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Connector March 5 2014


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Minister’s Column by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty


 “The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little…” (Ben Sweetland)

There are many religious/spiritual sages who share a similar insight which makes it hard to believe that humanity has still not gotten it, how can we create abundance in our lives and the world if what we fear and focus on is scarcity? What does it take for us to shift our thinking to a place of abundance? I often think of positive affirmation as a way to cultivate an abundant mind and using mantras as a way to change the way that we think. For example, if we hold the mantra in mind that, “I have an open and loving mind and heart” ultimately we will create a life that is open and loving. What we are willing to mindfully cultivate in our lives will shape us and everything that we do. This is why I feel that it is critical to engage in strategic and abundant thinking so that we can create and cultivate the life and congregation of our dreams.

With this in mind I have been working with the Board of Trustees and your Stewardship team to imagine what First Parish would look like if we were fully funded with resources to spare. What would our weekly programming offer, how might our facilities change and what would our members be focusing on? When we think strategically about our future it is critically important for us to think towards a culture of abundance instead of scarcity because ultimately we create what we imagine. We can even find this in basic ways, for example, if we wake up in the morning saying to ourselves, “I feel tired and burned out” guess what happens… We are tired and burned out. If we go to bed believing that we will “fall right to sleep and wake up rested” the chances are that we will do just that. The key to this practice of abundant thinking is to realize that our thoughts are far more powerful that we can possibly imagine.

What you think and how you think matters. This is why on Saturday, March 8th I want you to come to the seminar that we have planned on thinking abundantly. Many of you believe that this is all about strategic planning, which is half true, but it is also about taking note of how we each think. How and what we feel about First Parish is important but even more important is what our assumptions are.

In this daylong session, with lunch provided, we will investigate our assumptions individually and as a congregation. Our collective imaginings will enable us to understand how we have created the congregation that we are and how we can mindfully and strategically create our future. I realize that we are all busy, now there is an affirmation that can be overbearing at times, but I need for all of the members and friends to attend this session. I cannot steer the USS First Parish without you and this is a critical moment to clear the decks and fully participate.

I have seen how you, the members and friends, have evolved as individuals and as a congregation in the short time that we have been together. It is palpable how re-energized and excited you all are about the community that we are working to create. The goals and tasks that we will endeavor to raise up over the next couple of months will be culled from your dreams. We will build a plan and our goal is to vote on this plan at our annual meeting in June. This plan will include your lists of projects, events and beloved traditions, it will be a living plan that will continue to evolve as we do.

I have dubbed March the month of abundance as we are about to embark on a journey that will begin with the sharing our dreams, continue with the annual canvass to garner renewed volunteer and financial support and end on the 30th with my installation as your 44th minister! Let us venture into this month feeling joyful for all the bounty and blessings that we have in this life! Be joyful for moments without pain, for a sunny day in the midst of a bounty of snow and for a community that truly cares about who you are and what you believe.

Peace and much love,

Rev. Marjorie


R.E.flections by a chaliceD.R.E.amer

by Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

I believe one of the greatest joys from being in community is the magic of collaboration. Something magic is created when two or more people come together to work on a shared project. I have been a part of two stories this month that highlighted the magic of collaboration.

The first was on Youth Sunday early in February. I loved how so many of our youth contributed a part to the service. While some of the contributions might have seemed small, together they created a magnificent worship service. Three of our teens wrote a reflection on the theme of “how do you know the choices you make in life are the right ones.” Each individually was thoughtful and inspiring, but hearing them together was incredible. There was a synchronicity and power in their collective sharing that left me filled with awe and gratitude.

A few weeks later, I met with Alorie Parkhill to continue planning our “theatrical worship service” coming up on March 16th. This service is so different from anything I’ve done before in worship. It’s far out of the box of traditional multigenerational worship and it’s been exciting to plan it with Alorie. Alorie has been working with our multigenerational group of actors in the short play “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and I have been developing a skit with some of our kids called “Who Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up,” and it was time for us to plan the service itself. While the play and the skit will be in the service, Alorie and I still needed to weave and create the service. I was sparked with energy and inspiration as Alorie and I selected readings, music, and planned some amazing moments for the service. I was so grateful to Alorie as we worked together in sync creating something so much more special than either of us could have ever created by ourselves. It promises to be powerful, meaningful, and another perfect example of the magic of collaboration.

Together, the First Parish community can and often does create beautiful energy. With the annual Stewardship Season here, I invite you to remember this spirit of collaboration as you consider how much you will pledge to First Parish for the coming year. Your generous contributions do come together to insure that First Parish continues to grow and thrive.

