First Parish News October 2019

CHURCH COUNCIL: The first meeting of Church Council for the ’19-‘20 church year will be Tuesday, October 1 in the Parlor at 7pm.  All committee Chairs are encouraged to attend to share committee and church news as well as review Faith-in-Action grants.  Please contact Joan Keane with questions or more information. I look forward to sharing a productive year with you. 

HEALING CONVERSATIONS: Once again, Rev. Ellen and the Pastoral Care Team will be offering our grief support group: “Healing Conversations."   The purpose of the group is to create a sacred space to share stories, experiences and emotions around love, loss and grief in a spirit of mutual care and deep listening. Loss can take many different forms and people have participated in “Healing Conversations” for deaths recent and long ago and for other types of losses including divorce, estrangement, and illness. We use readings, ritual, meditation/prayer, video clips, journaling and small group discussion to reflect for ourselves and accompany each other across grief's difficult and unpredictable emotional and spiritual terrain. Based on feedback we received, we are offering “Healing Conversations” as an ongoing group that people can join as needed during the year while maintaining it as a confidential and supportive space.  The group will meet on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, beginning September 23rd, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm upstairs in the High School Room. If you have questions or wish to attend, please contact Rev. Ellen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978 256-5555.

Bedsheets to bandages for Ghana! Saturday 11/09/19 at 1pm  Do you have old bedsheets that you’d like to put to a good use?  Sheila Morehouse, a member of the Meetinghouse Ringers and a pediatrician in Chelmsford, volunteers each year at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana (https://baptistmedicalcenter.org/).  One of the items her group brings with them is bandage wrappings made from old bedsheets.  CFAM will be hosting a Saturday afternoon event on November 9th at 1pm where we will cut up old bedsheets and roll them for use at the hospital in Ghana.  We don’t have the date pinned down quite yet, but we will post it in the weekly announcements soon. If you have any questions, please contact Joan Coyne (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Website Updates and help needed - The website update is going slower than I had hoped.  But since we have some extra time, we would like to get some input from congregation about how they use the website, and what they would like to see added to the website.  We have created a survey to get your feedback, and would really appreciate it if you have a chance to fill this out for us.  You can either fill the survey out online (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L7TDLQN) or we will have paper surveys available at social hour during October.  Stop by and talk to us about what you’d like to see.  
Currently, Eliot Mayer and I are the ones trying to keep the website up to date, but we’d love to have some more help.  We need help with things like posting events, updating committee information, and posting meeting notices and other church updates.  No web experience necessary, we are happy to train you. If you are interested, please come talk to us at the table at social hour, or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR SOCIAL HOUR:  Please sign up to do social hour on the bulletin board in the vestry.  You can choose to be responsible for set up, clean up, or both.  Directions are on the bulletin board.  Money is available to buy supplies if the expense is prohibitive.  There is often coffee and juice in the kitchen.  If you need training, help finding a buddy or two to do it with you, reimbursement for supplies, or have any questions, please contact Edith Murphy.

First Parish Website Privacy Policy

Each year, we reprint our website privacy policy in the Shooting Star as a reminder to the congregation.  Currently, we post information to our website (www.uuchelmsford.org), church Facebook Page(https://www.facebook.com/firstparishuuchurch), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/uuchelmsford).

Using the Internet to publish information about our church, our programs, and our faith is an important part of our outreach into the community. At the same time, we want to make protect the privacy of our members and the safety of our children. If  you have any questions at all about our website policy, (posted online on the website at http://www.uuchelmsford.org/privacy-policy.html)  please contact the  Joan Coyne (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 

Photos and Videos on the church  Facebook Page:

While we don’t have a separate policy for our Facebook page, we ask that members of  the community follow the website policy on Facebook, particularly when it involves children. Please don’t post photos or videos on the First Parish Facebook page containing children other than just your own. 

First Parish Chelmsford's Website Policy:

Names appearing in the church newsletters may be published online without permission. For children, only first names may be published without parental permission.

No telephone number, home address, or email addresses will be published without permission. For children, parental permission is also required.

Personal news such as "Among Ourselves" or "Joys and Concerns" will not be published.

Editorial material will not be published.

Photos of adults at church events may be published in newsletters or on the church website or other church-administered online page, including, but not limited to, the church Facebook page and Twitter account without permission, unless individuals indicate otherwise. Adults who wish to opt out of having their photo used in church materials, may contact the Publicity/Website Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ask to be added to the opt-out list.

Permission of parents/guardians is required to publish photographs of minors, and additional permission is required to publish identification of minors. Parents may specify their wishes each fall on the Religious Education registration forms. Parents of children who are not registered for RE who wish to opt out of having their children's photo used in church materials, please contact the Publicity/Website Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ask to be added to the opt-out list.

These permission policies will be periodically published in the church's printed newsletters, and will be posted on the church website.

