First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
September 2021 Newsletter

Our Vision:
We aspire to be a beacon of
liberal religion, strong community,
and transformative service,
rooted in Love.
“The only constant in life is change”
wrote the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus  
Here Are Some of Our Changes at First Parish This Fall
Parking Alterations
Parking lines have been completed. A great improvement to our church driveway! And the entrance and exits have been reversed for safety reasons.  Enter now to the left of the building, closer to Country Way, and exit to the right downhill. Please take care to use the new entrance and exit. There are now angled parking spaces for easy access and official ADA compliant handicapped parking space.                                            

Looking forward to a new church year - Erica, Building and Grounds Committee
Services Remain Outdoors
The First Parish Health Task Force reviewed the UUA guidelines and rate of Covid transmission in the area and advised that worship services should remain outdoors for the present when possible. When the weather doesn’t permit that, worship services will move indoors to the sanctuary with the windows open, and the congregation requested to be masked and vaccinated. We will have additional seating set up in the parish hall and services will be streamed on our YouTube channel: First Parish Scituate. On Sundays when we are able to be outdoors, you are invited to stay after for a social time and to bring your own beverage and snack if you wish. 
Outdoor Religious Education for PreK- Grade 6
To make the environment safer, religious education classes for this age group will be held outside.  Moving our program outdoors this year not only lessens the dangers of sharing viruses but also allows us to rethink how we approach religious education. Our outside program will allow children to be more active and bring in more kinesthetic learning. Learn more about our plans in Eileen's column below.
Liberal Religion
From the Minister
When Beth and I planned the theme of “Courage” for our services this fall, we had no way of knowing the depth of courage, of strength, faith, and connection, we all would need to draw on. Our optimism at the beginning of the summer seems far behind us. In the past two months, we have experienced and tried to comprehend the ramifications of severe storms, the climate crisis, the end of the war in Afghanistan, the rise of Covid variants, and the effects of racism and its trauma, and the continuing political upheavals. It has not been the carefree summer we hoped for, though that does not mean there have not been moments or days of joy. Joy can flash in the scariest times. But still we need courage.

This fall we’ll reflect on the stories of women and men from the Hebrew Scriptures as the children in our religious education program learn about the same stories. From David confronting the giant Goliath to Ruth entering a new land, all offer us examples of how to live into ideals of justice. And all the stories remind us that we can’t do this alone. The characters in the stories aren’t lone heroes, but acting as part of communities which hold them up and encourage (literally put courage into) them. That is why our image for this series shows two people reaching hands to one another. We are here to encourage one another. We need one another. It will be good to be together again.

See you in Church,
 September Services Courage
Sunday Mornings at 10:30 a.m.
Services meet outside at the rear of the church except in case of rain.
Sunday September 12 Wrestling Blessings - Bring Your Backpack
As we regather for the fall, we will focus on blessing - finding blessings in these difficult days; blessing backpacks (along with computer bags, briefcases, diaper bags…) and the people who carry them; blessing Ruth as she moves away from our community; and blessing our sanctuary. Please bring your backpack filled with school supplies or your work bag and laptop or whatever you carry. Elizabeth will play In the Morning Light by Yanni, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, and Sing the Glad Song by Franklin Ritter on the organ. The choir will sing Blessing by Donna Hebert.
Sunday September 19 Our Smooth Stones
Our Religious Education program for preK-grade 6 begins today and we will continue our blessings by blessing them teachers and students as they start this new year. We will all hear the story of David and Goliath then children and teachers RE participants will move to the RE Outside Learning Area to explore the story through drama and activities while Pam in her sermon reflects on what stones we have in our bag to help us transform the world.
Sunday September 26 Worship with Matt Meyer
UU drummer and worship leader Matt Meyer will join us again for a service of renewed hope and courage through rhythm and song. Learn more about Matt and his ministry.
Religious Education 2021-2022 for our Children and Youth

Happy September and back to school time!  If you’re like me, you’re squeezing every last minute out of summer before fall kicks in. Finally, summer seems to have finally kicked in too. Still time for beach and water activities before the cool evenings affect water temperatures. Ironically my favorite thing this summer was not the beach but Georgia peaches, boxes and boxes of them. Have you had one? Every bite was perfect texture and softness- not mealy- and drool down your chin juicy. SO good!  

