www.fpsudbury.org                                                                                                           February 25, 2015  



"A Path to Wisdom"


This Sunday, March 1, First Parish of Sudbury Unitarian Universalist is pleased to welcome Rev. Jane Thickstun to our pulpit. She asserts that embracing diversity can be a transforming process and a path to wisdom, but asks "what does it take to engage in interracial, intercultural and interfaith dialogue? What are the rewards? Do we really listen to each other with open minds and hearts?"

Rev. Thickstun is currently serving as the Interim Associate Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Georgia. She has served congregations in Michigan and New Hampshire, and prepared for ministry at Meadville/Lombard Theological School.


Religious Exploration for children and teens takes place concurrently with the adult worship service. Children and teens begin in the worship service, and then go off to their own fun and interesting program of religious exploration.


First Parish of Sudbury is a Unitarian Universalist congregation located at 327 Concord Road. We embrace diversity and welcome the participation of all persons who wish to join us for worship, activities and service to the greater communities.

For more information about upcoming events, visit fpsudbury.org or call 978-443-2043

From the Finance Committee
This report is intended to provide the Congregation an update on the activities of the Finance Committee and the financial health of First Parish in general.


We began the current fiscal year on July 1, 2014 with a newly assembled Finance Committee. FinCom membership consists of Sherene Aram, Tom Arnold (Liaison to the Board of Trustees), Liz Rust (Chair), Marc Klureza (Assistant Treasurer) and Michael Tyo (Treasurer). Our first major task, and the one which is an ongoing significant effort, is the migration of our fiscal accounting from Quicken to IconCMO Church Software, a commercial accounting software package used by thousands of churches worldwide. It provides FinCom an improved ability to track expenses, income, assets, and variances of individual budget line items. First Parish also hired an experienced part-time bookkeeper to perform entries and reconcile accounts. This software doesn't change the way that First Parish manages its financial affairs - it helps us organize and analyze our financial information.


And that financial information is good. Our finances are healthy and are sustaining our efforts. The Stability Fund (analogous to a household checking account, used to pay our regular expenses) stands as of the end of the second quarter of our fiscal year (December 31) at approximately $133,000, representing a little over five months of operating expenses. The balance in the Stability Fund is even higher as of late February, up to six months of expenses, but this is just a normal fluctuation. Many end-of-year pledge donations that were received in late December and early January account for this temporarily high balance, and it will likely return to our planned balance of about four months of expenses by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.


The Equity Fund, used for preservation and capital improvements of First Parish buildings and grounds, is also healthy. As of the end of December, the Equity Fund balance was approximately $300,000. In the last few months, significant repair work was done to repair wood rot on the Meetinghouse, an expense of the type the Equity Fund is intended to cover. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on February 2 to authorize a withdrawal of up to $14,000 from the Equity Fund to cover the cost of these repairs, which is in progress. Partially offsetting this withdrawal is the budgeted annual contribution that First Parish makes to our Equity Fund of $7,766.


Last fiscal year, the Congregation did a great job in making good on its pledges. Taking into account the allowance of $2,000 for uncollected pledges that was part the budget, we came to within $477 of the budgeted $225,600 total. A warm thank-you is offered to the entire Congregation from FinCom. Keep up the good work!


Finally, our Assistant Treasurer reports that the Amazon Associates program has been a great success. Just by logging into Amazon.com through the First Parish link (http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=firsparisudbu-20 ), 4% of our Amazon purchases is given back to First Parish by Amazon. In the first year that this program has been in effect, we have collected just over $1,000 at no cost to ourselves. Please continue to use this link to keep it going strong.


The Finance Committee is working hard to ensure our ongoing financial health. We are now in the process of drafting a budget for next fiscal year. You can find a draft of the proposed budget on the Finance Committee area of the Village website. Any questions you may have about the budgeting process and our finances can be asked (and hopefully answered!) at any one of several FinCom Q&A sessions, starting on March 8 after services in the Brackett Room. Other times and dates are on the Meetinghouse Calendar. Please don't hesitate to contact any member of FinCom for additional information.


