Weekly Newsletter: October 23, 2014

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Sunday, October 26, at 11:00 am 
Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris will be giving a sermon entitled “Complicated Grief” – reflections on grief and loss, and why it’s not that simple. “Grief is not a force and has no power to hold you. You only bear it. Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark…” Wendell Berry

Our organist this Sunday will be long-time church friend Lois Regestein; she will be joined by Tim Williamson, who will sing “Lord God of Abraham” from Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47). Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: October 16th

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Sunday, October 19, at 11:00 am
Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris will be giving a sermon entitled “Hardwired.” What is it about us human beings that matters of religion matter? Are we somehow hardwired for this… for worship… or spirituality or faith… or something that those words point to?

The Choir will present “Sing With Joy” from Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabaeus. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: October 9, 2014

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Sunday, October 12, at 11:00 am
Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris will be giving a sermon entitled “Under Our Charge.” This sermon seeks to tell more of the whole story about the relationship between our forebears on the Unitarian side of our family tree and the Northern Ute during the time of “Indian Removal.”

The music will be from Ferrara, Italy, and its native son Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643). Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: October 2, 2014

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Sunday, October 5, at 11:00 am
Kimberly Wootan, our Director of Religious Education, will be giving a sermon entitled “Minor Truths about a ‘Real’ Global Family.” This week’s worship will explore what steps it takes to blend ourselves into a Global Family. What does it mean to be truly welcoming when cultures, food and language differences get in the way? In tales from her son’s recent marriage, she will share lessons learned, pitfalls to avoid and joy to be had with the blending of her son’s American and the bride’s Asian family.

The choir anthem will be a setting by Clif Hardin of the beautiful hymn “There Is More Love Somewhere.”

This Sunday is World Communion Day
World Communion is celebrated the first Sunday of October. Following WWII, several Protestant denominations came together decided to designate a certain day to express unity. As the world changes and globalization spreads, world communion day has come to symbolize the world family; each of us a part of the larger whole of humanity. Each of us bring our own unique outlooks, customs, and bread to the communion table. This Sunday the children will stay in for the whole service. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: September 25, 2014

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Sunday, September 28, at 11:00 am
Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris  will be giving a sermon entitled “To Forgive, To Repair.”  Honoring the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the sermon focuses on the practice of forgiveness and the impulse to repair.

Special music this week will be a “Jewish Fantasie” for keyboard, by Joseph Frankel (1919). Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: September 21, 2014

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Sunday, September 21, at 11:00 am
Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris will be preaching a sermon entitled “Lessons from the Dance Floor” In the spirit of Open Studios, she will open the door into her dance studio, share some of the things she has learned there and how they apply to life in church.

The Choir will sing Duke Ellington’s “David Danced Before the Lord with All His Might”, from the Concert of Sacred Music (1965). Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: September 11, 2014

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Sunday, September 14, at 11:00 am
Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris will be preaching a sermon entitled “Could Happen Anywhere” – reflections on Ferguson, on the history of race, and what it means to say that it could happen anywhere.

Special music by the Women’s Choir will be “The Way of Peace”, originally a Mandingo wedding prayer from the area of Senegal. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: September 4, 2014

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Sunday, September 7, at 11:00 am
Welcome and welcome back! On this first Sunday of the new church year, we welcome our Interim Minister, the Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris.  Her sermon “Begin in Gratitude” is a reflection on gratitude as a starting place for our two years together.

Sunday’s anthem will be “O Lord, I Love the Habitation of Your House”, a lyrical setting by Mark Bender (1989) of Psalm texts:  ”O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells…your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: August 21, 2014

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Sunday, August 24th, at 10:00 am 
This Sunday Ista Zahn is giving a sermon titled “Are we alone in the Universe?” that explores the possibility and implications of extraterrestrial life. Originally from Portland, OR, Ista moved to Boston in 2011 and began attending FCJPUU in 2012. He currently serves on the Interim Ministry Committee. Ista lives in Hyde Park with his wife Persis and son Lennon and enjoys walking in the park, spending time with family and friends, and cooking, especially outdoors over an open fire. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: August 14, 2014

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Sunday, August 17th, at 10:00 am 
This Sunday Paul Miller will be giving the sermon. His sermon title is “Going West.” Paul  has been a presence at First Church since he came to his first summer service in June of 2008. He’s currently active with the Welcoming and the Nominating Committees. He spends much of his time prior to the service greeting and otherwise encouraging newcomers to feel at home. During the week Paul works as a psychologist in a large private practice in Arlington, and works with children, teens, and adults. He has lived with his girlfriend, Catherine Sasanov, in Jamaica Plain for almost 11 years. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: August 7, 2014

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Sunday, August 10th, at 10:00 am 
This Sunday George Smith will be giving a sermon entitled “Language of the Heart: Loving through our Differences” which will be about the ways we can choose to CONNECT with others. George Smith is a third-generation Jamaica Plain resident who joined First Church almost twenty years ago. George is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and helps our congregation in both singing and signing our Benediction and Response, “God Be With You”. He has served on both the Standing Committee and Building Committee in past years, and continues to find different ways to “plug in” to church life. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: July 31, 2014

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Sunday, August 3rd, at 10:00 am 
This Sunday Karl Haakonsen is giving a sermon with the working title “Survival Mode.” Karl has been attending FCJPUU since 1993. During that time, he has been Standing Committee chair, clerk, and has served on numerous committees. More recently, however, he is probably best known for his two youngest daughters, Katla and Jora, his barbecued ribs (as learned from even longer-time church member Emerson Stamps) and his 21-year-old art car. Karl lives in Roslindale with his wife Cherisse and daughters Katla (age 5) and Jora (soon to be 4). His oldest daughter, Veronica (age 24), lives in Somerville. Karl has been living in acute survival mode since 2011. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: July 24, 2014

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Sunday, July 27th, at 10:00 am
Alisa McGann will be preaching this Sunday. Her topic is “Embracing a Minimalist Lifestyle”. Alisa studied film and video at Emerson College where she obtained a Masters degree in Documentary Video. Alisa has a passion for living in smaller spaces and for not accumulating too many possessions. Currently home for the summer with her four year old son, Liam, Alisa enjoys reading non-fiction, cooking, photography, and travel in her free time. Alisa’s recent travel adventure to Portugal included a stay in a traditional Mongolian yurt in the mountains in a remote region of the country

Lyra O’Brien will be leading the singing of Shaker music. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: July 3, 2014

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Sunday, July 6, at 10:00 am
Teddy Onyango will be leading next Sunday’s service. Her topic will be: “There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come”

Annet Teddy Onyango, Director of Ime and Prothone Schools of Hairdressing in Tororo, Uganda and visitor at First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist (also, grandmother of the world’s cutest baby – JF added this part, obviously). Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: June 26

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Sunday, June 29th at 10:00 am
Catherine MacAlpine will be leading the service next Sunday. Her talk is titled “The Sound of Silence”.  It is about the silences we encounter in our daily life and their effects upon us as individuals and as a community.

Catherine hails from a very rich and diverse blending of nationalities and religions, giving her much fodder for her sense of humor. She grew-up on military bases from California to Germany for the first 11 years of her life and became a civilian when her father retired in 1970. In April of 2013, she became a member of First Church and is thrilled to belong to such a wonderfully spiritual and giving community. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: June 19, 2014

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Sunday, June 22nd
Please join us for the second Summer Service given by Ghanda Di Figlia. Her theme is “Universalism and your DNA – how Universalist theology and recent discoveries in DNA science affirm and support each other.” Ghanda Di Figlia retired from an administrative job at Harvard in 2006 to focus on writing and spending more time with family and friends. She has worked for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, where among other things she authored a 50-year history of the organization, Roots and Visions. She later ran the audio visual loan library at the UUA. She is grateful for the spiritual gifts she has received in her long affiliation with First Church. Don’t forget that summer services will be at 10 am in the Parish Hall. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: June 5

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june_flowers

Sunday, June 8th
This Sunday, Community Celebration Sunday, will be our last regular service before the start of summer services. We will hear a short homily from Terry, welcome new members, present the Ellsworth Winchester Award for distinguished church leadership, do a litany of good bye, and spiral dance for the end of the year! Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: May 30th, 2014

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Sunday, June 1st
Kimberly Wootan, our director of Religious Education, will be giving a sermon about the parable of the sower in modern times. Her sermon is entitled “Are we fertile ground or unenlightened farmers?”

There will be two choir anthems this week.  The first is a setting of Psalm 100 by a Californian composer, Dale Wood (1934-2003).  The second anthem is an old hymn tune, set with words from “Still I Rise” (1978) by Maya Angelou (1928-2014).

Communion this Sunday
Our monthly communion service will  immediately follow the 11 am service this Sunday. All are welcome – we use grape juice for reasons of inclusion. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: May 8, 2014

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mayflowers

May flowers around the church.

Sunday, May 11th
There will be a special Mothers’ Day service this Sunday. Communion will follow the service, rescheduled from last week, for those who wish to partake.

The music will be “Everything Possible”, written by Fred Small (UU minister at First Parish in Cambridge), sung by Tim Williamson in celebration of Mothers’ Day. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: May 1, 2014

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 springflowers

Spring has finally sprung in the church graveyard!

