and by the their bright active parents.  Those good points notwithstanding, the unspoken reason I joined was that for the first time in my life I felt at home in a church.  The minister’s prayers came to us from his heart and soul and they were my prayers as well.  The sermons were meaningful and worth thinking about during the week.  At First Parish I felt the worship service was made for me.  I had a responsibility to be there every week.  My participation was important to the minister and the rest of the congregation.

Young, energetic, creative I joined the church happily.  Over a period of sixteen years I participated in the Women’s Alliance group, the Sunday School Committee, the board of trustees, was editor of the newsletter, directed the Christmas pageant, was chairperson of the church Harvest Fair, attended the first UUA General Assembly in Boston, gave several sermons.  This may sound like bragging, I don’t mean it to be.  I mention the details because it was a labor of love and a time of real growth for me and my family.  Not particularly religious people to begin with, the church was the center piece of our lives.  I think my beginnings as a Unitarian Universalist taught me to connect church with extended family, people to whom I owed love and loyalty, and from whom I was certainly blessed.

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Open Table Seeks Important Volunteer Positions

Open Table is a wonderful all volunteer, not-for-profit organization that provides healthy food, friendship and support to those in need in our communities. This includes a dinner and food pantry service that takes place every Monday night at the Clock Tower Place in Maynard. Volunteer Coordinator (VC): We are looking for an outward going, organized person who is comfortable using the computer to help us recruit and schedule individuals to either serve dinners, work in the food pantry or clean-up on Monday nights. You can schedule and recruit from the convenience of your home, which typically involves about 5 hours a week. In addition, working with a VC assistant, you will share responsibility for being onsite Mondays from 4:30-6:00PM to welcome volunteers. It’s a fun position, and a great way to meet new people. Summer Help: We need help during the summer to give our year long volunteers a break. Please let us know if you’re available Join us as we help others. It’s a very rewarding experience! Please contact:

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Local, District, Denominational News/Events reflecting UU values

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.
Fitchburg Drum Circle on the first Thursday of the month at First Parish Unitarian Universalist, 923 Main St, at the top of the Upper Common, in historic downtown Fitchburg, 7 – 9 pm. Some drums and other percussion instruments are available to borrow. This is a child friendly circle and is free. We will be outside on the common at the gazebo in the summer. Check us out on Facebook @“Fitchburg Drum Circle”
SILA, April 24 – May 25 by Chantal Bilodeau, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian, produced by Underground Railway Theater, A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT project. Pre & Post Performance discussions.  Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/928310   On Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, eight characters – including a climatologist, an Inuit activist, and two polar bears – find their values challenged as they grapple with a rapidly changing environment and world. Winner of the Inaugural Woodward International Playwriting Prize, Sila blends Inuit myth with contemporary Arctic policy, three languages (English, French, and Inukitut), and spoken word poetry to illuminate competing interests shaping the future of the local Inuit population and of our planet.
Fundraiser for Greater Boston PFLAG Friday, May 9 at 7:30pm: Wild & Precious written and performed by Steve Cadwell at First Church Boston Unitarian Universalist Community.  $20 or $15 Seniors/Students, checks payable to Greater Boston PFLAG;  mail to GBPFLAG POB 541619, Waltham, MA 02454 or call (781) 891-5966 to reserve seats.  Details at www.wildandprecious.org
Deciding on Divestment from Fossil Fuels: From Congregations to Kitchen Tables Wednesday, May 14, 7-9 PM – Hancock Church, 1912 Mass. Ave., Lexington MA . From religious congregations to universities to kitchen tables nationwide, people are debating divestment. Burning fossil fuels is the largest single contributor to human-caused climate change. If it’s wrong to disrupt the planet’s life systems, is it wrong to profit from such destruction? Should we get rid of our investments in the fossil fuel industry?  Join us for a thought provoking forum.  See flyer on bulletin board in the Parish Hall or email Fran Ludwig at for more details.
Care Package Drive for Troops Overseas May 17-18 at the Southborough Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Road (Rt 85), collecting letters and cards as well as personal care items, food and more.  For details, see the flyer on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall or call Lisa Braccio at 508-481-9939
Saturday, May 31, Passive House Symposium, Seaport Convention Center, Boston.  Spend the day learning how to build large and small buildings at cost parity that are 80% more energy efficient using Pasive House standards. Meet designers, architects, builders, investors and friends. www.passivehousenewengland.co
Starhawkat First Parish UU Concord, 20 Lexington Rd. –  activist and author of many works celebrating the Goddess movement and Earth-based, feminist spirituality. Tues., June 3, Starhawk will lead a Women’s Workshop. Pot luck begins at 6:00 PM.  Women from other UU congregations are welcome. PLEASE NOTE: If the workshop fee of $60 is a hardship for anyone, please request a reduction/waiver from   Wed., June 4, Starhawk will be at The Umbrella Community Arts Center, 40 Stow St., Concord, speaking on creating sacred community, holding your own power, and stepping into leadership. Tickets are $25.  Doors will open at 5:00.  Tickets for both events at http://www.tvforyoursoul.com/STARHAWK.html
Come to the Sudbury Valley Trustees Trail-a-Thon Saturday, June 7 for fun for all ages, music, BBQ, games, and more.  Details at www.svtweb.org/ntd
Final Exit Network is a volunteer run organization that is supporting the human right to a death with dignity. Find out more at www.finalexitnetwork.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., May 28 for the issue of Wed., June 4

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.  

Read More

Connector April 2, 2014

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Newsletter

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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Dear Friends,

March has been some kind of busy month with lots of strategic thinking, some dancing, a successful annual pledge drive with many of you increasing your pledge (thank you!), and the good news that Roberta Altamari will be remaining at First Parish in the role of Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry! This is great news that Roberta is staying for 15 hours a week but let us also be mindful that her role will be evolving as she makes way for a new Director of Religious Exploration. So many exciting changes, yet reflecting on last August I have to be honest and share that my head is spinning. We have come so far in seven months and I am very impressed, amazed actually, that when I hit the ground running that you have kept up with the pace and in many ways have outpaced me! You are an amazing congregation of loving and compassionate people! I am not sure about you but when I think back about the highlights of this last seven months I am blown away, we have literally come miles since August.

We are growing and evolving and with this we must also expect change, what you will read in this connector is that our Congregational Administrator, Donna Scalcione, has decided that the time has come for her to transition in her own life. In conversations with Donna she explained to me simply that, “it is time.”  I support Donna’s decision to make this transition out of staff and back into the congregation and thank her for all of the important work that she has accomplished as the Congregational Administrator. As both Roberta and Donna transition please take the time to reach out to both and thank them for the important roles that they played during a time of significant upheaval in the life of First Parish! Not skipping a beat, the search teams have been chosen and we are imagining our evolving needs and the required qualifications of two new staff members, the Director of Religious Exploration – who will focus specifically on our younger children and a new Congregational Administrator.

Where do we go from here? We continue to evolve, however, let me assure you that the pace is going to slow down a bit starting April 1st. Our goal for the remainder of the year will be to continue to flesh out our strategic thinking based on the meeting we had on March 8th. We will review our financial landscape with the help of your stewardship committee, the Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees so that we can imagine a sustainable future. With 80% of the pledges in, it seems that we will see a slight increase in pledges overall, and friends if you have not turned in your pledge card as of yet I would encourage you to do so. Your generosity, as we sort out income and our budget, will be greatly appreciated. Ultimately, over the next year we will continue to evolve and debate the inclusion of solar energy on our campus, upkeep of our facilities and how we can best share who we are and what First Parish has to offer the larger metro west community.

As the buds break forth, we turn to tending the soil, and longer and warmer days arrive we will slow down a bit and shift our focus slightly. Yet nothing is static those buds have been preparing this entire time to burst forth, even without our attention, change and evolution is inevitable. Let us be truly hopeful! Let us be abundantly mindful! I offer this piece of Buddhist wisdom as we endeavor to finish out our church year strong, “permanence is an illusion” so you can either struggle against or embrace change. One thing is for certain if we desperately clutch onto a sense of permanence we will suffer. Instead, let us embrace the evolution of life as a spiritual practice of mindful witness and graceful fine-tuning. 

Peace and much Love,

Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

My initial reaction was mixed to Rev. Marjorie asking me if I wanted to stay at First Parish as the part-time Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. On one hand, I get to keep doing a few parts of my job that I really enjoy as I explore my next career path. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure that it is the best choice for First Parish. My biggest concern going forward is for the new DRE. We need to make sure that the transition is healthy and supportive for all involved.

Most significantly, we will have to maintain very clear boundaries. The new Religious Educator needs space to bond with the entire congregation and lead you in both worship and education. Hearing that I’m staying in the role of Youth Leadership may lead to some of us not fully realizing that I will still be gone from my RE leadership roles at First Parish. I, myself, breathed a sigh of relief as I mistakenly thought I won’t have to say goodbye. Reality set in soon as I started to realize all that I’m still losing. I won’t regularly be seeing most of you. I won’t be here on Sunday mornings (except for Youth Sunday and Coming-of-Age Sunday). I won’t be sharing messages-for-all-ages, special “all-kids-together” events, and adult classes. The list is long of the events and programs that I will be handing over to the new Religious Educator. Even though this is a choice I made with great hope for my future, I will really miss all of this … and you.

As we take the next several months to prepare for the transition of RE leadership, I hope we can celebrate all that we shared and look ahead to the exciting potential of the future of First Parish. I have begun processing with the youth that they take the lead in welcoming the new era in RE at First Parish. One of the greatest strengths in having separate RE and youth leaders is that you can find people who have the particular gifts the congregation needs. We need to grow our RE program and we need a leader who is energized, innovative, and passionate about working with young children. A great opportunity is here and I look forward to welcoming our new leader with open arms and genuine promises of my support … I hope you will join me!

Blessed be.

Roberta

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Change Coming to the Office Staff

time for change  “To everything there is a season…”and soon it will be time for me to end one “season” at First Parish and begin another. At the end of June I will leave my position as your Congregational Administrator. For six years you have honored and trusted me with the dual role of staff and member. As I told Rev. Marjorie in February, I know in my heart that it is time for me to move on from my staff role and go back to being “just a member”…time to leave the First Parish Office in other hands. Yes, this is a change but it is not goodbye.

With gratitude for all your support and love, your patience and kindness,

Donna

Religious Exploration NEWS

Sign-Up NOW to help in R.E. next Fall and get a chance to WIN a raffle

Let’s get next year off to a great start!! Commit now to volunteering in the RE program next Fall (September 2014 to December 2014) and be entered into a raffle to win one of four $25 gift cards (to Karma Coffee, Sernedipity Cafe, Panera, or Bertucci’s). You get one raffle ticket for each time you volunteer. Volunteering for the R.E. (Religious Education) Committee or the YAYA (Youth and Young Adult) Committee for the 2014 to 2015 year counts as 10 tickets...  www.SignUpGenius.com/go/8050D45A9AD23A46-fall

HELP is still needed this Spring in our R.E. program

Many Sundays still need help with taking care of babies and assisting our leaders who are doing fun Spring programs with all of our children together. To sign up, please go to our sign up genius … http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050D45A9AD23A46-re

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Caribbean Cantina! The First Parish of Sudbury 2014 Service Auction Saturday, April 12th

auction 2014(2)Everyone is welcome – newcomers and long-timers – and bring your friends and neighbors for a night of fun and fund-raising, as we transform the parish hall into a tropical escape filled with “fierce” bidding, food and drink, music and excellent conversation. Brink your children as well, and they can enjoy themselves at the kids party in the Commons while you indulge in a bit of adult time.

The evening starts off with a silent auction where you bid on paper for a chance to buy at bargain prices – items such as restaurant gift certificates, handmade items, and an ipad! Then we progress to the verbal auction, featuring auctioneers extraordinaire: Steve Ziobrowski and Rob Kinslow, where you bid out loud for bigger-ticket items such as dinner parties, vacations, and a sermon by Rev. Matty.

The auction won’t be a success without your donations. If you are lacking in inspiration, some ideas are:

  • Gift baskets based on a theme (bath time? backyard barbecue? game night)
  • Handmade items such as jewelry or knit scarves
  • Dinner parties – entertain a group of old or new friends and raise money for First Parish!
  • Food items delivered to the winning bidder’s home (baked goods, a meal, dessert)
  • A weekend or week at your vacation home
  • Services that only you can provide (computer support, proofreading, tutoring, babysitting)
  • Gift Certificates at area businesses

The deadline for donations is April 4th. Donate here: http://fpsudbury.org/2014-service-auction-donation-form/

We are still looking for volunteers to greet and collect admission, help in the kitchen, and setup and decorate. Let Liz or Erin Llewellyn know if you are interested. Email or call 978-897-4163.

It is always a fun night, and we hope to see you all there!

