First Parish News, April 2019

Committee Fair -  Sunday April 7th after church during social hour in the vestry Church Council is holding our annual committee fair. Any committee/group at church is invited to set up an informational display to let members/friends know what you do / recruit new committee members / volunteers. Bring some nibbles to entice people over to your display. Let new people know what your group does. Coffee / cleanup provided by the Young Adult Group (Thank you Caroline). Any questions, ask Sandy Johnston.


Introducing the Database Task Force  -  Earlier this year, a Database Task Force formed out of the Standing Committee to consider how technology can best be used to serve the life and ministry of our community. To that end, we’ve been meeting for about the last 6 months, and collecting information from staff and from people in the congregation who need efficient, easy and secure access to data to perform their church function. We’re not done with our work, but we wanted to let everyone know that this work is on-going. If you are involved in church functions or events, and have a thought or an idea about how technology might make your church work easier – please let us know! ---Edith Murphy, Dave Kaffine, Chris Sweetnam, Brenda Rogers, Sally Seekings


Calling all knitters!  We are almost out of prayer shawls to give to those who so desperately need them. If you don't have yarn, Kathy Deschenes has some donated yarn at the Pastoral Care table in the vestry at social hour. Won't you help us help others? You can deliver prayer shawls to Kathy or to Ellen. Thank you!!


Accessibility Building Project Plaque  -  Thank you, thank you to everyone who has contributed financially to the Accessibility Building Project. In honor of these contributions, we will be putting a plaque near the elevator. Please stop by the Capital Campaign table at coffee hour to let us know how you would like to be commemorated or if you would prefer to remain anonymous. Any questions about contributions or your pledge, please contact John Schneider or Edith Murphy directly.  - Jim Curley, Deb Grad, Caroline McMullin, Rosemary McMullin, Edith Murphy, John Schneider, and Maura Snow


Accessibility Building Project Celebration -  Save the date! On Saturday, May 4 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., we will be celebrating our accomplishments! Together, we have made possible a beautifully renovated, welcoming space that is sure to be the price of Chelmsford. Each in their own special way, all of us have contributed to this amazing success, and it’s our time to shine! Celebrate, toot your own horn, express gratitude, have a great time: For all of these reasons, we cordially invite you to be an integral part of our First Parish open house!

After a brief dedication ceremony with words from many without whom this accomplishment would not have been possible, we invite you to see for yourself what all of the hard work, talent and financial contributions of our members and friends have brought about! All are invited to take a tour of our breathtaking, newly updated building. Designed to meet the needs of our parishioners and members of the community, it is now fully functional and wheelchair-accessible.

Light refreshments will also be served. We can’t wait to see you there, and feel free to bring friends!


Annual Interfaith Gathering Against Violence  -  The Council in Faith in Action Ministries (CFAM) is sponsoring the Greater Lowell Interfaith Leadership Alliances’s (GLILA) Annual Interfaith Gathering Against Violence HERE at First Parish on April 7th. This years theme is: My Humility/Our Humanity: Overcoming Obstacles at the Wecoming Table. The event will take place in 3 parts - a gathering with activities and stories; a worship service; and refreshments. The gathering will start at 3pm, the service will start at 4:45pm, and the refreshments will start after the service around 6pm. CFAM is asking for volunteers in a few places:

1. To help direct people where to park from 2:30pm to 3:00pm and again from 4:00pm to 4:30pm.

2. To help set up the vestry from 2:00pm to 2:45pm. This includes setting up for the gathering by putting up tables and chairs and for the refreshments by making coffee and by getting plates and dishes organized.

3. To help sing “Spirit of Life” a cappella during the gathering worship service.

Lastly, this event is open to everyone. Please spread the word. If you are able to provide something for the refreshments as well that would be wonderful. CFAM can reimburse if cost if prohibitive.  If you have any questions, please email Caroline McMullin.


Estate Planning Seminar  -   Pastoral Care Committee to host Estate Planning Seminar Please join us Sunday, April 7th, 12:00 p.m., in the Chapel. Tyngsboro Attorney, Edward H. Adamsky, will be our keynote speaker. Come join us and learn what an estate plan is and why you need it. Have you thought about why it is important to have a will, power of attorney, health care proxy in place before you get sick? Or, how do I protect my young family, eliminate family misunderstandings, prevent my wealth going to unintended beneficiaries? What planned gift giving (to family, church) is best?

Come educate yourself and give yourself peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected during a difficult time. 

Attorney Adamsky, has been in private practice since 1992, and is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He concentrates his practice in Life & Estate Planning & Elder Law.  Attorney Adamsky will give a 45 minute presentation, following with a question and answer session (about 15 minutes). Light snacks will be provided. Please RSVP to Linda Newhard or stop by the Pastoral Care Committee table at Coffee Hour and sign up.

