Read about the longest night service, caroling, Christmas Eve, and the sock tree.

The Sloop's Log
  December 2017

Newsletter of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Scituate
Our Vision
We aspire to be a beacon of liberal faith, strong community and transformative service, rooted in love.  

Our Mission
Liberal Faith: We commit to participate side-by-side across generations  in worship, religious education, social activities, environmental protection,
and social justice work—learning, sharing, and growing together.  

Strong Community : We commit to care for one another, nurture the light that shines within each of us, and support each other’s individual search for truth and meaning.
Transformative Service: We commit to pursue diversity, justice, equality, reason, and discourse;
provide inspiration through music, creativity, and the arts;
and work cooperatively to affect positive change in our commun ity and beyond.
Worship Celebrations

All services begin at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.
Children and youth begin in the sanctuary with the adults to share in the opening of worship, and then leave with their teachers for Religious Education. Nursery care is available upstairs for children over
18 months, but children are welcome to remain with parents.
Sunday December 3             Finding Peace at Rick’s Cafe
The movie Casablanca had its premiere 75 years ago this week. What does it say to us today about today’s Advent theme of peace? Pamela Barz preaching.   Please bring doves, paper cranes, and other birds of peace to decorate the sanctuary. The Choir will sing The Peace Carol.

We are in need of people to host coffee hour, bring flowers, and greet. 
Sunday December 10           The Robin Sang Rejoicing
A service of words and music celebrating birds and their special place in the season led by Elizabeth Dubuisson and the choir. Please bring robins, turtledoves, geese and other birds to decorate the sanctuary as we light the red candle of love. The Choir will sing Something Told the Wild Geese and Manx Lullaby.

We are in need of people to host coffee hour, bring flowers, and greet.
Sunday December 17          F PUU Holiday Pageant
Again this year, Kate Glennon has written a pageant for our children, youth, and adults to celebrate the holidays. Given this year's world religions curriculum, Comfort & Joy in Scituate is a retelling of a Hindu tale about a Genie that some classes read in RE this fall--it is a parable about our stressed-out Western minds discovering the powerful peace in the eastern practice of meditation. The Choir will sing The Holidays are Here Again

We are in need of people to host coffee hour, bring flowers, and greet.

Christmas Eve - Sunday December 24
            10:30 a.m.       Christmas Preparations
On Christmas Eve morning, Pamela Barz will offer a story for all ages; we will reflect on getting ready for Christmas and ready the sanctuary for Christmas Eve services. You are welcome to come in pajamas! We are looking for someone who could play Christmas carols on guitar or piano so that we can have musical accompaniment since Beth will not be there. Please speak with Elizabeth Dubuisson or Pamela Barz if you would be willing to play.  
4 p.m.            Children’s Carols and Candlelight service 
 The first of the evening services offers the traditional story and carols, just in a less formal setting than the later service. This year the telling of the story of Jesus’ birth will involve the children in placing symbols at a nativity set. If anyone has a nativity set you would be willing to lend to the church for the evening (preferably unbreakable and with figures big enough to be seen from the back of the sanctuary), please speak with Pamela Barz. Guitarist Peter Mundt will once again lead the music for this service. 
7 p.m.                Candle-lit Christmas Eve service
A reflective service of lessons and carols led by Pamela Barz and Elizabeth Dubuisson, with music from the choir and cellist Caroline Hine.
Sunday December 31                       At the Turning of the Year
On New Year’s Eve morning, we will celebrate our annual Fire Communion ritual, burning our regrets for the year past and naming our hopes for the year just begun. This is a multi-generational service.  It will be followed by a potluck brunch hosted by the Social Programs Committee

We are in need of greeters.
Ministries of Hospitality
There are many opportunities for ministry each Sunday as we greet, create space for conversation, and add color to our worship. Please sign up to serve in the Sloop Room or online at the following:

