Rev. Ellen’s Schedule Change  -  I am switching my schedule for this coming year. I will be in (or around) the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with Monday afternoons being our staff meeting. Thursdays will be my sermon writing day and Fridays my day off.

Church Office Hours  -  Since Ellen is adjusting her schedule, I will be doing the same a little bit.   Mondays I will be in from 9:30-2:30 (staff meeting is 1:30-2:30) .  Tue-Fri approximately 7am-12noon.  This week (Sept 28-Oct 5) I will be out of town.  I’ll still do some remote church work (getting really good at that) but I won’t be back in the office til late Friday the 5th. - Cindy

 ABP Update -
As we start the new church year, it is great to show off our new building and fantastic how excited everyone is about it. We are getting down to the end of the project, enclosed is a summary. Please reach out to an ABP team member if you have any comments or questions.

1. Elevator. The install started this past Wednesday. It takes a total of 10-14 days to complete the installation, so should be done early October. Then we will have to schedule state inspection before we can go operational with the elevator. Dates TBD.
2. Fire sprinklers. The holes were cut yesterday (Monday) into the sanctuary ceiling. We are waiting for special sprinkler heads to be delivered for the sanctuary, then they will be installed. The complete system will have to be inspected and then go operational, likely in October. All other installation is completed. We ended up installing 2,700 linear feet of pipe for the sprinkler system. Wow!
3. Doors. We are waiting for several doors on back order, most should come in this week.
4. Painting and flooring. Painting should wrap up early next week, there will be some touch ups needed. Hallway rugs won’t be installed until after the elevator is installed.
5. Bathrooms. First floor BRs completely installed an functional. Second floor BRs will have electrical finished this week and door knobs installed this week and then be fully operational.
6. Vestry and kitchen ceilings. Probably won’t get to those until next week.
7. Punch list. There will be lots of loose ends still to be completed; e.g. paint touch up. This will take place over the few weeks.

Church Council  -  Mark your calendar now for Church Council meetings, 7pm, first Tuesday of the month on October 2, November 6,(election day), February 5, April 2, June 4. Location to be announced. We meet only 5 times a year for an hour to an hour and a half. ALL COMMITTEE CHAIRS are urged to attend or send a rep as our meetings are important in communicating information and church updates. ALL COMMITTEES should email Sandy with the name of their 2018-2019 chairperson / contact person (cc Cindy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so you will receive an agenda before each meeting. ALSO please email both Sandy and Cindy your committee report 5-7 days before each meeting. ChUrch CoUncil works best when U communicate and attend :)

Our Split the Plate organization for October is the Renaissance Club which is a non-profit organization offering vocational and social opportunities to about 150 adults recovering from mental illness in the Greater Lowell area The Renaissance Club has been serving the community for over 50 years using the clubhouse model to support members’ recovery. The clubhouse is a supportive community where members can form lasting relationships and enhance their occupational skills. The clubhouse relies on the voluntary participation of its members to complete daily operations. Members and staff work side by side to accomplish the goals of clubhouse. Working on daily clubhouse tasks provides members the possibility to increase confidence and learn new skills. 

 Community Teamwork  -  The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc (GLCAC) in Lawrence is processing the claims for the 8900 victims of the gas explosions in Lawrence and Andover. They are looking for volunteers to help with intake for these people over the next two weeks and CTI has offered to help. If you are interested in volunteering, you can click on the link enclosed below to sign up. They need the most help in Lawrence.

A couple of things to note about how it works:
-It is designed to allow one person to sign up at a time
-Each person you are sending to GLCAC needs to sign up separately
-It is a two step process: first you indicate the day and place you will be helping and then, on the next screen, you fill in more information like your agency name and cell phone number
-You will get a confirmation email as well

Community Education at Dracut’s Old Yellow Meeting House: Come to free events, open to the public
A series of lectures on a wide range of topics designed to educate attendees on topics relevant to families. Understanding Addiction, Addressing the Problem - FREE Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7:00PM 10 Arlington Street, Dracut, MA

This is a free, public event for those seeking to learn more about the current addiction crisis in the area, including the Opioid Crisis. The panelists will discuss answers to questions like: What is addiction and why does it happen? How does it impact our families and communities? What are the public health and safety concerns regarding addiction? How can you support recovery in the community? And where to go for help. Bring others who are interested. Bring questions for the Q&A following the panel discussion.
All are welcome!

 Young Adults will meet Oct 28 at 12pm, location to be announced. The Young Adults is a group for 18 to 35 (per the UUA) to gather together as a support through the many phases that age range encompasses. WE will be meditating and creating story journals. IF you have any questions, please see Caroline McMullin at social hour or email.

Rev. Ellen’s Schedule Change - I am switching my schedule for this coming year. I will be in (or around) the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with Monday mornings being our staff meeting. Thursdays will be my sermon writing day and Fridays my day off.

Annual Reports - A reminder for all committee chair folk, officers, staff, I need an annual report for FY 17/18 as soon as you can get it to me but definitely by September 16. Thanks! -Cindy

Holiday Prelude - Sunday, September 23rd, 11:15 AM to noon - location TBD - Brainstorming Session for Holiday Prelude 2018.  In 2017 we rolled out the new version of our Holiday Fair piggybacking on to Chelmsford's Holiday Prelude held on the first Sunday of December. We did well for such a big change with not a lot of prep time. This year we'll build on that new experience while trying to recapture the wonderful First Parish community spirit that was so integral to our Holiday Fairs of the past. You are invited to join us to share ideas as we begin planning for December 2nd's Event. If you cannot make the meeting but would like to contribute your thoughts, please email ahead of time or talk to me during Social Hour. Thanks, hope to see you there! - Carla Corey

Our split-the-plate organization for September is the Wish Project. The Wish Project’s mission is to help families in need establish long-term residency by providing furniture, household goods, clothing, and shoes; to provide critical immediate assistance to homeless families; and victims of fire or disaster; and to support the community. The Wish Project fulfills requests from social workers at their partner agencies on behalf of their clients, truly needy or homeless people. They accept donations of the most requested items: mattresses and box springs, bed linens, kitchen tables and chairs and basic furniture. They also appreciate monetary donations to help with the cost of a new, larger warehouse they just moved in to, office costs and to purchase needed items which are not donated. The Wish Project is located in North Chelmsford and serves the entire Merrimack Valley.

Healing Conversations - Are you wrestling with loss that was recent or even in the past? Grief takes many forms and is not a process that is always comfortable to do alone. Together, we will share our stories, explore the experience and emotions of grief, and offer each other a supportive circle of listening and healing in six sessions facilitated by Rev. Ellen and Kathy Deschenes of the Pastoral Care Team. We will hold sessions on Thursday nights starting on 9/27 from 7 - 8:30 pm If you are interested please let Rev. Ellen know by September 20th at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978 256-5555.

Calendar Scheduling - Leila and I are still in the process of learning exactly what the shape of available space is going to be - but we STILL NEED TO KNOW WHEN YOU WANT TO MEET . ASAP, or sooner.   What will be most helpful to us is knowing:

When? Start and end time as well as once a month? every week? or whatever the interval is.
How many (on average) people in your group?

We will assign you a space based on this information and then negotiations may begin! We just have to get settled into our new building and find out how we are going to accommodate everyone as best we can.

The calendar in our emailed newsletter was our best guess so far. If there isn’t a space assigned yet, it’s because we are waiting to see who else wants to be in the building right now - so please get your requests in soon!  Thanks – Cindy & Leila