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From the Women’s Alliance: We Need Your Stuff!

Posted by on Apr 6, 2017 in General News

for our Rummage Sale on Saturday, April 22 from 10am-2pm

Please bring the stuff you have been collecting for the First Parish Rummage Sale to the church vestibule for sorting starting on Monday, April 17 and continuing through Thursday evening, April 20.  We are looking for clean and gently used clothing, books, toys and puzzles, CD’s, household goods and jewelry to sell at the sale on Saturday, April 22.

We do NOT want furniture, electronics, sporting goods, vinyl records, VHS and Blu-Ray tapes or anything that is damaged and doesn’t work.

Then come back Saturday between 10 and 2 and pick up some good stuff for yourself!

Contact Peg Espinola if you have any questions.



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We need a little help!

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in General News

Are you able to help? Here’s what we need:

  1. for this Sunday, April 16:  1  greeter to help Peg Espinola  (we have instructions)
  2. for Music Sunday, April 30: a team of social hour hosts so we can thank our choir with a nice spread of nibbles.

Please contact Fran in the office at or 978/443-2043 x3.

You are a lifesaver–it’s true. Thank you!


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Insights: Identity by Chris Scheller, M. Div.

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in General News

I was deeply inspired by the youth-led service last Sunday – along with everyone else who was able to attend, I’m sure. Our youth group spoke eloquently on the theme of Unity. But what I want to hold up for purposes of this reflection is that it is impossible to speak about unity without speaking about individual and group identity, as well. They are two sides of the same coin. You may have noticed that our high school youth acknowledged this implicitly through the analysis they offered. Unity cannot and should not create a cultural hegemony, in which the ruling-class worldview, appearance, and behaviors are imposed on others. True unity should advance the common good of all humans and life on the planet – honoring and celebrating individual differences along with our common humanity and shared destiny on this one planet. From this perspective, our interdependence depends on the diversity of gifts and different strengths and viewpoints that each individual brings to the table. Our togetherness depends on and should strengthen the way each of us can freely choose how to express our identities through our ideas and beliefs, the choiceless ways we appear and choose to appear to the world, and the ways we behave – both essential behaviors beyond choice and those behaviors we choose insofar as they do no harm.

Identity, which is the worship theme for the month of April, is an essential truth of the human condition. It gets to the heart of who we are as individuals, as members of groups, and as a means to find our way and our place in the world. The bottom line is that all aspects of identity are a sacred expression – an expression of the unique ways that Spirit manifests in and through each individual person, flower, rock, or bug. We Unitarian Universalists know something about this. We work hard on supporting and honoring the diversity of identities connected with gender, culture, race, religion, and spiritual beliefs. We are committed to looking at the ways that we can stand with those of us (the big “us” includes everyone) that suffer from all forms of discrimination, oppression, and bigotry.

Society privileges dominant identities: white, male, heterosexual, extroverted, …. the list goes on. Structural and unconscious biases play into this dynamic, such that even in the UUA, which specifically works to create and nurture inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural, and beloved community, discussions about the possibility of structural racism in the national organization’s hiring practices have recently led to the resignation of UUA President Peter Morales.

As people committed to the ideals of honoring diversity and multiculturalism, I believe our response to these events should be first to look within ourselves, to continue to search for the ways that social norms and biases work both within and around us, and to proceed with a forgiving and humble heart as we work together to manifest our shared vision and dream of a truly inclusive Beloved Community.

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Bring in your canned goods for Easter Food Drive and RE “Egg” Hunt

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Coming Up in RE, DLRE Column, General News, Religious Exploration


“The egg of the happiness, touch that egg and make a wish” in front of a shop, Sofia, Bulgaria. By Apostoloff (Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t forgot to bring in your canned goods either this Sunday or by the start of services on Easter Sunday! We are conducting our annual food drive for Easter Sunday, that will be donated to Open Table Food Pantry of Concord and Maynard.

Next Sunday on Easter, we will place all the canned goods outdoors in the yard right at 10am (or in the lower level classrooms in case of rain). During Religious Education we will move all together to the Commons for an Easter message and then, instead of the traditional egg hunt, the children will have the opportunity to look for the canned goods and then all will be brought to the Food Pantry.

Please bring the cans either this Sunday or by 10am Easter Sunday and leave them in the box in the hallway outside the Sanctuary before the service. Open Table offers some suggested items here, but all non-perishable food items are accepted.


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Religious Education April 9th

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Coming Up in RE, DLRE Column, Religious Exploration

IMG_0279 IMG_0281This week we will gather all classes together to celebrate the return of spring by making fairy houses! We had so much fun with this last year — we thought about what it would be like to relate to the natural world if we were really REALLY tiny — precisely the size of a fairy! We then used collected natural objects, such as twigs, moss, sea shells, pine cones, and small rocks, to build little habitats and houses for the fairies. What sort of fairies do you think would like our houses? It is interesting to look at the natural world from a different perspective, to celebrate all things green and outdoors with the return of spring, and to think about nature as a place to call home…

Breakfast Club will meet in the library.

Nursery Care will be provided.

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Sign up deadline this weekend for Women’s Alliance Retreat May 5-7 at Wisdom House

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in General News

Registration for the Women’s Alliance Annual Retreat – May 5-7 at Wisdom House – CLOSES on Sunday, April 9.
The 29th Annual Women’s Alliance weekend retreat is open to all women associated with First Parish. It’s a perfect opportunity to get to know better the women of the church, to catch up with longtime friends and to make new ones.  The Wisdom House building and grounds are beautiful and near to other lovely walking opportunities.

To assure the room of your choice (singles are available as are rooms with few stairs) and that we can accommodate all who wish to come, we need your registration in now.  As usual, carpooling will occur with various departure and return times.

The form and all the details are here:

There are also print copies available on the table under the monitor in the church foyer.  Carolyn can also send you a PDF if that’s easier.

This year we are thrilled that Carole McNamee will be our program leader, guiding us in a weekend creating our own SoulCollage cards.  Below is Carole’s summary of the program:

I {Carole} have been asked to facilitate the Women’s Alliance retreat this May using the SoulCollage® process.   When thinking about the retreat and my sharing, I realized that the SoulCollage®  process is a perfect follow-up to the lovely one-day retreat focused on “our authentic selves” led by Heather Merrill this past fall.  Because the process may not be familiar to you, I am providing a brief description below that may give you a vision of what we will be doing at the retreat.  I look forward to seeing you there.

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Spirituality and Personal Development Book Group forming

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in General News

First get-together: Saturday, May 20 10:30am at FPS

Kudos to Melissa Stein for this great idea!

She writes:  Do you love reading books about spirituality and personal development?  If you do, please join our book club exploring soulful, inspiring reads that can connect us in deep conversation and personal transformation.  This book club is an attempt to create a platform and a community to bring people together to explore what these books can teach us and apply any teachings to improve, elevate and add value to the quality of our day to day lives.  Besides that it’s also a fun way to socialize!  We are thinking of meeting once every 2 months on Saturday mornings to allow for plenty of time to read and to start a private Facebook group for the ‘club’ so we can chat along the way.

Some have begun reading “The Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav. (Note: some already have the 25th anniversary edition, so please get that one so we will literally all be on the same page.)

But, regardless, come on May 20 and bring ideas for books and we will organize our list and pick our “summer read” to be discussed in the fall.

See you on May 20!


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