First Parish News, March 2019

Intentional UU Program - This Spring, Sundays 4-6 pm at First Parish

The intentional UU gives adults to have an in-depth exploration of Unitarian Universalist and what it means to be a UU in First Parish of Chelmsford!  This important program has resulted in many meaningful connections and is now part of Lifespan Faith Formation. We are offering the program this spring 2019 and inviting members who want to explore what it means to be a Unitarian-Universalist at First Parish of Chelmsford, through group activities and one-on-one discussions with a long-time member/mentor.

The Intentional UU is…

  • A Mentoring Program to Deepen Our Connections to First Parish and UU Faith
  • Nine Sundays, 4 to 6pm from March through June 2019
  • Chapel at First Parish
  • Childcare available if needed per request

Nine sessions, each with a different focus, as outlined below.
• Introduction Session
• Covenant Session
• Spirituality Session
• Ethics Session
• Faith Session
• UU Identity Session
• Gifts Discernment I Session
• Gifts Discernment II / Worship Prep Session
• Worship and Program-Review Session

Potential Dates: 3/31; 4/14; 4/21; 4/28; 5/5; 5/12; 5/19; 5/26; 6/2; 6/9; 6/16; 6/23; 6/30
Dates Finalized by/at Introduction Session per facilitator and mentor availability
• IUU: 3/10; (mentor training)

If you are interested in being a participant, a member mentor to participant, or co-leading one of the sessions, or want more information, please contact Dolores at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Participation forms are also available at the Religious Faith Formation Table in the Vestry during Social Hour.

Lenten Luncheon Bible Study  -  Lent begins a forty day journey through the story of Jesus’s ministry of healing and feeding to up until his betrayal and execution, and then the unexpected joy of Easter morning. For some Unitarian Universalists, Lent is not important; while others miss it being part of the church year. And some are just curious what the story and the season are all about. Bring your lunch and join Rev. Ellen for a two part exploration of this story through our Unitarian Universalist perspectives: Sundays March 17 and 24, 12 to 1:30. For more information or to let me know you plan to attend, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 978 256-5555.  - Rev. Ellen

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.

Pastoral Care Committee to host Estate Planning Seminar Please.  Join us Sunday, April 7th, 12:00 pm 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.

Stewardship is a Song We All Sing  -  Watch your mail.  The Canvass Letter and Pledge Form for this year’s Stewardship Drive will be mailed to you this week.  You should receive it by Thursday or Friday.  Our 2019 Canvass begins one week from today: Sunday, March 3rd.

it's not too soon to start thinking about the auction  -  Our biggest fundraiser of the year will soon be upon us. The annual auction will take place Saturday, March 30, beginning at 6 PM with an optional wine tasting, posters and silent auction. The live auction starts at 7:30 PM.  What could YOU contribute to be auctioned off to raise money for the church? The silent auction includes quality items (new or gently used) that could become someone else's treasure. Past items have run the gamut: artwork, books, jewelry, toys, crafts, decorative items, etc.

Another popular section at the auction is a bid on an experience, such as a vegetarian meal, language lessons or a fancy tea. These are described on posters and are bid on silently. The donor usually offers the experience to a certain number of bidders, with the places going to the top so many bidders.  And then, there are items in the live auction. In the past, this has included hand-crafted quilts and shawls, breads and quiches, museum memberships, flower delivery, fine wine, home-cooked breakfast delivered to the house, etc.

Want to help in a different way? The organizers could also use people to help set up for the auction and do small jobs during the auction. Helpers are generally needed on Friday and Saturday.

And of course, we need people to come to the auction and bid on the items offered. Prices range from $1 to hundreds, so there are ways for EVERY budget to contribute. Many, many silent auction items are quite a steal! The live auction is fun to watch, with occasional bidding "wars" over unexpected items.

The Auction Table will be in the vestry during social hour. There are sign-up sheets for helpers and donation forms for everyone. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or would like to sign up while you're thinking of it, contact Theresa Popoloski or Jeanette Moreau.  Remember--donations are tax deductible - we will give you a receipt!

First Parish News, February 2019

Notes from the Standing Committee:

Dear All,

Here we are (already!) at the mid point of the church year. It seems a good time to reflect on how the year is going so far, and what's ahead for the rest of the year.

Surely the biggest thing for us as a community the first half of the year is the wrapping up of the ABP, (Accessible Building Project) including final installation and inspection of the elevator, as well as getting to a point where the nursery school that operates in the building is open and functioning again. Hooray!

Today, Sunday Jan 27, we just had an update to the congregation after church about the status of the APB. Tom Coffey and Dave Kaffine gave us an overview. There are a few loose ends, of course, but -- things are essentially complete, and most of the bills have been received. There was a lot of good feeling in the room as people contemplated the what and the how and the why of the successful completion of this amazing project.

Next up for the standing committee and the community is to pause, take a breath, and relax into our new space. Over the next year or so, we will be considering how to continue to live into our covenant, in particular, how to continue to grow our Accessibility and Openness.

But for now -- let's just pause and enjoy our newly configured space and reflect on how we together made this wonderful thing happen. Imagine, that now -- anyone can get into our building and up to share worship with us -- unimpeded! It's a beautiful thing.

Planning is underway for a day of celebration and dedication of the new space. Saturday MAY 4! Mark the day!

We can't end this update without an acknowledgement of the contributions of Carole Russell to this project, and to this church. Carole has stepped down from her service as Standing Committee chair to attend to her health. Carole, we thank you, we love you, and we will miss you on the committee. Take good care.

That's all for now. When you see us around church, please let us know what's on your mind and in your heart about First Parish.


Brenda Rogers Tom Coffey, Jim Curley, Gail Burati, Sandy Johnston, Neil Harmon, Elizabeth Valentine, and Edith Murphy

Church Council will meet 7pm Tuesday February 5th at the church. Please email your committee report to our mailing list a few days prior to meeting. Sandy Johnston, Chairperson.

Young Adults (18-35 years) Mini-Conference:  “Stages not Ages” brainstorming : YA’s 18-35? Sunday, February 10th from 12 to 1:30 in the chapel after the Ice Cream Social Hour.  We’ll be doing fun activities to figure out the future of YA’s, now.  Contact Caroline McMullin (YA Chair) or Dolores~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The February Women's Discussion Group will be at 2 PM on Sunday, February 17th at Katherine Canada's home.  It will be Sunday afternoon at the movies, with popcorn and other movie theater treats. We will watch the "In the Bag" documentary about women and their handbags.  Please RSVP by Thursday, Feburary 14th to Katherine Canada.

 “Family and Friends Community CPR” will be held at the Chelmsford Public Library, 25 Boston Road, on Feb. 20 at 6:00pm. This course is for people who do not need a course completion card for a job or other requirements. Family & Friends CPR is ideal for community groups, parents grandparents, caregivers, schools, students, and others interested in learning how to save a life. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED to ensure an adequate number of instructors. Please contact the Board of Health by February 8th if interested in attending.  Contact: Amanda Glaser, Health Educator. Tel: (978) 244-3328, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 2019 Auction is coming! Mark your calendars for March 30th for an evening of laughter, bidding, and treasures galore! More information to follow soon. Questions?  Contact Jeanette Moreau or Theresa Popoloski .

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824