First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
November 2021 Newsletter

Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
Liberal Religion
November Worship Services    
November 7- 21 Courage
November 28 Advent Series: “The Inn: Housing the Holy”
Sunday Mornings at 10:30 a.m.
With the cooler temperatures, services are moving back into the sanctuary! For the first time since March 2020 we will be back worshiping regularly inside the church building. Those for whom it is possible are asked to be vaccinated and everyone aged 2+ must wear a mask. Masks are available at the church. Windows will be open to provide air circulation. There will also be seating set up in the Old Sloop Room (Parish Hall) for those who might prefer to be more distanced. Except for Nov. 7’s multigenerational service when all ages will be together inside, participants in the PreK-Grade 6 program will begin inside in the service and then move outside, weather permitting, for the RE program. The service is also streamed each Sunday on the First Parish Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to watch it. 
Sunday November 7    Love Doesn’t Die
In our annual celebration of the Universalist holy day of All Souls (Nov. 2), we remember loved ones who have died and our tradition’s distinctive good news that in life and in death we remain connected by the Love which holds all. In this multigenerational service, Pamela will offer a story for all ages; Cathie will read When All That’s Left is Love by Rabbi Allen S. Maller; and the congregation will join in the Litany of Remembrance. By November 4, please send Pamela the names of family and friends who have died since All Souls Day 2020 if you would like their names read at the service. 
Sunday November 14    Danielle is preaching
The Reverend Ms. Danielle is joining us this Sunday both to lead worship but also allow for her introduction as the First Parish sabbatical minister. As sabbatical minister, Danielle will preach twice each month and be available for pastoral care.  The 2018 recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism, Danielle served as the preacher for the Service of the Living Tradition at the 2020 General Assembly.

Danielle identifies as bi-racial. Her father was born in Italy and came to the United States when he was 7. Her mother was Wampanoag. When not serving the UUA, churches, and the community, Danielle describes herself as “retired.” In her retirement she trains and shows her dogs Rozi and Aldas.
Sunday November 21 And It Was Good
Our Courage series on stories from the Hebrew Scriptures ends this Sunday with the story of the creation of the Earth and its inhabitants from Genesis 1. As we observe Thanksgiving, Pamela will reflect on what that story says to us as we work to preserve the Earth and its inhabitants. Jane will offer readings from Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. 

After the service, we will decorate the sanctuary for Advent.
Sunday November 28 Making Room
On this first Sunday in Advent, we begin a new worship series The Inn: Making Room for the Holy. The pandemic has laid bare, and widened, economic disparity locally and globally. In this season, we will imagine how our church can become a house where the Holy will be born anew. 

On this first Sunday, Pamela will preach on making room for hope and we will light the first Advent candle of hope. If you would like to carry in the light of Hope this week or carry in the light on one of the other Sundays of Advent, please let Pam know.  
From the Minister
Some of you may remember that in 2018 I was selected to participate in a renewal program for clergywomen from a variety of Protestant traditions. Before the pandemic, we had gathered for three sessions at a Benedictine abbey outside of Indianapolis to immerse ourselves in spiritual practices and studies of healthy practices in ministry for ourselves and the congregations we serve. The program should have ended a year ago, but because we couldn’t meet for two sessions in 2020, it will finish this year. I am looking forward to spending time again with an amazing and inspiring group of women clergy and learning more about family systems theory as it applies to congregations. Family systems theory looks at patterns in relationships and behaviors over generations and the ways those patterns may be carried forward unconsciously until they are recognized and addressed. In preparation for this session, I have to do a family tree or genogram both for my own family and for First Parish. I still need to do the one for our congregation, but in looking at my own family, I’ve been made aware of a pattern of estrangements and disconnections which I would like not to be carried on to my children, niece, and nephews. As you look at your family, can you see patterns you would like to change? If you have been at First Parish, can you see our generational patterns? I am always happy to hear stories of your life and reflect with you on them if you would like to share them.

I’m pleased that the Rev. Ms. Danielle will be preaching and leading worship on Sunday Nov. 14. Danielle will be serving as the sabbatical minister, so this is a chance for you all to meet her. 

See you in Church,
November 2021 Notes from the Music Director

Beginning November 7th:  
Choir rehearsals will be in the Sanctuary from 9:00-10:00. 
Please wear your mask. Anyone 8th grade or older is welcome to sing with us.

