First Parish News, December 2018

Hi Everyone, Your generosity continues to amaze me!! As many of you noticed my car was filled to capacity -and higher-with donations for Open Pantry. Dolores organized FPUU youth to carry things to the car, which was awesome. Also, it turns out there is a parishioner who looks at packing a car as a challenge! Good thing. And, there were checks and cash totaling over $1100 !! GRACIAS TO ALL! -- Gail P


Looking for volunteers who would like to do a reading at the 8:00 PM Christmas Eve service. Anyone interested needs to contact Ellen Ford.


Volunteers Needed For Social Hour - Please sign up to do social hour on the bulletin board in the vestry. You can choose to be responsible for set up, clean up, or both. Directions are on the bulletin board. Money is available to buy supplies if the expense is prohibitive. There is often coffee and juice in the kitchen. If you need training, help finding a buddy or two to do it with you, reimbursement for supplies, or have any questions, please contact Edith Murphy.


Lock changed -  Our handicap accessible main entrance on Westford street has a new lock. and all of the exterior door locks (Chapel, Vestry and Back door) will be changed to use the new key by November 30. If you currently have an exterior door key and you are a committee or group chair please contact Cindy Gist (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Walter Cole to replace your key.


Looking for Someone to deliver hot meals on Tuesdays at 5 pm, from the Table of Plenty Kitchen in the Senior Center in N. Chelmsford, to My Father’s House about a mile away on Middlesex St in N. Chelmsford.  My Father's House is a place where young women between the ages of 13 and 21 can find a safe home, continue their education, and learn the skills they need to become capable, loving parents and successful, self-reliant members of the community.  Bonnie Rankin has been doing this for many years and is ready to turn it over to someone else.  Please contact Frans Janssen if you are interested.


Small Group Ministries – a great way to connect: A Small Group consists of 6-10 people that meet once each month either during the day or in the evening to discuss a variety of topics related to living our lives within the context of a Unitarian Universalist community. An experienced facilitator leads the group through a structured discussion... Currently there is room for new members in a Monday evening group. Take some time for yourself. If you’re interested, please contact Carlene Merrill.


Women’s Discussion Group - This year our annual dinner will be on Tuesday, December 4, at 6:30pm at Tavern in the Square located at Cross Point, 900 Chelmsford Street, Lowell. Please RSVP to Sue Sheedy by Sunday, December 2, so we can make a reservation. As always, everyone is welcome.


Making the best use of our limited resources of time and energy, instead of running our traditional Holiday Fair this year First Parish will be a presence at Chelmsford's Holiday Prelude on Sunday December 2nd from 4 to 6 PM.  That presence will consist of selling our world-famous - okay, Chelmsford-famous - Fresh 'N Hot donuts, along with single servings of baked goods and hot cider and cocoa. There will be sign-up sheets at Social Hour throughout November for volunteers to bake, pre-bag the baked goods, do set-up, staff the sales tables, and run the donuts from the kitchen to the outside tables. During the event all of the activity will be taking place outdoors on either side of our main entrance.


Snow Brigade 2019 Winter is with us, and we are looking for volunteers to come to church early on Sunday IF it snowed Saturday night or Sunday morning. We have contracted with a company to plow the parking lot and shovel the walks. The company may come early, so there is a chance of more snow on the walks and steps before church. We need at least 6 people to sign up. This means each person will have 3 Sundays to cover during the winter. More is Less! Please contact Walter Cole if you are willing and able to be a member of the Snow Brigade.  Thank you, Your Building Committee - Ron Cook, Tom Coffey, and Walter Cole


Christmas Dinner at First Parish - Hi everyone- as many of you know, I have traditionally spearheaded a Christmas Day potluck dinner in our vestry on December 25, mid to late afternoon. This year, because I thought Table of Plenty would be serving that day- I made alternate plans. We have since learned ToP is staying at the Sr. Center- so that means dinner at church CAN happen. But I have other plans. Will someone(s) else lead this very special dinner here? I have always cooked the turkey and will cheerfully donate one for someone else to cook – (at home or at church). This is a potluck. We usually have between 15-25 people join us, everyone bringing what matters to them to share at a Christmas dinner. THERE ARE ALWAYS LEFTOVERS and it is a really heartwarming time to share with folks who might otherwise be alone for Christmas dinner. Minimal organization is needed and with so much help, set up and clean up is a breeze. Please talk to me at Social Hour or email me at either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thanks - Cindy