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Sunday April 6 -First Parish of Sudbury Marks 25 Years of Making Music Together

dove1aWhat if you could hear a musical ensemble that has been performing together for years present its best works? Sunday, April 6, the First Parish of Sudbury choir and music director Debra Morris-Bennett will do just that when they celebrate 25 years of singing together. Morris-Bennett has assembled a “greatest hits” compilation culled from First Parish’s twice-yearly Music Sundays since 1989—a compilation representing nearly 50 performances that have often included some of the region’s finest professional musicians. The music will be presented during First Parish’s regular Sunday service, which begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome and first-time visitors are encouraged to attend.

Don’t expect a concert of dressed-up hymns. This special service of music will run the gamut of the choral repertoire, from Dvorak to Copeland, from classical to bluegrass. Selections comprise many of the most memorable choral pieces or movements from 25 years of major cantatas that the choir has performed on prior Music Sundays. There were, literally, hundreds of pieces to choose from, but final choices were the ones that captured the hearts of the choir. “Singing them feels like welcoming back old friends,” said Morris-Bennett. “These pieces truly represent finding meaning through music both in sorrow and joy.”

Some of the choral pieces to be included are “The Road Not Taken” by Randall Thompson, with text by Robert Frost; “The Lord is My Shepherd” from John Rutter’s Requiem; movements from Missa Gaia by Paul Winter and Jim Scott; pieces from The Holocaust Cantata by Donald McCullough; The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass by Carol Barnett; and the First Parish choir’s all-time favorite piece, “Sure On This Shining Night,” a stirring setting of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winner James Agee by composer Morten Lauridsen.

The choir will be joined by Noriko Yasuda on piano, Tim Feil on oboe and Emily Taubl on cello. They will also be performing music of J.S. Bach (Cello Suite No. 1) and Gustave Vogt (Solo de concert No.6 for Oboe).

It is rare to hear such a selection of choral and chamber music in the space of an hour. We hope you can join us.

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Living Our Faith

 Save the date!…May 4…Come one, come all!

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For 10 years, First Parish of Sudbury has sponsored a team to participate in the Walk for Hunger. This is the 45th annual fundraiser by Project Bread. Funds raised through the Walk support more than 400 emergency food programs in 135 communities in Massachusetts, including the Sudbury Food Pantry.

This year, First Parish is making an all out effort to participate in the Walk for Hunger. Rev. Marjorie is going to lead the walking team sharing some worshipful moments along the way. A simplified worship experience in our Sudbury Meetinghouse will also focus on the same themes. We hope many (most!) of our First Parish adults and children will join us by participating in the walk.

Rev Marjorie is putting such a strong focus on the Walk for Hunger this year because hunger and the food insecurity associated with poverty continues to be a major health issue and a social justice concern in Massachusetts. For most of us, hunger is a fleeting need we can satisfy quickly. But hunger isn’t fleeting for 11.4% of Massachusetts’s households—the 700,000 children and adults who don’t know where their next meal will come from.

Our team goal this year is $10,000.00. You can help us reach that goal in three ways:

Join the walking team—solicit donations from your family and friends, then spend the morning walking with your FPS friends. The Walk starts early on the Boston Common and winds for 20 miles through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and Cambridge, returning to Boston Common. It is a lovely Spring Day and a good opportunity to admire the scenery and talk with fellow walkers. Only a few hardy members of our team finish the full 20 miles, so don’t let that stand in your way! Kids and families are welcome! Any participation is good participation and there are buses to pick you up along the way, if needed. We will organize transportation from Sudbury.     Go to: http://support.projectbread.org/goto/FPSWalkers to join the walking team and set up your donation page

      OR

Join the volunteer team—for those who can’t walk, you can still support this effort, join the fun, cheer on our FPS walkers and raise money! We are helping at Rest Stop 4 at the Elliot Church in Newton Corner (just off the Mass Pike). This is basically a “sit down” job that involves providing water to the walkers and stamping their walk cards. We are looking for 10 people to be there between 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM. We will organize transportation from Sudbury.     Go to: http://support.projectbread.org/goto/FPSVolunteers to join the volunteer team and set up your donation page.

      OR

Donate to one of the teams—for those who are unavailable to either walk or volunteer, we still need your help.    Go to: http://support.projectbread.org/site/TR?fr_id=1230&pg=pfind to make a donation to one of the FPS teams. In the search box, type in “First Parish of Sudbury”, then choose a team for your donation: Walk Team or Volunteer Team. If you would prefer to donate by cash or check, please make the checks out to Project Bread and give them to any team member at the Walk table during Social Hour. If you have any questions, please ask Liz Rust, Sherri Cline, or Ginny Doxsey.

The Walk For Hunger is THE PLACE TO BE on May 4! THE MORE, THE MERRIER!

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

grocery bagOver the month of March, we collected 100 pounds of pet food, 100 toothbrushes, dozens of paper products, and bags of assorted other items for the Sudbury Food Pantry. Your donations, large and small, made this collection a great success! [break-wrap]?

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From Your Faith In Action Team

Last chance to sign up for  “PROJECT UNSPEAKABLE”

Short organizational meeting – 11:30, April 13 in the Library; actual reading – 11:30, April 27 in the Brackett Room. Tell Judy <> if you want to participate.

We are invited to Mass. Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Commission’s Immigrant’s Day

At the Statehouse: April 8 to speak to our legislators about pro-immigrant legislation.

Come to Mass-Care’s Spring Gala April 12

1:00-4:00 at the Ryles Jazz Club (212 Hampshire St., Cambridge). Dr. Don Berwick will be the featured speaker and there’ll be good food (lunch), and good music. Tickets are $35 for adults and $10 for students. (Mass-Care is the campaign for single-payer health care in Massachusetts.)

domestic-violence-logoApril 6 Share the plate with The Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable

A non-profit community-based organization established in 1998, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is dedicated to promoting safe and healthy relationships. The Roundtable sponsors public programs every year to educate the public about domestic violence in all of its forms. One in three women will be involved in abuse in their lifetimes. Children are often victims and even if not physically injured, there is psychological damage from being a bystander. Men are also victims. It is felt that all abuse is under-reported.

The Roundtable seeks to form community partnerships with interested citizens, community organizations, the clergy, educators, health care providers, legislators, and direct care service providers. Every December, Roundtable members, with community support, fill all of the wishes of a family in shelter. On Valentine’s Day Sudbury Extended Day students decorate Valentine’s bags to be filled with small gifts for everyone in shelter at REACH in Waltham, The Second Step in Newton, and Voices Against Violence in Framingham. In May the Roundtable holds a “Shower for Shelters” to collect new kitchen and bath items for those leaving shelter to set up new and safe homes. Members place hotline cards in 150 locations in the Metrowest area to provide safety tips and resources.

The Roundtable has worked hard to help educate teens about healthy dating relationships and to prevent bullying in all of its forms. In January we held a program about safety for seniors with Police Chief Scott Nix as one of our speakers. In March we helped to sponsor an all-day forum called “Courage to Care” for 200 students at L-S, including students from several other high schools. Please visit our website at www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org to find out more about our programs and resources. We invite you all to attend our meetings held on the second Tuesday of each month at 3 PM at the Wayland Public Safety Building. Thanks so much for your continued support of the Roundtable’s endeavors through the years.

April 20 we will share the plate with Project Bread and the Walk for Hunger

Details about this organization can be found in the article at the beginning of this section.

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From UU Animal Ministry

 “We can appreciate the lives of animals, but not appropriate them, for they have their own lives to lead…We de-sacralize animals – rob them of their holy qualities – and in the process we de-humanize ourselves. For animals cannot be relegated to the status of objects. When we treat them as if they were mere biological machines – collections of conditioned reflexes -we injure both their nature and our own.” — Rev. Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals

Updates from your Welcoming Congregation Committee

rainbow-icon2Rather than ask, “Can you be a gay, lesbian or bisexual (or transgender) person and still be religious or entitled to civil rights?” we think the question is “Can you practice fear and hatred and still be considered civil, much less religious?” – Rev. John Buehrens

On February 24 Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill was signed into law, prescribing life imprisonment for homosexuality and lengthy jail terms for “aiding or abetting homosexuality.”  A group including Ugandan human rights organizations, LGBT activists, attorneys, and lawmakers filed a constitutional challenge to the law.  Dr. Frank Mugisha, Director of the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda, visited Washington, DC, to share priorities for action to counter the law. Among the solidarity actions Mugisha offered as being most needed was his plea for church leaders to speak out aggressively in opposition to the law.

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Bring your donations of RUMMAGE to the Parish Hall this week and shop the sale Saturday, April 5

rummage sale2Please bring your donations to the Women’s Alliance RUMMAGE SALE this week, Wednesday-Friday, April 2, 3,and 4 and plan to shop the RUMMAGE SALE APRIL 5 from 10-2.  Clothes and shoes for everyone, CDs, DVDs, toys, games, books (no magazines or text books), household goods of all kinds, office and craft supplies, linens, electronics, more! All donations should be clean and in working order, please. (Pretend it will have your name on it). Many thanks from the Women’s Alliance  [break-wrap]?

Recycle your #6 polystyrene April 5

We are excited to announce that Sustainable Sudbury has a new polystyrene recycler, REFOAMIT. Come bring your foam on Saturday, April 5 at Curtis Middle School, Sudbury, from 9am to noon. All towns are welcome to participate. REFOAMIT is able to take food trays, coffee cups, egg crates and more. These items must be marked with a “6.”

FPS seeks used ink/toner cartridges

Please continue to bring to the office for recycling your used ink and toner cartridges (any brand, any type).  We get $2 in store credit for every one recycled at Staples.

Seeker Potluck April 5

During the month of April we will be wondering about many things: bunnies and Ostara, the darkest night and resurrection, the return of the sun and what they all have in common… Join me in a multi-media presentation of music, video and readings to help us frame and wonder about the significance of April to Unitarian Universalists at the Seeker Potluck the evening of April 5. We will gather at 6:00, bring dinner to share and we usually finish by 8:00. Please let me know if you need childcare, sooner rather than later, and we will make it happen. I look forward to seeing you there!  – Rev. Marjorie

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A Gathering of Men April 13

gathering of men 1The Men of First Parish will meet at Rev. Matty’s house in Stow on Sunday, April 13 for a walk and pot luck bar-b-q.

Come around 3pm or later. Tom Arnold will send out a signup menu list so we don’t all bring beer. [break-wrap]?

Still time to register for the Women’s Alliance Retreat, April 23-25

femclipDeadline is April 18.  We arrive at Rolling Ridge in North Andover on Friday evening and stay through Sunday lunch. Saturday and Sunday mornings we have program, but there is ample time for personal retreat, a massage, walks in the woods, along the shore or through the labyrinths, quiet meditation and reading, making music, or whatever makes you feel renewed. This is a great weekend of spiritual retreat, relaxing and getting to know each other better. The registration form is on the lobby table and at this link:  http://fpsudbury.org/about-us/committees-and-groups/womens-alliance/womens-alliance-annual-retreat/

You may send your registration to the address on the form or leave it in the Alliance folder in the workroom. Scholarships are available in complete confidence from Alliance Treasurer Carolyn L.  After April 18 all questions should be directed to Sherene Aram.

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Easter Sunrise Service

skyscapeThe sun rises on Easter morning to signify the end of the darkest night, the metaphorical time of trial, and the reawakening of hope. We look for the sun on the horizon, however, the real light that we kindle burns within. This Easter morning ritual will be held outside in the upper memorial garden dress warm, bring a blanket some coffee or tea, and a favorite poem or piece of music to share. We will gather at 5:30 on Easter morning. – Rev. Marjorie [break-wrap]?

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Spring outdoor cleanup Saturday, April 26

outdoor clean upSaturday, April 26 from 9 to 2, pizza lunch included. (Rain date: Sunday, April 27 noon to 4pm.) Your Landscape Committee needs your help cleaning up our property for the year ahead: raking, cleaning up sticks and trash, pruning, turning the compost, etc. Join us and we’ll make it fun and enjoy pizza together for lunch, too! Bring the kids and some yard tools. Come for an hour or two and contribute your time and effort to make our outdoor spaces shine.

David Bohm

Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception.
Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture?
– David Bohm

Bohm Dialogue — Religious Exploration Salon April 27

The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics. In March we continued the experiment with Bohm Dialogue on the topic “altruism and selfishness in human nature“.

Bohm Dialogue Principles:

  • Suspend assumptions, do not judge
  • Observe & listen to one another
  • Welcome differences & explore them
  • Allow taboo subjects to be raised safely
  • Listen to your inner voice
  • Slow the discussion
  • Search for the underlying meaning

(see more details about how Dialogue works in our February article).

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic (to be announced in the 4/25 ENEWS) beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/feelings/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute. Our next meeting will be on April 27th at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Proposed topics include:

  • global warming
  • freedom/liberty/rights
  • reality
  • tradition
  • inequality
  • creativity
  • spirit
  • pets

Contact Paul Reising for more information.

