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Upcoming Dates Spring 2019 as of April 11


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Religious Exploration April 14th & Easter!

Easter Sunday- This year’s Easter Sunday will include bag decorating for the children of First Parish followed by our annual Easter Egg Hunt outside (weather permitting) located behind the church on the playground and in and around the Memorial Garden. The children will have a chance to hunt for over four hundred eggs filled with treats and surprises! Please be aware that some egg will have products containing nuts and other possible allergens to those with food sensitivities so if your children have these sensitivities please check their eggs as they open them!
Image result for easter egg
Religious Exploration April 14th – Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration. This Sunday the children of Religious Exploration will get a chance to decorate their own Easter eggs as we discuss life, our own origins, and what individuality looks like!
Annual Canned Food Drive- Per our First Parish Tradition, there will be a box located downstairs on the main level dedicated to canned food donations! Our annual canned food drive is just gearing up so don’t forget to bring your donatable canned goods with you on Sunday.
Please Note – Religious Exploration at First Parish is in need of adult volunteers to lead and assist in spirit play and nursery! Please contact us at if you are able to volunteer!
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Annual Congregational Meeting Sunday, June 9 at 11:30am

June 9, 2019 (new date)

On Sunday, June 9 at 11:30am, we will begin our Annual Congregational Meeting in the sanctuary. There will be a brief social hour in the Parish Hall to fortify us beforehand, children will get connected with the childcare providers, and then up to the sanctuary we go!

All members and friends of First Parish are welcome to attend and participate in discussions; Official Members of First Parish are encouraged to vote on the business of the congregation including passing a budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20 beginning July 1, 2019.

What does it mean to be an Official Member? It means you have signed the Official Membership Book in the presence of a staffer or member of the Community and Hospitality Committee. This must be done by May 10, 2019 according to our by-laws (30 days before the meeting).

If you are interested in becoming a member, signing the Official Membership Book (or checking to be sure you are an Official Member), contact Leslie Lowe, or Fran in the office.

In preparation for the meeting, watch for the following:

  • warrant to come out by email (~May 30)
  • annual reports to read including the slate of nominees
  • financial reports and the proposed budget (avail late May)
  • and, plan to come to the budget information meetings to be held on Sun. April 28 at 11:45am; and _____________.

See you at the Annual Congregational Meeting!


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It Might Have Been Otherwise: Spiritual Gratitude

Rev. Edwin Lynn

Rev. Lynn will reflect in his sermon on a personal near death experience, after which he asks “what did I learn?”

Edwin Lynn is the Minister Emeritus of the Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church in Danvers MA , where he served for 33 years.  Rev. Lynn also was a visiting Lecturer at the Harvard Divinity School for 22 years. He is an architect and author of the book TIRED DRAGONS: Adapting Church Architecture to Changing Needs. His most recent book is SHORE LINES: LIFE Lessons From the Sea.

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4/21 Bohm Dialogue — Socialism

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

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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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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