Blessed be. Roberta


Religious Exploration NEWS

Career Transitions Support Group starting

career transition2Upon hearing the news that Roberta is transitioning to a new career, several First Parish people approached her expressing interest in creating a short-term support group to share our journies as we prepare, plan, and transition in our careers. Contact Roberta today at if you are interested in joining us and let her know if Tuesday afternoons, Tuesday evenings, Wednesday mornings, or Wednesday evenings would be the best meeting time for you.

March 16 “Becoming a Person”  A Multigenerational Theatrical Worship Service

By Alorie Parkhill and Roberta Altamari — People of all ages are invited to join us for this exciting service that is very different from anything we’ve done before in worship. The service will include a multigenerational group of actors performing the short play “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” some of our kids sharing a skit called “Who Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up,” and fabulous music, dancing, monologues, readings, and more. It promises to be powerful, meaningful, and unforgettable!


stewardship logo 2014Pledge Campaign underway

Every year around this time members and friends are asked to make a commitment to First Parish of Sudbury’s financial future.

On March 2 the Stewardship Team officially launched the 2014 Pledge Campaign which will enable our Board of Trustees and our Finance Committee to plan our budget for the coming year. The success of the campaign in part determines how big our vision can be next year.

More than 75% of our budget comes from pledges

Promising to contribute money is an important way our members support our community and our shared vision. More than 75% of our annual operating budget comes from our annual pledge drive. Without your generosity we cannot pay our staff, heat our building, fund our outreach to the community, or even plow our parking lot.

How will we spend our money?

The Board of Trustees’ financial vision for next year includes the following key initiatives, among others: close our budget gap, provide salary increases to our staff, fund our website, increase our Living Our Faith outreach, and contribute our fair share dues to the UUA and to our district.

These are the basics for keeping First Parish of Sudbury vibrant, but what else might we do if we had the funds? If you believe, as we do, that our world NEEDS the values and connections fostered by Unitarian Universalist congregations like ours, then please, let your checkbook speak of your commitment.

Time and Talent

Volunteers are also crucial to the vitality of First Parish of Sudbury; they are the backbone of our community. Volunteering is another way to deepen your connection to the people here and to live your values. This year you can indicate on the back of your Pledge Card how you’d like to participate.


You  have already received your Pledge Packet with information about the Pledge Drive and about First Parish of Sudbury’s financial situation.

The Stewardship Team is sponsoring one more financial forum where you can get details about First Parish of Sudbury’s budget, financial health, and the budgeting process.

Soon you will be contacted by a Steward who can answer questions about pledging.

March 9 – Finance 101 at 7 pm in the Brackett Room.

March 23 – Pledges are due so that FinCom can begin planning the 2014-2015 budget. If at all possible, please have your pledge finalized by this date.

June 1 – Annual Meeting where we vote on our budget.

On behalf of the Stewardship Team,


– Susan Stocker and Sheila Murphy


fplogoJoin us in creating a vision for First Parish!

Rev. Marjorie and the Trustees warmly invite you to join us on Saturday, March 8th, for the second step in creating a Five Year Vision and Strategic Plan for First Parish. The first step was a workshop with the Trustees on January 11th. Della Hughes will be our facilitator.

What are your dreams for First Parish – dreams and ideas for worship, for educating our children and engaging our youth, for living our faith inside and outside the meetinghouse walls, for lifespan exploration, for creating a beautiful space inside and out of our historic building, for spreading the news about the beloved community of First Parish. We want to all of these dreams – and more – to be part of the conversation on Saturday.

We’ll begin at 9:00 with bagels, juice, and coffee and the workshop will end at 3:00. A delicious lunch of soups, rolls, and dessert will be served. If you’re not able to attend the entire session, please feel free to join us for as much time as possible. Your dreams and ideas are an important part of the vision!

Childcare is available – please email us at by 7:00 PM on Thursday with the ages of your children so we can plan activities. Please put “Saturday Child Care” in the subject line of your email.

Following the workshop, Rev. Marjorie, the Trustees, and Della Hughes will follow through to incorporate our ideas into a coherent plan for the future.

We are fortunate to have Della as our facilitator. In addition to being a member of our congregation, she is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the Center for Youth and Communities of the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She has worked as an evaluation and learning partner over the past four years with UUA leadership and for three UUA initiatives designed to assist congregations become strong and vibrant as they live out their missions.

We hope you will join us for this engaging and fun workshop!



Join the Celebration!

