First Parish News, July 2018

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.

First Parish News, June 2018

Annual Congregational Meeting - The Annual Congregational meeting is next Sunday, June 3rd. Yes, it's early this year. This way the meeting happens before construction takes over the the RE wing, and while we still have access to the bathrooms.  Please come participate in our democratic process, vote on elected positions and the budget and get the latest updates on the Accessibility Building Project (ABP).


The next Women’s Discussion Group will take place on June 5, 2018 at the home of Dorit Lammers. We will meet at 7 : 00 PM. Our topping: “I would love to age gracefully, but not yet...” Your thoughts!  


Final Church Council Meeting (OFF SITE in anticipation of ABP construction) - Tuesday June 5th, 7PM, lower level conference room at Adams (Chelmsford) Library. Committee chairs/reps urged to attend. We will vote on Faith in Action Grant(s), debrief on Committee Fair. Email agenda items to Sandy Johnston.


Grounds Committee - We need your help!
*We Need More Lawnmowers*
***Adopt a Plot***
Help Grounds be weed free during the Summer – Adopt a Plot!
Sign up will be downstairs on Sundays at the Grounds Committee Table.
There are shade plots, Shade and Sun plots and Sunny Plots that are cool in the early morning and evening. You choose. That is your plot for the summer. You may come at the time most convenient to you. Weeding of the plot does not have to be every day. Once or twice a month should be sufficient! Bring a friend or two. Scouts who need Community Service are also welcome to work beside you.

If anyone can work on a weekday or the weekends during this time please do not hesitate to contact me at church or home.  - Martha Orr Sherburne


Join the Welcoming Congregation Committee for Pride Celebrations

To sign up for either of the following celebrations, please visit the Welcoming Congregation Committee's table during Social Hour.
LOWELL: Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2
-Flag Raising at City Hall Friday June 1 11:00 am
-Parade Saturday June 2 12-1 pm meeting at UCC church in Lowell on Merrimack street at 11am
-Members of our own UU School of Rock will be on our float in the Parade.
-Parade route is short (approx. 1 mile)
-Family Friendly Concert 1-5pm JFK Plaza

BOSTON: Saturday June 9
-Parade: Saturday June 9
A group will be marching in the Boston Pride Parade, the original Massachusetts Pride celebration. Meet at church and carpool or meet the group in Boston. The route is longer (approx. 3 miles).


From the Church Office – I (Cindy) will have an office, shared with the Collector and Treasurer and any other staff who needs it, in the mostly untouched chapel hall (Steve’s old office) but does not plan to try to work here while the uproar of construction is actually happening.

June 4 – July 1: Monday through Friday - I will be here at church sometime after 5am – hoping to leave the building before or soon after the construction starts each day, I will then go home and simply work from there until about 11am. I will check the church email as I do here and please just use my cellphone  for the summer, instead of the church phone number.

July and early August: I am on the usual summer schedule of 10 hours per week (or on vacation, Aug 4-18), coming in to the church only early mornings once or twice a week and reading email etc at home.

Late August into September … I will be increasing my working hours back to 30/wk, somewhere…all depends on when the new office is set up and ready to be moved in to.

My house is only a mile or so from church so if you need to actually see me (and don’t like to get up with the birds 😊 to see me here at church) , it’s not far, and you can contact me using the usual email address – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – or my cell phone. - Cindy


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.


Standing Committee Remarks

Welcome to summer and the end of the church year. To describe what is going on, I was tempted to just write three times: Construction starts June 4th.

But that is just the Accessibility Building project (ABP). We do also have the regular work of the church. Nominating found us a slate of candidates for next year, our Treasurer, Neil Harmon created a budget, then reduced it, Canvass has been soliciting pledges to support programs for next year. The results of their work will be presented for congregational consideration at the annual meeting on June 3rd. Please read through for the meeting package which contains all the details.

This is a year when lots will be happening over the summer, please watch for notifications.

Thank you to all who put in your time, talent and treasure to support the life and work of this congregation. I am proud to be part of this.

Sarah Manning, Chair of the Standing Committee

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133