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Connector February 5 2014

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Newsletter

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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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Connector January 8, 2014

Posted by on Jan 8, 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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Happy New Year FPSers!

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

  1. We believe that each and every person is important.
  2. We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.
  3. We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.
  4. We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.
  5. We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.
  6. We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.
  7. We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.

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

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

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

Embrace our UU principles, endeavor to be mindful of the Golden Rule, participate in a daily practice that nurtures the mind, body and spirit and visualize a life and community that rivals your dreams. As we enter into the New Year may we do so with a light heart, lots of laughter and love – three of the primary ingredients to develop a happy and fulfilling life.

In Faith,

Rev. Marjorie

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

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Happy New Year, dear First Parish community! During a recycled yankee gift swap with the “This I Believe” class, I got the book “The Lump of Coal” by Lemony Snicket. I wanted to share this quote from the end of the story with you. “All these things are miracles. It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season – like all other seasons – is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them, and that’s the end of this particular story.”

The reading reminded me of the “sharing gratitude” ritual we offered during the Christmas Eve family service. This was what I said during the service. “In a year of abundance, I invite you to think of all the ways you feel cared for. Who takes care of you? Who are you grateful for? Who inspires you? Who empowers you? Who supports you? My favorite holiday gifts (to both give and receive) are the surprise “thank you” ones. They are unexpected and come straight from the heart. You don’t even need to spend money. The “thank you” is the gift. Magic happens when you say or hear those two little words … “thank you.” Let me start by saying “thank you” to each and every member of the First Parish community for all that you do and for the good values you spread in the world. Thank you for your kindness, your smiles, and all of the little ways you show that you care. Who might you want to say thank you to this year? Tonight, we have a little gift for you to make it easy to spread the “magic of gratitude.” Take one of these cards and send it to that special person that you are feeling particularly grateful to this time of year. May the attitude of gratitude grow and prosper throughout the season!” I still have cards and I’d be happy to give you one so that you can share your attitude of gratitude.

In the spirit of the Roman God Janus, as we take time this January to look back at 2013 and forward to 2014, may we remember to be grateful for the little and big miracles in our lives.

Blessed be. Roberta

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Religious Exploration News

re column jan 8(3)Youth Sunday

Join us for one of our favorite annual worship services, Youth Sunday! This year, Youth Sunday will be on February 2nd, and will once again include affirming our growing children and being inspired by our Senior High youth as they lead us in worship. If your child is 8 or 11 and wishes to be recognized in our First Chalice or First Mentor special rite-of-passage ceremonies, please contact Roberta at by January 1st. (Children close to these ages who missed participating last year are welcome to do so this year.) For more information about these ceremonies, see our website at http://fpsudbury.org/religious-exploration/rites-of-passage-ceremonies/ and/or contact Roberta. [break-wrap]?

re column jan 8(1)Save the Date and Plan Your Talent Act

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. Come one, come all 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]?

re column jan 8 (2)Family Promise Training Opportunity

The Youth Group invites all members and friends of the congregation ages 12 and older to join us for a training to volunteer with Family Promise Metrowest on Thursday, January 23 from 7 to 8:30pm (in the Commons). Attendance at this Family Promise training will enable you to support local families who are homeless in a variety of volunteer roles. This interfaith support for families who are homeless is inspiring! To learn more about Family Promise, check out their website at http://www.familypromisemetrowest.org/index.html

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Living Our Faith

Raising Consciousness about Transgender Justice

When you are looking for a restroom, it’s may not be as simple as finding the Women’s or Men’s room. If you are transgender, you may not feel welcome in a restroom that is designated for the gender you identify with when it’s not the gender you were born as.  As UUs working for equality and social justice for everyone it’s our job to make ourselves aware of the issues and to do all we can to be inclusive.  Perhaps you’ve noticed the new signs on our First Parish restrooms on the ground and second floors that welcome anyone of any gender expression.  It may seem silly, since the restrooms are for one-person at a time anyway.  The signs are really to help raise consciousness about this issue.  We could make other small but significant changes.  For example, in our invitations to events by the Women’s Alliance and our Gathering of Men, instead of saying “open to all women or men” we could change to “anyone who identifies as a woman (or a man).”  A little change that would mean a lot to a transgender person.  A little change that would reflect our sensitivity and that we are working at being inclusive.  What other changes could we make?  Send your ideas to   and thanks for all you do!

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From Your Faith In Action Team

Please help stop thousands of eligible individuals being prevented from receiving critically-needed food

Contact Governor Patrick and the Honorable John W, Palanowicz, Secretary, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, to take emergency action to undo the results of about 7500 Electronic Benefit Transfer cards that were returned to Department of Transitional Assistance and deactivated, resulting in thousands of eligible individuals being prevented from receiving critically-needed food.

Thank you for giving , mostly by sharing our Sunday morning Offerings, to these groups so far this church year:

$336 to Barakat 0n 9/8/13;

$401 to the Sudbury Interfaith Service Project on 9/29/13;

$203 to the UU Animal Ministry on 10/6/13;

$316 to the Head to Head School in Haiti on 10/20/13;

$261 to Mass-Care on 11/10/13;

$1591 to the UUA/UUSC Philippine Relief Fund on 11/24/13 (This was our full-plate Offering);

$397.12 to the Sudbury Food Pantry on December 8;

$1237 to the Metrowest Free Medical Clinic on December 24 (This was from two full-plate Offerings — one at each of the two Services).

Share the Plate with Partakers January 12

Our January 12th Offering will be shared with Partakers — the organization that supports Massachusetts prison education by coordinating teams of volunteers who mentor inmates as they prepare for and attend the Boston University Prison Education Program.  Through the College Behind Bars mentoring program, inmates build trusting relationships, enhance skills critical to completing a college degree, and increase their chances for success when returning to the community.

This program serves as a model for the importance of education as a deterrent to repeated criminal behavior. Inmates who have gone through it show a 2% recidivism rate, compared with the national recidivism rate of 63%.

Currently, Partakers has 37 mentoring teams from 18 congregations and 49 prisoner students in their program. Eight of their mentored students received Boston University degrees last June, many with honors. Two, at MCI Framingham, shared valedictorian honors. Partakers has one paid staff member and depends upon the work of many volunteers.

First Parish has been associated with Partakers since 2006 when we began to mentor Nate (Ernest N.Benjamin) through his preparation to enter the college program. Nate passed the required course work with flying colors and is now working hard to pass the entrance exams. His speech and writing skills have improved tremendously since his entrance into the Partakers program, and his interest in, and knowledge of history and world affairs remains outstanding. He has sharpened his speaking proficiency as a member of The Toastmasters Club, helps youth at risk by speaking to them about how not to follow the path he took, and is now a member of Norfolk Prison’s Education Committee.

Please give generously on January 12.  Thank you.

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From Your Welcoming Congregation Committee

equal marriage new mexicoThat’s wonderful news but…

Marriage may be secure in New Mexico  but in that state and everywhere our kids are still bullied.  “That’s so gay” is still the most common slur you  hear in school hallways, and sadly, slurs can be the least of what LGBTQ kids endure when teachers and administrators fail them miserably.  HIV-positive men and women still can’t get the health care they need.  Insurance companies routinely refuse to cover the treatment of lipodystrophy, a painful and disfiguring side effect of HIV medications. Our transgender brothers and sisters still face the most basic discrimination and indignities when they are fired from jobs, denied access to public facilities including public transportation and health care facilities, and confronted with hatred and violence.  Equal justice under the law is more than a phrase on a bumper sticker…it’s a belief that UUs insist upon and act upon.  What action have you taken to further your UU beliefs about equality?

India just made it a crime to be gay – again. Four years after its anti-gay law was suspended, the Indian Supreme Court has turned back the clock. Every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person in India is now in danger of jail, blackmail or worse.  India is home to 17% of the world’s population, so huge numbers of people – millions – just had their rights stripped away. At protests across India, there’s been a message of hope and defiance: Ladenge, Jeetenge.  It means ‘We will fight, we will win’. There have been years of dedicated work by Indian groups, battling through India’s legal system, but this fight still has a long way to go. It could be appealed through the courts, or the parliament could choose to repeal the anti-gay law altogether.  The path forward isn’t certain. And in times of uncertainty, massive demonstrations of support and friendship can bring new strength and the courage to carry on.  Will you sign a message of hope and love?  All the names will be sent to LGBT groups across India.  Anyone reading the messages will know – none of us stand alone.   Sign here:  https://www.allout.org/india

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People We Care About

spirit of a childWe are keeping Denny Donaldson and her family in our thoughts and prayers.  Denny died on Dec. 24 and will be sorely missed.  The memorial service will be here at FPS on Saturday, January 11 at 2:00 pm. [break-wrap]?

Potluck & Singalong Movie Night: Saturday, January 11

We’ll gather at 5:30 to share a quick meal, then we’ll move upstairs to the Commons for a Singalong Movie — printed lyrics will be provided.

Please indicate your preference by e-mail to by Thursday the 9th at noon (for this first potluck singalong):

  1. Mamma Mia (songs from ABBA)
  2. Wizard of Oz (need we say more)
  3. Grease (remember the Big Hair era?

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femclipWomen’s Alliance Invites You January 12

There will be a Women’s Alliance Meeting and Pot Luck on Sunday, January 12 at 11:45 in the Commons.

We will trying something new, a lunchtime Pot Luck Meeting. If anyone wants to bring a pot of soup, a nice loaf of bred, fruit or whatever, it will be gratefully received. Don’t have something to bring – come anyway because we always have too much to eat.

At this upcoming meeting we will do more talking about giving our money and grants. We will discuss, and if we have a quorum may vote, on a proposed grants policy.

We, also, will be talking about the Rummage Sale on Saturday, April 5 and the 2 day retreat at Rolling Ridge in North Andover Friday night, April 25 through Sunday, April 27.

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

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in home dinnerIn-Home Dinners – Sat. 1/25, Sun. 1/26, and Fri. 1/31

I am writing to invite you to participate in the First Parish In-Home Dinners. If you are not familiar with them, they have been a First Parish activity for many years, and for a good reason, they are fun! A great opportunity for long-term and newer members and friends to become better acquainted. All members and friends of First Parish are invited to one of these potluck dinners.

We always need people to host. It isn’t difficult – just ask anyone who did it last year, or speak to Fran Sharp (978 394-4626) or Nina Piazza (978 443-3084). Remember, we’re all looking forward to good conversation and community, not a Martha Stewart inspired house!

Please respond to Fran Sharp () with this information?

  • Do you want to attend a family dinner or one for just adults?
  • Would you like to host or guest?
  • Which are your first and second choices for dinner dates?
  • If interested in a family-type dinner, how many and how old are your children?
  • Any allergies or food issues the host should know about?
  • Would you be interested in being a host? If so, how many guests can you accommodate?

Thank you for getting back to us by January 15, so we can finish organizing these enjoyable events!

– Fran Sharp and Nina Piazza

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 gathering of men 1Men to Meet February 8

Men, if you’re around on Saturday, Dec. 7 between 11:00 am -12:30 pm, drop by the Brackett Room for coffee and donuts and informal conversation with other guys from the parish. Newcomers welcome – anyone who identifies as a man – find out what other guys are thinking about sports, politics, jobs and life. Contact Tom A with questions. [break-wrap]?

 

Gratitudes for FPS Unsung Heroes

thankyouWe are grateful to Amanda Berman and Alison Kaplan for organizing and completing another “Secret Santa” gift program for deserving children in the Sudbury area.

We truly appreciate your contributions of time and energy to First Parish.

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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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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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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.

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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., January 29 for the issue of Wed., February 5

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 December 11, 2013

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Newsletter

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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As we get ready for Yule and Christmas I feel like a race horse being brought to the gate all jitters and anticipation. Let me say right up front that I do not condone horse or dog racing, although I had an uncle who once owned and raced horses in Saratoga, and in his later years I was often enlisted to drive him, in his mint colored cadillac, to the track. I am certain that there is a sermon in there somewhere… As members of the clergy we prepare and train to be ready for this time of the year; we are in tip top shape and ready to run. The holidays are a time of lots of energy, miscommunication and an opportunity for explosive emotion.  Frankly, it can be exhilarating and yet exhausting. I have two worries during this time of year. The first is that you, dear members and friends, will have a tradition or expectation with regard to the holidays that the staff will be unaware of and you will be disappointed. The second is that someone in our community will need care and instead of reaching out when in need he or she might choose instead to suffer in silence. Regardless of the business of the season if you or someone that you know is in need please do not hesitate to reach out to myself, any other member of the staff or the pastoral associates group. We do care so much and can only know if there is something amiss if you take the time to let us know. So we need your help in this. As far as knowing and exceeding your expectations about the holidays we will do our utmost.

