First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
February 2022 Newsletter

Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
Liberal Religion
Ordinary Time - Sundays in February at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday February 6, Awakening to Our Shared Humanity Amidst Division
In commemoration of the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and the ongoing fight for reproductive health, rights and justice, we will gather this morning to reflect on this ongoing fight and reflect deeply on how reproductive oppression and repression in this country is inseparable from our legacy of colonialism and racism. We will explore the Reproductive Justice framework and reflect on ways we can navigate and manage this challenging time as people of faith, guided by our Unitarian Universalist principles and in beloved community.The Reverend Ms. Jacquie is preaching.
Sunday February 13 Purpose Not Perfection
Perfectionism is an impossible goal and one we should not aspire to. Purpose, on the other hand, holds the promise of meaning and relationship, and is always attainable. The Reverend Ms. Danielle is preaching.
Sunday February 20 All Kinds of Love
In our annual multi-generational celebration of love, community, and chocolate communion service, we will have readings and music that reflect a variety of loving relationships - friend, family, partner - that fill our hearts. 
Sunday February 27 Musings
During my morning reflection and prayers I often muse about random things. Sometimes I wonder about religious things, or Unitarian Universalist theology. Sometimes it's about something I've never thought of before. Do these musings have anything to do with being a faithful UU? Do they have meaning? Are you a "muser?" The Reverend Ms. Danielle is preaching.

From the Sabbatical Minister
Valentine’s Day is this month. It’s also Black History Month, and I’ve often noted cynically, that it is also the shortest month of the year. February is also a month that has some significance to me… Grandfather’s death, my sister’s childhood surgeries, my nephew’s birthday, my first broken bone 3 years ago. For such a short month, it surely packs a punch! For the last many years, it is also the month that many of my friends pack up and head south to escape the cold, snowy New England winter.

That leaves us to do the heavy work of shoveling and snow blowing, of clearing the ice from gutters to prevent leaking, to walk carefully like a penguin to avoid falls. It’s also a month to stay bundled up and warm in our homes, drinking coffee or hot chocolate, reading a good book, and for me, with at least one dog warming my feet.

And it can be a month of depression and despondence. 

I am reminding us all that this month we may need to reach out to our friends, neighbors and church members to check in on their well being. I invite you to make a call, write and send a note, send an email or text to someone who may need it. It could make a big difference.

On another note, I am so happy to be your sabbatical minister. I am enjoying spending time with your magnificent music director, Beth, on Sunday mornings as we prepare worship. And I’ve met a few folks who have served as worship leaders and videographers. I am really looking forward to meeting more of you as we again begin to worship together, in person. In the meantime, please reach out to me if I can be of service.

Many blessings,
Rev. Danielle
January 2022 Notes from the Music Director

Choir rehearsals are postponed until February 27th. 
Bell choir will rehearse at 9:15 Sunday mornings beginning February 6th.

Since singing has been identified as one of the riskiest behaviors relative to the spread to COVID-19, in order to protect both the congregation and the choir members, the congregation will be invited to sing the hymns silently while following along in the hymnals. ( Humming is invited too!) Two or three masked 
choir members will sing the hymns from the front standing apart from each other. The plan is for full choir anthems to begin again on February 27th. 
From the Religious Education Coordinator

Hi there,

What a crazy month January 2022 was. We were all ready to roll out a new winter session curriculum- Miracles, when COVID numbers spiked. (Ironically, this happened to us the winter of 2020. We had one session of Miracles, when the original COVID outbreak began and everything was shut down.) We decided to suspend classes for 2 weeks to monitor COVID numbers in the schools. The RE Committee met and decided to move RE classes to zooming online for the winter session to stay in sync with streaming church services and continue classes. We are offering two RE classes during the winter session.

RE Classes:
7:00 pm -7:30 pm Monday night Story-time: led by Ms. Jen, students listen to great stories about winter/snow. So far Ms. Jen has read Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepared for Winter by Eugenie Doyle and There was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed some Snow by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee. (I would like to thank Carol for suggesting these AWESOME books!)

7:00 pm - 7:45 pm Thursday night Miracles: led by Mr. Richard. The first week Mr. Richard introduced the idea of miracles. This Thursday he'll talk about the “Miracle of Close Attention” and introduce the Fibonacci number sequence. 

Our Whole Lives (OWL):
At this time OWL class, led by Ms. Jen and Mr. Brian, is on hiatus until COVID numbers drop. We hope in-person OWL classes will resume soon.  

Young Adult Social Justice Read Opportunity:
The Social Justice Team invites the parish children, grades 6-12, to join them in reading and discussing a young readers edition of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese). Mr. Richard will lead the discussion on February 7, 2022,
7:00-8:30 pm. 

Stay safe!

RE Coordinator, First Parish UU Church
From Your Parish Committee

Now that the Omicron virus is easing, we are planning a return to celebrating services in the Sanctuary this Sunday, February 6. Our health task force has given us the go-ahead to be together under the following safety guidelines:

  • No congregational singing
  • No full choir anthems 
  • Congregation sits socially distanced, in every other pew 
  • Expectation that everyone wears a well-fitting mask and be vaccinated

We hope to see you this Sunday. Note that services will continue to be streamed on Facebook as well.