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Memorial Garden open for new plantings

It’s Spring, and time to consider whether you would like to donate a memorial tree, shrub or patch of wild flowers to our Memorial Garden.

If it is something you would like to do to remember a deceased loved one, please call or email Marge Langmuir, Landscape Committee.

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Pledge Drive Update

Rainbow ChaliceFirst we want to thank everyone who has given treasure, time and talent to First Parish of Sudbury in support of our annual budget. Together we strengthen our First Parish community.

The Pledge Drive numbers

With 80% of pledges in:

• 57% increased an average of 17%; the range of increases was from 2% to 140%.

• 21% decreased an average of 32%.

• 22% of pledges remained the same.

• We had eight new pledges this year.

• 20% of pledges increased one or more levels, as we suggested in your letter.

These are not the final numbers, since we still need to hear from 20% of our members and friends, but we see a commitment to First Parish from our fellow congregants and a modest increase in the total amount pledged.

A healthier distribution

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) suggests the following as a healthy distribution of pledges:

• The first 25% of total dollars should come from 10% of the household donors

• The second 25% of total dollars should come from 15% of the donors

• The third 25% of total dollars should come from 35% of the donors

• The final 25% of total dollars should come from 40% of household donors

This distribution is a good idea so that we are not dependent on a few, large donors. We made progress towards the UUA guidelines in every quartile:pledgegraph

So what’s next?

Now our Finance Committee begins planning our budget for next year. As a congregation, we will vote on this budget at our annual meeting on June 1.

I urge everyone to pay attention. This is your money we are spending.

And what might we do with our money? There’s the big picture and the little picture.

Big picture

Three weeks ago on a Saturday we had a visioning exercise, which was wonderful and exciting, brilliant and inspiring. I was there and I think I speak for us all when I say I came away energized and eager to move forward.

A lot of exciting ideas came out, from broad themes to specific suggestions for projects and outreach.

Now Marjorie and our Board of Trustees are working on shaping those ideas into concrete goals so we can be stronger and more supportive internally, and we can have more impact on changing our world for the better.

Little picture

You’ve already heard some of our needs from the pledge materials: We want to close our small budget gap, and fund some infrastructure needs within our organization, such as our website. And as I said our FinCom has already started that planning.

Stewardship is a year-round gift

The formal Pledge Drive is over, although there’s always time to pledge if you haven’t yet or to give a one-time gift if that’s possible. The Stewardship Team will stop asking for your money, but First Parish still needs your time and talent. For example, over two dozen people helped with the Pledge Drive this year.

Your help is always welcome – in small one-shot ways, like coffee hour (which I personally recommend as a way to meet everyone – stand behind that counter and you get to say hi and be thanked!), or in larger ways, like serving on a committee or volunteering in our RE program, or connecting with our teens. If you have small children and want to see what might be coming – help out in Our Whole Lives (OWL) or Coming of Age. It’s good for them; good for you; and its good for us. We ARE self-supporting in all ways.

Give more, get more

And finally I want to put in a personal plug for the rewarding part of volunteering –it’s awesome to feel like you’re a part of a larger effort.

Together we are more than the sum of our parts. Through my involvement in this community I’ve formed new friendships, I’ve found new interests, I’ve stretched myself beyond my comfort zone.

Most of all, my involvement here encourages me, supports me, and challenges me to become the person I want to be.

On behalf of the Stewardship Team, and all of First Parish of Sudbury,

Just one word – Thanks.

Susan Stocker

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Town Center Update

road_construction_ahead

A new concept draft/plan was approved by the Sudbury Board of Selectmen on 3/11. The plan uses a single mast arm in place of 4 of the 9 traffic signal poles, and removes 3 of the 4 traffic islands, reducing the overall size of the intersection. The final plans will be available in early April and will be used for hearings at the Planning Board on 4/9, and the Historic Districts Commission on 4/10. Once permits are in hand, the project will go out to bid this spring and construction should begin shortly thereafter. There is more information on our nascent internal website. Ask Jan Hardenbergh () if you would like early adopter access to the internal website.

The members of the Town Center Task Force are Deborah Kruskal, Jan Hardenbergh, Marge Langmuir, Bruce Langmuir, Bridget Hanson, and Sherri Cline.

May 10 Coffee House on the Rocky Plain

musical notesMusic, music, music and great food to boot! Mark your calendar for the May 10, 2014 show.

Kenny Selcer Band is a warm, eclectic group that plays a wide range of material: folk rock, Americana, country and reggae. They traverse the musical map with infectious melodies and unstoppable rhythms. The stunning guitar work, intimate vocals, 3 part harmonies and heartfelt songs, keep audiences asking for more. They soothe the spirit, rock the house and melt into a seductive, bluesy groove. It’s a unique uplifting sound that comes through both live and on disc! It is an uplifting and transcendent romp through style after style that will get you tapping your feet and singing along. The Band is Kenny Selcer(vocals, guitar), Phil Punch(congas), Liz Buchanan(vocals, percussion) and Steve Gilligan(bass, vocals. http://www.kennyselcer.com

Jackie Damsky & String River is the unique genre-bending acoustic trio featuring Jackie Damsky on passionate violin & sweet vocals, supported by gifted guitarists Rich Caloggero and Bryan Tucker. Their material reflects each member’s broad range of style, as they perform jazz standards, folk waltzes, country blues, bluegrass, pop, gypsy jazz, and more. They joyously share the emotional essence and nuance of the music they love, and are guaranteed to move and delight you.  http://jackiedamsky.com/jackiedamskystringriver.cfm

Homemade cakes, pies and other gastronomic wonders will be available. Come early to settle in at your favorite table or wing chair. Doors open 6:30pm for tickets and refreshments. Music begins at 7pm.  $12 general admission, $8 students, $4 children under 12.  Benefits First Parish Sudbury and Music School in Cusco, Peru

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Tree Removal/ Replacement and Solar Collectors on First Parish of Sudbury?

A report from the Buildings & Grounds and Landscape Committeesfps1889

Dramatic tree removal work was originally scheduled for February 8, 2014, but due to weather and too much snow on the ground it was postponed three times and finally done on Saturday March 15th. In only about four hours, five pine trees and three maple trees were cut down and chipped, and the brush removed for truck access to the playground area. The center of one of the pine trees was rotten. Those of us on these committees and SED think the area looks better and looks more in keeping historically. In looking at the Sudbury Town Center in an 1889 drawing that is shown above, and photographs taken in 1889 and 1929, show fewer trees and no pine trees in the town center. The playground area is now more functional. The wood chips will be spread in the Memorial Garden as they are not suitable for the playground.

As reviewed in the March 5, 2014 issue of the Connector, these five very tall white pine trees and 3 additional maples in the area around the playground had been determined to be either too close to the buildings, poorly placed, prone to disease, or a serious risk to people and buildings during storms with high winds. A plan has been developed to replace these trees with more appropriately placed plantings, and ones that will allow any future plan for solar panels on the Atkinson Wing roof to be fully effective. We want to reassure everyone that the amazing Beech tree and Alliance Dogwood have remained. – More on this was published in the Connector, March 5th edition.

We have just received a solar PV system installation proposal from SunBug Solar who propose utilizing high efficiency black collector panels, over 18%, from SunPower Solar. (Typically run around 15% efficient.) The system size is 16kW, estimated to generate around 45% of our annual consumption, has a 25 year warranty, and is expected to last more than 30 years. We have been offered a Power Purchase Agreement for installation of the system, which would have no cost to First Parish of Sudbury for the solar system. They also have offered the option of us purchasing the solar system, which First Parish in Concord did, for which they had a fundraiser. The SunBug proposal needs to be studied. In the past we had another proposal from another firm which we did not feel was acceptable as the system was too small and did not produce enough electrical power.

FYI on “The Common” of Sudbury center drawing above, The Town House, to the right of the church, was the Sudbury Town Hall and across Concord Road the Methodist Church is now the Presbyterian Church. Population of the farming community of Sudbury in 1929 was about 1200 persons.

Bruce Langmuir, Co-Chair Buildings & Grounds Committee

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Our Pastoral Associates

Julia Dixon Eddy, Mary Ellen French, Heather Merrill, Fred Pryor, Paul Reising

In the event of a pastoral need,

please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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Support First Parish on Amazon.com.

If you start shopping by using one of the links below, at least 4% of what you spend will be given to First Parish. All you have to do is start by clicking on the link http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=firsparisudbu-20 or http://tinyurl.com/amzfps

Make this into a bookmark or favorite in your web browser so you will always have the link on hand. There is also a link at the end of this newsletter, or visit fpsudbury.org and use the link on our homepage.  If you need help, Marc K will be happy to assist you.

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Storm/Emergency Closing Information

Find out if worship at First Parish is cancelled: (NOTE: For cancellation of other gatherings, contact the committee chair/group leader)

By phone—check the recorded message at the First Parish number, 978-443-2043.   On First Parish website—Go to www.fpsudbury.org. The front page will have an update.  On CBS Boston website—Go to www.CBSBoston.com, click on “Weather” then “School Closings” for cancellation of Sunday worship service onlyBy television—Tune in to WBZ-TV and watch the crawl at the bottom of the screen for cancellation of Sunday worship service only.

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Local, District, Denominational News/Events reflecting UU values

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.

Tom Chapin and His Band Family Concert at the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St, Concord on April 13 at 1:00 and 3:00 pm.   WWW.Eventbrite.com

Don’t miss Open Table’s 25th Anniversary Iron Chef Competition & Fundraiser. Saturday, April 12, 2014 — 6:00 – 9:00 pm at 300 Baker Avenue, Concord MA.  Watch local teams compete as they slice and dice their way to cooking fame.  Cheer on your favorites when they present their creations to the judges!  Enjoy hearty hors d’oeuvres, delectable desserts, and a cash bar. Tickets available online at www.opentable.org and at: Debra’s Natural Gourmet, West Concord; Serendipity Café, Maynard; The Cheese Shop, Concord. 

Volunteers needed to help with events celebrating the Town of Sudbury’s 375th anniversary.  Details on the Parish Hall bulletin Board or email

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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., April 30 for the issue of Wed., May 7

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.

 

Read More

Connector March 5 2014

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Newsletter

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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 “The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little…” (Ben Sweetland)

There are many religious/spiritual sages who share a similar insight which makes it hard to believe that humanity has still not gotten it, how can we create abundance in our lives and the world if what we fear and focus on is scarcity? What does it take for us to shift our thinking to a place of abundance? I often think of positive affirmation as a way to cultivate an abundant mind and using mantras as a way to change the way that we think. For example, if we hold the mantra in mind that, “I have an open and loving mind and heart” ultimately we will create a life that is open and loving. What we are willing to mindfully cultivate in our lives will shape us and everything that we do. This is why I feel that it is critical to engage in strategic and abundant thinking so that we can create and cultivate the life and congregation of our dreams.

With this in mind I have been working with the Board of Trustees and your Stewardship team to imagine what First Parish would look like if we were fully funded with resources to spare. What would our weekly programming offer, how might our facilities change and what would our members be focusing on? When we think strategically about our future it is critically important for us to think towards a culture of abundance instead of scarcity because ultimately we create what we imagine. We can even find this in basic ways, for example, if we wake up in the morning saying to ourselves, “I feel tired and burned out” guess what happens… We are tired and burned out. If we go to bed believing that we will “fall right to sleep and wake up rested” the chances are that we will do just that. The key to this practice of abundant thinking is to realize that our thoughts are far more powerful that we can possibly imagine.

What you think and how you think matters. This is why on Saturday, March 8th I want you to come to the seminar that we have planned on thinking abundantly. Many of you believe that this is all about strategic planning, which is half true, but it is also about taking note of how we each think. How and what we feel about First Parish is important but even more important is what our assumptions are.

In this daylong session, with lunch provided, we will investigate our assumptions individually and as a congregation. Our collective imaginings will enable us to understand how we have created the congregation that we are and how we can mindfully and strategically create our future. I realize that we are all busy, now there is an affirmation that can be overbearing at times, but I need for all of the members and friends to attend this session. I cannot steer the USS First Parish without you and this is a critical moment to clear the decks and fully participate.

I have seen how you, the members and friends, have evolved as individuals and as a congregation in the short time that we have been together. It is palpable how re-energized and excited you all are about the community that we are working to create. The goals and tasks that we will endeavor to raise up over the next couple of months will be culled from your dreams. We will build a plan and our goal is to vote on this plan at our annual meeting in June. This plan will include your lists of projects, events and beloved traditions, it will be a living plan that will continue to evolve as we do.

I have dubbed March the month of abundance as we are about to embark on a journey that will begin with the sharing our dreams, continue with the annual canvass to garner renewed volunteer and financial support and end on the 30th with my installation as your 44th minister! Let us venture into this month feeling joyful for all the bounty and blessings that we have in this life! Be joyful for moments without pain, for a sunny day in the midst of a bounty of snow and for a community that truly cares about who you are and what you believe.

