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


Important Dates to Start New Church Year
Sunday, September 13 - Ingathering Service - 1o:30 a.m.
This will be the first official worship service of the 2015-2016 church year.
Come reconnect with your church family and friends!
  Sunday, September 27 - Search Sunday
1o:30 a.m. - Special Worship Service

11:30 a.m. - Information Session with MSR Toby Ropeik 
Meet our UUA Ministerial Settlement Representative Toby Ropeik who will answer your questions about the search process and explain how the UUA stands ready to help First Parish during this crucial time.

Sunday, October 4 - Congregation Meeting
1o:30 a.m. - Worship Service  
11:30 a.m. - Congregation Meeting with our MSC 
Please make every effort to attend this important meeting after the service.
The Ministerial Search Committee (MSC)
will survey the congregation one final time before putting together our Congregational Record which is the tool to attract prospective ministers to First Parish of Stoughton. Your input is needed! 

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

Sunday, September 13 - Ingathering Sunday
We gather again for the beginning of the "church season" after
a summer away from regular services and church activity.
Ushers:  Jocelyn Hand and Mary Lynch 
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed 
Sunday, September 20 - "Let Religion Be to Us"
Many things that we do together in church-fellowship, music, singing, prayer, trying to change the world for the better-we could and can do
outside of church, by ourselves, or with other groups.
What makes our work and fellowship at First Parish "religious?"
Ushers:  Jill Smith and Hunter Sprague
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed

Sunday, September 27 - "Ten Myths About a Ministerial Search"
  Rev. Steve will be joined in the pulpit by Toby Ropeik Smith, the Ministerial
Settlement Representative of the UUA, who will be working with our Ministerial Search Committee in the year ahead. 
Ushers:  Brenda Martin and Brenda Russell  
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed
*See details above on the informational session following this service.
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
*See details above on the Congregation Meeting following this service.

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!  Sign up by emailing the church secretary at or volunteering on the sign-up sheets on the bulletin board outside the Fellowship Hall. Your help is appreciated!

Along the Way
Message from Steve Cook, Interim Minister

Dear Member and Friends of First Parish,

Welcome back after our summer away from regular church activities!  A few of us have met at the Farmers Market and elsewhere, but it will be joyful, as always, to greet one another as we gather to share worship, music and fellowship.

As you will read elsewhere in "The Packet", this church year we are welcoming (indeed, welcoming back) our "new" Music Director, Linda Brookfield, who served First Parish some years ago.  (I offer my good wishes and personal thanks for her service to our previous Music Director, Louise Verrette, who will be continuing with part-time engagements in other churches.)  Many will remember Linda and I'm sure that all of you will enjoy getting to know her.  In addition to being a very accomplished church musician, organist, pianist and vocalist herself, Linda would very much like to encourage, teach and lead a choir of First Parish members, as well as work with any of our own instrumentalists and musicians to craft moving worship services.  I know she would love to hear from any who might be interested.

Along those lines, I plan to modify somewhat our usual mode of gathering and leaving the sanctuary in order to lift up the place of music in our worship.  This year, as do many churches, we will incorporate the prelude and postlude music as a planned and considered part of our regular worship time to together, rather than have it be just "background music" while people gather and converse in the sanctuary.

To that end, we will invite early arrivals to gather in our lovely Parlor, where they
may be seated or stand as they chat with friends.  The doors to the sanctuary will remain closed at that time, so that Linda (and perhaps choir or guest musician) may warm up and rehearse without having to compete with conversation.  At 10:30, we will open the doors and invite everyone into the Sanctuary for worship, which will begin with the prelude.  At the close of the service, the postlude will also be a formal part of worship, rather than just "traveling music" as people bustle about, converse and leave for coffee hour.  Of course, any who wish to leave are invited to do so quietly.  Even with these changes, our worship time together will still be no longer than 60 to 65 minutes.  I think you will enjoy music being given a more considered role that will elevate our worship experience.

This, our third and final year together as interim minister and congregation, will be
exciting and important.  Your search committee is already hard at work in the
preliminary stages of the important task with which you have charged them.  You
can look forward to periodic updates from them as they share aspects of where they
are in the process.  If all goes as intended, and I believe it will, by this time next year
you will be looking forward to opening the church season with your new minister.

That said, you and I still have many months ahead of us and I look forward to sharing them with you.  
See you in church,
Rev. Steve
Calendar of Events - September 2015

Tuesday, September 1 -  Finance Committee Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 2 -  AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 5 -   Stoughton Farmers Market , 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Monday, September 7 -    LABOR DAY  
AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, September 8Board of Trustees  Meeting,  7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 9 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 10 - Ministerial Search Committee Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  Wellness with Wanda, 7:00 p.m. 
Friday, September 11 -  Drumming Circle, 7:00 p.m. 
Saturday, September 12 -  Stoughton Farmers Market, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 13 -  Worship Service - Ingathering, 10:30 a.m.
Monday, September 14 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, September 16 -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 19 -  Stoughton Farmers Market, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 20 -   Worship Service and Church School, 10:30 a.m
Monday, September 21 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, September 23 -  AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 24 -  Ministerial Search Committee Meeting, 7:00 p.m. 
Sunday, September 27 -  Worship Service and Information Meeting , 10 :30 a.m.
Monday, September 28 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, September 30 -  AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 4 -  Worship Service and Congregation Meeting, 10:30 a.m.
                                  Shawl Ministry, 12 noon, Parlor

♪ A Note from Linda... 

Hello Members and Friends of First Parish!

