Online Service Information - Please sign up on our event list to receive a ZOOM link each week to our Sunday Services at http://uuchelmsford.org/lists.  Once you have submitted your request you will receive, and need to respond to, a confirmation request. Rev. Ellen will send the link before the following Sunday. Note that sometimes these emails are considered junk by your email provider so be sure to look in that folder too!

Recordings of our virtual church services (starting with Sunday, March 22) are available on the church website, on the same page where all of our sermon recordings are generally available (you can use the menus to get to previous years' recordings):  http://www.uuchelmsford.org/worship/current-sermons.html

The audio for the most recent available sermon is available directly on that page, and the sermon list below gives you access to other sermons and other formats.

For any service that gets recorded, there is always an audio recording, which will usually be just the sermon portion of the service. For the virtual ("pajama church") services, we should be able to provide a video of the entire service for anyone that missed it (3/22 is available, I am currently waiting to process 3/29).

For the more technically inclined - the sermons are also available as a podcast using this URL:
http://www.uuchelmsford.org/index.php?option=com_sermonspeaker&view=feed&format=raw&series_cat=55

If anyone has technical difficulties accessing the recordings, please feel free to contact me.

Dave Kaffine


 A new way to Donate!  -  We now have a Donate button on our webpage! This will allow those attending our on-line services (or anyone!) to easily make a donation to First Parish. All donations made with the Donate button will be applied to contributors' 2019-2020 pledges. Donations from folks who did not make a 2019-2020 pledge will be recorded as "Known Donor" contributions.

We are still happy to process checks that come to us in the mail, either from you or from your bank. We are aware that this is a stressful time. This is simply information for those who are able to contribute, and not an added pressure.

Although this is well-understood and reliable technology, it is new to us as a church community, and there may be a few bumps. Please let Brenda Rogers know if you have any problems, concerns or questions.  Special thanks to Joan Coyne and Neil Harmon for helping us get this implemented so quickly!

Thank you for all the ways you support each other, and our beautiful First Parish Community.

~ Brenda Rogers (Standing Committee Chair), Carla Corey (Collector), Diana Keohane (Treasurer)


 


Music Committee is recruiting new members. We meet at 8:00 am at the Java Room, once per month. We are meeting this Sunday, March 1st. Come join us for lots of fun and to get involved in the Music Program at First Parish.


FY 21 Budget Hearing - Believe it or not, our next fiscal year is around the corner! The first draft of next year’s budget is ready for your review. Copies of the budget will be available in the Chapel on Sunday, March 1, at 11:30. I will present a brief overview and answer any questions you might have as you take a first look at our budget.

Respectfully, Diana Keohane, Treasurer


Lenten Online Retreat - Unitarian Universalist minister Clarke Dewey Wells wrote, in his 1975 Lenten Manual, The Strangeness of this Business, "I think the liturgical tradition of Lent is a gift, a garment for storm, survival apparel. Our individual dyings and becomings are given a voice, wisdom, companionship in a story and a heritage larger than the isolation and pain of our unconnected selves. We don't have to be 'religious' or 'Christian' to enter into Lent, only human. Since we're all in the club, I invite you to join me in traversing this season of faith, self-examination, and hope." In this busy and anxious world, taking a season to pause in the way Rev. Wells describes might feel like a welcome invitation. I would like to invite those interested in joining me an experiment of an online retreat. We will begin with an in-person simple meal of soup and bread on February 26, Ash Wednesday, at 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the chapel. Each week, I will send out via email a set of daily readings for a personal contemplative practice through Easter. It is that simple. You can work the practice around your schedule. If you are interested, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. -- Rev. Ellen


Chamber Music Concert - March 14, 4pm. Chamber music concertwith the music of Prokofiev, Jacques Ibert, Franz Danzi, Thomas Moore, Edward Weatherly, and more. Performers: Henry and Janice Tervo, Carsten Kowalczyk, Angela Tseng, Claire Rindenello, Mike Jacobs, Marc Sevigny, Alan Ventura, and Steve Zocchi. Saturday, March 14th 2020 4:00pm here at First Parish Chelmsford. Suggested donation $15 adults; $12 seniors; $8 children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit First Parish.


Auction - Time 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 28, beginning at 6 PM with an optional wine tasting, posters and silent bids. The live auction starts at 7:30 PM.

What could YOU contribute to raise money for the church? The silent auction includes quality items, new or gently used. Past donations have run the gamut: artwork, books, jewelry, toys, crafts, decorative items, tools, etc.  Another popular section is a bid on an experience, such as a vegetarian meal, day trip, 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 is the live auction. In the past, this has included quilts and shawls, breads and quiches, museum memberships, small furniture, flower delivery, fine wine, meals delivered to your house, etc.

Want to help in a different way? The organizers can always use people to help set up for and do small jobs during the auction. Helpers are needed on Friday evening and Saturday.
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! And 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, you can contact one of the organizers, Theresa Popoloski or Jeanette Moreau.

Remember--donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE--we will give you a receipt!


Healing Conversations -  In keeping with the commitment in our First Parish covenant to care and be present to one another in our joys and sorrows, Rev. Ellen and the Pastoral Care Team offer this grief and loss group on the second and fourth Mondays of each month to nurture and hold 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 those years ago as well as for other losses like divorce, estrangement from family, and living with illness. We use readings, ritual, meditation/prayer, video clips, journaling and small group discussions to reflect for ourselves and accompany each other across grief's difficult terrains. Healing Conversations is an ongoing group that folks in our First Parish community can join during the year, while maintaining it as a confidential and supportive space. We meet from 7 pm to 8:30 pm, upstairs in the High School room. If you have any 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..


General Assembly is back in Rhode Island - GA 2020 will be held in Providence June 24 - June 28th, and we would love to have a big First Parish presence this year. GA is the annual meeting of all UUA congregations. The theme for this year, which coincides with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing at Plymouth is “Rooted, Inspired, & Ready”, examining the role of our ancestors in the colonization of the US, and how we can work as a faith community as a whole to embrace values of justice and liberation. Each congregation is allotted a number of voting delegates based on the size of the congregation. First Parish has 4 delegates who will be able to vote in the General Sessions, but anyone can take part in the workshops and other events during GA. Registration for housing at GA starts soon. We do have money set aside to help defray the costs of GA. If you are interested have questions, please contact Joan Coyne or Caroline Snow.