The Packet  
The Monthly Newsletter of
First Parish Universalist Church
of Stoughton


Come to the Holiday Fair
Friday, November 6, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 7, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Holiday Gift Shop * Books * Attic Treasures
Homemade Baked Goods * Snack Bar * Soups To Go
Themed Basket Raffles * Knit and Handmade Goods Table
Silent Auction on Saturday featuring Many Items

Worship Schedule - November 2015
Schedule of Worship Topics, Ushers, Flowers, and Social Hour Hosts

Sunday, November 1 - "Practical Buddhism"
The Worship Committee will discuss Buddhism
during this morning's lay-led service.
Ushers:  Jocelyn Hand and Mary Lynch
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Bruce and Sue Ferguson

Sunday, November 8 - "Covenant and Creed"    
We  are one of the few religious movements that is not held together  by a common and required statement of belief; that is, a creed. Rather, our movement is bound by a commitment to a way  of being with one  another and the world; that is, a covenant.
Ushers:  Brenda Martin and Linda Stephansky
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed
Sunday, November 15 - "Rowing Toward God"
The  late American poet Ann Sexton asked questions that many of us ask about the great spiritual issues.  We will consider her well-known poem "Rowing."
Ushers:  Richard DiCenso and Tim McElaney
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Patti Yule
Sunday, November 22 -  "Come, Ye Thankful People Come"
    In a world  that often seems filled with anger and resentment, it is well
to take some time to dwell with gratitude on our blessings.
Ushers:   Hunter Sprague and Peter Wallace
Flowers:   Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed

Sunday, November 29 - *FPUC Stoughton CLOSED*
  All are invited to a Five Points Cluster Common Worship Service at 10:00 a.m., at the Unitarian Church of Sharon, 4 Main Street, Sharon. Rev. Steve and members of the Worship Committee will be attending the service in Sharon and we hope you will join us!
Along the Way
Message from Steve Cook, Interim Minister

Dear Friends,
Did you happen to see the partial lunar eclipse that happened a few weeks ago?  It was one of those periodic, spectacular, side effects of the celestial ballet in which our blue-green marble of a planet dances. Our tiny rock, with its thin, moist veil of air, comes between the sun and the even tinier, bare rock that circles us.  For a time the cool, silver sheen of the moon is transmogrified, its reflected light a warm orange as it bends around the flanks of the earth, and then it becomes once more its accustomed white.  Stars normally masked by lunar glow stand out more clearly in the darkening sky, and then fade again.  Even in the city's glare, the sight was compelling.
Our very earliest, ancestral observers of the moon, the sun and the stars could have been moved, at first, only by the sheer beauty of the sky's display, day and night, and frightened by its occasional perturbations-eclipses and meteors.  Later, earnest watchers of ancient centuries intently studied the stars without the benefit of magnifying instruments and innocent of the knowledge that they were burning spheres of gas at unimaginable distances.  However, even without telescopes, regular movements and periods in the motion of these points of light could, after a time, be observed and even predicted.  The daily horoscope columns in most newspapers are fading echoes of the complex systems of meaning ancient observers imposed upon these movements of the stars and planets. 
Our understanding of these matters today, ponderous with sophisticated mathematics and scientific technique, is incomparably deeper than that of the most observant, ancient astrologers.  We can, if we wish, see a sky full of stars as no more than celestial mechanics, the laws of physics in motion, and so they are.  At least in our circles, the movements of the heavens, complex though they may be, are no longer advanced as obvious and irrefutable evidence of the "guiding Hand of God," nor do we anxiously consult the night sky for clues to the future.  Curiously, our enormous and ever growing body of astronomical knowledge, rather than being a burden, has been freeing.  We no longer need fear having been born "under a bad star" or that looking at the moon over the left shoulder will render us "lunatic."  We know--even if we are not as in charge of our lives as we might wish, even if we must accept that chance and complexity still play a role-that at least the movements of burning globes of gas light years away certainly have nothing to do with our fate.   It has enabled us to reclaim, without fear or obligation, and if for only a few minutes, the innocent appreciation of celestial beauty that must have been felt by our earliest ancestors.
See you in church,
Calendar of Events - November 2015

Sunday, November 1 -   Choir Rehearsal, 9:15-10:15 a.m.
    Worship Service, 10:30 a.m.
    Shawl Ministry , 12 noon
    Holiday Fair Set Up , following Coffee Hour

Tuesday, November 3 -  Pricing Party, 10:00 a.m.