School start also means it’s time to register your children for religious education (RE). 
RE Updates:

Backpack Blessing: Please bring your backpacks for our annual blessing Sunday September 12.  

This fall preK-Grade 6 will return to meeting on Sunday mornings during the church service. Children will learn about stories from the Hebrew Scriptures with hands-on activities. The program kicks off on Sunday September 19. 

OWL Updates: 
Please register your child NOW at the link above. An OWL parents ZOOM orientation will be Thursday September 16 @ 7:30 pm. OWL teachers Jenn and Brian will talk about what the class covers and how the program is structured. The meeting will be recorded. If you can’t attend please let me know and I will send you the link. 

Sunday, September 19, 4:30 pm is the first OWL class. It will be held at the church and led by teachers Jenn and Brian. 

Please join me in wishing everyone a happy, healthy and successful school year.

All the best -Eileen, Religious Education Coordinator
September 2021 Notes from the Music Director

Choir rehearsals will be outside at the back of the church, 9:00 a.m. Sunday mornings for the foreseeable future. The Sullivan's have let us use their electric piano. In poor weather we will have a bell choir rehearsal inside, masked.    

Here are our anthems for September:

  • 9/12- Blessing by Donna Hebert

  • 9/19- So We Go by Pat DiSimio

  • 9/27-I Am Finding My Way Back to Now by Heather Pierson and Bernice Martin

Best wishes for a safe and healthy autumn!

R.E. Connect
Do you remember R.E.Connect? R.E.Connect is First Parish Scituate's NEW adult religious education and faith development program. Discussions and events will occur throughout the church year.

This year adult religious education will focus on social justice, and partner with the church's Social Justice Group for education while the group has great action projects, big and small, throughout the year.

But I also need your ideas! What would you like to learn more about, for your own connection to spiritual life, work in changing the world, or Unitarian Universalist? The short poetry by zoom in April was such a success, but we can certainly try different times and formats. Please reach out to Brian with your ideas.  

Come to learn and share, to connect and grow, wherever you are on life's path.

Brian- R.E. Connect
Fall Book Discussion: The Sum of Us
Join Pamela on Thursday evenings, Sept. 23 - Dec. 2, 7:30-8:30 p.m., on Zoom to talk about  The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. Heather McGhee, an expert in economic and social policy, uses stories from her research to look at our economy and the ways racism embedded in our economic structures negatively affects us all. Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert describes it as “a book for every American,” and Ibram X. Kendi wrote, “This is the book I’ve been waiting for.” If you’d like to participate, please email Pam. Only three places remain
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.

Painters and shelf-builders to finish the work on the Minister’s office the week of September 13. Please let Pam know if you can serve.
Tea with the Minister  
Thursdays September 16, 23, and 30
 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 September 15 and 29, October 6, 13, 20, and 27, 10-11 a.m. on the Whitney Spur Rail Trail. It is accessible for strollers, wheelchairs, and bicycles. We will meet in the parking lot of the Cohasset MBTA station near the spaces reserved for Trail users. Please sign up by 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning if you plan to attend.
It’s Easy to Wear Your Nametag
Check out our beautiful new rainbow nametag holder in the entryway of the church building. Anthony designed and made it this summer. Please wear your nametag! When we return to the sanctuary it will be easy to get your nametag as you enter the building and replace it when you leave. While we are meeting outdoors, please stop in the vestibule before the service to pick up your nametag and replace it again when you leave. If you need a nametag, please let the greeter know.
Grilling and Game Night 
On Friday September 17 at 6:30 pm there will be a community cookout at First Parish Church, hosted by Annie and Susan. 

