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Religious Exploration May 26th

Image result for self realization
Religious Exploration- In today’s world, it’s easy to confuse needs versus wants. This week, the children of First Parish will be creating a planning board in order to be able to tell the difference and will have the opportunity to explore their own short-term and long-term needs and wants. Part of being empowered is being able to stand up for yourself, and in order to do that, you first need to know yourself. This class is all about ‘know thyself’, but frames it in a constructive and philosophical way.
Please Note – Religious Exploration at First Parish is in need of adult volunteers to lead and assist in Spirit Play and nursery for the 2019-2020 year! Please contact us at if you are able to volunteer!
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Flower Ritual during Sunday Service on last day (newsletter)

Flower Ritual on June 9

Sunday, June 9 will be the last Sunday of our Program Year. As in past years, we will conclude with a flower ritual (some call it Flower Communion), introduced to Unitarian worship by Norbert Čapek of Czechoslovakia in June, 1923. Čapek built a religious movement of Unitarians that, over the course of two decades, grew to nearly 10,000 people. He ministered at what was then the largest Unitarian congregation in the world, in Prague.

The flower ritual was brought to the United States by Mája Čapek in 1940. She was raising money for her husband’s church in Prague. During her tour, World War II broke out and she was unable to return home. Her husband, still in Prague, denounced the brutality of the Nazi regime. Soon after the occupation of Czechoslovakia, Dr. Čapek was arrested. He died in a concentration camp in Germany in 1942. Mája remained in the United States, where she continued to work for international religious freedom until her death in 1956.

In the words of Mája Čapek, “No two flowers are alike, no two people are alike; yet each has a contribution to make; each would help make the world as beautiful as a colorful bouquet. By exchanging the flowers, we signify that we are willing, in the spirit of tolerance and patience, to march together in search of truth, disregarding all that usually divides people.”

On June 9, please bring a flower for each person participating in our pan-generational worship service. The helpful Landscape Committee members will help you put them in a vase when you enter, and then they will be carried into the service before the ritual. If you have any questions, contact Fran in the office.

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Sunday Quaker-style Meeting (newsletter)

Join us for our annual Quaker-style worship service on Sunday, May 26, 2019. The service will take place in the Commons, and will be led by Pamela Strauss.

Today’s service is in the spirit of Quaker services, but is not intended to be an exact replica. Elements of Quaker services were adapted for our use. This service is part of our continuing exploration of spiritual practices. When the sounding bowl is rung, it is a call that our service has begun.

Our service today is based on the idea of ‘Unprogrammed worship’. We will sit in silence, looking inward, seeking the experience of the Spirit within ourselves. As a community, we will create a communal silent space to receive messages from the Spirit. If you experience a thought or idea that seems to come from a deeper place, you are invited to stand and speak aloud this message. There may be many such shared messages, there may be few, or there may be none. Following the sharing of a message, it is customary to maintain a period of silence to allow the shared message to enter our inner selves. You may feel moved to share your message in song, or you may feel moved to join in a song started by another. It is all unplanned, spontaneous, and genuine. At the end of the hour, the sounding bowl will be rung, announcements will be read, and we will end the service by rising and shaking hands. The coffee hour and conversation will follow.

We will not have a plate collection during this morning’s meeting. Please place your offering in one of the wooden bowls near the entrance to the Commons.

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On Truth and Lies, Rev. Richard Fewkes (newsletter)

Join us as we welcome Rev. Richard Fewkes to our pulpit for his sermon titled “On Truth and Lies in Our Public and Private Lives”.

Dick Fewkes has served three churches in the Ballou Channing District: (1) First UU Society in Middleboro (1964-69), (2) is the Minister Emeritus of the First Parish in Norwell, Mass. where he served from 1969 to 2000, and (3) as Interim Minister at the First Parish UU Church, Bridgewater,  2000 – 2002. He resides with his partner Connie Johnson in Sagamore Beach, has a summer home on Cape Cod in West Dennis, is a grandfather to eight grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and is a member of the UU Meeting House in Chatham, MA.

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Spirituality Book Group Saturday May 25, 10am – Why Buddhism is True

All who are interested are welcome to come on SaturdayMay 25 at 10am when the Spirituality Book Group is meeting to discuss Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright.

… Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. With bracing honesty and fierce wisdom, it will persuade you not just that Buddhism is true—which is to say, a way out of our delusion—but that it can ultimately save us from ourselves, as individuals and as a species.

We hope to see you Saturday May 25, at 10am, in the Brackett room.

For more information, or direction to Linda’s, contact Tom Yelton or Leslie Lowe.

To see some of our past readings click here.

 

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May Men’s Group meeting Sat. May 4 at 10:00am

Please join us for the First Parish men’s group meeting from 10am-noon in the FPS library for coffee and conversation.

Jim Gish, leader of the group, is also exploring another additional (?) meeting time so men who are busy with family activities on Saturday mornings can participate. Contact Jim for more information.

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