First Parish News, June 2019

Calling All Prayer Shawls!  - We are nearing the end of the church year and are doing one more prayer shawl blessing at our last service in June. If you have any, please give them to Rev. Ellen or Kathy Deschenes. ALSO: Kathy has a ton of donated yarn for your summer prayer shawl creations. Come and see her at the Pastoral Care table at social hour OR email her. Thank you for all your do for you fellow parishioners.


Grounds Committee needs help on the weekend of June 15. Martha has a variety of projects that require several people. She will list details prior to the weekend. Thank you!!


Church Council - Final meeting until fall is Tuesday, June 4, 7PM in the Parlor.


The Women’s Discussion Group will meet at the home of Dorit Lammers in Chelmsford on June 4th at 7 PM. Our topic : The influence of nature on the human psyche.  Please call Dorit if you plan to attend; if possible, no later than Sunday, June 2nd. All, who are interested in our topic are welcome!


Earth Friendship Day - Sunday, June 2nd from 10:00am to 1:00 pm First Parish UU Church of Chelmsford Earth Friendship Day!  Jollene Dubner Park Spruce-up/Clean up It’s a great fun way to show we care for the Interdependent Web of all Life!  Everyone is invited to the First Parish spruce up/clean-up day at Jollene Dubner Park* in Lowell anytime between 10:00 am & 1:00 pm.

RE Faith Formation coordinating a fieldtrip for FPC youth to be there at 10 am for Earth Friendship Day instead of Friendship Field Day.  We have clean-up tools on hand, but you are welcome to bring your own.  It’s a lovely place for a brown bag lunch for a picnic afterwards, and we provide extra snacks.  No need to sign up. Just show up and take this opportunity to show your love for our earth, our children, our future!

Please come lend a hand in this yearly First Parish UU of Chelmsford tradition, to care for this little jewel on the Concord River, the park is named after a deceased member of First Parish who was also a founding member of the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust. It is located at the corner of Rogers and Merrill Streets in Lowell on the Concord River.

http://www.lowelllandtrust.org/content/jollene-dubner-park

Address: 36 Merrill Street, Lowell MA At the corner of Rogers Street and Merrill Street

Directions:  Take MA-129 E, Riverneck Rd and Gorham St to Andrews St in Lowell; Turn left onto Andrews St; Turn left onto Lawrence St; Turn right onto Merrill St:

Parking: Parking is located along Merrill Street.

Access: The park is easily accessed from Rogers or Merrill Street. The pathways are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. No motorized vehicles are allowed; only passive recreational activities are permitted.

Carpooling: If you are interested in carpooling please contact Dolores or meet at church at 9:30am.


Almost time for Summer Services!   Our 2019 Summer Services begin on Sunday, June 23rd and there’s only ONE SPOT LEFT (Sept 1) There are as many unique topics and voices as we are unique members and friends of First Parish, and we'd love to hear yours! The Worship Committee is happy to help you with planning a Summer Service, and can provide you with the welcome and announcements "script" and an order of service to use as a guide. You can use your own music, or we can help point you in the direction of musicians who may be willing to participate in your Summer Service.

If you have been considering doing a Summer Service, this is the year to do it! Please feel free to contact Ami Hughes and/or the Worship Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions you may have about what is involved in leading a Summer Service. To our musicians; if you are available to provide music for a Summer Service (or two!), please let us know. Below are the dates of the Summer Services- dates that have a line through them have already been taken as of May 1, so please make sure you check the sign-up sheet!

June 23 -Dolores (intentional UU) August 4 – Ami Hughes
June 30 - Doug Aker August 11 – Pam & Milo
July 7 - Brenda Rogers August 18- Dianne Wright
July 14 – Jim Curley August 25 – Teri Ralbovski
July 21 – Neil Harmon September 1 - ??
July 28 – Carla Corey

- The Worship Committee: Jayne Boissonneault-Chair, Ellen Ford, Ami Hughes, Colleen Leary, Bonnie Rankin, and Edith Murphy-Usher Liaison.


Annual Reports – Due June 2.


Dedication Video - Just in case you missed it – here is a video presentation of our new building dedication ceremony created by Tom Christiano - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCRW0as7yjc&t=1ss.

