September 2022 Newsletter
Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
Liberal Religion
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Final Summer Service at 9 a.m.
Sunday September 4 Better Together
As we move into the busyness of the fall, Pamela will lead a service for all ages and abilities to remind us that we are not alone as we join together to play some cooperative games.  
Sunday Mornings at 10:30 a.m

Sunday September 11 Homemade by the Water led by Matt Myer
(This service will include our annual Backpack Blessing)
We welcome back UU drummer and worship leader Matt Meyer to lead a lively worship service for all ages that invites us to consider what architects, masons, and the sound of water can teach us about crafting a home by hand, and what rivers remind us about living a life in motion and movement. In recognition of the motion and movement of our lives, please bring backpacks, briefcases, totes, computer bags, diaper bags to be blessed.

Matt is a musician and worship leader who has led hundreds of services for UU congregations across the country. He has a degree in hand drumming and serves as Director of Community Life for Sanctuary Boston.
Sundays September 18-October 23 Quest: To Live and Love More Fully
As we return from summer travels, whether to the Pegotty or beyond, we will use the metaphor of journeys to reflect on our own lives and our life as a church. “Quest” comes from the Latin root meaning “ask, seek.” We are here to ask the big questions, seek and share our responses, travel where our understanding leads us, and then together practice living according to our values. Our covenant lays out this journey every week in different words. Over this series we will wonder and reflect together on our own and the church’s journeys and what soul-widening adventures we may seek, using stories and music from around the world to help us see ourselves more clearly.
Sunday September 18 The Question That Will Heal
We begin our travels in ancient Britain with a story from the Arthurian legends about the nature and goal of quests. Pamela and Elizabeth will lead this service.
Sunday September 25 The Stories We Tell
Travel invites us to learn new stories from new perspectives and to use them to think again about our own stories. This Sunday we’ll use The Story-Telling Stone, a tale from the Seneca people, to look at the power of stories and ritual. Pamela and Elizabeth will lead this service.
From the Minister
Are you a summer person or a fall person? While I enjoy the more relaxed pace of summertime, I always feel a sense of coming home in the fall. The intense blue of the sky and the blazing colors of the leaves always lifts my heart and I welcome cooler temperatures. I also love the sense of opportunity September offers. Even though it’s been a long time since I returned to school, it still seems a time to learn and try new things.  

This year I’m excited about lots of new opportunities here at First Parish - the invitation offered by the Parish Committee’s goal to build on our strengths as a community rich in artistry to see ourselves as working to see the beauty in ourselves and to spread beauty to the world; our new worship series reflecting on how we’ll live out that Quest; working with Melissa our new Sunday School teacher while continuing to serve with Beth and Stephanie; teaching a class for adults on our UU tradition; and of course, being back in the sanctuary with the congregation back from summer travels and rests. What are you looking forward to this September? Email me or set up a time to tell me about it.

See you in church,

  Notes from the Music Director

This fall, as I begin my 17th year as your music director, I continue to look forward to working with the choir and leading the congregation in song. I love making music in the First Parish sanctuary for many reasons; the appreciative congregation, the lovely instruments, and the great acoustics. I’ve been learning new music and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Our choir rehearses each Sunday from 9:00-10:00 in the Sanctuary. Anyone in 7th grade or older is welcome to join us. 

Our choral anthems this month:

9/11- Blessing by Donna Hebert. For our annual Backpack Blessing service, we will sing this favorite. We also look forward to working with worship leader, drummer, and song leader Matt Meyers! Come ready to sing! 

9/18- Find Your Grail from Monty Python’s Spamalot, which tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail.

9/25- So We Go by Patrick DeSimio - is an autumnal equinox song. "So we go from day-light t’ward the night. So we go, turning on through life". My favorite verse is the 3rd one: "Come as mistakes turn into wisdom, come as the rash becomes the sage. Come as the blooms of youth grow into the feast and seed of our autumn days."   

I look forward to the journey with you at First Parish. 

Happy Fall! 🍁

See you in church!

News from the Parish Committee
“Our goal is to celebrate the rich spectrum of artistry within our congregation, cultivate a sacred space to explore and share these gifts, and create a radiant and vibrant community. Guided by all the elements of our Great Covenant, we can create beauty and transformative change.”

This is the goal for the church year that the Parish Committee crafted from ideas gathered from the congregation. Many ideas had come out of the urgent needs left by the Pandemic’s isolation. People wanted to revitalize the bonds of community and love within our core, to spread our welcome outward to new members, to dramatically improve and enable communication both within the church and out to the town and beyond, to increase transparency among the working bodies of the church, and to enhance the welcoming quality in the church’s spaces, both tangibly and intangibly. These goals and others had come out strongly in two meetings of church activists (the Council of Leaders) held in late July and early August.

It was clear that we needed a crystalizing goal for the year statement. In the following weeks’ meetings, the Parish Committee’s task, as defined by the outgoing and incoming Parish Committee in late spring, was to meditate and brainstorm on ways to incorporate the congregation’s important needs through a spiritually-centered statement based on our Covenant. We knew that this statement would have to be powerful enough and broad enough to carry through all levels of church life, sacred to the mundane. Ideally, it would build on the practical and spiritual strengths, abilities, talents, and capacities of our membership. 