This holiday season you can expect to enjoy a few events. Yule will be celebrated on December 21 at 6PM with music, dance, and lots of good food. This is a tradition that is celebrated around the world, and I personally would love to see singing, merriment, dancing and costumes to chase away the dark and cold. A few days later on Christmas eve First Parish will be offering two services – the first begins at 5PM and is a family, multigenerational service. There will be carols sung, a Christmas play offered and cookies and cider directly following the worship. For the 7PM service we will begin in the parish hall at 6:15 with cookies and cider, so please arrive early so that we can start a new tradition of revelry between the two services. The 7PM service will be filled with music, readings, candles, lessons and carols. December 24th will be a fun-filled and meaning-filled evening, and we hope that you will join us in the spirit of the holiday. On Christmas morning, I will be hosting a time for reflection at 10AM in the Brackett Room. I will build the fire and make the coffee if those planning to be in attendance would be willing to bring some goodies to share. The Sunday service after Christmas, on December 29th, will be held at the First Parish in Wayland as First Parish of Sudbury will not be hosting worship that morning.

There is so much to reflect upon and look forward to as we anticipate the longest night. We have had an amazing fall together; we have created and built energy and excitement in our community. Dare I say that we might feel revitalized or renewed? Let us take this time during the holidays, albeit that can feel like a fast paced race, to slow down a bit and acknowledge just how blessed we are. January will bring us into a time of imagining our future and making exciting plans, but, for now, in the next couple of weeks, let us just relax, chill out and en-joy one another!

Peace, Love and Light of the Season to you and yours!

Rev. Dr. Marjorie J. Matty

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Christmas Worship Services

Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24 –  Family Service, 5:00 pm

As Sophia Lyon Fahs said, “Each night a child is born is a holy night.” Please join us for a multigenerational celebration of Christmas, worshipful for children through seniors. We will share stories and enjoy some favorite holiday carols before closing our time together with our beloved “Silent Night” ritual.  Join us for cookies and mulled cider afterwards in the Parish Hall.

Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24 –  Candlelight Service, 7:00 pm

A celebration of story, readings and music to welcome the holidays into our lives.  Our service will end with a traditional carol and candle lighting.  Please join us for cookies and mulled cider in the Parish Hall at 6:15 on Christmas Eve with our service to follow at 7 pm.

Offering at Christmas Eve services to go to MetroWest Free Medical Program

With clinics on Tuesdays at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury and on Fridays (by appointment) at First Parish of Framingham UU the MetroWest Free Medical program provides free medical care to people without health insurance, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. Both are staffed by licensed volunteers. In addition to general primary care and physical exams, the program offers free prescription medicines, specialists on site, vision care and, women’s health and mental health screenings. Spanish and Portuguese interpreters are always available. See www.metrowestfreemedicalprogram.org for details.

Christmas Day– gather at 10:00 for coffee and conversation

We’ll gather in the Brackett Room for an informal time of coffee and conversation.  Marjorie will lead a time for reflection.   (See also Roberta’s invitation, below, to gather for dinner as well.)

Sunday, December 29 at Wayland at 10 am

A long standing tradition of worshiping with our UU neighbors in Framingham and Wayland continues. This year First Parish in Wayland (50 Cochituate Road at the corner of Routes 20 & 27, Wayland http:/www.uuwayland.org) is the host for our service at 10:00 am.

First Parish Office Closed Dec 25-Jan 1

Administrator’s email and voicemail will be checked once a day.

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Jack (my partner) recently told his 11-year-old daughter that there is no Santa Claus. She still believed, and he decided that he would rather tell her than have her find out in middle school. My younger daughter found out really young when she was five-years-old and asked her dad. He answered her matter-of-factly “no.” I was grateful that my older daughter asked me. She was eight-years-old at the time and she had been logically questioning the whole Santa Claus story for years. Some of the details just weren’t plausible to her. But this year, she asked me explicitly, “Mom, is Santa real?” I asked her if she was ready for the truth, and I gave it to her when she said yes. I told her, “Santa is not a person. Santa is inspired by a real person, St. Nicholas, who existed many years ago and gave food and presents to children who were poor. The real Santa is a ‘spirit.’ Come on, Dominique, there must be a real spirit that is pretty magical to inspire all these parents who complain about money all year long to buy all of these presents for their children.” I further elaborated that now that she knows that Santa is a spirit and not a person, she is a member of the “Santa Spirit” club and she can start enjoyed the spirit of giving too.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is giving. I love watching my daughters when they have been sparked by the spirit of generosity and they are filled with the excitement of giving a gift they carefully made or selected. I’ve tried to teach them that the act of giving does not need to cost money, but every year we admittedly get somewhat swept up in the commercialism of the holiday. As long as the focus stays on the spirit of giving more than the spirit of receiving, I will be happy. Far too many people in our world are focused on what they are getting. From people spending money they don’t have to frantically having to buy gifts for too many people, this time of year can become too stressful for everyone. I am constantly hearing stories of people stressed out shopping. That’s why I was so filled with all good emotions to hear this story from the Sarazen family. Kelly works part-time at Toys-R-Us and was telling the story about someone who came into the store and asked to pay off the layaway order for a family. Upon hearing that, their Uncle Jimmy took out his wallet and asked to do the same. Kelly spoke of how heart-warming it was to call a single mom to tell her that a kind-hearted stranger had just paid off her Christmas order. Upon hearing this story, I thought, “We need more stories like this.”

From celebrating that the birth of every child is miraculous to spreading the “Santa Spirit” through out our community, I am often encouraging Unitarian Universalists to honor the Christmas season the way they believe it should be celebrated. What old traditions might you want to bring back this season? What new tradition might you want to start? May you all discover some holiday magic that fills your heart this season!

Blessed be. Roberta

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Religious Exploration NEWS

Would you like to gather with the FPS community for dinner on Christmas Day?

christmas dinnerIn the loving spirit of her grandfather who passed away on Christmas Eve and recognition that Christmas Day is not always a happy day for everyone, Roberta is offering a new tradition this year at First Parish. For any individual, couple, or family who is home alone this Christmas or would prefer to gather with friends instead of family, you are invited to gather with some members of the FPS community for dinner on Christmas Day starting at 1:00pm. Please RSVP to Roberta (at ) to sign-up to join her and let her know if you would prefer a potluck dinner at First Parish to celebrate the Christmas holiday OR if you would prefer to go out for Chinese food and maybe a movie to celebrate doing our own thing). Others will be invited to join in last minute, but she needs to know soon the type of dinner most people would be interested in so that she can plan accordingly.

Simple Gifts with our children December 22

xmas gifts 2Incorporating many Unitarian Universalist values such as caring, compassion, and taking care of our Earth (by reducing, reusing, and recycling), we are pleased to invite all First Parish children and youth on Sunday, December 22nd at 10am to our “Very Special Christmas Shop” where they can take a re-gift new or gently used gifts to give to their loved ones. We will also enjoy inspiration from our Unitarian and Universalist ancestors on celebrating the holidays with UU spirit; plus holiday cookies and cocoa. Anyone who has new or very gently used gifts and/or wrapping paper you would like to donate, please drop it off to Roberta anytime before Saturday, December 22nd.

“Becoming a Person” ~ our 2014 multigenerational theatrical performance

becoming a personStill spots in our “who do you want to be” skit and choreographed dance – Sign up TODAY!

This year’s theatrical performance will feature the theme of “becoming a person.” We have several participation options to match your interests and time availability. Adults and children alike are welcome to sign-up for any part. The “who do you want to be” skit is perfect for everyone – from our youngest actors to shy actors to really creative, flamboyant actors! Please check out the parts below and let us know what you would like to join us for (by contacting Roberta or on the sign-up genius at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050D45A9AD23A46-multigenerational).

Join us for a special breakfast January 5

bagel and coffeeThe R.E. committee will continue our tradition of offering breakfast opportunities for sharing feedback about Religious Exploration at First Parish and for connecting with other parents and volunteers who care about all of our children and teens. Join us for our next one on Sunday, January 5th from 9 to 9:45am. Please RSVP to Roberta by January 3rd as we need at least four people to come to host it. If you decide last minute that you can make it, call Roberta at 508-988-0750 to make sure it’s still happening as we will only host if we get at least four people signed-up.

Multi-generational Book Discussion & Dessert Potluck January 5

book discussion Everyone is invited to join us on Sunday, January 5, 2014 from 6:45 to 8:15pm and Multigenerational Book Discussion and Dessert Potluck of the book, “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. Wonder is a book about a fifth–grade boy named August Pullman who has Treacher-Collins syndrome, a rare craniofacial deformality. The book addresses such issues as identity, appearance, acceptance and bullying. The middle school students in Sudbury read this book over the summer and Roberta asked our middle schoolers to write some thought provoking questions to get our discussion started.

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Dancers from our Morris Groups to perform

Revels Twelfth Night Celebration:  Join in to put Christmas to bed, Saturday, January 4 from 3-5 pm at Grace Vision Church, 80 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown.  Tickets online at www.revels.org or contact Michelle Roderick at or 617-972-8300 x 26

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Rob Kinslow to preach December 15

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. This Sunday, Dec. 15, 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

 

From Your Faith In Action Team

  • Did You Miss Health Care Options for All Stages of Life?  If you were not able to attend the Palliative Care Forum you can watch it on your computer any time you wish at http://sudburytv.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=c624da27e005278d65d33393fe110692.  The Parmenter Foundation’s website provides additional information about advance care planning. http://www.parmenter.org/foundation_acp.asp.  Suggestions for starting the conversation about end of life care can be found at www.theconversationproject.org . Health Care Proxy and Personal Health Care Directive instructions and forms can be downloaded at no cost at www.honoringchoicesmass.com
  • We are still seeking a liaison to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and another mentor for Ernest N. Benjamin (Nate) in the Norfolk Correctional Institution. Please speak to Judy D if you think you might be interested in filling one or both of these positions.
  • The Saturday Noon to One group of people who vigil for aspects of peace and justice on the Sudbury Common will heartily welcome more participants.

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From UU Animal Ministry

The VEGAN ETHIC

Veganism is a moral and ethical way of living in the world.

It is the practice of non-cooperation and non-participation in anything that exploits nonhuman animals, humans, or the environment.  It is a moral baseline for our conduct and how we are revealed to the world.

Shop with your Welcoming Congregation Committee

equal sign over washington w dovesThe Welcoming Congregation Committee recommends you shop businesses/brands that have eliminated employment discrimination and that offer equal healthcare and other benefits to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) employees and their families:

AVOID – Bed, Bath & Beyond…BJ’s…Dick’s…Foot Locker…Kohl’s…Men’s Warehouse…Michaels…Regal Entertainment Group…Rite Aid…Timberland…and more

SHOP INSTEAD  AT:  Abercrombie & Fitch…AMC Entertainment…American Eagle…Barnes & Noble…Best Buy…Costco…GameStop…Gap…JC Penny…Liz Claiborne…Macy’s…Nike…Nordstrom…REI…Sears…Staples…Target…TJX …Walgreens and other businesses/brands that have the highest marks for supporting equality in the workplace and deserve your support:

For a copy of the complete list, ask at the church office.

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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.

NEWS FROM THE TRUSTEES

newsThe Trustees began this church year with a retreat with our new Minister, Rev. Marjorie. The overriding theme that emerged from our day and half together was to make First Parish more inviting to newcomers and members alike.

We developed our new mission statement – Welcome, Sustain, Communicate, Inspire, and Work for Justice. We hope these principles will guide our decision making.

We took a tour of our building and grounds and looked at it as a newcomer might. We wanted to make sure our building will Welcome our members, friends and newcomers. We asked, Is First Parish attractive on the outside? Is the building easy to navigate on the inside? Does it look well cared for – or as if things had been thrown in the corner and forgotten about? (What are the ladders doing in the hallway any way????) We made a list of ideas which we hope will make First Parish more attractive and welcome those who enter. The first such idea is to change the way we enter the sanctuary for Sunday service. Rather than going up the new staircase and entering the sanctuary through the choir’s section, we will start using the historic front stairs and enter the sanctuary through its historic doors. We will begin this practice with the Christmas Eve services.

To Sustain our congregation, we implemented a Secured Pledge policy. (see attached). It is our hope that members and friends will know that First Parish has their interests in mind and will take care of them in the event of financial emergency. We are following through with a Planned Giving program. Those of you who are interested in learning more about this program should contact Tom Arnold. We have a Stewardship Team which will work year round to engage in conversations about the financial health and needs of First Parish.

In the past month, the Trustees have given the green light to two projects to Work for Justice. Last year we passed a Policy Regarding Donating the Proceeds of Fundraisers. (see attached) The Faith in Action Committee put this policy to work by donating over $1500.00 from the plate to the UUSC to be used for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The Youth Groups implemented the policy to raise funds to construct a well in Cambodia.

The Trustees expect that the new website will aid in Communication. We are suggesting that we have a photo directory – perhaps on line in the to-be-developed members-only section. As always, we hope that you will feel free to communicate your questions and suggestions to the Trustees. We meet the first Monday of the month, and the meetings are open to all.

Happy Holidays to All from the Trustees: Sherri Cline, Chair, Alex Andrews, Tom Arnold, Susan Carboni, Erin Llewellyn, Sheila Murphy, and Bettie Rose

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image020People We Care About

The Memorial service for Dean Yarborough will be at 6: 00 PM on Friday, December 13 at The Greater Framingham Community Church, 44 Franklin St., Framingham.  If you’d like the phone number for his wife, Maxine, please contact the First Parish office.