Sunday, May 4th
The Rev. Sheldon W. Bennett, Ph.D, will be preaching next Sunday. His sermon will be “What to Do? – The Art of Spiritual Discernment.” To each of us come those rare and daunting moments when we are called by life to make a most important decision, one that will change things forever, but in ways we cannot yet know.  “What to do?”  Practical considerations may have little to do with the answer, because at root the question is a profoundly religious one.  What are the passwords that open to wisdom and the fullness of life?  To answer these questions well is the art of spiritual discernment. Rev. Sheldon Bennett is Minister Emeritus of United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts, which he served for 25 years.  He currently serves as Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of Quincy Community Action Programs and as a member of the Quincy Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee, which he helped establish.

The anthem will be “Sound Forth the Trumpet in Zion” (1597) by Thomas Morley, based on the book of Joel. Morley was an English contemporary of Shakespeare, set some of his poems to music, and is best remembered for his secular madrigals. Here is Morley’s famous “Sing We and Chant It“, sung by The King’s Singers. Sing we and chant it – Morley Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: April 24, 2014

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Sunday, April 27th
The Rev. Pamela Barz will be exchanging pulpits with our minister, Rev. Terry Burke this Sunday. Rev. Barz’s sermon is entitled “Changing Stories.” The sermon will look at how we all “do theology,” sometimes without realizing it, through the stories we use to make sense of our lives and the world. Abby Krueger will be doing the liturgy.

The anthem will be a shape-note hymn, Parting Friends (based on 2 Tim. 4:6), sung by Tim Williamson and Ellen McGuire. Continue reading

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Easter Week Calendar of Events

  • Thursday, April 17th at 6:15 pm in the Sanctuary: Maundy Thursday Service. Rev. Jason Lydon will be preaching and Rev. Terry Burke will be leading the service.
  • Thursday, April 17th at 7:00 pm in the Parish Hall: Join us for a Seder organized by Roy Karp and Courtney Feeley-Karp.
  • Friday, April 18th at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary: Good Friday Tenebrae ServiceRev. Terry Burke will be preaching.
  • Easter Sunday, April 20th, 7 am in the graveyard: Easter Graveyard ServiceRev. Marshall Hawkins will be preaching.
  • Easter Sunday, April 20th, 11 am in the Sanctuary: Easter Sunday Service, Rev. Terry Burke will be preaching and there will be special music.

 

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Newsletter: April 10, 2014

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Sunday, April 13, 2014 
Kimberly Wootan, our Religious Education teacher, will be preaching. Palm Sunday is the threshold of the last week of Lent and marks the beginning of the holy week leading to Easter. On Palm Sunday we tell the ancient tale of the hero’s journey, of Jesus coming into the city in honor and glory only to be betrayed by the same crowd a few days later. Did Jesus know of his peril? We may never know but there is in everyone’s lives times when we stand on the threshold of events and we realize that we can’t see into the future. Many people would prefer to stay safe but for some the only choice to move forward.

The choir anthem was originally a piece composed by Berlioz in May 1846, by special request of the Baron de Rothschild, for a ceremony in Lille to inaugurate the new railway from Paris to Lille and Brussels. It was written in a week, including copying out the orchestral parts and rehearsing; Berlioz commented that “If I had had three full days, it would have been fit to live 40 centuries more.” The original words, fit for a railway dedication: “It is a great day of triumph; the bells ring in the dawn; the people assemble; the old men show their children the great miracle….” Ellen has arranged it for our choir and organ, and substituted texts from Psalm 130 “Out of the depths I have cried to you, O Lord” and George Herbert’s poem “Easter Wings” (1633):

O let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: April 3, 2014

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Sunday, April 6, 2014 
Rev. Terry Burke will be preaching on “Unbinding,” looking at love and death and speaking on his decision, recently announced, to leave his ministry at First Church as of the end of June. Wendell Berry’s poem “The Country of Marriage” and the raising of Lazarus will be the readings.

The organ interlude on Sunday will be an arrangement of the familiar hymn tune “A mighty fortress” by Diderik Buxtehude (1637-1707), a Danish-German composer who would be more famous if he wasn’t outshone by his pupil J.S. Bach.  In 1705, at the age of 20, Bach walked 250 miles to visit Buxtehude, and stayed three months; Bach would have liked to succeed the elderly Buxtehude as organist in Lübeck, but would not accept the condition of marrying Buxtehude’s daughter, so he returned to his post in Arnstadt. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: March 28

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Sunday, March 30, 2014 
Kevin Carson will be giving a sermon entitled “Finding Meaning in the Great Cosmic Story”
When we contemplate the vastness of the universe and the more than 13 billion year story of how it has all come to be, it is easy to see human history, and our own lives, as very small by comparison. How might we instead find deep meaning and inspiration that nourishes our spirit? Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: March 20, 2014

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Sunday, March 23, 2014 
Rev. Laura Everett, the Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Churches, will be giving this week’s sermon entitled “Thirsty”. Rev. Terry Burke will be leading the service. In John 4, Jesus and the unnamed Samaritan woman have an encounter at the local watering hole. Jesus invites the woman to drink from “a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” Lent is a season set in the desert. When we are parched and weary in our own lives, how do we find the “living water?”

For Sunday’s anthem, Tim Williamson will sing Schubert’s powerful “Totengraebers Heimweh” (Gravedigger’s homesickness, composed 1825), which portrays the daily routine of the gravedigger, while he thinks about joining his loved ones who have died. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: March 13th

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Sunday, March 16, 2014 
In his sermon, “The Grace of Work” Brother Anthony will interpret the story of the temptation of Jesus using early Franciscan sources. He will relate his commitment to worker justice to Franciscan spirituality. Anthony Zuba, formerly the head of Interfaith Worker Justice, is now a Capuchin Franciscan brother living in JP.

The choir will sing  ”Eli, Eli (Walking to Caesaria)”, with words by Hannah Senesh, in honor of the joyous Jewish celebration of Purim, which begins Saturday at sundown. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: March 6, 2014

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Sunday, March 9, 2014 
Rev. Terry Burke is back from his sabbatical! His sermon this week will be “Dante and Dorothy Sayers.” 700 years ago, in 1314, Dante started writing his Divine Comedy. March is Women’s History month, and March 5th begins the season of Lent. Terry will be preaching on mystery writer Dorothy Sayers and her translation of Dante. What can the Divine Comedy mean for us today? What the Hell? Remember to Spring Forward with the time change!

The women’s choir will sing the country song “Shallow Water”: “I will not drown in shallow water… By your grace I’ll rest in peace”. Organ music is by Lukasz Mandola, a Polish composer born in 1992. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: February 27th

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Sunday, February 23, 2014 
Kye Flannery, who is in her final semester at Harvard Divinty School, will be giving a sermon entitled “All in Good Time.” From Kye: Sometimes it seems our sense of urgency is terminally out of whack — we’ve all looked back on something that felt urgent and absolutely wasn’t, while the things that are most urgent we may have trouble acting on. I’ll share some ideas on priorities, peace and good ideas bearing fruit.

The choir music is a British setting of the lovely hymn “Come Down, O Love Divine” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, with words by the medieval wool carder and mystic poet Bianco da Siena.

soon enough...

soon enough…

Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: February 21st

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Sunday, February 23, 2014 
Rev. Marshall Hawkins will be preaching on “Idolatry.” We
worship false gods every time we place our ultimate faith and devotion
in that which is not sacred. Marshall is an affiliate minister at
First Church and works at the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Young Church
The younger children will hear the story of the “Wise Men and the Elephant”. They will have a snack and do a project.

The older children will have an opening discussion on Buddhist beliefs. They will explore the geography of Buddhism and use the symbol used to mark places on their world maps. This week’s teacher, Chris, will tell the story of Buddha. They will have an Asian snack and make the fourth prayer bead; the “sorry” prayer bead.

SAVE THE DATE – UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Week, March 2nd 
Next week, Kye Flannery will be giving a sermon entitled “All in Good Time.” From Kye: Sometimes it seems our sense of urgency is terminally out of whack — we’ve all looked back on something that felt urgent and absolutely wasn’t, while the things that are most urgent we may have trouble acting on. I’ll share some ideas on priorities, peace and good ideas bearing fruit.

Kye Flannery is in her final semester at Harvard Divinity School. She lives in a co-op with a benevolent cat, a mischievous set of housemates and a serious stack of books which she says have come in handy for optimal use of all these snow days..

Visit our online calendar at: http://www.firstchurchjp.org/events

WAYS TO CONNECT OR CONTRIBUTE

Welcoming Breakfast and Book Signing This Sunday, February 23, 2014
There’s still time to RSVP to the Welcoming Breakfast this Sunday! We want to get to know you better and give you a chance to get to know us. Paul Miller is handling the RSVP’s: pmmille2@yahoo.com. February 23rd is a day new members will officially join. We look forward to welcoming Nancy and Mark Angney during our book signing.

Come to our Annual Fellowship Dinner
Our annual Fellowship Dinner will be held in the Parish Hall on March 1 from 6-9 pm. All are welcome. If you have never attended one before, a wealth of surprising delights await you. They include tomato aspic, part of the best possible demonstration of what Boy Scout loyalty really means; an adaptation of “Good Night, Irene” to be sung with extra verve this year in memory of the great American hero, Pete Seeger; a candid statement by a new member of our church of why someone chooses to join us; and a festive evening of fun in celebration of our church community.

Having attended previous Fellowship Dinners, I look forward to it as the evening when I feel most strongly that we are each other’s chosen family. Amidst all the fun and fabulous food, we will launch our annual financial campaign. The coming year is a crucial and complex one for First Church. We need your help. Please join us in the festivity and the serious purpose of our Fellowship Dinner. Please RSVP by email to Margaret Suby: margaretsuby@msn.com and George Wardle:  george.wardle@verizon.net. - Andrea Clardy, Chair, Standing Committee

P.S. There is no charge for the dinner and there is also, alas, no provision for childcare during the dinner.