With the financial support of every member of our Congregation, First Parish can continue to serve the needs of our membership and the community around us.


Respectfully submitted,

Michael Tyo



Farmhouse at
Wisdom House 

Women's Annual Alliance Weekend


Register by March 8 for the Annual Women's Alliance Weekend Retreat scheduled for April 10-12. This year we are going to Wisdom House in Litchfield, Ct. (http://wisdomhouse.org) We will have the entire Farmhouse and a few rooms in the main building.


Della Hughes will lead our retreat program, and we'll have our usual Saturday afternoon for exploring ourselves and the area, which includes nearby White Flower Farm for dreaming of gardens and Topsmead State Park for hiking. Wisdom House also has a wonderful labyrinth and trails around their 55 acre property. All meals provided and food restrictions met by their chefs.


Registration forms may be left in the Alliance folder in the workroom or mailed to Carolyn L. at the address on the brochure. There are printed copies of the registration brochure on the table in the Foyer, most women received one as a PDF in an email, and it is also posted on the FPS website at the link below. You will need a First Parish members log-in to reach this link: http://fpsudbury.org/members/groups/womens-alliance/docs/ 


All women of First Parish are totally welcome, regardless of any prior involvement with the Alliance. Our motto is that "All women are members and you choose how active you are."


A message from Women's Alliance

The Women's Alliance would also like to remind you that spring IS on its way. What better time to clean out your closets and drawers and put some things aside for our April 25th rummage sale? More information to follow as the date approaches.

SERVICE AUCTION - May 9, 2015.


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


Service Auction Committee Members:

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


October 17, 2015



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


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.



The Parish Office is staffed week days 
 from 10:00 am to 2:00 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.  

"Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance."

-Yoko Ono


Feb.26: Insight Meditation (2:00 - 2:30 pm - Commons)




March 1: Worship - Rev. Jane Thickstun - "A Path to Wisdom" 

March 1: Joint Choir Reh-MCC/FPS (12:30-2:30pm)    

March 1: COA Workshop (3:00-4:30pm - Commons)  

March 2: Board of Trustees (7:00-9:00 pm - Commons)  

March 3: Yoga (7:30 - 8:45am - Commons)

March 3: Quilters (7:00 - 9:00 pm - Commons)  

March 4: Stewardship Canvass Training (7:00-9:00pm - Brackett)

March 5: Insight Meditatioin (1:00 - 2:30 pm - Commons)

March 5: Choir Rehearsal (7:30-9:00 pm - Commons) 

March 7: Seekers Potluck-Stewardship (5:00-8:00 pm - Commons) 


March 8: Worship - Legacy and Our Commitment - Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty   

March 8: FinCom Q&A (11:30 am - 1:30 pm - Brackett) 

March 8: Hop Brook Dancing (11:45am-1pm-Commons) 

March 8: COA Workshop w/mentors (3:00pm - 4:30pm - Commons)

March 8: GMMS Dancing (4:45 - 6:45pm - Parish Hall)  

March 8: Women's Alliance (5:30 - 8:00 pm - Commons)

March 9: FinCom Meeting (7:00-9:00 - Commons)

March 9: REC Meeting (7:00-9:00pm - Library)

March 10: Yoga (7:45 - 8:45 am - Commons)

March 10: Quilters (7:00 - 9:00 pm - Commons)

March 10:  WAG (7:15 - 9:00pm - Brackett)  


Coming Up in March:

March 14: Activist's Dinner Party - "Be the Change"(5:00-9:00pm-Parish Hall) 

March 15: Journey of Discovery-Why Soul? (2:00-4:00 pm - Brackett Room) 

March 15: Salon-Bohm Dialogue-(7:00-8:30pm-Brackett)    

March 20: First Day of Spring!

March 29: Journey of Discovery - Holy Week (2:00-4:00pm-Brackett) 


To view the full Meeting House Calendar Click here.

About our money, honey!


Soon, the Stewardship Team will ask you for your commitment to help fund First Parish's expenses next year. Here are some things to know while you consider your pledge.