Community Table needs your help! We are at a decision point to continue or disband and focus on other ministries. To continue, we are in need of additional volunteers to form a larger pool of participants from which to draw each month. Join us for the camaraderie, the fulfilling work, and community service hours! What is Community Table? First Parish prepares and serves a meal on the 3rd Saturday of each month. For 25+ years, we have been one of 8 churches and organizations who take turns to feed 50-75 people each Saturday and Sunday throughout the year. We fill the following volunteer spots each month:

• shopping - Friday - (1 person)
• preparing at First Parish- Sat 9 to 11 am (5-6 people)
• pick up desserts at Stop & Shop - Sat morning (1 person)
• serving/cleanup at Salvation Army - Sat noon to 2:15 pm (6-7 people)
• bring leftovers to Lowell transition center - (1 person)
Serving dates for 2018: 12/15
Serving dates for 2019 (if we continue): 1/19, 2/16, 3/16, 4/20, 5/18, 6/15, 7/20, 8/17, 9/21, 10/19, 11/16, 12/14

If you would like more information, have thoughts to share, or would like to be added to our volunteer distribution list, please contact Michelle Hillman

First Parish News, November 2018


Next Sunday, November 4, will be our All Souls Service. If you would like me to read the name of a loved one who passed away in the last year, please let me know and I will do so. You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give it to me next Sunday before the service starts. - Rev.  Ellen


Church Council will meet 7PM Tuesday, November 6th at the church in the parlor.


Locks Changed - Our handicap accessible main entrance on Westford street has a new lock. All of the rest of the exterior door locks (Chapel, Vestry and Back door) will be changed by November 30. If you currently have an exterior door key and you are a committee or group chair please contact Cindy Gist (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Walter Cole to replace your key.


December 9th; 11:30 to 12:30 - Our Whole Lives (OWL) for ADULTS Sexuality Education Program starting in January 2019! Wow, Hmmm, I wonder… Are you interested in a comprehensive educational course about sexuality throughout our (your) whole lives?  Come and join us at an “OWL for Adults” informative Q&A orientation on December 9th from 11:30 to 12:30 in the chapel. The facilitators will be Julie Johnston and Maura Snow.   This program is part of “Lifespan” Religious Faith Formation, for more information please contact Dolores GHeredia-Wood at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


In keeping with the season’s theme of Gratitude some folks at First Parish are once again offering a Walk in the Woods on Thanksgiving morning. If you would like to begin your day of Thanksgiving with a connection to friends and an appreciation of the natural world join us at 9:00 AM at Greenough Conservation land in Carlisle. This is a tradition among several First Parishioners and their dogs that has evolved over the years. The walk is through a lovely – but fairly uneven – terrain and is a little less than three miles long. We share coffee and muffins in the parking lot at the end. If you are interested contact Carla Corey or just show up if you know the routine. Carpooling would be a good idea as we filled the little parking lot one year.  New to First Parish? This is a great opportunity to get to know a few more people in a less crowded venue. Or, if you have been coming for years but are having a hard time meeting some of our newer friends, this is also a good place to connect. Please join us! (It is not necessary to have a dog to come along )

Update:  Thanksgiving morning was very cold, but these 4 hardy First Parish Souls and their dogs still took the walk.  Photo by Paul Buckley:

Buckley 2018 11 11 3108 edited 1


The November meeting of the WDG will take place on Tuesday, November 6th at the home of Judy Perez de Heredia at 7pm. The topic for discussion will be: The most dangerous jobs in the world. Are there any of these jobs that you are attracted to? Will any of these jobs be disappearing in the future? Call or email Judy to RSVP and for more information. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Dear Friends,

We have raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) since Rebecca founded the Team in 2013. Together, and with your generous donations, Team Grad has raised over $100,000 to find a cure. You may be wondering why we haven't yet started our fundraising again this year. Well - we have all been travelling - a lot!

We are continuing to raise funds. Our team page will serve as an ongoing fundraising site through the end of 2018, for you to distribute and contribute to. Please share it with those you know loved Sam. We hope when you give to LLS you know it is a way to carry Sam's beautiful life forward to make the world a better place, one without lymphoma and other cancers.

So, we invite you again to donate to LLS. We thank you for all for your past support and hope this message finds you and your family happy and well.
Please forgive us if you receive more than one email. We just value your support.

https://pages.lightthenight.org/ma/BostonL18/TeamGrad

In gratitude and love,
Debra, Bryan and Rebecca
Relentless for a cure

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133