First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
August 2021 Newsletter

Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
Liberal Religion
Summer Worship - Playful Spirits
Sundays July 11-August 29 at 9 a.m.
Summer services will be outdoors at the church except for the August 1 service which will meet on Egypt Beach. They will involve movement and art, so children are very welcome.    
Sunday August 1   How Can Nature Help Us and Move Us?
Meet at Egypt Beach at 9:00 a.m. in the Parking Lot
Come join Melissa and Lin for a mindful rock meditation/walk on Egypt Beach. Melissa will share the process of her rock art with you. We can use the natural abundance all around us to find beauty, play and connection with one another.

We will wander and then join together in a mindful sharing circle. We will end with a story made from found objects on our beautiful Scituate beaches that engages us in conversation and contemplation of the indigenous lives lost to residential schools. 
Sunday August 8   It’s All Fun and GAMES!
Do you love to play games, whether lawn games, board games, kids’ games, games of skill? Do you wish you had more chances to just play? The August 8 service is for you! Please join us at the church at 9 am for a summer service focused on finding joy through games. We will have lots of outdoor games on hand and set up for you to enjoy during the service. You are also welcome to bring your favorite outside game and share it with the group. Skill not required – just an appetite for fun!  
Sunday August 15   Art and Play
Play with your inner artist as Carey, Kate, Fish, and Sheryl offer ways to color our spirits with sidewalk chalk and other art supplies.
Sunday August 22   Fireside Stories
Brian and Moria will gather around the "campfire" (aka fire pit) for a morning of storytelling and toasting marshmallows.
Sunday August 29   Sing Along With Howard
In tune with our summer theme, guitarist and singer Howard says, "Music is always play for me." In fact, the quote on his big song playbook reads "What Would Life Be Without Music to Make Our Souls Dance?" Howard will be bringing his limberjack and musical spoons, made of cherry wood. He will show you how you can play with them to add rhythm and fun to a song. He says that you can try them out and “play” along. Children are invited to try. You can’t make a mistake, it is just play with music. Howard will accompany and lead a circle sing-along with familiar songs (Enter, Rejoice, and Come In, This Land Is Your Land, Country Roads, etc.) Please email suggestions and requests for songs ahead of time so we can compile photocopies of the words for the day. Howard knows a lot of songs! (email requests to Lin please).
From the Minister
I wept as I listened to the stories of the Capitol and DC Metropolitan Police Officers about what they experienced while defending the Capitol on January 6. I’d already heard (and wept through) the story of my cousin, a DC Metropolitan officer who was called off his bicycle patrol and ended up in the tunnel that day, but these further stories made the grief deeper not easier.  

And there are so many other things to weep over as well this summer.

As always, when I see pain in the world, I ask myself what the church, specifically our church, can do. I hope you ask yourself the same question.  

A recent article in the New Yorker Magazine quoted these lines from poet Ishmael Reed:

Shake hands now
and come out conjuring.
May the best church win.

Of course our efforts aren’t a fight with other churches or religious organizations - we are all working in different ways to conjure the world and the society we envision.  

So what and how will we conjure together in the coming year, through our worship, our education, and our actions? Different groups have been meeting over the summer to consider these questions. If you’d like to join them in working our First Parish magic, you’ll find information in articles in this newsletter and in the weeks to come on how to get involved.

See you in Church,
Religious Education 2021-2022 for our Children and Youth
Our RE program kicks off Sunday September 19 - outside. For health reasons but also to try a new way of educating and engaging our children, we’re going to do RE differently this year.

The RE program for grades pre-K through 6 will go straight to their outdoor gathering area where they’ll use drama, art, and play to explore stories from the Hebrew Scriptures (fall 2021) and science (Winter and Spring 2022).  

At the same time, there will be childcare for younger children (inside).

Grades 7-9 will gather two Sunday afternoons each month for the OWL (Our Whole Lives) Sexuality program, led by Jenn and Brian.  

Grade 10 youth are invited to participate in our Coming of Age program, working with an adult mentor to consider what Unitarian Universalism means to them.

In addition, youth in grades 9-12 may participate in the shared SciCohRockWell UU Youth Group on Sunday evenings.

