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5/19 Bohm Dialogue — Socialism

This salon has been postponed to May 19th.

For April our topic is Socialism

Many people consider the things government does for them to be social progress but they regard the things government does for others as socialism. — Earl Warren

Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that today is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity.  — William Howard Taft

To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a basic level of dignity. It’s asserting the value of saying that the America we want and the America that we are proud of is one in which all children can access a dignified education. It’s one in which no person is too poor to have the medicines they need to live.  — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. ―Alexis de Tocqueville

A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.
— Noam Chomsky

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. — Winston Churchill

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. – John Maynard Keynes

Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.  — Bernie Sanders

Socialism – the word brings much heat and smoke but little light. For a heated debate on a usually civil channel see:

For the difference between socialism and communism:

Last time we settled the “hard problem” of consciousness — NOT! This month it’s Socialism! At least we promise to be civil. Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday April 21 at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

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Easter Sunday

Rev. Katie Lee Crane. What better way to celebrate Easter than to celebrate life! Our worship service will begin with the dedication of Audrey Orcheski, daughter of Ben Orcheski and Mary McLaughlin and granddaughter of longtime FPS member, Leslie Bryant. Noting the coincidence of timing, Rev. Katie Lee Crane, our Minister Emerita, will explore the ancient rites of spring that evolved into the festival we call “Easter,” and conclude with a meditation on how the prophet Jesus might respond to the complexities of our world today.
Rev. Katie Lee is Minister Emerita at First Parish of Sudbury, having served from 1998 to 2010. Now retired from active ministry — she says she really likes being a person in the pews! — she is thrilled to be with you again to celebrate this joyous day.
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April 28: Music Sunday Bluegrass Mass with Southern Rail (clone)

Annual Music Sunday with guest musicians Southern Rail. Sunday April 28.

Invite your friends and family! All are very welcome.

An offering of “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” by Carol Barnett. This is an amazing work that beautifully combines traditional choral writing and bluegrass music. Music will include First Parish choir, conducted by Rev. Debra Morris-Bennett.

You wouldn’t think bluegrass music and a traditional choral mass could go together. But be prepared to change your mind on Sunday, April 28. That’s when the First Parish of Sudbury choir will be joined by well known bluegrass group Southern Rail to perform Carol Barnett’s “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass.” It’s a rousing interpretation of the classical mass set to soaring refrains, intricate harmonies and freewheeling instrumentals. Conducted by First Parish Minister of Music, Rev. Debra Morris-Bennett, the performance is free and part of First Parish’s April 28 Sunday service, which begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

Southern Rail, the well known and loved New England-based bluegrass group first performed this work with First Parish’s choir in 2013. Members Jim Muller (guitar), Sharon Horovitch (acoustic bass), Rich Stillman (banjo) and John Tibert (mandolin) have invited fiddler Tim Roper and mandolin player Steve Roy to join them for this special musical service. You can look forward to hearing them throughout the rest of the service as well.

“A Bluegrass Mass” was originally commissioned for VocalEssence, an acclaimed professional choir in Minneapolis, with composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlain on board. According to Chamberlain, “Great bluegrass music is infectious and lively, so it’s easy to see why any church would want to add bluegrass, but why call it a Bluegrass Mass unless there’s liturgy, too—a text in the bluegrass tradition? Bluegrass is more than a sound. The lyrics of so many Bluegrass songs display an unpretentious, earthy philosophy that is easy to sing and easy to understand: Adam lives just up the street and Eve’s the girl next door. Love is the major theme—frustrated yearning love, secret, satisfied love or boldly proclaimed love. And although romantic love between two people is huge in Bluegrass, so is love of God, the Gospel tradition. In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us, says John in the Gospel, which launches our Bluegrass Mass as an earthy, immediate story of love between Creator and creation.”

Southern Rail’s bluegrass music is high-energy exuberant fun, with riveting harmonies, irrepressible humor, and sparkling banjo and mandolin solo work. This talented quartet has been performing since 1978, and is about to release their 12th recording. Their reputation for strong original material, heart-stopping harmonies, and infectious good humor has spread to both coasts. The group’s performances range from folk festivals to bluegrass festivals, from coffeehouses and concert halls to church services, from art institutes to educational television. For more information, visit

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Strategic Planning Progress…be sure to read to keep informed

Special thanks to all who joined the Strategic Planning Team (SPT) for one or both of their sessions to review the recommended goals and strategies to guide First Parish of Sudbury’s (FPS) next five years.  The presentation is here  for your reference.  If you have any questions, please direct them to Chad Trexler or another member of the SPT– they’ll be happy to help.  Handout copies of the presentation will be available for review and discussion at coffee hour.
FIRST PARISH NEEDS YOUR HELP!  These strategies will not magically be implemented.  Please sign up to actively support one or more of the seven strategies by emailing Chad Trexler at cptrexler@yahoo.  As a reminder of what the Strategic Plan is and is not, please have a look here.
Finally, thank you to our dedicated SPT who have been so generous with their energies and passionate about aligning FPS for future success.  They are: Jim Gish, Carolyn L, Leslie Lowe, Mark McNamee, Sheila Murphy, Emarie Pope, Val Tratnyek, Chad Trexler, and Mark Trone with support from Rev. Debra Morris-Bennett, Fred Pryor, Lois Schiappa and Fran Sharp.  Thank you all!
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Possibly the Last Auction Article?

Auction Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 Spring Auction. And…..a special thanks to those who bid enthusiastically, those who donated items and everyone who volunteered. We met our fundraising goal of $16K………and had a fun evening!

There are two upcoming concerts offered at the Auction that still have seats available. On Sunday afternoon, May 12th, Wanda Paik, concert pianist and First Parish member, will play works by Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff at her Lincoln home. Following the concert, refreshments, including delicious patisseries, will be served. Tickets are $35, available from Cilla R.

Saturday evening, October 5th  is the date for the First Parish Coffeehouse with Sally Sweitzer and Wendy Sobel. Wendy and Sally, a First Parish member, have been playing as a duo and in numerous bands for 30+ years. The blend of their voices and the ease and precision comes with a long-term friendship and musical alliance that makes their audiences feel that they are part of something special and intimate, and makes the Coffee House environment perfect for their shows. Refreshments will be served Tickets are $15; available from Sara H or by emailing .

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Family Promise Walk a Success!

Family Promise Metrowest, Walk to End Homelessness, April 6, 2019

First Parish of Sudbury’s team ( Michele Barkhauer, Tom Yelton, Valerie Tratnyek, Diahanne Lucas, Kharis Dowridge and Leslie Lowe) raised $2075 from family, friends and First Parish congregants for the annual Walk to End Homelessness. We surpassed our goal of $1000 and finished as the 13th top fundraising team out of 66 teams. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

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Sunday Service Mr. Jan Hardenbergh

Image result for jan hardenberghMr. Jan Hardenbergh speaking on “How First Parish Became Unitarian”.

In 1959, our minister Carl Scovel wrote a very well researched sermon about how and why First Parish became Unitarian, including the story of locking our minister out of the service in 1837. This look back at a pivotal moment in our congregation’s history can help us understand who we are today.

Jan Hardenbergh and his wife Gail have been a member of the congregation for 32 years. His day job is medical imaging and his hobbies are studying history and consciousness.

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