You are Warmly Invited to attend the

Installation of Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

as First Parish of Sudbury UU’s 44th minister

Date: Sunday, March 30

Time: 3:30pm

In our sanctuary with reception

to follow in the Parish Hall

 Last April we called Rev. Matty to be our new minister. Do you remember how exciting it was to be an active part of deciding the future for our congregation? Now she will be formally installed as our 44th minister, continuing the ministry of this parish that started nearly 375 years ago in 1640. The service will be filled with tradition and ceremony, emotion and connection. Representatives from our national and regional organizations (the UUA and the Mass Bay District) will participate as will former First Parish ministers, many UU ministers and local clergy; all providing support and witness as we continue the ministry of this congregation into the future with Rev. Matty. If the congregational vote energized you last spring, this service will deepen your bonds to this congregation and its ministry. So, please join us for the service; it is not to be missed! (child care will be available)

One of the great gifts of our community is that everyone is willing to offer a helping hand. Please join us in helping to make this a memorable occasion!

• If you are interested in helping as an usher or greeter, contact Ginny Doxsey.

• If you can help with the reception (set up, prep, serving, and/or clean up), contact Leslie Lowe.

• Carolyn L is coordinating artwork by First Parish artists for display during that day; please contact her if you have something to share.

• If you have any general questions, contact Fran Sharp, Liz Rust or Ginny Doxsey, who are helping Marjorie to coordinate the installation.

As we get closer to the date, we will have some more specific requests for all you bakers and cooks!

Right now we do have a request for one or two portable coat racks (for the guest ministers to hang their robes and coats). Please contact Ginny Doxsey if you have one to share.


Rob Kinslow to preach at Worship March 30

darknessDon’t Be Afraid of the Dark—or Anything Else

For many of us, the dark was the first thing we were truly afraid of. But as with much of the unknown, darkness can become far less intimidating once we become more familiar with it. On Sunday, March 30, First Parish of Sudbury will explore the lighter side of darkness and fear when it welcomes to the pulpit Rob Kinslow, a member of First Parish and second-year seminarian at Andover Newton Theological School. Kinslow will lead a service called “Sweet Darkness” in which he will suggest ways to overcome doubt, fear and regret. The service begins at 10 a.m. and is open to all.

“In one of my favorite poems there is a line, ‘Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you,’” Kinslow said. “Our fears and regrets can make us feel small and outmatched in the world, but I really believe we can shift our thinking, and that whatever is making us feel small can actually become a small thing we no longer fear.”

Kinslow is a senior strategist specializing in medical marketing for KHJ Brand Activation in Boston. His blog, “Brand and Beyond,” appears regularly at He is pursuing a master’s in divinity at Andover Newton in Newton.


Living Our Faith

WOW!  Lots has been happening and much is planned for Living Our Faith activities focusing on Food and Water:

Open Table Maynard—On the fourth Monday of every month since October for about two and a half hours, 6-8 First Parishioners have been helping in the pantry by either hosting/helping guests with their shopping or helping to restock the shelves after the shopping is over.  So far 17 of us have helped out; many on more than one occasion.  Volunteers have all remarked that it is easy, fun, rewarding work and that they are grateful to have the opportunity to help their Metrowest neighbors in such a simple but meaningful way.  Would you like to join us on an occasional or ongoing basis?  Contact Ginny Doxsey at for more information.

Ethical Eating Discussion Group— We meet monthly on the 2nd Thursday.  Please join us on March 13 at 6:30 for a presentation from Whole Foods Market on their philosophy and strategies that have been so successful.  All are welcome! 

Wells in CambodiaThe youth raised $349 through a delicious and very successful holiday bake sale that helped to build a well to bring clean drinking water to villagers in Cambodia.

Family Promise Metrowest—In January, four adults and six youth from First Parish got trained to be volunteers for Family Promise Metrowest, an interfaith program supporting local families who are homeless.  In February, our Youth Group cooked dinner for the families and then some of our trained youth volunteered one Sunday night playing with the children.



Please join us in all of them!  If you have any questions about Living Our Faith activities, you can contact Sheila Murphy, Liz Rust or Ginny Doxsey or simply send an email to us:  .

habitatHabitat For Humanity—We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help with the new house going up on Stonebridge Road in Wayland.  Our support for the Sudbury house which we worked on in 2008 was fantastic.  Join us for our Build Day on June 14.     If you’re interested in joining the building team, please send us an email:  .

First Parish will also make a monetary donation to Habitat that enables them to purchase supplies for the house we will be helping to build. On Sunday, March 9, we will share our morning offering with Habitat for this project. Two ways to help – contribute to the offering on March 9 and join us in building on June 14!

toothbrush and pasteSudbury Food Pantry—March is the month to help our neighbors right here in Sudbury and surrounding towns.   The Pantry is now part of the Greater Boston Food Bank’s Coop program and can get many grocery items at significantly reduced prices.  But there are still items that families need which are not available at the discount prices.  Please help us by bringing in items each Sunday of the month through March 23 when we will count up and box up our collection for delivery the next morning.  dog and cat

Here’s what’s needed:

  • Toothbrushes (individually packaged or in a large package with each brush individually sealed)
  • Toothpaste
  • Facial tissue
  • Pet Food—cans or dry, don’t forget about the faithful friends!