Coffee Hour
Thanks to Paul Reynolds and Alice Phoenix for hosting this Sunday’s Coffee Hour!

Coffee Hour Hosts Needed
We need volunteers to host Coffee Hour for all Sundays in March and April. Please contact Alice Phoenix if you can host! Alice can be reached at ajlphoenix@hotmail.com or by phone: 617-309-0030

Lent: A Season of Feasting and Fasting
We celebrate the season of Lent both by taking on those things that bring us closer to the Divine, and shedding those indulgences, habits, and practices that steal our attention. Ironic as it seems, we sometimes are fed only by fasting—by denying ourselves that which distracts us from the truly nourishing. When we fast, we clear out space for God. We forego the diversions that keep us occupied and instead make room inside for an expanding spirit, one that is nurtured on prayer and worship and the feast of love that is offered to us.

This adult RE class brings us together to reflect on the ways in which we may draw closer to the Divine through feasting on a rich bounty of soulfood. We’ll watch short videos; reflect on passages from the Bible and other sacred texts, as well as contemporary poetry and prose. We’ll do some reflective writing and try out some spiritual practices together and on our own. The class will meet six Wednesdays, March 12 through April 16, from 7pm to 9pm. Contact Sarah Hawkins to sign up: sarahmartinhawkins@gmail.com.

First Church Retreat March 28-30 on Spiritual Listening
Join us for our annual First Church Retreat at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Friday evening March 28 until Sunday afternoon March 30, led by Rev. Terry Burke and Rev. Marshall Hawkins. Our theme this year is Spiritual Listening. We’ll explore many aspects of listening, including listening for the voice of God/the spirit in our lives, listening to one another, listening to our consciences, listening for where we might be called, listening to nature, and listening to the sound of silence. We’ll worship, talk in small groups, do art
projects, walk in nature, rest, and have fun! Mary Brady has generously offered to keep track and register all participants. Please email her at MBrady1983@aol.com or call her at 617-524-8918 to save a spot. If you have any questions, please email Marshall at marhawkins@comcast.net.

Save the Date! Church Fundraiser coming in April
Exciting news! There’s a shiny new fundraiser coming to First Church on Saturday April 12, 2014 from 11am to 4pm! It’s the Sacred Living Expo, a daylong mind/body/spirit event featuring practitioners, speakers, teachers, and guides of the healing and spiritual arts. Tables are available for rent from $50 to $100 (depending on size) and admission to the expo is only $5. Applications have begun to arrive, but there are still plenty of opportunities for volunteers and folks who’d like to rent a table. For more information, please visit the Expo website: www.SacredLivingExpo.wordpress.com and/or contact Sarah Hawkins at sacredlivingexpo@gmail.com. Shine on! The fundraiser will benefit First Church.

Jane Lewis’ Lovely Note Cards are Still Available.
Please take a look through this pdf, pick the cards you like, and then order them from Cathy Baisly at glob_cb@yahoo.com or visit her in the office after church.

Gray Hymnals Needed
Do we have enough gray hymnals?  Probably not! The current ones were donated by church members, in memory/honor of someone. We are hoping to buy 30 more before Easter in April; they are $28 each. Look for forms (sample below) in the church pews starting this Sunday. - Ellen McGuire, Music Director

hymnal_form

Food Pantry News
Many thanks to Gwyn, Gerry, Pat, Bonnie, Patty, Steve, and Michael (plus my 10 yr. old granddaughter Olivia), who worked so hard at pantry today, and to Terry Burke who brought us munchkins. It was a very busy day. We served about 65 visitors, I think an all-time high for our pantry. There have been some new faces the last couple of times so we’ll see if these numbers continue. Thankfully, our food supplies have been high because of generous donations and we had plenty to give out. People do manage to get to our church in all weather, even those who struggle with mobility problems. Jeff Ferris helped a lot, shoveling a path to the front door of the church where we worked from today. He is helping a disabled neighbor get food, and we’re glad we can help with that. – Jane Zerby

First Church Food Pantry Final

The Food Pantry folks will be featuring an item they are in need of the week or two before each Food Pantry date. If you can donate soap for next Food Pantry, happening on March 6th, please bring some to church on Sunday or drop it off during office hours: Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Do you want a piano?
We are still looking for help finding a home for the upright piano in the sanctuary, which was donated to the church 25 years ago. We would like to make it go away. It has not been tuned recently, but it has benefited from the unheated sanctuary (doesn’t dry out the wood). The new owner needs to move it. Please speak to or email Ellen (nelle@ymail.com) if you would like to see it, or if you would like to own it, or if you are willing to put it on Craigslist (or have another method to find it a new home, that you are willing to coordinate). Thanks!

soundbites_022114

Amazon Link
If you shop on amazon, please go to the church website, www.firstchurchjp.org, and make your order through the icon that appears on page one. When purchases are made this way, the church receives a donation from amazon.

ONGOING CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Greeters Needed
Whether an “old-timer” or new to our community, we all can appreciate the simple act of being greeted. If you’ve enjoyed this yourself, then pay it forward! It’s easy, there’s no long-term commitment, and it means a lot to the church. Please see Paul Miller or email him at pmmille2@yahoo.com to sign up, learn more, or have your questions answered.

Building Use
Did you know that you can rent the Parish Hall or a smaller space for a celebration, group meeting or other event? Contact Monroe Heyman for more details. Monroe’s email is MHeym02130@aol.com or he can be reached by phone: 617-524-8918. Jennifer will take care of scheduling all church-related (non-rental) building use requests. Email her at firstchjp@aol.com.

General Information
Announcements will run for no longer than 3 weeks, unless there are specific date parameters. You may resubmit your item after it has run for the allotted time. When submitting items for the weekly newsletter, please limit them to 250 words or less. If you have a special event that may need more space, please check in with Jennifer. If you would like your announcement included in the weekly newsletter, please send them in by Wednesday evening at 8 pm.

Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You may contact the church administrator, Jennifer, by emailing firstchjp@aol.com.

Jennifer Waddell, Congregational Administrator
First Church in Jamaica Plain UU
6 Eliot Street
P.O. Box 300186
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-524-1634
Website: www.firstchurchjp.org

 

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Weekly Newsletter: February 13

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UPDATE for Sunday, February 16th
Rev. Marshall Hawkins will be preaching instead of Sandee Storey and Dale Mitchell.
Young Church is canceled.

Sunday, February 16, 2014
Sandee Storey and Dale Mitchell will be speaking on “Aging Well in Community: Facing the issues of aging at home and joining together to deal with them.”

Dale Mitchell has been Executive Director of Ethos, a Boston-based, not-for-profit providing home and community-based care for the elderly and disabled since 1993. Sandra “Sandee” Storey is a member of the organizing committee of JP@Home, a fledgling group which will become a partner with Ethos to create a unique grassroots organization to help ensure local seniors can age well together.

The music this week:  Ellen will play favorites of Abraham Lincoln, who was a great lover of music of many styles, from opera to Stephen Foster. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: February 6

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Sunday, February 9, 2014
Rev. Marshall Hawkins will be preaching on “The Prison of the Self.” Self-absorbtion can be one of the great impediments to living a spiritual life. Turning our gaze outward to one another and to the Holy can bring us back to a sense of wholeness. Marshall is an affiliate minister at First Church and works at the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The prelude was composed by Vincent Lübeck, a virtuoso organist in Hamburg who died on this date in 1740. The choir’s anthem (by contrast) is a lovely meditation on the text “Ubi caritas” published in 1960 by Maurice Durufle, an organist and composer from Rouen. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: January 30, 2014

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Sunday, February 2, 2014
This week, we’ll do something a bit different to begin Terry’s sabbatical month. Church member and percussionist extraordinaire Matt Meyer will lead our service in the Parish Hall, assisted by our affiliate minister Rev. Marshall Hawkins and our music director Ellen McGuire; it’s multigenerational, and the kids will participate, too!

Cloud of Witnesses: Unitarian Universalists are called to live out our values through love and justice. We recognize, though, that we are not alone in this work, and our community of fellow of travelers includes those who have gone before, and those of future generations will carry on our unfinished work. This week, we honor the people in our past and present who have bent the world toward justice – whose hands shaped the context of our own life. Join us for a service of commitment and reflection, a service of song and rhythm, and a challenge to live fully in love and justice.

We are planning to move communion, which usually takes place on the first Sunday of the month, to February 9th, because this Sunday’s service will take place in the Parish Hall. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: January 9, 2014

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Sunday, January 12th
Affiliate Minister Rev. Jason Lydon will be preaching “How do we ‘love mercy’?” The words of the prophet Micah are etched into the wall next to the pulpit of our church, calling upon us all to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” While justice and humility are often celebrated virtues, what is mercy? How does the work of mercy fit into our lives? Let us use this Sunday to reflect together.

The choir’s anthem this week will be “Sisters of Mercy” by the influential Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen (b. 1934).

Young Church
This week the children will review the geography of Catholicism and its use of symbols and the rosary. We will have brief discussions of Catholic beliefs using pictures and imagery, then we will have a close look at the Lord’s Prayer: both the Catholic and the Protestant versions. The children will have an Italian snack. We will then make the first prayer bead. This prayer bead will be the “thanksgiving” prayer bead.