Peace and much love,

Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

I believe one of the greatest joys from being in community is the magic of collaboration. Something magic is created when two or more people come together to work on a shared project. I have been a part of two stories this month that highlighted the magic of collaboration.

The first was on Youth Sunday early in February. I loved how so many of our youth contributed a part to the service. While some of the contributions might have seemed small, together they created a magnificent worship service. Three of our teens wrote a reflection on the theme of “how do you know the choices you make in life are the right ones.” Each individually was thoughtful and inspiring, but hearing them together was incredible. There was a synchronicity and power in their collective sharing that left me filled with awe and gratitude.

A few weeks later, I met with Alorie Parkhill to continue planning our “theatrical worship service” coming up on March 16th. This service is so different from anything I’ve done before in worship. It’s far out of the box of traditional multigenerational worship and it’s been exciting to plan it with Alorie. Alorie has been working with our multigenerational group of actors in the short play “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and I have been developing a skit with some of our kids called “Who Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up,” and it was time for us to plan the service itself. While the play and the skit will be in the service, Alorie and I still needed to weave and create the service. I was sparked with energy and inspiration as Alorie and I selected readings, music, and planned some amazing moments for the service. I was so grateful to Alorie as we worked together in sync creating something so much more special than either of us could have ever created by ourselves. It promises to be powerful, meaningful, and another perfect example of the magic of collaboration.

Together, the First Parish community can and often does create beautiful energy. With the annual Stewardship Season here, I invite you to remember this spirit of collaboration as you consider how much you will pledge to First Parish for the coming year. Your generous contributions do come together to insure that First Parish continues to grow and thrive.

Blessed be. Roberta

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Religious Exploration NEWS

Career Transitions Support Group starting

career transition2Upon hearing the news that Roberta is transitioning to a new career, several First Parish people approached her expressing interest in creating a short-term support group to share our journies as we prepare, plan, and transition in our careers. Contact Roberta today at if you are interested in joining us and let her know if Tuesday afternoons, Tuesday evenings, Wednesday mornings, or Wednesday evenings would be the best meeting time for you.

March 16 “Becoming a Person”  A Multigenerational Theatrical Worship Service

By Alorie Parkhill and Roberta Altamari — People of all ages are invited to join us for this exciting service that is very different from anything we’ve done before in worship. The service will include a multigenerational group of actors performing the short play “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” some of our kids sharing a skit called “Who Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up,” and fabulous music, dancing, monologues, readings, and more. It promises to be powerful, meaningful, and unforgettable!

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stewardship logo 2014Pledge Campaign underway

Every year around this time members and friends are asked to make a commitment to First Parish of Sudbury’s financial future.

On March 2 the Stewardship Team officially launched the 2014 Pledge Campaign which will enable our Board of Trustees and our Finance Committee to plan our budget for the coming year. The success of the campaign in part determines how big our vision can be next year.

More than 75% of our budget comes from pledges

Promising to contribute money is an important way our members support our community and our shared vision. More than 75% of our annual operating budget comes from our annual pledge drive. Without your generosity we cannot pay our staff, heat our building, fund our outreach to the community, or even plow our parking lot.

How will we spend our money?

The Board of Trustees’ financial vision for next year includes the following key initiatives, among others: close our budget gap, provide salary increases to our staff, fund our website, increase our Living Our Faith outreach, and contribute our fair share dues to the UUA and to our district.

These are the basics for keeping First Parish of Sudbury vibrant, but what else might we do if we had the funds? If you believe, as we do, that our world NEEDS the values and connections fostered by Unitarian Universalist congregations like ours, then please, let your checkbook speak of your commitment.

Time and Talent

Volunteers are also crucial to the vitality of First Parish of Sudbury; they are the backbone of our community. Volunteering is another way to deepen your connection to the people here and to live your values. This year you can indicate on the back of your Pledge Card how you’d like to participate.

IMPORTANT DATES

You  have already received your Pledge Packet with information about the Pledge Drive and about First Parish of Sudbury’s financial situation.

The Stewardship Team is sponsoring one more financial forum where you can get details about First Parish of Sudbury’s budget, financial health, and the budgeting process.

Soon you will be contacted by a Steward who can answer questions about pledging.

March 9 – Finance 101 at 7 pm in the Brackett Room.

March 23 – Pledges are due so that FinCom can begin planning the 2014-2015 budget. If at all possible, please have your pledge finalized by this date.

June 1 – Annual Meeting where we vote on our budget.

On behalf of the Stewardship Team,

Thanks!

– Susan Stocker and Sheila Murphy

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fplogoJoin us in creating a vision for First Parish!

Rev. Marjorie and the Trustees warmly invite you to join us on Saturday, March 8th, for the second step in creating a Five Year Vision and Strategic Plan for First Parish. The first step was a workshop with the Trustees on January 11th. Della Hughes will be our facilitator.

What are your dreams for First Parish – dreams and ideas for worship, for educating our children and engaging our youth, for living our faith inside and outside the meetinghouse walls, for lifespan exploration, for creating a beautiful space inside and out of our historic building, for spreading the news about the beloved community of First Parish. We want to all of these dreams – and more – to be part of the conversation on Saturday.

We’ll begin at 9:00 with bagels, juice, and coffee and the workshop will end at 3:00. A delicious lunch of soups, rolls, and dessert will be served. If you’re not able to attend the entire session, please feel free to join us for as much time as possible. Your dreams and ideas are an important part of the vision!

Childcare is available – please email us at by 7:00 PM on Thursday with the ages of your children so we can plan activities. Please put “Saturday Child Care” in the subject line of your email.

Following the workshop, Rev. Marjorie, the Trustees, and Della Hughes will follow through to incorporate our ideas into a coherent plan for the future.

We are fortunate to have Della as our facilitator. In addition to being a member of our congregation, she is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the Center for Youth and Communities of the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She has worked as an evaluation and learning partner over the past four years with UUA leadership and for three UUA initiatives designed to assist congregations become strong and vibrant as they live out their missions.

We hope you will join us for this engaging and fun workshop!

 

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Join the Celebration!

You are Warmly Invited to attend the

Installation of Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

as First Parish of Sudbury UU’s 44th minister

Date: Sunday, March 30

Time: 3:30pm

In our sanctuary with reception

to follow in the Parish Hall

 Last April we called Rev. Matty to be our new minister. Do you remember how exciting it was to be an active part of deciding the future for our congregation? Now she will be formally installed as our 44th minister, continuing the ministry of this parish that started nearly 375 years ago in 1640. The service will be filled with tradition and ceremony, emotion and connection. Representatives from our national and regional organizations (the UUA and the Mass Bay District) will participate as will former First Parish ministers, many UU ministers and local clergy; all providing support and witness as we continue the ministry of this congregation into the future with Rev. Matty. If the congregational vote energized you last spring, this service will deepen your bonds to this congregation and its ministry. So, please join us for the service; it is not to be missed! (child care will be available)

One of the great gifts of our community is that everyone is willing to offer a helping hand. Please join us in helping to make this a memorable occasion!

• If you are interested in helping as an usher or greeter, contact Ginny Doxsey.

• If you can help with the reception (set up, prep, serving, and/or clean up), contact Leslie Lowe.

• Carolyn L is coordinating artwork by First Parish artists for display during that day; please contact her if you have something to share.

• If you have any general questions, contact Fran Sharp, Liz Rust or Ginny Doxsey, who are helping Marjorie to coordinate the installation.

As we get closer to the date, we will have some more specific requests for all you bakers and cooks!

Right now we do have a request for one or two portable coat racks (for the guest ministers to hang their robes and coats). Please contact Ginny Doxsey if you have one to share.

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Rob Kinslow to preach at Worship March 30

darknessDon’t Be Afraid of the Dark—or Anything Else

For many of us, the dark was the first thing we were truly afraid of. But as with much of the unknown, darkness can become far less intimidating once we become more familiar with it. On Sunday, March 30, First Parish of Sudbury will explore the lighter side of darkness and fear when it welcomes to the pulpit Rob Kinslow, a member of First Parish and second-year seminarian at Andover Newton Theological School. Kinslow will lead a service called “Sweet Darkness” in which he will suggest ways to overcome doubt, fear and regret. The service begins at 10 a.m. and is open to all.

“In one of my favorite poems there is a line, ‘Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you,’” Kinslow said. “Our fears and regrets can make us feel small and outmatched in the world, but I really believe we can shift our thinking, and that whatever is making us feel small can actually become a small thing we no longer fear.”

Kinslow is a senior strategist specializing in medical marketing for KHJ Brand Activation in Boston. His blog, “Brand and Beyond,” appears regularly at www.massdevice.com. He is pursuing a master’s in divinity at Andover Newton in Newton.

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Living Our Faith

WOW!  Lots has been happening and much is planned for Living Our Faith activities focusing on Food and Water:

Open Table Maynard—On the fourth Monday of every month since October for about two and a half hours, 6-8 First Parishioners have been helping in the pantry by either hosting/helping guests with their shopping or helping to restock the shelves after the shopping is over.  So far 17 of us have helped out; many on more than one occasion.  Volunteers have all remarked that it is easy, fun, rewarding work and that they are grateful to have the opportunity to help their Metrowest neighbors in such a simple but meaningful way.  Would you like to join us on an occasional or ongoing basis?  Contact Ginny Doxsey at for more information.

Ethical Eating Discussion Group— We meet monthly on the 2nd Thursday.  Please join us on March 13 at 6:30 for a presentation from Whole Foods Market on their philosophy and strategies that have been so successful.  All are welcome! 

Wells in CambodiaThe youth raised $349 through a delicious and very successful holiday bake sale that helped to build a well to bring clean drinking water to villagers in Cambodia.

Family Promise Metrowest—In January, four adults and six youth from First Parish got trained to be volunteers for Family Promise Metrowest, an interfaith program supporting local families who are homeless.  In February, our Youth Group cooked dinner for the families and then some of our trained youth volunteered one Sunday night playing with the children.

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NEW INITIATIVES FOR THE SPRING:

Please join us in all of them!  If you have any questions about Living Our Faith activities, you can contact Sheila Murphy, Liz Rust or Ginny Doxsey or simply send an email to us:  .

habitatHabitat For Humanity—We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help with the new house going up on Stonebridge Road in Wayland.  Our support for the Sudbury house which we worked on in 2008 was fantastic.  Join us for our Build Day on June 14.     If you’re interested in joining the building team, please send us an email:  .

First Parish will also make a monetary donation to Habitat that enables them to purchase supplies for the house we will be helping to build. On Sunday, March 9, we will share our morning offering with Habitat for this project. Two ways to help – contribute to the offering on March 9 and join us in building on June 14!

toothbrush and pasteSudbury Food Pantry—March is the month to help our neighbors right here in Sudbury and surrounding towns.   The Pantry is now part of the Greater Boston Food Bank’s Coop program and can get many grocery items at significantly reduced prices.  But there are still items that families need which are not available at the discount prices.  Please help us by bringing in items each Sunday of the month through March 23 when we will count up and box up our collection for delivery the next morning.  dog and cat

Here’s what’s needed:

  • Toothbrushes (individually packaged or in a large package with each brush individually sealed)
  • Toothpaste
  • Facial tissue
  • Pet Food—cans or dry, don’t forget about the faithful friends!

The collection bin is now in the Parish Hall, just by the doorway to the sanctuary.

Blue Revolution—Discussions on April 6 at 11:45 or April 8 at 7:00

blue revolutionPlease join us for a discussion of Cynthia Barnett’s provocative book titled, Blue Revolution, Unmaking America’s Water Crisis.  Read the book this month and come share your thoughts and ideas.

Published by our own Beacon Press, this 250 page book is “the first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America.  Americans see water as abundant and cheap: we turn on the faucet and out it gushes, for less than a penny a gallon. We use more water than any other culture in the world, much to quench what’s now our largest crop—the lawn. Yet most Americans cannot name the river or aquifer that flows to our taps, irrigates our food, and produces our electricity. And most don’t realize these freshwater sources are in deep trouble.”

SAVE THE DATE—Sunday May 4—WALK FOR HUNGER

PrintThis year we are going to have a congregation-wide focus on the Walk For Hunger.  There will be room for walkers, rest-stop helpers, drivers, relay team participants.  We want EVERYONE to get involved in this activity as our year of focus on water and food projects draws to a close.  Stay tuned for more details of group activities and opportunities to participate.  In the meantime, contact Liz Rust at if you have any questions or ideas.

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From Your Faith In Action Team

10 Volunteers sought for a reading of “PROJECT UNSPEAKABLE” at First Parish of Sudbury

At the reading, ten people will take on characters and read their parts (no memorizing). The organizational meeting will be April 13 in the Library and the actual reading will be April 27 in the Brackett Room, each starting about 11:30 am. The April 13th session should take less than an hour, and the April 27 session should take a little more than two hours (about three if we decide we want to discuss the play).

