September 2023 Newsletter
Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
Liberal Religion
A Month of Sundays
As Unitarian Universalists, we have chosen a free faith that calls us to grow our souls and serve the world, and to do this in community. Over the course of the year, in the words and music of Sunday services, hopefully in small groups, and perhaps in classes for adults, children, and youth, and in personal reflection and practice, our life together will be anchored in a series of spiritual themes – one each month through the cycle of the year.

Our theme for September is Covenant/Community. As we look out to our first month together, I invite you all to ruminate on these questions: What does it mean to be bound by covenant and not by creed? With whom are you in covenant? How do we call each other back into covenant after it has been broken?

Erin Splaine, Interim Minister
From the Minister
I’m looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday, September 10th for our Ingathering Sunday. Our service will celebrate our coming together, be a blessing of the backpacks, and include a special water ceremony. Whether you will be in the Sanctuary or online, please bring a small amount of water that represents an important moment from your summer and your backpack, computer bag, or whatever symbolizes the work of the season for you.

Upon entering the Sanctuary everyone will be given an index card and asked to complete the sentence, “this water is important to me because….” If you are online I hope you will share your answer in the comment section. The prompt about the importance of the water is not necessarily about where you got it but rather how it represents an important part of your life these last several months. Was it from the faucet in the dorm where you dropped off a child at school or your own tap water from the safety of your own home where you spent the summer healing or the lake where you gathered with family to say goodbye to a loved one, or a fun trip with your grandkids to Minot Beach, or did you grab some from the kitchen here at FPUU to symbolize the hope and promise of the months and years ahead or any number of ways in which we all carry meaning and memory.

The water ceremony part of the service will be done in four parts beginning with a call of one of the directions. An usher will invite a quarter of the congregation up to pour your water as a reader and I share the cards as our waters are mixed together. Breathe! It always sounds more confusing in theory. So to recap, write on your card, put it in the offering basket, and then when the time comes wait for the usher to give you your cue.

Granted, this might all seem a bit confusing in the abstract. Trust me it will make sense when we are together. On the chance that it doesn’t work – well then we’ll have a wonderful story to look back on as our year unfolds!

Erin Splaine, Interim Minister
A Conversation with Erin and the Parish Committee
Please join Erin and the Parish Committee as we begin our year together. The goal of these conversations is for us to get to know each other and begin thinking about who and how the FPUU community will be as you live into your next chapter. Please pick one of the times (or all of them!) below:

Sunday, September 17th, 12:00 p.m. (after Coffee hour)

Tuesday, September 19th, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom
Rev. Erin Splaine (she, her) Personal Meeting Room

Wednesday, September 20th, 10:00 a.m. at FPUU

Sunday, September 24th, 12:00 p.m. (after Coffee hour)

We can always add more dates if need be. In the meantime, please think about these questions which Erin is eager to know the answers:

1) Tell me about your faith journey.
2) What do you love about FPUU?
3) What, in your opinion, are the greatest challenges facing FPUU?
4) What else does Erin need to know?

Erin Splaine, Interim Minister
You are welcome to join in worship in the sanctuary or through the First Parish Facebook page. No Facebook account is needed.

Sunday Services

Sunday, September 3
No Service

Sunday, September 10

Erin preaching. Ingathering
Water Ceremony and Blessing of the Backpacks.

Sunday, September 17

Erin Preaching

Sunday, September 24

Erin Preaching
Notes from the Music Director

This fall, as I begin my 18th year as your music director, I look forward to working with the choir and leading the congregation in song. We are in an exciting transition time!

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 to go with our theme of Covenant: 

9/10-More Than Welcome Here by Bryan Sirchio and Richard Colligan. The chorus:
More than welcome here, this is home, we belong!
9/17- Let This Be a House of Peace by Jim Scott. This wonderful song reminds us who we are, and who we want to be. The chorus: Let this be a house of peace, of nature and humanity, of sorrow and elation. Let this be our house, a haven for the healing. An open room for question, and our inspiration.

9/24-So We Go - an Autumnal Equinox song by Patrick DeSimio. “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. 


Happenings for the Month of September at First Parish

Fididdler's Crafting Group
Wednesday, September 6, 10:00 a.m.

Fididdler's Crafting Group
Wednesday, September 13, 10:00 a.m.

RE Committee Meeting (Zoom)
Thursday, September 14, 8 pm - 10 pm

Social Justice Meeting (Google Meet)
Thursday, September 14, 7:00 pm - 8:30 p.m.

September 17, Special RE Coffee Hour on the playground after service at 11:30 a.m.

Sunday, September 17th, 12:00 p.m. (after Coffee hour) Conversation with Erin and the Parish Committee

Tuesday, September 19th, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom Conversation with Erin and the Parish Committee

Fididdler's Crafting Group
Wednesday, September 20,
10:00 a.m.

Conversation with Erin and the Parish Committee
Wednesday, September 20,
10:00 a.m.

Social Justice Meeting (Zoom)
Thursday, September 21, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Parish Committee Meeting Tuesday, September 26, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Fididdler's Crafting Group
Wednesday, September 27,
10:00 a.m.