For these classes to happen, we need families to register and choose how they will support our cooperative program. Please register for the program.
August 2021 Notes from the Music Director
We were a small but enthusiastic drumming circle on July 18th. We discovered the joy of singing simple songs while drumming, so I look forward to adding drums to some of our favorite easy hymns.

Speaking of hymns; the new hymn supplement is coming along. Each pew will have a black binder with beautiful songs and hymns that are not in our grey or teal hymnals.

I’ve been practicing the organ every week this summer, and trying out some new pieces. It is so
fun to play that wonderful instrument, and fill the church with that big sound. The harpsichord
will be tuned in late August so I’ve been preparing a few pieces to play.

I will be attending a Trauma Stewardship workshop sponsored by the AUUMM ( Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries). The workshop is designed to help develop tools for caring for ourselves as we reenter the practice of group singing and playing while striving to hold the
trauma and grief of our communities.
Fall Book Discussion: The Sum of Us
Beginning mid-September, Pamela will be leading a weekly discussion on Zoom of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. In the book, Heather McGhee, an expert in economic and social policy, uses stories from her research to look at our economy and why it often fails us. She finds that racism is failing everyone, black and white. Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert describes it “a book for every American,” and Ibram X. Kendi wrote, “This is the book I’ve been waiting for.”

We will read and discuss one chapter each week, meeting either on Monday or Thursday evenings, and finish by the first week of December. If you’d like to participate, please email Pam.  
Strong Community
Men's Ministry
On Saturday August 7 Men’s Ministry will begin a month-long project of repairing and painting the Minister’s Office. Gather at 9 a.m. in the Old Sloop Room. Let Chuck know if you have questions or would like to help but can’t be there that day.
...Transformative Service
Summary of July Social Justice Meeting
An energized Social Justice Committee held their first meeting on 7/26/21 to discuss expansion of the church’s social justice program. Inspired by interest expressed by members to create educational activities in addition to existing activism related to racial justice and equity during congregational discussions about banners, we discussed a broader concept of a social justice program at First Parish.
The group started by surveying all current social justice activities. We touched on resources available to us from the UUA and some important considerations on how to proceed. The next meeting will focus more on the scope of topics we will address, assessing congregational interest, and the process we will use to determine priorities.

The next meeting will be held on Mon. Aug 2 online from 4-5:30. All are welcome and encouraged to attend! We are looking for input from as many people as possible. Please contact Ellen or Carol if you have any questions or can’t attend but are interested in participating.
International Overdose Awareness Sunrise Service
Each year on August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, ScituateFACTS and South Shore Peer Recovery along with members of the Scituate clergy lead a sunrise service at the Lighthouse to remember loved ones lost to overdose. 

This year the service will be held on Tuesday August 31 at 5:45 a.m. Please let Pamela know if you have any questions or would like to speak or share music. 
Haley House Thank You
Thank you to all who so generously donated socks to the “Haley House Sock Basket “at church.
Recently, it was overflowing with 41 pairs of socks! Amazing!

They are on their way to Haley House via my son, who used to volunteer there.
The socks go directly to the homeless men who live on the streets of Boston. The Haley House Organization and the men themselves are always most appreciative and grateful for your warm hearted and super generous donations!

Please donate to Haley House. They accept any kind of men’s socks, preferably white and not 100% cotton. The basket for donations is located in the vestibule of the church.

Thank you to all!
PFLAG Scituate provides support, education, and advocacy efforts to and for LGBTQ+ people and their families in the Scituate community. 

The next meeting will be in person in August, at Harbor United Methodist Church.
August Calendar 2021

Sun.    1st
9:00     am       Worship - Meet at Egypt Beach

Mon.    2nd
4:00     pm       Social Justice Meeting

Sat.    7th
9:00     am       Men's Ministry

Sun.    8th
9:00     am       Worship

Sun.    15th
9:00     am       Worship

Wed.    18th
7:00     pm       Parish Committee Meeting

Sun.    22nd
9:00     am       Worship

Sun.    29th
9:00     am       Worship

Tues.    31st
5:45    am       Sunrise Opiate Overdose Awareness Service