First Parish News, May 2019

From the Chair of the Standing Committee

It’s astonishing to look back over the 30 years I’ve been part of this church. There has been so much transformation. Just to name a few things that are different now from when I started (in no particular order):

1. We’ve got a chalice.
2. As we begin our Sunday services, we light the chalice and speak to one another from the heart about what is most important to each of us.
3. We have a covenant.
4. We’ve had our first (and second!) female ministers in the over than 350 year history of the church.
5. We have a professional church administrator.
6. We have a professional Director of Life Span Faith Formation (Religious Education).
7. We are a Welcoming Congregation.
8. We’ve become a church that nurtures and educates new ministers.
9. We have a bell choir, as well as four voice choirs for all ages, and the UU School of Rock
10. We have the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program for teens and, new this year, for adults.
11. We have a Coming of Age program for our youth.
12. We have the tradition of intergenerational service trips for the youth and adults
13. We pay our dues to our larger Unitarian Universalist Association.
14. We added an elevator.
15. And now we’ve added a brand new self-service elevator, accessible bathrooms upstairs and down; and a real accessible entrance!

All this – and so much more.

This has happened because of the love and commitment that lives on in this congregation.
We are not a faint-hearted community.

So far this year, we have about $277,000 pledged for the coming year toward a goal of $299,000 to continue to live into our covenant and support the life and work and ministry of our community. As Doug says, that’s as if we wanted to raise $14, and we have $13 – we are so close.
Almost everyone we hoped would pledge has pledged, and we are still a little shy.

So – if you can – please consider increasing your pledge just a little bit more to get us over the top as we continue the amazing work we do together toward personal, community, and yes – even world – transformation.

Thanks so much.
In Peace and Gratitude.
--Brenda Rogers


Community Table prepared and served our April meal on 4/20. A big shout-out to the following people who made it happen: Diana Keohane, Gail, Mike, and Marissa Burati, Beth Benoit, Dee Halzak, Ruth, Jonathan, Andrew, and Julia Whalen-Crockett, Sawyer Dunn-Morgan, and Nancy Kaelin. We volunteer on the 3rd Saturday of each month. If you'd like to know more, or be added to our mailing list, please contact Michelle Hillman.


The next meeting of the Women's Discussion Group will be on May 7th at 7:00 pm at the home of Uta Musgray. Our topic is going to be "The English Language". We are always welcoming anyone who is interested in learning what we are all about. For more information on this meeting, call Uta.


ABP Finance Discussion May 19th at 1130am - There will be an important discussion about the ABP finance status after worship service at 1130am in the Chapel. Standing Committee and the ABP Leadership Team invites you to attend. Agenda:

Update on ABP costs.
Review of possible loan payments options.
Discussion on the possibility of withdrawing another $25-30K from the endowment to pay for the actual costs of the fire sprinkler installation.


Mother's Day Walk for Peace - We have a few First Parish folks signed up to walk this year. If you would like to sponsor them you may do so at https://lbdpeace.z2systems.com/fpchelmsford.  You can find information on the walk itself at http://ldbpeaceinstitute.org/. Thank you for your consideration! - Team First Parish Chelmsford


Almost time for Summer Services!  - Our 2019 Summer Services begin on Sunday, June 23rd. The sign-up sheet has been posted in the vestry next to the kitchen window-dates fill up fast so sign up soon!! There are as many unique topics and voices as we are unique members and friends of First Parish, and we'd love to hear yours! The Worship Committee is happy to help you with planning a Summer Service, and can provide you with the welcome and announcements "script" and an order of service to use as a guide. You can use your own music, or we can help point you in the direction of musicians who may be willing to participate in your Summer Service.

If you have been considering doing a Summer Service, this is the year to do it! Please feel free to contact Ami Hughes and/or the Worship Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions you may have about what is involved in leading a Summer Service. To our musicians; if you are available to provide music for a Summer Service (or two!), please let us know.  Below are the dates of the Summer Services-some of these dates have already been taken so please make sure you check the sign-up sheet!

June 23rd June 30th July 7th July 14th July 21st July 28th
August 4th August 11th August 18th August 25th Sept 1st

We are looking forward to hearing from you!
---The Worship Committee: Jayne Boissonneault-Chair, Ellen Ford, Ami Hughes, Colleen Leary, Bonnie Rankin, and Edith Murphy-Usher Liaison.


Hey Everybody, it's time for Pride! This year the Welcoming Congregation Committee is preparing to participate in the 4th Annual Lowell Pride Parade and Festival. The parade starts Saturday, June 1st at Noon, and we will have a float!   Here are ways you can participate:
Join us for the parade! You can walk or ride the float! You will get one of our special rainbow tie-dyed Pride t-shirts!
Help build the float! There will be work parties on Saturday, May 11, 18, and 25.
Help us table at the festival! We need people to share that our church is a Welcoming and Affirming place for everyone!
We need one or two special people to be DJs for the float during the parade! We will have all the equipment, but we are looking for a couple of people to be our float DJs!

We hope many of you can join us for this special event! Please check with us downstairs in the Vestry during Coffee Hour for more information. Many thanks from the WCC!


 Open House - 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 pride 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!

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133