Parish Committee
The Parish Committee for this coming church year is composed of these elected members: Ann S. and Lin S., Co-Chairs; Erica B., Treasurer; Carol H., Secretary, and Clerk; Charlie R., Jen D., and Richard K. members-at-large. We are your representatives, please contact any or all of us with your concerns.

The Parish Committee is looking forward to joining all the congregation in a huge welcome to our new Interim Minister, the Reverend Erin , as she conducts her first service at First Parish! Afterwards, we'll assemble in the Sloop Room for a celebratory coffee hour. Charlie R. and Mary B. are hosting. (Don't tell anyone, but cake will be involved!)

As we get ready for the joys and challenges of the coming year, the Parish Committee is planning two retreat meetings in September. The first, on Saturday, September 9, is a 4-hour meeting with Interim Minister Erin to discuss the launch of the Interim process; the second is a U.U.A.-run developmental retreat held in Lexington on September 16.

Lin S., Ann S. Co-Chairs
Religious Education for Children September 2023
PreK-Grade 5 and Building Bridges

The Religious Education Committee is going to host a special RE coffee hour on the playground after the service on September 17th. All are welcome.

The Religious Education Committee will meet on Thursday, September 14 at 8 p.m. over Zoom. All are welcome to join.
Transformative Service
Social Justice News and Denominational Affairs Committee
Social Justice Committee Meeting Dates: The committee typically meets online on the first Monday of the month and sometimes adds a second meeting on the third Thursday of the month. Due to the Labor Day holiday, this month we will meet on Thursday, Sept. 14, 7-8:30 pm. We welcome all members and friends to join us for all or any part of our meetings. The next meeting only will be on Google Meets rather than Zoom.

September Special Collection for Victims of Maui Wildfires - Each Sunday in September the second collection will go to the Hawaii Community Foundation - Maui Strong Fund. The organization’s mission is to inspire generosity, advocate for equity, forge connections and invest in community to create a better Hawai‘i. Charity Navigator gives them the highest rating (4 stars) for Accountability & Finance. Already they have distributed almost $6 million to a wide array of local organizations, such as food banks, Maui Red Cross, churches, health clinics, legal aid, animal rescue groups, and others supporting immediate and long-term needs of people displaced or harmed by the devastation. 

You can make a donation in one of these ways:

Cash/check deposited in the basket in back of the sanctuary as people leave Sunday service  

First Parish Church website secure online giving (One Time Gifts, type “Maui Strong” in notations box)

Directly to the charity via their website 

Take Action to Support MA Indigenous Peoples Bills This Legislative Session The 5 bills we have discussed previously in communications with First Parish have yet to be passed by the Massachusetts legislature. The bills include enacting Indigenous Peoples Day state-wide, banning racist mascots, protecting sacred objects, and ensuring MA public schools teach Native curriculum. Contacting your state representatives to encourage them to sponsor the bills with one email via this link is one way to show your support:

Ellen I., Social Justice and Denominational Affairs Committee Chair
Strong Community
Building and Grounds Committee
The Buildings and Grounds group would love some help with a few projects in and around the Church. Everything is project-based. No big commitments here! Screen repair, painting, weeding, tree and hedge pruning, Memorial Garden clean-up, and basement organization to name a few. Many can be done in a few hours after work or as time allows others can be done as a group. Younger kids can be paired up with older ones to learn how we keep up this wonderful Historic Building. All skills and ages welcome! Text Erica.

Erica B.,Building and Grounds Chair

The Scituate Food Pantry really needs the following items :
Microwave Popcorn
Large Bottled Juice
Canned Clams
Canned Crabmeat
Salsa Cold Healthy Cereal
Jello and Pudding
Bottles and Cans Update

On Tuesday, August 22nd, Mike M.and Mark M. earned $156.00. On Tuesday, August 29th, Mike M. and Howard M. earned $92.00.

A thank you to all of the parishioners who have been dropping off their redeemable bottles and cans at the garage behind the church. 

We continue to need people to be part of the sorting and transporting team. You may sign up on the Sign-up Genius.

We will work beside any new “trainees” so please do not be intimidated if you have not done this before. You can contact Howard M. or Mike M.

Howard M.
Grandma's Cupboard
Grandma needs more clean used canning jars, especially jelly jars, to start making some fall flavors of jellies and jams! We want to offer more flavors than those Baskin-Robbins rascals have ice cream!

Sales at the Cupboard are still going on - on the honor system. We have sold 23 items this summer, and no one was even around!

Grandma thanks you from her cranky little heart! And go ahead and submit your wishes for your favorite flavors. You might get some of them this fall, if you bring her some more jars.
Snowflake Fair

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”

Wait…WHAT? NO…definitely not! I’m trying to squeeze out every last bit of summer there is as I’m sure you all are. So, strike that, hit the erase button, and think last days of summer instead for now.

I did want to let you know that it’s almost time to start thinking about the Snowflake Fair- the church’s largest fundraiser- held Saturday, December 2 from 9-2 p.m. Proceeds from the fair support the church building and grounds, operations, and programming. Planning for the fair begins in early September and continues throughout the fall months. All members and friends-including our parish children- of the church are asked to participate in the fair to donate time, talent, and creativity.

Have a great long weekend- enjoy the last days of summer. More Snowflake Fair updates coming soon!

Eileen K.and Kim S., Co-chairs
September Monthly Calendar 2023