Sign up to be a Greeter:
Sign up to bring flowers for the communion table:
Sign up to host coffee hour:
From the Minister  
On Sunday November 26, I talked about ways to re-root ourselves during this Advent time – practices like making time to meditate, to walk, and to read.  Several people asked for suggestions for readings, so here are some of my favorites at this time of year:
Starlight : Beholding the Christmas Miracle All Year Long by John Shea
John Shea, a Catholic priest, uses poetry, stories, and myths to explore themes of darkness, birth, and courage. I come back to this book year after year.
The Oxford Book of Christmas Poems
A collection of poems from ancient Rome to the present celebrating Christmas, the Solstice, and even Saturnalia.
Faces at the Manger by J. Barrie Shepherd
Poet and Presbyterian minister J. Barrie Shepherd imagines the nativity from the perspective of people present and also offers his own perspective from late 20 th century New York City.
Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas by Jan L. Richardson
Artist, poet, and United Methodist minister Jan Richardson brings together her art and poetry in a collection of blessings for the season. 
The Painted Prayerbook, Jan Richardson’s blog offers her most recent artwork and blessings. She offers a special blog for this season:  The Advent Door:  entering a contemplative Christmas.
At Immram-Chara: A Companion for the Deep Journey, UU minister and artist Andrea LaSonde Anastos offers a daily reflection, drawing from her rootedness in the Pagan and Christian traditions. Updates are no longer on the website: you need to subscribe to them. 
And from the Jewish tradition, The Velveteen Rabbi, Rabbi Rachel Barenblatt’s perspective on the seasons of Judaism and the natural world.
Here an excerpt from Jan Richardson’s Blessing for When the World is Ending, which feels especially appropriate this year:
Look, the world is always ending somewhere.
Somewhere the sun has come crashing down.
Somewhere it has gone completely dark….
Somewhere it has ended with the utter quiet that follows the news from the phone, the television,the hospital room.
Somewhere it has ended with a tenderness that will break your heart.
But, listen, this blessing means to be anything but morose. It has not come to cause despair.
It is simply here because there is nothing a blessing is better suited for than an ending, nothing that cries out more for a blessing than when a world is falling apart.
This blessing will not fix you, will not mend you, will not give you false comfort; it will not talk to you about one door opening when another one closes.
It will simply sit itself beside you among the shards and gently turn your face toward the direction from which the light will come, gathering itself about you as the world begins again.
To see the art she made to accompany the blessing go to :  Advent Blessing
 If you would like to talk about the season, the world, your life, or the news, please remember that I am here.
See you in Church,   
Minister’s Schedule
Pamela Barz is available for appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Tuesday is her day off.  You can reach her at or 781-412-4233.

Minister's Community Office Hours
Join Pamela Barz for coffee and conversation at the Lucky Finn Cafe in Scituate Harbor
on Thursday December 7th, 10:30 am
2017 Christmas Eve Flowers
Let’s make our sanctuary festive for Christmas Eve! Members and friends are invited to purchase a plant to decorate the church on Christmas Eve. The plant can go home with you after the 7 p.m. service that evening or after the service on December 31. Names of donors and any dedications will be included in an insert in the Christmas Eve order of service.
Forms are available at the church. Please fill out the form and return it to the church office with your check by December 10th.
Checks should be made out to the “First Parish Scituate” with “Christmas Flowers” on the memo line.

Religious Education News

Dear RE Families,
The Yuletide season has begun...and it's pageant time! First Parish puts on a church pageant every year as a full Sunday service (Sunday Dec. 17). It is meant to be no-stress (no learning lines, minimal costumes). We encourage participation in any way that is comfortable for your child so they can enjoy the experience as an all-ages group!

The FPUU pageant is often a melding of faith traditions. Given this year's "world religions" curriculum, this pageant is a retelling of a Hindu tale about a Genie that some classes read in RE this fall--it is a parable about our stressed-out Western minds discovering the powerful peace in the eastern practice of meditation.

Please discuss with your child(ren) what kind of role they would like. Reading off the page during the pageant is expected -- there is no memorizing unless they choose to. We have the following roles--all are important!:

Poem reader (1-3 people)
Narrator (could be more than one, requires strong readers)
Scituate Friends (3, requires a bit of acting)
Merchant (2, requires a bit of acting)
Genie (1-3, requires a bit of acting)
Snowflakes (non-speaking, unlimited)
Bird-carriers (non-speaking, unlimited)
Monkeys (hooting, unlimited)

We will do read-throughs during RE class on Sundays Dec. 3 and 10, with an additional rehearsal on the afternoon of Saturday December 16. We will also schedule an evening or two for older youth and adults to make some props. Most pageant communications will be via FB or the weekly newsletter.

There are many ways to help! Please email Kate Glennon ( ) or respond on Facebook when you see the post:

--"RSVP" what role your child is interested in (ASAP, so I can adjust lines as needed)
--"RSVP" if you can be on the prop-making, monkey-wrangling Pageant crew!

