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6/16 Bohm Dialogue — Spirituality and Religion

For June our topic is Spirituality and Religion.

“I think there’s been a big problem between religion, or organized religion, and spirituality.”
―Dave Davies

We are looking to brands for poetry and for spirituality, because we’re not getting those things from our communities or from each other.”
―Naomi Klein

“Religion is for people who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there.”
―Bonnie Raitt

“There are several different meanings of the words religion and spirituality, all of which are important. The whole point about an integral or comprehensive approach is that it must find a way to believably include all of those important meanings in a coherent whole.”
―Ken Wilber

“Religion is the organization of spirituality into something that became the hand maiden of conquerors. Nearly all religions were brought to people and imposed on people by conquerors, and used as the framework to control their minds.”
―John Henrik Clarke

Some say they’re the same thing. But don’t tell that to the “Nones” – the spiritual but not religious. Here’s a story if you like about “Nones” moving in with Catholic “nuns” for six months:

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 June 16 at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

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

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Spirituality Book Group Saturday June 15, 10am – Breakfast with Buddha

All who are interested are welcome to come on SaturdayJune 15 at 10am when the Spirituality Book Group is meeting to discuss Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo.

When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he’d planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger–and amuse himself–he decides to show the monk some “American fun” along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs game at Wrigley field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world–and more important, his life–through someone else’s eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing.

We hope to see you Saturday June 15, at 10am, in the Brackett room.

For more information, contact Tom Yelton or Leslie Lowe.

To see some of our past readings click here.


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Faith in Action meeting June 15

Join us on Saturday, June 15, from 10:00 – 11:30 AM in The Commons as we discuss Faith in Action activities for the summer and fall.

Faith in Action @FPS is one way we live our UU values in the world……we work to make positive changes in society by increasing awareness of our collective responsibility and our commitment to generosity.

Together we work on issues important to members and friends…the environment and reducing our carbon footprint, racial justice, gun control, economic justice, immigration, domestic violence, and much more. It is the passion of our members and friends that creates a multi faceted Faith in Action. Join us!

If you are unable to attend but would like to keep informed of Faith in Action @FPS activities, please email us at .

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Women’s Alliance meeting and potluck June 11

Greetings women of First Parish

You are ALL encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting of the First  Parish Women’s Alliance

    to be held as a potluck in the Commons on June 11, starting at 6:30 with business meeting to follow. We try to be done by 8:30pm.

As usual our potlucks are bring whatever — prepared by you or purchased.  Or if you don’t have time, just COME!  we always have enough.

At this annual meeting, in addition to good friendship and good food, we will:

1) vote on the re-election of the Executive Committee, all of whom have agreed to serve another year.  These are: AnnMarie Lanza and Sara Hartman, co-chairs; Peg Espinola, Secretary; and Carolyn Lee, treasurer.  If anyone else wishes to take  on a leadership role for any event or in general, please speak up!  We need more help.  And exec comm meetings are one of the best tea parties in town!

2) hear annual treasurer’s report

3) discuss program planning for next fall and meeting dates.  (your treasurer is recommending the 10th instead of this year’s 11th for our regular date)

{This past year our default date has been the 11th of the month, picked because few fell on Friday or Saturday.  Some prior years it was the 8th.  We don’t meet on a fixed day of the month, because that ends up meaning some women can never come.  This way the problem of date conflicts rotates.}

4) discuss our 1-day (November 2nd or 9th?)  and weekend retreat (May 1-3 @ Wisdom House) for next year — ideas for leaders/ topics. 

5) decide on the annual rummage sale date (April 18 or 25?).  do we have a co-chair?


We usually meet on the settled date of the month for September and October.  In November the 1-day retreat is held.  In December we have our annual holiday open house.  In January, February and March we have meetings, hopefully with programs — weather permitting.  In April we have our rummage sale and in May we have the weekend retreat.  Then comes June and annual meeting again.

No RSVP is required.  Please plan to come.  If you need a ride, please contact any member of the Exec Committee.

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Religious Exploration Family Party June 9

The RE Committee at First Parish in Sudbury would like to invite you to an end of the year celebration for families and volunteers that participate in RE.

Pat Burkhardt, a longtime teacher and RE volunteer is moving away so please stop by to say goodbye and to wish her well on her new journey.


Bring your swimsuit and relax in the pool.  • We will have games and activities for the kids, including a zipline and trampoline. • Refreshments will be served.


Sunday, June 9, from 3:30-5:30 PM

Amy Prince’s Home

45 Cudworth Lane

Sudbury, MA 01776

Please RSVP and let us know if you can celebrate with us.

Diahanne Lucas, RE Committee Member:

Text/Call: (978) 831-7281

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Board of Trustee Notes from May 1 meeting

The Board of Trustees meeting was held on May 1, 2019. As a means of increasing revenue, the Board discussed selling or leasing property not in use by the church to the town of Sudbury. In addition the suggestion was made that the church establish a Go Fund Me page for the maintenance and endowment for the church. It will be considered as part of the Revenue planning. The Board discussed visiting other UU churches that have been successful in using their facilities for other activities such as community centers and coffee houses.


The Administrator position will likely be split into two positions, one administrative and the other focused on marketing. Sudbury Extended Day could be moving out of our facilities in the next few years to Sudbury school facilities. This move would result in a large loss of revenue. There will be a walk-through of the facilities with the Sudbury superintendent of schools who is looking for office space. The planning for the kitchen remodeling continues. The Board was presented a chart of utilities usage. Kilowatt hours are increasing. The Board discussed ways to reduce utility costs. It was suggested that a building management system be used to control all utilities via computer.


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Insights: “Pausing” by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

This last Sunday I shared my experiences of being on sabbatical with those who gathered at First Parish. I shared how my writing required that I unpack my life, which caused me to feel a gamut of emotion and hooked me in a chain of reaction and self doubt. It was the wisdom offered by the Buddhist nun and author, Pema Chodron that helped me to pause long enough to break out of old patterns. Chodron encouraged, in her book ‘Taking The Leap’, “to get comfortable with, begin to relax with, lean in to, whatever the experience may be.” She was speaking specifically about those reactions that hook us and lead us down a path that is not necessarily where we want to go. Chodron calls us to, “drop the storyline and simply pause, look out, and breathe. Simply be present to a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours, a whole lifetime, with our own shifting energies and with the unpredictability of life as it unfolds, wholly partaking in all experiences just exactly as they are.” I believed that this was far easier said than done and yet I realized that it can be easy to pause when we realize that we are hooked. When we feel anxious or frustrated or any emotion that hooks us, just take a few moments to let go and allow our natural intelligence, that part of us that knows what the logical “right” next move might be, take control. When we are hooked or caught in the chain of reaction it can be difficult to think clearly, pausing brings us home to a sense of calm and frontal lobe sanity. This practice of pausing helped me to find my way and I am thrilled to be back at First Parish and look forward to finding a place of calm and creating home with you.

This journey that we are on begins with our individual work with recognizing, “an opportunity for transformation, an open doorway. When we realize that we are triggered, think of it as a neutral moment, a moment in time, a moment of truth that can go either way.” Which way will we choose to go? Which wolf will we choose to feed: the wolf of vengeance and violence or the wolf of patience, love and compassion and how will this choice inspire us to respond?

May the honesty held in this one precious life be yours.

Happy summer!

Rev. Marjorie

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