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



Holiday Fair 2015


The annual FPUC Holiday Fair will be held on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at the church. MANY volunteers will be needed! Please contact Brenda Martin at 781-826-6071 or if you can help.


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

Sunday, October 4 - "Give a Little, Live a Lot"    
The Worship Committee will share its thoughts on giving and receiving.
Ushers:  Ed DiCastro and Peter Wallace
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed
*This service will be followed by an important congregational meeting to discuss and complete surveys for the ministerial search!
Sunday, October 11 - "Strangers in a Strange Land"
Thousands of desperate migrants and refugees are fleeing war, poverty and oppression, risking everything to find safety and a better life. This is an ancient story, a human story and an American story, as almost every American is descended from an immigrant.
Ushers:  Brenda Martin and Linda Stephansky
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Jill Smith 
Sunday, October 18 -  "Knots and Burls"
     The experiences of our lives - challenging and joyful - mark and strengthen
us, making us each the distinctive persons we are.
Ushers:  Tim McElaney and Jill Smith 
Flowers:  The Hess Family
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed

Sunday, October 25 -  "The March of Days"
  The most glorious season of the New England year is upon us.
Ushers:  Hunter Sprague and Carol Russell 
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Church School

Sunday, November 1 - Lay-led Service
The Worship Committee will lead this morning's service.
Ushers:  Jocelyn Hand and Mary Lynch
Flowers:   Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed

We Need YOUR Help!
With the start of a new church year, we need lots of help with Sunday morning flowers
for the sanctuary and volunteers to host Social Hour!  Please consult the sign-up sheets
on the bulletin board outside the Fellowship Hall and consider how you might help.

Along the Way
Message from Steve Cook, Interim Minister

Dear Friends,
Do black lives matter?  Do white lives matter?  Do red or yellow lives matter? Does one "color of life" matter more than another?  If I say that one particular color of life matters, does that mean I'm implying that other colors do not matter, or matter less?  Is it right to single out one color for particular attention at all, or is that racist?  Don't all lives matter and shouldn't we leave it at that?
If you've been following current events in the last year, you will know that a great deal of controversy has been engendered through public display, on signs and banners, of the phrase, "Black Lives Matter." This is a slogan that emerged rather spontaneously out of reactions to shootings of unarmed Black men by police.  Not only controversy, but anger, resentment, even property damage has resulted, in that churches, for example, which have chosen to display signs and banners asserting that "Black Lives Matter" have had those signs torn down or defaced, sometimes within hours of being raised.  Several of our sister UU churches in Wisconsin, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Washington State and Texas have been so vandalized-and lest we think that liberal Massachusetts is above such things, the most recent example (as of this writing) was at our church in Bedford.
What seems to be behind this?  It's complex, of course, but one major driver seems to be the misplaced assumption that to assert "Black Lives Matter" is to imply that other lives do not matter, or not as much.  It has been mis-read by some to mean that African-Americans deserve special treatment that other Americans do not get.  It has even been mistakenly read as a symbol of anti-White or anti-police sentiment, as if to justify violence against law enforcement officers.  None of that is true.  Against the undeniable history of slavery, lynching, segregation and racism toward African Americans, to say that "Black Lives Matter" is simply to assert their right to exist, to be treated fairly and justly in all aspects of life, but especially in their dealings with the legal system and law enforcement.
It is true that all lives matter; it is also true that, even after much progress in recent decades, even after the election of an African American President, there is still a special need to assert that Black Lives Matter just as much as White lives, because they are too often treated as if they do not.  When churches and individuals work to remind us that Black Lives Matter,  we hasten the day when such signs are no longer needed. 
See you in church,

