The Packet  
The Monthly Newsletter of
First Parish Universalist Church
of Stoughton



Chocolate Auction
Sunday, February 14, at 11:45a.m.

The Chocolate Auction is one of the most fun events of the church year.  Bring your favorite chocolate delicacies - they may be wrapped or decorated for Valentine's Day, if you wish.  Items will be auctioned off to the highest bidder after coffee hour.  We hope you will bid on several items! All proceeds go to the general fund.  Please come and enjoy this wonderful fundraising event.  Items should be dropped off in the Fellowship Hall before church on February 14.

Along the Way
Message from Steve Cook, Interim Minister

Dear Friends,
I like this poem by Patricia Fargnoli about the graces of winter.  Not to minimize winter's challenges, but its slower pace and diminished activities can also give us moments of quiet reflection that are harder to find in busier seasons.  May we all find a few moments of grace in the weeks ahead.
See you in church,
Rev. Steve
"Winter Grace" by Patricia Fargnoli
If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed-down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over; your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.

Worship Schedule - February 2016
Schedule of Worship Topics, Ushers, Flowers, and Social Hour Hosts

Sunday, January 31 - "These Three: Faith"
   The first in a three sermon series on the "theological virtues":
faith, hope and love.
Ushers:   Ed DiCastro and Peter Wallace
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed
Sunday, February 7 - 
"These Three: Hope"
The second in a three sermon series on the "theological virtues":
faith, hope and love.
Ushers:  Ed DiCastro and Tim McElaney
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed

Sunday, February 14 - Five Points Cluster Common Worship 
"These Three: Love"
The last in our three sermon series on the "theological virtues":
faith, hope and love.
Ushers:  Mary Lynch and Linda Stephansky
Flowers:  Volunteer Needed
Social Hour: Volunteer Needed

Sunday, February 21 - 
Lay-led Service
   The Worship Committee will prepare and present
this morning's service.
Ushers:  Jocelyn Hand and Jill Smith
Flowers:   Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Patti Yule

Sunday, February 28 - "Kintsukuroi"
   This is a Japanese word that means "to repair with gold." It's a way of repairing with gold lacquer broken pottery . It's a way of understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been used and broken. All of us have our own breaks and wounds; how do we repair them?
Ushers:  Carol Russell and Hunter Sprague
Flowers:   Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:  Volunteer Needed
Calendar of Events - February 2016
Sunday, January 31 - Worship Service,10:30 a.m.
Monday, February 1 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
   Buddhist Meditation Group, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 2  Finance Committee Meeting, 7:00 p.m.  
Wednesday, February 3 -  AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 7 -    Worship Service , 10 :30 a.m.
   Shawl Ministry , 12 noon 
Monday, February 8 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
    Buddhist Meditation Group , 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9 Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 10   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 11 -   Wellness with Wanda, 7:00 p.m.  
Friday, February 12 -  Drumming Circle,  7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 14 Worship Service, 10:30 a.m. - Five Points Cluster Here
    Chocolate Auction, following service
 Monday, February 15 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.      
     Buddhist Meditation Group, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 16 - AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 21  -  Worship Service, 10:30 a.m.  
Monday, February 22 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
    Buddhist Meditation Group , 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24  -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 28 -    Worship Service , 10:30 a.m.
Monday, February 29 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
    Buddhist Meditation Group, 7:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, March 1 - Finance Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Five Points Cluster Common Worship - February 14
On Sunday, February 14, at 10:30 a.m., First Parish Universalist Church of Stoughton will host a common worship service of the Five Points Cluster. We will welcome members of the UU congregations of Canton, Foxboro, North Easton and Sharon to our church for a shared worship experience. The Five Points Cluster was formed to foster a relationship of sharing and community between the five local UU churches.

Be sure to attend this service - it will be a lively one! The service will be followed by our annual Chocolate Auction (details above). 

What's Going On This Month?

Buddhist Meditation Group - A Buddhist Meditation Group meets at the church on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Denise Falbo at

Shawl Ministry - The Shawl Ministry will gather at noon on Sunday, February 7 , at the church to k nit with prayerful intention. We are knitting prayer shawls, blankets, etc. to be given away to those in need of comfort and healing as well as for celebrating joyous times. For more information, please call Jane Mooney at 781-344-8236.

Drumming Circle -   The Drumming Circle will meet  on Friday, February 12,  at  7:00 p.m. at the church. There is no charge to participate, but we will take a collection to be donated to the church with gratitude. Bring a drum if you have one, but if you don't, several of us will bring more than one to share. For more information, please contact Kelley Nelma at  781-341-1213 or
"The Packet" Deadline - The deadline for the March issue of The  Packet  is Monday, February 22, at 12 noon. Please email your submission to Newsletter Editor Lisa Biederwolf at
February Birthdays
and Anniversaries
These folks are celebrating birthdays  in February:
2/05  - Allen DiCastro
2/07 - Mary Jane Johnson
2/08 - Barbara Clifford
2/11 - Rylee Whiffen
2/13 - Elisa Blanchard
2/14 - MacKenzie Hudson, Ann Toomey
2/21 - Nick Daley
2/22 - Cristina Carandang
2/28 - Shirley Dolloff
And Happy Anniversary to:
Elisa Blanchard and Robert Priest on February 13
David and Linda Stephansky on February 24
We want to list the birthdays and anniversaries of everyone in our church family. If you're not sure that we have yours, please list them on the bulletin board at church or send the information to
* * * SAVE THE DATE!! * * *

This year's BOLA will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016.

Linda Winship has graciously volunteered to collect your donations again this year.  As reminder, the donation should have a minimum value of $10 and can be a gift item, a gift card, or cash gift, whatever you would like to donate.

Remember, lots of items means lots of opportunities to win. Please contact Linda Winship at 508-622-1044 or .

Dinner has yet to be decided, but since we have such great cooks, you can be sure it will be delicious!

Please tell your friends and family members since many people make for a fun night.  We look forward to this fun event and hope to see you all there.


Your Finance Committee
Brenda Martin, Richard Hess, Carol Russell and Ed DiCastro

MSC Update
In January, the Ministerial Search Committee reviewed the Ministerial Records of the ministers in search who expressed an interest in our church and shared our online Informational Packet with them. We carefully evaluated the Ministerial Records of the ministers interested in First Parish of Stoughton and shared our Informational Packet with those we deemed to be a possible "good fit". We began interviewing candidates via FaceTime and Skype. This is an exciting time for the MSC and for our congregation! 

Thank You to...

...everyone who contributed to the Stoughton Community Food Drive on Monday, January 18, to celebrate the birthday and life of of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
...Cesar McElaney and his family for preparing and delivering the MainSpring brown bag lunches in January.