We Commit Ourselves and Our Resources to 
Nurture the Spirit, Grow in Community, and Help Heal the World.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
10:00 am

ONLINE Worship Service

Growth Through Play

Marlena Hatem, Cecily Merrill
and Carl Cappello
Join Zoom Meeting:
(This link will work for all upcoming online services.)
Meeting ID: 387 790 755
One tap mobile
+19294362866,,387790755# US (New York)

Call in as early as 9:30 am
to test your Zoom connection,
and say hello to other First Parish friends.

Or watch the livestream service on our Facebook page .

Please have a candle ready to light during the service.
Upcoming Online Worship Services
August 2| 10am
New Names
Caro Barschow

August 9| 10am
Imagine That!
Caro Barschow

August 16| 10am
#ProtectTransKids
Caro Barschow
A Message from
Reverend Christina

Dear Members and Friends of First Parish,

Our church 2019-2020 church year was very full. Shifting all our programming to online has been a learning curve for the staff and the leadership; and fortunately things seem to be going well. 

I do still wonder about congregants who are being left out of the fold because we are holding everything online. To you, I send my love and blessings. Please reach out to me if you would like to connect. It is unclear when we will return to in-person worship. We must practice acceptance and patience for where we are at this time. 

Our year round church goal has come to fruition as many are attending and enjoying worship. After working until the end of July, I am taking study leave and vacation for the month of August and will not be engaging in any church activities, nor responding to emails, phone calls, or texts.   During this much needed break, I will be enjoying reflective time alone in a cabin by the sea, taking an authentic movement class online, brainstorming worship with colleagues in a house by a lake, and spending time with my family.  

I feel especially good about my time away this summer because Caro Barschow will be leading worship and tending to pastoral care emergencies. I encourage you to join her for Sunday worship. 

May the rest of your summer be filled with the beauty of nature and deep connection to your own being. May you find ways to connect with those you love and reach out to those in need. I look forward to returning to you in September.  

I love you!

Christina 
Introducing our Summer Minister
Caro Barschow

It is an honor to inaugurate the position of Summer Minister at First Parish Portland. The opportunity to lead worship on Sundays and provide pastoral care with, and for, this community is a privilege and a responsibility I will hold with joy, love and earnestness.

I look forward to journeying with you in August. I acknowledge that for all of us, it is a challenging time. For some, it’s a time of crisis. May joining together through
the summer spark vitality, warmth and hope. May it lift our spirits, even if just for the moment. May it be so.

In faith,
Caro

********

In Case You Don't Know Caro...

Carolyn "Caro" Barschow (she/they pronouns) is an educator, writer and full-time seminary student. Caro’s spiritual influences are broad, woven by the thread of a belief that awakened hearts bring forth healing and transformation to people, planet and society. Caro’s spiritual practices include meditation, dance, prayer and speaking and listening in circles of trust.

At Boston University, Caro is completing a Master of Divinity degree in Global and Community Engagement. They are an aspirant for ordination with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Caro recently served as Director of Religious Education at Allen Avenue UU Church, following a career in Montessori education. They became a Unitarian Universalist in 2006, after being raised non-religious, and joined First Parish Portland after a move to Maine in 2010. Caro now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Newcomer Coffee ONLINE!
August 2 | 11 am-Noon

Newcomers and visitors to First Parish are invited to chat informally with church leaders to learn more about what makes this church unique. To join the conversation at 11 am, use the Zoom link posted above for the online worship service or just stay online after the service. We look forward to meeting you! 
FMI: Laurie Hasty 
Notice on Building Access

As a reminder, The First Parish Meeting House and Parish Hall are closed until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, only First Parish staff and volunteer church leadership with explicit authorization and specific business at the church are allowed in the buildings at this time.

We are following the State of Maine reopening guidelines to determine when we will allow individuals and groups back in the buildings. We will be sure to share that reopening schedule widely once it is known.

Thank you for your attention to this issue.

Call for Stories and Images

Do you have a relationship to tattoos? As part of the August 23rd service, titled "Told in Ink," our Summer Minister, Caro Barschow, would like to share stories from members and friends of First Parish about how tattoos relate to their spirituality. Would you be willing to have a conversation about tattoos? And/or share images of your tattoos? If so, please contact Worship Associate Deena Hastings at  deenahastings@snet.net .
From the Music Director, Scott Wheatley

This is the Douglas family, beautifully protesting the state of racism in our world.