The collection bin is now in the Parish Hall, just by the doorway to the sanctuary.

Blue Revolution—Discussions on April 6 at 11:45 or April 8 at 7:00

blue revolutionPlease join us for a discussion of Cynthia Barnett’s provocative book titled, Blue Revolution, Unmaking America’s Water Crisis.  Read the book this month and come share your thoughts and ideas.

Published by our own Beacon Press, this 250 page book is “the first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America.  Americans see water as abundant and cheap: we turn on the faucet and out it gushes, for less than a penny a gallon. We use more water than any other culture in the world, much to quench what’s now our largest crop—the lawn. Yet most Americans cannot name the river or aquifer that flows to our taps, irrigates our food, and produces our electricity. And most don’t realize these freshwater sources are in deep trouble.”


PrintThis year we are going to have a congregation-wide focus on the Walk For Hunger.  There will be room for walkers, rest-stop helpers, drivers, relay team participants.  We want EVERYONE to get involved in this activity as our year of focus on water and food projects draws to a close.  Stay tuned for more details of group activities and opportunities to participate.  In the meantime, contact Liz Rust at if you have any questions or ideas.


From Your Faith In Action Team

10 Volunteers sought for a reading of “PROJECT UNSPEAKABLE” at First Parish of Sudbury

At the reading, ten people will take on characters and read their parts (no memorizing). The organizational meeting will be April 13 in the Library and the actual reading will be April 27 in the Brackett Room, each starting about 11:30 am. The April 13th session should take less than an hour, and the April 27 session should take a little more than two hours (about three if we decide we want to discuss the play).

The reading was inspired by James Douglass’ “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters.” Although it is in the JFK assassination conspiracy tradition, it has a religious and pacifist sensibility. It argues that John F. Kennedy was killed at a moment when he was profoundly turning toward peace, not dissimilar to the arguments in Robert Kennedy Jr.’s piece in Rolling Stone. While the play raises more questions than it answers, it argues that this turning angered cold warriors and the national security state, providing fertile ground for assassination. And it refers also to the assassinations of Martin Luther King. Jr. and Malcolm X.  Please tell Judy at soon if you want to participate.

Register now for Saturday, March 8 Stop Mass Incarceration Workshop at First Parish UU of Wakefield, 326 Main Street, Wakefield from 10:30-2;30. Pre-register at ">.

Partakers. the organization that bridges the divide that separates those inside and outside of prison invites us to see and discuss “The Last Graduation—the Rise and Fall of College Programs in Prison,” 7-9pm, March 27, in the Sperry Room at Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge.

Coalition for the Homeless Forum,  2-4 pm, Sunday, March 30 with Byron Rushing as keynote speaker, 80 Academy Street, Arlington.

Literacy Unlimited is looking for tutors.  Contact Anne O’Connell,Coordinator, Literacy United, at Framingham Public Library, 49 Lexington Street, Framingham, MA 01702 if you would like to tutor adults in English as a second language, basic literacy or GED preparation.


Welcoming Congregation Committee News

rainbow flag nost patricks dayLGBT Groups and Veterans are barred once again from walking in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston  and so will match in the welcoming and inclusive Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, that follows the first parade on the same parade route, organized by Veterans For Peace. “Some day these walls of exclusion and division will come tumbling down, said Carisa Cunningham, the Director of Public Affairs for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). It will be a proud day for the City of Boston when one’s sexual orientation is not a litmus test for who can participate in a parade.” Boston’s Mayor Walsh, as his predecessor before him, has announced that he will not walk in the traditional parade because of the parade’s exclusionary practices.  For more details, go to


From UU Animal Ministry

chicken factoryDid you know?  Animals on factory farms have no protection from treatment that would be illegal if inflicted on cats or dogs: hens crowded in spaces the width of a file drawer, breeding pigs confined their entire lives in a cage so small they can’t even turn around, and worse. The question is not “Can they reason?” but “Can they suffer?’  Unitarian Universalists share a long history of compassion for the voiceless and most vulnerable.  Henry Bergh founded the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Clara Barton, Albert Schweitzer, and Jeremy Bentham were all UU vegetarians.  Learn more; visit UU Animal Ministry at


One time request for help from Ginny “Hopalong” Doxsey

Can you pick up some hospitality supplies from BJs or Costco in the next few weeks?  I usually keep up with stocking the kitchen and the Commons with various paper goods and hospitality supplies for coffee hour, potlucks, and various congregation events. Lately we’ve had great turn out for these events but as a result, the supplies have dwindled.  I’ve just had foot surgery and while I’m recovering nicely, I’ll be using crutches for at least the next 4 weeks, which means that I can’t do the shopping.  I’ll provide you with the list of what’s needed and the method for reimbursement, you just need to do the legwork!  Give me a call (508-877-0506) or send me an email (), if you can help. Thanks!