-Parish Committee
Strong Community

Tea with the Parish Committee
is Suspended until Further Notice

-Parish Committee
From The Finance Committee
Watch the mail for your Canvass Packet and plan to give now
for the future of the church!

The Stewardship Canvass, held early in every New Year, is when members and friends of First Parish take time to think deeply about how very much this church means to us. It’s the period in which we, as individuals and families, pledge to give to the Annual Stewardship Canvass - which pays the major part of costs for the ministries and activities in our church.

Back in 2018 when the Finance Committee took a hard look at the sources of church income, we realized that pledge income was far below what was needed to support the ministries and activities that the congregation wanted. We had no Religious Education staff; yet we were spending our savings and were withdrawing principle unsustainably from our Endowment. It was clear that annual pledges were the source of income that we could and should increase drastically. So we set out intentionally to do so, step by step, over the next several years.  From 2019 to the present (2022) we have increased our pledge total by 53%, in spite of having to hold church remotely for much of the last two years. We have been able to hire a Religious Education Coordinator; to increase the hours of our Administrator, and to rejoice in the musicianship of our Music Director. And for the next two months, while our Minister, Pam is on a much-deserved sabbatical, we will have the opportunity to learn from the rich and varied voices of the Rev. Ms. Danielle and other speakers and musicians whom Pam lined up to lead Sunday services in her absence.

This year we aim to increase total pledges by another 16% over the current year. If we can do it, our generation of church members and friends will secure the church in a strong position to tackle future challenges. During the next few Sundays, members of the congregation will speak reflectively on what they love most about the church, as a reminder of some of the events and projects you enjoy doing with others in the church - some of which have been put on hold, modified or conducted remotely due to Covid 19 precautions. We all look forward to resuming these in person as soon as safely possible.

Rev. Ms. Danielle, our Interim Minister during Pam’s sabbatical, led the Kick-off Sunday service January 30. As she observed, “as New Englander's we don’t like to talk about money. We just need to give.” Thank you, Rev. Danielle.

-For the Finance Committee
...Transformative Service
Social Justice News

Book Discussion Night Mon. Feb. 7, 2022
The Social Justice Team wishes to extend the invitation once more to read and discuss, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, by Rozanne Dunbar-Ortiz on February 7, 2022, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. We welcome members of our congregation, as well as interested members of our community. We recognize that there is an informative YA version modified by two middle school educators and wish to extend the opportunity for a younger audience to join us on the Zoom call. We are fortunate to have a Scituate Social Studies teacher and First Parish member to lead our discussion.

Please contact Carol with any questions and to register for the Zoom link (different from the usual Social Justice Team Meeting Zoom link).

Resources About Indigenous Peoples
We hope that you will join us on Feb. 7 for our book discussion night online, but for anyone who is interested in learning more about Indigenous Peoples on their own, the Social Justice Team is introducing in this newsletter a series of short resource lists we hope will be useful to you. Each list will contain a small number of suggestions from different types of media such as articles, movies, podcasts, TV shows and books. The lists will appear in the church monthly newsletters, What’s Happening weekly emails, and on the church’s social media pages. Calls to action, local events, and opportunities to connect with Indigenous Peoples in our area will also appear at times. If there are questions or feedback, please contact one of the members of the Social Justice Team:
Ellen, Kate, Carol, Alma, Lin, Brian, or Jean .

4 Ways to Honor Without Appropriating Culture - article by Taté Walker (Lakota)*

Bounty – Short film. Penobscot parents and children read and react to one of many government-issued bounty proclamations that led to settlers hunting and scalping indigenous men, women, and children. 9 minutes. 

Dear Georgina – Short film. A Passamaquoddy woman who was removed from her home and indigenous community in 1942 tries to fill in some of the details of her early life in foster care. 14 minutes

We the People – "The three most misunderstood words in US history" -  Tedx Talk by Mark Charles (Navajo) 17 minutes

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women from Across the U.S. – NPR host Sacha Pfeiffer interviews Annita Lucchesi (Cheyenne). Transcript included. 4 minutes

Many of the resources included here and in future lists that we will share with the congregation appear in a comprehensive list of resources and ideas that challenge non-Indigenous people to select one activity per day for 3 weeks that will broaden your knowledge and perspective regarding Indigenous Peoples. The full 21-Day Challenge list can be found here.

-Social Justice Team
February Calendar 2022

Thurs. 3rd
7:00    pm       RE Miracles (Zoom)
Sun.   6th
9:15    am      Bell Choir Rehearsal  
10:30  am      Worship
Mon. 7th
7:00    pm      Social Justice Meeting (Zoom)
7:00    pm      RE Storytime (Zoom)
Thurs. 10th 
7:00    pm       RE Miracles (Zoom)
Sun.   13th 
9:15    am      Bell Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship
1:00    pm      Private Event
Mon. 14th
7:00    pm      RE Storytime (Zoom)
Tues.  15th
7:00    pm      Social Justice Committee (Zoom)
Thurs. 17th 
7:00    pm       RE Miracles (Zoom)
Sun.   20th 
9:15    am      Bell Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship (multi-gen)
Mon. 21st 
7:00    pm      RE Storytime (Zoom)
Thurs. 24th 
7:00    pm       RE Miracles (Zoom)
Sun.   27th 
9:00    am      Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship
Mon. 28th
7:00    pm      RE Storytime (Zoom)