What's Happening at First Parish

July 2020

We aspire to be a beacon of . ..
...Liberal Faith
Summer Services  Sundays July 5-September 6 
For the summer, we are joining with other UU Massachusetts congregations to share services. Each congregation will take a turn hosting worship - they will plan, lead, and record the service which will then be shared over YouTube. Information on each service and where to find it will be shared each week in email and on our Facebook page

  • July 5 The Rev. Ms. Stephanie Shutes Kelsch, Second Parish, Hingham
  • July 12 The Rev. Ms. Christana Wille McKnight, First Parish Church, Taunton
  • July 19 The Rev. Ms. Kate Wilkinson, UU Meeting House of Provincetown
  • July 26 The Rev. Mr. Bob McKetchnie, First Parish, Cohasset
  • August 2 The Rev. Mr. Edmund Robinson, Retired, UU Meeting House of Chatham
  • August 9 The Rev. Ms. Monica Jacobson-Tennessen, First Parish, Kingston
  • August 16 The Rev. Ms. Janet Newton, First Parish, Berlin
  • August 23 The Rev. Mr. Hank Peirce, UU Church of Reading
  • August 30 The Rev. Ms. Pamela Barz, First Parish Scituate
  • September 6 Ms. McKayla Hoffman and Mr. Tony Winters, First Parish Bridgewater
From the Minister 
My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely,
with no extraordinary power
reconstitute the world.
I have quoted these lines by Adrienne Rich often to you over the years, usually to combat our feelings of hopelessness over what has been destroyed. But today I bring them to you with the emphasis on the final lines "those who... with no extraordinary power reconstitute the world." For we today are seeing and participating in the energy of that transformation.

A month ago, who would have predicted the changes we are seeing, the conversations we are having? Who would have envisioned so many homes in Scituate displaying Black Lives Matter signs and rainbow Pride flags along with marches and vigils and parades.  And First Parish people of course are involved with it all - showing up with love to stand and work for justice. 

In June, as part of our worship we talked about what we'd like to focus on at church next year. The Parish Committee and I noticed that though so many of us are involved in taking actions for justice, that isn't what we're looking for from First Parish. And that makes sense - we don't need to act as a church when there are so many organizations already doing the work which is important to us. What we want from the church instead is worship and education and community to feed our spirits and help us make sense of the world. So that's what we're working on as you'll read about elsewhere in this newsletter and in the coming weeks. If you have ideas for how to deepen our understandings and our experiences, please speak with me, one of our Parish Committee co-chairs, Mary or Anthony, or Adult Religious Education chair Brian. 

I am happy to be standing in and for Love with you,
Summer Schedules
The church office will be closed July 4-11 while the office administrator is on vacation.
Pamela Barz will be taking time for study and vacation July 5-August 5. During that time, she won't be available for regular meetings but will be available in case of pastoral need. 
Thoughts on General Assembly 2020
Brian and Carey joined Pam in attending the 2020 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association as First Parish delegates. All attended lots of workshops and came back with lots of ideas! We'll be sharing them over the coming weeks. Here are a few of Brian's:

Show Up and Live Our Values; Ministry and Shared Ministry
"There is a role for all to play, no matter your skills," was a frequent refrain from GA. How can we match up individual's skills, interest and passion with the priorities and offerings of First Parish?

  • What different plans can be set out to create groups so there's no burn-out, back-ups and a variety of action, chores, and celebration?  
  • What about the Coffee Hour group assignment worked and could be used or adapted for other First Parish ministry? What didn't work?

In one workshop, the only person in my break-out room who "got" the definition of ministry and shared ministry was a minister sitting in with the laypeople. I suspect a similar response in First Parish. Does it matter and how? Do members need education about the term ministry versus volunteering? A liberal church is not like any other organization, so it makes sense that we have to grow in our understand of it and have difficulty shaping and by-lawing it- it is like a democratically run house with its bills, chores and meals, and yet like an archive and museum saving its history, like a musical hall/theater with its moving performances, a deep learning school for all ages, a giving group helping neighbors in need, a place to make the deepest friendships and inner spiritual explorations, to celebrate and mourn our lives' milestones.

Unitarian Universalism 's theology is about changing society. Remember the "inherit worth and dignity of all people?" We must care. One of us is not free if all of us are not free.  One of us is not safe if all of us are not safe.  

