The Bell-Ringer FIRST PARISH CHURCH Duxbury, Massachusetts Catherine Cullen, Minister November 21, 2007 Marge McLean, Editor COMING EVENTS UPCOMING WORSHIP SERVICES TUESDAY, November 27 Personnel Committee, 6:30 (Sundays at 10:30 a.m., except as below) WEDNESDAY, November 28 DECEMBER 2: "To Love As Jesus Loved: Living With Compassion” — Green Sanctuary, 7:30 Our Mitten Tree Sunday will include a Blessing of the Shawls. THURSDAY, November 29 DECEMBER 9: "Holy Darkness" — As we approach the darkest day of the Senior Men, 11:00 year we ask, "How do we find our way through the dark nights of our soul?" FRIDAY, November 30 All Day Set-Up for DecemberFest DECEMBER 16: 4:00 p.m. — The Candlelight Holiday Pageant, in which the children of the Church School will present the story of the birth of Jesus. SATURDAY, December 1 DecemberFest, 9:00-2:00 There will also be songs of Hanukkah, a celebration of Santa Lucia with music Duxbury Interfaith Council @ by the Bell Choir and the Junior Choir, and carols for all to sing United Methodist, 9:00 SUNDAY, December 2 HIP, 6:00 Dharma Discussion, 6:00 From the Minister, Buddhist Group, 7:00 MONDAY, December 3 A Thanksgiving Prayer Bell-Ringer deadline, 9:00 Give us thankful hearts, O God, in this the season of Long Range Planning, 7:30 TUESDAY, December 4 Thanksgiving. May we be thankful for health and strength, for Worship Committee, 7:30 sun and rain and peace. Let us seize the day and the WEDNESDAY, December 5 opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures Denominational Affairs, 9:30 Personnel Committee, 6:30 life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities, and let Buildings & Grounds, 7:30 us remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself THURSDAY, December 6 Senior Men, 11:00 neither in independence nor satisfaction but passes the gift Religious Education, 7:00 joyfully on in larger and better form. SATURDAY, December 8 Such gratitude grant us, O Spirit of Life and Love….Amen Setup for Holiday Workshop, 10-12 Personnel, 1-5 SUNDAY, December 9 (adapted from a prayer by W.E.B. DuBois) Social Justice, 9:15 Welcoming Congregation, 9:30 Many blessings to each one of you for a peace-filled HOLIDAY WORKSHOP, 11:30 HIP, 6:00 Thanksgiving holiday! Recurring events With gratitude & affection, SUNDAYS Senior Choir, 9:00am Catherine Children’s Choir, 9:45 (Beg. 9/30) TUESDAYS Handbells, 7:00-8:30 Memoirs, 7:15 Recorders, 8:30 WEDNESDAYS Brown Bag Lunch, 11:30 (2nd & 4th) beginning 9/26 Staff Meeting, 1:00 THURSDAYS Book Group, 9:00am Sewing Group, 10:00 (Beg. 9/13) NEXT Bell-Ringer deadline – Dec. 3, 2007 @ 9:00a.m.(3 wks.) PRINTING – Dec. 4, 2007 @ 9:00a.m. MISSION MISSION STATEMENT PARISH PEOPLE BEST WISHES to Mary Shirley, who is recovering from a recent fall; to 2 The mission of First Parish Barbara Scholberg, who is recovering from recent foot surgery, and to Church is to be a vital, loving Doug Carver who is recuperating from recent by-pass surgery. community guided by our Unitarian Universalist WELCOME NEW MEMBER Lauren Oakland, who signed the book principles and traditions. We on October 28. nurture individual spiritual CONGRATULATIONS to Ruth and Oliver "Woody" Woodruff, who journeys as we learn, grow celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary with their four children, and serve, putting our faith seven grandchildren and two great grand-children at their son Dennis' into action. home in Sanford, Maine, on Thanksgiving Day. They were married at The Church of The Good Shepherd, Universalist, in Springfield, (Approved by the congregation, Vermont on November 22, 1947. April 2, 2006) Help spread Christmas cheer! Join the Music committee for Christmas Caroling Monday, December 10 at 6 p.m. We’ll gather in the Harvey Assembly Hall at 6:00 p.m. to warm up. At 6:30 p.m. we’ll begin our caravan to the homes of some of our special church members. Bring your jingle bells and a flashlight and share in an event that brings the true spirit of Christmas to you and to others! Call Ted Lillys (or the church office, 781-934-6532) for more information. DECEMBERFEST IS Saturday, December 1, 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. a.m.