First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
October 2021 Newsletter

Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
Liberal Religion
 October Worship Services    Courage
Sunday Mornings at 10:30 a.m.

Services remain outside this month, weather permitting. If we need to move inside, adults who attend in-person are asked to be vaccinated and everyone is requested to wear a mask when inside the building. Even if weather conditions move the worship service inside, Religious Education will remain outside for the full time unless the weather is too inclement. Email announcements will be sent to the congregation and Religious Education families on Saturday by 5 p.m. if the weather forecast necessitates a move indoors. Whether the service is indoors or out, it will be streamed on Facebook. You do not need a Facebook account to watch it. 
Sunday October 3     Recipes for Manna
We continue exploring stories from the Hebrew Scriptures this Sunday with the story of the Israelites receiving manna in the desert. How do we find manna in our times and what do we do with it when we find it? Pamela preaching. Elizabeth will play Autumn Glow by Martha Mier,  To a Wild Rose by Edward MacDowell, and Tollite Hostias by Camille Saint-Saëns. The choir will sing Source of Peace by Scott Kearns. Donations of new and gently used children's clothing that is wrapped in a bag or plastic would be appreciated. Please bring your donations to the church service. Carol will be taking donations to the Cradles to Crayons collection site.
Sunday October 10    Ask the Animals
Bring your animal companions (leashed or caged, please) to our annual pet blessing service. Members of the congregation, children and adults, will speak about how their pets have helped them to feel gratitude and strength over the past 18 months. If you have a story or reflection you’d like to share in the service, please let Pam know by October 4. The choir will sing We Celebrate the Web of Life, words by Alicia Carpenter.
Sunday October 17 We Covenant
RE participants and those remaining in the service will explore what we know as “The Ten Commandments” but are really a covenant between Yahweh and the Hebrew people. As we too gather around a covenant, what does this ancient one tell us about our own? Pamela preaching. Singer/Songwriter Christina Nordstrom will provide our music for the service.
Sunday October 24  When You Come Into the Land
Today’s story from the Hebrew Scriptures tells of the battle for Jericho and asks us to question how we claim our homelands. Pamela preaching. The choir will sing Turn the World Around by Harry Belafonte.
Sunday October 31  You Have to See the World in Shades of Grey
In her annual Halloween sermon, Pamela will reflect on Charles Addams’ cartoons and the positive values his ghoulish characters embodied. Halloween costumes are welcome, especially characters from The Addams Family. We will have a costume parade as part of the service. The choir will sing Night Noises by Ruth Elaine Schram.
Remembering Loved Ones on All Souls Day
We will celebrate All Souls Day on Sunday November 7, remembering loved ones who have died. As part of the service, we read the names of church members, family, and friends who have died since last All Souls Day. Please send names of those you would like remembered to Pamela by November 1. And if you would like to participate in leading the service, please speak with Pam.
From the Minister
“Languishing.” According to psychologist Adam Grant, it’s the word - and the emotion - of the year. In an article in the NY Times ( last April, Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton, defined “languishing” as “a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.” Many of us are feeling it as we continue to live with the consequences of COVID as well as all the worries of our times. So it’s okay when someone says, “How are you?” to say, “Languishing,” instead of “Good.” Perhaps your honesty will free the person inquiring to acknowledge that they are languishing too. You are not alone.  

An antidote to languishing is opening ourselves to moments of flow - those times when you are so focused or immersed that you lose track of minutes and of worries. Flow comes to each of us in different ways and at different times - in a deep conversation, during a run, making a meal or art or a fence. At its heart, flow is a spiritual experience, and we can make those moments more likely to come to us by taking on meditative practices which invite flow. A practice might be to sit in silence for a period of time, but it could also be to move, doing yoga, t’ai chi, or walking. Keeping your hands busy with prayer beads or knitting needles or a doodling pen can also contribute to a meditation practice. Coming together in worship also opens us to moments of flow as we share together in stories, reflection, silence, and music.  

So if you’re languishing, it’s okay. And I’m here to listen if you’d like to talk about it. We are here together in our languishing and in our moments of flow. We give thanks for being here together.
See you in Church,
October 2021 Notes from the Music Director
CHOIR rehearsals continue outside at the back of the church Sunday mornings in good weather. 9:00-9:45. In poor weather, we will meet inside, with safety protocols of masks, social distancing and windows open. 