The reading was inspired by James Douglass’ “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters.” Although it is in the JFK assassination conspiracy tradition, it has a religious and pacifist sensibility. It argues that John F. Kennedy was killed at a moment when he was profoundly turning toward peace, not dissimilar to the arguments in Robert Kennedy Jr.’s piece in Rolling Stone. While the play raises more questions than it answers, it argues that this turning angered cold warriors and the national security state, providing fertile ground for assassination. And it refers also to the assassinations of Martin Luther King. Jr. and Malcolm X.  Please tell Judy at soon if you want to participate.

Register now for Saturday, March 8 Stop Mass Incarceration Workshop at First Parish UU of Wakefield, 326 Main Street, Wakefield from 10:30-2;30. Pre-register at ">.

Partakers. the organization that bridges the divide that separates those inside and outside of prison invites us to see and discuss “The Last Graduation—the Rise and Fall of College Programs in Prison,” 7-9pm, March 27, in the Sperry Room at Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge.

Coalition for the Homeless Forum,  2-4 pm, Sunday, March 30 with Byron Rushing as keynote speaker, 80 Academy Street, Arlington.

Literacy Unlimited is looking for tutors.  Contact Anne O’Connell,Coordinator, Literacy United, at Framingham Public Library, 49 Lexington Street, Framingham, MA 01702 if you would like to tutor adults in English as a second language, basic literacy or GED preparation.

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Welcoming Congregation Committee News

rainbow flag nost patricks dayLGBT Groups and Veterans are barred once again from walking in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston  and so will match in the welcoming and inclusive Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, that follows the first parade on the same parade route, organized by Veterans For Peace. “Some day these walls of exclusion and division will come tumbling down, said Carisa Cunningham, the Director of Public Affairs for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). It will be a proud day for the City of Boston when one’s sexual orientation is not a litmus test for who can participate in a parade.” Boston’s Mayor Walsh, as his predecessor before him, has announced that he will not walk in the traditional parade because of the parade’s exclusionary practices.  For more details, go to smedleyvfp.org

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From UU Animal Ministry

chicken factoryDid you know?  Animals on factory farms have no protection from treatment that would be illegal if inflicted on cats or dogs: hens crowded in spaces the width of a file drawer, breeding pigs confined their entire lives in a cage so small they can’t even turn around, and worse. The question is not “Can they reason?” but “Can they suffer?’  Unitarian Universalists share a long history of compassion for the voiceless and most vulnerable.  Henry Bergh founded the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Clara Barton, Albert Schweitzer, and Jeremy Bentham were all UU vegetarians.  Learn more; visit UU Animal Ministry at uuam.org

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One time request for help from Ginny “Hopalong” Doxsey

Can you pick up some hospitality supplies from BJs or Costco in the next few weeks?  I usually keep up with stocking the kitchen and the Commons with various paper goods and hospitality supplies for coffee hour, potlucks, and various congregation events. Lately we’ve had great turn out for these events but as a result, the supplies have dwindled.  I’ve just had foot surgery and while I’m recovering nicely, I’ll be using crutches for at least the next 4 weeks, which means that I can’t do the shopping.  I’ll provide you with the list of what’s needed and the method for reimbursement, you just need to do the legwork!  Give me a call (508-877-0506) or send me an email (), if you can help. Thanks!

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March 8 Coffee House on the Rocky Plain

musical notesMusic, music, music and great food to boot! Mark your calendar for the March 8th Coffee House. Featured performers are Boomer Folk (you heard them here Nov. 2012) and Daisy Flowerchild and the Leftovers. They’ll be singing 60’s rock and folk music. Homemade cakes, pies and other gastronomic wonders will be available. Come early to settle in at your favorite table or wing chair.  Doors open 6:30pm for tickets and refreshments.  Music begins at 7pm.  $12 general admission, $8 students, $4 children under 12.  Benefits First Parish Sudbury and Music School in Cusco, Peru.

For information on the artists: Boomer Folk – http://www.perrydesmond-davies.com ; Daisy Flowerchild – http://elizabethmandrioli.com/two-cat-folk/

For more information on the Coffee House – http://fpsudbury.org/coffeehouse or contact Leslie Lowe.

The Coffee House on the Rocky Plain is dedicated to showcasing emerging local musical talent.

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Calling all bakers!

Donations of home baked goods needed for two First Parish Sudbury Events.  Are you a baker? Can you bake for the Coffee House on the Rocky Plain on Saturday March 8? We need a fruit pie and a cake.

Two weeks later on Saturday March 22, FPS is opening its doors for a town-wide English Country Dance to help celebrate Sudbury’s 375th anniversary. The refreshments will include “1639 Celebration Dance’ punch, a non-alcoholic punch, and desserts. We need cookies, bar cookies, brownies, quick breads, and single layer cakes.

Please contact Leslie Lowe at if you can offer your culinary delights for either of these events. Thank you.

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Bohm Dialogue Continues at Religious Exploration Salon March 16

The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics. Last month we tried (and liked) a new format called Bohm Dialogue and we considered the one word topic “Justice“. From Wikipedia:

Bohm Dialogue … is a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding. The purpose is to solve the communication crises that face society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness. It utilizes a theoretical understanding of the way thoughts relate to universal reality. It is named after physicist David Bohm who originally proposed this form of dialogue.

(see more details about how Dialogue works in our February article).

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic (TBA in the 3/14 ENEWS) beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/feelings/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute. Our next meeting will be on March 16th at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising for more information.

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“4th” Tuesday Lunch on the 3rd Tuesday this month–March 18

soupCome have Lunch with Lulu and be informed and entertained!

Bring your lunch and a friend or two to the Commons on Tuesday, March 18 at Noon for a discussion by Lulu Cash.  Communication is often tricky in the best of situations. The “Cash Communication System” attempts to offer tools to navigate these waters. The system is based on Lulu’s theatrical experience and educational research. Opera and theater offer us surprising lessons, as we’ll see on the 18th.  [break-wrap]?

Come Learn English Country Dance

ECD_20140322.pagesAs Sudbury celebrates its 375th anniversary, ever wonder how early Sudburyans kicked out the jams on Saturday nights? Here’s your chance. Come kick up your heels at an English Country Dance at First Parish on Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. You don’t need to know the first thing about dancing and all you need to bring besides a willingness to learn is a comfortable pair of shoes (no high heels, please). Admission is $10 and includes light refreshments, “1639 Celebration Dance” punch and non-alcoholic punch.

Each dance will be taught by Sudbury resident and Dance Master Tom Kruskal. Beginners and singles are most welcome. Kruskal will be accompanied by Jean Monroe on piano and Marc Vilian on recorder and percussion. Doors open at 7 p.m., First Dance starts at 7:30 and Last Dance starts 9:30.

“English country dances were a popular form of social entertainment in Sudbury’s early days,” Kruskal said. “The dances were easy to learn and the music was simple but spirited. Our March 22 event will bring folks back to an earlier time when simple joys were celebrated together in community and people went home happy.”

Fancy dress and party shoes are encouraged, but please, no high heels.

For more info please contact Jan Hardenbergh – , Tom Kruskal – , Leslie Lowe – , or Bettie Rose –

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Women’s Alliance News

femclipUrgent: Register NOW for the Women’s Alliance Retreat, April 23-25 at Rolling Ridge.

Now is the time to send in your registration! We must commit to a minimum number of attendees by March 12. We arrive Friday evening and stay through Sunday lunch. Saturday and Sunday mornings we have program, but there is ample time for personal retreat, a massage, walks in the woods, along the shore or through the labyrinths, quiet meditation and reading, making music, or whatever makes you feel renewed. This is a great weekend of spiritual retreat, relaxing and getting to know each other better. The registration form is on the lobby table and at this link:

http://fpsudbury.org/about-us/committees-and-groups/womens-alliance/womens-alliance-annual-retreat/

You may send your registration to the address on the form or leave it in the Alliance folder in the workroom. Scholarships are available in complete confidence from Alliance Treasurer Carolyn L.

Alliance Rummage Sale is April 5.  Setup starts April 2

Starting sorting and saving your still clean and usable house goods and clothing for our annual sale. Remember: If the item’s condition is such that you wouldn’t want anyone to know you donated it, then it’s not suitable for the sale. Items can be left In the Parish Hall Wednesday-Friday, April 2-4. The Klureza’s shed will be available for receiving items before then – but not until the snow melts enough to make it accessible.

Peg Espinola is accepting volunteers for ALL positions, including set-up before the sale, check-in, check-out, monitoring and cleanup the day of the sale. We need someone to run the “Boutique” which handles items too valuable or too large to go in the $5 bags. This is the area, located outside if the weather permits, run wonderfully for years by Bev and Donna, who are unavailable this year. To volunteer, or for further information, contact Peg at or leave a message on her phone.

Alliance Meeting March 23 – 5:30 potluck in the Commons – Women and Our Finance as we Age

All who identify as women of the church are invited to join us for our monthly gathering. Our program this month, by Carolyn L., will be an overview of issues and strategies for women, with an emphasis on retirement needs, learning some basic things for which to be mindful, and managing on one’s own if previously another person has taken care of “everything.” Carolyn is NOT a licensed professional; this is friendly basics from someone with lots of experience and nothing to sell. Bring any dish, or just come. We always have a great time and usually more than enough food.

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Caribbean Cantina! The First Parish of Sudbury 2014 Service Auction Saturday, April 12

BN6662Our annual service auction is just around the corner. On Saturday, April 12th at 6:00 pm, the parish hall will be transformed into a tropical paradise filled with music, food, lots of auction items to bid on, and your First Parish friends!

There are many ways to get involved in what is sure to be a spectacularly fun event.

First, start thinking about items to donate! You could host a dinner party, or make a gift basket. Bake a cake, or donate a week or weekend at your vacation home. Provide computer support, or lead a hike or kayak trip. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Next, volunteer! You could help solicit and follow up on vendor donations, help with set up and decorating, or help prepare and serve food the night of the auction. Helping out behind the scenes is a great opportunity to support the auction while getting to know your fellow parishioners a bit better.

Look for Erin or Liz Llewellyn during coffee hour to see how you can get involved. You can also call or email: or 978-897-4163.

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solar illustrationTree Removal/ Replacement and Solar Collectors on First Parish of Sudbury?

A report from the Buildings & Grounds and Landscape Committees

The Landscape and Buildings & Grounds Committees wish to inform you that some dramatic tree work is scheduled for Saturday March 15, weather permitting. (This was originally scheduled for February 8 but there was too much snow on the ground.) Five very tall white pine trees and 3 additional maples in the area around the playground have been determined to be either too close to the building, poorly placed, prone to disease, or a serious risk to people and buildings during storms with high winds. A plan has been developed to replace these trees with more appropriately placed plantings, and ones that would allow any future plan for solar panels on the Atkinson Wing roof to be fully effective. We want to reassure everyone that the amazing Beech tree and Alliance Dogwood will remain, and that we understand removing trees can sometimes feel like losing friends, but it is sometimes necessary in landscape planning.

Below this article you will see the Planting Plan for Screening Atkinson Wing, by Deborah Kruskal, which shows the approximate location and type of trees to be planted sometime this year.  The plan is also at this link (Trees, First Parish West Side.Revised.4=30, 2-24-2014 ), and posted on the Landscape bulletin board in the Parish Hall.  Since the First Parish of Sudbury is located in the Sudbury Center Historic District, the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission must review and hold public hearings on exterior changes we propose to make, especially on buildings, and we must obtain their approval for us to proceed.

Why are we planting new trees? In the early sixties when the first floor of the Atkinson Building was being constructed, young white pine trees in what is now the playground were planted. The pine trees (now very tall) were a requirement by the Town of Sudbury Historic Districts Commission to screen the non-historic-conforming first floor of the south side of the Atkinson Building from Hudson Road.

We have obtained a very good tree removal proposal that is around half the price of competitor tree firms. The breakdown is: $1,500 for cutting down and chipping the five tall pines plus $400 to grind their stumps down sometime in the future, and $850 for cutting down and chipping one spruce and three tall maples, plus removing the brush along the fence for truck access to the playground area. Vehicle access to the playground area is needed by the tree service firm and in the future for septic tank pumping and bringing in wood chips for the playground.

The tree work was not budgeted by the Buildings & Grounds and Landscape Committees for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. However the Buildings & Grounds Committee still have available funds in their Maintenance & Repairs line item for the pine trees. The Landscape Committee will cover the cost of the three maple tress from their Memorial Garden fund as two of them are in that garden. They are currently seeking funding from other sources for stump grinding.

