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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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Religious Exploration May 28th

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Coming Up in RE, DLRE Column, Religious Exploration

By W.carter – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia

This coming Sunday, May 28, Alorie had planned to be part of a Quaker-style worship. By now many may have received news that Alorie tragically passed away Tuesday night, succumbing to injuries from a car accident last Friday.We encourage members and friends to join in for this service, to be here to support, remember and love one another in Alorie’s memory.

Children may have questions and we expect that they will be aware that something has happened as so many in our congregation will be experiencing grief and shock this Sunday. Therefore, all children will join together for a special children’s chapel and we will address the topic of death in a way appropriate to all ages, and have some time for questions, as well, led by the Director of Religious Exploration (DRE), Chris. Chris will reach out to parents with the full agenda and will be attentive to any concerns, suggestions, and questions. Parents are encouraged to contact Chris at , with questions and concerns.


Nursery Care will be provided.

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Laughter is the Best Medicine…

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

As the song from Mary Poppins explains, “I love to laugh long and loud and clear… I love to laugh it’s getting worse every year. The more I laugh the more I fill with glee… the more I laugh the more I am a merrier me!” How do we find those places of funny that tickle us in ways that improve our way of being. Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty will be sharing her thoughts about the importance of humor and how it might just be the best medicine.

We will also celebrate our Rites of Passage during which we will honor the growth and commitment that every child in our religious exploration program has made this year with a gift of gratitude and recognition for their participation. We’ll also be celebrating the accomplishments of two cohorts within the grade school program as they cross thresholds that mark unique stages of growth in our children’s journeys, through our First Chalice and new Chrysalis Passage rituals. As we recognize these points of transition in the growth of their moral and spiritual development, we will simultaneously be honoring them as members of our evolving Unitarian Universalist tradition.
Join us for this fun and meaningful service.
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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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