BirdChaliceREMINDER: The last Shooting Star paper newsletter of the church year has been published. The July newsletter is available by email only and is usually pretty skimpy- covering information needed for the summer months only. There is no newsletter in August. The deadline for information for the September newsletter will be August 29.

ChaliceFlame

Healing Conversations:
In her book, See No Stranger, Valarie Kaur writes: “Grief is the price of love. Loving someone means that one day, there will be grieving…Grief does not come in clean stages: It is more like the current of a river, sweeping us into new emotional terrain, twisting and turning unexpectedly…Grief has no end really. There is no fixing it, only bearing it.” She also notes: “The wisdom across faith traditions is that grieving is done in community.” 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 next meeting is Monday June 14th 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

 ChaliceFlame

A few notes from your Collector:
Please remember, the current fiscal year ends June 30, 2021. Checks and online donations received until July 1 will be applied to the 2020/2021 fiscal year pledge and those received
after shall be applied to 2021/22 - unless otherwise indicated. It is humbling and uplifting to witness the generosity of the friends and members of our beloved community. Thank you all for supporting the work that we do together.
~ Carla Corey, Collector

 ChaliceFlame

General Assembly is Happening Online!!!! June 23 to June 27:
“The Unitarian Universalist Association's Annual Meeting General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Participants worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process.” (per UUA.org). The Council of Faith in Action Ministries (CFAM) is the group that organizes First Parish’s involvement in GA. At this time, CFAM is looking for participants to attend General Assembly. There are different ways this can happen. 

1. There are events that do not require any attendance - these will be sent out once the program has been finalized and released from the UUA - they will be set up similar to our Zoom worship services.
2. If who would like to attend 3 days or 5 days - there is a simple registration process that needs to happen. There is a fee attached to this attendance however, First Parish has funds set aside to help if need be.
2a. First Parish is allotted 4 delegates by the UUA to vote at General Sessions on many different topics. If you would like to be a delegate, you must be a registered participant (I would recommend for the full 5 days)

All delegates must be voted on and approved at the Annual Meeting. Please email Caroline Snow if you’re interested in any level of participation or if you have any questions about General Assembly (GA) in general.

ChaliceFlame

How best should we be using our endowment?  
The generous contributions of our forebears have enabled First Parish to accumulate a substantial endowment. Are we managing it as our benefactors intended? We currently withdraw 4% of the most recent 13 quarters average value of the endowment towards operating expenses. Other organizations withdraw in the range of 3% to 7%.

One of the recommendations of the recent Fiscal Vision Task Force was that this be reviewed. To this end, your Standing Committee (SC) is establishing an Endowment Review Working Group. This will consist of up to 5 people, including representatives from the Board of Investment, Finance Committee and SC. It will review the withdrawal policies for the First Parish endowment and the intent of the original donors and propose possible changes to SC, which would then bring them to the congregation. 

The Working Group will have plenty of homework to do. If you are interested in contributing to the work please contact Chris Sweetnam.

....and on the subject of the endowment

Your SC is also working towards a formal Planned Giving program, to be launched next church year. In the meantime, have you considered including a bequest in your will? A bequest to the First Parish Endowment is an expression of your commitment to future generations at First Parish. Here's a form of words that can be used." I give to First Congregational Society, Unitarian, or its successor, X", where X can be a specific dollar amount, a description of a certain asset, or "all (or a percentage) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate." If you have a professional drawing up your will they would advise on appropriate wording for your circumstances.

 ChaliceFlame

Calling all prayer shawls!! 
Thank you to all our knitters and crocheters for your beautiful shawls. They have been a blessing to our church and the frontline health care workers with whom we have shared them. We are almost out of shawls at the moment and would love to restock. They can be dropped off at church or you can make arrangements with Kathy Deschenes to deliver them by emailing her.
Thank you again!

 ChaliceFlame

DiversityEquity
The Chelmsford Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Committee Presents
JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION 2021!
Outdoor Exposition of Merrimack Valley Black-Owned Businesses
Speeches by Rev. Dr. Gary Palmer and Joseph Devoe
Live Performances and Music,
Food by Mill City BBQ, Coco’s Café, Fharah’s Restauranct and More!
CHELMSFORD TOWN COMMON
SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 2021 10AM-2PM