Shooting Star 7/1/2017

Summer Office Hours:

Rev Ellen: email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her private line – 978 256-5555, for her updated message which will include information about how to reach her, or, during her vacation time, who is on call for pastoral emergencies.

Cindy: After June 30, I will be on summer hours and working only 10 hours per week.  I plan to be here Tues/Wed/Thr mornings, (5:30/6ish-7:30/8ish) but since the heat in here rapidly becomes unbearable, anything I CAN do from my airconditioned home, I will do.  If you need to have me present here for office reasons, on a different day or time (before 3pm), just ask.

I will read email a few times daily during the week wherever I am, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and check phone messages when I am in the office. Other than during vacation, I promise I will respond promptly.

Please Remember – I’m not the ‘door opener’ and I don’t have extra keys.  Leila deals with building access/use needs. Her contact info is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978 256 6923.

REIMBURSEMENT REMINDER!  The books close June 30. Please have all reimbursement requests from FY 16/17 turned in by July 1. Beyond that point, any reimbursement will have to come out of the FY 17/18 budget line. Reimbursement forms can be found in the folder on the wall next to the church office, or email the office and request an e-version.  And ….. for those who HAVE reimbursement checks … CASH them? Please??

From the Collector: Please remember, the current fiscal year ends June 30, 2017. Checks received until July 1 will be applied to the 2016/17 fiscal year pledge and those received after applied to 2017/18 - unless otherwise indicated. Please remember to use the memo line on your check, or indicate on the envelope, which fiscal year it applies to! (Pledge or Capital Campaign, would be helpful also.) Thank you! ~Erica Boucher, Collector

The July 4th Breakfast has changed to the July 4th Breakfast & Lunch Cafe

We will be serving breakfast and lunch sandwiches, as well as donuts. We will serve from 7am to 2pm on Tuesday, July 4th.

The dining room will have a smaller seating area as well. The reasons for this change was a lack of volunteers and trying to
eliminate burnout for the people that consistently volunteer for this event.

We will still need people to help set-up the dining room the night before. Positions for July 4th include window person, donut assistant, coffee pourers, and dining room assistant. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer please speak to Rosemary or Caroline McMullin at coffee hour. Email and phone calls work as well.

7/11 - The July meeting of the Women's Discussion Group will be held on Tuesday, July 11, at 6pm at the home of Sue Sheedy in Chelmsford. It is our annual pot luck/pool party so bring a dish to share and your bathing suit! Please call to rsvp and for any further information, 256-5068.

7/21 - Songs of Strength & Solace After some of the hard-hitting anti-war songs we sang last month, this month, in addition to our regular uplifting fare of folks songs, camp songs, spirituals, contemporary classics, and hymns, we’re looking at songs that might be sung at small-town summer evening bandstands. So join us on Friday, July 21, in the vestry (or the chapel -- look for signs!) from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for a splash of old-time Americana favorites! We’ll be taking August off, so bring your voices and bright hearts for some sweet summer singing! For more information, contact Virginia Adams at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ~Virginia Adams & Diane Johns

Is a Small Group Ministry a good idea for you for next fall?

What is it?  A Small Group Ministry consists of groups of 6-10 people within the church community that meet to discuss a variety of topics related to spirituality, values, and living one’s life within the context of a Unitarian Universalist community.  There are five active groups.

How does it work?  Each group is led by a trained facilitator and includes a chalice lighting, a time for check-in, readings on the topic and discussion. There are all men’s groups; all women’s groups and mixed groups.

When do they meet?  Typically once a month for about 2 hours; some meet during the day and some in the evenings.  What do people say about small groups?  ”I've always felt that small group is a great way for newer members to integrate into the congregation. Also, coming to that meeting feels like taking a deep breath in our busy lives. A pause to recharge.”

How do I get more information?  Call or email either Carlene Merrill.

Shooting Star 6/1/2017

Almost time for Summer Services! Our 2017 Summer Services begin on Sunday, June 25th in the chapel. At the end of these announcements there is a list of dates available to lead a summer service. The list is also posted in the vestry. The dates fill up fast, so sign up soon!! There are as many unique topics as we are unique members and friends of First Parish, and we'd love to hear yours!

THERE WILL BE A BUS FOR ANYONE WISHING TO ATTEND JUSTINE’S ORDINATION ON JUNE 11. Cornelia Kirkpatrick is organizing this effort. We are trying to be ecologically minded and considerate of the small Northborough church parking lot. Please let Cornelia know if you want to hop on the bus, by June 4. Either talk to her in person or email her.