- We still need help for many tables. Call Sharon Nabreski or Barbara in the office (781-934-6532) to volunteer. Lunch room — Help in the kitchen or serve in the parlor. Bake a quiche (broccoli or ham/bacon and cheese), or a dessert. Mrs. Kringle’s Closet - Donate new small gift items, toys, books, candles, costume jewelry. There will be a drop-off box outside the church office during the week. Greens Table – Bring freshly cut greens to the church on Wednesday before the fair. Partner Church Table – Donate new or barely used children’s books. Bake Table –Volunteer to help with the table. Donate baked goods, homemade jams and jellies, appetizers. Silent Auction – Donate an antique, painting, any unused gift, a service (such as dinner in your home or theirs, etc!) for our table. Call either Stephanie Middleton or Carol Nappellio and drop off on Friday, Nov 30th from 9-3 with Barbara at the office or after 4pm at our table! We can arrange pick up as well (tax-deductible receipt available). COME AND SHOP ON SATURDAY! Support your church, its activities and programs! Among the many other items for sale will be UUSC Holiday Cards (4 choices) and UU chalice jewelry gifts. Also, the new FPC 375th anniversary cookbook will be on sale! 3 A Faith Journey We have once again arrived at that time of the year when we pause from our busy overscheduled lives to give thanks. We then quickly shift into a period of gift giving and holiday parties followed by a celebratory welcoming in of another year. How many of us approach this time of the year with good intentions to be present to the “real” meaning of the season; yet, you find yourself caught up in the ritual of feeding a consumer driven agenda. And how many of us UU’s approach the season with unanswered questions about what is being celebrated. It is certainly easier to get on the holiday express and participate in our long held family and religious traditions despite the fact that they may have lost meaning and value a long time ago. This season, I invite you to join me in a deep practice of pausing to notice the abundance of life and love that surrounds us. Where do you experience joy, love, kindness and generosity? Where is your life rich with meaningful moments in relationship with humanity, nature, life and the cosmos? Where do you experience deep caring for a fellow traveler? I invite you to pause during these moments of abundance. It may require you to slow down and move through the day mindful of your interactions. Approach this invitation as a detective of the sacred, all that is holy, all that is meaningful. Breathe in these life-giving experiences. Drink in the splendor. Let your heart feel the richness that all of life has to offer us. Dance in the delight of humanity’s profound light. These are the gifts that get lost in our holiday frenzy. They surround you. This year take the time to notice, then pause and participate by receiving and giving all that is truly priceless. If you feel moved, I also invite you to share these moments with me. If you see me around the church, take a minute to tell me your story. Leave a note in my box on Sunday morning. Or tell someone else the generosity you experienced. Take the time to say thank you to the unknowing gift giver. Pass it on. Be the one who drops kindness and love along the way this holiday season. In faith, Carie LAST CALL FOR SHAWLS!! On Sunday, December 2, we will be blessing our shawls as we prepare to distribute these works of love to some of our housebound and other members of FPC. Still time to finish a shawl for this important and caring ministry--for directions and information, see Catherine. THE CARING CONNECTION: LET US KNOW Did you know there are many caring members of our church community who are willing to lend a hand to those having a difficult time? The Caring Connection can co-ordinate meals, transportation, babysitting or visits to shut-ins. For November call Joe Dupuis), for December call Marjorie Hanlon, or the Church Office, (781/934-6532) to request help. The Caring Connection is looking for a few good men - handymen that is. We are trying to assemble a list to occasionally help out folks with odd jobs. If you feel you can help, please call Stefanie Middleton. BUDDHIST MEDITATION GROUP Our Buddhist Meditation Group meets at First Parish Church, Duxbury on the first & third Sundays of every month from 7:00 p.m. to approximately 8:30 p.m. The group is a drop-in group (come when you can). All levels of practitioners, including beginners, are welcome--bring a cushion or pillow if you like. In addition from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the first Sunday we view and discuss a DVD, and on the third Sunday we have a book discussion group. 