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


JANUARY 3, 2016

  There will be no worship service at FPUC Stoughton on January 3, 2016. Instead, you are invited to  join Mr. Cook and friends from First Parish in attending  a Five Points Cluster common worship service at
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 1508 Washington Street, Canton. 
We hope you attend  this special worship service.

Along the Way
Message from Steve Cook, Interim Minister

Dear Friends,

In a sermon recently, I shared this quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.  Many of us will have heard that, yet perhaps will not know that it was inspired by Unitarian Minister, Theodore Parker, born in 1810 and active in the ministry in Boston for many years.  He was a prominent abolitionist when that cause (surprisingly for contemporary UUs) was controversial among us.  In 1853 a collection of "Ten Sermons of Religion" by Parker was published and the third sermon titled "Of Justice and the Conscience" included figurative language about the arc of the moral universe:
"Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice."
A century later, King used this trope in sermons and speeches; perhaps most famously on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 when he answered the question how long African Americans must wait for full equality and justice in America, "How long?" Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked, "Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

This month, we will have a chance to honor Dr. King's memory (and to renew in our hearts his Unitarian inspiration) by taking part in the MLK Jr. Community Food Drive, as we did last year.  I plan to take part and hope that you will also.

See you in church,

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

Sunday, January 3 -  FPUC is CLOSED
  A  Five Points Cluster Common Worship Service will be held at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 1508 Washington Street, Canton.
All are welcome to attend!

Sunday, January 10 - "Forgiving Ourselves"
   Often, the last person we ever forgive for transgressions
large  or small is our self.   
Ushers:   Richard DiCenso and Peter Wallace
Flowers:   Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:   Linda Winship

Sunday, January 17 - "The Moral Arc of the Universe"
   It is sometimes hard to believe that the moral arc of the Universe does bend toward justice. Let us remember that we need to take part in that.
Ushers:   Jill Smith and Hunter Sprague
Flowers:     Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:    Volunteer Needed

Sunday, January 24 - Lay-led Service
   The Worship Committee will prepare and present
this morning's service.
Ushers:   Jocelyn Hand and Mary Lynch
Flowers:     Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:   Volunteer Needed
Sunday, January 31 - "These Three: Faith"
   The first in a three sermon series on the "theological virtues":
faith, hope and love.
Ushers:   Brenda Martin and Peter Wallace
Flowers:     Volunteer Needed
Social Hour:   Volunteer Needed
Christmas Flower Display 2015

Thank you to the following individuals and families for donating toward the Christmas flowers which graced our church in December:
      Ed DiCastro                                       Mary Lynch
     Mary & Richard DiCenso                    Carol Russell
      Bruce & Sue Ferguson                       Jill Smith
     Richard Hess, in memory of Tricia     Sandy Sprague
     Heidi and David Hudson
Thanks also to Jocelyn Hand and Jane Mooney for coordinating this effort and arranging the lovely flower display.
Calendar of Events - January 2016
Friday, January 1 - New Year's Day - Welcome 2016!
Sunday, January 3 -   FPUC Stoughton CLOSEDWorship Service in Canton
(See details above)
Monday, January 4 -   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
  Buddhist Meditation Group , 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 5  Finance Committee Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 6 -  AA meeting, 7:00 p.m. 
Friday, January 8 -  Drumming Circle 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 10 -    Worship Service , 10 :30  a.m.

Monday, January 11 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
   Buddhist Meditation Group , 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 12 Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 13  AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 14 -   Wellness with Wanda, 7:00 p.m.  

Sunday, January 17 Worship Service, 10:30 a.m.

Monday, January 18 -  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (see details above)
   AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
   Buddhist Meditation Group, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 20 - AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 24  -  Worship Service, 10:30 a.m.  
Monday, January 25 -  AlAnon meeting, 10:00 a.m.
   Buddhist Meditation Group , 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 27  -   AA meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 31 -    Worship Service , 10:30 a.m.
MSC Update
The Ministerial Search Committee spent the month of December preparing the congregation's online Informational Packet which will be shared with ministers in search in January. We will carefully evaluate the Ministerial Records of those ministers interested in First Parish Universalist of Stoughton and share our Informational Packet with those we deem to be a possible "good fit". This is an exciting time for the MSC and for our congregation! 


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 - Th e Shawl Ministry will gather at noon on Sunday, January 3 , 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, January 8,  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 February issue of The  Packet  is Friday, January 22, at 12 noon. Please email your submission to Newsletter Editor Lisa Biederwolf at
January Birthdays
and Anniversaries
These folks are celebrating birthdays  in January:
1/09  - Patrick Daniel Toomey
1/11 - Donald Irving
1/16 - George Hansen
1/18 - Elizabeth Symynkywicz
1/26 - Sheila Sevrens
And Happy Anniversary to:
Tricia and John Whiffen on January 9

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
Thank You to...

...Everyone who participated in the Beyond Categorial Thinking service, lunch and workshop  on Sunday, December 6. The conversations were thought-provoking and enlightening. 

...Coming of Age candidates  Laura Biederwolf, Hannah Clifford and  Cesar McElaney  for participating in the Family Christmas Celebration service on December 20.