Thank you!
-Kate Glennon
The RE classes are divided into three sessions so the kids get to hear from different voices, and so our teachers don't burn out. While other RE programs sometime struggle to keep their program going, we are blessed with a team of parents, and other adults, who take a turn for six Sundays in the fall, winter, or spring. We are in need of teachers for the winter term which begins Sunday January 7. Want to be teamed up with an experienced teacher in January? We would love to have you join us!  We have the lessons, materials, and a lesson adviser for each age group. With our numbers of growing kids, this years our classrooms are Nursery/Kindergarten; Grades 1-3; Grades 4-5 and Grades 6-8.

SciCohRock Youth Group

Sunday Dec 3rd 5-7 pm : First Parish Norwell
Sunday Dec 17th 5-7 pm : Channing Church Rockland

It takes a village . . .

The RE Committee would like to thank all of the fall teachers and curriculum advisors for all their great work in 2017:  Jen Bokavich, Ann Corbo, Julianna Dunn, Kate Glennon, Win Lawson, Jenn Mackey, Jim Nidositko, Suzanne Oliver, Anna Svensen, Brian & Patty Sutton, Tracey Timmins.
It took a village to feed a village on Soup Sunday: thank you to all of the church members who donated a soup, sandwich fixings and baked goods so our kids could learn about giving back, working in the kitchen, and setting the table. And then everyone was incredibly generous filling the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee boxes!  

Lots of love shared and felt, Brian & Patty
Church Matters

Notes from Beth Dubuisson, Music Director

Thank you to Caroline Hine and Donna Culley for leading the music on November 5th and to Miles Jones for contributing his violin music to our anthem on Thanksgiving Sunday. I hope you all enjoyed hearing the trio Earth Harmony.   I think we should invite them back. Let me know your thoughts.
If you love to sing Christmas music please join the choir for session 3: (the month of December!)
We rehearse most Sundays 9:00. ( and we always have the coffee pot on :)
December 3- The Peace Carol  by Bob Beers
** December 10- Something Told the Wild Geese  by Sherri Porterfield , Manx Lullaby  by Lori- Anne Dolloff
* December 17- The Holidays are Here Again, lyrics by Leo Collins
Christmas Eve at 7 p.m.- Watchman, Sing Noel  by Lynn Shaw
          In the Bleak Midwinter  by Gustav Holst
                          Sing Jubilate Deo  by Jerry Estes
December 31st- No anthem
** December 10th will be a service of music and poetry celebrating birds and their special place in the winter holiday season. Students Riley Nidositko and Moira Feeney will share their music with us.
*  December 17th- In honor of Hanukah, Howard Mathews and Mark Matthews will bring their guitars to lead us in Peter,Paul,and Mary's Light One Candle.


The Snowflake Fair!

Team Snowflake needs YOU!
The Snowflake Fair is Saturday, 12/2/17! 
  • We HOPE you are busy baking and crafting!
  • We HOPE you are planning to come on Wednesday night November 29 from 6:30-8:30 pm to decorate wreaths for the fair (All materials are provided and no experience required. Children are welcome to assist an adult.)
  • We HOPE you will work at the fair ... we need many volunteers! Please sign up for a shift (or more)! 

There are three times slots to work on Saturday: 8:30-10:30 am, 10:30-12:30 pm, 12:30-2:30 pm and many tables needing workers.

You don't need to be an expert in anything but being friendly and greeting customers! And this is the BEST part of the fair - sharing in the wonderful day and the joy of our entire church community working together! It's a great way to start the season! Members, friends and friends of friends are welcomed!
Please sign up TODAY on sign-up genius: . If you are unsure about using that, just reply to this email and we will do it for you!
Many thanks ... and we HOPE to see you on Wednesday and Saturday!
Team Snowflake

Please contact us with questions: Cathie McGowan ( ), Erica Boyle ( ), Vicki Davis ( ), Kate Glennon ( ), Alma Morrison ( ),
Claire Sherman (

Our Gardens and Grounds are Getting a New Look!
A strong volunteer effort this summer and fall enabled us to spruce up the landscaping at the front and east facades of the church, at our new sign, at the large signpost, and in our Memorial Garden. Stumps were removed, grass seed was planted, holes were dug, weeds were removed, trees were trimmed, compost and mulch were moved and then moved again, beds were turned over and edged, and many, many plants and bulbs made it into the ground before the arrival of winter.

The front of the church looks great already, but we're so excited for next spring and summer when hundreds of bulbs, perennials, and shrubs will come into bloom. Most of the new plants are natives or are otherwise pollinator-friendly. They love full sun and are drought-tolerant, and are smaller varieties that should need only minimal pruning. We've made the bed at the front facade a bit more cohesive and have planted additional shrubs for year-round interest. We managed to get 375 daffodil bulbs into the ground, so we will still have that tribute to our 375th anniversary.