4 Buddhist Meditation Group Hosts Children's Program At our first Sunday of the month meeting we are inviting "Baby Buddhas" to join us from 6-7 p.m. for a "kid- friendly" introduction to Buddhism and Buddhist meditation! Children fourth grade and below must have a parent in tow! Box Project News Give Christmas Joy Please help make the Christmas wish of a child come true. On the bulletin board on Saturday, Dec. 1st. or Sunday, Dec. 2nd there will be tags listing the wish, the age, and sex of the child and the family number. Choose one or more tags. Buy the present, wrap it, put the tag on it, and put it under the Christmas tree on Dec. 10th. There will be extra Christmas joy for these families! As one mother wrote, "You are the angels. You gave my children joy this Christmas. You gave me their smiles of wonder. Bless you." Become a Regular Supporter of the Box Project The Box Project helps the 10 neediest families chosen by South Shore Head Start by providing food, household supplies and clothing. Each month, the family fills in a request form. Social workers help them choose what to request. They teach them to budget and to use this year as a boost so they can get through a major financial crisis and be able to be independent next year. This year, we need at least two more contributors for the Box Project to work well. For each family being helped, we try to have five members contributing food, clothing or household supplies. This year there are three groups with only four members. This puts a burden on them as they cannot buy all the food that a family needs. For instance, there is one family with five children. There are facing a financial crisis because the father is disabled. He had been doing heavy work that paid well. Now, he can only get low paying jobs with no benefits. His wife can only work part-time. They are a 'double family' with children from previous marriages. If this family needs tomato sauce, realistically, they would need about eight large cans to provide one meal once a week. As one mother said, "I begin to feel desperate when all I can give them is cereal, peanut butter, bread, and spaghetti without meat." She was thrilled to get spaghetti sauce with meat! Another mother told me how much her daughter loved her new shirts. She just kept trying them on, saying how soft they were. Another said that her children were thrilled with the books that were sent them and sat right down to read them. A little can make a difference, when many work together. Please consider joining the Box Project and helping a local family in need. These families truly need our help! Please contact Carrie Meier by phone or email (carriemeier at comcast.net). RING THE BELL ON NEW YEAR’S EVE! Gina Angell with Judi and Terry Vose invite friends as well as church members to join them in welcoming the New Year by ringing the church bell at the stroke of midnight. This yearly tradition will be especially exciting on this 375th anniversary of The First Parish Church. Come at 11:30pm for some refreshments. Call Judi if you are planning to join us ringing in the New Year from on high. 5 375TH ANNIVERSARY NEWS Most of the 375th anniversary activities have been events. Unheralded but perhaps more long-lasting is the work that Joe Shea has been doing with the historic records of First Parish Church. Joe has spent countless hours collecting the original handwritten records of the church. He has wrestled with ancient handwriting and archaic spelling and has transcribed the existing 1739-1955 records. Five 3-ring volumes of these records are now available for reading in the Fletcher Room. In addition, copies have been given to the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society and the Duxbury Free Library. In addition, Joe Shea has created an additional volume that documents the turbulent FPC era of the 1850s. It "conveys an image of the church and Duxbury society" in that period. Those were the times in which issues like the building of the 4th Meeting House, new theological ideas and abolition and temperance were hotly debated in this town. This volume, "Clouds over the First Parish Church - 1851" is also in the Fletcher Room. Betsy Stevens UUSC Guest at Your Table: A Story of Hope Living in a Nairobi slum isn't easy - for anyone. But for a child, it can be far more difficult. Overcrowding, disease, violence, lack of access to water, lack of jobs or schooling are some of the obstacles a child faces. But the Rock Women's Group, a UUSC program partner based in Nairobi, Kenya, is attempting to change this fact. A coalition of over 20 primary school teachers who work in slums throughout the city, they are strengthening the rights of child laborers. And they are making headway. Mary, a 16-year old girl living in the Korokocho slum, managed to make it through 8th grade and pass the high school entrance exam - a real feat. But when her mother died, Mary had to become