March 8 Coffee House on the Rocky Plain

musical notesMusic, music, music and great food to boot! Mark your calendar for the March 8th Coffee House. Featured performers are Boomer Folk (you heard them here Nov. 2012) and Daisy Flowerchild and the Leftovers. They’ll be singing 60’s rock and folk music. Homemade cakes, pies and other gastronomic wonders will be available. Come early to settle in at your favorite table or wing chair.  Doors open 6:30pm for tickets and refreshments.  Music begins at 7pm.  $12 general admission, $8 students, $4 children under 12.  Benefits First Parish Sudbury and Music School in Cusco, Peru.

For information on the artists: Boomer Folk – ; Daisy Flowerchild –

For more information on the Coffee House – or contact Leslie Lowe.

The Coffee House on the Rocky Plain is dedicated to showcasing emerging local musical talent.


Calling all bakers!

Donations of home baked goods needed for two First Parish Sudbury Events.  Are you a baker? Can you bake for the Coffee House on the Rocky Plain on Saturday March 8? We need a fruit pie and a cake.

Two weeks later on Saturday March 22, FPS is opening its doors for a town-wide English Country Dance to help celebrate Sudbury’s 375th anniversary. The refreshments will include “1639 Celebration Dance’ punch, a non-alcoholic punch, and desserts. We need cookies, bar cookies, brownies, quick breads, and single layer cakes.

Please contact Leslie Lowe at if you can offer your culinary delights for either of these events. Thank you.


Bohm Dialogue Continues at Religious Exploration Salon March 16

The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics. Last month we tried (and liked) a new format called Bohm Dialogue and we considered the one word topic “Justice“. From Wikipedia:

Bohm Dialogue … is a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding. The purpose is to solve the communication crises that face society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness. It utilizes a theoretical understanding of the way thoughts relate to universal reality. It is named after physicist David Bohm who originally proposed this form of dialogue.

(see more details about how Dialogue works in our February article).

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic (TBA in the 3/14 ENEWS) beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/feelings/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute. Our next meeting will be on March 16th at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising for more information.


“4th” Tuesday Lunch on the 3rd Tuesday this month–March 18

soupCome have Lunch with Lulu and be informed and entertained!

Bring your lunch and a friend or two to the Commons on Tuesday, March 18 at Noon for a discussion by Lulu Cash.  Communication is often tricky in the best of situations. The “Cash Communication System” attempts to offer tools to navigate these waters. The system is based on Lulu’s theatrical experience and educational research. Opera and theater offer us surprising lessons, as we’ll see on the 18th.  [break-wrap]?

Come Learn English Country Dance

ECD_20140322.pagesAs Sudbury celebrates its 375th anniversary, ever wonder how early Sudburyans kicked out the jams on Saturday nights? Here’s your chance. Come kick up your heels at an English Country Dance at First Parish on Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. You don’t need to know the first thing about dancing and all you need to bring besides a willingness to learn is a comfortable pair of shoes (no high heels, please). Admission is $10 and includes light refreshments, “1639 Celebration Dance” punch and non-alcoholic punch.

Each dance will be taught by Sudbury resident and Dance Master Tom Kruskal. Beginners and singles are most welcome. Kruskal will be accompanied by Jean Monroe on piano and Marc Vilian on recorder and percussion. Doors open at 7 p.m., First Dance starts at 7:30 and Last Dance starts 9:30.

“English country dances were a popular form of social entertainment in Sudbury’s early days,” Kruskal said. “The dances were easy to learn and the music was simple but spirited. Our March 22 event will bring folks back to an earlier time when simple joys were celebrated together in community and people went home happy.”

Fancy dress and party shoes are encouraged, but please, no high heels.

For more info please contact Jan Hardenbergh – , Tom Kruskal – , Leslie Lowe – , or Bettie Rose – .


Women’s Alliance News

femclipUrgent: Register NOW for the Women’s Alliance Retreat, April 23-25 at Rolling Ridge.

Now is the time to send in your registration! We must commit to a minimum number of attendees by March 12. We arrive Friday evening and stay through Sunday lunch. Saturday and Sunday mornings we have program, but there is ample time for personal retreat, a massage, walks in the woods, along the shore or through the labyrinths, quiet meditation and reading, making music, or whatever makes you feel renewed. This is a great weekend of spiritual retreat, relaxing and getting to know each other better. The registration form is on the lobby table and at this link:

You may send your registration to the address on the form or leave it in the Alliance folder in the workroom. Scholarships are available in complete confidence from Alliance Treasurer Carolyn L.