Approved on Jan 14, 2003 by the Standing Committee

Revised on May 14, 2013 by the Standing Committee

First Parish News, September 2019

First Parish Potluck Saturday, September 7th, 6 - 8pm Welcome! The Membership Committee & “RE” Faith Formation Council … and friends ask you, your family and friends to please join us! Just come on over and bring your favorite foods to share! We will be providing dishes, utensils, cups and drinks.
Clean-up volunteers are welcome too.  Allergies are everyone’s responsibility! Please remember to be aware and label and read food ingredients. If you have any questions or want to volunteer, please contact:  Dolores~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Guide Dog Retirement - After more than seven years of loyal and loving service, my guide Dog Fave is nearing retirement. That means I am actively searching for Fave’s perfect forever home. If you would like to talk to me about the possibility of welcoming Fave into your life, please feel free to give me a call. Thank you.- Suzanne Wilson


Small Group Ministries – a great way to start the church year:  .A Small Group consists of 6-10 people that meet once a month either during the day or in the evening for about 2 hours to discuss a variety of topics related to living our lives within the context of a Unitarian Universalist community. An experienced facilitator leads the group through a structured discussion. It’s a great way to connect to others. If you’re interested, please contact Carlene Merrill.


HEALING CONVERSATIONS: Once again, Rev. Ellen and the Pastoral Care Team will be offering our grief support group: “Healing Conversations." The purpose of the group is to create a sacred space to share stories, experiences and emotions around love, loss and grief in a spirit of mutual care and deep listening. Loss can take many different forms and people have participated in “Healing Conversations” for deaths recent and long ago and for other types of losses including divorce, estrangement, and illness. We use readings, ritual, meditation/prayer, video clips, journaling and small group discussion to reflect for ourselves and accompany each other across grief's difficult and unpredictable emotional and spiritual terrain. Based on feedback we received, we are offering “Healing Conversations” as an ongoing group that people can join as needed during the year while maintaining it as a confidential and supportive space. The group will meet on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, beginning September 23rd, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm upstairs in the High School Room. If you have questions or wish to attend, please contact Rev. Ellen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978 256-5555.


Website Updates - I will be updating the website over the next couple of weeks. I have already begun updating the content, but the organization and look of the website will be changing (hopefully by our first service). Please be on the lookout for broken links, spelling/grammar mistakes, or outdated content. If you find any, please email the website team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can fix it. If you are a member of a committee, it would be very helpful for us if you would take a look at any pages that have to do with your committee and check to see if they are up to date. I am not always aware of changes that happen, so letting me know what is wrong, and what the correct content should be very helpful. Thanks! Joan Coyne


Calling for Community Table Volunteers - Community Table needs your help! To continue, we need additional volunteers to form a larger pool of participants from which to draw each month. For the past several months, we've been struggling to ensure that there were enough volunteers lined up to complete the necessary tasks. The rewards for joining us? Camaraderie, fulfilling work, gratitude of the people served, and community service hours!

What is Community Table? First Parish prepares and serves a meal on the 3rd Saturday of each month. For 25+ years, we have been one of 8 churches and organizations who take turns to feed 50-75 people each Saturday and Sunday throughout the year. This is a separate group from Table of Plenty, which First Parish also supports. A monthly commitment is not required. The time needed from each month's volunteers depends on the task, as follows:
• shopping - Friday - (1 person) (2-3 hours)
• preparing at First Parish- Sat 9 to 11 am (8 people) (1-2 hours each, partial shifts available)
• pick up desserts at Stop & Shop - Sat morning (1 person) (1 hour)
• serving/cleanup at Salvation Army - Sat noon to 2:15 pm (7 people) (2 1/4 hours each; partial shifts available)
• bring leftovers to Lowell transition center - (1 person) (half hour)

Remaining serving dates for 2019: 9/21, 10/19, 11/16, 12/14

For some time now, the meals have been served at the Salvation Army in Lowell. Not the ideal location, given the organization's history of intolerance with regard to some people. In fact, when Community Table's location was moved because the YMCA could no longer accommodate the meals, people met with the Salvation Army and expressed concern about both proselytizing at meals and the group's history of intolerance. We were assured that our concerns were understood and there have been no problems along those lines. Those who continued to serve with Community Table made the decision that feeding hungry people is the priority and that using the venue that facilitates that does not mean we endorse the views of the organization. We also expected it would provide some necessary interaction between groups with differing views that might do some good. If the opportunity to feed hungry people calls to you, we hope you will join us.

If you would like more information, have thoughts to share, or would like to be added to our volunteer distribution list, please contact Michelle Hillman.

Signups for 2019 dates are here:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0b49a4a62ca2f94-community


 WELCOMING WEEK – SOLIDARITY LOWELL - Cultural Exchange Potluck Picnic, South Common, September 15, 2-5pm.  Please bring a dish to share from your home country.  Rain Location: Eliot Presbyterian Church, 273 Summer Street, Lowell * FREE FOOD * Activities for children * Entertainment from many different cultures.  For more information:  http://facebook.com/solidaritylowell


REMINDER TO ALL COMMITTEES/GROUPS: RESERVE YOUR MEETING SPACE AT CHURCH ASAP PLEASE. Several of you have already contacted us, and THANK YOU! Everyone else …. Please contact Jess Volk (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) AND the office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) (still getting the sexton email address routed correctly) … with your requests. Thanks!

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133