Friday, November 6 -   Holiday Fair , 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 7 -   Holiday Fair , 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 8 -   Choir Rehearsal, 9:15-10:15 a.m.
    Worship Service, 10:30 a.m.
Monday, November 9 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, November 11 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 12 -  Ministerial Search Committee, 7:00 p.m.
 Wellness with Wanda, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, November 13 -   Drumming Circle, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 15 -   Choir Rehearsal , 9:15-10:15 a.m.
     Worship Service , 10 :30  a.m.
     Coming of Age meeting , 10:30 a.m.
Monday, November 16 -    AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, November 17 -   Board of Trustees meeting, 7:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, November 18 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 22  -  Choir Rehearsal, 9:15-10:15 a.m.
     Worship Service , 10 :30  a.m
Monday, November 23 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, November 24 - Stoughton Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, 7:00 p.m.
     at First Parish Universalist of Stoughton

Wednesday, November 25 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 26 -  Ministerial Search Committee, 7:00 p.m
Sunday, November 29 - FPUC Closed - Common Service in Sharon, 10:00 a.m.
See details above
Monday, November 30-  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
With Sympathy

Beverley Stephansky, mother-in-law of Linda Stephansky, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, October 27, at the age of 71. We express our deepest condolences to David, Linda, Rob and Jill Stephansky and the entire Stephansky family.
A Note from Linda  ♪...

Calling all singers...Please see Linda B if you'd like to sing for any or all of the
following dates:
Sunday, November 22- Thanksgiving Sunday
Tuesday, November 24 - Interfaith Service - We're hosting the service.
Sunday, December 20- Family Christmas Service
Thursday, December 24- Christmas Eve Service - Details of this service are not firm yet. The role of the choir may be to sit together and sing the carols as a group in response to the readings of the Christmas story, as opposed to singing an anthem.  

Rehearsals will be from 9:15-10:15 a.m. every Sunday beginning November 1. We would need all that time to practice in order to be comfortable with the music and to achieve a blended sound.  

Please let me know by October 28th if you're interested in this plan.   The more the merrier! I can be contacted at 508-866-3097 or

Keep singing!
Ministerial Search Committee Update

The Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) continues to meet every two weeks and we're making progress in putting all the pieces in place for a successful search. We have tabulated the results of the survey taken in early October - thank you to all who participated!

Check out the MSC bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall for our timeline, survey results, and updates about our activities and progress on the church's behalf.

In mid-November, we will share with you a draft of our church's Congregational Record for your review and input.

On December 6, a Beyond Categorical Thinking (BCT) workshop will be held to which all members and friends of First Parish are invited and encouraged to attend. The BCT facilitator will lead the morning's worship service, then the MSC will host a congregational lunch, and lastly the very important workshop itself will be held.

MSC members are Chair Heidi Hudson, Lisa Biederwolf, Bruce Ferguson and Mark Racicot.   Please feel free to speak with any of us if you have questions.  Tim McElaney has recently resigned from the committee.

What's Going On This Month?

Shawl Ministry  -  The Shawl Ministry will gather at noon on Sunday, November 1, at the church
to knit with prayerful intention. We knit prayer shawls, blankets, etc. to be given away to those in need of comfort and healing as well as for celebrating joyous times. For more information, please call Jane Mooney at 781-344-8236.

Buddhist Meditation Group - Denise Falbo and Bill Sevrens would like to learn whether there is interest in starting a Buddhist meditation group. If you would like to participate, please speak with Bill or Denise or email Denise at .

Drumming Circle -   The Drumming Circle will meet  on Friday, November 13,  at  7:00 p.m. in the Parlor. Kelley Nelma coordinates this monthly group which meets on the second Friday of each month. There is no charge to participate, but we will take a collection to be donated to the church with gratitude.  Bring a drum if you have one, but if you don't, several of us will bring more than one to share. For more information, please contact Kelley at  781-341-1213 or  

"The Packet" Deadline - The deadline for the December issue of  The Packet is Friday, November 20, at 12 noon. Please email your submission to
November Birthdays
These folks are celebrating birthdays  in November:
11/01 -  Ryan Hudson
11/05 - Rachel Geiger, Elijah Geiger,
      Rose Geiger
11/07 - Zach Breneman,
              Rachelle Hess Madrigal
11/08 - Thomas Heberling, Suzanne Washburn
11/13 - Peter Morrissey
11/17 - Linda Winship
11/22 - Jeffery Hansen
11/24 - Carol Weineck-Griffiths
11/28 - Joan Hansen

We want to list the birthdays and anniversaries of everyone in our church family. If you're not sure that we have yours, please list them on the bulletin board at church or send the information to

Ink Cartridges - Many thanks to all who continue to drop off used toner and ink cartridges at the church. Through your efforts, we have been able to purchase office supplies and many new ink cartridges for the church office. Keep saving them and putting them in the basket outside the Fellowship Hall. We appreciate it!

Minister's Office Hours

Just a reminder of Rev. Steve's office hours:  In general, Steve is in the church office Tuesdays from 10-3 and Wednesdays from 10-3.  However, he sometimes has clergy meetings or other appointments, so it is always best to call or e-mail to make definite arrangements.  He is also happy to meet for coffee or lunch, and to make arrangements to meet in the evenings or to call on people in their homes.

The best way to be in touch with him is via his personal e-mail,  or his personal cell phone at 781-330-2521.
Thank You to...

...Cesar McElaney and his parents for preparing and delivering our MainSpring lunch donation in October.
... Jill Smith and the Hess Family  for hosting coffee hour in October.