NewsFlameUpdated November 26, 2022

Contact information for individuals is omitted from this page unless requested by that individual, but can be found in the emailed newsletters and announcements.

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Healing Circle:  Ever need a prayer or a good thought for you or a loved one? First Parish has a group that delivers just that. If you are interested in being part of the circle that sends healing vibes, and/or you need some healing energy, reach out to Kathy Deschenes of the Pastoral Care Team.

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 Holiday Prelude Announcement: Greens, Poinsettias, AND Donuts!!!
✶ Order deadline is this Monday, November 28th
✶ Find the preorder form online here: https://fpchelmsford.breezechms.com/form/e152d3077
✶ Pickup is next Sunday, December 4th, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM

Our Holiday Prelude Fundraiser is fast approaching! We will be selling donuts to the public during the Prelude festivities on Sunday, December 4th, from 4 to 6 PM. We will also be selling wreaths, roping, poinsettias AND donuts by pre-order to the congregation.

We still have a variety of volunteer shifts to fill. If you would like more info about ordering and/or helping out please contact Carla Corey or stop by our table during Social Hour. Your support in making this a successful fundraiser is important and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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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. The next meetings are on November 14 and 28 at 7:15 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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Pastoral Care and Caring Connection Teams

We have our Pastoral Care and Caring Connection Teams who are here to offer support to their fellow First Parishers. The Pastoral Care Team members, Kathy Deschenes, Linda Newhard, Liz Peterson, Brian Snow and Frans Janssen, are happy to offer a listening ear or chat on the phone. Our Caring Connection Team, Suzanne Wilson, Sandy Johnston, and Maura Snow are here to provide practical care, like help finding meals and rides. Both teams love to send out cards and support our prayer shawl ministry by accepting prayer shawl donations and putting tags on them before the congregation blesses them to hand out. Each Sunday (or most Sundays), they set up a table downstairs in the vestry where you can write cards to your fellow First Parishers who might appreciate a greeting or kind word. Cards, stamps, pens, addresses, and mailing all provided!

Prayer Shawls Needed - We have been giving out a large number of prayer shawls lately which is wonderful because they are going where they are needed. But that has left us with very few for the future. If you knit or crochet and have some extra time the Pastoral Care Team would really appreciate more shawls. If you would like to make a prayer shawl and need yarn, we can get it for you! Just reach out to Rev. Ellen. And if you have yarn to donate, we will happily take it. Shawls can be given to either Rev. Ellen or Kathy Deschenes. Thank you!

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Some helpful reminders about Sunday mornings:

  • With more people coming to the sanctuary, parking once again can become tight. Please leave the two spots we have reserved for newcomers and visitors in the lot available. And give yourself time to find parking, if necessary. Overflow parking is available at the Eliopoulos Building across from the common.
  • At the recommendation of the Safety Committee, we have been locking the main entrance doors on Sundays at around 10:15, as often, it’s only two adult volunteers with our children and youth in the chapel downstairs during the service and they cannot monitor the entrance. We will leave a sign with a phone number you can text for someone to come open the door if you arrive after 10:15.
  • For the comfort and safety of some members of our congregation, we are reserving the last two rows of pews and the row of chairs on the 110 side of the sanctuary for mask-required seating. There are signs posted at each end of the row.

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Recycling at Church

We are fortunate here in town because the paid for town contract company has said that if we place our bins where they can easily turn around on their usual route (that means we haul from the kitchen to our parking lot) - they will pick up our recycling at no charge. It’s a haul- especially in winter.

We – church – are a business as far as the town is concerned. We- church- pay for our trash pick-up weekly. It’s NOT a town provided service. Nor is recycling. Since more recycling materials are only to their benefit, the town contractor offered to pick up our bins (originally paid for by the Defunct Green committee) because a choir member bought them. He was here on Thursday nights anyway and the pick-up is Friday. He now lives in Maryland. So, currently I, also here Thursday nights for choir rehearsal, take the time to haul stuff to our parking lot where it’s picked up biweekly. Either our cleaning person or I don’t know who, drags the bins back to the kitchen doorway before the Sunday after that.

I’m not always going to be available so it would be good if a few people would volunteer to cover the Thursday night haul if I can’t.  Contact me if you can deal with that. We can talk details. It will be a rare need. Otherwise:

RECYCLING RULES

IT NEEDS TO BE CLEAN obviously I am not going to check all that unless it’s beyond obvious, so that’s on you.

Cardboard boxes need to be broken down and flat. 3 feet by 3feet. I’m not dealing with them otherwise. They will just sit there for you to see and feel guilty about next week.

What’s stuffed into the large bins - if it’s not flat, for shame. That takes up SO MUCH SPACE that could be used by other stuff.

If you are going to bother to do the recycle- thanks.

If you want to truly be helpful – follow through and make it clean and make it compact so the volunteer who would rather be heading home 10 minutes ago, can.

Thanks! – Cindy Gist

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Snow Brigade 2022 – 2023

Winter is with us now, and we are looking for volunteers to come to church early on Sunday IF it snowed Saturday night or Sunday morning. We have contracted with a company to plow the parking lot and shovel the walks. The company may come early, so there is a chance of more snow on the walks and steps before church. We need at least 6 people to sign up. This means each person will have 3 Sundays to cover during the winter. More is Less! Please contact Walter Cole if you are willing and able to be a member of the Snow Brigade.

Thank you,
Your Building Committee - Ron Cook, Tom Coffey, Tip Rawding, and Walter Cole

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Greens and Poinsettias For Sale in December

Hello First Parishers - a heads up that we will be selling wreaths, roping, and poinsettias again this year by pre-order with a tentative pickup date of Saturday, December 3rd. More details will come in later Announcements.

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First Friday Zoom Cafe - 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. Feel free to add it to your calendar. Maura Snow will be our host.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81810610028?pwd=MnBTa1NXWTZjWGlLcWEzM2VPL2lPUT09
Meeting ID: 818 1061 0028
Passcode: 802420

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Online Chat Hosts Needed: Many thanks to the Worship Tech Team and Website Committee for getting the online chat back. If you are interested in being an online chat host, please let me know: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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