October Anthems:

10/3  Source of Peace by Scott Kearns

10/10 We Celebrate the Web of Life - words by Alicia Carpenter

10/17 No Choir rehearsal or anthem ( Beth away this week)

10/24   Turn the World Around by Harry Belafonte

10/31 Night Noises by Ruth Elaine Schram

Guest Musician: Sunday October 17th, Singer/Songwriter Christina Nordstrom will lead the music in my absence. To learn more about Christina:

Religious Education 2021-2022 for our Children and Youth
Hi there,

Mother Nature must love outdoor education because she's blessed our RE program with sunny weather these last 2 Sundays. There will definitely be days when the weather is not as nice and we can still be out. Please dress your children in layers so they'll be prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings us. And until then, woo hoo to sunny Sunday mornings!
This fall we are learning and play acting Wisdom from the Hebrew Scriptures: The kids have so far enjoyed David and Goliath with slingshots and marshmallows (yes, marshmallows!) and creating their own "Joseph" coat with fallen leaves and lots of colorful chalk. This week we'll be learning about making bread. As a bread baker, I'm looking forward to helping the kids play with dough. Weather permitting, we’ll stay outside. And, if not, we'll head up to a classroom. If/when we are inside, we will follow the same mask protocol as the Scituate Public Schools. 
A big thank you to parent teachers Sheryl, Fish, Joann and George, and storyteller Carol.We are looking for teachers for the winter term (Miracles) and spring term (Trees). Our RE program is a cooperative program. We ask at least one adult in each family to support the program either by teaching, working on the Christmas Pageant, organizing a family event, or serving on the RE Committee. We need everyone to participate to make it work.

Our OWL (Our Whole Lives) program on sexuality is for grades 7,8, and 9. 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. There are 11 children signed up for OWL. The teachers are Jenn and Brian. OWL will meet two times a month on Sunday afternoons beginning October 3rd.

-Eileen, Religious Education Coordinator
Strong Community
First Parish Needs:
People to stream the outside services to our YouTube channel on their phone or other device beginning September 12. Please let Pamela know if you can serve.

Greeters each Sunday. Please let Mary know if you can serve.
Poets and planners, dramatists and designers, speakers, singers, and storytellers to work with Pam and Beth to plan and design our worship. Please let Pam or Beth know if you can serve.
Greetings from your Parish Committee!
We are so excited to welcome everyone back and it has been wonderful to see so many of you at our outdoor services. We also want to thank everyone who helped to get our RE program off to a great start. There was something familiar and comforting about hearing our kids, outside and in-person, laughing and enjoying their RE community.
As the Parish Committee began our fall together, we gathered for our September meeting and, in many ways, it felt like a return, a renewal, and a re-commitment to our First Parish community. A part of this commitment, we are working hard on our PC goals for the year. They are still a work-in-progress and so, we are looking for ideas, suggestions, and feedback from our whole community.

In discussion of possible goals, we reviewed and reflected on our UU mission of liberal faith, strong community, and transformative service. A focus on strong community, collaboration, and connection seemed to resonate with our group. We had a fruitful discussion about these topics - what this means, what it looks like, and what we might do as a community to honor this focus. At the end of the meeting, we had many more questions than answers and this is where our entire First Parish Community can help. We would love to hear your perspective on several questions that emerged for the PC including:

What does connection mean to you?
How is connection in our First Parish UU context unique?
What kind of connection(2) do we want? need?
How might we cultivate these connections and collaborations?
The Parish Committee is hoping to finalize our goals during our October meeting. We are planning an informal listening session after our service on October 3rd. Please consider staying for coffee and great conversation. We will provide coffee so please bring a travel mug (or two). We will also provide childcare at the playground for families who are able to join our conversation. We would LOVE to hear from you so that we may integrate the many voices of our First Parish community. 

-Parish Committee
Tea with the Minister  
Thursdays October 7, 14, 21, and 28
 4:30-5:30 p.m. 