Our anthems for November:

11/7    Breaths by Ysaye M. Barnwell   

11/14  Simply Gregorian- arranged by Donald Moore

11/21  Season of the Grateful Heart by Jim Scott

11/28 The Manger is Stranger by Amanda Udis- Kessler

From the Religious Education Coordinator
PreK/K-6th grade RE children continue this month to learn about and act out stories from the Hebrew Scriptures and discuss the underlying theme of courage found in each story.  Since September teachers Becky, Sheryl and Fish and students, acting as David, have thrown rocks (read BIG marshmallow) at Goliath, colored Joseph’s giant coat with chalk, learned about how manna kept the community fed while kneading dough, created a covenant and an ark to hold the covenant- then acted out carrying the ark around the congregation , and lastly shouted and jumped up and down until the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. As well, the children sponsored a food drive for the Scituate food pantry. They will finish this curriculum on Sunday Nov. 21 and on November 28 move into our December curriculum focusing on the theme of “making room” for hope, peace, joy, and love. Teachers are still needed to lead this four week session.   

Our Whole Lives (OWL) for children grades 7-9, is in full swing with teachers Jenn and Brian. This month OWL will meet Sunday November 7 and Sunday November 21 at the church. Teachers send out emails to parents after each session to inform them of topics discussed. The OWL curriculum teaches responsible sexual health and behavior, focusing on a range of topics including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health and cultural influences on sexuality. 

I’m happy to announce that an RE committee has formed with co-chairs Becky and Cara. At their recent meeting they reaffirmed the plan for the program for PreK-Grade 6 to remain outside. They also decided to have a simple pageant during the early Christmas Eve service rather than a more elaborate one during a December Sunday morning service. Their immediate charge is recruiting teachers for the four week Advent season (Sunday November 28- Sunday, December 19), Miracles session (Sunday, January 9- Sunday, March 6), and Trees session (Sunday, March 13-Sunday, May 8). As the Religious Education (RE) program is a cooperative program, at least one parent from each family is requested to teach or serve on the RE Committee. Teaching is a great way to be part of the RE program and learn about what your children are learning.

Strong Community
From the Parish Committee

Membership and Worship Teams
Your Parish Committee is squarely focused on putting together teams of First Parish members to support two essential parts of church life – Membership and Worship.
The time and talents of First Parish members are essential to making us “us.” We cannot fully realize our potential as a spiritual community without the contributions of all of us.
The PC is forming teams – including people willing to lead and organize – in these areas. Have a look and consider lending your time and talents. All are welcome!
If you have questions, and/or would like to be part of Membership or Worship, please let Mary or Carey know.

- Parish Committee
First Parish Needs:
Greeters each Sunday. 

An artist or two to create cardboard barn doors for the sanctuary for our Advent/Christmas worship series The Inn: Housing the Holy. It needs to be ready for decorating the sanctuary on Nov. 21.
People to “green” the sanctuary after the service on Nov. 21.

Coordinator for Christmas Eve flowers - involves contacting R & C Farms to set the flowers list, working with Stephanie to set up a Google form to collect responses; pick up flowers the week of Dec. 20 and transport them to the sanctuary.

People to help clear sticks and branches which fell at the church, especially in the Memorial Garden, during the recent storm. Stop by the church any time and add to the pile. If you have a truck and can transport the branches, please contact Erica, Chair of Buildings and Grounds.  
Tea with the Minister  
Thursdays November 4, 18

Zoom in with a cup of your favorite beverage for tea and conversation with Pam and other members of the First Parish community. You are welcome to drop in for a few minutes or stay for the full hour.
Snowflake Fair -December 4, 2021 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Snowflake Fair is lots of fun! If you haven’t been part of this before, you won’t want to miss out. Shoppers come from all over town and surrounding towns as well. So we ask all of you to help in some way, if at all possible. This year we will sell trees outdoors, wreaths in the front hall, and everything else indoors. We will be wearing masks and social distancing. We’ll have a one-way traffic pattern, entering at the front door, exiting at the back. You can pay cash at the individual tables or by credit card at the exit. We’ll try to encourage shoppers not to mill around in the Old Sloop Room (Parish Hall), but to take their conversations outdoors.

List of products:

  • Trees and Wreaths: Fresh from a Vermont farm to our front door. Our elves (you) have a tradition of decorating the wreaths creatively and beautifully. Please help on Wednesday evening Dec. 1, at the church. Jane and Erica will be there to offer encouragement, help, and supplies.

  • Crafts and gifts: We will display whatever you make. What is your expertise? Knitting? Sewing? Woodworking? 3D printing? Growing plants or bulbs? If you can name it and make it, we can probably sell it.

  • Grandma’s Cupboard: The “Can-Can Ladies” have been busy all summer making jams, jellies, pickles and seasonal savories. Unique flavors. -- Great last-minute gifts. 

  • Jewelry Table: Old favorites from your own top drawer, or your mother’s or aunt’s. Let someone else enjoy those treasures that you no longer wear. We will sort for display.