SAVE THE DATE – UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Week, January 19th – Martin Luther King Sunday
Next Sunday  Rev. Terry Burke and Abby Krueger will be doing a sermon on “Devil in the Grove”,  based on the recent book on the “Groveland Boys”  case in Florida at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement.

Visit our online calendar at: http://www.firstchurchjp.org/events

WAYS TO CONNECT OR CONTRIBUTE

RE Committee Meeting this Sunday after Coffee Hour.
The RE Committee will have it’s monthly meeting this Sunday after Coffee Hour on the stage. All are welcome.

Coffee Hour This Sunday
Special thanks to Lina Fox and Brigetta Johnson for hosting coffee hour this week.

Church’s Semi-Annual Meeting
The Church’s Semi-Annual Meeting will be held after church on January 26th. All are welcome.

Welcoming Breakfast and Book Signing February 23, 2014
If you’re exploring First Church, come and enjoy a meal in a relaxed way – we want to get to know you better, and give you a chance to get to know us. Paul Miller is handling the RSVP’s – pmmille2@yahoo.com.

If you are wondering “am I a member? Do I want to be one? February 23rd is a day new members will officially join – don’t know what this means? A member of the Welcoming Committee would be glad to discuss – contact Abby Krueger – dear_abby@comcast.net.

A Year to Live: A Book Study and Experiential Group
Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — Steve Jobs

Our lives have become an endless quest to do it all – to meet professional obligations and demands as well as cultivate a satisfying and rich personal/family life. So, what if you were told you only had one year to live? Would anything change? How would you view your priorities and heart desires?

This year-long group explores how to live each year as if it were your last.  Based on Stephen Levine’s book, A Year to Live, we’ll meet monthly for one year, exploring what it means to begin to live each day in a mindful, heart-centered way. We will explore how we each may resolve our denial of death as well as our denial of life, with awareness and compassion. Our aim is to confront the limits of our time here, grow clear on our priorities, examine our choices and make new ones that affirm what is most meaningful and important to us, so we can live fully and wholeheartedly.

The group is open to those who want to examine the life they are living, explore ways to enrich their life, and to look closely at end of life issues. Come to one session, come to all – but do come! We will meet on the following Sundays at 12:30 in the Morse Room: 1/19, 2/9, 3/16, 4/27, 5/18, 6/22, 7/20, 8/17, 9/21, 10/19, 11/16, 12/14.

Participants should purchase (or borrow) a copy of Stephen Levine’s book A Year to Live, available on Amazon (and your local book store), and read through it. Group work consists of specific lessons in the book with additional discussion and group exercises. It’s not necessary to have finished the book before our first meeting, but do try to familiarize yourself with it prior to attending the first session. Contact Sarah Hawkins with questions and to sign up. (sarahmartinhawkins@gmail.com).

Newsletter Deadline Reminder
Please remember to get your newsletter information to the church office by the end of the day on Wednesday so Jennifer can get the newsletter out on Thursdays by the end of her work day.

Sojourner House Thanks!
The families at Sojourner House were thrilled with their Christmas gifts. All the children got almost everything they wanted and their mothers were very happy. This year First Church also gave 20 gift bags for children in Jamaica Plain.

Here’s Ellen hard at work on this Sunday’s music in her chilly “office” while Lily, our unofficial church dog, keeps her company.

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Speaking of Church Dogs…
Kurt sent this sweet article to Terry about dogs and church:
Actually, dogs commonly attended services in former times. Indeed, until the 19th century, they could be so numerous that churches employed “dog whippers” to remove unruly dogs during services. The Great Church of St. Bavo in Haarlem, the Netherlands, contains a carving of the hondenslager at work.

The 18th-century zoologist Carl Linnaeus used to attend mass with his dog Pompe. Linnaeus always left after an hour, regardless of whether the sermon was finished. It’s said that when he was sick Pompe would arrive at the service alone, stay for the customary hour, and depart.

“Heaven goes by favor,” wrote Mark Twain. “If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” – See the article and accompanying photo here: http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/01/07/good-boy-8/

Amazon Link
If you shop on amazon, please go to the church website, www.firstchurchjp.org, and make your order through the icon that appears on page one. When purchases are made this way, the church receives a donation from amazon.

Food Pantry Wishlist – Warm Accessories 
Gwyn and Jane are hoping for donations of hats, scarves and gloves (but no jackets or coats, please) to give away to folks in need who come to our food pantry. Please leave anything you have to give in the back pews where the food pantry stores their food.

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ONGOING CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Greeters Needed
Whether an “old-timer” or new to our community, we all can appreciate the simple act of being greeted. If you’ve enjoyed this yourself, then pay it forward! It’s easy, there’s no long-term commitment, and it means a lot to the church. Please see Paul Miller or email him at pmmille2@yahoo.com to sign up, learn more, or have your questions answered.

Building Use
Did you know that you can rent the Parish Hall or a smaller space for a celebration, group meeting or other event? Contact Monroe Heyman for more details. Monroe’s email is MHeym02130@aol.com or he can be reached by phone: 617-524-8918. Jennifer will take care of scheduling all church-related (non-rental) building use requests. Email her at firstchjp@aol.com.

General Information
Announcements will run for no longer than 3 weeks, unless there are specific date parameters. You may resubmit your item after it has run for the allotted time. When submitting items for the weekly newsletter, please limit them to 250 words or less. If you have a special event that may need more space, please check in with Jennifer. If you would like your announcement included in the weekly newsletter, please send them in by Wednesday evening at 8 pm.

Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You may contact the church administrator, Jennifer, by emailing firstchjp@aol.com.

Jennifer Waddell, Congregational Administrator
First Church in Jamaica Plain UU
6 Eliot Street
P.O. Box 300186
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-524-1634
Website: www.firstchurchjp.org

 

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Weekly Newsletter: January 2, 2014

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Sunday, January 5th
Rev. Burke will be preaching “Epiphany: Candles of Hope and Concern.” After the 11 a.m. service we will have a short communion service. All are welcome, and we use grape juice for reasons of inclusion.

The music this Sunday will be a special treat: Eighteenth-century trio sonatas for flute and oboe. Flutist Dixie Brown now lives in Amherst, but years ago “I lived in JP on Eliot Street, and I attended First Church and sang in the choir and played my flute. It’s such a pleasure to be able to be here this Sunday.” Oboist Stephen Broyles says, “I moved to Amherst ten years ago, know Dixie from singing in the choir, and we play duets for enjoyment.” Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: December 19

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Sunday, December 22nd
Rev. Burke will be preaching “Joseph Dreams.”  He will be talking about the Christmas figure of Joseph, dreamer, doubter, worker, and, in modern times, seller of real estate. Joseph is the only person in the Bible described as “righteous.” In what ways is he righteous?  We will also have the children in the sanctuary for the first part of the service for a “Time for All Ages.”

Sunday’s choir anthem will be The Cherry Tree Carol, which tells how Jesus, from the womb, called on a cherry tree to bow down to Mary, which proved to Joseph that the baby’s conception was divine. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: December 12th

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Snow is here! At this point, we are planning to have the service and Pageant as planned.
Check here for updates! (Posted 4:45 pm Saturday.)

Christmas Pageant Rehearsal

Christmas Pageant Rehearsal

Sunday, December 15th
Our 25th First Church Christmas Pageant will be part of this Sunday’s worship service. Come experience this joyful celebration of the Christmas story featuring our church school children, directed by Thalia McMillion, with special music by Ellen McGuire and the choir, and written by Steve Arcanti. Sheep will dance! Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: December 4th

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Sunday, December 8th
Rev. Terry Burke is preaching this Sunday on “The Gift of Trees.”  The sermon is partly inspired by the annual tree expedition to Muster Field Farm, but also by a nativity set from Argentina carved inside a tree branch  given to him by his daughter. The choir anthem this Sunday is “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion” from Handel’s Messiah. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: November 21

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

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Thank you to all who made Terry’s 60th birthday celebration last Friday such a wonderful occasion! You can see more photographs from Terry’s party on the church’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/firstchurchjp.

Sunday, November 24th
This week’s Thanksgiving sermon is called Pilgrims. We’ll talk about why and when the folks in Plymouth were called “pilgrims”, and also hear from the writings of a local magazine entitled “The Pilgrim.” This literary magazine is made up of writings of Boston’s homeless community. Happy Thanksgiving – bring in food for Sojourner House this Sunday!!

The anthem this week is by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (1889-1960), British grandson of a Unitarian minister, who composed songs and choral works. The organ prelude is by Benjamin Britten, whose hundredth birthday is Nov. 19. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: November 14

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, November 17th
Rev. Wendy Fitting, minister emerita of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, the first Universalist church in North America will be preaching this Sunday. Rev. Fitting’s sermon is entitled ”Look Up!” and it’s about how a change of perspective changed a life.

The anthem will be sung by the Women’s Choir.

Young Church 
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe life is sacred – not only human life, but all life that shares our planet. The ritual of child dedication is one way UUs show we revere life and celebrate its beginning. This session looks at traditions and rituals to welcome new life into families and faith communities. The children will see a baby dedication done (on a doll) and learn the meaning of the rose and the water. If the children have a doll (that can stand a little water) or a figurine they would like to dedicate they are welcome to bring it in.

This week the children will meet with Thalia McMillion to cast their parts for the Christmas Pageant.

SAVE THE DATE – UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Sunday, November 24th
Next Sunday Reverend Terry Burke will be giving a sermon entitled “Thanksgiving Service.”