First Parish News, March 2019

Intentional UU Program - This Spring, Sundays 4-6 pm at First Parish

The intentional UU gives adults to have an in-depth exploration of Unitarian Universalist and what it means to be a UU in First Parish of Chelmsford!  This important program has resulted in many meaningful connections and is now part of Lifespan Faith Formation. We are offering the program this spring 2019 and inviting members who want to explore what it means to be a Unitarian-Universalist at First Parish of Chelmsford, through group activities and one-on-one discussions with a long-time member/mentor.

The Intentional UU is…

  • A Mentoring Program to Deepen Our Connections to First Parish and UU Faith
  • Nine Sundays, 4 to 6pm from March through June 2019
  • Chapel at First Parish
  • Childcare available if needed per request

Nine sessions, each with a different focus, as outlined below.
• Introduction Session
• Covenant Session
• Spirituality Session
• Ethics Session
• Faith Session
• UU Identity Session
• Gifts Discernment I Session
• Gifts Discernment II / Worship Prep Session
• Worship and Program-Review Session

Potential Dates: 3/31; 4/14; 4/21; 4/28; 5/5; 5/12; 5/19; 5/26; 6/2; 6/9; 6/16; 6/23; 6/30
Dates Finalized by/at Introduction Session per facilitator and mentor availability
• IUU: 3/10; (mentor training)

If you are interested in being a participant, a member mentor to participant, or co-leading one of the sessions, or want more information, please contact Dolores at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Participation forms are also available at the Religious Faith Formation Table in the Vestry during Social Hour.


Lenten Luncheon Bible Study  -  Lent begins a forty day journey through the story of Jesus’s ministry of healing and feeding to up until his betrayal and execution, and then the unexpected joy of Easter morning. For some Unitarian Universalists, Lent is not important; while others miss it being part of the church year. And some are just curious what the story and the season are all about. Bring your lunch and join Rev. Ellen for a two part exploration of this story through our Unitarian Universalist perspectives: Sundays March 17 and 24, 12 to 1:30. For more information or to let me know you plan to attend, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 978 256-5555.  - Rev. Ellen


Committee Fair  -  Sunday April 7th after church during social hour in the vestry Church Council is holding our annual committee fair. Any committee/group at church is invited to set up an informational display to let members/friends know what you do / recruit new committee members / volunteers. Bring some nibbles to entice people over to your display. Let new people know what your group does. Coffee / cleanup provided by the Young Adult Group (Thank you Caroline).  Any questions, ask Sandy Johnston.


Pastoral Care Committee to host Estate Planning Seminar Please.  Join us Sunday, April 7th, 12:00 pm in the Chapel. Tyngsboro Attorney, Edward H. Adamsky, will be our keynote speaker. Come join us and learn what an estate plan is and why you need it. Have you thought about why it is important to have a will, power of attorney, health care proxy in place before you get sick? Or, how do I protect my young family, eliminate family misunderstandings, prevent my wealth going to unintended beneficiaries? What planned gift giving (to family, church) is best?

Come educate yourself and give yourself peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected during a difficult time.  Attorney Adamsky, has been in private practice since 1992, and is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He concentrates his practice in Life & Estate Planning & Elder Law.   Attorney Adamsky will give a 45 minute presentation, following with a question and answer session (about 15 minutes). Light snacks will be provided.  Please RSVP to Linda Newhard or stop by the Pastoral Care Committee table at Coffee Hour and sign up.


Stewardship is a Song We All Sing  -  Watch your mail.  The Canvass Letter and Pledge Form for this year’s Stewardship Drive will be mailed to you this week.  You should receive it by Thursday or Friday.  Our 2019 Canvass begins one week from today: Sunday, March 3rd.


it's not too soon to start thinking about the auction  -  Our biggest fundraiser of the year will soon be upon us. The annual auction will take place Saturday, March 30, beginning at 6 PM with an optional wine tasting, posters and silent auction. The live auction starts at 7:30 PM.  What could YOU contribute to be auctioned off to raise money for the church? The silent auction includes quality items (new or gently used) that could become someone else's treasure. Past items have run the gamut: artwork, books, jewelry, toys, crafts, decorative items, etc.

Another popular section at the auction is a bid on an experience, such as a vegetarian meal, language lessons or a fancy tea. These are described on posters and are bid on silently. The donor usually offers the experience to a certain number of bidders, with the places going to the top so many bidders.  And then, there are items in the live auction. In the past, this has included hand-crafted quilts and shawls, breads and quiches, museum memberships, flower delivery, fine wine, home-cooked breakfast delivered to the house, etc.

Want to help in a different way? The organizers could also use people to help set up for the auction and do small jobs during the auction. Helpers are generally needed on Friday and Saturday.

And of course, we need people to come to the auction and bid on the items offered. Prices range from $1 to hundreds, so there are ways for EVERY budget to contribute. Many, many silent auction items are quite a steal! The live auction is fun to watch, with occasional bidding "wars" over unexpected items.

The Auction Table will be in the vestry during social hour. There are sign-up sheets for helpers and donation forms for everyone. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or would like to sign up while you're thinking of it, contact Theresa Popoloski or Jeanette Moreau.  Remember--donations are tax deductible - we will give you a receipt!

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133