 

Secret Santa gifts due December 15

christmas giftThank you to all those who are buying gifts for our annual “Secret Santa” project for MetroWest and Sudbury children whose parents need our help in making Christmas a joyous day for their kids.  All presents must be brought to the parish hall no later than December 15. All presents must be newly purchased, wrapped, and delivered to First Parish in a paper bag. The slip with the child’s name should be firmly attached to the bag. Please do not leave a present unattended in the parish hall. To ensure that you are credited with the gift, it is best that you deliver the gifts to Amanda B who is organizing this effort. If you would like to participate in this holiday service project but don’t like to shop, Amanda will be accepting monetary donations to buy gift certificates for some of the older teens. Questions? Contact Amanda or the office. Thank you!

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350MA begins December 19

350.0rgMAStarting December 19, 2013, Thursday, at 7PM, the MetroWest node of 350MASSACHUSETTS (350MA), will meet the third Thursday of every month in The Commons of the First Parish of Sudbury. The Commons room is on the second floor of the church next to the elevator. All are invited to attend the meetings and get involved with climate activists.

350MA coordinates closely with 350.org, but like other statewide 350 networks, 350MA is organized by local grassroots efforts, was not founded by, and is not staffed or funded by 350.org. There are nine 350MA nodes and growing across Massachusetts. The 350MA MetroWest node was formed November 7th. 350 MA is a volunteer-led, campaign-focused initiative convened and staffed by Better Future Project, connecting and organizing a strong grassroots coalition to address climate change and build a just and secure future beyond fossil fuels. For more information see http://350ma.org/ and its many informative web links. – Questions? Email .

Why 350? We need to get below 350ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere but we are now around 400ppm and increasing. This level and above will increasingly produce more extremes in climate, resulting in more deaths, and make it impossible to feed the all world’s growing population.  —  Submitted by Bruce Langmuir

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winter solsticeWinter Solstice Ritual & Celebration December 21

Join us for a Winter Solstice celebration on Saturday, December 21, with a ritual developed at First Parish. We turn the wheel of the year and bring back the sun, a chance to leave things in the old year and gather others for the new. The ceremony is followed by a potluck feast in the Parish Hall. Child care and carpooling available if you request it by Dec 14.

The ritual is appropriate for age 12 and up (talk to us about it, if you’re not sure if your 12 year old should be there). Please arrive early to be comfortable and ready to start at 6:00 pm. The ceremony will be in the Bracket Room. Leaders and Readers, please arrive by 5:30 pm for a run-through reading of the script. For more information, contact Leslie L/Tom Y  or Jan H.

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Concerned about the food you eat? Come January 9.

ethical eating 3Come join us for a discussion series on Ethical Eating. There are many positive aspects to being intentional about our food and what we eat. The group will share information, raise awareness, sample recipes and offer resources.

Together we will explore the positive aspects to ethical eating, including:

  • Becoming Healthier—by bringing more fresh and non-processed food into our diet and learning why this is better for us. From vegan and vegetarian to paleo diets, there is a wide range of ideas to share.
  • Supporting the Local Farms and Economy—by purchasing and eating foods grown and produced nearby thus supporting community supported agriculture and local businesses.
  • Reducing Global Consumption—by reducing dependence on global resources including low paid workers and limiting energy used to process, preserve, package and transport the food we eat.

Starting on January 9th, we will meet monthly on the 2nd Thursdays from 6:30-9:00. We will ‘cook’ in the kitchen starting at 6:30 (for something to share at the meeting), and the meeting starts at 7.  Feel free to email Liz Rust or the office for more information.

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Sing-A-Long Potluck January 11

Put the date on your 2014 calendar now, and let’s all sing along to a showing of a movie musical for a fun evening and potluck supper on Saturday, January 11.  All ages warmly welcome.  Alex Andrews will lead the singing along with Marjorie.  Set up begins at 5:30 in the Commons.  You’ll have an opportunity to vote for your favorite musical in the Parish Hall at social hour during December and early January.  Don’t miss this enjoyable and unique evening.

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In-Home Dinners add cheer to those winter doldrums!

Your choice: January 25 (Sat.), 26 (Sun.), or 31 (Fri.)

Contact Fran S. () or Nina P. () to reserve your spot!

These are potluck dinners at the homes of first parish members and friends, a fun time to get to know folks better and have delicious food too!

You may even want to host! The host can decide his/her number of guests and assign each of them to bring a part of your menu. If you wish to do this, your only responsibility is to tell your guests what to bring, set the table, and then relax and enjoy!

In any case, sign up now for an in home dinner date!

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Musicians of the Old Post Road here Dec. 15 at 3 pm

The Night Before Christmas: Christmas from Olde and New England – Discover Christmas in 18th-century England and America with joyful and spirited choral works from both sides of the Atlantic. Musicians of the Old Post Road is joined by one of the region’s most revered early music choirs for rousing original arrangements of familiar seasonal tunes, sweet solo songs, and festive instrumental works.  Featuring Schola Cantorum of Boston, Frederick Jodry, Dir. A renowned early music 12-voice choir, also celebrating 25 years of music-making—joins us in this rousing collaboration in celebration of the season.  Many of the works we’ll be featuring were penned by very local musicians. The English choral pieces we are including are in the West Gallery style, such as evoked in Thomas Hardy novels.

The performance is co-presented by the Sudbury Historical Society. Reception with refreshments after concert.  Tickets are $30 General Admission / $25 Students and Seniors. $20 for Sudbury Historical Society members. Obtain tickets at the door, order tickets online at www.OldPostRoad.org or call 781-466-6694

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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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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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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.

Mass Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence – Dec 14 – Beginning at 1:30 PM in Boston -Boston Remembers Newtown– A commemorative gathering.  Saturday December 14, 2013, is the first anniversary of the tragedy in Sandy Hook. To mark the day, the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence will sponsor a commemorative gathering entitled “Boston Remembers Newtown.” Speakers currently scheduled for this event include Mayor Thomas Menino, Rep. David Linsky, Rep. Tom Conroy, Tina Chery, Kim Odom, Cindy Diggs, John Rosenthal and Sheriff Peter Koutoujian.  Details and Schedule at uumassaction.org

Candlelight Vigil for Immigration Rights – Dec 15 – Plymouth County Correctional Facility, 4:30 PM.   According to the ACLU and other organizations, thousands of immigrants across the US are being held indefinitely under abysmal conditions. Families are being torn apart. Show solidarity with detainees. Read all about the vigil, what organizations are participating and where to park at uumassaction.org

All proceeds from shop.uusc.org support Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s human rights work around the world. UUSC offers ethically sourced products for sale that are sweatshop-free, union- or cooperative-made, and environmentally sustainable. shop.uusc.org has added hundreds of new food products! 

Twenty-two organizations including Unitarian church groups, gun ownership advocates, and a broad coalition of membership and political advocacy organizations filed suit against the National Security Agency for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their call records. The coalition is represented by EFF.  Details at https://www.eff.org/cases/first-unitarian-church-los-angeles-v-nsa

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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., Jan. 1 for the issue of Wed., Jan. 8

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 November 27, 2013

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Newsletter

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

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“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” (Wayne Dyer)

A sense of abundance is not something the we can acquire nor is it something that someone can give us; it is a state of mind that we choose. In a world that assigns value to items that are scarce, it is  no wonder that we disregard the bounty of abundance that exists all around us. We tend to seek and treasure the items that are difficult to find. Think about gold or platinum, both considered a commodity because they are rare, and yet at the end of the day they are still rocks. Diamonds are beautiful based on the clarity and cut of the stone, but again they are just stones. Oil over time has become a commodity, especially since it has become less available; when we first started using oil it was a prevalent and a cheap source of energy but our mass consumption has made it less available and expensive. We value that which is not prevalent, and we ignore that which is all around us. What is this all about?

Water, we literally need it to survive and yet we pollute it, waste it, and do not give it a second thought. There are people in this and other countries who have to walk miles to get clean drinking water and realize its worth. We could consider time in the same way. When we have so much of time in front of us we are unconcerned, and yet when we are faced with the reality of the finite nature of life we take stock and get serious about a bucket list. Why do we only recognize and value the scarcity in our lives instead of revel in what exists abundantly all around us?

Last Sunday, I shared in my sermon that First Parish is in good financial shape, and afterward I was asked how could I possibly say this because there is clearly a deficit budget. Based on what I have seen with regard to your budget and the commitment to this community you are so close to having a balanced budget, you have funds set aside which are growing, and you care about the future of First Parish. If every member extended their pledge by $100 this fiscal year we would reach our goal of being balanced. Think about it, the difference between a sense of scarcity and abundance is $100. If that isn’t good news I am not sure what is. Yet First Parish propagates a history/story of scarcity instead of abundance. You are concerned about not having enough, and that “story” holds this community back from truly blossoming. I wonder if this is just the human condition rearing its “fear-based” head? Do we need that sense of scarcity to value what we have in our community? Is it possible to imagine abundance at First Parish and still want to participate, donate, volunteer? Last Saturday we had the fall cleanup and there were quite a few people pitching in and let me tell you more is way better than less… it was easier to do the work together, it was way more fun, and we got the work done faster.

Here is a truth — abundance is always available to each one of us; we just need to wake up, open our minds and hearts, and tune into abundance. We are wealthy in all the stuff that really matters: air, water, food, laughter, friendship, music, love, spirit, and we are comfortable with many of the commodities in life. Do we need more of the commodities to be truly happy? What do we need in our lives to feel like we have enough to be truly generous?

Thank you for all that you do and share with the First Parish community and one another!

In love and peace,

Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be in Worcester shopping and thought I would stop at the grocery store to pick up an assortment of $10 gift cards to give to our teenagers as a thank-you gift this Christmas for helping in our Religious Education program. As I was checking out, first I had to wait for the cashier to negotiate with the customer in front of me. Apparently, she was trying to use two coupons that the computer system rejected because her purchases did not match the requirements. After a minute, she decided to override the register and not continue to argue with the customer. When my turn to check out came, she eyed me suspiciously with my handful of gift cards and then declared that I couldn’t use my credit card because it didn’t have my name on it. I replied that my name was right under the “First Parish of Sudbury” title. Then she loudly proclaimed that it was not me because the name said “Robert”. She added that people play all sorts of tricks to steal gift cards and if I didn’t show her an ID that I’d have to deal with the manager. At this point, I had lost my patience and cool and said I would only be dealing with the manager for now on. The manager came over who quickly saw that my name was indeed on the card and the cashier claimed that the glare caused her to not see the “a” at the end of my name. It didn’t matter that the manager apologized to me as I was just upset beyond words. Annoyed at the time wasted and embarrassed at the humiliation I experienced in front of a line of customers. It wasn’t until a few minutes after I was out of the store that I realized why I was really angry … that she didn’t trust me. I felt horrible that her bottom line was distrust and questioning. As a white woman spending most of my time in middle class communities, I realized that I hardly ever have experienced what it is like to be automatically not trusted. People normally either start out positive or neutral to me.  It is so rare that someone starts out suspecting something bad about me. Is this what it would be like to live in downtown Worcester?

My daughter experienced her own version of the “middle class” lack of trust. She was inquiring about a job working at the Kumon center my younger daughter goes to, and the owner declared that she would have to volunteer twelve hours to make sure she liked the job before they would process her paperwork. I could understand her intention since several teens she hired in the Fall quit after only a few weeks, but it really sends a message of distrust to my daughter. It isn’t as bad as the cashier thinking I’m trying to steal the gift cards, but lack of trust is lack of trust. It feels awful to not be trusted.

In our own relationships, when things get heated, it can be far too easy to lose trust. When things aren’t going the way we want, we can be quick to assume that the other person isn’t proceeding with good intentions. Experiencing this extreme version of lack of trust reminded me to make two promises this Thanksgiving season. First, I will be grateful for all that I have in my life. There’s the obvious health, food, housing, a good job, family, and friends. I will also be grateful for the stuff I take so much for granted that I don’t think at all about it when I’m making my Thanksgiving list of gratitudes, such as living in a community where people have a basic trust of me, no questions asked. The second promise is that I will do my best to assume good intentions. I will take a deep breath and try to trust that a happy solution for both parties can be found.

What promises do you make this Thanksgiving season? What hard times have inspired lessons for you this year? What would you like to express your gratitude for that you haven’t included before?

Blessed be. Roberta

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Religious Exploration NEWS

Christmas Eve nativity pageant is coming!

nativity silhouette clip artEveryone (children, teens, and adults alike) who is interested in participating in the Christmas Eve “Nativity Pageant” during the 5pm family service should contact Roberta at You are welcome to join in with a reading, a part in a skit, and/or singing in the “carolers’ choir.” ALL are welcome! Just let Roberta know how you would like to participate by December 9th. Participants will receive their parts ahead of time to rehearse at home and we will all come together for a dress rehearsal on Monday, December 24th at 9am.

