First Parish News, December 2019

ONE HOUR CHOIR! - Do you love to sing but don’t have time to commit to regular rehearsals?  If so, join The Choir at Church for “One Hour Choir” on December 1st. Just show up at 8:30am on Sunday morning, December 1st for a one hour rehearsal and then experience the joy of singing in the morning service. It will be fun, I promise. Thanks, Steve


 Request for Greeters - Being a greeter is a simple fulfilling way to volunteer for our wonderful FPC community! As a greeter you get to meet, greet and “WELCOME!” all the wonderful people that come through our FPC doors! We are using SignUp.com.

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.com: https://signup.com/go/jMSRNUm
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.

Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can sign you up manually.  For more information or questions you can also contact Sarah Manning, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., LFF Director, Dolores~ on behalf of the Membership Committee


Information about Proposed Outdoor Play Area - SC is considering providing the Little Acorn nursery school with an outdoor play area. The Play Area Task Force will have a table at social hour on Sunday December 8th. They will show the proposed location and the type of fencing being considered. Visit to learn more and ask questions.


Pastoral Care News - The Pastoral Care Team would like to remind folks that we have a table set up at social hour where you can write cards to fellow church members who are going through difficult times or just to tell someone you miss at church that you are thinking of them. It is especially important during the holidays that we hold each other with love and support since so many deal with grief and stress. We are also available at the table and elsewhere to chat if you feel like you need an ear.

We are also asking for donations of gift cards to local supermarkets since this is an expensive time of year for people who might be already facing some financial constraints. General gift cards are welcome as well (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) for those who need to cover other expenses. You can give those to either the Pastoral Care Team or directly to Rev. Ellen.

Thank you as always for being there for each other in good times and in bad. We couldn't do this work without all of you.


Songs of Strength & Solace – How have these last few years been for you …?!  Feeling recurrent bouts of hyperactive anxiety, outrage, burnout or dread …? US, TOO …!!! So, we’re bringing out the old guitar and our homemade songbooks for you again and getting ready for another darkness-busting singalong …!! On Saturday, December 21st ~ Winter Solstice ~ we’re going to welcome Light back with all our hearts …! As in the past, we will be singing folk songs and hymns, spirituals and camp songs, songs of the people in good times and bad. Also as in the past, it will be fortifying and fun …!! We will meet in the chapel from 11:00 a.m. to noon. If you have any questions, please contact Virginia Adams  - Virginia Adams & Diane Johns


Calling all prayer shawls!! We are desperately short on prayer shawls and our need for them is great as always. If you have some ready to go, please give them to either Rev. Ellen or Kathy Deschenes.  Thank you!!


HEALING CONVERSATIONS -  In keeping with the commitment in our First Parish covenant to care and be present to one another in our joys and sorrows, Rev. Ellen and the Pastoral Care Team offer this grief and loss group on the second and fourth Mondays of the month to nurture and hold a sacred space to share stories, experiences, and emotions around love, loss and grief in a spirit of mutual care and deep listening. This is an ongoing group that folks in our First Parish community can join during the year, while maintaining it as a confidential and supportive space. We meet from 7 pm to 8:30 pm, upstairs in the High School room. Our next meeting will be Monday, November 25th. As we are in the midst of the holidays, we invite you to bring a recipe or item that represents a tradition that has been impacted by loss and grief. For our December 9th meeting, we will offer a healing ritual. If you have any questions or wish to attend, please contact Rev. Ellen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Christmas Day Dinner – Looking for host/ess(s) for our traditional Christmas Day potluck dinner held in our vestry on December 25, mid to late afternoon. Usually -but not necessarily - the person in charge cooks a turkey (or something of that size-monetary aid available for that) either here or at home and everyone else brings whatever they consider necessary for Christmas dinner. It is a way for those who would otherwise be alone or simply missing a big holiday dinner crowd, to celebrate the season with friends. Most years at least 10-20 people show up. This requires minimal organization and with so much help, set up and clean up is a breeze. Please talk to me at Social Hour or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are interested in leading this event this year.  Thanks - Cindy Gist

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133