First Parish News, October 2017

Rev. Ellen’s Open Office-Coffee Hours: Wednesday September 27 at the Java Room. Apparently, all hip ministers have office hours in coffee shops these days. Sounds like fun to me! So, I will be at the Java Room (in Ginger Ale Plaza on Rte 110, across from the cemetery) this Wednesday, September 27 from 10:3- am to noon, for anyone who wants to come by and chat—about Unitarian Universalism, the Red Sox play-off hopes, or anything else on your mind. I will try to schedule “Office-Coffee Hours" two or three times a month and will keep you all apprised! And if you cannot make it then or want a more confidential setting, feel free to reach out to me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can make an appointment.

Soul Matters: Soul Matters is a monthly UU journal exploring spiritual themes. October’s theme reflects on the question, “What Does It Mean to be a People of Courage?”. If you wish to receive the journal, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will offer two opportunities for discussion on this theme, both on the third Sunday of the month, October 15: 1) after the morning service and 2) at the monthly evening service and meal, 5:30 pm in the chapel.

Sunday Readers Wanted: Anyone who is interested in taking a turn doing the ancient and modern readings during the Sunday morning service, please contact Ellen Ford.  Thanks!

Church Directory:  Time to update your information or add yourself to, the Church Directory: (And thank you to the many who have contacted me!) If you wish, please send me your: names/address/phone/email/kids names & birth year, or any combination of that information as long as there is some way to identify you and contact you!  If you are a newcomer – you do NOT have to be a member to be included here, just involved enough to want to be able to be contacted, or to contact other people. Send information by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or write it down and put it through the door slot to the church office on your way out.  You can give me information ANYTIME but I usually only print twice a year – (or when requested by individuals). I update the e-version as I receive information, (you can email and ask for a copy anytime). I hope to print a new version by the end of October.  Thanks!  --Cindy

10/13 - Songs of Strength & Solace:  Please join us for a slightly different format this month with “your choice” being at the center of the sing-along!   You will be able to choose whatever songs you’d like us all to sing from our always-expanding songbook of folk songs, camp songs, hymns, contemporary classics, and spirituals. In the tradition of folk music everywhere, we sing about good times and bad.  And in this sing-along, as in all of them, we reaffirm our sense of giving energy to the creation of a better world together through song! We’ll be meeting on Friday, October 13, in the chapel, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  For more information, or if you would like to bring an instrument, please contact Virginia Adams.   ~Virginia Adams & Diane Johns

10/15 - "Feeding Our Souls" Monthly Worship Meal - Rev. Ellen and the Evening Service Team are excited to bring you our new idea for Sunday evening worship for this church year.  Drawing from two sources - Simple Church and Soul Matters - we will gather at tables in the chapel from 5:30 to 6:30 on the third Sunday of each month.  The centerpiece of our worship will be nourishment - hearty soup and bread for our bodies, shared discussion of spiritual questions for our souls.  Blended with our traditional practices of music, meditations, and readings our time together will be one of worship and community.  Our next gathering will be October 15.

Small Group Ministries – a great way to get to know people:  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. There are currently five active groups. Take some time for yourself.  For more information, please contact Carlene Merrill.

Open Pantry of Greater Lowell provides food once a month for those in need in the Greater Lowell Area. First Parish UU has been supporting Open Pantry for many years by collecting food and cash donations (in the form of checks) around once a month and delivering them to the Open Pantry distribution center. Delivery starts in September. While we typically deliver donations once a month during the church year, you can leave donations in the Open Pantry box at the church at any time. The box is in the room with the copier across from Cindy's office. If you are leaving a check, you can make it out to "Open Pantry". In the memo line, please write First Parish UU Chelmsford or just FPUU, so they know it's from us. (There is a mailbox for Open Pantry in the copier room also). When the donation boxes are full enough to warrant a trip, I make a delivery.  www.theopenpantry.org.  

Dear friends,

It has been over 3 1/2 years since our son Sam died at age 22 after enduring numerous cycles of treatments for lymphoma and three clinical trials.  This is our fifth year raising funds to advance the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) research to cure blood cancer. Team Grad will be walking for a fifth year in LLS’s Light the Night Walk on October 19 in Boston. We hope to raise more than ever. We need your help.

To donate and learn how LLS helps patients like Sam, please visit my page before October 19.  Thank you for your support in finding a cure. Click http://pages.lightthenight.org/ma/BostonL17/DGrad.  Please forward my message to anyone you know who would like this opportunity to honor Sam. We don't want other families to endure the pain of such a loss.

In love and gratitude,   Debra, Bryan, Rebecca, and Team Grad  -  Relentless for a Cure

Racial Justice Training: Sun. Oct. 15, 3:00 pm, Central Congregational Church. The Greater Lowell UCC Churches are sponsoring a Racial Justice Workshop Sun. Oct. 15, 3:00 pm at Central Congregational Church of Chelmsford, 1 Worthen St., Chelmsford. The workshop will be given by TJ Harper, Associate Minister for Racial Justice for the Mass Conference (see TJ’s bio below). Through the use of videos, quotes, discussion and presentations, TJ’s workshops provide an indepth and personal approach to this important issue. Please mark your calendars and join us Sun. Oct. 15!

“This training, “From Tolerance to Unity,” seeks to create a common language around racism, to unmask racism in our lives, and to encourage long-term engagement in racial justice ministry. We are driven to view racism as a spiritual issue, and not a common endeavor.”

TJ Harper serves as the Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences’ Associate for Racial Justice Ministries. Previously, TJ and his fiance, Sara, founded and operated a nonprofit organization known as the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA), with programs in Chicago and Oakland, that has worked with over 700 youth through a sponsorship by Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/Operation PUSH. Prior to SJSA, TJ worked with the StriveTogether Foundation, a network dedicated to improving educational outcomes for children, City Hall in Chicago, and U.S. Senator Richard Durbin's Office. He is also a 2014 Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow alumnus at Princeton University.  Call 978-256-5931 for more information.

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133