First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
May Newsletter

Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
Liberal Religion
Sunday May 2nd      A Spiral Dance - in-person outdoor worship
We often quote Martin Luther King, Jr., quoting Unitarian minister Theodore Parker: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But is this linear approach helpful? What if the moral universe is a spiral, not an arc? The choir will sing Siyahamba. Pamela will be preaching.  

We need someone to video the service for Facebook Live this morning to allow everyone to join us. If you can do this, please let Pam know. And we also need people to set up and take down for the service this Sunday and other in-person days. 

This morning's service will be broadcast beginning at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page, for those who are not able or comfortable attending in person. You do not need a Facebook account to watch it.
Sunday May 9th  Loved Into Being - Zoom worship
For this Mothers’ Day Sunday we will celebrate the Love from which we all come, sharing in a UUA worship service with a sermon by the Rev. Ms. Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President, as well as vibrant music, storytelling, and other worship elements that will help us to grow in spirit, in courage, and in generosity.
Sunday May 16th  Break Forth! - in-person outdoor worship
Our annual celebration of our children and youth and those who taught them this past year. Members of the Picturebook World Religions and World of New Friends classes will join Pam and Eileen in leading the service.  The choir will sing The Road Home.

This morning's service will be broadcast beginning at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page, for those who are not able or comfortable attending in person. You do not need a Facebook account to watch it.
Sunday May 23rd Still Dancing, Still Blooming -in-person outdoor worship
On our Annual Meeting Sunday, we will celebrate all the ways we continued to flower and bear fruit in the past year; recognize those celebrating membership anniversaries, and welcome new members. The choir will sing Lean on Me. If you are thinking of joining First Parish, please speak with Pamela.

This morning's service will be broadcast beginning at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page, for those who are not able or comfortable attending in person. You do not need a Facebook account to watch it.
Sunday May 30 We Remember - in-person outdoor worship
On this Memorial Day weekend we will remember those who have died serving our country and the ways that how we remember the Civil War shapes our understanding of the present. Pamela is preaching. The choir will sing Down to the River to Pray. If you are remembering family members or friends who died in war, please give their names to Pam.

This morning's service will be broadcast beginning at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page, for those who are not able or comfortable attending in person. You do not need a Facebook account to watch it.
Spring 2021 Minns Lectures
Overlooked and Despised: Lectures on a Humanist Re-Thinking
of Biblical Outsiders
by UU scholar Anthony B.Pinn, Ph.D.,
 with respondents Kim Hampton, Marlin Lavanhar, and Mark Hicks
The free lectures will be on Zoom on Friday evenings May 14, May 21, and May 28.

From the Minister
We give it the prosaic name of Annual Meeting, but this deceptively simple gathering celebrates the good news of our theology as powerfully as any Sunday morning service. Our practice of governing our congregation by vote and discussion of the gathered members embodies our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each person and of the power of the beloved community. Unlike some other traditions, we believe that when we come together, our church possesses the wisdom needed to set our course, align our plans and our budget with our vision, and name those who have the gifts to carry out the necessary day-to-day leadership. Think of how big this is! We should begin the meeting with a trumpet fanfare! And this year our Annual Meeting shows us even more the strength and wisdom of this community as we remember all that we have accomplished in this year like no other, from a newly restored steeple and roof to amazing choir videos, from Sunday standouts for justice to a vibrant on-line religious education program for children and adults. We should have balloons along with the trumpet! And ice cream! I look forward to seeing and celebrating our life together with you on May 23.

I will be taking study leave time to attend the Festival of Homiletics on-line Monday May 17-Friday May 21, so I won't be available for routine meetings, but will be available if you need pastoral care. One of the pluses of the pandemic time has been to make it possible to attend this and other conferences without the expense and hassle of travel. I am also looking forward to the rich resources of our virtual UUA General Assembly in June. Brian will serve as one of our lay delegates; there is space for one more person if you would like to join us.

My invitation to walk with me continues.

See you in Church and on the Way,
From the Religious Education Coordinator

As the school year winds down, our children's RE year is also coming to a close. This was definitely an unusual year, definitely not what anyone expected. Yet, what a year we had!

Our Picture Book kids zoomed the picturebook world while teachers Jen , Sheryl, Becky Fish , and Wendy read to them about Asian moons, Mother Earth, the streets of Egypt, Ramadan, Hanukkah,special places of worship, the Day of the Dead, Buddhism, Passover, and the Golden Rule. They also had two great outings at the very beginning of class in September to make chalices and the other just recently in April to gather, read and play together outdoors.

World of New Friends kids met 13 new (flat) friends (based on Jeff Brown's book Flat Stanley) from different religions across the globe. With each (flat) friend we gained an understanding of different faiths and special holidays, interesting cultures and religious beliefs. Guest appearances from Brian (Buddhism and Meditation), Barbara (Hanukkah) and Mohamed (Islam) enhanced our knowledge of religious practices and rituals.