Simple Gifts with Our Children

xmas gifts 2Incorporating many Unitarian Universalist values such as caring, compassion, and taking care of our Earth (by reducing, reusing, and recycling), we are pleased to invite all First Parish children and youth on Sunday, December 22nd at 10am to our “Very Special Christmas Shop” where they can take a re-gift new or gently used gifts to give to their loved ones. We will also enjoy inspiration from our Unitarian and Universalist ancestors on celebrating the holidays with UU spirit; plus holiday cookies and cocoa. Anyone who has new or very gently used gifts and/or wrapping paper you would like to donate, please drop it off to Roberta anytime before Saturday, December 22nd.

“Becoming a Person” ~ our 2014 multigenerational theatrical performance

theaterThis year’s theatrical performance will feature the theme of “becoming a person”. We have several participation options to match your interests and time availability. Adults and children alike are welcome to sign-up for any part. Please check out the parts below and let us know what you would like to join us for (by contacting Roberta or on the sign-up genius at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050D45A9AD23A46-multigenerational

 Students Together Opposing Prejudice

STOPWe are proud to continue to be part of S.T.O.P, an interfaith initiative working with 7th and 8th grade youth that empowers them to be part of the most innovative and timely program for understanding stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination; to learn strategies for confronting intolerance and bullying; and to develop leadership skills in a fun and safe environment. Young people from all of the congregations in Sudbury and the surrounding area are invited to join. Older teen graduates of the program facilitate the meetings. The students meet seven Wednesday evenings in January through March from 6:45 to 8:15pm, participating in games, activities, and discussions led by high school alumni of the program. First Parish will be hosting the February 26th meeting. It starts Wednesday, January 8, 2014, but now is the time to sign up! We know 7th and 8th graders like to do things with their friends, so feel free to invite them as well!! ALL are welcome at the S.T.O.P. Table! To sign up or ask questions, contact Susan Murphy or Sheila Goldberg at or www.stoptheprejudice.net

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Living Our Faith

 Share the Plate – Sunday December 8 with the Food Pantry

Sudbury Community Food Pantry, based at Our Lady of Fatima, is a 100% staffed by unpaid volunteers. It distributes almost 100,000 pounds of free food annually to any resident who needs it, without prerequisites such as needs tests or letters of referral. As a result of current economic conditions, the need for it’s services is more urgent than every. It has served over 1,000 families in Sudbury and twelve other MetroWest towns this year.  On December 8, please give generously to help our neighbors near and far.

From Your Faith In Action Team

Next meeting  —  It is scheduled for December 8th at 8:30am in the First Parish library. You are very welcome to attend.

Our full Offering for Philippine Relief on November 24 was $1591. Thank you to all who contributed then and who are doing so in other ways.

Share the Plates (STPs)  —  Our main agenda item will be our coming STPs. It is possible that we shall decide them through June. If there is an organization for which you’d like First Parish to Share the Plate, please fill out the form on the Faith in Action bulletin board, give it to me or put it in the office FIA file , and/or come to the meeting to voice your wish in person.

Jobs Not Jails Campaign  —  This campaign is a coalition of about 50 organizations statewide that are collecting signatures on a petition, preparing for a rally on the Boston Common on April 26, and building public and legislative support for ending mandatory minimum sentences, providing drug treatment.

I shall be collecting signatures some coffee hours; you can obtain petitions and more information at jobsnotjails.org..

This same organization asks if we have people in our congregation who want to help change the laws that put so many people in prison. A statewide network of UUs who care about these issues is being built. If you’d like to be one of them, connect with <> and please also tell me.

UUMassAction asks that we help fight housing discrimination by calling Senator Flanagan (617 722 1230) and ask that his Welfare Reform Conference Committee remove the section in the so-called welfare reform bill that could cause hundreds of mixed status immigrants to be thrown out of public housing;

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UU Animal Ministry

turkeysTo see a non-violent and loving video about turkeys, click  youtube.com/watch?v=sZBNll5Y4SY

UU Animal Ministry is a group of concerned Unitarian Universalists and UU friends who desire to grow and express their faith as compassion towards all beings. For more information go to www.uuam.org.  [break-wrap]?

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From Your Welcoming Congregation Committee

Boycott Coke?  After months of ducking the issue, Coca-Cola refused to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Coca-Cola’s statement completely ignored people facing discrimination and abuse in Russia. Instead, they tried to rely on their history of supporting equality in countries like the US.  That’s not enough – you can’t support lesbian, gay, bi and trans people when it’s convenient and stay silent when they need you the most.   In the time it took for Coca-Cola to finally issue their weak statement, the violence in Russia escalated.  Anti-gay thugs broke into a meeting of organisers, beat people with baseball bats, and even shot one man in the eye. Over the weekend, another group even fired guns at a gay club in Moscow.  Please consider this news as you purchase your soda choices.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Multicultural Growth & Witness staff added the word “queer” to the language the UUA uses to describe marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.  Adding “queer” is a step forward in conceptualizing the work of welcome and inclusion.  Although any attempt to label people can never capture the wholeness of experiences and identities, the language we use is a critical tool for making visible what might otherwise remain invisible.  So now it’s LGBTQ Ministries!

Nov. 18 marked ten years since the historic ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that same-sex couples in Massachusetts could no longer be denied access to civil marriage.  We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the inspiring elected officials, community leaders and thousands of volunteers who made Massachusetts a shining example for the nation. In Chief Justice Margaret Marshall’s majority opinion, she eloquently describes the history of constitutional law as “the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded.”   In Massachusetts over the last ten years, that story has continued because of the precedent the Goodridge decision set for our community and your commitment to seeing it through. Thank you for being a part of this amazing moment in our movement’s history, and for your support of the on-going work to ensure that all members of the LGBTQ community are equal, safe and free, from cradle to grave.

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Gathering of Men Dec. 7, Newcomers Welcome

gathering of men 1Men, if you’re around on Saturday, Dec. 7 between 11:00 am -12:30 pm, drop by the Brackett Room for coffee and donuts and informal conversation with other guys from the parish. Bring your testosterone and find out what other guys are thinking about sports, politics, jobs and life. Contact Tom A with questions. [break-wrap]?

 

1st Saturday Seeker Potluck & Discussion Dec. 7

soupEvery first Saturday, Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty will be presenting her thoughts on the monthly theme, and the gathered will engage in conversation on the topic. On Saturday, December 7 the Seekers Potluck is all about celebration and family with the showing and sing-a-long of a holiday classic, The Sound of Music.  Dress up, bring food, and get your voices ready for some good clean fun!  Attendees will be encouraged to act out out their favorite scenes.  Potluck setup begins at 5:30 with the movie starting at 6:00pm. We hope to see you there! [break-wrap]?

 

All Women of First Parish Invited to the Women’s Alliance Holiday Open House at Rev. Matty’s on Dec. 8

femclipThe next get-together of the Women’s Alliance is our Annual Holiday Open House, which will be at Rev. Marjorie Matty’s home at 64 Barton Road in Stow on Sunday Dec. 8. This is a potluck where we all contribute appetizers and desserts.  The party is great, another marvelous opportunity to get to know the women of First Parish better.  Come anytime between 5:30 and 8:00 pm!  You’ll have great fun if you come.  You may drop in any time and stay as long as works for you, with everyone pitching in to clean up by 8:30 pm.. Carpooling is always encouraged, and you may contact Betty W. or Carolyn L. if you are looking for a ride or have space to offer.

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Secret Santa Now through Dec 15

christmas giftLive your faith and participate in our annual “Secret Santa” project. For over 15 years, our parish has solicited the names of MetroWest and Sudbury children whose parents need our help in making Christmas a joyous day for their kids. We solicit names of children from the Framingham Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Sudbury social workers with suggestions for what each child would like or need. The names are available at coffee hour. We encourage you to pick the name of a child or children, buy and wrap a gift for them, and bring the gift back to First Parish. All presents must be brought to the parish hall no later than December 15. However, we would appreciate receiving the gifts a week earlier – on December 8.

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Come Out of Hibernation!  In-Home Dinners in January!

potluck-dinner-invitations-294dhqySATURDAY JAN.25, SUNDAY, JAN. 26, and FRIDAY, JAN. 31

Early in January you will receive an email inviting you to join in the In-Home Dinners, which are fun and informal, and take place in the homes of First Parish hosts. They are a wonderful opportunity for longterm and newer members and friends to become better acquainted. The dinners are potluck, scrumptious events, a great time to shake off those winter blues! So be looking for that invitation in early January!

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Use Amazon and Support First Parish

You can support First Parish while you shop! If you shop at Amazon.com, please start by using one of the links below. When you do, then 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 and then everything is all set.

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

or  http://tinyurl.com/amzfps

You can make this into a bookmark or favorite in your web browser and then you will always have the link to hand. Or visit fpsudbury.org and use the link on our homepage. If you have any questions, ask Marc K and he will be happy to help.

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Stewardship @ FPS

Thanksgiving is upon us – a holiday celebrated with family, friends, and food to express our gratitude for the abundance in our lives. And what a perfect time for the Stewardship Team’s kickoff meeting! Team members are: Susan S, Chair; Stephen G; Kelsey T; Lois S; Marjorie Matty, ex-officio; Sheila M, Trustees’ liaison. Our kickoff meeting was all about abundance and, especially, abundance at First Parish, starting with the Stewardship Team itself – an abundance of skills, enthusiasm and vision.

What does abundance at First Parish mean? Well, first there is our financial strength, built on the generosity of members and friends, combined with careful and thoughtful financial management and planning. Our historic stories are full of acts of generosity and commitment. For example, we often tell of the time in 1904 when the congregation couldn’t afford the minister’s salary and the Women’s Alliance stepped forward with the funds. Today’s stories are also filled with that kind of commitment although, fortunately, against a very different financial backdrop. More than a hundred years after the Alliance paid Ida C. Hultin’s salary, First Parish is a financially strong congregation. Thanks to careful planning, each year the First Parish budget includes a contribution to a fund with the sole purpose of financing future major building expenses and the Building & Grounds Committee has a plan ten years out to perform the major improvements necessary to maintain our historic meetinghouse. Thanks to the generosity of those who went before us, there are similar funds to support other long term financial needs. Even our current budget gap is modest and can be filled.

But our abundance goes far beyond money. Many thousands of volunteer hours caring for First Parish by making coffee, ushering and greeting, serving on committees, caring for the Memorial Garden, volunteering to work at the Harvest Fair or the Service Auction or the July 4th grill, raking leaves, planting flowers, mentoring a youth in Coming of Age, writing Connector articles to keep us all informed, teaching RE, providing child care, and much more.

And even more hours building the beloved community of caring and connection at First Parish – visiting those who are ill, driving members to medical appointments, providing meals for families going through hard times, being there for each other at happy times and at times when life has taken us to a difficult place. And yet even more hours spent living our faith in the world by volunteering at Open Table, buying gifts for kids through Secret Santa program, donating to the Backpack Collection every fall, participating in the Barakat Walk for Literacy or the Walk for Hunger, supporting First Parish youth in their service projects. Through all of these and so much more, we build community, grow connections and do good in the world. We are, indeed, a place of abundance and generosity.

Recently the Board of Trustees, with the support of the Finance Committee, voted to take generosity to a new level by adopting the idea of “secured pledges”. Sometimes really difficult financial times hit and we simply can’t keep our commitments. Secured pledges is a new piece of the First Parish community of hope and generosity in which members who are experiencing difficult and unforeseen financial circumstances can talk to Rev Marjorie about a plan that includes not just relief from paying their current pledge, but also the option of requesting First Parish to return their pledge payments made during the current fiscal year. As Rev Marjorie said in a recent sermon, during those times we want First Parish to be part of your support system. Or, put another way, First Parish will have your back.

From the Stewardship Team – have a wonderful Thanksgiving with all your old and new traditions! May we all take a moment to be grateful for abundance in our own lives and may we celebrate our connections to this community of abundance.

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Our Newsletter is Switching to Monthly

image015Starting with the December 11 issue of the Connector, our First Parish newsletter will be published monthly instead of every other week.  Updates about happenings will be sent to you every Friday in weekly email called ENEWS – a brief listing of events for the weekend and coming week.  We hope this change improves communication and inspires you to keep in touch and stay involved with the many opportunities found in our congregation. [break-wrap]?

Thank you

 In the last Connector the Unsung heroes listed left out some heroes of SpiritPlay in error.  Please thanks  Karen Neurath, Suzanne Whittlesley and Amy Prince for their awesome work.

The Landscape Committee is hugely appreciative of the amount of help we had during the Outdoor Clean-up on Saturday, Nov. 16th.  Many arms and legs, young and old, working together, made this our most efficient and thorough clean-up ever. We are VERY grateful for the help: Thank You!

Sad News

Our hearts go out to Maxine Yarbrough on the Nov. 24th loss of her husband, Dean, who died at Wingate in Sudbury surrounded by his children and grandchildren.  Dean and Maxine were long-time long-ago (1970’s) active friends of our congregation.

