www.fpsudbury.org                                                                                   March 18, 2015  


SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015


"There's No Place Like Home"


This Sunday, March 22, First Parish welcomes the Rev. Jane Thickstun to our pulpit once again.


Rev. Thickstun observes "home is that place that feels safe, that nurtures us, that is the center of the universe. While adventures are exciting, we need a place that grounds us, that gives us roots."


But, we don't always feel at home where we are. Sometimes we have to leave home in order to find it again. During the service she will encourage us to consider where home is for each of us. Is it a place on the globe, or a place in our souls?


Rev. Thickstun is serving as the Interim Associate Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. She has served congregations in Michigan and New Hampshire, and prepared for ministry at Meadville/Lombard Theological School. Rev. Thickstun grew up in Potsdam, New York, and has degrees in Linguistics and Philosophy. Before ministry, she worked as a mainframe programmer/analyst, taught English to people from all around the globe, and worked on a newspaper, as well as much more.


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

Last Call for First Parish Harvest Fair.....


As most of you know, the First Parish Harvest Fair is a fun community-wide event with more than 600 people attending from all over Metrowest. Many come annually and look forward to it each year. Almost everyone in the congregation does something to assist by helping set up, volunteering on fair day, take down - plus all those who make soup, bread, baked goods and jams. In fact, we already have a list of volunteers for the day of the fair! The fair also brings in about $8K to support the FPS budget.


By the end of March we will decide if we will be able to hold the 114th annual fair in October. We have one co-chair and need a second person who will interact with crafters, receive crafter applications, assist with publicity, and participate in the jury process to select the crafters. The fair has an excellent reputation in the crafter community, with over 50% of our vendors being repeats; many of the newbies are recommended by the veterans. 


The retiring co-chairs have made it easy with systems that need no tweaking this year - unless you want to.  All documents are ready on a thumb drive.  The former co-chairs are also ready, willing, and able to give guidance, advice, and tips. If you are interested, please contact Sherri Cline, Sheila Murphy, or Tom Arnold. Help us make the 114th Harvest Fair a reality and have a good time in the process!





This Sunday, March 22, we share the plate with UUMass Action. 


Founded in 2005, UU Mass Action has been mobilizing the 140 Unitarian Universalist congregations in our Commonwealth on issues of social justice.  Many congregations live their values through social justice work, but it is through organizing our efforts and working in coalition with our community partners that we amplify our voice and create significant change.


During this 2014-2016 issue cycle, our four core issues are: Ending Mass Incarceration, Immigrant Rights, Economic Justice and Environment/Climate Change.  To learn more about the history of the organization and current campaigns, go to: www.uumassaction.org. We are a 501(c)3 organization and we rely on financial support from individual donations, support from congregations and grants.

Committee on Ministry

Your Committee On Ministry (COM) has been diligently working on developing and refining a Survey which will help us better understand our collective ministry at FPS . The results of the last COM Survey, done in 2010 and the Ministerial Search Surveys done in 2011, 1997 and 1986 are available at www.fpsudbury.org in the Village under References documents for anyone who might be interested. The new 2015 Survey will be up and running by April 1 st, available to take online or in paper form. We will send out a separate email with the survey link and the link will be available in the village. Please take time to do the Survey. The more input we receive, the more valuable the information. Cilla Reising will be out in force gently reminding you.

The Committee on Ministry:
Liz Rust, Jan Hardenbergh, Tom Kruskal, Cilla Reising



"Mindfulness is awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. In addition there is an innate quality of kindness, and open- heartedness in this awareness."     

~ Jon Kabat-Zinn


First, this is a message of invitation, of welcoming -- if you are curious but hesitant, mystified or put off, or for some reason sure that meditation and this group are not for you - please reconsider, come and see for yourself.


Who we are:

We're a group that is constantly evolving, with a steady core of individuals who come regularly most Thursdays; and, because of jobs, schedules, other commitments, there are people who come and go, drop in and out. Absolutely everyone is welcome, in any capacity.  ....read more 


Please join us any Thursday from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm.