Throughout the year we learned acceptance and appreciation for differences. And, with each difference, students learned common ground and similarities. COVID might have prevented us from being in a physical space together, but it didn't stop us from learning and gaining a new perspective of the world: our world and our global people. And isn't learning about new religions a way to build a global sense of community, a desire to be nice to one another, and wisdom that ultimately, as different as we are in beliefs and cultures, our ability to hold one another in acceptance and understanding is what brings us together.
I would like to thank all the parents who taught your children about new religions, new lands and new cultures. In particular, thank you 's go to Jen - who taught all year, Sheryl and Fish , Becky, Wendy, Tara, Julianna, and Cara and Tom . Without them, this special year would not have been possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

RE Sunday will be Sunday May 16. Every child who participated in the RE program- even for just one class - is invited to attend and participate in the service. Please join me in celebrating our kids. their teachers and their new found appreciation of religions. See you there!

-Eileen, Religious Education Coordinator
May 2021 Notes from Beth, Music Director  

Our anthems this month: 

May 2nd: Siyahamba. (We are Marching) This hymn originated in South Africa, possibly as a Zulu folk song that was written down by Andries Van Tonder. 

May 16th: The Road Home. Stephen Paulus was commissioned to compose a piece based on a folk melody. He fell in love with the tune The Lone Wild Bird  from the Southern Harmony Songbook of 1835. He asked Michael Dennis Brown to write new lyrics which describe the universal theme of returning and coming home after being lost or wandering. 

May 23rd: Lean on Me by Bill Withers

May 30th: Down to the River to Pray. This Appalachian-flavored gospel song arranged by Sheldon Curry captures the spirit of a simple, heartfelt plea for renewal. 

Choir Rehearsals will continue outside Sunday mornings, except for May 9.
Poetry at First Parish Scituate - An R.E.Connect Event - Wednesday May 5, 5:00 - 6:00 pm

R.E.Connect will read and discuss poems on May 5 about Poetry and Social Justice.

Strong Community
Tea with the Minister  
Thursdays May 6, 13, 27

Continue to share signs of spring and renewal at Pam’s weekly Tea on Thursday afternoons. You are welcome to drop in any time between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. (Please note: there will be no Tea on May 20 while Pam is on study leave.)
First Parish Annual Meeting, Sunday May 23
and Pre-Meeting, Wednesday, May 19

We are looking forward to reflecting on and celebrating this past Parish Year at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 23 and Pre-Meeting on Wednesday, May 19.

The Annual Meeting will be held outside at the Church after our Service -- @ 11:30 am. This has been a uniquely challenging year. As a community, we will look back and look ahead, celebrating all that First Parish means to us. Members will vote on several items, including the installation of officers for the coming year. Make sure your voice is heard. And, what’s more, the Nona’s Ice Cream Truck will visit the Annual Meeting – Ice Cream for all 😊!!!!   

Also, make sure to mark your calendar to join us for the Pre-Annual Meeting on 5/19 at 7:30 via Zoom. This meeting is an important precursor to the Annual meeting. We will discuss the items up for vote on the 23rd, including the proposed FY 2022 budget.

Our Annual Report, including the budget and nominating slate, will be available on-line before the pre-meeting. 

-Parish Committee Co-chair
Centering in Gifts - a two-Part Online Workshop!

FPUU excited to have the opportunity to invite a small team from our congregation to join other UU's for a two part workshop on Saturday, May 15 & Saturday, May 22 from 10am-12pm on the practice of spiritual leadership, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Association New England Region. Please let Mary or Anthony know if you would like to attend.

Through pre-work and two online sessions, you'll explore how gifts are different from skills and competencies; how our faith calls us to see the gifts in ourselves, in others, in our communities, and in our circumstances; and how the practice of centering in gifts allows each of us to be seen and more fully known. We're looking forward to those who choose to attend subsequently sharing their thoughts and highlights to the Parish Committee for even added benefit.  Registration closes May 13, so act soon! 
Huge Spring Plant Sale! Saturday, May 8, 8:00 am -2:00 pm

This year First Parish will not have our usual Spring Fair because of Covid limitations but....we WILL have a Plant Sale! This is the day before Mothers Day, which should be a great day for selling plants.

We could always use more seedlings if you have something started, in organic soil if possible. We do need LOTS of perennials! If anyone needs empty pots, there will be some in the church garage, help yourself!

Alma has graciously volunteered to be of assistance to anyone who has questions about how to divide or transplant.

Dropping your plants off on the front lawn of FPUU anytime on Friday May 7 is ideal.
We would like to have a few tents up to provide some shelter for the plants (and people!). Open air tents without sides please. Please email Erica if you have a 10' x10' tent that you could set up before 8am, or if you would like to volunteer for a few hours on Saturday.
There will be a Facebook Event posted on the public church page that will be shareable; if everyone could help spread the word to friends or gardening groups, that would be a tremendous help in attracting supporters. This is our big spring fundraiser!