The second reason for removing the trees is to prepare the area for the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Atkinson Building. We have three required steps, the first two of which are completed, to take with the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission in order to proceed, which are:

(1) Our first public hearing with the Commission was on September 20, 2012, “to consider an application for the installation of solar photovoltaic roof collectors.” During this 2012 hearing they were introduced to and shown how our proposed solar installation has been designed to comply with National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Design Guidelines for Solar Installations. The Commission gave us their approval but with the requirement they hold more public hearings to review/approve two things:

(2) On February 20, 2014, the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission held a public hearing “for a Certificate of Appropriateness for a planting plan to replace 5 white pines allowing for the installation of solar panels.” Deborah Kruskal presented the landscape planting plan. Rev. Marjorie Matty and Bruce Langmuir were present and verbally provided additional information to the Commission. After reviewing and discussing the plan for a short time, the Commission approved it unanimously.

(3) The physical appearance of the collectors must be reviewed and approved by the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission; the collectors should be black.

One of our steps is to review the solar photovoltaic (PV) collectors and their installation with our fellow parishioners of the First Parish of Sudbury. This article and the presentation of the planting plan is part of this step.

Solar PV collectors are proposed to go on the south facing roof (toward Hudson Road) of Atkinson/RE Wing (west wing of the buildings) and also on its west facing roof (side opposite Concord Road). The solar collectors/panels will essentially not be visible from the east side of our buildings, and due to trees and a low pitched roof, not highly visible from Hudson Road to the south. We expect over 25% of our electricity would come from the solar PV collectors, with the removal of the clump of five pine trees and one maple tree to the south of the Atkinson Wing.

We are currently waiting for an up-to-date solar PV system installation proposal from SunBug who will probably utilize high efficiency collector panels from SunPower which have a 25 year warranty. It is possible we will be offered a Power Purchase Agreement for installation of the system, which would have little or no cost to First Parish of Sudbury for the solar system. SunBug is now working with and looking for a financial investor(s) for our project to present us the best proposal.

We will continue to keep the members and friends of First Parish of Sudbury advised as we get more information. The membership will also be given the opportunity to vote on the solar system installation. The Board of Trustees have been kept informed of all the above.

Bruce Langmuir, Co-Chair Buildings & Ground Committeeplanting plan

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Seeking Coordinator for Weddings

Are you interested in helping to plan for weddings?  First Parish is sometimes the choice of a wedding venue for people who are not members of the congregation.  We are looking for someone who is interested in working with these couples to coordinate their service (a Facility Coordinator, not a wedding planner).  This is a paid position.  If you are interested, please contact Judy Handley at

Update from Your Town Center Task Force

road_construction_aheadThe First Parish Town Center Task Force has been the church’s liaison with the Town on the upcoming reconstruction of the roads in Sudbury Center. The Congregation last reviewed the plans in 2011 and voted to allow an easement over approximately 365 square feet of land on the southeast corner of our front lawn to allow the North South alignment.Following approval of the construction project at Town Meeting in May, 2013, the Town hired a new engineering firm to finalize the plans. There are two new plan options make several changes. The Town Center Task Force reviewed the new plans and note two key differences which affect First Parish. The first is that the shape of the corner will be changed to allow a wider turning radius. Both options narrow the pavement on the east side slightly. One plan widens the pavement on the south side. The other, with a single masthead, reduces it. Depending on which plan is selected, the new easement will either cover approximately 250 or 550 square feet of First Parish’s land. The second difference – with both plans – is that the new plan does not include burying the transformer in the side yard. The Town Engineer, Bill Place, informs us that NStar, which owns the transformer, has been unresponsive to attempts to discuss the issue, but, he continues to press the issue.The TCTF believes that, despite these changes, the new plan is essentially consistent with the 25% design plan dated October 25, 2011 which was approved by the congregation at the Special Meeting of November 20, 2011. Therefore, the TCTF does not intend to request another congregational vote. The new plan can be found here:http://fpsudbury.org/members/wp-content/uploads/bp-attachments/2058/CurrentTrafficPlan20140221.pdfhttp://fpsudbury.org/members/wp-content/uploads/bp-attachments/2058/Traffic-Plan-with-old-curbline.pdfThe members of the Town Center Task Force are Deborah Kruskal, Jan Hardenbergh, Marge Langmuir, Bruce Langmuir, Bridget Hanson, and Sherri Cline

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Our Pastoral Associates

Julia Dixon Eddy, Mary Ellen French, Heather Merrill, Fred Pryor, Paul Reising

In the event of a pastoral need, please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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March 23 Sudbury Opera Lovers Organization recital here

Karen Driscoll, Soprano; Sima Kustanovich, Piano and Special guest Juliana Anderson, Mezzo-soprano.

Free to members of Sudbury Opera Lovers; a $20 donation is requested from visitors and guests. All are welcome at 3:00 p.m. at First Parish of Sudbury.

April 6 in our Sanctuary – Reverend Edmund Brown’s Library: A Concert of a Puritan Minister’s Musical Collection

SAVE THE DATE!  As part of Sudbury’s and Wayland’s 375th Anniversary celebrations, the Sudbury Historical Society will present a concert celebrating the musical life of one of the founders and the first minister of the Sudbury Plantation, the Reverend Edmund Brown. He was known for being a good-standing Puritan minister and for being a wealthy citizen possessing the largest amount of property in the plantation. Surprisingly, he was also an amateur musician who travelled to the Sudbury Plantation with a bass viol and his library of 180 books, some of which were certainly music books. The concert attempts to recreate the music that the Reverend Brown likely played and heard performed on instruments just like he had. The selections are based on popular pieces for viols and church music in 16th and 17th century England featuring pieces by Byrd, Gibbons, Kirbye and more.

The concert will be performed on period instruments by four members of the Cambridge-based viol consort ‘Long and Away” with soprano Sarah Orlovsky.

The public is invited to come and enjoy this uniquely special concert on Sunday, April 6th at 3P.M. at the handicap accessible First Parish, Unitarian Universalist, Sudbury, 327 Concord Rd. General Admission is $20.

For more information visit: www.sudbury01776.org or www.wayland375.com

The program is supported in part by a grant from the Sudbury Cultural Council which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Unwanted Effects of Fragrances

surprise2Fragrances – even natural fragrances and essential oils – can trigger an exacerbation for people with asthma, migraine, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer/undergoing chemo, and other medical conditions.  It doesn’t matter if the person with this sensitivity likes the smell or not, if it causes them pain, breathing trouble, or other neurological difficulties. One person’s choice to wear a fragrance at an event may mean that another person may have to leave or suffer discomfort or even pain.  Please keep these facts in mind when you come to First Parish or any public place.  Thank you.  – –Submited by Donna Scalcione for all those who struggle with this sensitivity.

 

Emergency Closing Information

Find out if worship at First Parish is cancelled: (NOTE: For cancellation of other gatherings, contact the committee chair/group leader)

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 have an update.

CBS Boston website—Go to www.CBSBoston.com, click on “Weather” then “School Closings” for cancellation of Sunday worship service only.

By television—Tune in to WBZ-TV and watch the crawl at the bottom of the screen for cancellation of Sunday worship service only.

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Support First Parish on Amazon.com

If you start shopping by using one of the links below, at least 4% of what you spend will be given to First Parish. All you have to do is start by clicking on the link http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=firsparisudbu-20

There is also a link at the end of this newsletter, or visit fpsudbury.org and use the link on our homepage.  If you need help, Marc K will be happy to assist you.

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Local, District, Denominational News/Events reflecting UU values

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.

The New England Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society presents “Gender Identity in Children and Adolescents”  Saturday, March 1 from 8am to 1pm, MA Medical Society, Waltham. Register at www.neccap.com

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus in concert March 8 at the the First Parish Unitarian Universalist, 225 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA . Ticket info at ">

Brother Sun in concert at UU Reading March 29. $22 general admission, $20 seniors, students.  National touring artists Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway and Pat Wictor have made their mark as veteran touring singer-songwriters. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions.  Ticket information can be found at: www.uureading.org/concerts

Everyone is invited to celebrate the career of Marguerite Shaw, long time Music Director at First Religious Society in Carlisle, who is retiring.  Come join in the festivities at 27 School Street, Carlisle, MA on Sunday April 6 at 10:00 AM. For more information,email or call 978 944-8051.

Ron Cordes, a Unitarian Universalist in Bedford, MA, has created a six-DVD series tracing UU history from early Christianity through the present day. Newcomers and lifelong UUs will learn something from this wonderful resource, described in UU World as one of the most important video resources for teaching and learning UU history. For details and ordering information, go to http://www.uuworld.org/news/articles/290764.shtmlas 

The UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) is expanding! The College has added new experiential learning trips and new youth justice trainings. These programs will allow you and UUs of all ages, from all over the country, to be immersed in real hands-on experiences. Learn more at http://uucsj.org/february-2014-update/

To participate in a research study of parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender questioning  (GLBTQ) people, visit http://tinyurl.com/PFLAG

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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., March 26 for the issue of April 2

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.

AMAZON LINK: 

http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=firsparisudbu-20

Read More

Connector February 5 2014

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Newsletter

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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There is nothing like a beautiful sunset. Last week I found myself in Sedona Arizona watching the sun set against the red rock of the canyon walls. There is something in that moment when the colors blaze across the sky the pinks, reds, purples, and blues reflect in remarkable glory. There is something in that moment that compels me to hope and have faith about what will arrive, even though the sun sets and the cloak of darkness descends. The stars, they compel us to dream, to think beyond the warmth of the fire glow, to have faith that the sun will rise again and bring with it all of the opportunities that arrive with the dawn. This is what happens when I go on retreat; I wax poetically about life and how amazing it is even though at times it can feel daunting. Heraclitus, the pre-socratic Greek pioneer of wisdom, once shared that, “The only thing that is constant is change.” That is what I realized hiking in the red rock canyons, meditating, and watching the sun set…is that life is a gift and in that gift reside evolution, the stuff that makes our lives meaningful. Whether a change is minor or major the uncertainty, anxiety, and opportunities that come do, in fact, evolve our lives, expectations, and outcome.

I know that I am preaching to the choir per se. You, the friends and members of First Parish, have been through a lot of change over the last few years. You have had to think about your identity as a community, you have selected a search team and taken a year longer than expected to find a settled minister. I hope that you are able to see, at times, that not all change is difficult and, if it is challenging, that good things can come from the effort. You may be wondering why I am writing about change as an opportunity for growth so soon after returning from my time away. Because our congregation is about to face another staff change, Roberta Altamari, your Director of Religious Education, has forwarded me her resignation effective at the end of July. My initial reaction was sadness, Roberta is awesome, and it is disappointing to imagine losing her so soon after meeting her. However, as you will read in her column she feels called to seek other challenges and opportunities in her life. Change is inevitable and an important part of personal growth; thus I whole heartedly support anyone’s desire to follow his or her dreams. With that said I am still sad about Roberta’s news, and yet I am hopeful for her as she blazes a new path for herself. We all love you Roberta you can be certain of that!

The future for First Parish is bright; we have so much to look forward to as we imagine a community that is filled with energy and excitement. In February, I will work with Roberta to secure a reasonable job description and a list of her duties.  I will work with the Religious Education Committee to define the search for a new Director of Lifespan Religious Education (DRE) and I will work with the Board of Trustees to secure funding and commitment. February will be a time for us to imagine our future and then to strive to articulate our imaginings in March as we begin the process of fleshing out our strategic plan with goals and the tasks that will be required to achieve our dreams. Will it be easy? I am certain that we will face some challenges, but, as my mother always used to say, “everything worthwhile takes time and effort to realize.”

My friends, I look forward to the opportunities that will spring from the changes that are undoubtedly coming our way. This life is a guest house as Rumi, the thirteenth century Sufi poet taught. I turn to his wisdom everyday and hence I share it with you:

THE GUEST HOUSE

 

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

(Jelaluddin Rumi)

May we find moments of peace on this journey of discovery.

In Faith, Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

I am both sad and hope-filled to let you know that I will be resigning from my position as your religious educator at the end of my current contract (on July 31, 2014). My formal letter is below, but I wanted to share some of the thoughts I have been having about the decision. I think it was serendipitous that the group of women who won the auction prize of choosing my sermon topic for January 26 chose “Transitioning Gracefully” and then for the following Sunday, our teens chose to reflect on “how do we know that we are choosing the right life path.” Both of these topics are important for me to process as I make this career decision and look ahead to my next steps. They might be for you as well.

As a religious educator, I have often been challenged by the expectation that I should keep professional boundaries. How can someone work for six years with so many wonderful people and not personally connect with the individual members of the congregation and with the community spirit as a whole? As I said in my letter, I am extremely grateful to all of you for the many wonderful memories that we have shared together. Tears have already been shed and will be shed many more times as I say goodbye. When I speak about seeking my next “calling,” please know that I still adore the members, children, and teens of First Parish … it is the work itself that I have lost the spark and commitment to.