From Reverend Christina's Poetry Shelf


A Brief for The Defense
by Jack Gilbert

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

Survey re: Remote FP Events

The First Parish Membership team would like to host online groups for our First Parish Family to still feel connected even though we are temporarily apart. Please fill out the survey at this link if you would be interested in participating or even leading a remote event with our First Parish Community. Thanks! For more information, please contact Emily Bolt at emswah@gmail.com .
Finance Committee Seeking
Additional Members

Are you looking for a way to make a meaningful contribution to First Parish that involves money but doesn’t require writing a check? The First Parish Finance Committee performs essential financial and operational functions of the church. If you have an interest or skills in finance, accounting, communications, fundraising or special projects we would like to talk with you. Please contact Claire Cowan ( mclairecowan@gmail.com or 608-333-2753) for more information.
UU The Vote

Are you interested in the UU the Vote Weekly Update or learning about the Summer Social Justice Organizing School conducted by the UUA? Learn more  Here .
Update from the Finance Team

Reminder: The church fiscal year ended on June 30. Please send remaining contributions on your 2019-2020 pledge and any reimbursement requests by  July 31  so we can close the books. Donations received after July 31 will be applied to the 2020-2021 church year.

Contributions can be sent by mail or paid through our website by clicking on the  Give   button at the upper right corner of the screen:
www.firstparishportland.org . If paying by check, please write " 2019-2020 pledge " in the memo line. If paying online, please choose the " 2019-2020 " pledge year payment option. Please notify  finance@firstparishportland.org  if you are not able to fulfill your pledge.
Help Wanted:
Public Safety Team

A new First Parish Public Safety Team is forming, and we are looking for folks with skills in the following areas: basic web research on topics such as police use of force, citizen participation in review of complaints against the police, model policing reforms and policies adopted by other U.S. cities & states, etc.; social media & email lists; website building & maintenance; fundraising;  writing letters to the editor; emails and phone calls to elected officials;  and connecting with allied organizations e.g. MUUSAN, Poor People's Campaign, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc.
Our city needs your energy and skills NOW!
FMI: email Angus Ferguson at   angus@angusferguson.com
Wayside Pulpit
Laurie Hasty, Membership Coordinator
Kids' Art & Music
in Online Services
Scott Wheatley,
First Parish Music Director

As a fun summer project , I would like to encourage the children and youth of First Parish to send me photographs or pictures of their artwork to be used in our Sunday worship services.  No people, just nature, buildings, pets or examples of their own drawings, paintings or sculptures. In addition, any musically inclined children could submit short videos of them sharing their music-making, as long as the parents are comfortable with us sharing during a service.

The benefits are many: foster creativity in our youth, give them a role and voice in our worship services, and avoid copyright infringement using online content. Please help us feature the amazingly creative youth we have at First Parish. If you have questions or wish to send submissions, contact Scott:
Black Lives Matter Banner on FP Tower
Photo by John Tiedje
Thanks to Jaime Parker for hanging our BLM Banner! Photo by Moe Blanchard
Prominent Support for
Black Lives Matter

Everyone loved the giant HEART displayed on First Parish's tower for Valentine's Day this year. Our beautiful, historic building located in the heart of the City gives us a prominent position to now share our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We hope this banner will help remind us of all the important work ahead to build a more just world.

Many thanks to Jaime Parker for his help in hanging the banner, and to John Tiedje, John Schaberg, and Francesca Galluccio-Steele for their help in making this banner a reality.
Text to Give/
Mail Pledge Checks

You can now make donations
to First Parish via TEXT
by following these steps:


  1. Type in (833) 763-0068 in the "To:" field of a text
  2. Type in the amount you want to give in the text box
  3. Click on the link to enter your billing information
  4. For subsequent donations, simply text the amount you want to give to the (833) 763-0068 & hit SEND.

OR... Mail Your Pledge Check!
Many of our parishioners usually pay their pledges with a check placed in the Offertory, and may prefer not to give online. If this is YOU, please mail your pledge checks to the church office at 425 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101. It is essential for us to maintain a smooth cash flow in these difficult times.
Thank you for your generosity!
Rev. Christina's Sermons

We receive many requests for copies of Rev. Christina's thought-provoking sermons. You can now find her sermons in this Shared Sermons Folder. Please allow up to a week for sermons to be posted here.

Have you visited the UUA's website recently? Many great resources can be found there, including the following:
Braver/Wiser : Courage & Compassion For Life As It Is
Fortification: Spiritual Sustenance for Movement Leadership
425 Congress Street Portland, Maine 04101   207-773-5747  

 Nurture the Spirit, Grow in Community 
and Help Heal the World