Alliance Rummage Sale is April 5.  Setup starts April 2

Starting sorting and saving your still clean and usable house goods and clothing for our annual sale. Remember: If the item’s condition is such that you wouldn’t want anyone to know you donated it, then it’s not suitable for the sale. Items can be left In the Parish Hall Wednesday-Friday, April 2-4. The Klureza’s shed will be available for receiving items before then – but not until the snow melts enough to make it accessible.

Peg Espinola is accepting volunteers for ALL positions, including set-up before the sale, check-in, check-out, monitoring and cleanup the day of the sale. We need someone to run the “Boutique” which handles items too valuable or too large to go in the $5 bags. This is the area, located outside if the weather permits, run wonderfully for years by Bev and Donna, who are unavailable this year. To volunteer, or for further information, contact Peg at or leave a message on her phone.

Alliance Meeting March 23 – 5:30 potluck in the Commons – Women and Our Finance as we Age

All who identify as women of the church are invited to join us for our monthly gathering. Our program this month, by Carolyn L., will be an overview of issues and strategies for women, with an emphasis on retirement needs, learning some basic things for which to be mindful, and managing on one’s own if previously another person has taken care of “everything.” Carolyn is NOT a licensed professional; this is friendly basics from someone with lots of experience and nothing to sell. Bring any dish, or just come. We always have a great time and usually more than enough food.


Caribbean Cantina! The First Parish of Sudbury 2014 Service Auction Saturday, April 12

BN6662Our annual service auction is just around the corner. On Saturday, April 12th at 6:00 pm, the parish hall will be transformed into a tropical paradise filled with music, food, lots of auction items to bid on, and your First Parish friends!

There are many ways to get involved in what is sure to be a spectacularly fun event.

First, start thinking about items to donate! You could host a dinner party, or make a gift basket. Bake a cake, or donate a week or weekend at your vacation home. Provide computer support, or lead a hike or kayak trip. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Next, volunteer! You could help solicit and follow up on vendor donations, help with set up and decorating, or help prepare and serve food the night of the auction. Helping out behind the scenes is a great opportunity to support the auction while getting to know your fellow parishioners a bit better.

Look for Erin or Liz Llewellyn during coffee hour to see how you can get involved. You can also call or email: or 978-897-4163.


solar illustrationTree Removal/ Replacement and Solar Collectors on First Parish of Sudbury?

A report from the Buildings & Grounds and Landscape Committees

The Landscape and Buildings & Grounds Committees wish to inform you that some dramatic tree work is scheduled for Saturday March 15, weather permitting. (This was originally scheduled for February 8 but there was too much snow on the ground.) Five very tall white pine trees and 3 additional maples in the area around the playground have been determined to be either too close to the building, poorly placed, prone to disease, or a serious risk to people and buildings during storms with high winds. A plan has been developed to replace these trees with more appropriately placed plantings, and ones that would allow any future plan for solar panels on the Atkinson Wing roof to be fully effective. We want to reassure everyone that the amazing Beech tree and Alliance Dogwood will remain, and that we understand removing trees can sometimes feel like losing friends, but it is sometimes necessary in landscape planning.

Below this article you will see the Planting Plan for Screening Atkinson Wing, by Deborah Kruskal, which shows the approximate location and type of trees to be planted sometime this year.  The plan is also at this link (Trees, First Parish West Side.Revised.4=30, 2-24-2014 ), and posted on the Landscape bulletin board in the Parish Hall.  Since the First Parish of Sudbury is located in the Sudbury Center Historic District, the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission must review and hold public hearings on exterior changes we propose to make, especially on buildings, and we must obtain their approval for us to proceed.

Why are we planting new trees? In the early sixties when the first floor of the Atkinson Building was being constructed, young white pine trees in what is now the playground were planted. The pine trees (now very tall) were a requirement by the Town of Sudbury Historic Districts Commission to screen the non-historic-conforming first floor of the south side of the Atkinson Building from Hudson Road.

We have obtained a very good tree removal proposal that is around half the price of competitor tree firms. The breakdown is: $1,500 for cutting down and chipping the five tall pines plus $400 to grind their stumps down sometime in the future, and $850 for cutting down and chipping one spruce and three tall maples, plus removing the brush along the fence for truck access to the playground area. Vehicle access to the playground area is needed by the tree service firm and in the future for septic tank pumping and bringing in wood chips for the playground.

The tree work was not budgeted by the Buildings & Grounds and Landscape Committees for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. However the Buildings & Grounds Committee still have available funds in their Maintenance & Repairs line item for the pine trees. The Landscape Committee will cover the cost of the three maple tress from their Memorial Garden fund as two of them are in that garden. They are currently seeking funding from other sources for stump grinding.