I personally and professionally feel that all the stars have lined up to affirm this is the time for me to make this change. At home (for me) and in the First Parish ministry (for you), life is stable and can support this time of transition. There is plenty of time for all of us to process and make this transition gracefully. Change can be very scary, but it often leads us closer to our dreams. I am excited to start exploring my next career options. Will I start a business? Will I inquire about starting a Boston program similar to the New York program that has inspired our youth year after year? Will I find my next calling somewhere I am totally not expecting?

Once you grieve the loss some of you will feel, I hope that you can welcome this transition time as well. No religious educator is perfect, and you might want to consider what areas of my work are worth strengthening for the next chapter of religious education at First Parish of Sudbury. Do you want a religious educator who will spend more time beautifying the classrooms? Do you want a religious educator who is more talented at recruiting adults to help in the program? Do you want a religious educator who is energized and ready to go out into Sudbury and attract families with young children? These are just examples to illustrate that this time of transition can be a great opportunity to vision the religious education program of your dreams and seek out the professional that can lead the congregation there.

Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me discover and share some of my gifts! I give you my very best wishes as you continue to identify, affirm, deepen, and share widely your religious education program’s gifts!!

Blessed be. Roberta

 Dear Rev. Marjorie and the First Parish of Sudbury congregation:

 

I am writing to let you know that I am resigning from my position as the Director of Lifespan Religious Education as of July 31, 2014, the end of my current contract year. This decision came after much soul-searching and was not easy to make as I will sincerely miss the children, youth, and adults of First Parish.

 

While I will be very sad to say goodbye to you, this transition is a career change more than a job change. Religious education has been a wonderful job for me, but I am feeling ready and inspired to explore and embark on a new career. I hope that my next career strongly carries my “social justice” values into the world.

 

I truly appreciate the affirmation, love, and inspiring memories that I have shared with each of you over the past six years. You have all meant a great deal to me and I have loved working with the members of this community.

 

Peace and love,

Roberta

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Religious Exploration NEWS

Come Out for a Night of Awesome Fun!!

re column jan 8(1)On Saturday, February 8 from 6:30 to 8pm, join us for the “Diversity of Love Talent Show & Dessert Potluck” cosponsored by Youth Group & Welcoming Congregation Committee. All ages are welcome to come and show your talent (and/or watch others share their talent). Our theme is “The Diversity of Love.” There will be a prize for the act that best matches the theme. Please bring a dessert to share. [break-wrap]?

 

A Spirituality Series in Children’s Religious Education this month

peacefulendeavprsWe are pleased to announce two special religious education programs in February during regular RE time. On Sunday, February 9, Valerie will teach our kids about zentangles, the newest way to meditate while creating something unique. And then on Sunday, February 16, Roberta will lead an exploration about labyrinths. [break-wrap]?

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walter mittyWish list of props and costume accessories needed for the Walter Mitty multigenerational play

  • men’s tweed coats or jackets
  • a man’s fedora
  • woman’s tweed coat
  • woman’s pocketbook like ones used in the 1940-50’s
  • 1940-50’s style woman’s hat or beret
  • 2 or 3 stethoscopes
  • 2 US Naval officer caps or something similar
  • a German officer’s hat or a base hat that we can attach a German insignia to

We only need to borrow them for the dress rehearsal and performance on March 15 and 16. Everything will be returned after the performance.  Contact Leslie at or 978-443-5138.  Thanks for your interest and help.

Living Our Faith

 blue revolutionAs we find ways this year to live our faith through the topics of food and water, please join us for a discussion of Cynthia Barnett’s provocative book titled, Blue Revolution, Unmaking America’s Water Crisis.

Published by our own Beacon Press, this 250 page book is “the first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America. Americans see water as abundant and cheap: we turn on the faucet and out it gushes, for less than a penny a gallon. We use more water than any other culture in the world, much to quench what’s now our largest crop—the lawn. Yet most Americans cannot name the river or aquifer that flows to our taps, irrigates our food, and produces our electricity. And most don’t realize these freshwater sources are in deep trouble.”

The Boston Globe named it one of the 10 best science books of 2011.

Publishers Weekly says: “The book provides an eye-opening overview of the complexity of our water-use problems and offers optimistic but practical solutions.”

CWater-Droplet 2ome share your ideas, your reactions, your concerns, your suggestions on Sunday April 6 at 11:45 or on Tuesday April 8 at 7:00.

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From Your Faith In Action Team

Stop Mass Incarceration Workshop: Join the Jobs Not Jails Campaign

Saturday, February 8, from 10:30 to 2:30 at First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, 630 Mass Avenue (pre-register at <">>

We Submitted 32 Ballots for UUA Congregational Study/Action Issue

  • Income inequality came in first with 28 votes
  • Gun control came in second with 27 votes
  • Securing our democracy came in third with 16 votes
  • Ending the war on terror came in fourth with 15 votes
  • Empowerment age and ability and palestine/israel tied. With 10 votes each.

The four issues receiving the most votes from all UU congregations will be voted on at General Assembly, and the one receiving the most votes there will be the study/action issue that UU congregations will be asked to pursue during the next two years.

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Sunday, March 2 for Forum on Family Homelessness

With a Record Number of Homeless Families in Motels and a Housing Shortage, What Can We Do?   Tenth Annual Forum on Family Homelessness, Sunday, March 2, from 3:00-5:00 PM at Trinitarian Congregational Church, 54 Walden St., Concord.

Sponsors: Advocacy Network to End Family Homelessness & Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries. Co-sponsors: Episcopal City Mission, Citizens Housing & Planning Association (CHAPA), Mass Coalition for the Homeless, Promise the Children, & UU Mass Action Network

Share the Plate February 9 with Lovelane

Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program is a non-profit therapeutic horseback riding program in Lincoln, MA that has a dramatic impact on the physical and cognitive development of children with special needs through its holistic approach and unique, supportive environment.

We are sharing the plate with them in honor of Patrick Sarazen’s dedication ceremony February 9.  Patrick’s brother Truman has been riding at Lovelane for almost two years now, and in that short period of time his family has seen a huge improvement in his strength and coordination as well as his confidence.  He is greater every week with smiles and support, and the Sarazen Family  is so thankful that he has the opportunity to ride there.  Please give as much as you can on February 9.

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Share the Plate February 16 with Open Table Maynard

Open Table Maynard offers weekly supper and pantry services to as many as 130 guests a week. Founded in 1989, we provide a welcoming community of support and assistance to families and individuals, including many seniors and children – no questions asked. Our recent statistics reflect that demand for our services is going up due to both cuts in the food stamps program (SNAP) and Open Table becoming more known in the community. In 2013 we serviced over 13,000 guests.

We receive 4,000 lbs of food each week from the Greater Boston Food Bank, and we rely heavily on donations from individuals and organizations to pay for those supplies. We appreciate our partnership with First Parish of Sudbury and thank you for your continued support.

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From UU Animal Ministry

dog's willSpeciesism (spēshēz ́izm) n.  (1.) the irrational belief that other living beings exist solely for the pleasure and profit of Homo sapiens, and (2.)  the industrialized agricultural system that reduces conscious creatures to mere cash commodities and denies that other forms of life possess independent worth.

Prejudice takes many forms. All of them are ugly.

Every day, millions of animals are victimized in factory farms:

  • Caged and confined in overcrowded conditions,
  • Separated from their young,
  • Never seeing the sunlight,
  • Brutally slaughtered.

They’re sensitive, social, intelligent creatures. Why should they be sentenced to such suffering?

Affirming the Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Being – Unitarian Universalists for Ethical Treatment of Animals.  Visit www.uuam.org

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Welcowcc logoming Congregation Committee News

Our congregation renewed its sponsorship of WAGLY

WAGLY is the West Suburban Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth and allied high school youth.  With a donation of $100 for sponsorship and $30 for program supplies your Welcoming Congregation Committee fulfilled our obligations for 2013-2104.  Other UU congregations that also sponsor WAGLY include Braintree, Concord, Newton, Sharon, Sherborn, Wayland, Weston, and Wellesley Hills where WAGLY meets weekly for social and support opportunities.  For details about this great program go to wagly.org

Your retired electronic devices are wanted to help provide support, education and advocacy for GLBT persons and their families.

Did you get a newlaptop, smartphone, iPad, video game console, or e-reader this holiday season? Do you wonder what to do with your old stuff?   Turn that e-Waste into charitable giving for Greater Boston PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning persons) and Upcycle them! Upcycling is 100% data destruction guaranteed, tax deductible, and free to ship!  It’s easy. Call 617-444-8800 or go to this link for more information: https://www.causesinternational.com/charity/gb-pflag   Thank You!

U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriages Despite State Stance

READ MORE  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/11/us/politics/same-sex-marriage-utah.html?emc=edit_na_20140110

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Book Collection for Fitchburg Kids

kids booksThe Sudbury Public Schools and Sudbury Angels are asking for your help to bring much needed books to children in the Fitchburg Public School system, where there are over 300 homeless students and 70% of children come from low income families. The books will be used to restock classroom lending libraries. They’re asking for new or gently used books for kids pre-K to 8th grade. We’re putting a box in the church lobby until Wednesday, February 12.

If you have kids, please see if there are any books on their shelves that they’re done with. Used books are just as readable as new ones!  Nothing to donate? Pick up a favorite new book just for a needy kid.

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Living Abundantly ~ A message from your Stewardship Team

LOF Logo2This year at First Parish of Sudbury we have a lot to celebrate. In a few short weeks we will reaffirm our bond with our 44th minister, the Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty, with an installation ceremony. We can point with pride to our historic and beautiful meetinghouse that is home to our community. We can rejoice in our good fortune in having Roberta Altamari guiding and loving our children. Debra Morris-Bennett moves us with just the perfect accompaniment to our worship. And we are able to share our abundance and be agents for change in our community and in the wider world.

Indeed we are living abundantly.

And all of these wonderful things cost money. About $310,000 to be exact. Of which more than 70% comes from the generosity of members and friends of First Parish of Sudbury.

Over the next few weeks, the Stewardship Team will launch the 2014 Pledge Campaign which will enable our Board of Trustees and Finance Committee to plan our coming year. How successful the campaign is in part determines how big our vision can be next year. Our community needs everyone’s participation to thrive.

So please watch for more details from the Stewardship Team. We will educate you: how we spend our money, where our money comes from, how the budget choices are made. We will answer your questions and field any concerns. We will share the plans our Board hopes to fund.

And then we will ask you: how big is YOUR vision for First Parish?

– Susan Stocker, Stewardship Team

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Permission to Use Your Last Name?

If you do NOT want your last name or personal contact information used in the ENEWS and/or the Connector (our newsletter), please notify Donna Scalcione, Congregational Administrator, by phone at 978-443-2043 or by email at   You need do nothing if you agree to have your full name, home phone or email in these publications.  To have your last name removed (only the initial will be used) and personal contact data removed, you must notify the administrator by Feb. 10.

femclipWomen’s Alliance Meets Feb. 9

The next Women’s Alliance Meeting will be on the Sunday, February 9. It will be a Pot Luck in the Brackett Room at 5:30PM. Bring whatever you wish, or just come.

After the festivities we will have a brief business meeting to vote on the new By-Laws and Grant Procedure. Thanks and Congratulations to those who worked on them and made them, in my mind, so effective. Then we will have a Presentation on “ Women and Solitude” by June Hopkins.  In her talk she will discuss her personal reasons for researching this topic for her Master’s thesis and describe how solitude was necessary for other women, whom she discovered during this process. Solitude is important for many women at various times in their lives, but especially during times of transition and especially in the later years of life.  It promises to be a very enjoyable evening.

Don’t forget the Rummage Sale on April 5. I don’t know about you, but I have an eye on several things I haven’t worn for a year or more, and on other stuff which is just stuff and so should go. We will need volunteers for setup beginning Wednesday, April 2nd. Contact Peg Espinola for more information.

Please sign up for our weekend Retreat April 25th through April 27th at Rolling Ridge by sending the registration form to Carolyn L. You will find the registration form by clicking on “Registration Form” at this link:  http://fpsudbury.org/about-us/committees-and-groups/womens-alliance/womens-alliance-annual-retreat/

All who identify as women are warmly welcome to all Alliance events – newcomers, visitors, long-timers!

Betty Wright, President of the Women’s Alliance

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ethical eating 3Ethical Eating Group Continues Feb. 13

Come join us for the next Ethical Eating meeting on Thursday February 13 from 6:30-8:00 pm.

This group gets together to explore and share the positive aspects to ethical eating. From sharing local resources – where to buy locally produced foodstuffs to becoming more educated on how we can personally make a difference in the world we share together – this group is fun and lighthearted.

We start with cooking together (come at 6:30 for that part), and are committed to reading ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ by Barbara Kingsolver as a group, 70 pages per meeting.