Visit our online calendar at: http://www.firstchurchjp.org/events

WAYS TO CONNECT OR CONTRIBUTE

Rev. Terry Burke’s Birthday Party Tomorrow Night!
Terry Burke turned 60 years old this past Monday. We invite you to join in celebrating our beloved friend and minister at a brief, informal party. We are planning a dessert potluck in Terry’s honor on Friday, November 15 from 7 PM to 8 PM in the Parish Hall of First Church. Terry has asked for no presents, just presence. We might have a little music. We might have a little wine. We might say a little prayer. Come join us.
from Thalia McMillion for the Ministerial Committee

Mini-Retreat: “Exploring the Nature of Death”
Terry Burke and Sarah Hawkins will be leading a mini-retreat Saturday November 16th from 12:00-3:30 on “Exploring the Nature of Death.”  Bring your own lunch and something to share.  Please email us at firstchjp@aol.com to register. There’s still time to join.

“UU 101″ Talk by Rev. Terry Burke
Join Terry Burke for an introductory session on the strange and wonderful world of Unitarian Universalism! Bring your questions for Sunday, November 17th at 9:30 AM in the Parish Hall.  All this, and food too!

Give Thanks Through Giving to Others!
Next Sunday, Nov. 24, the Social Action Group will be delivering Thanksgiving food to Sojourner House, the family shelter in Roxbury that we, as a congregation, have partnered with. Sojourner House serves up to nine resident families and families who are transitioning into permanent housing. They also serve the neighborhood through their Sojourner House Food Pantry. See www.sojournerhouseboston.org to learn more about Sojourner House.

The Social Justice Committee asks members and friends to help by bringing food to the church for the Thanksgiving delivery. Non-perishables can be brought in any time; turkeys and other perishables on the morning of the 24t . There are specially marked bins in the rear pews for Thanksgiving donations, separate from our own food pantry bins.

Suggested items:

  • Turkey – frozen or fresh
  • Stuffing mix
  • Gravy – canned or jarred
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes – fresh, dried, or canned
  • Rice, pasta, macaroni and cheese
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Canned and fresh vegetables
  • Pie crust – mix, frozen or pre-made
  • Sugar, flour, cake mix, biscuit mix
  • Fruit – fresh or canned
  • Pies

One-to-One Conversations Program
First Church will be starting a campaign in which we all get to know each other a little better through having one-to-one conversations with one another. These are 20-minute talks in which each person shares for about 10 minutes. We’ll have some suggested questions on hand to help the conversations flow easily. We’ll have some of these talks during coffee hour on December 1, followed by a potluck. More info coming soon. Let’s knit our community a bit tighter! Email Marshall Hawkins at marhawkins@comcast.net with any questions.

Eliot Street Coffeehouse Series
Please support the Church’s exciting new musical fundraising adventure, the Eliot Street Coffeehouse series. A performance by Montreal’s folk group The Bombadils will take place on Friday, November 22nd. The Brown Paper Tickets link for The Bombadils is: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/461823. Darol Anger plus several quartets from Berklee will perform on Saturday, December 7th. The Brown Paper Tickets link for this show is: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/512633.

All shows are at 8:00 p.m.  Margaret Suby will be selling tickets at church coffee hour on 11/17. Information on all the events as well as ticket buying links are available here: www.firstchurchjp.org/eliotstreetcoffeehouse. And please like the Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/6EliotStreet. Please tell all your friends about these events and if you’d like to volunteer (we’d love more volunteers for the event nights!), please email the Coffeehouse team at eliotstreetcoffeehouse@gmail.com. And of course, come to the shows! They are going to be awesome!

JP Jubilee Concert 
On Thursday, December 5, at 7:30 pm in the Parish Hall, the JP Jubilee group will be giving a concert. JP Jubilee is a voice class for seniors that meets at the JP branch of the Boston Public Library. The concert is short, free (although donations to the program will be accepted) and will include some audience sing-alongs. The group is directed by Elizabeth Anker and is supported by the Friends of the JP Library. Please join us!

JP Crafts Fair
So, what are you doing on December 7th? You’re seeing all your friends at the Holiday Fair – and you’re having a great time. You have made sure that all of your friends are there by e-mailing the attached e-postcard out to them. And, to have a better time, you have agreed to an appealing job. Here’s the list to choose from:

  • We urgently need a bake sale coordinator. You will encourage the bakers to throw nutrition to the winds and make yummy things; enticingly set up goodies; price them; then get out of the way (go shop, come back periodically to taste and enjoy). Looks great on your resume – sign up!
  • We also need set up people on Friday night, car unloaders Saturday a.m., Car loaders Saturday p.m..
  • A vendor greeter (you run a clipboard and tell people where to go – don’t you love telling people where to go?)
  • Customer greeters (11 to 2 or 2 to 5 – two shifts)
  • Kitchen staff – one slot in a.m. and one in p.m. open – sign up now!
  • And the most rewarding: Clean up! Work fast and fun, we gotta be done by 6:30 to let the Coffeehouse get going – you won’t be stuck here all night (might get a leftover cookie too!)

Please sign up by emailing Abby at dear_abby@comcast.net. We also still need a few dishes, if you would like to cook, email Gwyn at gwyn.helie@comcast.net.

First Church Christmas Pageant
The 25th First Church Christmas Pageant will be on Sunday, December 15th at the 11:00 a.m. church service. Our Pageant this year is open to all children (ages 4 to 12) in the community. Please help us to spread the word! Rehearsals will be at 11:00 AM during Sunday School, beginning on Nov. 24th, and the Dress Rehearsal is on Saturday, December 14th at 10:00 a.m. Please call Thalia McMillion at (617) 640-4044 if you have any questions. All are welcome!

Coffee Hour This Sunday
Special thanks to Alta McDonald and Nancy Angney for hosting coffee hour this week.

Office Hours Thanksgiving Week
Jennifer Waddell, your church administrator, will be out of the office on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the week of Thanksgiving.

Amazon Link Reminder
Please remember to bookmark www.firstchurchjp.org so you can easily remember to use the amazon logo on our homepage when you are going to do your shopping. As long as you make purchases on amazon after clicking through the amazon logo, the church will receive about 4% of each purchase made. It adds up: We’ve already collected $70 from folks using the link!

Wish List: Item Needed
We are still looking for a wooden artist-type easel! The Welcome Poster in the Narthex is on a cheap collapsible, very unsteady easel which is a hassle to use and it is only a matter of time before the poster is damaged. Please, email Cath at glob_cb@yahoo.com if you have one – I can come and pick it up. Thank you. - Cath Baisly

Food Pantry Would Like 2014 Calendars
The folks who come to our food pantry love calendars. If you have any 2014 calendars that you won’t be using, please contact Jane Zerby at janezerby@yahoo.com or leave them with Jennifer in the church office.

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ONGOING CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Greeters Needed
Whether an “old-timer” or new to our community, we all can appreciate the simple act of being greeted. If you’ve enjoyed this yourself, then pay it forward! It’s easy, there’s no long-term commitment, and it means a lot to the church. Please see Paul Miller or email him at pmmille2@yahoo.com to sign up, learn more, or have your questions answered.

Building Use
Did you know that you can rent the Parish Hall or a smaller space for a celebration, group meeting or other event? Contact Monroe Heyman for more details. Monroe’s email is MHeym02130@aol.com or he can be reached by phone: 617-524-8918. Jennifer will take care of scheduling all church-related (non-rental) building use requests. Email her at firstchjp@aol.com.

General Information
Announcements will run for no longer than 3 weeks, unless there are specific date parameters. You may resubmit your item after it has run for the allotted time. When submitting items for the weekly newsletter, please limit them to 250 words or less. If you have a special event that may need more space, please check in with Jennifer. If you would like your announcement included in the weekly newsletter, please send them in by Wednesday evening at 8 pm.

Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You may contact the church administrator, Jennifer, by emailing firstchjp@aol.com.

Jennifer Waddell, Congregational Administrator
First Church in Jamaica Plain UU
6 Eliot Street
P.O. Box 300186
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-524-1634
Website: www.firstchurchjp.org

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter: November 6th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, November 10th
Rev. Marshall Hawkins will be preaching this Sunday on “Returning to True North.” At times, we all get pulled away from our grounding, our center, the place where we are most authentically ourselves. Our spiritual practice, as individuals and as a religious community, is to keep returning home.

Special music on Sunday will be “Herzlich tut mich verlangen” (“My heart yearns”), from a set of eleven chorale-based short organ works (1896) written by Brahms at the end of his life. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: October 30th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, November 3rd
Please join us for our All Souls service, when we remember loved ones who have died. After the sermon, Terry will lead us on a special walk though our church graveyard. Join us for “All Souls are All Saints.” The choir will sing the beautiful anthem “Santo” (“Holy”), written three years ago by Juan-Marcos Abrodos of Barcelona.

Young Church 
This session invites children into a lifelong process of building a Unitarian Universalist faith. The children will learn that a covenant for being together is a sign of our faith. They will make a covenant together, look for signs of covenanting in congregational life, and discover additional ways UUs support one another to build a faith that will give their lives meaning and purpose.

Reverend Terry Burke will be visiting the children for their chapel service on Nov. 10.

SAVE THE DATE – UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Sunday, November 10th
Next week Rev. Marshall Hawkins will be preaching. Check back next week for details about his sermon.

