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Spirituality and Personal Development Book Group

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in General News

Our next get-together: Saturday, June 17 10:30am at FPS

We got together for our first meeting on May 20, with great enthusiasm and lots of ideas for future books to read.

The book we chose to read (or begin) by June 17 is “Dying to Be Me” by Anita Moorjani. This is a fascinating account of a woman’s near death experience as a result of Stage 4 cancer, and her medically documented miraculous recovery. Moorjani then begins her life again, grounded in love and begins to help others through her writing and by the way she lives.

It is a fairly quick read, so get it inexpensively online or find a copy through your library and get ready for some inspiring reading. We will meet on June 17, discuss Dying to Be Me, and select the order for the next books we plan to read:

  • The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn
  • The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
  • 10% Happier by Dan Harris
  • A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

 

 

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Religious Exploration June 4th

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Coming Up in RE, DLRE Column, Religious Exploration

By Clem Rutter, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia

This Sunday is our final gathering in Religious Exploration class for the year, as next Sunday on June 11th we will stay in the sanctuary and join in the multi-generational flower communion and celebration Sunday.

Thus, this Sunday we will have an all-RE gathering to reflect on and close out the year together, and to celebrate and appreciate our community of seekers and learners together.

Nursery Care will be provided.

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A Quaker-style Meeting at FPS

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in General News, Worship Services

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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Annual Congregational Meeting Sunday June 4 11:30am

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in General News

Our Annual Congregational Meeting will take place in ten days on June 4. Grab a quick snack at social hour, then come back up to the sanctuary so we can begin (once we have a quorum). The meeting will be led by our elected Moderator, Sherri Cline.

All members and friends are welcome to participate in the meeting. Official members of First Parish of Sudbury are urged to participate and vote on congregational articles and the budget.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Your warrant, budget, and 2017 annual report will appear in your email tomorrow or Friday. Please read the reports written by your congregational leaders and staff, and study the proposed budget to prepare yourself for the meeting.
  2. Paper copies of the annual report will be available in the FPS office early next week if you need a copy. If you take one, please bring it with you to the annual meeting.
  3. Copies of the budget and warrant will be available in the annual meeting.

If you have any questions, contact Fran Sharp in the office: 978/443-2043 x 3 or

 

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Goodbye gathering for the Deutsches June 11

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in General News

Judy and Marshall Deutsch are preparing to move to New Mexico at the end of June.

Friends are throwing them a goodbye party to wish them farewell.

Gather at the Grange Hall

June 11th  —  5:30-7:30pm

For more information, contact Sherri Cline

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message from your minister

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in General News, Minister's Column

Last Sunday I spoke about how in an instant life can change, how a life even though it is courageous, well lived, filled with speaking one’s truth and nowhere near finished can have its trajectory altered. Last Friday afternoon, Alorie Parkhill was on the move, traveling mindfully through her life mid-task, mid-sentence on her way to another place when she was stopped in her tracks by a head-on collision. We know that this is always a possibility to face in this life, there is no planning for such an alternative reality and there is no way to suspend the shock, the sadness and grief that fills us. We can only be with the news and this altered sense of reality that we now face. We may feel like we are free-floating in our lives right now, in shock by this turn of events untethered by what should and should not be possible, juxtaposed with what is now true, real.

There is no sense to be made out of these events, there is no grand plan in which this is an acceptable possibility. So we sit in this place together processing, trying to make sense, afraid, wanting to do something, anything, to make it better, or easier for Craig and his family. The Parkhills and the Willetts are our people and we wish that there was something that we could say or do that might comfort them, when in reality what they need most right now is one another and time.

Friends, in the coming days, months and years, let Alorie’s passion for justice, her intelligence, her call to be a lifelong learner and teacher, her willingness to go the extra mile and her courage inspire us to live our lives more fully. Let her willingness to reach out to those in need of a strong will and mind inspire us to reach out to one another in love during this unbelievably tender time. Grieve, sing, dance, write, share, give from the heart, be kind, be gentle, be open as we assimilate this tragic time into the history of our community. We will miss our sister, Alorie. We will remember her guidance, her plays and stories and snippets of our shared experience. Let them bring us comfort in the days to come.

I am holding you all gently and in the spirit of loving kindness and compassion. If you need me I am here. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Rev. Marjorie

Please hold June 24th at 2pm as a tentative date and time for Alorie Parkhill’s memorial service, a celebration of life.

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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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