Free Tables

Need any tables? We  cleared out some of the older heavier banquet tables, some of which may need a little TLC. They are in the carriage sheds for you to take. Questions? See Jan H.

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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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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.

Remember the UUA Bookstore when shopping for holiday gifts:  www.uuabookstore.org

The Halalisa Singers – In Concert! Tickets from Terry L.  Dec 8th 3:00 PM First Parish in Sudbury (also Dec 7th 8:00 PM  First Parish in Lexington  7 Harrington Road.

An Evening of Conversation and Resources for Families and Children Navigating the Gender Transition Process.   BodyImage4Justice (BI4J), along with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Greater Boston PFLAG, and the Livingston Pangburn Transgender Access Partnership, is pleased to present a lively panel discussion on supporting transgender children, moderated by Corey Yarbrough of the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition.This event will take place on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall at Harvard University from 6:00-9:00 pm.

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Quote to Ponder

There is no such thing as only a test.  All of life is testing, trying things out, experimenting to see what will happen.  Our only choice is whether we pay attention to the results of our experiments.  How will you change something in your life based on what you’ve learned today?

 


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., Dec. 4 for the monthly issue of Wed., Dec. 11*

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 November 13, 2013

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Newsletter

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

image014Is it me or is time flying by really fast? It seems just like yesterday that I moved into Stow and started officially ministering to First Parish, and here we are in November speeding towards Thanksgiving. I find it important when dwelling, at times, within a whirlwind to reflect and take stock of where I have been and where I am going; it helps me to place my current moment in context. I began in September sharing with you my thoughts about Speaking Our Truth in Love, in October I entered into a discussion about the “Interdependent Web” of which we are all a part, and this month I am entering into the territory of “Relationships.” I do not plan to focus on romantic relationships per se, but instead on how we decide to enter into mutual relationship with one another and how we cultivate and maintain these ever-evolving connections. What helped me to decide on this specific theme is that it is a natural progression from whence we came. We endeavor to be mindful of the words we use with one another and the importance of love. We acknowledge our interconnectedness, and now we make conscious choices to enter into covenantal relationship with one another. Why is a covenantal relationship different than any other? Because it is a formal agreement to be with one another in a manner that is beyond the every day of an acquaintance or passerby. We enter into an agreement to walk this walk or roll this roll together and to do so based on the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is easy to fall out of right relationship with one another as the least miscommunication can cause hurt feelings and a rift. First Parish can be the one community beyond home and work that we can challenge and support one another to stretch beyond where we have felt comfortable before. Stretch not to breaking but to a place of transformative growth. How can we grow together?

As I start to contemplate the eighth sermon that I will share with you this Sunday I reflected on the seven sermons that I have shared with you thus far. History has been kind to church goers of contemporary times.  Topics that once took hours to unpack and deliver now stretch our patience at twenty minutes, even though they are filled with engaging stories, metaphor, and antidotes about how to live a good life and do the right thing. I vowed as I began this church year to expand the range of my style from heart-centered to funny to intellectual. I have delivered a varied cadre of speaking styles on a wide range of topics including my most recent invitation to contemplate difficult truths about life and death. What I have realized over these two months is pretty much what I expected… some topics and styles will resonate with some of us while others will not. Here is a perplexing and challenging truth for a minister: what some of you like to hear me speak about others in the community do not. My choice is to endeavor to make some of you happy all of the time or try to make different people happy each week. So as your minister I have decided to continue to vary my style and content to reach as many people as possible from week to week with differing topics. What does this mean? If you do not like a sermon that I preach on any given Sunday…be patient. That sermon that will touch you deeply and that resonates with your soul is not that far away. If you really want to hear me preach on a specific topic just let me know what you are longing to have me read, research and write about because I do endeavor to include your interests into my repertoire. As I said to you during my candidating week and not so long ago: my job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, and if you feel challenged from the pulpit on any given Sunday revel in the fact that clearly you are stretching and growing in new ways. I am forever thrilled to be on this journey of hope, love and discovery with you!

Peace and light to you during this season of introspection.

Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

The theme of this month seems to be “work” – not the kind where I have to do manual labor, but more the “philosophy of work.”  It all started about a month ago when I went camping with our Youth Group.  As the teens navigated their way through setting up tents, preparing meals, and cleaning-up after themselves, some needed guidance about how much effort to chip in.  As seems natural in groups, some people put forth more work than others.  While it seems like it is a minor part of a group camping experience, it actually proved to offer our teens many life lessons.  What do I do if I am doing more work than others?  What do I do if someone asks me to do something I don’t know how to do?  These basic experiences mirror what they will later be experiencing in the workforce as adults.  I gave them my general philosophy, “Contribute a little more than your fair share.”  Be helpful and give a little extra without enabling others to not do their share.

This theme continued for the rest of the month.  I heard about a study that recently came out suggesting that parents who put their kids’ wants ahead of their own are happier than parents who are seeking their own happiness.  While the author recognizes that the survey sample wasn’t big enough to make the research statistically significant, I felt that the report was missing something.  Then I was sent a blog that details a conversation as a father guides his son to understanding that the main goal of marriage should not be finding your own happiness, but making your spouse happy.  While I am the first one to promote the importance of “giving” in our lives, I also believe that it needs to be in balance.  A few weeks ago, I told the children’s story about the “Giving Tree” and noted that I don’t like the story because the boy/man takes everything the tree has to offer until there’s almost nothing left.  I worry that this study and this blog (like this children’s story), offer a one dimensional focus on giving — Give blindly without considering the need for a balance of giving and receiving.  Not only does giving too much deplete the giver, but it isn’t as beneficial for the receiver as it seems.

A balanced exchange of giving and receiving is a wonderful aspect of healthy relationships.  Sure, some people need a little more at certain times in their lives, and others are free to give a little more at other times in their lives.  Balance and spreading the work among the group is the key.  The beauty of being in relationships, families, and religious communities (such as ours) is that we are surrounded by people who are willing to work together to help one another.  When we each “contribute a little more than our fair share,” amazing things happen around here.

Blessed be. Roberta

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Religious Exploration NEWS

 Be sure to LIKE our two NEW Facebook pages and stay connected:

 1. Multigenerational fun & connection at First Parish of Sudbury — Since connection is the most important part of community … Post activities that you are hosting that you would welcome First Parish folks to join you for.  Please be clear about date, time, age restrictions, and costs.  And most important, have FUN!!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Multigen-fun-connection-at-First-Parish-of-Sudbury/539545412789906

2. Living Our Faith at First Parish of Sudbury — This is a group specifically looking at Social Justice – Our Work in the World. Feel free to post ideas, hopes, dreams, and projects/initiatives you are working on that you would like others to know about.  https://www.facebook.com/livingourfaithatFPS

Join us for a special breakfast

bagel and coffeeThe R.E. committee will continue our tradition of offering breakfast opportunities for sharing feedback about Religious Exploration at First Parish and for connecting with other parents and volunteers who care about all of our children and teens. Join us for our next one on Sunday, November 17th from 9 to 9:45am. Please RSVP to Roberta if you can (to help with planning), but still come if you realize last minute that you can make it. [break-wrap]?

The “No Stress – High Talent” FPS Theater … SIGN UP TODAY!

theaterThis year’s theatrical performance will feature the theme of “becoming a person”. We have several participation options to match your interests and time availability. Adults and children alike are welcome to sign-up for any part. Please check out the parts below and let us know what parts you would like to join us for (here on the sign-up genius at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050D45A9AD23A46-multigenerational  or by contacting Roberta).

1. The (approx. 15 minute) scripted play “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” directed by Alorie P.  Walter Mitty is a man who never really grows up. He lives in a world of fantasy in which he becomes the hero. The characters and language he creates are absurdly funny. The rehearsals will be on December 8, January 5, February 2, February 23, and March 9 from 11:30am to 1pm … Plus the dress rehearsal at 9am on March 15 and the performance during the service in March 16.

2. The (approx. 10 minute) skit called “Who Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up” directed by Roberta Altamari. This is a great for kids and adults of ages who want to get wild and creative as we explore “who” we aspire to be with a focus on adjectives and character instead of occupations. We will conclude with a group singing of “If I Had A Hammer”. The rehearsals for this will be on January 5, February 2, and March 9 from 11:30am to 1pm … Plus the dress rehearsal at 9am on March 15 and the performance during the service in March 16.

* We know both of these parts conflict with Hop Brook Morris Dancing and so there will be a special feature in the “’Who Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up” Skit especially for Hop Brook Morris Dancers that will rehearse at 1pm on the same three days listed above.

3. Monologues. A few teens and adults are invited to write and deliver their original vision of what it means to become a person. This involves one or two rehearsals with Alorie (at a mutually convenient time) … Plus the dress rehearsal at 9am on March 15 and the performance during the service in March 16.

4. Dominique A is going to choreograph and lead a contemporary style dance (to a song called Bruises performed by Train) that Buren and Edj A will play. Rehearsals for the dance will be January 5, February 2, and March 2 at 6pm … Plus the dress rehearsal at 9am on March 15 and the performance during the service in March 16.

There will be a finale involving everyone with Buren and Edj leading us in Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. There will be an extremely simple plan (with minimal rehearsal) that is festive and celebratory! Details to follow …

These are the basic plans. Please sign up today so our leaders can plan their parts!

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Living Our Faith

FOOD and WATER are the Living Our Faith priorities for this year at First Parish. Within a week after members and friends voted to adopt these issues, our first program had begun. On October 28, a group of eight First Parish volunteers worked at Open Table in Maynard. For those not familiar with Open Table, their mission is to provide healthy food, friendship and support to those in need while respecting their privacy and dignity. Founded in 1989, the organization offers weekly community supper programs and food pantries in Concord and Maynard to more than 300 guests, including many seniors and children – no questions asked. Open Table strives to provide a community of support and First Parish Sudbury is now a part of that community.

open tableAt our first volunteer evening, some of us worked to help nearly 100 people shop for staples and fresh dairy, meat and produce in the food pantry while others helped prepare and serve dinner to families in need. It was an easy-going, light-hearted social evening with the guests and other volunteers that gave us all a sense of fulfillment.   If you’d like to hear about our experience, check with Marjorie, Sherri, Ginny, Tom, Jim and Kristy, Audrey, or Marion!

We have committed to assist in the food pantry and supper program on the fourth Monday of each month. Our next date to assist will be Monday, November 25. There are several ways to sign up:  send an email to , put your name on the signup sheet in the Parish Hall, or contact Ginny D. We hope you’ll join us!

When we were voting to select our priority issues, there was also a strong desire to address issues from several perspectives – direct service, education, and advocacy – and to adopt ways for everyone in the congregation to participate – adults, youth, children. Beginning in January, an Ethical Eating Group will meet once a month to share information, recipes, and ideas for how we, as individuals, can make food choices that are healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and aligned with our values. More information to come on date, time and place.

Watch the Connector for more information on the Living Our Faith Action plan that we developed on November 3. Highlights are: a local chapter of 350.org, a global project the youth are discussing to fund wells for clean water in Cambodia, special collections for Sudbury Food pantry, a community garden, a watering system for First Parish grounds that the Landscape Committee will be discussing, and a big First Parish turnout at the Walk for Hunger in May. There is a place for everyone to be involved and we invite 100% of the congregation to join us! Sign up sheets will be in the Parish Hall – add your name to one or all of them – choose ongoing participation or one-time, occasional involvement.  Find the way that works for you as we take our UU values out into the world.

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From Your Faith In Action Team

  •  Join the Candlelight Vigil and Panel Discussion  Nov. 14 , 2013.  Candlelight Vigil : 6.00 pm – Steps of Framingham Town Hall.  Panel Discussion: 7.00 pm – Blumer Room, Framingham Town Hall.  “What We Can Do To Prevent Gun Violence and What Challenges We May Face”  Rep. Chris Walsh (Moderator), John Hill (Founder – Move to Amend, Boston Chapter), Sen. Karen Spilka, Ken Ferguson – Framingham Police Chief, Laura Hyer (Stop Hand Gun Violence), Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and Sheila Loayza (Gun Owner). Sponsored by Citizens for Sensible Gun Policy – A Member of MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
  • A New Jim Crow Workshop -Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Saturday, Nov. 16 from 10 to 2 -Unitarian Church of Sharon -An opportunity to engage with heart and mind in this social justice work. Read more at  http://www.uumassaction.org/uuma/a-new-jim-crow-workshop-nov-16/
  •  We are still seeking a liaison to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and another mentor for Ernest N. Benjamin (Nate) in the Norfolk Correctional Institution. Please speak to Judy D if you think you might be interested in filling one or both of these positions.
  • The Saturday Noon to One group of people who vigil for aspects of peace and justice on the Sudbury Common will heartily welcome more participants.

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UU Animal Ministry

animalministryThe First Principle Project has gone live on the web!  We have a Facebook page, Google Group (email list serve), and documents for you to read and give out to your congregations.

Vision: Unitarian Universalist congregations offer to their members, congregations, and communities healing, wholeness, belonging, justice, and flourishing by promoting and affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every being.