The second reason for removing the trees is to prepare the area for the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Atkinson Building. We have three required steps, the first two of which are completed, to take with the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission in order to proceed, which are:

(1) Our first public hearing with the Commission was on September 20, 2012, “to consider an application for the installation of solar photovoltaic roof collectors.” During this 2012 hearing they were introduced to and shown how our proposed solar installation has been designed to comply with National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Design Guidelines for Solar Installations. The Commission gave us their approval but with the requirement they hold more public hearings to review/approve two things:

(2) On February 20, 2014, the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission held a public hearing “for a Certificate of Appropriateness for a planting plan to replace 5 white pines allowing for the installation of solar panels.” Deborah Kruskal presented the landscape planting plan. Rev. Marjorie Matty and Bruce Langmuir were present and verbally provided additional information to the Commission. After reviewing and discussing the plan for a short time, the Commission approved it unanimously.

(3) The physical appearance of the collectors must be reviewed and approved by the Sudbury Historic Districts Commission; the collectors should be black.

One of our steps is to review the solar photovoltaic (PV) collectors and their installation with our fellow parishioners of the First Parish of Sudbury. This article and the presentation of the planting plan is part of this step.

Solar PV collectors are proposed to go on the south facing roof (toward Hudson Road) of Atkinson/RE Wing (west wing of the buildings) and also on its west facing roof (side opposite Concord Road). The solar collectors/panels will essentially not be visible from the east side of our buildings, and due to trees and a low pitched roof, not highly visible from Hudson Road to the south. We expect over 25% of our electricity would come from the solar PV collectors, with the removal of the clump of five pine trees and one maple tree to the south of the Atkinson Wing.

We are currently waiting for an up-to-date solar PV system installation proposal from SunBug who will probably utilize high efficiency collector panels from SunPower which have a 25 year warranty. It is possible we will be offered a Power Purchase Agreement for installation of the system, which would have little or no cost to First Parish of Sudbury for the solar system. SunBug is now working with and looking for a financial investor(s) for our project to present us the best proposal.

We will continue to keep the members and friends of First Parish of Sudbury advised as we get more information. The membership will also be given the opportunity to vote on the solar system installation. The Board of Trustees have been kept informed of all the above.

Bruce Langmuir, Co-Chair Buildings & Ground Committeeplanting plan


Seeking Coordinator for Weddings

Are you interested in helping to plan for weddings?  First Parish is sometimes the choice of a wedding venue for people who are not members of the congregation.  We are looking for someone who is interested in working with these couples to coordinate their service (a Facility Coordinator, not a wedding planner).  This is a paid position.  If you are interested, please contact Judy Handley at

Update from Your Town Center Task Force

road_construction_aheadThe First Parish Town Center Task Force has been the church’s liaison with the Town on the upcoming reconstruction of the roads in Sudbury Center. The Congregation last reviewed the plans in 2011 and voted to allow an easement over approximately 365 square feet of land on the southeast corner of our front lawn to allow the North South alignment.Following approval of the construction project at Town Meeting in May, 2013, the Town hired a new engineering firm to finalize the plans. There are two new plan options make several changes. The Town Center Task Force reviewed the new plans and note two key differences which affect First Parish. The first is that the shape of the corner will be changed to allow a wider turning radius. Both options narrow the pavement on the east side slightly. One plan widens the pavement on the south side. The other, with a single masthead, reduces it. Depending on which plan is selected, the new easement will either cover approximately 250 or 550 square feet of First Parish’s land. The second difference – with both plans – is that the new plan does not include burying the transformer in the side yard. The Town Engineer, Bill Place, informs us that NStar, which owns the transformer, has been unresponsive to attempts to discuss the issue, but, he continues to press the issue.The TCTF believes that, despite these changes, the new plan is essentially consistent with the 25% design plan dated October 25, 2011 which was approved by the congregation at the Special Meeting of November 20, 2011. Therefore, the TCTF does not intend to request another congregational vote. The new plan can be found here: members of the Town Center Task Force are Deborah Kruskal, Jan Hardenbergh, Marge Langmuir, Bruce Langmuir, Bridget Hanson, and Sherri Cline



Our Pastoral Associates

Julia Dixon Eddy, Mary Ellen French, Heather Merrill, Fred Pryor, Paul Reising

In the event of a pastoral need, please call any of our First Parish Pastoral Associates



March 23 Sudbury Opera Lovers Organization recital here

Karen Driscoll, Soprano; Sima Kustanovich, Piano and Special guest Juliana Anderson, Mezzo-soprano.

Free to members of Sudbury Opera Lovers; a $20 donation is requested from visitors and guests. All are welcome at 3:00 p.m. at First Parish of Sudbury.