Women's Discussion Group June 6 : Dear Friends, The next meeting of the Women's Discussion Group will be at Katherine Canada's home on Tuesday, June 6th at 7 pm. For discussion starters, we'll use a deck of TableTopics, which are designed to promote conversations.  Perhaps the first card pulled will generate all the discussion we need for the evening.  Or, maybe each person will want to pull a different Table Topic card.  There won't be definite rules, but there will be plenty of discussion with a group of great women. Want to know more about TableTopics?  It's not necessary, but for the curious, check out www.TableTopics.com .

All are welcome.  Please email or call Katherine to RSVP.  If you need directions or instructions on where to park, please contact Katherine.  Look forward to seeing you in June,  Katherine

Our split-the -plate for June 18th is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. founded the SPLC in 1971 to ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since then, the SPLC has won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten. The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality

Sunday 6/18 - A little bit of GA right here in Chelmsford – On June 18th at 11:30, CFAM will be sponsoring lunch and a mock GA discussion on the topics that candidates that will be voting on at GA. Let your delegates know what you think of the proposed topics.

This year we will be discussing:

  • UUA Presidential Election
  • Debate and vote on adopting a Statement of Conscience Escating Inequality
  • Debate and vote on proposed Business Resolutions - Changes to the 1st
  • Principle (changing “every person” to ‘every being” ) and the 2nd
  • Source (changing  “prophetic men and women” to “prophetic people”)

What is a Statement of Conscience? Remember that Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) that we voted on last year (It was the Corruption of our Democracy in case you don’t remember)? Well, in 2014,
the CSAI that was chosen was Escalating Inequality. After 3 years of congregation study it is time to vote on what the UUA's official position on Escalating Inequality should be. The rest of the items on the agenda are not social justice related, but as a member congregation of the UUA, we should exercise our right to
vote on these issues.

Only 4 members of First Parish can vote at GA, but your delegates want to know what you think about these issues. We will try to run this like Plenary at GA, so join us to see how well we can execute Robert's Rules of Order. Who knows, spontaneous dancing could even break out. It's happened at GA, so why not here?

Join us for food, fun and social justice!        And there will be lunch.
For more information, contact Joan Coyne.

SIGN UP FOR BOSTON PRIDE PARADE The Welcomi ng Congregation Committee will be tabling through  June for people to sign up to march in our contingent at the Pride Parade. The Parade will be held on Saturday June 10. Our two marshals are Warren Flewellen and Cheryl Wilson. We plan to carpool from the church to the T.

6/16 - Songs of Strength & Solace (location change) ~ We sang all winter and spring for the return of light and we have it (along with quite a bit of rain, but that's OK).  We are happy to be able to offer our next sing-along on Friday, June 16th !   As usual, we will be singing folk songs and hymns, spirituals and camp songs, songs of the people in good times and bad. Since July 4th will be coming up right around then, we may include some uplifting favorites, as well as some laments.   We will meet in the chapel , from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Bring instruments if you’d like, and get ready to let music brighten your heart …!  For more information, contact Virginia Adams   ~Virginia Adams & Diane Johns

WELCOMING CONGREGATION COMMITTEE IS LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD PEOPLE....

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our recognition as a Welcoming Congregation. The UUA recommends that churches who have been Welcoming for more than five years apply for renewal of the Welcoming Congregation designation. This recommendation is made because there are constant changes in both the LGBTQ+ community and in congregations. In fact, since this church went through the process to become Welcoming the acronym has changed and people have joined us who may not have heard about what our commitment to being Welcoming means.

The Standing Committee has empowered the Welcoming Congregation Committee to form a Team to review how we have lived out our commitment so far and what we could do to be more Welcoming. The Team should be composed of a cross-section representing young, old, new, and long-time, gay, and heterosexual congregational members. It is expected to take 6 to 8 meetings to complete the work of the Team, which will probably begin in the fall.  If you would be interested in serving  on the Team, please talk to Warren Flewellen or Dee Halzack.

Looking for Housing - Two young classical musicians/student-teachers looking for a place to live in the Chelmsford vicinity beginning in August. Non-smokers. No pets. Please contact Erika Taylor if you have a spare in-law apartment to rent.

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133