First, some facts:

  • $240,000 is about how much we need in pledges to fund the same level of services as last year.
  • Last year we had $231,000 in pledges from 134 households. The average pledge was about $1725 and the median pledge was about $1000.
  • Our distribution of pledges is worrisome - we depend too heavily on a very few large donors.
  • We are an aging congregation and the number of households supporting First Parish continues to decline.

And some goals:

  • We want a balanced budget. It's the responsible thing to do for our future.
  • We want to grow. Without funding a growth initiative, the number of households supporting First Parish will continue to decline, thereby increasing the per-household contribution needed to provide the services we enjoy now.
  • We have a terrific thing going here at First Parish. Let's share our abundance with more people!

Here's how we're going to do it!

We have a generous match this year: an anonymous donor will match dollar-for-dollar all increases in pledges. We have a unique opportunity to jumpstart our goals and vision for next year. So please give generously from your heart to sustain our 375 year old congregation.


March 7, from 5:00 to 8:00 in the Commons at First Parish Meeting House

Stewardship: We pledge to support our community and yet there is a deeper level of participation when we engage in stewardship. Are we good stewards of our lives, our planet and the communities that we participate in? What does it take to be a good steward and what are the individual rewards and benefits? Do the benefits outweigh the commitment? Our worship theme for March is "Stewardship" and this Saturday Seekers Potluck will focus on the concept of stewardship and the "feel good" afterglow of being a good steward. Each Seekers Session will start with the sharing of a meal, please bring food to share, readings, music and a multi-media presentation.

(All ages welcome)
Join Rev. Marjorie the 1st Saturday of each month in the Commons at the Meeting House at First Parish.  Come and enjoy good music, thoughtful discussion, and fellowship.
Volunteers needed for Nursery Care

Michelle won't be able to care the Chalice Babies on March 15, 29, May 10, 17, 24 and June 14. Can someone step up to help?  Contact Michelle Stolow or Leslie Lowe for training to sign up for your preferred date.  Thank you.

Be the Change:  


Activist Dinner Party March 14, 7:00 pm:


Come have fun at this theatrical experience at First Parish. Not a fundraiser, but truly a funraiser!


The play, written by Stephen M. Shick (a UU minister) and performed at 2014 GA, brings alive the words and wisdom of famous poets, activists, and sages like Martin Luther King, Jr., Marge Piercy, and Thich Nhat Hanh to address the everyday spiritual and political frustrations we all face and the frustrations of staying engaged.


In this play performed by our very own First Parish congregants, a prototypical UU finds herself waning in her commitment to her core values. Feeling frustrated and over-whelmed, our protagonist dreams up a dinner party in which major historical, political, and literary figures arrive.


Come join us. There are still a few roles open for 'acting', some off stage helping, and plenty of room for an audience. Dinner will be provided and bring a dessert. Childcare can be provided with advance notice.


Contact Liz Rust for more information (Liz@therusts.net)



Living Our Faith Food Fact 
Eating Local

Did you know that you can buy sustainably-caught fresh fish shares from the Cape Ann Fresh Catch program (like a CSA program for fish) throughout the year? They have distribution sites all over the state including ones in Lincoln and Framingham throughout the winter. Go to www.capeannfreshcatch.org to learn more about their program. 
The Village on the Website: Need help with fpsudbury.org/village? Ask Jan (jch@jch.com)

Weekly Connector:  The next issue of the Weekly Connector will be published on March 4.  The deadline for articles is March 6.  Thanks.
Sunday Helpers for March, 2015

March 1 
Ushers: Sara Hartman and Craig Parkhill
Greeters: Jan Hardenbergh and Rebecca Parkhill
Fellowship: Philip Ralli
Flowers: Bruce Langmuir

March 8
Ushers:  Diane Hoaglin and David Hoaglin
Greeters: Ginny Doxsey and Jan Hardenbergh
Fellowship: Rebecca Parkhill and George Willett
Flowers:  Diane Hoaglin and David Hoaglin
First Parish of Sudbury | | office@fpsudbury.org | http://www.fpsudbury.org
327 Concord Street
Sudbury, MA 01776-1820