At our August Parish Committee retreat at a conference room in the town library, Mary led us in a 4-hour process to help us narrow down and articulate the Goal. Having thoroughly processed crises, problems, and needs in previous meetings, Mary turned us to the happy task of thinking of the many strengths of our church. First, we identified the broad strokes of the picture, things that are already working and that the church is known for—Pam and her powerful ministerial care, sermons, and service; Beth and her incredible musical ministry; our renowned R.E. program for kids and youth; our energetic Social Justice outreach; and the many people in the congregation who are active in the visual, musical, performance, and word-based arts. Next step: Mary led us in a meditation to re-experience a peak experience in or of First Parish Church that revealed its special value to us. We were given time to write our stories down and share them. The experiences ranged from an ecstatic moment singing the choir’s anthem “Honey in the Rock”, to a paradigm shift when Pam called for us to see a lost election not as a catastrophe but as a call to renewed activism. After marveling at the richness of our church community, we went through a winnowing process that resulted in a series of descriptive words: integrity, beauty, creativity, communication, community, love, and more. Finally, we collaborated to arrive at the goal for the year, as worded above.

The next step will be for the Council of Leaders and the committees they represent to brainstorm measurable and attainable ways to live it out. Working together, we can make a positive difference in the life of the church.

Other Parish Committee News: Incoming Treasurer Charlie worked to coordinate the finances of the church. Lin, Parish Committee Co-Chair 2, convened a new governing body of the church, the Council of Leaders, where Committee Chairs and other leaders of working groups gather quarterly to exchange information and work on common challenges. Lin will create and maintain a periodically updated informational binder in the church foyer to report on the Committees’ doings. That information will be published online as well. The Parish Committee will host Coffee Hour on September 11 to kick off the season; Mark will coordinate rotating coffee hour hosting assignments. And the Parish Committee as a whole starts the 2022-23 church year with a strong resolve to communicate effectively and fully with the rest of the congregation.

Co-Chairs: Carey and Lin
Treasurer: Charlie
Secretary: Damian
Members at Large: Anthony, Carol, and Jen
Religious Education for Children and Youth September 2022

We are excited for the new year of RE to begin! On Sunday, September 11 children and youth, as well as adults, are invited to bring their backpacks and bags to church for our annual backpack blessing with drummer Matt Meyer. Our new Sunday School teacher Melissa will be present - please introduce yourself to her if you haven't already met her. 

Moral Tales, our PreK-grade 6 class, will meet for the first time on Sunday, September 18. The UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum Moral Tales uses stories from around the world to provide children with the spiritual and ethical tools they will need to make choices and take actions reflective of their Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values. We are still in need of parents to assist Melissa on Sundays.  

Coming of Age, our program for grades 7-11, will meet once or twice a month on Sunday afternoons beginning later in the fall. Pamela will work with this group as they explore other religious traditions and visit their services in the fall and then in the spring use what they've learned to reflect on their own beliefs.

RE Registration
All children and youth MUST be registered to participate in RE activities.

Becky and Cara
RE Committee Co-Chairs
Adult RE/Connection
Faith Like a River:
Themes from Unitarian Universalist History
Begins September 26

While the children learn about our Unitarian Universalist tradition this year in RE, adults will have the opportunity to explore the course of Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist (UU) history - the people, ideas, and movements that have shaped who we are today. Using Faith Like a River, a UU curriculum by UU clergy Alison and Jackie, and Pamela will use the stories of our history to help us understand how we can live now.  

This class will run September - March. There is no commitment and no homework involved. You may attend as many sessions as you want. Pam will lead an introductory session on Monday September 26 at 7 p.m. at the church. The classes will alternate each month between meeting Monday evenings or Thursday evenings to allow for different schedules. As of now, we will meet in-person though in the winter classes might move to Zoom. If you have friends who are interested in learning more about what it means to be UU, you are welcome to invite them to join you in attending one or more sessions. Contact Pam for more information or questions.
Transformative Service
Social Justice News
Social Justice Committee Meetings Thursday, September 1
and Tuesday, September 20
We return to meeting two times per month in September. The dates are:
Thursday, September 1
Tuesday, September 20

The agenda for Thursday, September 1 includes plans for holding an informational session on UU The Vote for the congregation, get out the vote activities in which we want to participate, and continuing to support Indigenous Peoples, particularly local indigenous tribes, and the state-wide indigenous legislative agenda.

All meetings are online from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. and the Zoom link is the same for all of them. Please join us for all or part of our meetings. We are always open to discussing social justice projects in which people are interested that we may not currently be addressing. 

-Social Justice
Scituate Food Pantry
For September, the following items are most needed by the Scituate Food Pantry!

  • White Tuna
  • De-Caf Coffee
  • Chunky Peanut Butter
  • Canned Beets
  • Canned Spinach
  • Pudding
Strong Community
Snowflake Fair

Hi there,

It’s 95 degrees out with 100% humidity and all I can think about is snow. Snowflakes that is…as in the church’s annual Snowflake Fair. Hard to believe that December is just a snowflake away but it is! The Snowflake Fair, always held on the first Saturday in December, is the church’s largest annual fundraiser.

At the fair, we sell gorgeous freshly cut Christmas trees and creatively decorated wreaths (by our own UU elves!) There’s also a baked goods table, a vintage jewelry table, the infamous Grandma’s Cupboard table of jams, jellies, and other delicious treats from summer’s harvest, a live plant/winter bulb sale, a crafts table…well, you get the idea.  In the weeks ahead, we’ll be talking more and more about the fair. In the meantime, please start thinking about sellable items you can make for the crafter's table. Artists, knitters, crocheters, sewers, woodworkers, and general craft people please put on those creative caps and get crafting. 

This event requires all of us to participate so please reach out to me, Eileen, with ideas, suggestions, and your willingness to join in. And please join me in thinking snow!

September Calendar 2022