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.
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.
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!
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.