Visit our online calendar at: http://www.firstchurchjp.org/events

WAYS TO CONNECT OR CONTRIBUTE

Terry Update
Thank you for all your cards, notes and prayers! I’m especially enjoying the funny ones! Chemotherapy is going well, with some bad days on the week of treatment, but I’m feeling good the other weeks. I’m coming into the office pretty regularly. Email remains a good way to reach me: berryturke@gmail.com. Thanks again for all your support. Hugs – Terry.

Volunteer Needed to Pick Up Flowers for Sunday’s Service
The lovely friend who always picks the 90 carnations up for our All Souls service will be out of town this week. Can anyone volunteer to pick the flowers up on Saturday or Sunday for this Sunday’s service? The flowers are ordered and simply need to be picked up on American Legion Highway in Roslindale. Please email Jennifer at firstchjp@aol.com if you can pick them up and she will give you the address and name of the florist.

Mini-Retreat: “Exploring the Nature of Death”
Terry Burke and Sarah Hawkins will be leading a mini-retreat Saturday November 16th from 11-3:00 on “Exploring the Nature of Death.”  Bring your own lunch and something to share.  Please email us at firstchjp@aol.com to register.

“UU 101″ Talk by Rev. Terry Burke
Join Terry Burke for an introductory session on the strange and wonderful world of Unitarian Universalism! Bring your questions for Sunday, November 17th at 9:30 AM in the Parish Hall.  All this, and food too!

First Church Christmas Pageant
The 25th First Church Christmas Pageant will be on Sunday, December 15th at the 11:00 AM church service. Our Pageant this year is open to all children (ages 4 to 12) in the community. Please help us to spread the word! Rehearsals will be at 11:00 AM during Sunday School, beginning on Nov. 24th, and the Dress Rehearsal is on Saturday, December 14th at 10:00 AM. Please call Thalia McMillion at (617) 640-4044 if you have any questions. All are welcome!

Eliot Street Coffeehouse Series
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Please support the Church’s exciting new musical fundraising adventure, the Eliot Street Coffeehouse series which begins its run on Friday, November 1st with Boston’s own Celtic band Fellswater, supported by Elizabeth & Ben Anderson, an up-and-coming Scottish fiddle and cello duo.  Online ticket sales are only through Thursday 10/31, ending at midnight!  Here’s the Brown Paper Tickets link for purchases today: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/459031. If you miss the online tickets sales, you can buy tickets at the door: $10 students/seniors/unemployed, $15 regular.

A performance by Montreal’s folk group The Bombadils will take place on Friday, November 22nd. Darol Anger plus several quartets from Berklee will perform on Saturday, December 7th. All shows are at 8:00 p.m. Janna Maria Fröhlich will be selling tickets at church coffee hour on 10/27. Information on all the events as well as ticket buying links are available here: www.firstchurchjp.org/eliotstreetcoffeehouse. And please like the Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/6EliotStreet. Please tell all your friends about these events and if you’d like to volunteer (we’d love more volunteers for the event nights!), please email the Coffeehouse team at eliotstreetcoffeehouse@gmail.com. And of course, come to the shows! They are going to be awesome!

JP Forum Presents: Moving Toward a Cancer-Free JP Economy: What We Can Do to Transition into a JP Free of Carcinogens
Please join us on Wednesday, November 6th, 7pm, for Moving Toward a Cancer-Free JP Economy.
Be part of the conversation about how to grow our local economy in ways that do not depend on chemicals that cause cancer. Listen from experts from the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. Our co-sponsors include the Vida Verde Womens Co-op: A group of Brazilian Immigrant Women whose natural cleaning products create a healthy impact in their livelihoods.

Like other communities, JP is home to dozens of chemicals known or widely suspected of causing cancer, including substances in our homes, workplaces and public spaces. Latest research shows that JP has higher incidences** of some type of cancer than the state average, especially for women.

Huge resources are funneled into the important work of cancer research and medical treatment in Boston. But what about prevention at the community level? What steps could we take to reduce the use of toxic chemicals linked to cancer? The forum will address critical questions such as:

  • What is the latest research on cancer rates and types of cancer in our neighborhood?
  • What are common carcinogens in our JP environment and how can we reduce them?
  • How can we help our local businesses that depend on toxic materials (i.e. dry cleaners, beauty salons, landscapers, auto repair shops, art studios, commercial cleaners, restaurants) make a transition to safe alternatives and flourish?
  • What can we learn from other communities?

History Talk – “At This Location”
Come hear our history described by our Church Historian, George Wardle, Sunday morning, November 10, 2013, at 9:30 in the dining room. At this location before the UUA, before this building, before the American Unitarian Association, before “Jamaica Plain,” a religious congregation was organized. Come hear what happened here at this location, and how this church helped bring about those other things.

Blue Jeans Sunday
Sunday, Nov. 10, will be Blue Jeans Sunday. This is an annual event where we all come to church in our jeans and “stay after” to rake up and bag leaves. Bring your favorite rake or use one of ours. Bags will be provided. Neighbors and friends are invited for an afternoon of fun! We usually wrap up (or bag up) around two and share cider and cookies before wending our way home. We also hope you will “adopt” some leaf bags to put out for collection on your street because the city will not pick them up from the church. - Margaret Suby

Collecting Food for Thanksgiving at Sojourner House
First Church will be collecting Thanksgiving food for Sojourner House, which we will deliver on Sun. the 24th. Bring in all turkey fixin’s anytime and put in the back pew of church and please make sure to put food in one of the plastic bins with a top labeled for Sojourner House. Don’t bring actual turkeys, or other perishables, until the 24th. The list of items needed is on the table in church. No live turkeys this year. - Tom Crawford

Amazon Link Reminder
Please remember to bookmark www.firstchurchjp.org so you can easily remember to use the amazon logo on our homepage when you are going to do your shopping. As long as you make purchases on amazon after clicking through the amazon logo, the church will receive about 4% of each purchase made. It adds up: We’ve already collected $70 from folks using the link!

Wish List: Item Needed
Does anyone have a wooden artist-type easel? If not, does anyone know of a place (or online site) where one could be purchased for short money? The Welcome Poster in the Narthex is on a cheap collapsible, very unsteady, easel which is a hassle to use and it is only a matter of time before the poster is damaged. Please, email Cath at glob_cb@yahoo.com - I can come and pick it up. Thank you. - Cath Baisly

Food Pantry Would Like 2014 Calendars
The folks who come to our food pantry love calendars. If you have any 2014 calendars that you won’t be using, please contact Jane Zerby at janezerby@yahoo.com or leave them with Jennifer in the church office.

Coffee Hour This Sunday
Special thanks to Lina Fox and Brigetta Johnson for hosting coffee hour this week.

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Don’t forget to Fall Back!
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 3.
Fall back – turn your clocks back an hour. If you do not, you will be early!

ONGOING CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Greeters Needed
Whether an “old-timer” or new to our community, we all can appreciate the simple act of being greeted. If you’ve enjoyed this yourself, then pay it forward! It’s easy, there’s no long-term commitment, and it means a lot to the church. Please see Paul Miller or email him at pmmille2@yahoo.com to sign up, learn more, or have your questions answered.

Building Use
Did you know that you can rent the Parish Hall or a smaller space for a celebration, group meeting or other event? Contact Monroe Heyman for more details. Monroe’s email is MHeym02130@aol.com or he can be reached by phone: 617-524-8918. Jennifer will take care of scheduling all church-related (non-rental) building use requests. Email her at firstchjp@aol.com.

General Information
Announcements will run for no longer than 3 weeks, unless there are specific date parameters. You may resubmit your item after it has run for the allotted time. When submitting items for the weekly newsletter, please limit them to 250 words or less. If you have a special event that may need more space, please check in with Jennifer. If you would like your announcement included in the weekly newsletter, please send them in by Wednesday evening at 8 pm.

Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You may contact the church administrator, Jennifer, by emailing firstchjp@aol.com.

Jennifer Waddell, Congregational Administrator
First Church in Jamaica Plain UU
6 Eliot Street
P.O. Box 300186
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-524-1634
Website: www.firstchurchjp.org

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter: October 24th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, October 27th
This Sunday Rev. Terry Burke will give a sermon entitled, for Halloween, “Friendly Spirits.” Terry has been doing research on his 30 years at the church and will be sharing an informal, anecdotal history of his first 10 years at the church, with its rich cast of characters. The anthem on Sunday will be “Will the circle be unbroken”:
           ”….you can picture happy gatherings round the fireside long ago….”
The First Church Women’s Choir will be joined by Thalia McMillion on dulcimer. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: October 17th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, October 20th
This Sunday Helen Matthews, who goes by the name Homefries, will be giving the sermon and Rev. Terry Burke will be leading the service. Homefries is the director at KidsArts!, the after school arts program in our building. What’s the impact of art exploration on childhood growth? How has our community sustained an independent youth arts organization for the past 20 years? What are the personal experiences of being a youth arts worker? Learn more about the youth arts program that has been housed in the First Unitarian Church since 1994 this Sunday!

This Sunday’s anthem will be “City Called Heaven”, a spiritual arranged by Josephine Poelinitz; our church choir will be joined by soloist Alice Phoenix.

Young Church - We Welcome Rachel Bailey to the Nursery!
My name is Rachel Bailey. I currently reside in Walpole, MA with my loving family. I am very excited to announce that this is my first year as a graduate student at Lesley University, Cambridge. I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Education, Teacher of Visual Arts (PreK-8), Professional licensure program. As a working artist my primary medium is sculpture and metal fabrications. My passion is to inspire and educate children on how they can artistically express their unique stories.

