www.fpsudbury.org                                                                                                January 14, 2015

Sunday January 18, 2015

"For I Don't Want to Run This Race in Vain"

Sam Teitel

"As we approach Martin Luther King Day this year, it is clear that there is still a long way to go in the fight against systemic injustice. In this service we will be talking about building relationships across religious and social boundaries for the purpose of doing this work, how we can form these relationships, and why they are important." (Sam Teitel) 


Sam Teitel is a Unitarian Universalist poet, educator, and punk rocker pursuing a Master of Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School. After his projected graduation date of May 2016, he plans to pursue ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. He is currently serving as the ministerial intern at First Church in Boston. He believes in creating a worship environment that is lively, joyful, and thought-provoking.  


Sunday Worship begins at 10:00 AM and will be followed by a fellowship hour in the parish hall. Religious education and Childcare are available. First Parish of Sudbury is a Unitarian Universalist welcoming congregation, encouraging and celebrating the participation of all people regardless of theological belief, sexual orientation, or gender identity. If you are a seeker of scientific, technological, or spiritual meaning in life you will be warmly welcomed.


The First Parish of Sudbury Meeting House is located at 327 Concord Road, across from Town Hall. For more information about upcoming events, visit fpsudbury.org or call 978-443-2043.

 First Parish Strategic Planning
Thanks again to the many members (45+ adults and youth) who have contributed to the development of the FPS strategic plan. Our goal is to determine what direction we want to go long term and why, and how best to get there.


We began in January of 2014 brainstorming with the Trustees to prepare for a meeting of the congregation in March 2014. This 5-hour meeting generated strong ideas for strategies and activities, as well as vivid images of what FPS can be. Additionally, Susan Curnan and I met with the youth group in June at Ferry Beach to engage them in the planning process - again with excellent ideas to put into action and lots of congruence with information generated in the earlier sessions. The Trustees took all of this information and distilled it into a one-page overarching framework. We also have kept all of the ideas from the congregation and youth meetings to use as appropriate in more detailed planning and have made these available to the committees.


So, what's happening in 2015? The Trustees are working on two tracks. The first is to pilot the development of concrete action plans with two committees: Religious Education and Community and Hospitality. The aim of this step is to have the committees select one or two strategies from the overarching plan and use them as a guide for planning out several concrete activities that will help us achieve the results we collectively want. This stage of the work is happening now through the Spring of 2015.  With what we learn from these pilots, we will then implement action planning with all of the committees.  We also plan to step out annual benchmarks or short-term outcomes that will provide more specific direction for achieving the long-term outcomes. Finally, we will revisit the strategic framework as a whole in late spring and make adjustments as needed.


The second track of our work is to build on the work of Trustees who came before us and make sure that we stay focused on the future of FPS.  This means that we are disciplining ourselves to delegate responsibilities for activity-related decisions to the staff, committees, or other individuals as may be appropriate, and working at the strategy level. We know this must be done in a deliberate manner, and are taking care to do this thoughtfully. 
This narrative is an update of an article originally appearing in the November 25, 2014 Weekly Connector.  Click here to view "First Parish of Sudbury Strategic Plan Framework."

January 18 - Share the Plate  

On January 18, we will Share the Plate with the Head to Head School, Haiti, in a week which marks the fifth anniversary of an earthquake which inflicted huge devastation on a country deemed by some to be the poorest in the world.


The Head to Head School provides tuition free elementary education to children in Belle Vue, Haiti, which sits on top of a mountain, lacking modern roads, running water and electricity. Jean Lublin of Norwalk, CT founded the school when he realized that many children in the community where he was raised couldn't go to school because they were too poor. In 1999 under a canvass supported by wood posts, three teachers began their work.  Jean, a nurse assistant, still supports the school. Today 200 students go to classes in a concrete building. More than ninety percent of Head to Head graduates pass the government exam qualifying them to attend high school and thus have the opportunity to move up in the world economically. Though Creole is the spoken language, all classes are taught in French. All gifts go directly (no middlemen) to pay the teachers and provide the children with a meal a day. Thank you for your generosity. If you are donating by check today, please write "Head to Head" in the memo. Thank you.

Religious Education
Volunteers Needed!

