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The Worship Tech Team needs help!: We need two kinds of volunteers: 1) people to run the camera system. This is pretty easy as everything is preset on an iPad and it is just a matter of pressing the right button. If you can use an iPad or other kind of tablet, you probably can run the camera system. We will train you! 2) tech and/or video savvy individuals who can help us figure out what other equipment and expertise we need and who would be willing to serve as a point person with our broadcast company. If you are willing, please let Rev. Ellen know: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Healing Conversations: Litsa Williams, one of the writers for whatsyourgrief.com writes of grief: “When someone dies, their absence becomes its own presence. We come to love and hate their void. It represents all that is gone, all that we loved, all that we miss. We hate the reality that it represents—that they are missing from the world. But we also love the reality that it represents—that our love for that person is so great that they are still ‘here’, even when they are no longer physically here.” With this in mind, we gather on the second and fourth Mondays of each month to bear witness to one another’s grief journeys, as part of our covenant to present to one another in our joys and our sorrows. Our October meetings are October 11th and October 25th at 7 pm, via Zoom. Reach out to me if you wish to attend: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Rev. Ellen

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VIGILS FOR RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, November 7,and December 12
2 to 3 PM, Littleton Common & First Baptist Church Sponsored by The Greater Littleton Interfaith Council

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MONDAY OCTOBER 11 IS NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY an annual LGBT awareness day observed on October 11, to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in "coming out of the closet". According to Wikipedia, it was first celebrated in the United States in 1988, and the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person.[The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views. Visit the Welcoming Congregation Committee's Facebook Page to learn about being an ally https://www.facebook.com/Welcoming-Congregation-Committee-of-First-Parish-UU-Chelmsford-105148534670159 If you would like a purple or rainbow ribbon pin, contact Frances Killam

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The Board of Investments will be meeting one week early in October. If you are interested in attending our Zoom meeting at 7:00 on October 18, contact Nancy Kaelin and she will send you the link.

A note from your collector: Contribution statements were emailed on 10/5/21. Unfortunately the subject line read "First Parish Pledge Statement FY21 as of 7/28/21" when it should have read "Contribution Statement for January 1 to October 5, 2021" The statement that is attached to your email does have the correct header though. Please review carefully for the contributions you've made, and for the Pledge analyses for FY21 and FY22 at the bottom of your statement. Kindly bring any discrepancies to my attention at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have not made any payment in the 2021 calendar year no statement would have been generated for you. On behalf of First Parish thank you for your generosity. --Carla Corey, Collector FP UU Chelmsford This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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First Parish First Friday Zoom at Noon Café – On the first Friday of every month at noon there will be a zoom gathering for anyone from First Parish interested in checking in for a visit. Stay for the entire hour or hop in and out as your schedule permits. The link is listed here and will always be the same. Feel free to add it to your calendar.
Maura Snow will be our host.

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Update from the COVID Task Force

Since the pandemic began, the COVID Task Force has considered guidance from the UUA, the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to create our response for how to keep the congregation safe and connected as we can. As we enter our second full church year in this pandemic, we continue to review these recommendations to shape our policies and practices for this next stage.  Here is what we are putting in place for the fall:

  • First and foremost, if you do not feel well or have any of the symptoms of COVID, do not come in person to church.
  • Everyone must wear a mask when in the building, regardless of vaccination status
  • We expect everyone who is medically eligible for vaccination to be vaccinated, especially if they plan to attend worship in-person. Because we have families whose children are too young to receive vaccines, we will not hold intergenerational worship in the sanctuary to minimize exposure for our youngest ones and we encourage parents not to bring their children into the sanctuary. The RE Council and Dolores have set up nursery care and faith formation programming with safety protocols for children in mind, so parents can attend worship, if they wish. All staff and volunteers who work with children must be vaccinated and wear a mask.
  • We will hold multi-platform (in person with livestreaming) worship services, beginning September 19th. We will limit in-person attendance to accommodate social distancing in the sanctuary and require people to register in advance. Everyone who attends in person must sign in and wear a mask and is expected to be vaccinated, if they are medically eligible.
  • We will not offer an in-person social hour with food and beverages after the service. We will continue to host online social hour via Zoom.
  • While there will be music in worship, we will not have congregational singing in person at this time. Nor will the choirs be singing in person until it is safer to do so.
  • All groups, whether they meet in person, online or hybrid, must check with our building and events coordinator, Jess Volk, to reserve a physical or Zoom room. Do not assume rooms are available. If a group meets in person, the organizer should keep a list of who was present for contact tracing purposes.
  • The minister Rev. Ellen, the chair of the COVID Task Force, Tom Coffey and Chair of the Standing Committee, Joan Coyne, will continue to monitor the data provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the COVIDactnow.org website (recommended by the UUA) and will update the congregation if conditions require changes to these procedures.

For those of you who may be interested, here are the UUA’s latest recommendations from August 20, 2021:

Upon consulting the public health professionals who have been advising us throughout the pandemic, for now, the UUA strongly recommends:

  1. For all indoor gatherings, regardless of size, vaccination status, or area transmission risk: Require good ventilation, well-fitted masks, physical distancing of at least 6 feet, reduced occupancy, no singing, and no food, nor drinks.
  2. Require well-fitted masks for all large outdoor events, for any outdoor event where unvaccinated children or other vulnerable people are included, and for outdoor gatherings of any size in counties where transmission is Very High or Severe (per the COVID Act Now data).
  3. As children below age 12 cannot yet be vaccinated, hold religious education activities and multi-age programs outdoors. If children are indoors, ensure excellent ventilation, masking, physical distancing, and reduced room occupancy.
  4. In areas where transmission risk is Very High or Severe (per the COVID Act Now data), suspend all large, in-person (indoor and outdoor) gatherings such as worship, concerts, or fundraisers.
  5. In areas where transmission risk is Low, Medium, or High (per the COVID Act Now data), small and mid-size gatherings, including limited-attendance worship, may be reasonably safe if indoor precautions for masking, ventilation, physical distancing and high vaccination rates are followed.
  6. Create an expectation that vaccinations are required for everyone who is eligible. Work to have the highest vaccination rate possible in your community. We support requiring vaccinations for staff, lay leaders, and anyone spending time with children.

Thank you for your cooperation and flexibility as we enter this next phase of multi-platform congregational life!

Questions: please contact the COVID Task Force at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tom Coffey (Chair), Joan Coyne (Standing Committee Chair), Rev. Ellen Spero; Michelle Hillman, Jim Curley, Jessica Volk, Dolores Heredia-wood, and Steve Zocchi

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First Parish Banner Policy

This summer, the Standing Committee approved a new policy to approve new banners and a policy for scheduling all banners that are put up during the year.

The SC had 2 main reasons for creating this new policy: to ensure that the messages of each banner is consistent with the beliefs of the Congregation, and to ensure that we are able to schedule banners fairly, and in compliance with the Chelmsford Historical District rules. The Banners that have already been flown don’t have to gBanner Policyo through the approval process, but all banners must go through the calendar scheduling process each year.

The new policy sets up a Banner calendar to keep track of when groups plan to hang their banner. The policy states that the calendar requests have to be in by the end of August for the church year. Since that wasn’t possible this year, if you would like to hang a banner during this this church year (through August 2022) please submit a Banner Calendar Request form by Nov 15th.

You will find policies and request forms on the website at:

Banner Policy

New Banner Approval Form

Banner Calendar Request Form (for previously approved banners)

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Sunday Tech Team Members Needed

We need some tech savvy people to join us in running the Sunday morning tech for our worship services. Bonus! You won’t have to sign up to attend Sunday Services!? Please contact me if you are interested: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks, Rev. Ellen