Mission: To deepen our religious understanding of the human species place in a multispecies world and what is our response to this understanding by addressing how Unitarian Universalists can affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every being.

Join (“like”) the First Principle Project Face book page where you can communicate with others and keep up on the latest announcements and news. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/648805055153160/),

Join the Google group where you can communicate with others, receive information, and be advised of recent developments. You can do this by contacting Rev. LoraKim Joyner. () or going here ( https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/first-principle-project)

UU Animal Ministry is a group of concerned Unitarian Universalists and UU friends who desire to grow and express their faith as compassion towards all beings. For more information go to www.uuam.org.

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From Your Welcoming Congregation Committee

Honor Transgender Day of Remembrance-Event Nov 17

Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20. All are invited to join the third annual virtual Transgender Day of Remembrance service hosted by Church of the Larger Fellowship in collaboration with Standing on the Side of Love and Multicultural Ministries, and for the first time in partnership with the transgender-led coalition TDOR Unite!  Held on Sunday, November 17th at 9:00pm ET, the theme for this powerful service is “Our Lives Are Valuable.” Click here for more information and for additional resources on this important day.

Congregations have an opportunity to stand against the oppression of LGBT people in Uganda. A new documentary film, God Loves Uganda, follows prominent conservative American and Ugandan religious leaders who are actively attempting to create an African culture based on religious bigotry and Biblical intolerance.  The Rev. Mark Kiyimba, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Kampala, Uganda and who runs a housing program for HIV orphans, homeless LGBT youth and others, is asking UU congregations in North America to raise their voices against this tide of intolerance.   In a video posted on www.standingonthesideoflove.org Kiyimba said there are religious leaders and others in Uganda who do support LGBT people, but without backing from North American allies, they are afraid to speak out.

New Jersey, Illinois and now Hawaii  became the 14th, 15th and 16th states to recognize equal marriage!  Only 34 more US states to go and then we can be as progressive as Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Uruguay and in 2014 England and Wales.

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This Saturday, Nov. 16 Let’s All Join in to Clean Up the Church Grounds

outdoor clean upThe Landscape Committee has scheduled the annual fall cleanup of the First Parish ground on November 16, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.—with a break for pizza and home-made soup.

There’s lots to do and we’re asking all able-bodied parishioners, family members and significant others to come and pitch in. We know that everyone has their own yard, leaves, gutters, shrubs and gardens to take care of before winter but this is a big job and it needs more hands than the committee can provide on our own. There’s work for people of all sizes and abilities.

What Needs Doing — Five major jobs need to get done before winter rolls in:

  1. Raking/blowing leaves around the church yard and behind the carriage shed. Dumping leaves in the compost bins. BYO blower. We have lots of tarps for hauling.
  2. Turning over and moving the existing compost. We have a hay fork.
  3. Cut down small trees (designated for felling) and chip the branches. We have two chain saws and a small chipper for this work.
  4. Cleaning up and preparing the Memorial Garden for winter. This includes deer-proofing the memorial plants.
  5. Pain wood preservative on garden benches if it is warm enough. (Usually about 50 degrees.)

Also, if you have a memorial plant in the garden, please come and prepare it for the winter depending on the needs of the particular tree or shrub. If you’re not sure how to do that, we can help.

Who needs to do it  —  Everyone. Really. Many hands make light work.

The members of the Landscape Commitee are all women and mostly getting on in years. We no longer have the energy—or the strong backs—to turn over compost or haul tarps full of heavy leaves all by ourselves. We need a few good men and strong women—more than a few, actually—to do some of the heavy work. Remember, you get to play with chainsaws. Likewise, the parish needs some young people to jump in for few hours of community service that can be fun. Besides, you get free pizza!

We hope to see a big group in the parking lot on the morning of November 16. We have a sign-up sheet (mostly to make sure everyone gets pizza) and a list of chores that need to be done. It’s only for a few hours. Please come and put in a few hours of work for the greater good of the First Parish.

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New Website Goes Live!  Visit fpsudbury.org

word press logoOn November 6, parishioners got their first look at the new First Parish of Sudbury website, at fpsudbury.org. The FPS website available now is Phase 1 of a multi-stage rollout. It includes all the features and the important content of the public areas of our old website on a new WordPress platform, but does not necessarily reflect the final appearance of the website. The redesigned website includes a new, easy-to-read Google calendar which can be merged with your own private Google calendars. Filters on the calendar let you view only those events of interest to you. The new website also provides easier searching, and the Connector in an online format.

Bridget H, Chair of the Web Committee, said “We chose WordPress as our new platform because it’s easy for non-experts to update, and it gives us the features we need.” One of those features, which will be available soon, is the separate, password-protected area for Members and Friends. There you will find information about the internal workings of our congregation, including our financial documents, committee details, and volunteer signups. When the private area is ready, those members and friends listed in our Church Directory will receive their login ID and initial password in an email.

A Work in Progress

In a future phase of our website development, with the help of a professional website designer, the Web Committee will focus on the graphic design, organization, and navigation of the website. We will get some expert advice as we fine-tune the appearance and usability of our new site.

The Web Committee also wants to incorporate suggestions from the congregation, so feel free to email us at

Get Involved

After the redesign of new website is finished, the ongoing maintenance and content-updates will be done by volunteers from the congregation. The Web Committee plans to offer training to interested individuals.

~ Web Committee (Bridget H – Chair, Tom Y – Webmaster, Jan H, Aline K and Susan S)

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Secret Santa Begins November 24

christmas giftAlthough Thanksgiving has not yet come and gone, it’s not too early to begin planning for our annual “Secret Santa” project. For over 15 years, our parish has solicited the names of MetroWest and Sudbury children whose parents need our help in making Christmas a joyous day for their kids. We solicit names of children from the Framingham Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Sudbury social workers with suggestions for what each child would like or need. The names will made available at coffee hours beginning on November 24. We encourage you to pick the name of a child or children, buy and wrap a gift for them, and bring the gift back to First Parish. All presents must be brought to the parish hall no later than December 15. However, we would appreciate receiving the gifts a week earlier – on December 8.

All presents must be newly purchased, wrapped, and delivered to First Parish in a paper bag. The slip with the child’s name should be firmly attached to the bag. Please do not leave a present unattended in the parish hall (except on the morning BEFORE a Sunday service). To ensure that you are credited with the gift, it is best that you deliver the gifts to Amanda B who is organizing this effort. If you would like to participate in this holiday service project but don’t like to shop, Amanda will be accepting monetary donations to buy gift certificates for some of the older teens.  Questions? Contact Amanda or the office. Thank you!

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Stewardship @ FPS

LOF Logo2November is off to a great start at First Parish! On Saturday, November 2nd, approximately 26 women attended the Women’s Alliance one-day retreat at the Harvard Unitarian Universalist church. Rev Marjorie led the program, Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World. Later the same day, the Bracket Room was filled with drumming and candlelight as the Samhain observance took place. Samhain is the time of the year when earth-based, pagan traditions honor departed loved ones. Following the Samhain ritual, we celebrated in the Parish Hall with a delicious pot luck feast.

The next day we gathered for Sunday worship and observed the moving tradition of Presente, calling out the names of those dear to us who have passed on, while the congregation responded, “Presente.”  A beautiful altar was in the front of the church with photographs of those we loved and objects that remind us of those who have gone before us. Finally, in keeping with the circle of life, a lively group met following the service to decide on a Living Our Faith action plan.

Why are we telling you all of this in the stewardship column? Because this is what stewardship means. It is relational, it is community, it is us honoring diverse traditions, it is us remembering together our individual family and friends who have passed and us remembering those who once were part of our community. It is First Parish at its best and most hopeful.

And it’s about us being our best and most generous. We invite each of you to set a personal generosity goal. Perhaps it means a cash donation each Sunday that is separate from your pledge, or it might be a donation in honor of an important event or in memory of a loved one. One First Parish member shared recently, “I realized I have so much stuff that I’m starting to give it away. The last thing I need for my birthday or the holidays is more stuff! So I’ve asked my family to make charitable donations in my honor instead. And First Parish is at the top of my list.”

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Gratitudes for FPS Unsung Heroes

Members of the FPS Board of Trustees would like to express their gratitude to the many folks at First Parish who keep this place humming. From table setup, hosting fellowship hour, and cleanup to committee participation, singing in the choir and care of our historic meetinghouse. Often we learn about some star “saving the day” many days, months or even years after the fact! Please let us know of any other unsung heroes (contact Alex A) and once again the leadership thanks you for all that you do each and every day!

Today we are taking the time to thank (in no particular order):

Bridget H, Susan S, Tom Y, Jan H, and Aline K (Website Committee) for the new just-released First Parish Website!

Cate D, Steve G and Bruce L for our new First Parish of Sudbury sign at the intersection.

Lorenzo M for fixing clapboards and Mary Lee M for painting them (this is a correction and apology from the previous newsletter)

Bunny V VM for her dedication to keeping the Memorial Garden plantings alive during a very dry summer.

Carolyn L, Sue C,  Sherri C, Maryellen F and Elaine J for running a yet another successful Harvest Fair.

Deborah K for representing FPS all these many years (and more to come) on the Sudbury Center Task Force.

Cillla R for doing all that button sewing (look at your pew cushion!).

Leslie L & Carolyn B for decades (literally) of launching and running the FPS SpiritPlay RE Program.

Mark K for researching and implementing some new software.

We truly appreciate your contributions of time and energy to First Parish.

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Free Tables

Need any tables?  On November 16th we will be clearing out some of the older heavier banquet tables, some of which may need a little TLC.  They will be in the carriage sheds on Sunday, Nov. 17  if anyone is interested.  Questions?  See Jan H.

 

Gathering of Men Dec. 7, Newcomers Welcome

gathering of men 1Men, if you’re around on Saturday, Dec. 7 between 11:00 am -12:30 pm, drop by the Brackett Room for coffee and donuts and informal conversation with other guys from the parish. Bring your testosterone and find out what other guys are thinking about sports, politics, jobs and life.   Contact Tom A with questions. [break-wrap]?

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Our Pastoral Associates

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

In the event of a pastoral need,

please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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From a Grateful Daughter

Ginny P’s daughter, Jeanne K,  wrote “I am so sorry this has taken me so long. I just put Ginny’s house up for sale.  Thank you very much to the following people who contributed food, time and/or money for Mom’s memorial service.  You made it so warm and wonderful for us all.”  Thank you:
Alice L, Alorie & Craig P, Anita B, AnnMarie L & Bruce P, Bettie R, Bobbi F, Bridget H, Deirdre M, Donna S & Bev W, Dorothy & Norm S, Elaine J, Fran S, Helga A & Nancy M, Jackie R, Joan S B, Judy D, Ken and Scott T, Leslie B, Leslie L & Tom Y, Marge L, Maria vB, Marion T, Mary Ellen F, Mary Lee M, Nina P, Pat B, Peg E, Polly M, Sharon K, Sheila D, Sheila M & Sherene A Sherri C, Sue R, Susan McK and anyone I missed who also helped.

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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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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 loss of life and devastation in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan are truly staggering. UUSC has close ties to the Philippines and has activated emergency response efforts. We are launching a joint special appeal for Philippine relief efforts with the UUA, and will distribute funds where they can do the most good.  We need your immediate support to help our friends in the Philippines and address this humanitarian disaster. Your donation will immediately be directed to our Philippine relief efforts.  https://secure2.convio.net/uusc/site/Donation2?idb=1531327196&df_id=3581&3581.donation=form1&idb=0&s_src=111113Phil#1&AddInterest=1161

All proceeds from shop.uusc.org support UUSC’s human rights work around the world. UUSC offers ethically sourced products for sale that are sweatshop-free, union- or cooperative-made, and environmentally sustainable.  shop.uusc.org has added hundreds of new food products — including delicious treats with no tricks!  Your purchases through UUSC’s online store help you live your commitment to ethical eating — and they support our struggle to advance workers’ rights at the same time.  These delectable offerings were fairly traded or directly traded, meaning workers all along the supply chain are provided a living wage. We support a number of worker-owned, local producers, including many small cooperatives. These companies are in danger of being replaced with multinational corporations that have little respect for workers’ rights.  So what’s new and tasty?  Southern Alternatives pecans…Sweet and savory spreads from the Jam Stand…Fair-trade spices from Fair Seas Spice Company…as always, we’ve got Equal Exchange chocolates and coffee to soothe your sweet tooth and give your morning a buzz and holiday cards. Don’t wait to check out shop.uusc.org – the  new catalog is online!

The UUA office formerly known as the Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns has a new name and new staff members.  The office is now known as LGBT Ministries and is part of the UUA’s Multicultural Growth & Witness staff group. Delfin Bautista is LGBT Ministries program coordinator and Alex Kapitan is Congregational Justice administrator within that office. Bautista said, “We welcome questions about the Welcoming Congregation and Living the Welcoming Congregation programs, including ways congregations can expand these efforts beyond the congregation and into the larger community.”  The office can also respond to questions about how to provide education around LGBT issues and how to engage communities of color and people of all ages with these issues—one topic of focus in particular for the office is ministering to LGBT youth. The office can also help with creating worship services and with ways to be involved with legislative efforts around issues such as marriage equality, transgender civil rights, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Bautista and Kapitan can also offer help in creating lectures, workshops, and other presentations.  or contact staff members directly at (202-393-2255 x15) or (617-948-6461.

