Reflections 2/13/2011

A column on some timely if unrelated items. First I will be on vacation from February 18th through the 24th. The Reverend Lee Bluemel from North Parish in North Andover will be on call for me for any pastoral emergencies. Her emergency contact information will be available on my answering machine. I will also leave it with Pastoral Care team members, Carla Corey, Lynne Cole, and Akiko Sano, as well as with Cindy Gist.


Second, child dedications. A child dedication is the Unitarian Universalist version of a naming, christening or baptism. In that service, we make a covenant with the child and with their family to be their spiritual and religious home, to nurture spiritual life of this child and to support the family in raising her or him. There is no required age limit. We have done child dedications for infants and for teens. Sometimes, we do a child dedication when it works best for the family. We also have special Sundays when we make time. This year, we would like to offer Easter Sunday as an opportunity for families to have their children dedicated. If you wish to have your child(ren) dedicated or want more information, please contact me, or our Director of Religious Education, Sadie Kahn Greene.

Third, John Schneider and I will be offering an adult religious education class on theodicy, or what to make of bad things happening to good people. High school youth are also welcome. The class will meet for four sessions on Wednesdays beginning March 9, from 7 PM to 9 PM. It is the Lenten season, a time for reflecting on issues like injustice, struggle, suffering and the reality of evil. We will look at how different traditions deal with these issues and how we as Unitarian Universalist can work through these things as well. If you are interested in the class, please let me know, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978-256-5555.

Hopefully, we are past the worst of the snow. I will be in the office this week, until Thursday. Then I will see you at church on February 27th.

In faith,

Rev. Ellen

Reflections 1/30/11


For Christmas, I received a Kitchen Aid mixer from my parents. This is my first experience with this quality of mixer. I had burned through three traditional mixers, with the turning bowl and double beaters, in the last four years. I am amazed by the Kitchen Aid's power. I can make cookies in half the time, and my bread turns out more like the pictures in the cookbook. I am enjoying it very much.

I have had to adjust to some changes, however, which is not necessarily a strength of mine. First, the speed control is one side while the control for lifting the mixer is on the other. This means that I have to have the mixer face a different direction than I am used to, in order to reach both switches. This drives me nuts. Also, I have been sprayed with flour a couple times, first because I put the speed up too high and second, because I keep forgetting to put the pour shield on the bowl. (It seems silly that the manufacturers couldn't leave enough room to pour in ingredients!) Finally, for some reason, it throws me off that the bowl doesn't turn. I look over, and think something is not quite right before I remember that the bowl is not supposed to go around.

There is no such thing as perfection. While definitely a step forward, this new mixer has some flaws and glitches of its own that require me to adapt in ways I did not foresee. And I will probably get sprayed with flour a few more times. That said, it has opened doors for me to do things better. I bake more, because it is easier and more fun. Maybe there is a moral in this story somewhere, about moving forward and incorporating changes into our lives. It is not easy. Some things are lost and the unpredictable happens. But then we can make such better bread to share.

In faith,

Rev. Ellen

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824