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.

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

First Parish News, October 2018

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.

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824