April 6 in our Sanctuary – Reverend Edmund Brown’s Library: A Concert of a Puritan Minister’s Musical Collection

SAVE THE DATE!  As part of Sudbury’s and Wayland’s 375th Anniversary celebrations, the Sudbury Historical Society will present a concert celebrating the musical life of one of the founders and the first minister of the Sudbury Plantation, the Reverend Edmund Brown. He was known for being a good-standing Puritan minister and for being a wealthy citizen possessing the largest amount of property in the plantation. Surprisingly, he was also an amateur musician who travelled to the Sudbury Plantation with a bass viol and his library of 180 books, some of which were certainly music books. The concert attempts to recreate the music that the Reverend Brown likely played and heard performed on instruments just like he had. The selections are based on popular pieces for viols and church music in 16th and 17th century England featuring pieces by Byrd, Gibbons, Kirbye and more.

The concert will be performed on period instruments by four members of the Cambridge-based viol consort ‘Long and Away” with soprano Sarah Orlovsky.

The public is invited to come and enjoy this uniquely special concert on Sunday, April 6th at 3P.M. at the handicap accessible First Parish, Unitarian Universalist, Sudbury, 327 Concord Rd. General Admission is $20.

For more information visit: or

The program is supported in part by a grant from the Sudbury Cultural Council which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


Unwanted Effects of Fragrances

surprise2Fragrances – even natural fragrances and essential oils – can trigger an exacerbation for people with asthma, migraine, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer/undergoing chemo, and other medical conditions.  It doesn’t matter if the person with this sensitivity likes the smell or not, if it causes them pain, breathing trouble, or other neurological difficulties. One person’s choice to wear a fragrance at an event may mean that another person may have to leave or suffer discomfort or even pain.  Please keep these facts in mind when you come to First Parish or any public place.  Thank you.  – –Submited by Donna Scalcione for all those who struggle with this sensitivity.


Emergency Closing Information

Find out if worship at First Parish is cancelled: (NOTE: For cancellation of other gatherings, contact the committee chair/group leader)

By phone—check the recorded message at the First Parish number, 978-443-2043.

First Parish website—Go to The front page will have an update.

CBS Boston website—Go to, click on “Weather” then “School Closings” for cancellation of Sunday worship service only.

By television—Tune in to WBZ-TV and watch the crawl at the bottom of the screen for cancellation of Sunday worship service only.



Local, District, Denominational News/Events reflecting UU values

image026Please check the bulletin boards in the Parish Hall for events at other churches, the Clara Barton and Mass Bay Districts of UU Congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) and others who share our values.

The New England Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society presents “Gender Identity in Children and Adolescents”  Saturday, March 1 from 8am to 1pm, MA Medical Society, Waltham. Register at

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus in concert March 8 at the the First Parish Unitarian Universalist, 225 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA . Ticket info at ">

Brother Sun in concert at UU Reading March 29. $22 general admission, $20 seniors, students.  National touring artists Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway and Pat Wictor have made their mark as veteran touring singer-songwriters. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions.  Ticket information can be found at:

Everyone is invited to celebrate the career of Marguerite Shaw, long time Music Director at First Religious Society in Carlisle, who is retiring.  Come join in the festivities at 27 School Street, Carlisle, MA on Sunday April 6 at 10:00 AM. For more information,email or call 978 944-8051.

Ron Cordes, a Unitarian Universalist in Bedford, MA, has created a six-DVD series tracing UU history from early Christianity through the present day. Newcomers and lifelong UUs will learn something from this wonderful resource, described in UU World as one of the most important video resources for teaching and learning UU history. For details and ordering information, go to 

The UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) is expanding! The College has added new experiential learning trips and new youth justice trainings. These programs will allow you and UUs of all ages, from all over the country, to be immersed in real hands-on experiences. Learn more at

To participate in a research study of parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender questioning  (GLBTQ) people, visit



327 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776 978-443-2043


Newsletter submission deadline is 5 pm Wed., March 26 for the issue of April 2

Send to administrator or phone 978-443-2043

We are a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers; we strive to learn together and support one another as we celebrate life’s important moments and serve the larger community. At First Parish of Sudbury we welcome all who wish to explore their own spiritual journeys in the company of others and any who are seeking a religiously liberal community of faith. Our ministry is for people of all ages: we are a religious community that combines spiritual exploration, religious education, music, caring and compassion, service, advocacy, public witness and action. Our community is not confined to Sunday worship, rather we live our faith in service and action both inside and beyond our historic meetinghouse. Please visit or call or check out our website.

Minister: Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty —

Director of Lifespan Religious Education: Roberta Altamari —

Director of Music: Debra Morris-Bennett —

Congregational Administrator: Donna Scalcione —



Events Calendar Link

Click here to see the block calendar.