Young Church - Signs of Our Faith: Being UU Everyday
This week the children will start traditional curriculum Signs of Our Faith: Being UU Everyday. If religion is ultimately about what we love, then “faith” is not so much about what we think is true (or hope is true, despite lack of evidence), but about being faithful to what we love.— Peter Morales, President, Unitarian Universalist Association (2009 – )

Rev. Morales asks us to think about religion as the practice of being faithful to what you love. In order to do this, you must decide what you love and do your best to live that love faithfully every day. Signs of Our Faith guides children to do their best to live faithful lives every day. It presents fourteen traits or values that most Unitarian Universalist love, including the quest for knowledge, reverence for life, supporting one another on our faith journeys, and public witness. Children examine how their lives do and can exhibit these traits and values, and come to understand that their faith is a living faith whose histories and teachings are fortifications for living faithfully in a complex world.

Signs of Our Faith engages children to explore ritual practices of our faith that remind us of these traits and values. Some of the rituals are enacted in the congregation. Some we conduct alone, or in our interactions with family, friends, and peers; others are offered to the wider world. This program helps children understand the abstract concept of a ritual by naming rituals as signs of our faith. Rituals are defined broadly, so that naming and dedicating a baby is a ritual, but so too is befriending a new child at school. Through the concept of “ritual,” children discover evidence of their faith in everyday actions and are encouraged to ritualize or form into habit such traits as caring, welcoming, and making fair group decisions.

Signs of Our Faith asks young people to see themselves as leaders of their faith. They build experience performing and, at times, creating rituals to share in their families as well as the congregation, and are thereby positioned as co-creators of the faith. Leadership in Action, alternate activities included in every session, invite children to lead the flower communion, host an appreciation event for congregational leaders, and write meditations and prayers for congregational use. By sharing their leadership with a wider group, children deepen their connection to our faith and see themselves as needed leaders in the congregation, other UU communities, and the world beyond.

Teacher Training will be next week, at 12:30, in the Morse Room.

SAVE THE DATE – UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Sunday, October 27th
Next week Rev. Terry Burke will give a sermon entitled, for Halloween, “Friendly Spirits.” Terry has been doing research on his 30 years at the church and will be doing an informal, anecdotal history of his first 10 years at the church, with its rich cast of characters.

Visit our online calendar at: http://www.firstchurchjp.org/events

WAYS TO CONNECT OR CONTRIBUTE

Light Supper and the Annual Lantern Parade – this Saturday
Please join RE families for a light supper and the Annual Lantern Parade
 On Saturday, October 19, 2013, at 5 pm in the Parish Hall. Pizza and salad will be served to families with children but everyone is invited. Friends and neighbors are welcome! Make a lantern (all supplies provided), share supper and go to the Lantern Parade around Jamaica Pond together. To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Charlotte Hemr by email at charlotte@hemr.net or call her at 617-426-7562.

Can Art Change Society? – Panel Discussion sponsored by The Gardarev Center
Moderated by Rev. Terry Burke
Please join us on Oct. 26th from 2:00 – 3:30 pm for a lively discussion about the role of art in society. Panelists are filmmaker Fred Ata, writer Amy Hoffman, and scholar Lisa Moore. A short fundraising reception will follow. The Gardarev Center is a new research and residency program supporting multicultural, cross-disciplinary groups of socially engaged creative artists and thinkers by giving them space to explore issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, environmental degradation, and other forms of discrimination and areas of social concern. The Center also hosts public forums where the public can dialogue with its fellows and other invited guests about these issues. For more information, go to www.gardarev.org. Part of a series of Gardarev ℠ programs, seminars and conferences.

Eliot Street Coffeehouse Series
The Church’s exciting new fundraising adventure, the Eliot Street Coffeehouse series, begins its run on Friday, November 1st with Boston’s own Celtic band Fellswater. A performance by Montreal’s folk group The Bombadils will take place on Friday, November 22nd. Darol Anger will perform on Saturday, December 7th. All shows are at 8:00 p.m. Janna Fröhlich and Margaret Suby will be selling tickets at coffee hour on 10/20 and 10/27. You can also buy tickets online via the links at www.firstchurchjp.org/eliotstreetcoffeehouse. Please tell all your friends about these events and if you’d like to volunteer, please email Janna at janhapharp@gmail.com.

Food Pantry Would Like 2014 Calendars
The folks who come to our food pantry LOVE calendars. If you have any 2014 calendars that you won’t be using, please contact Jane Zerby at janezerby@yahoo.com or leave them with Jennifer in the church office.

Coffee Hour Hosts Organizer Needed
Coffee Hour Host needed for November 17th. Also, we need a volunteer to organize the coffee hour hosts beginning January 1st. Please email Gwyn Helie at gwyn.helie@comcast.net if you can take on this role for a 2-month rotation.

ONGOING CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Greeters Needed
Whether an “old-timer” or new to our community, we all can appreciate the simple act of being greeted. If you’ve enjoyed this yourself, then pay it forward! It’s easy, there’s no long-term commitment, and it means a lot to the church. Please see Paul Miller or email him at pmmille2@yahoo.com to sign up, learn more, or have your questions answered.

Building Use
Did you know that you can rent the Parish Hall or a smaller space for a celebration, group meeting or other event? Contact Monroe Heyman for more details. Monroe’s email is MHeym02130@aol.com or he can be reached by phone: 617-524-8918. Jennifer will take care of scheduling all church-related (non-rental) building use requests. Email her at firstchjp@aol.com.

General Information
Announcements will run for no longer than 3 weeks, unless there are specific date parameters. You may resubmit your item after it has run for the allotted time. When submitting items for the weekly newsletter, please limit them to 250 words or less. If you have a special event that may need more space, please check in with Jennifer. If you would like your announcement included in the weekly newsletter, please send them in by Wednesday evening at 8 pm.

Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You may contact the church administrator, Jennifer, by emailing firstchjp@aol.com.

Jennifer Waddell, Congregational Administrator
First Church in Jamaica Plain UU
6 Eliot Street
P.O. Box 300186
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-524-1634
Website: www.firstchurchjp.org

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter: October 10th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, October 13th
Rev. Terry Burke will be preaching a sermon on the topic of “Quiet” drawing on Susan Cain’s recent book about introverts. We will be christening Hana and Adisa, the twin daughters of Jessica and Mirza Borogovac.

The anthem this week, sung by Tim Williamson, will be “For the mountains shall depart” by Mendelssohn, from his oratorio Elijah, written in 1846 for the Birmingham Festival, following the spirit of the great Bible-based oratorios of the German/English composer Handel, such as Messiah (1741). Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: October 3rd

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, October 6th
This Sunday service is our annual World Communion Sunday service, when we celebrate communion (using grape juice) as part of our main 11 am service.  Terry’s homily is about bread and bread-making; the choir will sing a shape-note tune called “Captain Kidd”:  ”Through all the world below God is seen all around…”.

At 12:30 in the front yard of the church, we will have our annual Blessing of Animals and Stuffed Animals!  This time allows you to go home between the services and get any animals you may want to bring.
Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: September 26th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, September 29th
Rev. Jason Lydon, Affiliate Minister at First Church, will be preaching a sermon entitled Healing in Community. With Rev. Terry Burke’s recent announcement about his diagnosis of lung cancer, we as a congregation are full of many feelings, concerns, and questions. We will reflect on what it means when the caretaker is sick and how we as a community build strength to create a healing space. After the sermon there will be a prayer for healing for Terry, his family, and the entire congregation. Church member Tim Williamson will be performing the anthem, Sweet Prospect, a shape-note hymn, on Sunday. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: September 19th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, September 22nd
Rev. Terry Burke will be speaking on creativity in his sermon “The Work of Our Hands.”  Please email him at firstchjp@aol.com by Friday at 1 pm if you would like to bring in some creative work you do with your hands, whether you consider it art or otherwise – paintings, quilts, birdhouses, photographs, muffins, whatever you create.  We’ll have time for you to say a few sentences about your work! Please share the cool things you do!

Our guest musician this Sunday will be First Church member and percussionist Matt Meyer, performing solo, with the choir, and with the whole congregation, to celebrate the creative work of our hands.  Our anthem will be from West Africa: “Ise oluwa” – “That which God made cannot be destroyed.”  Matt is an artist of percussion, knowledgeable and experienced in a variety of styles, including latin-jazz, Brazilian, folk, funk, Hiphop and pop. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has studied in Cuba, Ghana, and Central America.

Young Church
This Sunday the children will be learning about light: the light of god/goddess and the light of art. For the more scientifically minded there will be experiments with light. We will continue to sign teachers up for the first block on Unitarian Universalism. Teacher Training will be October 13, at 12:45; pizza and childcare will be provided. Regular classes will start Oct 20.

SAVE THE DATE – UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Sunday, September 29th
Next week Rev. Jason Lydon, Affiliate Minister at First Church, will be preaching a sermon entitled ”One Nation Under Who?” As another court case moves forward to challenge the inclusion of “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance we will think about how our Unitarian Universalist theology is welcoming of the gifts from humanism. We will also consider the question of the Pledge itself and how we reconcile or challenge patriotism in relationship to our faith.

Visit our online calendar at: http://www.firstchurchjp.org/events

WAYS TO CONNECT OR CONTRIBUTE

Ride for Food Recap
The Ride For Food was a great success! There were 14 fundraisers and 100s of people who donated to the JP Food Pantry. $113,000 was raised in total – our share was +/- $7500. This money will help feed the folks who come to First Church’s food pantry for 18-24 months; Jane and Gwyn were delighted! Many thanks to all who donated and rode.