the breadwinner for her household, working every day in an open-air market. She had to leave school to support her family. A member of the Rock Women's Group noted Mary's absence from school, and looked for her. With her grandmother's permission, Mary entered an informal high school in the evenings. The group also helped her take on a hair braiding apprenticeship, giving her a trade as well. Mary has a chance at a better life now, and even has ambitions for college. The teachers, supported with UUSC funds, have helped her keep her hopes alive. She is just one of many children helped by the Rock Women's Group, and they are hoping to do much more. When you are putting money in your Guest at Your Table box, think of Mary. UUSC and its program partners use your donations to help people like her to improve their chances for survival in bitter places. When you choose to join UUSC, you help strengthen its voice for justice and peace in the world. If you didn't get a box this past Sunday, there are more available in the Parlor, as well as a bin to drop off your boxes once they are full of money or a check made out to UUSC. Please consider including UUSC in your year-end charitable donations, and help many more kids like Mary. Thank you from us and from the all the people you'll help. Cindie White and Karen Trais UUSC Co-Local Reps HOLIDAY TEA WITH YOUR MINISTERS Catherine and Carie invite you to join them for tea and holiday cookies on Wednesday afternoon, December 19, from 2:30 to 4:00. Children are invited. Drop by for a little holiday cheer!! (If you would like to bring your favorite cookies to share, you are welcome). 6 DON'T MISS THE ALLIANCE HOLIDAY PARTY! Come join us for food, drink and holiday cheer on Friday, December 14, at 7:00 p.m. at Polly's, 187 King Caesar Road. Call Polly for information. All are welcome! SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE NEWS At Decemberfest on Sat., December 1st, please look for the Christmas Wishes gift tags on the bulletin board just outside the kitchen. These are for our Box Project participants, working families with children in the Head Start program in Plymouth. Please play Santa and help make their holidays bright. And speaking of the Box Project, did you know that last year, 35 million Americans were unable to afford to buy food at some point? We are always looking for more contributors to our monthly grocery bags for our families, but we also gratefully accept monetary donations and grocery store gift cards in any denomination. We'll have a drop box at church every Sunday in the Parlor, so why not pick one up on your next trip to the market? Thanks for helping and making social justice an active part of your life. The Social Justice Committee GREEN SANCTUARY CORNER It’s encouraging to see how technology has advanced since Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs first appeared. Proof, perhaps, of man’s innate creativity and ability to respond to challenge! Today there are CFLs that work with dimmers, ceiling fans, recessed fixtures, three-way switches, and out-door applications. The new bulbs also provide ambient lighting akin to their incandescent counterparts. “It isn’t a matter of giving something up anymore,” says green architect and designer David Bergman, founder of Fire & Water lighting in New York City. “You can save the planet, save money and have great light.”* With the long nights of winter looming ahead, this is a perfect time to make the switch to CFL’s, if you haven’t done so already. “Energy Star recommends replacing at least five high use bulbs. If every American household made the change, we could collectively save nearly $8 billion annually and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road for a year.”* The CFLs that were left over from the Earth Day celebration at First Parish were donated to the Box Project this month. Each family received four CFLs with a fact sheet on their savings potential (dollars and greenhouse emissions), how to safely dispose of them and what to do if one breaks. By sharing our knowledge, our commitment to our 7th UU principle, and the surplus of bulbs that remained, we are taking steps towards another Green Sanctuary goal of extending our reach beyond the walls of First Parish. A description of the types of CFLs available, their relative cost and savings potential, where to buy them, safe disposal and facts concerning their low level mercury content is posted on the Social Responsibility Bulletin Board in the Harvey Assembly Hall. (*Garthwaite, Josie: “Green Lights,” Body& Soul. Nov/Dec 2007: pp. 68-69) Green Sanctuary Task