The retaining wall and plantings at the new sign are temporary. It is our hope that some of the plants will be in bloom next spring when we welcome a representative from the Lothrop Foundation to our dedication ceremony. After that, we will disassemble the temporary wall, rebuild it, and replant the plants and bulbs, adding a small shrub for year-round interest.

Pam Molinari and her group of high school students did a great job cleaning up the Memorial Garden and we plan to continue work out there next year.

Oliver Jones, with help from fellow Troop 7 scouts including Miles Jones and Robbie Murdock, built two compost bins behind the Memorial Garden for a Boy Scouts Life rank project so that we can reduce waste and create our own compost for future planting projects.

We also hope to clean up the plantings along the other facades of the church, put in a butterfly garden out back along the fence around the Lawson Tower, and trim back or remove altogether any trees on the property that are struggling or dying.

It has been a lot of fun working on this project with so much help from members of the congregation. Let's hope everything roots in, enjoys a restful winter, and then bursts into foliage and bloom next year!

The Gardens and Grounds Subcommittee
Chuck Jones, Howard Mathews, Alma Morrison, and Jean Shildneck
We Look Forward to:
January 6                      Men’s Ministry
January 28                    Guest preacher and musician Nick Page 
January  (date TBD)      Blue Boat Coffeehouse
February 25                  Knitting (and other hand arts) Retreat
Opportunities for Spiritual Deepening

Wednesday December 20 at 7 p.m.       
Comfort & Joy: A Service for the Longest Night of the Year
During a busy season, the Scituate clergy invite you to take time for peaceful reflection in this annual candle-lit service of readings, prayers, carols, and music.  It is our turn to host this service again, and Pamela Barz along with other members of the Scituate clergy will lead it, accompanied by Elizabeth Dubuisson on organ and piano, Caroline Hine on cello, and Donna Culley on violin.  

Obadiah the comfort dog, part of the ministry of Christ Lutheran Church, will also be present at the service. We would like to offer a simple reception of cider, cocoa, and cookies after the service; please speak with Pamela Barz if you can bring a plate of cookies or help with the set up that evening.
Monday Night Meditation
Would you like to incorporate meditation into your spiritual practice? Would you like to learn how to meditate? Would you like to add the energy of others to your already existing practice? You are invited to come to First Parish’s bi-monthly meditation sessions on Monday nights from 7-8:30 p.m. December session is Monday 12/11. Email Brian or Patty Sutton with any questions at or .

Community Book Discussion -   Passing by Nella Larson, December 12, 6:30-8 p.m.
The monthly community book discussion on issues of race and privilege led by Pamela Barz and John Scopelleti continues in December with a discussion of the classic novella (only 83 pages for a busy time of year!) Passing by Nella Larson. It tells the story of (from the OCLN entry description) A light-skinned African American married to a white man unaware of her racial heritage, Clare has severed all ties to her past to become part of white, middle-class society. Clare's childhood friend, Irene Redfield, as light-skinned as Clare, has chosen to remain within the African American community. Married to a successful doctor and the mother of two boys, Irene refuses to acknowledge the racism she grew up with and that continues to set limits on her family's happiness. A chance encounter forces both women to confront the lies they have told others and the secret fears they have buried within themselves.
There are many copies in the OCLN system. The discussions take place in the book group room of the Scituate library and are open to anyone. 

Unity Club Dinner
"People Who Love to Eat are always the Best People" said Julia Child who I'm sure would have loved Unity Club.
Please come join us December 13th at 6:30 for our holiday Potluck Dinner. Bring an appetizer, main dish, salad or dessert. A sign up email will follow. Looking forward to seeing you on the 13th. -Roxanne Greim

Gatherings for Craft and Conversation  

Drop in at the church any Wednesday between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to participate in crafting and conversation. Currently the group is working on a variety of bird-themed ornaments and decorations for the Snowflake Fair.

Writing for Fun
Writing for Fun, for First Parish members, will meet on Thursdays from 10 -11 am in the Sloop Room. With no critique or judgment, we'll allow our creative minds to share poems, memoirs, essays, book beginnings and whatever you've always wanted to write. For information, Call Carey Eyerly (781-536-8227)  - Carey Eyerly
Opportunities for Ministry
Caroling, Caroling through the Town
On Sunday December 17, Elizabeth Dubuisson will lead us in caroling at the homes of a few church and community members. We will meet at the church at 1:30 p.m. to run through the carols, car-pool to sing, and then end up back at the church for cookies, cocoa, and more caroling around the piano. We will be finished by 3 p.m. All ages and singing abilities welcome. And if you know of someone who might welcome a caroling visit, please let Beth or Pam know. 
Deck the Tree with Socks for the Homeless
The winter months are the most difficult time of year for the homeless. We are collecting socks this month to help warm some of the most vulnerable among us. Please bring new socks (still in their packages) for men, women, or children to church between December 3 and January 7 and place them in the baskets on the Christmas tree. The socks will be distributed through Haley House, Rosie’s Place, and Cradles to Crayons in January

