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

Rev. Ellen's Summer Schedule and Contact Information:  Even without the building renovation project and the lack of an office, I generally don’t hold office hours in the summer. When I am in town, I am available as needed and you can contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or my cell phone. I will be away July 7 through July 14 and July 28 through August 11. Coverage information will be available on my office phone voicemail, 978-256-5555.  Have a great summer!  Rev. Ellen

Church Office Hours:  July and early August: I work a summer schedule of 10 hours per week (on vacation, Aug 4-18 with a couple of long weekends before that), coming to the church only early mornings once or twice a week and reading email etc at home. Call or text me first if you want to be sure I am at church.  Late August into the new church year … I will be increasing my working hours back to 30/wk, and working… somewhere…that all depends on when the new office is set up and ready  - Cindy

Community Table needs your help! We have been serving the community for more than 20 years by preparing and serving an American Chop Suey dinner with fixings. We are seeking new volunteers to help once a month. Upcoming serving dates are Sat. 8/18, 9/15, 10/20. Time commitment can be short, but is oh so appreciated. Great for middle and high schoolers! Tasks are:
Friday - 1 person - SHOP for food/supplies and deliver to the FP kitchen
Fri/Sat - 1 person - BAKERY DONATIONS - Call Shop & Stop Friday and pickup Saturday morning and deliver to Salvation Army
Sat 9am - 6-8 people - CHOP/COOK - Help prepare salad & Chop Suey at First Parish. About a 1.5 hr task
Sat 12-2:15 - 6 people - SERVE - setup, serve meal, clean up at Salvation Army
If interested or need additional info, please contact Michelle Hillman.  Community Table email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Especially need help on 8/18.

 Healing Circle  -  Do you ever feel that you need some positive energy to help you or a loved one through a difficult time? The Healing Circle is made up of folks from your caring church community who hold you and yours in loving and healing thoughts during health (or any sort of) crises. Some of us pray, some of us meditate, some of us close our eyes and imagine sending peace and health. If you would like to be a part of our circle (we need you!) and/or need some healing energy, please reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call coordinator Kathy Deschenes.

 The next Newsletter Deadline will be August 26.