  • Bake table: Cookies, muffins, cakes, breads, pies, pastries, all wrapped and ready to go, homemade by all of you. (There is to be no food eaten on the premises, due to pandemic restrictions).

  • Fudge, Candy and Barks: Cooked and pre-packaged by our volunteer candy-makers, and ready-to-go.

All items for sale can be brought to the church during the week of Nov. 28 . We’ll let you know where to put them. Contact Alma if you have any questions, and she’ll try to find answers.

From the Collectors
Pledge payments have fallen behind! Please make sure you are up to date with your payments for Fiscal Year 2021/22, which started 7/1/21.

You have options in how you pay- you can pay through your own bank’s bill pay system, or use our electronic system, through Vanco. You can mail a check to the church (330 First Parish Rd), or you can drop a check in the collection plate on Sunday mornings (on the welcome table near the hymnals).

We need to keep up with our income in order to pay our expenses! If you have any questions, please contact Vicki or Cathie.  

Thank you!

-Collectors, Vicki and Cathie
Send messages of love and peace this holiday season with these beautiful and ethically made cards. Cards and envelopes are 100% recycled paper and packaging is biodegradable.

Below are samples of the cards. Check out their complete selection of holiday cards online.
Books from the UUA Bookstore Make Great Holiday Gifts
As you look toward Christmas gift-giving, take a look at the UUA Bookstore’s collection of books for children, adults, and youth as well as T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, and travel mugs. Gift certificates are also available. Through December 5, free standard shipping on orders of $50 or more within the U.S. is available.

Purchases support the bookstore, the important work being done by publishers Beacon Press and Skinner House Books, and the programs and services of the UUA that serve to support congregations.
...Transformative Service
Men’s Ministry
On the 1st Saturday of each month, all who identify as male are invited to gather for a service project and conversation. On Saturday November 6, they will assist a church member with some outdoor repairs. Chuck will send out an email with details closer to the date. Email him if you would like to be on the mailing list, have questions, or would like to plan or help with future projects.
Social Justice News

Cradles to Crayons: Cradles to Crayons is an organization that works to mitigate clothing insecurity, serving children birth through age 12. First Parish has contributed clothing to the organization several times in the past on a large scale, but this year due to Covid, the mandates and protocols were different. Gender-neutral, gently used clothing for children had to be washed and placed in clear plastic bags and personally delivered to their new, expanded facility in Newton. For three weeks in September and October we collected enough donations to fill a wicker hamper.  

Recently, Carol traveled to the Newtonville Ave. site for a tour of the state-of-the-art facility and delivered our welcomed donations. The Cradles to Crayons coordinator shared that donation bins in surrounding communities are now open (a large bin behind the Cohasset Medical Building on Route 3A is the closest); and that they are now collecting children’s warm winter coats. Perhaps we can continue our generosity for this noble organization.

Land Acknowledgement: Representatives of the Social Justice Team presented a draft Land Acknowledgement statement during worship service on October 24, tying the presentation into Pam’s sermon on the Hebrew Testament story of the Battle of Jericho. Presenters explained what a Land Acknowledgement is, why First Parish should consider adopting one, and the process that we envision, including congregational discussions and activities, leading up to formal adoption of a Land Acknowledgement statement by the membership by the end of the church year.

We encourage people to read the statement and background information on the church website as well as join us at the next online meeting of the Social Justice Team on Tues. Nov. 16 at 7:30 – 8:30 pm for our first congregation-wide discussion. We look forward to hearing your questions and feedback. Even if you have never heard of Land Acknowledgement before, please join us and we will explain it. Your input is needed on the best ways to facilitate education and discussion regarding Land Acknowledgement in the months prior to voting to accept a statement for First Parish.
November Calendar 2021

Mon.  1st
7:00    pm      Social Justice Committee (Zoom)
Wed.  3rd
7:30    pm      Parish Committee (Zoom)
Thurs. 4th
4:30    pm      Tea with the Minister (Zoom)
7:00    pm      Book Discussion: The Sum of Us (Zoom)
Sat.     6th
9:00    am      Men’s Ministry
Sun.   7th
9:00    am      Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship – multigen
4:30    pm     OWL
Thurs. 11th     
7:00    pm      Book Discussion: The Sum of Us (Zoom)
Sun.   14th
9:00    am      Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship and RE
Tues. 16th
7:30    pm      Social Justice Committee (Zoom)
Thurs. 18th 
4:30    pm      Tea with the Minister
7:00    pm      Book Discussion: The Sum of Us (Zoom)
8:00    pm      RE Committee (Zoom)
Sun.   21st 
9:00    am      Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship and RE
4:30    pm     OWL
Sun.   28th 
9:00    am      Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship and RE