And feel free to email me, or others* who come, with any questions you might have. Laine Gifford - lainegifford@verizon.net. *Fran Sharp, Susan Stocker, Bridget Hanson, Susan McKain, Peg Espinola



March 17: Yoga (7:30 - 8:45 am - Commons)

March 17: Quilters (7:00 - 9:00 pm - Commons)  

March 18: PAG Meeting (7:30 -9:00 pm - Commons)  

March 19: Insight Meditation (1:00 - 2:30pm - Commons)

March 19: Choir (7:30 - 9:00 pm - Commons) 

March 20: First Day of Spring!  


March 22: Choir (9:00 - 10:00 am - Sanctuary) 

March 22: Worship - Rev. Jane Thickston   

March 22: Landscape Meeting (11:30am-1:30pm - Library)

March 22: Morris Dancing (11:45am. - 1:00pm - Commons)

March 22: Sr. High OWL (1:00 - 3:00pm - Commons)

March 22: COA Workshop (3:00-4:30pm - Commons)

March 22: GMMS Dancing (4:45 - 6:45pm - Parish Hall)

March 24: Yoga (7:30 - 8:45 am - Commons) 

March 24:  4thTuesday Lunch (12:00 - 2:00 pm - Commons)

March 24:  Quilters (7:00 - 9:00 pm - Commons)

March 26   Insight Meditation (1:00 - 2:30 pm - Commons)

March 26:  Conscious Eating (6:30 - 8:30 pm  - Lib. & Kit)

March 26:  Choir (7:30 - 9:00 pm - Commons) 

March 29: Worship - Palm Sunday - Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty 

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

March 31: Yoga (7:45 - 8:45 am - Commons)

March 31: Quilters (7:00 - 9:00 pm - Commons)

Coming up in April:

April 2:  Insight Meditation (1:00 - 2:30 pm - Commons)

April 2:  Choir (7:30 - 9:00 pm - Commons)

April 4:  Seeker's Potluck - Work for Justice (5:00 - 8:00 pm - Commons)  

April 5:  Worship - Easter Sunday  

April 7:  Yoga (7:45 - 8:45 am - Commons)

April 7:  Living our Faith Team Meeting (4:30 - 6:00 pm - Minister's Study)

April 7:  Quilters (7:00 - 9:00 pm - Commons)

April 8:  Sustainable Sudbury (7:00 - 9:00 pm - Library)

April 9:  Insight Meditation (1:00 - 2:30 pm - Commons)

April 9:  Choir: (7:30 - 9:00 pm - Commons) 

April 10-12: Women's Alliance Weekend Retreat

April 25: Rummage Sale (8:00 - 3:00 am) 

April 26: Journey of Discovery - Civility as a Spiritual practice (2:00 - 4:00 - Brackett Room)  


May 2: Seeker's Potluck 

May 9: Service Auction    

May 31: Journey of Discovery - Sewing the Seeds of Transformation 

In the Fall:

October 17 - Harvest Craft Fair?   


To view the full Meeting House Calendar Click here.

Join us for Fourth Tuesday Lunch

Our Fourth Tuesday Lunch on March 24th will be a conversation with the Trustees. Sheila Murphy, Chair of the Board of Trustees, will join us to talk about what the Trustees have been doing this year. We'll also have time for questions, ideas, and feedback. Please join us at 12:00 in the Commons, and bring your lunch for a conversation about and with the Trustees of First Parish.
Missing from Religious Education (RE) Library

The RE curriculum, Neighboring Faiths, is missing from the RE office. If you have taught that course in the past, perhaps you have a copy in your office? Please check your bookshelf. We're sure that FPS had a paper copy of it at least seven years ago when the class was taught. Please let Ginny Steel or Leslie Lowe know if you know anything about the curriculum book. Thanks.
Volunteers needed for Nursery Care:  Michelle won't be able to care the Chalice Babies on March 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.


The Parish Office is staffed week days 
 from 9:00 am to12:00 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.  

 It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
-Charles Dickens

A promise of things to come! 
Let's Welcome Spring!

First Parish Moves Into Strategic Action!

After a year of Strategic thinking and planning Rev. Marjorie helps the revived Council Team to celebrate the transition to Strategic Action! 

On Saturday, March 14th Rev. Marjorie and Della Hughes led the Council Team to share their plans for the 2015-2016 year. "We are ready to take it to the next level!" explains Rev. Marjorie as she shares the plan and budget for the Communications Task Team with the Council Team and members of the congregation. As part of her presentation, she expanded on her thoughts with the following statement and the question: "What sets First Parish apart from other communities religious and secular?"