As many of you may already know, I'll be re-joining the church as your Music Director on September 13th.  I was originally hired in September of 1973, and left in 2000 because I was living in Plympton to care for my mother after my father had passed away. I enjoyed my years with First Parish and my experience in Stoughton served me well at other churches that I served over the past 15 years.  I'm really excited to work with you again.  

I look forward to hearing from those of you who would like to sing or play an instrument to enhance worship throughout the 2015-2016 church year.  I have some ideas of my own and would welcome suggestions from anyone who'd like to share ideas with me.  Perhaps we can chat about music on Sunday after church?  It'll be nice to see so many familiar faces again as well as meeting others I don't already know.

I'll see you on the 13th.

Musical blessings, 
Linda Forbes Brookfield 

Get Well Wishes
Please keep in your thoughts and prayers Patricia Hess who is currently hospitalized in Boston following a serious automobile accident on August 20. Richard and their daughters are focused on taking care of Pat so while notes of support are appreciated, phone calls are discouraged during this overwhelming time. We send our love to Pat and her family!

Committee Reports Due
Reminder to all Committee Chairs: Your 2014-2015 Committee Report is due on Monday, September 14.  Please email the report to for inclusion in the church's 2014-2015 Annual Report.

Summer Fundraiser- Please remember to return your Summer Fundraiser box at your earliest convenience. Every coin helps!

What's Going On This Month?

Drumming Circle -   The Drumming Circle will meet  on Friday, September 11,  at  7:00 p.m. 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  

Mainspri ng Lunches Cesar McElaney and his parents, Tim McElaney and Cristina Carandang, delivered lunches to Mainspring House this summer and will continue to do so in the fall.  Cesar, Tim and Cristina are thankful for the opportunity to serve our greater Stoughton

"The Packet" Deadline - The deadline for the October issue of The Packet is Monday, September 21, at noon. Please email your submission to
Shawl Ministry -  The Shawl Ministry gathers at noon on the first Sunday of each month beginning in October 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.
September Birthdays and


These folks are celebrating birthdays in September:

9/01 -  Elliot Hansen, Linda Stephansky
9/02 -  Sherri Clifford
9/06 -  Laureen Dolloff-Jasmin
9/09 -  Frank Hinds
9/11 -  Trevor Dubovy
9/13 -  William Piche, Jeff Symynkywicz
9/19 -  Karin Carlino
9/22 -  Bart Heberling
9/28 -  Michael Hudson
9/29 -  Vini Delgadillo
9/30 -  Robert Breneman

Happy Anniversary to:

9/03 -  Jane and Kevin Mooney

9/07 -  Ann and Patrick Toomey

9/09 -  Jeff and Liz Symynkywicz

9/17 -  Charlie and Jennifer Walsh

9/25 -  John and Janet Fahey

9/29 -  Tom and Dianne Heberling


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 - Please save and drop off used toner and ink cartridges in the basket outside the Fellowship Hall. Through your efforts, we can purchase office supplies and new ink cartridges for the church office. We appreciate it!

Treasurer Transition - Brenda Martin

Dear Church Family and Friends,

For those of you that may not know, as of 7/1/15 I have taken over the position of Church Treasurer. Have no fear!! Richard Hess is now Assistant Treasurer and is still around and available. I have some big shoes to fill and will continue to work with Richard as I have for the past three years to develop my skills as Treasurer.

Since I am not as close to the church, distance wise, as Richard is, I may not be as visible, but will always be available for any questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact me at home (781-826-6071) or via email ( as you choose. I look forward to taking on this position and will continue to work towards OUR church's commons goals.

See you in the Fall .

Be Well, 
Brenda Martin, Treasurer

With Sympathy
Linda Weiler has alerted us that her aunt Mary Louise Orr passed away on August 20 at the age of 92. Louise was a longtime member at First Parish who enjoyed singing in the choir. A graveside service was held on August 24 at Evergreen Cemetery. The full obituary can be seen here.

Thank You to...

... Cesar McElaney and his parents Tim and Cristina  for putting together the 50 lunches  and delivering them to Mainspring House in Brockton each month during the summer.
... Peter Wallace for mowing the church's lawn and keeping the grounds looking good this summer.

... Louise Verrette for 15 years as Music Director at First Parish of Stoughton. We wish her well in her future endeavors.
Five Points Cluster Events

First Parish of Stoughton is a member of the Five Points Cluster of five local UU churches which have joined together in a relationship of sharing and community.  We have invited fellow Cluster church folks to our monthly Drumming Circle and Shawl Ministry gatherings. Below are the events to which EVERYONE is invited:

Save the Date - Our next Five Points Cluster Potluck will be held on Saturday, September 26, at 5:00 p.m. at FPUU Canton. Watch for an email invitation with details in the next few weeks. This event will be fun and informative with great food, break out meetings, and new friends.
First Parish Unitarian Universalist, 1508 Washington Street, Canton
Canton is establishing Compelling Conversations based on the radio program "On Being" hosted by Krista Tippett on NPR. Contact Kitty McGregor at 339-237-1381 or for more details.

Foxborough Universalist Church, 6 Bird Street, Foxborough
Foxborough holds a Peace Vigil in front of the church on the 1st Thursday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. A valuable social justice activity!

Unitarian Church of Sharon, 4 North Main Street, Sharon
Movie Night for adults, 2nd Friday of each month at 7 p.m. (free popcorn!)
Laughter Yoga workshops, 2nd Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. (bring a canned good for the Sharon/Stoughton food pantries)
Coffeehouse, 3rd Saturday of each month at 7 p.m. 

Unity Church of North Easton, 9 Main Street, North Easton
All-Music Service on Sunday, December 27, 10:30 a.m. Please join us!