Thank you to the six people who have volunteered to teach the Religious Education children, but we would love to have more of you volunteer for some aspect of RE.  Besides teaching in the Sunday programs,  there are openings for
special events, Story for all Ages, the RE committee and the tempDRE search group. There are curriculum to guide the Sunday lessons, and training is provided for everyone.  We also need everyone in the congregation to publicize that we are running a RE program. Bring your friends and neighbors to First Parish.  We had a visitor wonder if it was ok to bring children to FPS because there were so few children in the Sanctuary that day.  Can someone to paint a large sign, "Children wanted" for the front lawn?  I think we may need one.  Please contact Rev. Marjorie or Leslie Lowe .
The Salon
Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception.
Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture?
- David Bohm

January 18 -  Bohm Dialogue  - Dialogue differs from Chalice Circles 


The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue.  The topic for January 18 will be a continuation of the Nov 16 topic "decision making". Some have asked how Bohm Dialogue differs from the Chalice Circles that they have participated in at First Parish.  Both formats emphasize one person speaking at a time and respectful listening.  But while Chalice Circles prohibit "crosstalk" (referring to something said by another member), in Dialogue crosstalk is permitted and even encouraged including agreement, disagreement, modification, expansion on and asking for clarification of others' comments - as long as it is done respectfully.  Ideally this crosstalk leads to a synergistic building upon each others thoughts resulting in new insights that no one might reach alone. Another difference from Chalice Circles is that there are no check-in or check-out periods - all talk is limited to the chosen topic.  There is no sharing of personal milestones, joys and concerns, etc., except as they may directly relate to the chosen topic.  At the end of the dialogue there is a time for feedback on how well the Dialogue went and a time to choose the next topic. (For more details about how Dialogue works, see our February article).


Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected - come as you are with whatever thoughts/feelings/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  Our next meeting will be on January 18th at 7pm in the Brackett Room. Contact Paul Reising paulcilla@msn.com for more information.


Gather with the men of First Parish on Saturday, January 31 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in the Library. Coffee and donuts will be provided. Please don't miss this meeting as we will be hosting RevMatty and deciding the topic of a sermon that she will give later this spring. Everyone welcome
Save the Date!


The Service Auction will be on Saturday evening - April 18.   Every year First Parish holds a gala auction in the Parish Hall to raise money for our operating budget.  There will be food, music, a silent auction and a live auction - and always a lot of fun. Please be sure to attend. Child care will be provided.


Soon the Service Auction Committee will be contacting you to see what delightful items you can donate for the auction.   Be creative!


The Service Auction Committee: 

Gail and Jan Hardenbergh, Liz and Erin Llewellyn, Sherene Aram, and Sherri Cline



The Parish Office is staffed week days 
 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.   

If you need to contact the office outside of regular office hours, please send an e-mail to
 or leave a voice mail at 978-443-2043. E-mail and voice mail will be checked regularly on week days.  
Coffee provider needed this Sunday, January 18. Please contact Leslie Silva at office@fpsudbury.org to offer your service. Thanks!

 Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



Jan.14: Sustain. Sudb. (7:30- 9:30pm)
Jan.15: Insight Meditation (1 - 2:30pm)
Jan.15: PAG Meeting (7:30-9pm-Brackett)

Jan.15: Choir Rehearsal (7:30 - 9pm)   

Jan.15: 350MA (6:30-9:30pm)
Jan.18: Worship - "For I Don't Want to Run This Race in Vain" - Sam Teitel
Jan.18: Hop Brook (11:45am - 1:00pm)
Jan.18: Women's All. PLuck (5:30-8:30 pm)
Jan.18: GMMS (4:45-6:45pm-Parish Hall)
Jan.18: Salon Bohm Dialogue(7-8:30 pm)

Jan.20: Yoga (7:45 - 8:45am)  

Jan.20: Quilters (7pm-9pm -Commons) 

Jan.22: Insight Meditation (1pm - 2:30pm) 

Jan.22: Conscious Eating (6:30 - 8:30pm)

Jan.22: Choir Rehearsal (7:30-9pm)  

Jan.24: In-Home Dinner    

Jan.25: Choir (9:00am-10am - Sanctuary)

Jan.25: Worship

Jan.25: Hop Brook (11:45am-1pm Commons)

Jan.25: COA Wkshp (3-4:30pm- Commons)

Jan.25: GMMS (4:45 - 6:45pm-Parish Hall)

Jan.25: In-Home Dinner 

Jan.27: Yoga (7:45-8:45 am) 

Jan.27: Comm. Task Force (8:45 - 9:45am)

Jan.27: 4th Tues. Lunch (12-2pm Commons)

Jan.27: Quilters (7-9pm - Commons)  

Jan.28: S.T.O.P. (6:30-8pm - Commons)

Jan.29: Insight Meditation (1-2:30pm)

Jan.29: Choir (7:30 - 9pm - Commons) 

Jan.31: Gath. of Men (11am-1pm-Library)

Jan.31: In-Home Dinner 

Jan. 24, 25, & 31:  In-Home Dinners


Coming up in February:
Feb. 1:  Worship - Youth Sunday
Feb. 6:  Seekers Potluck - "Connect"  (5:00pm-8:00pm - Commons)
Feb.15: Journey of Discovery  (2-4pm - Bracket Room - see below)

To view the full Meeting House Calendar Click here.