If anyone wants to come join us on Friday or Saturday call or email Erica.

Lastly, if you are going to be away on the day of the sale, let us know. We can save some plants for you!

Thank You!
Erica and Vicki
...Transformative Service
Earth Day Clean-Up Saturday May 1
The Men’s Ministry invites everyone to join them this morning in participating in Scituate’s Ship-Shape Day clean-up and in cleaning the church grounds. We will meet at the church at 9 a.m. and decide who wants to participate in which effort. People of all ages and abilities welcome. Bring gloves, rakes, and clippers if you have them and would like to work on the grounds. The town will supply bags for trash. 
Banner Survey Results

Thanks to all who voted in our poll asking about social justice-focused signage on our church building and about our social justice programming generally. The results are below. The Parish Committee is now moving forward on these initiatives and will have more to report soon.

Regarding a banner, the poll posed the question: Would you please look over the following and check ALL you believe would express our values?
Five choices were offered. 49 votes were cast

Results (in rank order by total number of votes):

#1 – Black Lives Matter -- 26 votes (55.3%)
#2 – Hate Has No Home Here -- 25 votes (53.2%)
#3 – Love Shows Up – 18 votes (38.3%)
#4 – Side with Love – 17 votes (36.2%)
#5 – Add Option or Other – 0 votes (0.00%)

2 respondents left this question blank

Number of times respondents selected only one of the choices:

Black Lives Matter -- 13
Hate Has No Home Here -- 8 
Love Shows Up -- 3
Side with Love – 1

A second questions asked:
Are you interested in participating in further discussions and education events?
Yes – 44.2%
No – 9.3%
Maybe – 46.5%

A third question asked:
How do you think we might we explore our hopes and dreams for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice within our spiritual community?

We received 29 responses to this question including an array of suggestions and ideas for action.  You can view the answers here: Answers to Survey Question

Thanks to all you participated! More to come … 

-The Parish Committee
Create Connections through the UU Urban Ministry
The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry is the oldest community ministry in the United States, founded in 1834 to help Unitarian churches in Boston to coordinate their work serving those in need. Now based in Roxbury, over nearly two centuries, the people they serve and the ways they serve have changed, but their commitment to understanding the inherent worth and dignity of those people has not. Today their mission is “to unite communities & transform individuals through education, service, & advocacy,” and ours is one of the communities they hope to unite, since we are a member congregation of the UUUM. Our delegates connect us to this work. Carol and Jen are continuing to serve as delegates; we are in need of one more person to join them in attending the annual meeting (this year over Zoom on May 20) and throughout the year keeping our congregation informed on how we can connect with the work of the UUUM. Learn more about their work and let Mary or Anthony know if you are interested in serving as our third delegate for 2021-2022.  
Love Shows Up for Justice Sunday Stand Outs
Ongoing - Sundays 1:00 to 2:00 pm
For further information, please contact Jean.
May Calendar 2021

Sat.     1st    
9:00     am       Earth Day Clean-Up
Sun.    2nd  
9:30     am       Choir Rehearsal
10:30   am       Worship 
1:00     pm       Love Shows Up for Justice
6:00     pm       SciCohRockWell YG – Zoom Meeting
Mon.   3rd    
7:30     pm       Morality Discussion   
Tues.   4th               
7:00     pm       Picture Book World Religions
Wed.   5th  
5:00     pm       Poetry at First Parish
Thurs. 6th 
4:30     pm       Tea with the Minister           
Sat. 8th 
8:00      am      Spring Plant Sale           
Sun.     9th 
10:30   am       Worship 
1:00     pm       Love Shows Up for Justice

Mon.   10th
7:30     pm       Morality Discussion
Tues.   11th  
7:00     pm      Picture Book World Religions
Thurs. 13th
4:30     pm       Tea with the Minister
7:30     pm       Burnout Discussion

Sun.    16th 
9:30     am       Choir Rehearsal
10:00   am       Worship 
1:00     pm       Love Shows Up for Justice
6:00     pm       SciCohRockWell YG – Zoom Meeting
Mon.   17th
7:30     pm       Morality Discussion

Wed.   19th
7:00     pm       Parish Committee Meeting
7:30     pm       Pre- Annual Meeting Discussion
Sun.    23th
9:30     am       Choir Rehearsal
10:30   am       Worship 
11:45   am       Annual Meeting
1:00     pm       Love Shows Up for Justice
Mon.   24th
7:30     pm       Morality Discussion
Thurs. 27th
4:30     pm       Tea with the Minister
7:30     pm       Burnout Discussion
Sun.    30th
9:30     am       Choir Rehearsal
10:30   am       Worship 
1:00     pm       Love Shows Up for Justice
Mon.   31st 
12:00   pm       Lawson Tower carillon concert
7:30     pm       Morality Discussion