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.
Wednesday Walks
Join Pam for walking and conversation Wednesday mornings October 6, 13, 20, and 27, 10-11 a.m. The trail is accessible for strollers, wheelchairs, and bicycles. We will meet in the parking lot of the MBTA station near the spaces reserved for Trail users. Please sign up by 8 a.m. each week if you plan to attend.
Storytelling Game Night 
With the darker evenings and colder temperatures in October our monthly game night (Friday October 15 7-8:30 p.m.) becomes an evening of story-telling around a firepit, toasting marshmallows as we share stories. Stories can be from your own life, from an old tale, funny or sad, but if spooky, not too spooky please - this is an event for people of all ages and sensitivities! If the weather doesn’t allow for gathering outdoors, we’ll meet in the parish hall for board games. Please remember to wear a mask when inside the building. Bob, Annie, and Susan are hosting the evening.
Snowflake Fair -December 4, 2021 - Ready or not, it’s coming!
This is our traditional holiday Fair, always the first Saturday of December. Right now we don’t know who is going to run it, work on it, or whether it is going to be indoors, outdoors, or some of each. But if you’ve never worked on this Fair, or whether you’ve always worked on it, we need you!

We do know four things about the Snowflake Fair this year. (1) We always have a lot of fun with it. (2) We plan to have our traditional freshly-cut Vermont Trees and Wreathes, decorated by our own loving hands. (Trees are obviously sold outdoors.) (3) We hope to have crafts, plants, jam & pickles, and many other items to sell. (4) We need to start organizing it right away, as it’s a big undertaking and it’s only two months away.

This is our largest Fundraising Event of the year and our success in bringing in enough money to run the church depends on you. Please don’t hesitate to sign up. And if you think you could help organize it, please contact Alma immediately. Let the fun begin!

-Snowflake Fair Committee
...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. Because of COVID, projects are still limited; on Saturday October 2, they will meet at the church at 9 a.m. to clear out the shed. Email Chuck if you have questions or would like to plan or help with future projects.
What’s up with Social Justice
An effort began this summer to reinvigorate the Social Justice Team and develop the social justice program at First Parish. We’re still in the organizational stage, working on determining priorities and processes. We’ll be sending an email to the congregation soon to provide details of our discussions and ideas for initiatives. To begin with we are working on a couple of projects that started prior to the summer.

This Sunday (10/3/21) Carol will be taking donations of new and gently used children clothing (gender neutral is best) that is wrapped in a bag or plastic to the Cradles to Crayons collection site. Please bring your donations to the church service. 

Alma, Jean, and Brian are working on Land Acknowledgement honoring and recognizing Indigenous People who once lived on the site of our church. They are researching and reaching out to Native American groups for guidance. The statement will be introduced at the Oct. 24 Sunday service.

Many in our congregation are carrying their social justice efforts into the community by participating in the organization STRIDE. Its mission is to work within the community of Scituate to affirm the value of representation, inclusion, diversity, and equity for the well-being and success of the community. For those who are interested, the next STRIDE Zoom meeting takes place on Oct 27 at 7:30. We will send the link in What’s Happening that week.

Join the First Parish Social Justice Team at any frequency you are available. The group Zooms on the first Monday and third Tuesday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. If you have any questions contact Ellen.
Come See the Scituate Food Pantry in its New Home!
On Friday October 29 between 3 and 6 p.m., the Scituate Food Pantry invites the community to tour its new space in the Old Gates Middle School, across from First Parish. In this new space the Pantry can better carry out its mission of serving people of Scituate experiencing food insecurity. From March 2020-March 2021, they served 1404 households encompassing 3,000 individuals. The Food Pantry was started by the churches of Scituate and our congregation actively supports its work both by collecting food and raising money and by volunteering there. In fact, one of our volunteers, Frank, painted the new space and built a counter for a meeting area.  Learn more about the Food Pantry and its work:
Volunteer with the UU Urban Ministry
First Parish Scituate is a member congregation of the UU Urban Ministry. The UUUM, one of the oldest service organizations in the United States, is based in Roxbury with the mission to “work across race and place to dismantle racism and white supremacy culture, and to advance racial, economic and social justice.” They do this in many ways - including through art, community gardening, mentoring, tutoring and at Renewal House, their shelter for women and children leaving situations of domestic violence. There are many opportunities to work with them, both remote and in-person. To learn more, contact volunteer coordinator Cristy.  
Commission on Social Witness
Join the Commission on Social Witness for this Fall Social Witness Zoom event, that’s Convening in two parts. Attend both sessions to find out about all the statements and actions! Join these two meetings to find out what UU leaders around the country are doing, what can be done, and who can be partnered with to carry forward these bold actions full of inspiring possibilities 