Learn about The Fair World Project’s mission to promote organic and fair trade practices and transparent third-party certification of producers, manufacturers and products, both here and abroad. Through consumer education and advocacy, FWP supports dedicated fair trade producers and brands, and insists on integrity in use of the term “fair trade” in certification, labeling and marketing.  Go to www.fairworldproject.org and get on their newsletter list…it’s worth your time!

sheperd

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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., Nov. 20 for the issue of Wed., Nov. 27

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 October 16, 2013

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in Newsletter

 

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Contents & LINKS

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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

image014The Fall is my favorite season… Okay wait… I do love the summer as well, but there is something about the cooler weather, the trees changing color and then the leaves slowly falling from the trees in their multi-colored splendor that just takes my breath away. The interesting thing about the leaves is that they are a large community that lives in symbiotic relationship with a tree. Each leaf has its distinct life and characteristics and yet is part of the larger whole. Individual leaves respond to moisture, temperature, and hormonal feedback from its environment and the tree. This can all be understood in the science of trees and leaves. I remember during an entry level science course that I once took we learned about the plant hormone abscisic acid. It is abscisic acid, when triggered, that isolates individual leaves from the tree removing the flow of chloroform, which is what turns the leaf a different color. Abscisic acid is what severs and then heals the bond between the tree and leaf, and thus the leaves fall to the ground and the tree remains intact. The fallen leaves act as a bed of mulch which protects and feeds the roots of the tree in inclement weather. As the colder weather sets in, abscisic acid slowly moves from one leaf to another and from one tree to another enabling us to see the gradual turn of color as each leaf and tree responds to the call of Fall.

Using the tree as a symbol, also known as the tree of life, is prevalent in many of the world religions and “has been used in science, philosophy, and mythology. The tree of life is a common motif in various world theologies, mythologies, and philosophies. It alludes to the interconnection of all life on our planet and serves as a metaphor for common descent in the evolutionary sense.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life) In Judaism, one can see the Kabbalah, which is a representation of this tree of life and also is considered to be a sacred geometric symbol. Sacred geometry can be found on ancient artifacts and mathematically elucidates our interconnection with one another and the cosmos. The most basic sacred geometric symbol is referred to as the seed of life and contains the pattern, which when continued literally grows to become the tree.

The theme for this month’s worship is Our Interdependent Web… And the question that should be on our minds is, “How do we each fit into the larger universal picture?” I like to imagine that we are each like one of those leaves… That we are each part of a larger whole, which is First Parish, and we work together to take care of the whole but in our own unique ways and with, at times, colorful flair. We add beauty to our surroundings and protection during the harsher weather, and when the wind blows we are all affected. A tree, or organization such as the congregation of First Parish, is a complex system when viewed closely, but when viewed from afar it looks like… well just another tree or Meeting House… Yet First Parish in unique, to say the very least. In the months and years ahead we will endeavor to imagine how we are interconnected and uncover what helps us make meaning in our lives and what we appreciate about one another. We will also try to imagine how we can share, with the larger metro west community, our claimed identity and what we feel is important in a town like Sudbury and the surrounding communities to offer from our liberal religious home.

As we rake those leaves this Fall let’s remember the roots and how they need to be protected and nurtured beneath the surface. The same is true with regard to cultivating our awareness, investment, and connection to First Parish, our interfaith community of hope and love.

Blessed be the tree!

Rev. Marjorie

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

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

I recently attended a conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts.  My friend, Sophia Sayigh shared a keynote address that included so much inspiration that I was eager to share some of it with you.  Here is an excerpt from her speech.  Even though she speaks of homeschooling children, I believe it can apply to any of our lives and to our community here at First Parish.

“But what might be lost by spending some bucks, signing your kids up for stuff, and spending the day in the car driving from one activity to the next? Overcommit to prepackaged opportunities, and you might not have the time to spend a day in pajamas reading and cuddling, or the space in a day to make a serendipitous discovery born of nothing-to-do, or to experience a lush afternoon extending to sunset with other families hanging out all day at Walden Pond in the spring or fall when everyone else is cooped up in school. Or lingering at the park after a Frisbee game, or playground hopping week to week, or hosting a potluck or meeting at your house. Organizing events or get-togethers yourself is one of homeschooling’s best kept secrets. You can put some time and energy into some kind of home grown experience for your kids and other local homeschoolers, probably one that relates to an interest that your child has. Your child will meet other kids who share his or her interest, and you will make connections with other adults who are homeschooling their kids. Those parts of homeschooling were, for my family, very important parts, because we built a community of people who cared about each other and were there for each other, and that’s what it’s all about really, right? I mean, ten years later, that’s what abides.

Your life is NOW, not something you’re getting ready for later. That includes children’s lives. To me that remains one of the things I am most grateful for – my children living their lives at every age, blossoming in their own time, having the time to figure out who they are and to build relationships and connections over years. And those relationships weren’t just with other kids. Some of the people they count as friends today are the other adults in their lives who took an interest in them, mentored them, looked out for them, taught them, encouraged them, advised them, cheered them on.”

Thank you, Sophia!  Her words are beyond inspiring for me.  When the Religious Education Committee met to talk about our goals and strategies for the year, we got really excited about the importance of creating opportunities for fun and connection at First Parish.  While meaningful exploratory programs are also vital, we all need time and space to simply connect and enjoy each other.  Watch for both kinds of programs in the coming months.

Blessed be. Roberta

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Religious Exploration NEWS

Be sure to LIKE our two NEW Facebook pages and stay connected:

Multigen Fun & Connection at First Parish of Sudbury

Since connection is the most important part of community … Post activities that you are hosting that you would welcome First Parish folks to join you for. Please be clear about date, time, age restrictions, and costs. And most important, have FUN!!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Multigen-fun-connection-at-First-Parish-of-Sudbury/539545412789906

Living Our Faith at First Parish of Sudbury

This is a group specifically looking at Social Justice – Our Work in the World. Feel free to post ideas, hopes, dreams, and projects/initiatives you are working on that you would like others to know about

https://www.facebook.com/livingourfaithatFPS

“This I Believe – the Original” and “This I Believe – Our Sources” adult R.E. classes starting next week

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

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Sign up for Multigenerational Improv Workshops

We are excited to introduce a new “multigenerational theater” program at First Parish this year. During the Fall season, we invite youth (ages 10 and up) and adults to gather from 4:30 to 6:30pm on October 27th, November 10th, and December 8th for “exploring our religious values through improvisational theater.” This fun and also deeply engaging form of theater will inspire the workshop participants to use their creativity and imagination as they work together to produce small scenarios. Join us, ready to explore, grow, and be amazed! No former experience required—just a willing mind and body. Specialty pizza and fresh salad will be provided during the workshops. During the Winter season, we will offer a variety of ways to prepare for and participate in our annual Multigenerational Theatrical Presentation. This happens on Sunday, March 16th as part of the service we will build together. Participation in the Theatrical Presentation is not required to join us for the workshops. Join us and have fun! Sign up today to let us know your interest….

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050D45A9AD23A46-multigenerational

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Harvest Craft Fair ***THIS SATURDAY –  October 19 ***

craft_fair1 The Harvest Fair Committee is gearing up with preparations for the 112thFirst Parish Harvest Craft Fair, one of our biggest annual fundraisers. The Craft Fair is a fun and festive event enjoyed by FPS folks and many in our surrounding communities.

Over 60 juried crafters sell their handmade goods at our Craft Fair. There are hand-knitted sweaters, beautiful jewelry, ceramics, paintings, hand blown glass items, photography, original art, and many one-of-a-kind items.

We also sell jams and jellies and baked goods from the kitchens of our parishioners.  These are always popular items and sell out.  This is a great way for you to contribute to First Parish.  If you can bake ANYTHING – cookies, brownies, pies, cakes, bread – we can sell it.  There is no need to sign up.  Just bring your baked goods and preserves to the church on Friday Oct. 18 between 3 and 8 PM or Saturday morning before 9:30 AM.

Then there is our famous soup luncheon with a great selection of delicious soups and breads.  If you can make a big pot of soup, we would love to sell that as well.  Please contact Sue C with any questions regarding soup.

And, of course, we need volunteers for set-up, help during the Fair, and clean-up.  Please contact Mary Ellen F.   We need you to help make the fair fun and successful.

Be sure the date is marked on your calendar. Bring family and friends for lunch, to enjoy the fun, and to get a start on your holiday shopping!

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Living Our Faith

THE RESULTS ARE IN! Join us November 3 to plan our projects!

Thanks to all who participated in the discussion and voting for this year’s Living Our Faith topic. The most popular topic is: Food and Water.   So this year, we will focus our congregation-wide efforts on projects in these areas. Come to a brief planning meeting in the Library on November 3 right after the service to share ideas for projects, develop some plans for exploration and most importantly, to sign up to start working on some projects. Please forward ideas you have for projects to the Living Our Faith email address: () and bring information with you to the meeting. That way we can use our time most efficiently to get started on putting our hearts and hands to work!

interfaith svc projectWOW!! Sudbury Interfaith Project exceeds expectations!

On September 29, the Sudbury Interfaith Council sponsored a project to honor Sudbury’s 375th anniversary. The goal was to raise $9375 to pay for and pack 37,500 shelf-stable meals to help the food pantries in Middlesex County (the most hungry county in Massachusetts). With the help of 10 First Parish youth and adults, the interfaith effort far exceeded expectations: we raised enough money to pay for and we packed 40, 218 meals! This was the largest event ever in Middlesex County and the 13th largest event in all of the Northeast. Look how happy (and stylish!) your First Parish volunteers were!

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Help Needed at Open Table in Maynard on the last Monday of every month

Here’s a chance to start helping with a food-oriented action project. Starting on Monday, October 28, First Parish Sudbury has agreed to provide volunteers on the last Monday of every month to help at the Maynard Open Table. Thanks to the 6 folks who have volunteered to join Rev. Marjorie for October 28. In future months, we’ll need up to 11 workers for the pantry and to serve dinner. Arrival is at 4:45 for a brief orientation. Shifts can be split by two people if you can’t stay the whole time. Further details and directions will be provided. We will work with volunteers from First Parish in Concord. Rev. Marjorie has already signed up as one of the helpers. Will you join her? Sign up on the Living Our Faith facebook page or by sending an email to: We will be setting up a signup website to make future participation even easier!

93 kids thank you!

backpacks 2013That’s how many backpacks and school supplies First Parish Sudbury and HOPEsudbury collected this year in our annual drive. It’s such a simple shopping task for us but it means so much to the children who are displaced in shelters. They go to school with cute or cool backpacks full of supplies, just like the other kids all around them.

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From Your Faith In Action Team

We thought you’d like to know:  Once again FIRST PARISH OF SUDBURY HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS A “CREATING JUSTICE BANNER SOCIETY”  in honor of exceptionally generous congregational support for UU Service Committee’s Human Rights and Social Justice work.

We thought you might like to see these Share-the-Plates that have been planned for the rest of the year:

  • October 20:  Head to Head (a school in Haiti) – see full article below
  • November 10:  Mass-Care (the campaign for single-payer health care in Massachusetts) – see full article below
  • November 24:  Sudbury Food Pantry
  • December 15:  Partakers (an organization that supports prison education, including the education of the prisoner we mentor)
  • And then, on Christmas Eve we shall give our entire offerings to the Metrowest Free Medical Clinic

We thought, also, that seeing the above might inspire you to seek a share-the-plate for an organization which you support. We shall probably make some decisions for the coming year on December 8, and so, if you wish to have your choice considered, please complete the form you will find on the Faith in Action bulletin board

And, you are cordially invited to hear MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky, Director of the Institute for Urban Health and Practice Dr. Arnold Relman, former MA Commissioner of Public Health John Auerbach, and President of the MA AFL-CIO Steve Tolman at a benefit to support Mass-Care (the organization that works for single-payer health care in Massachusetts) — Wednesday, October 30, 5-8 pm at U Mass Club, 25 Franklin Street in Post Office Square Boston. More information can be obtained at www.masscare.org;.

A Public Forum Health Care Options for All Stages of Life:  Palliative, Comfort & End-of-Life Care”  will be held Sunday, Nov. 3 from 2:30-4:30 at Goodnow Library, 21 Concord Road, Sudbury.  See the flyer on the Parish Hall bulletin board for details or ask Judy D.

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Share the Plate October 20 with Head to Head

head to head 3The Head to Head School in Haiti is extraordinary. It provides tuition free education for children in the community of Belle Vue,Haiti, which is on a mountain above the southern coastal city of Jacmel. Locally it is called LEcole Commmunautaire de Belle Vue.