We are an engaged congregation of individuals who want to change the world. We believe that in order to change the world that change begins in our own hearts and minds. We hold and affirm values that are welcoming of all people and we do our utmost to walk the talk and do this best in a diverse community of thought and practice. We are inspired to share our values in the world to help frame a possible solution to the challenges that humankind faces. We do not believe that we hold the truth but we have a commitment to working in community with all people to uncover our collective wisdom and expansive truth. We are Unitarian Universalists...

The meeting turned into a celebration when lunch replete with a strategic action cake was served! 

On other news from the Communications Task Team a mailing went out to new residents in Sudbury and Maynard last week which converted into three new visitors this week. We welcome those newcomers to spend some time and to get involved with our community through ushering, greeting or many of our social action events!
Photo by Tom Arnold

Stewardship Update


Continue the good work!

The 2015-2016 Pledge Drive continues and early results tell us that, as a congregation, we are indeed stepping up to the fiscal challenges we face. On average, we are seeing average increases of just under 30%, with the range from 8% to 96%! We know that these early results may not be typical, but such generosity shows us that WE ARE COMMITTED!


Please remember:

  • We want to share our congregation and our values with like-minded people, and we have an outreach plan.
  • Because of the 2015 Pledge Match, your pledge increase goes twice as far to fund our future.
  • It's incumbent upon us all to contribute treasure, time, and talent to our congregation. We are all in this together.


          Your Stewardship Team


Help Buddy Dog 
Humane Society

There's still time! Thanks to everyone who has already brought in donations for Buddy Dog Humane Society!

This is a great no-kill shelter that helps homeless dogs and cats find new relationships with families in our community. Buddy Dog asks for donations of new or gently used collars, leashes, blankets, dog beds and old newspapers. Science Diet Brand dog and cat food, cat litter, treats and all cleaning supplies are greatly appreciated. Gift cards to Home Depot, Petco, BJ's, Walmart and cash/check donations are accepted on Sunday mornings during coffee hour when organizers are present. The drive ends on March 29th.

Camille Slattery, a member of First Parish Coming of Age Group and leader of this effort, and Buddy Dog thank you for your generosity.

 Water Fact  

From the Living Our Faith Task Force


In recognition of World Water Day this Sunday March 22, join the UUSC for a panel on global water issues at First Parish in Concord."The Future of Water: Too Much and Too Little"


We will discuss the future of water and how we can act now to make that future a more positive and sustainable one for all. It will begin with a 2010 TEDx talk about global water issues followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Paul Kirshen, Ph.D. and Patricia A Jones. Q&A and a half hour reception in the First Parish in Concord Parish Hall will follow the presentations.  Click here for more information.  


Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Street, Concord, MA 01742. If you'd like to go together, contact Ginny Doxsey.


Click here for more News and Information from Living Our Faith or see the Faith in Action bulletin board in the Parish Hall.

UU College of Social Justice update.  ...Read more
New date for Northwest Move to Amend Meeting in Sudbury.  ...Read more 
MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition) has these openings ...Read more
Saturday. May 9, 2015


Please remember to begin thinking about what you might donate to the Service Auction.  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.  


Service Auction Committee Members: Gail and Jan Hardenbergh, Liz and Erin Llewellyn, Sherene Aram, and Sherri Cline.


Coat Rack(s) Needed for Alliance Rummage Sale

The Women's Alliance is looking to borrow one or two large portable coat racks for their annual rummage sale, to be held on April 25 in the Parish Hall.  It's useful for hanging large items of clothing which can get overlooked on the tables. We would need it by set-up time, which is April 22-24. Contact Peg Espinola, (978)443-3303.
Weekly Connector:  The next issue of the Weekly Connector will be published on March 25.  The deadline for articles is March 20.
Sunday Helpers for March, 2015

March 22:
Ushers: Nancy Moore and Helga Andrews
Greeters: Peg Espinola and Bridget Hanson
Fellowship: Valerie Tratnyek and Sally Sweitzer

March 29
Ushers: Rebecca Parkhill and Robert Willett
Greeters: Sherri Cline
Fellowship: Rich and Sheila Davison
Flowers:  Marion Tratnyek in memory of her dear Mom.     
First Parish of Sudbury | | office@fpsudbury.org | http://www.fpsudbury.org
327 Concord Street
Sudbury, MA 01776-1820