Calendar of Events - October 2015

Saturday, October 3 -   Stoughton Farmers Market , 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 4 -   Worship Service, 10:30 a.m.
  Congregational meeting and MSC survey, 11:30
  Coming of Age meeting, 10:30 a.m.
  Shawl Ministry, 12 noon
Monday, October 5 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 6 -    Finance Committee  meeting,  7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 7 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 8 -  Ministerial Search Committee, 7:00 p.m.
   Wellness with Wanda, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, October 9 -   Drumming Circle, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 10 -  Stoughton Farmers Market, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 11 -    Worship Service and Church School, 10:30 a.m.
Monday, October 12 -    AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 13 -   Board of Trustees meeting, 7:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, October 14 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 18  -   Worship Service, 10:30 a.m
Monday, October 19 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, October 21 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 22 -  Ministerial Search Committee, 7:00 p.m
Sunday, October 25 -  Worship Service and Church School , 10 :30  a.m
Monday, October 26 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday,  October 28  -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 1 - Worship Service, 10:30 a.m 
Note from Richard Hess

There is no adequate way to express all that I would like to say to this Church Family today. My wife Tricia, your friend Pat, loved the people of First Parish Stoughton and you returned that love over the last 27 years. Sincere appreciation for your many cards and other communications, the Shawl that brought together so many prayers and good vibes, your presence at Tricia's Celebration of Life Service and the beautiful collation that followed. Thank you as well for your extraordinary welcome to our extended family and friends.

Your ongoing support to my family and me means so much. Please accept my deepest gratitude for all that I have said and all that remains unsaid on behalf of Rebecca, Rachelle and Victor.

Ministerial Search Committee Update

The Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) has been meeting regularly since June. We are busy gathering information for our church's Congregational Record; scheduling a Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop (details to come); preparing an interview schedule for potential candidates; etc.. MSC members are Chair Heidi Hudson, Lisa Biederwolf, Bruce Ferguson, Tim McElaney, and Mark Racicot. Please feel free to speak with any of us if you have questions.

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

What's Going On This Month?

Shawl Ministry  -  The Shawl Ministry will gather at noon on Sunday, October 4, 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. You do not have to be an experienced knitter to participate, we all help each other. Please bring your own supplies to get started on a shawl and a lunch, if you'd like.

Drumming Circle -   The Drumming Circle will meet  on Friday, October 9,  at  7:00 p.m. in the Parlor. Kelley Nelma coordinates this monthly group which meets on the second Friday of each month. We will practice the Native American traditions and honor the directions, then we will light candles "in honor of..." or "in memory of..." 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 November issue of  The Packet is Friday, October 23, at 12 noon. Please email your submission to
Get Well Wishes

We are glad to hear that  Norma Sidebottom is home and on the mend after a brief hospital stay to receive a pacemaker.  We wish Norma well as she recuperates and look forward to seeing her back at church soon!
October Birthdays and


These folks are celebrating birthdays in October:

10/03 -  Howard Hansen
10/07 - Alex Biederwolf, Sean Hinds
10/09 - Erin Fahey
10/11 - Marguerite Morrissey

10/16 - Steve Cook

10/19 - Sharon Hinds

10/24 - Richard Hess

10/28 - Noah Symynkywicz


Happy Anniversary to:

10/07 -  Lynn Gaylord and John Hudson


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 September.
... Jocelyn Hand, Jane Mooney, Carol Russell, Ann Toomey, and the Delgadillo/Morrissey Family for hosting coffee hours in September.  


New Church Secretary Sought
Friday, September 25, was Lisa Biederwolf's last day in the office as Church Secretary at First Parish. We are in the process of updating the job description and will begin advertising for the part-time position soon. Lisa will remain involved with "The Packet" in the volunteer position of Newsletter Editor.
UU focused Escalating Inequality Workshop in Braintree
On Saturday October 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., All Soul's UU Church in Braintree is hosting a conference for UU churches on Economic Inequality.  The morning event will provide a great briefing on the present campaigns that are being fought to change it, by their leaders.  The conference sponsored by UU Mass Action is free to attend, and a great time to meet and plan out your church activism for the year with fellow UU's. Please see the website of UU Mass Action or All Souls Braintree for more information.