Adult RE Class
Sacred Stories, led by Rev. Marshall Hawkins
Wednesday evenings in the Morse Room, Oct. 2 – Nov. 6, 7 – 9 pm
Over the course of six sessions, we will read together sacred stories from several different religious traditions. We will discuss the metaphorical truths presented in these ancient tales and explore what meanings they may hold for us in our lives today. We’ll use visual art, writing exercises, music, and movie clips to help us engage with the ideas in a contemporary context as well as what the stories meant to their original audiences. Participants are encouraged to commit to attending all the sessions, so that we can build a sense of community together. To sign up, contact Marshall: marhawkins@comcast.net; or fill in the sign-up sheet at church.

Interspiritual Counseling Services 
Offered by Sarah Hawkins
Friends, as part of my training to become an Interspiritual counselor, I’m offering pro bono counseling services to my First Church family. Traditionally called spiritual direction or spiritual companioning, interspiritual counseling (ISC) is a listening profession. But unlike psychotherapy, the focus is not on diagnosis or treatment of pathology. Nor is it about “fixing” someone who is “broken.” Rather, each person who enters into this kind of counseling is considered to be already complete: a holy and divine child of God whose essence is goodness, power, wisdom, and – most of all – love. In this perspective, our journey is one of remembering the truth of who we really are, and to once again experience a connection with the God of our understanding. Please continue reading  here. Sarah can be reached by email at sarahmartinhawkins@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Amazon Logo – please give it a try if you shop at amazon
The church has added an amazon icon to our website which acts as a link directly to amazon. We will receive a percentage from all sales as long as members click on the amazon logo on the church website to access amazon when they shop. We ask all of to do this from now on! The church receives at least 4% of all orders made, regardless of the item(s) purchased, when they’re made after clicking through from our website. Go to www.firstchurchjp.org to find the new icon/link – it will be in the column on the right hand side of the page regardless of where you are on our website. FYI, no one will be able to see the purchases individuals make, just the totals we receive for any given time period. See placement of the logo in the photo below.

amazon_logo_screenshot

Theology at the Theater – Last Tuesdays of the Month, September – May 
Led by Rev. Jason Lydon. Movies are an enormous part of our collective storytelling experience in the United States. We attend them with friends surrounded by strangers and experience an endless supply of emotions. Film shows us where we are as a society and gives us countless moral questions to ask ourselves and each other. This church season we will go on 8 movie watching adventures together at theaters in Boston and Cambridge. Following each film we will sit together and discuss how the film interacted with our theology, what we believe the film says about humanity, and what feelings came up for us while watching. Theology is not only written in sacred texts, it’s written throughout our days and across movie screens. We will go see films playing in theaters in hopes of participating in ongoing community dialogue about today’s media. Please contact Rev. Lydon at blackandpink99@gmail.com with any questions or for more information.

 First Film: Tuesday, September 24th (time TBA approximately 7:00)
Prisoners - When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Terrence Howard

Meet Our Members – Paul Miller
Member bios will appear semi-regularly and are written by Alta McDonald

Paul_Miller_small

Paul grew up with three brothers in Amherst where his father was a professor and associate dean of civil engineering at the University of Massachusetts. Growing up in a college town, he enjoyed being a child in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Paul was an avid photographer and musician from early adolescence. He studied trombone for three years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and then transferred to Mass. College of Art where he studied photography and experimental film. He kept busy making films and collaborating with the experimental theater group, Theatre S., during the 1980s. Meanwhile, Paul worked for seven years for the ACCESS program, helping Boston Public School seniors apply for college and financial aid, and went to school at night to earn a master’s degree in counseling. Read more here.

Mugs and Glasses
We are re-supplying the church kitchen with classic, inexpensive mugs and glasses. If you can contribute to the cost, please speak to Ellen, or put a dollar or two in the box at coffee hour. Chip in!

Introduction to Modern Meditation – Class Offered 
Lina Fox would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in joining her 5 week meditation class. She proposes to meet on Sundays at 12:30 – 1:15 pm from October 6 – Sunday November 3. Please email Lina at foxlinam@gmail.com with any questions or to sign up. During the 5 weeks, participants will be taught and be able to practice Modern Meditation techniques. Suggested contribution: $20 per session, per person. All proceeds go to First Church.

New Music Series in JP: The Eliot Street Coffeehouse
Jamaica Plain music patrons embrace all genres, from classical to experimental and everything in between. Starting in November the community will have the opportunity to attend two presentations by the new Eliot Street Coffeehouse at the First Church in Jamaica Plain. The Coffeehouse is the result of a merger of First Church’s own “Eliot Street Soirée” series, and Jeff Boudreau’s not-for-profit “notloB Parlour Concerts”, presented since 2006 across the monument at the Loring-Greenough House. On November 1st, the Medford-based dynamic Celtic group Fellswater will be performing and on November 22nd, Montreal’s The Bombadils will appear. For both shows, doors open at 7:30 pm with the performance at 8:00 pm. Read more here on our website.

Church Activity Fair
Come One, Come All, to the Rites of Fall, beginning with the First Church Activity Fair of Sunday September 29. Join us to cruise the booths and learn what makes First Church tick and how you can join in. Interested in music? Find Ellen at the music booth. Fundraising experience? Find Penny at the Capital Campaign Booth. And opportunities to work for social justice abound. Your reward: a lunch-sized coffee hour to sustain you as you look.

Third Annual JP Clothing Exchange!
The Clothing Exchange is a clothing swap for both men and women, held at First Church, Unitarian Universalist in Jamaica Plain, MA, on Saturday, October 5th. Swapping is a fantastic way to revitalize your wardrobe and it’s a super environmentally-friendly thing to do. You’re diverting clothes from the landfill, cutting carbon emissions, opting for fashion without exploitation, and saving money. Woohoo! That’s quite a lot for one little event to accomplish, eh? Find out all the details for this great event here and don’t forget to buy your tickets in advance!

Coffee Hour Hosts Organizer Needed
We need a volunteer to organize coffee hour hosts for the months of November and December. Please email Gwen Helie at gwyn.helie@comcast.net if you are interested in helping and she will fill you in on what the job entails.

ONGOING CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Greeters Needed
Whether an “old-timer” or new to our community, we all can appreciate the simple act of being greeted. If you’ve enjoyed this yourself, then pay it forward! It’s easy, there’s no long-term commitment, and it means a lot to the church. Please see Paul Miller or email him at pmmille2@yahoo.com to sign up, learn more, or have your questions answered.

Building Use
Did you know that you can rent the Parish Hall or a smaller space for a celebration, group meeting or other event? Contact Monroe Heyman for more details. Monroe’s email is MHeym02130@aol.com or he can be reached by phone: 617-524-8918. Jennifer will take care of scheduling all church-related (non-rental) building use requests. Email her at firstchjp@aol.com.

General Information
Announcements will run for no longer than 3 weeks, unless there are specific date parameters. You may resubmit your item after it has run for the allotted time. When submitting items for the weekly newsletter, please limit them to 250 words or less. If you have a special event that may need more space, please check in with Jennifer. If you would like your announcement included in the weekly newsletter, please send them in by Wednesday evening at 8 pm.

Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You may contact the church administrator, Jennifer, by emailing firstchjp@aol.com.

Jennifer Waddell, Congregational Administrator
First Church in Jamaica Plain UU
6 Eliot Street
P.O. Box 300186
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-524-1634
Website: www.firstchurchjp.org

 

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Weekly Newsletter: September 12th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, September 15th
Rev. Terry Burke writes about this week’s sermon: With Yom Kippur this weekend, my sermon will deal with the rich levels of meaning for the High Holy Days of Judaism, and the tension between special Holy Days and the holiness of everyday, and between individual spirituality and spiritual community.  I’ll talk about the ancient desert demon Azazel and modern versions.  And we’ll spend some time in silence reflecting on our own lives. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: September 5th

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, September 8th
This week for our opening Sunday, Rev. Terry Burke will preach on A Growing Establishment. How do we want to grow our lives and our church this year?  During the service we will also be christening our restored sanctuary vestibule and wall, as well as walking through the building for our start of the year walking meditation. We are excited to welcome our Choir for its first fall anthem; organ music is by Camille Saint-Saëns, a piano prodigy and organist, best known for Carnival of the Animals and Danse Macabre. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: August 22nd

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

Sunday, August 25th
Kimberly Wootan will be giving an inter-generational sermon this week on the Unitarian Maria Mitchell entitled The Importance of Asking Questions. Mitchell (1818 – 1889), was an American astronomer who was the first professor to be hired at Vassar College. She became the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848 and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1850. Honored internationally, she was one of the most celebrated American scientists of the 19th century. In 1842, she left the Quaker faith and followed Unitarian principles. Continue reading

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Weekly Newsletter: August 1st

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CHURCH HAPPENINGS

***Sunday, August 4th***
Kimberly Wootan will be giving the sermon this week which will be entitled Hosea Ballou: Muddy Children will get into Heaven Too. Hosea Ballou was one of the early leaders of the Universalist movement. He was born and raised in New Hampshire and preached universal salvation in Vermont and Massachusetts. A church was built for him in Boston so that he had a place to preach here on a regular basis. When addressing a conference he posed the question about God’s love: when your child gets muddy and you take care of them and clean them up, do you love your children because you wash them, or do you wash them because you love them? Continue reading

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