Bottles & Cans Collection in January 
One of our major fundraisers each year is sorting bottles and cans at the Scituate Transfer Station. This year we have the month of January.  We need volunteers to sort and bag at the station, others to transport to the Cohasset redemption center, and one person each week to coordinate them. More information to follow.
Men’s Ministry
The Men’s Ministry will devote their usual first Saturday efforts to working at the Snowflake Fair in December. They will meet again in the new year on Saturday January 6.  Please e-mail Chuck Jones ( if you have suggestions for projects, or if you’d like to be on his e-mail reminder list.  
The Blue Boat Coffeehouse is Grateful for your Support!
We are grateful for your support, whether you baked or bought or donated or attended (or all of those things!). Like loaves and fishes, the baked goods appear and are quickly sold and enjoyed! Many thanks to you all.
We had another successful coffeehouse, raising over $600 plus non-perishable food items for the Scituate Food Pantry. The music was really wonderful, from musicians of all ages, and the crowd enthusiastic and supportive. If you haven't had a chance to attend, we hope you will soon! We are planning for another one in January 2018!
Don't forget - the Snowflake Fair is only a few days away on December 2, 2017! It's a great time for the church family to work together and celebrate the holiday season, and it's our biggest fundraiser of the year!
-Cathie McGowan
Around the Parish
Congratulations to Eileen and Alan Donaldson who have a new grandson: Holden Henry Donaldson, born on November 9, 2017, weighing 7 lbs., 10 oz.
Thank UUs: to all the Flakes who are crafting, baking, setting up, pricing, cooking, and working for our annual Snowflake Fair…. to the members of the Publicity Committee and Mark Matthews for designing and shepherding our new sign through production… to Jean Shildneck and all the gardeners who have been working on our front gardens… to Meryl Pinette for setting up the sanctuary for the greening of the church… to all who worked to make our first Blue Boat Coffeehouse of the year such a success musically, in its community spirit, and as a fundraiser for the Scituate Food Pantry.
Happy Birthday!

Jim Duff 
Sarah Lovell
Chuck Jones  
Matthew Corbo
Patrick Corbo
Anna Da Silva
Jack Duff
Dave Berkeley
Moira Feeney 
Pam Molinari  
Diana Howe              
Elizabeth Molinari 
Diana Brindly-Howe
Miles Jones              
Oliver Jones 
Aren Capodanno
Dec. 5
Dec. 8
Dec. 10
Dec. 10
Dec. 10
Dec. 12
Dec. 13
Dec. 16
Dec. 16
Dec. 20
Dec. 20
Dec. 25
Dec. 29
Dec. 29
Dec. 29
Dec. 30
December Calendar
Fri. 1st
Fair set-up all day

Sat. 2nd
8:30 am Snowflake Fair

Sun. 3rd
9:00 am Choir Practice
10:30 am Worship and RE
5:00 pm Youth Group - Norwell

Wed. 6th
10:30 am Fididdlers
7:00 pm Parish Committee

Thurs. 7th
10:00 am Writing for Fun
10:30 am Minister's Office Hours @ Lucky Finn

Sun. 10th
9:00 am Choir Practice
10:30 am Worship and RE

Mon. 11th
7:00 pm Meditation

Tues. 12th
6:30 pm Community Book Discussion

Wed. 13th
10:30 am Fididdlers
6:30 pm Unity Dinner
Thurs. 14th
10:00 am Writing for Fun

Fri. 15th
7:00 pm Scituate Ceilidh

Sat. 16th
TBD Pageant Rehearsal

Sun. 17th
9:00 am Choir Practice
10:30 am Worship and Pageant
1:30 pm Caroling
5:00 pm Youth Group - Rockland

Mon. 18th
7:00 pm New Testament Class

Wed. 20th
10:30 am Fididdlers Lunch
7:00 pm Comfort and Joy Service

Thurs. 21st
10:00 am Writing for Fun

Sun. 24th
10:30 am Worship
4:00 pm Children’s Carols and Candlelight Service
7:00 pm Candle-lit Christmas Eve service

Sun. 31st
10:30 am Worship
11:30 am Brunch