It is time to make the commitment to change the world, to change the country. Let's use the enthusiasm of the moment to transform the country at local and national level. People are more ready for change that makes a better, more sane society than any time since the Great Depression. Wherever people put themselves on the political spectrum, or those who have opted out, there is more agreement than ever about green energy, living wages, health care including mental health as a right, funding education at all levels.
Religious Education for Children and Youth 2020-2021

Although summer is just beginning, planning is already underway for our RE program for the fall. In our three year cycle of religious education, this our "World Religions" year - always popular with students and teachers. Parents should have already received a letter with details about the program. If you didn't receive it, please let the Parish Administrator know ( FirstParishScituate@verizon.net ). If you don't have a child in the program but would like to teach, please contact Eileen, Religious Education Coordinator, FirstParishScituateDRE@gmail.com . And please register your children and youth soon so that classes and teachers can be determined: RE Registration Form
...Strong Community
A Note from the Parish Committee
As we end our church year, the Parish Committee offers a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make First Parish the special community that it is. It really does “take a village,” and our village is strong because of the countless efforts of so many. A special thanks to Beth, Eileen and Stephanie for all the time and talent they have contributed in support of our congregation this year. And of course, a load of gratitude to Pam for the gift of her ministry, and to Chuck, Oliver and Miles for their support of Pam and of all of us.
With gratitude,
The Parish Committee
Summer Story Times
Story time continues on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. through July with some guest readers joining Pam.  Whatever your age, you are invited to enjoy the story.

  • July 1  Wendy will read The Old Truck by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey
  • July 8 Brian will read Everything Is Connected by Jason Gruhl
  • July 15 Jenn will read If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian
  • July 22 Fish will read Home by Carson Ellis
  • July 29 Becky will read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Love Shows Up Sign
Thank you to Kate for designing the new hanging sign which is fast becoming the guiding words for all we do at First Parish. (See picture above.) Kate is working on making the sign into lawn signs for our congregation. If you'd be interested in displaying your love along with your connection to First Parish, please email the church office ( FirstParishScituate@verizon.net ).
Tea with the Minister - Thursday July 2
Thursday July 2 at 4 p.m., join Pam for the final Tea of the season. Watch for Tea with the Minister to return in September. 
Thank you to everyone who has made generous donations to our campaign! We are within $10,000 of our goal!!! Reaching our goal of $35,000 will enable us to reduce the amount we need to borrow from our Endowment as well as the amount of time it will take to repay it ... and we need your help TODAY !!

It is not too late to make a donation, but time is of the essence! The work has begun and the loan amount must be determined shortly! Won't you help us reach our goal? Any amount is appreciated ... we have received gifts from $25 to $5000! (You can donate on the church website or mail a check directly to the church with "Steeple Fund" in the memo line.)

Any questions should be directed to Erica , Vicki or  Cathie.

- Save our Steeple Committee
...Transformative Service
UU Summer Series for Racial Justice
Kim, Laura, and Haley are planning a community summer 2020 series (untitled as of yet) to seize this moment of racial injustice swirling. We will give voice to BIPOC citizens, leaders, and luminaries who have powerfully spoken across generations, and take the opportunity to feel and express our collective trauma. Our first event will be Tuesday, July 14 at 7 PM on the First Parish lawn and will run for 6-8 weeks.

Please contact Haley if you'd like to volunteer with logistics during the evening events or share your favorite literary passage by a BIPOC author or ally. We look forward to seeing you all there!
Love Shows Up for Justice Sundays, 3-4 p.m.
Join us on Sundays from 3-4 p.m. to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. You are invited to come at 2:30 to make a sign if you don't have one already. There are also a few extra signs already at the church that you can use. Jean will host this weekend, and we are looking for one or two more people who can help host future Sundays. Hosts bring the signs and art materials outside and then lock them back in the building at the end of the protest. If you can help, please let Pam and Jean know. 

Please invite your friends to attend. As with all group activities, please wear a mask and observe social distancing!
Scituate STRIDE Keeps Moving Over the Summer
STRIDE met on June 24 with over 50 people attending over Zoom! They are planning a summer reading group of Waking Up White, (And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. More information will follow. STRIDE will meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month, 7:30-8:30 p.m. with upcoming meetings on July 22 and August 26. If you'd like to join their mailing list:  bit.ly/STRIDEjoinus