Jean Lublin of Norwalk,Ct, founded the school when he realized that many children in the community where he was raised couldn’t go to school because they were too poor. When he and a small group of Haitians living in the states saved about $1500 he believed I was sufficient to start a school. In 1999 under a canvass supported by wood posts,, three teachers began their work. Jean works as a nurse assistant and a portion of his income still goes to support the school.

Today there are 200 students and classes are held in a reinforced concrete building containing several rooms. We recently learned that 24 of 25 students taking the State’s qualifying exam for high school had passed , a phenomenal credit to the hard working teachers and students.

The other major happening can be best appreciated when you realize that the community of Belle Villegas has no running water or electricity and that it is on top of a mountain, lacking modern roads. Thus families had to carry water from a spring about a quarter mile down the mountain.This condition was recently alleviated when a well was drilled this summer close to the school.head to head 4

All gifts go directly to the school (no middlemen)and are used to pay the teachers and provide the children with a meal a day.

Thank you for your generous support on October 20.

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Share the Plate November 10 with Mass-Care

Our November 10th Share the Plate will be for Mass-Care, the organization that works for single-payer health care in Massachusetts — a system that would make comprehensive, quality health care a right for all Massachusetts residents at a price that individuals, businesses and the Commonwealth can afford. Many MA residents can’t afford the co-pays and deductibles that they have to pay under our present health care system, and many MA residents are still going bankrupt because of their health care expenses. Mass-Care works closely with supportive legislators and members of its affiliates to educate other legislators and the general population about single- payer health care and has won support for single-payer health care on ballot questions in 24 Massachusetts towns. U-Mass Professor of Economics Gerald Friedman’s analysis shows that a single-payer system for Massachusetts would save 15.7% (or 9.7 billion) of our current health care spending — primarily in administrative waste.

From your Welcoming Congregation Committee

naughtyThere is more to equality than marriage (as important as that is).

 The vast majority of states have no equal marriage, and same-sex marriage in one state is not recognized by most other states.

In 33 states, you can fire a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) person from a job and deny a promotion simply based on orientation.

In a large majority of states GLBT parents – whether foster, adoptive, step or biological – are openly discriminated against.

There is no comprehensive Federal safe school legislation for GLBT kids.

There is more work to be doneHow are you working for equality?  Tell your representaitves on the local, state and federal level how you feel.  Join the Welcoming Congregation Committee at First Parish.  Contact Donna Scalcione.

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UU Animal Ministry

Take Action: Protect Honey Bees and Our Global Food Supply

Tell Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop selling bee-killing plants. In another example of how interconnected we are to our local farms and global food supply, a growing body of evidence has shown that pesticides called neonicotinoids are linked to the declining population of honeybees. Honeybees pollinate 71 out of the most important 100 crops worldwide. And in a surprising discovery, many of us may be unknowingly contributing to the problem by purchasing garden plants treated with neonicotinoids. More than half the samples of garden plants from top retailers in three different regions of the US tested positive for these pesticides. Our bees, our farmers, and our global food supply depend on actions taken to reduce the use of these toxic chemicals.  Tell Home Depot and Lowes to stop selling bee-killing plants.  Go to http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/home-depot-and-lowes?source=c.url&r_by=5382364

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NOTE: Office Closed Oct. 22-31

Our Congregational administrator, Donna Scalcione, will be taking some time off starting Tuesday, Oct. 22 and probably through the end of October. She will check phones and email remotely most days and asks for your patience.

NO NEWSLETTER OCT. 30.  NEXT NEWSLETTER WILL BE NOV. 13.

4th Tuesday Lunch & Discussion Oct. 22 at Noon

Cate D will be the speaker at the next 4th Tuesday lunch, Oct. 22 at Noon in the Commons. Cate says, “Being out in nature, in the fresh air – whether it is in your own backyard or on a walk in the woods or on the beach gets us loaded up with all those feel good natural chemicals in our bodies.  Let’s talk together how listening to the birds, the ocean or feeling the sun on our skin or even watching the colorful leaves falling from the trees rejuvenates us with so much positive energy. Let’s also share some of our favorite spots that we go to in the area to walk, hike, snowshoe or kayak.  We can even go for a short walk right in First Parish’s Backyard if you would like.”

All are welcome – men and women, newcomers, visitors and long-timers.  Bring your lunch (microwave available) and share a relaxing hour or two with friends old and new.

femclipAll Women Welcome Oct 20 at Alliance Meeting

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

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

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

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

Don’t Miss the Alliance One-Day Retreat Saturday, Nov. 2femclip

The Women’s Alliance will be having our 2nd annual one day retreat on Saturday, November 2. This new tradition began last spring when we had to forego our annual weekend retreat due to candidating week. We had such a wonderful time and loved the beauty and convenience of the First Parish site in Harvard that we decided to continue the tradition, making our 1-day retreat in the fall and continuing our weekend retreat tradition in the spring. Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty, the newly settled minister of First Parish, will be leading us in the Nov. 2  one day retreat entitled “Finding a Sense of Balance in an Unbalanced World.” If you would like to better understand your core values and how they help you to feel grounded, or not, in your life dare to attend! Plus this is a great chance for us all to get to know each other better.

Ministry is a second career for Rev. Marjorie who spent many years traveling around the world sharing her knowledge of software. Marjorie attended Andover Newton Theological school where she graduated with her Masters of Divinity. Combining her passion for the spiritual and technology Rev. Marjorie completed her doctorate this year entitled, “Engaging Technology in Twentieth Century Patterns of Meaning Making.” Rev. Marjorie strives, on a daily basis, to maintain a sense of balance through practices that engage the Mind, Body and Spirit.

On Nov. 2 we will plan to arrive at 9AM and then enjoy muffins, coffee and tea. It’s nice if some members bring breads or goodies that they have baked, but there is NO pressure to do that. We come to share and be enriched and have a great time together. There is ample time in the afternoon for us to take walks in the area. For 7 hours you can be part of a group doing together things we don’t often make time to do daily. There is no better way for new and long time members to become closer to one another and be in community. We’re all done around 4pm.

There is no cost except for the food, for which we will use the same wonderful source as last year. Last year we chose to make an Alliance donation to the Harvard church in thanks for their hospitality.

Sign up forms are available in the foyer and outside the office. You can also follow this link ALLIANCE 2nd_1-dayRetreat Nov2013 flyer to get to the form on the First Parish website. Please sign up to join us. Late registrants are fine, although knowing ahead of time how many we are facilitates food purchases.

All women of First Parish are warmly encouraged to attend.

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Carbon Consciousness Group to Change Meeting Day

The Carbon Consciousness group is changing their regular meeting dates to the last Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm in the Library. The next meeting is Oct. 29.  We gather each month to discuss our concerns about the environment, personal home projects and new ideas to lower our carbon footprint. We welcome newcomers to one of all of our meetings. There’s no commitment or work to be done. Please check us out. Contact Leslie L for more information.

1st Saturday Seeker Potluck & Discussion Nov. 2

soupOn October 6th ten members of First Parish gathered in the Commons to share a meal and have an experience of wonder.  The evening ensued with poetry, guided meditation, music, and media all on the topic of Our Interconnected Web, which is the worship theme for October. Every first Saturday, Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty will be presenting her thoughts on the monthly theme, and the gathered will engage in conversation on the topic. On November 2nd there will be another potluck “Community Feast” where members, friends and visitors will wonder about November’s worship theme: Traditions. A presentation, ritual, dinner and conversation will begin with setup at 5:30pm. We hope to see you there!

image022Coffee House on the Rocky Plain Presents Live Folk Music Nov 9

Music, music, music and great food to boot! Mark your calendar for the November 9th Coffee House. Featured performers are The Simones (you heard Lori Fassman last spring) and Tom Hanlon with special guest Leslie Bryant. Homemade cakes, pies and other gastronomic wonders will be served in a cozy atmosphere. Come early to settle in at your favorite table or snuggle on a comfy couch. Doors open at 7pm. Music starts at 7:30pm.

As always, volunteers are needed to bake goodies and to help with set up and serving during the show (contact Leslie L.). 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.

Thanks so much…thankyou

to Lorenzo M for replacing some clapboards on the meetinghouse (not an easy task on an historic building)…to Bruce M for priming the clapboards and to Cate D for painting them.  Great job, team!

christmas giftSecret Santa Coming

Watch for details in the Nov. 13th newsletter about Secret Santa — a traditional Living Our Faith project where we sign up to buy new Holiday gifts for area children in need — to begin in mid-November.

Our Milestones

Moving forward we will share the milestones that are offered in worship on Sunday as a column in the Connector.  Please keep those who come forward in worship for support in your thoughts and prayers.

Ginny D – remembering her brother Roger who died a few years ago.

George D – his parents house, and his families homestead, is being sold.

Marion T – memorial servie for a much loved teacher in Concord.

Ginny S – profound joy for a “new lease on life” after having having a medical procedure on her heart.

Alorie P- She is healing well and offers her thanks for all of the well wishes.

Jim G – Mother-in-laws memorial service on September 4th he remembers her and holds up Kristy’s grief at the loss of her mother.

Nancy M – happy news at being a great-great aunt for the second time!

Suren K – (friend of Ginny and Colin Steel) wife died in August and his thinks for FPS support of a women’s college that he founded in India.

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Our Pastoral Associates

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

In the event of a pastoral need,

please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates

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Stewardship @ FPS

LOF Logo2

Your giving supports our excellent children and youth programs. Your giving supports social justice programs and lifespan religious education. Your giving enables meaningful worship every Sunday and allows the choir to sing and lift our spirits. Your giving supports our excellent staff and enables us to be a good employer. Your giving supports the preservation of our historic meetinghouse. Your giving has us on the way to financial sustainability.

What else might our generosity support? What dreams do you have for First Parish? Dare To Dream!

The Board of Trustees has appointed Sheila Murphy as Trustees’ liaison to the new Stewardship Team that is forming and we want your ideas. In fact, we need them. Share your dreams, thoughts, and ideas via email to , post them on First Parish Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Parish-of-Sudbury/104705979571381, share them with Rev Marjorie, talk to Sheila M at coffee hour.

This welcoming and inclusive community of faith that is First Parish exists because of the bold and generous way we connect with each other. Together, we make it happen!

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Please wear your name tag every Sunday…it’s the welcoming thing to do.

 

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.

Save the Date to Meet Employment Options  —  Employment Options, a non-profit organization which empowers individuals and families in recovery to thrive in their communities, is inviting members of the Metro West towns we serve to tour our facility, meet our membership and learn about our programs. The Sudbury Evening will be held on Thursday, November 21, 6:00pm – 7:30pm at 82 Brigham Street, Marlborough. Light refreshments will be served. Please contact Shannon Leary with any questions, 508-485-5051 ext. 232. We hope to see you there!

Participate in the Survey for the UUA’s Multicultural Ministries Sharing Project.  Are you:  a person of color, a multiracial/multiethnic person, and/or someone with racial/ethnic/cultural heritages that are marginalized today?  a person whose visual, hearing, mobility, mental health, intellectual, learning/attention, and/or other physical abilities (including chemical sensitivity and food allergies) make it difficult to participate fully in mainstream spaces?  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or otherwise have a sexual orientation or gender identity/expression that doesn’t conform to cultural norms?  If you have one or more of these identities and are a UU or have a current or former affiliation with Unitarian Universalism, you are invited to participate in the UUA’s Multicultural Ministries Sharing Project to help our faith grow and best minister to you and your family in the 21st century. The Sharing Project Survey is open now and ends October 31, 2013. Learn more and take the survey now! www.uua.org/sharingproject

Ending Mass Incarceration in Massachusetts –  A Workshop in Effective Activism  Wednesday October 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington.  If you want to be part of ending mass incarceration in Massachusetts — or learn citizen lobbying skills that can be applied to other issues, too — please join us!  Barbara Dougan, the Massachusetts Director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, will talk about current laws, upcoming bills, and details of the legislative process. Lynn Holbein, the president of UUMassAction, will discuss how to be an effective citizen lobbyist. There will also be time for questions and discussion.  This skills-and-strategy workshop is sponsored by the First Parish Arlington Mass Incarceration Working Group. To ask questions or RSVP (appreciated but not necessary),email Light savory refreshments will be provided.  First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington is located at 630 Mass. Ave. in Arlington Center. Workshop will take place in the vestry

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FIRST PARISH OF SUDBURY UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST

327 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776

www.fpsudbury.org 978-443-2043

WORSHIP & RELIGIOUS EDUCATION SUNDAYS 10:00 AM

Newsletter submission deadline is 5 pm Wed., Nov. 6 for the issue of Wed., Nov. 13

NOTE:  No Newsletter Oct. 30

Send to administrator or phone 978-443-2043

Sunday Worship begins at 10:00 AM and will be followed by a fellowship hour in the parish hall. Religious education and childcare are available, or children may remain with you for worship.

First Parish of Sudbury is a welcoming congregation, encouraging and celebrating the participation of all people regardless of theological belief, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

If you are a seeker of scientific, technological, or spiritual meaning you will be warmly welcomed.  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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