Part One: Wednesday, Oct 6, 7-9 pm

Guest speakers for part one include:
  • Shige Sakurai and Alex Kapitan, lead authors and members of TRUUsT (Transgender Religions professional Unitarian Universalists Together)
  •  Rev. Michael Crumpler, UUA LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director
  • Janine Gelsinger, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona (UUJAZ)
  • Guest from the Arizona LGBTQ+ Legislative Working Group
  • Donna Scheidt, lead author & member of UUSJ (Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice) Democracy Action Team
  • Fred Van Deusen, Convener of UUSJ Democracy Action Team
  • Nicole Pressley, UUA Organizing Strategy Team Field & Programs Director
  • Rev. Lisa Garcia-Sampson, Executive Director of 'Forward Together', the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of North Carolina
  • Julia Sayles, lead author & member of UUSJ's Democracy Action Team
  • Min Choi, Reeb Project
Part Two: Wednesday, Oct 13, 7-9 pm

Guest speakers for part two include:
  • Rev. Bob Murphy, Sally Gellert, and Terry Lowman, lead authors and members of UUJEC (Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community)
  • Carey McDonald, Executive Vice President of the UUA
  • Susan Leslie, UUA Partnerships & Coalitions Organizer
  • Members of the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism Organizing Collective Board
  • Members of the Diverse & Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries Steering Committee
  • Members of the Allies for Racial Equity Leadership Collective
  • Paula Cole Jones, 8th Principle Project

All UUs are invited to these meetings, and no prior experience or knowledge is necessary. The meeting will take place via Zoom. In addition, the meeting will include minimal optional breakouts in order to promote meeting usability for all.
For questions, email
Minns Fall 2021 Series October 7, 14 & 21 
The Minns Lectures are an annual series of lectures on spiritual topics. In this year’s series, the Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz will detail the many frontiers of rights today and the debates surrounding them. After decades of promoting human rights, he will challenge us to think hard about how rights evolve with changing circumstances, and what rights will look like ten, twenty, or fifty years from now.

Register for these Zoom lectures, offered free of charge.

Where Do Rights Come From? (October 7, 2021)

Brave New World? (October 14, 2021)

Do Robots Have Rights? How about Rocks? (October 21, 2021)

Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association before becoming executive director of Amnesty International USA in 1994 and then president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee from 2010–16. He is co-author with Sushma Raman of The Coming Good Society: Why New Realities Demand New Rights (Harvard University Press).
October Calendar 2021

Sat.     2nd
9:00    am      Men’s Ministry
2:00    pm      Janie Versoy Memorial Service
Sun.   3rd
9:00    am      Choir Rehearsal
10:30  am      Worship & RE
Mon.  4th
7:00     pm     Social Justice (Zoom)

Wed. 6th
10:00 am      Wednesday Walks
7:30  pm       Parrish Committee (Zoom)

Thurs. 7th
4:30     pm     Tea with the Minister (Zoom)
7:00     pm     Book Discussion: The Sum of Us (Zoom)
Sun.  10th
9:00  am  Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am   Worship multigen
Wed. 13th      
10:00   am      Wednesday Walks
Thurs. 14th
4:30     pm     Tea with the Minister (Zoom)
7:00     pm     Book Discussion: The Sum of Us (Zoom)
Fri.     15th
7:00     pm     Story Telling Game Night
Sun.  17th
10:30 am   Worship & RE
4:30  pm   OWL

Tues. 19th
7:00     pm     Social Justice (Zoom)
Wed. 20th
10:00 am   Wednesday Walks
Thur. 21st
4:30     pm     Tea with the Minister (Zoom)
7:00     pm     Book Discussion: The Sum of Us (Zoom)
Sun.  24th
9:00  am   Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am   Worship & RE
Wed. 27th
10:00 am   Wednesday Walks
Thurs. 28th
4:30     pm     Tea with the Minister (Zoom)
7:00     pm     Book Discussion: The Sum of Us (Zoom)
Sun.      31st
 9:00      am         Choir Rehearsal
10:30    am         Worship & RE