Women's Alliance Potluck Sunday

January 18 at 5:30 - Let's talk books!

All women are invited to join in an informal potluck on starting at 5:30pm in the Commons. Bring a book, or your memories of it, that you have read recently and been touched by.  Serious to fluff -- all our reading helps to shape who we are.  Let's gather and share that as we maybe have more time to read during this winter season. We'll also begin discussing plans for the Retreat the weekend of April 10-12.

Journey of Discovery

Rev. Marjorie will be leading a series of five discussions beginning on February 15 that will include teachings, life experiences, thoughts, and insights on a particular topic. Several members of First Parish have been invited to share their thoughts about the topic and their practices. As you can see from the list below, the topics might be considered challenging but provide an opportunity to share your own thoughts and questions. We think this process will create an atmosphere of sharing. 

February 15 - Is God Really Dead?
March 15 - Why Soul? (discussion of spiritual versus religious and what is soul?)
March 29 - Holy Week - A Guide to Contemporary Life
April 26 - Civility As A Spiritual Practice
May 31 - Sowing the Seeds of Transformation

Please mark your calendars for these dates and plan to join the discussion. 

Fourth Tuesday Lunch

Please join us on January 27 at 12:00 noon in the Commons for the Fourth Tuesday Lunch. This month the topic will be, "Life in 2015 as a Trustee at First Parish". Sheila Murphy, Chair of the Board of Trustees will share her experiences as a member and Chair of the Trustees. Sheila promises a mixture of humor and seriousness in looking at the complete joy in being part of a great board, as well as the challenges of doing board work in a time when change is the major work of the Board. 

Bring your lunch and join in a lively conversation. Plus, find out a little more about what the Trustees are up to these days.
In-Home Dinners

Tomorrow, January 15, is the last day to sign up for in-home dinners.  If you have been thinking about attending or hosting, please send an email to Sheila Davison (sedavison@aol.com) by tomorrow. If possible, indicate a first and second choice.  Saturday, January 24; Sunday, January 25 at 5 p.m.; Saturday, January 31.  Please be sure to indicate if you have any pet and/or food allergies or accessibility concerns.

You will be contacted by your hostess shortly after January 15 to discuss your contribution to the meal, time of the event and directions to the home.
October 17, 2015



2015 marks the 114th Annual Harvest Craft Fair. We need co-chairs to lead the effort.


Our Harvest Fair is well respected in the crafting community.  Approximately 50% of our vendors are repeats from prior years. Many of the new vendors were referred by those who have been here before. The Fair is a great community event for First Parish, Sudbury, and the MetroWest area.  We usually draw over 600 customers to the Fair and raise approximately $9000.00 for First Parish.


The "Crafter Co-Chairs"  (as opposed to the "Facilities Co-Chairs") are responsible for all things to do with soliciting, jurying, communicating with, and tending to the crafters. Typically, the co-chairs have distinct responsibilities.  One person manages the extensive database of the crafters while the other co-chair is the primary interface with the crafters in terms of soliciting them via online websites and answering questions, and also manages the publicity for the Fair.  Because the better and more professional crafters plan their schedules months in advance, we have to start our process in February.  We do that by sending applications to previous year vendors by email or snail mail and by updating the crafter websites. The applications are then juried in early May and again in August. In the Fall, space assignments are made, final letters sent, and the Fair will be on Oct. 17.


We have all the templates and information needed to take over these positions. Plus free training is available!  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask the retiring co-chairs -  Sherri Cline, Liz Rust, and Carolyn Lee.


This is a very gratifying event.   Please consider carrying on this great tradition.


Sunday Helpers for January, 2015

January 18: 
Ushers:  Sara Hartman and Craig Parkhill 
Greeters: Carolyn L. and Betty Wright 
Flowers: Rebecca Parkhill and Robert Willett

January 25: 
Ushers:   Daphna Cox and Ginny Doxsey 
Greeters:  Rebecca Parkhill and Kristy Gish 
Hospitality:  Heather Merrill and Mikayla Boisvert

The next issue of The Connector will be published on Wednesday, January 21.  The deadline for news and articles will be Friday, January 16 at noon.  THANKS.

Stay connected to First Parish by visiting The Village on the Website.  If you need help getting there, please contact Jan
Hardenbergh (jch@jch.com).

Over the holidays and at other times during the year we have "slow news days" without any new posts which means our website starts to look stale. It would be great if you had a very short story about what brought you First Parish or why you are UU. We could keep that in reserve for when we needed a bit of fresh content. If you have an idea, please contact Jan Hardenbergh - jch@jch.com      
First Parish of Sudbury | | office@fpsudbury.org | http://www.fpsudbury.org
327 Concord Street
Sudbury, MA 01776-1820