Please bring what you’d like to grill for your family and one community side dish or dessert to share. We will provide multiple grills on site for you to cook with and there will also be a wood fired pit for you to make s'mores! Along with the food, there will be outdoor games - if you have a favorite, bring that too. 

In case of rain, we will meet in the Parish Hall at 6:30 for board games. There is no food allowed, and all participants must be masked inside.

Bob, Annie and Susan
Finance Committee
The Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, September 14 at 7:00 pm. to start planning the coming year’s Fundraising Activities. These include the Snowflake Fair, the Annual Financial Stewardship Drive (a.k.a. Canvass), the Spring Fair, etc.  We welcome new members to the Finance Committee.

Please contact Alma if you’d like to be involved in helping to shape the financial future of the church, or simply to learn more.

Alma, Finance Committee
...Transformative Service
Men's Ministry
On the first Saturday of each month, all who identify as male are invited to gather for a service project and conversation. Email Chuck if you’d like to know what will be happening on Saturday October 2nd.
Social Justice - Cradles to Crayons
The Social Justice Team has had many Zoom meetings this summer, and we decided that we would like to begin the academic year with an “action project”, Cradles to Crayons. As the teacher representative at my school; I have received several requests for “gender neutral” clothing for their Clothes Factory. This new building provides the opportunity for social service agencies and shelters to “shop” for their clients. This state-of-the-art facility is requesting new or gently used clean clothing in good condition, (devoid of patching, pilling and tears) to be placed in plastic bags and delivered to their site in person. We will provide a large wicker hamper for the collection of such materials on the Sundays of September 19th and 26. Once gathered, I will make an appointment and hand deliver the donations from our congregation. If anyone has any questions, please contact Carol.

Thanks, - Carol, Social Justice Team
Explore Feminism, Racism, Immigration and Identity at the first South Shore UU Cluster Lecture & Dinner Event
The UU Churches of Hingham, Scituate, Cohasset, and Norwell are joining together to host a lecture and dinner with author Caroline Kautsire, author of the memoir What Kind of Girl: An African Child Caught Between Worlds, on Sunday, Sept. 26th from 4-7 at the Norwell UU. This event is being planned according to COVID precautions but there will be an option to participate in a live stream for those not comfortable with in-person events.

Originally from Malawi, Caroline Kautsire is currently an English literature and writing professor at Bunker Hill Community College and Bay State College in Boston. She has published poetry and flash fiction that explores themes such as searching for identity, struggling with intimacy, and learning to love. Also a stage actress and director, she was nominated for best-supporting actress by the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters for her performance as Trinculo in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Scituate PFLAG meets Tuesday, September 28th at 7 PM at Harbor United Methodist Church, Scituate.
September Calendar 2021
Sun.    5th  
No Sunday Worship
Fri.     10th
9:30     am       Private Event

Sun.   12th
10:30   am       Worship

Tues.   14th
7:00   pm       Finance Committee (Zoom)

Wed.   15th
10:00    am       Wednesday Walks

Thur.   16th
4:30    pm       Tea with the Minister
7:30     pm       OWL Parents' Information (Zoom)
Fri.     17th
6:30     pm       Grilling and Game Night
Sun.    19th
10:30   am       Worship & RE
4:30     pm       OWL
Tues.   21st
7:00     pm       Social Justice Meeting (Zoom)

Thurs.   23rd
4:30    pm       Tea with the Minister
7:30    pm       Fall Book Discussion: The Sum of Us
Fri.     24th
7:00     pm       Scituate Ceilidhe
Sun.    26th
10:30   am       Worship & RE
4:00   pm       Lecture and Dinner with author Caroline Kautsire

Wed.   29th
10:00    am       Wednesday Walks

Thur.   30th
4:30    pm       Tea with the Minister
7:30    pm       Fall Book Discussion: The Sum of Us