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A Quaker-style Meeting at FPS (for News U Can Use)

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in General News, Sunday Service Copies

A Quaker-style Meeting on May 28

 

The Worship Associates Group asks that those who wish to be part of the Meeting to enter the Parish Hall in silence and take a seat in the circle. After a musical piece, played by Cilla Reising, we will sit together in silence, speaking briefly when moved to do so. Children will go directly upstairs to RE. We hope that you will enjoy being a part of this special experience. The service will end with another piano piece and the shaking of hands. A simple coffee hour and conversation will follow. Our thanks go to Carole McNamee for her advice and counsel.

A few Comments from Carole McNamee:

Worship begins upon entering the room and sitting down.  There is no formal announcement.  Upon taking a seat, we begin to settle our minds and bodies and look inward, seeking “that of God” in ourselves and those gathered with us.

If you are new to the silence, it may seem uncomfortable and you may find yourself distracted by your own thoughts, the noises from outside, others entering the room.  This is all normal, acknowledge the distractions, and return to your inward space seeking the still center of your being.

The communal silence is believed to provide space for us to receive messages from spirit.  If among the many thoughts that appear in your mind, there is one that seems to come from a deeper place, you are encouraged to stand and share this message aloud.  Sometimes, in the course of a Meeting for Worship, there will be many shared messages, typically referred to as vocal ministry. Following a message, it is customary to maintain silence to allow the message to enter our inner space and explore whether or not the message holds any particular meaning for us.  It may or may not.  Sometimes messages may take unusual forms, e.g. a song or a dance.  In this case it may be that others will join in the song or dance.  In all cases, the ministry comes from a deeper place within us.  It is unplanned.

Sometimes, there will be no messages and we enjoy the silence.

Worship continues in silence until a designated meeting closer shakes a hand.  Others then follow, greeting and shaking hands with neighbors.

If you resonated with a particular message, it is fine to tell the deliverer that you appreciated the message, but do not expect to have an in-depth discussion.  The speaker of the message may still be deep in thought about the message and may wish more time to consider its content before engaging in a dialogue about it.

A Quaker Meeting for Worship

(Wikipedia May 14, 2017, edited by Carole McNamee)

“Unprogrammed worship (also known as waiting worship, ‘silent worship,’ or holy communion in the manner of Friends) is based on the practices of George Fox and the Early Friends, who based their religious beliefs and practices on their interpretation of how the early Christians worshipped God, their Heavenly Father. Friends gather together in ‘expectant waiting upon God’ to experience his still small voice leading them from within. There is no plan on how the meeting will proceed, and actual practice varies widely between Meetings and individual worship services. Friends believe that God plans what will happen, with his spirit leading people to speak. When a participant feels led to speak, he or she will stand and share a spoken message of (‘vocal ministry’) in front of others. When this happens, Quakers believe that the spirit of God is speaking through the speaker. After someone has spoken, it is generally considered good etiquette to allow a few minutes to pass in silence before further vocal ministry is given. Sometimes a meeting is entirely silent, sometimes many speak. These meetings lasted for several hours in George Fox’s day. Modern meetings are often limited to an hour, ending when two people (usually elders) signal the ‘rise’ (close) by handshake. This handshake is then shared by the others. This style of worship is the norm in Great Britain, Ireland, the continent of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, Canada, and parts of the United States (particularly yearly meetings associated with Friends General Conference and Beanite Quakerism).  Those who worship in this style hold each person to be equal before God and capable of knowing the light of God directly. Anyone present may speak if they feel led to do so.

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In An Instant…

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in General News, Sunday Service Copies, Worship Services

Life can change in an instant, any event can push itself into our lives, which can cause us moments of shock, pain and deep concern. Our lives and bodies broken are in turmoil and just as quickly the process of healing begins yet again – leaving us forever changed. How do we live these tenuous lives never knowing what may cut us off and derail us from our mission? Are these significant sidetracks a wake up call, karma or just random mishaps? Facing into crisis, making meaning and recovering from crisis, Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty wonders on the implications of negotiating the dangers of living fully.

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Finding Our Way to Kindness (for News U Can Use)

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in General News, Sunday Service Copies

What is a Woman’s and a Mother’s role in the twenty-first century–to be a care giver and a tender of the heart and hearth? Are Women  able to bring hope to the hopeless during dark times? What are those small daily acts of kindness and compassion that show our respect and love for one another? How do and can, “We go high when they go low” and do our small attempts to connect with others change people for the better? Ultimately, can the feminine heal our world? Join Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty on mother’s day to honor and thank the women in our lives.

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Music Sunday April 30th “Sun, Moon and Stars” (for newsletter)

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Sunday Service Copies

The First Parish Choir presents our spring Music Sunday service

Who hasn’t looked up at the night sky with wonder and awe? And who hasn’t experienced a breathtaking sunrise or sunset?  On April 30th, the First Parish Choir will present its spring Music Sunday on the theme of “Sun, Moon and Stars”.  We hope you will join us as explore through music and readings our thoughts and inspirations of these celestial orbs.  Throughout centuries, we have been inspired by and often sought solace in their presence.  Included in the musical offerings will be Randall Thompson’s beloved choral setting of Robert Frost’s poem “Choose Something Like a Star”.

Music Director, Debra Morris-Bennett was inspired to craft this service after learning Daniel Elder’s piece titled “Ballade to the Moon” in which he takes us through a nighttime walk through the woods and we experience, in his words, “Love for the surrounding dusky beauty that causes the narrator to weep with joy, with only the moon as witness.” Closing the service, the choir will sing ‘We Are Stars” by Kenley Kristofferson, which is based on the words of Carl Sagan.  An avid Carl Sagan fan, Kenley describes this powerful work with these words, “This choral anthem is wrapped in warmth, thick harmonies and lyrical melodies as it manifests the connectedness of life, the Earth and the stars through a united chemistry.”

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Living Deliberately (for News U Can Use)

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Sunday Service Copies

Join the congregation at First Parish of Sudbury Unitarian Universalist on Sunday, April 23 as we welcome Fran Sharp to the pulpit. Fran, a life-long Unitarian Universalist, has been a member of the congregation for 19 years, has served on the staff and also the Worship committee for several years..

Ms. Sharp will offer reflections on a favorite writing by Henry David Thoreau in the 1880s when he lived at Walden Pond in Concord. The writing began “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” She asks “how do we go about the challenging and religious work of living deliberately, and does this mean different things at different stages of life?

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We Will Rise…(for NUCU)

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in General News, Sunday Service Copies

Easter Sunday is a time for stories of spring, the return of the sun, Ostara – the Dawn Goddess, Easter bunnies, eggs and the resurrection of Jesus. How do all of these varied topics meld into a meaningful Sunday? Come be a part of this amazing and loving community and experience a Unitarian Universalist Easter Sunday. Please bring canned food that will be donated to the local food pantry.

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