In addition to the reading, for next meeting bring a recipe you have tried and liked and a personal goal related to food to share.

This is an open group, no previous attendance or food regimen necessary to participate.

We meet the second Thursday of the month. Feel free to email Liz Rust at for more information.

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Next Religious Exploration Salon is Feb. 16

The Religious Exploration Salon (REXplo) is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics.  In the past the Salon has mainly discussed particular books but for the February meeting of the Religious Exploration Salon we are going to try a new format called Bohm Dialogue and we will consider the one word topic “Justice“. From Wikipedia:

Bohm Dialogue (also known as Bohmian Dialogue or “Dialogue in the Spirit of David Bohm”) is a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding. The purpose is to solve the communication crises that face society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness. It utilizes a theoretical understanding of the way thoughts relate to universal reality. It is named after physicist David Bohm who originally proposed this form of dialogue.

 

Principles of Dialogue

  1. The group agrees that no group-level decisions will be made in the conversation. “…In the dialogue group we are not going to decide what to do about anything. This is crucial. Otherwise we are not free. We must have an empty space where we are not obliged to anything, nor to come to any conclusions, nor to say anything or not say anything. It’s open and free” (Bohm, “On Dialogue”, p. 18-19.)”
  2. Each individual agrees to suspend judgement in the conversation. (Specifically, if the individual hears an idea he doesn’t like, he does not attack that idea.) “…people in any group will bring to it assumptions, and as the group continues meeting, those assumptions will come up. What is called for is to suspend those assumptions, so that you neither carry them out nor suppress them. You don’t believe them, nor do you disbelieve them; you don’t judge them as good or bad…(Bohm, “On Dialogue”, p. 22.)”
  3. As these individuals “suspend judgement” they also simultaneously are as honest and transparent as possible. (Specifically, if the individual has a “good idea” that he might otherwise hold back from the group because it is too controversial, he will share that idea in this conversation.)
  4. Individuals in the conversation try to build on other individuals’ ideas in the conversation. (The group often comes up with ideas that are far beyond what any of the individuals thought possible before the conversation began.)

In practice this means that we will sit in a circle with a “talking stick” in the middle. Whoever feels moved to picks up the stick and says whatever they think or feel about the topic while everyone else listens attentively and with an open mind. When they finish they put the stick back in the middle and everyone quietly thinks about what was said for a while. After a while someone else picks up the stick and so on. It is OK to speak more than once or not at all. Unlike Chalice circles it is OK to reference what someone else has said, respectfully express contrasting thoughts/feelings, ask for clarification, etc. In fact it is great if participants can build on what was said before. At around 8:30pm we will end the Dialogue and we will group-evaluate the session on how well we stayed on topic, and adhered to the Bohm Dialogue principles.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic (“Justice”) beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/feelings/intuitions you have prepared listen, learn and contribute.  Our next meeting will be on February 16th at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

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Community and Hospitality Committee (CHC)

Quiche and Tell – February 23

Anyone who has come to First Parish of Sudbury more recently – or receives this Connector and wants to know more about Unitarian Universalism (UU) and First Parish – is invited to join Rev. Marjorie and the CHC on Sunday, February 23, at 11:45 in the Library off the Parish Hall for quiche and coffee or tea. This is the “quiche.” The “tell” is the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about UU and First Parish of Sudbury’s history, covenant, organization, and outreach.

Whether you are thinking about becoming a member or just want to be more informed, please plan to attend this program. If you need childcare, please contact the office (978-443-2043 or ) at least five (5) days in advance.

In-Home Dinners

In-Home Dinners. As so often in past years, the January In-Home Dinners were a warm spot in a cold month. The sharing, community and good food were enjoyed by about 80 people (including a Service Auction Dinner). Thank you to the hosts and hostesses who opened their homes for these small-group pot luck dinners. In-Home Dinners are a yearly event. If you didn’t participate, plan to next year around the same time of year. Watch for the notices late in the fall. These dinners are a great way to renew friendships and make new connections.

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Guest Preacher February 23

Catie Scudera is currently serving as the intern minister of Arlington Street Church in downtown Boston. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2012, during which time she served as the student minister of the Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, MA. Her other Unitarian Universalist connections include the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s Prison Letter-Writing Ministry and the Partner Church Council’s work in India. Before attending seminary, Catie lived in the Khasi Hills of northeast India for a year, working with local Unitarian leaders to found the A. Margaret Barr Children’s Village.  More details about the Feb. 23 service will be in the ENEWS of Feb. 21.

 

4th Tuesday Lunch February 25

soupThink – Choose – Share:  A Discussion on Health Care Options throughout Life

Bring your lunch and a friend and learn about palliative, comfort, and end-of-life care and Advance Care Planning resources.  Judy D has organized our February 25 luncheon presentation – a condensed version of the Health Care Forum presented by the League of Women Voters of Sudbury and The Parmenter Foundation at the Goodnow Library this past November. Judy will kick off the discussion and representatives from Parmenter Home Care and Hospice will make a presentation. There will be a time for questions and comments.

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Next Coffeehouse is March 8

dontforgetMark your calendar for the upcoming Coffee House on the Rocky Plain show on Sat March 8 at 7pm featuring Daisy Flowerchild and the Leftovers and Boomer Folk returning for a 2nd performance.  More details in the March newsletter. [break-wrap]?

English Country Dance March 22

Come Celebrate Sudbury’s 375th Year at the First Parish of Sudbury sponsored English Country Dance on Saturday, March 22nd at 7:30 PM. Tom Kruskal will teach each dance. Beginners and singles are most welcome. Tom will be accompanied by Jean Monroe on Piano and Marc Vilian, Recorder/Percussion. First Dance starts at 7:30. Last Dance starts 9:30. Our plan is to ask for a $5 suggested donation for the musicians. Light Refreshments will be offered. We are still in the planning phase and we would love a few more volunteers to help with the logistics. Please contact Jan Hardenbergh, , Tom Kruskal, , or Bettie Rose

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Save the Date: Rev. Marjorie’s Installation March 30

putthisonyourcalendarOn 3/30 at 3:30pm Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty will be installed as First Parish of Sudbury’s 44th minister. This gala event will include the ceremony in the sanctuary and a reception to follow in the Parish Hall. All members and friends of FPS are warmly invited to attend. Also attending will be area ministers and Marjorie’s friends and family. Mark your calendars and watch for more details coming soon. Contact us with any questions:  The planners: Ginny Doxsey, Liz Rust and Fran Sharp

(Interim) Committee on Ministry

This is a friendly update on the Interim Committee on Ministry (iCoM).

At the highest level, the purpose of the Committee on Ministry is to ensure a healthy and vibrant ministry at First Parish, seeking to understand, assess, support and advocate for a robust ministry throughout the context of congregational life.

And we take this mission to heart.

As is generally done, the CoM was formed from Search Committee members (Annmarie Allen, Jan Hardenbergh, Liz Rust, and Fran Sharp). Our primary goal this church year is to ensure Reverend Marjorie’s transition to First Parish of Sudbury is smooth.

The CoM meets monthly and takes up any business as required. Upcoming plans include presenting a formal charter with guidelines to the Trustees in February (you can see the draft charter on the iCoM bulletin board) and we will then perform an assessment of how the year has gone. In the spring, formation of the permanent CoM will commence in earnest. Aside from the minister, the Committee on Ministry consists of four members of the congregation, serving two-year terms, and membership is done by invitation by the Minister.

Please feel free to contact any of our members with any feedback or comments.

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image020People We Care About

Someone recently inquired about Harriet Ritchie, an older and long-time member of First Parish. Her daughter, Rebecca Cutting, has let us know that Harriet, who has had Alzheimers for many years, is living in a nursing home where she is receiving excellent care. Harriet perks up when she hears the familiar voice of a care-giver or her daughter, but would not be responsive to visits from old-time friends.

Patrick Sarazen, son of Kelly and Dan,  will be be dedicated and formally welcomed into our congregation during worship on February 9 – all are welcome to celebrate at social hour with the family.

Our Gratitude to…

thankyouTerry L for constantly completing a variety of repairs and for  installing an electrical outlet – the first step in getting heating cables for the gutter in the roof over the main entry so that ice dams do not form and then drip down to make hazardous walking conditions.  Thanks to Terry and Dave A who installed the cables and to Bruce L for his research and follow through with the vendors for this project.  Thanks also to Steve G for fixing the piano bench in the Commons, the Mahogeny table in the Parish Hall and the clock in the Brackett Room.

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Our Pastoral Associates

Julia Dixon Eddy, Mary Ellen French, Heather Merrill, Fred Pryor, Paul Reising

In the event of a pastoral need,

please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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New Email for Web Committee

Please update your contacts: To email the Web Committee use – their new email address.

 

Support First Parish on Amazon.com

amzn_assoc_gm-box-smile_139x33If you shop at Amazon by first using one of the links below, at least 4% of what you spend will be given to First Parish. All you have to do to start is click on the link http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=firsparisudbu-20 or http://tinyurl.com/amzfps

Make this into a bookmark or favorite in your web browser so you will always have the link on hand, or visit fpsudbury.org and use the link on our homepage.  If you need help, Marc K will be happy to assist you.

Emergency Closing Information

Find out if worship at First Parish is cancelled: (NOTE: For cancellation of other gatherings, contact the committee chair/group leader)

By phonecheck the recorded message at the First Parish number, 978-443-2043.

First Parish websiteGo to www.fpsudbury.org. The front page will have an update.

CBS Boston websiteGo to www.CBSBoston.com, click on “Weather” then “School Closings” for cancellation of Sunday worship service only.

By televisionTune in to WBZ-TV and watch the crawl at the bottom of the screen for cancellation of Sunday worship service only.

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Local, District, Denominational News/Events reflecting UU values

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.

With Valentine’s Day and Share the Love Sunday just around the corner, give gifts of gratitude and love from your UUA Bookstore!  See the variety of gifts at">

District Workshop Speaking of Class with Meck Groot, Justice Ministries Coordinator, March 22 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the UU Church of Worcester, 90 Holden Street, Worcester, MA.  Because so many believe the United States to be an egalitarian society, the subject of class tends to be confusing and disquieting. It’s often easier not to bring it up. However, class dynamics impact us at home, at work, in our congregations, and in the public square. They determine much about how we do church: from worship to administration, religious education to social justice, congregational life to buildings and grounds.

Our purpose in this workshop is not to “get a handle on the subject” – though we may learn we need to. Our goal is to explore together how to engage conversations on class in UU settings in ways that build Beloved Community. We will, therefore,  identify, together, what we need for ourselves and from each other in order to have meaningful and authentic conversations about and across class; practice creating the conditions for and engaging in such conversation; consider opportunities for facilitating conversations on class within our own UU contexts; and help each other outline personal “next steps” to prepare ourselves as congregational leaders to initiate and facilitate conversations on class. Registration deadline is March 17 or capacity. www.cbd-mbd-uua.org

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Members’ Announcements

From Taylor Witkin (son of Michele MacDonald and Tom Witkin)

For my senior honors thesis in Environmental Studies at Colby College, I am examining the role of underutilized seafood in New England’s seafood system. For this research, I am conducting a conjoint choice experiment to investigate consumer preferences for underutilized species. Through this survey, I also hope to examine the factors that determine seafood buying decisions.  Here’s the link

https://docs.google.com/a/colby.edu/forms/d/1aTjZw8cthGYjIn8H2LcFU9esUfelMSNJ28yNin1TE8c/viewform

This study includes pollock, silver hake, Atlantic mackerel, and spiny dogfish as they are all promoted in the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Out-of-the-Blue initiative. These species have relatively high, stable stocks in the Gulf of Maine, but have fewer landings than cod and haddock. As well, pollock, silver hake, and spiny dogfish are commonly used as substitutes for cod and haddock. In addition to studying consumer preferences, I will also examine the status of these fish stocks and the potential for over-exploitation based on past and current demand for each species, historical fishing trends, and biological characteristics of the species.  Thanks for your participation.

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what's wrongFragrances and Their Effects

Many people I know have medical conditions that can be made worse by the chemicals in many lovely fragrances. You very likely know more people than you may realize for whom fragrances can be a big problem. You may have heard of multiple chemical sensitivity, but did you know that fragrances can trigger an exacerbation for people with asthma, migraine, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer/undergoing chemo, and other medical conditions?

This is not an issue of preference — this is an issue of accessibility. It doesn’t matter if the person with the sensitivity likes the smell or not if it causes them pain, breathing trouble, or other neurological difficulties. One person’s choice to wear perfume, or someone using a cleaning product, at an event with someone with a chemical sensitivity may mean that the person can’t attend the event at all, or that they have to leave. Important: it also doesn’t matter if it’s a natural fragrance. Essential oils can be just as problematic as commercial perfumes.

Something to keep in mind.

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Events Calendar Link

Click here to see the block calendar.

 

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