Force (Liz Polvinen) LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Thanks to colleagues in Green Sanctuary for suggesting we hang out the wash as often as possible. When we lived in Portugal and Mozambique we always hung out the wash like everyone else. When we lived on Nantucket (with the world's most expensive electricity) we hung out the wash or (less fun!) dried our babies’ diapers by the wood stove! We are all very busy, so cannot always make the time, but when we can it yields bonuses. I'm too much of an 'itch' to meditate, but hanging the wash in the fresh air makes me feel very peaceful — and it yields a bonus of saved electricity, time outdoors and great smelling clothes! Jeanne Penvenne 7 Ballou Channing District Events and Notices Mark your calendar and please attend! The Ballou Channing District Board requests your presence at one of our regional information meetings on Cedar Hill. We need everyone to attend to show support for maintaining an upgraded retreat center at Cedar Hill. We saved Cedar Hill last spring, now it time to ensure that the retreat center gets the necessary funds for the much-needed renovation. As we recently communicated, the board has received an outline or "roadmap" from a neighbor for placing a conservation restriction on the land, with financial consideration to the district for this action. In planning our response, the board is considering the terms and conditions of the conservation restriction, financial remuneration, and the terms of ownership and use of Cedar Hill. We are interested in getting maximum input for these negotiations and would appreciate feedback from BCD member congregations at the following session: Wednesday, December 12, 7:00p.m. First Parish Plymouth, 19 Town Square, Plymouth Sharon Nabreski, BCD board member If you cannot attend the Dec. 12 meeting in Plymouth, there are other Cedar Hill informational meetings scheduled. All start at 7:00 p.m. Dec 3rd - Westminster Unitarian Church, 119 Kenyon Ave., East Greenwich, RI Dec 4th – First Parish Church, 1969 Main St., Brewster Dec 12th – First Unitarian Church, 71 Eighth St., New Bedford The next BCD board meeting will be held Dec 10, 6:30– 9:00 p.m., at First Unitarian Church in New Bedford. If you would like further information on these and other events please go to the BCD website at www.bcduua.org Wendy Swanson, Denominational Affairs Committee AN INVITATION TO LIFT YOUR VOICE! Social Action Roundtable UU Mass Action is excited to join with the Mass Bay District SACC to offer a Social Action Roundtable Sat., Dec. 8, 9 to noon at the First Universalist Society in Newton. The Roundtable will include: Opening Service Sharing Social Action Legislative Update Speaker from C-SNAP – Fuel for our Future There is more information on the UU Mass Action calendar. Please email or call at 617.835.5426 if you would like to attend. All congregations are welcome. 8 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION HOLIDAY PAGEANT – DECEMBER 16th This year our annual Holiday Pageant will be held on Sunday, December 16 at 4:00pm. Many of our young people look forward to being in the Pageant. We invite you all to think about your child’s participation and to discuss it with them. Usually, we are able to accommodate all those who are interested. The following information may be helpful in deciding if participation will be possible for your child this year. Here’s how young people may participate: Grades K-12: Junior Choir Grades K-1: Animals Grade 2: Angels, Kings’ Attendants Grades 3-4: Angels, Shepherds Grades 5-8: Angels, Kings, Shepherds, Mary, Joseph & Gabriel Grade 9-12: Assistant Directors Pageant Rehearsal Schedule (Please note all rehearsals are on Sundays) November 25: Introduction to pageant during chapel. Children will pick their parts. K-1 fitted for costumes. December 2, 9 a.m.: Rehearsal in the Hall. 2ND–8TH grades fitted for costumes. December 9, 9 a.m.: Dress rehearsal in Sanctuary December 16, 2pm.: Rehearsal in Sanctuary, followed by pageant at 4 p.m. Please note: Children who choose to be in the choir and children who choose to be angels will have additional rehearsals. Angels will meet at 8:30 a.m. on December 2nd and Dec. 9th. Jr. Choir will meet at 9:30 a.m. on November 25th and after church on December 2nd. Santa Lucia dancers and attendants will have an extra rehearsal after church on December 2nd. Young people (except Mary and Joseph) may sing with the Junior Choir and be in the Pageant if they can make rehearsal schedules. THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION COMMITTEE INVITES EVERYONE TO OUR ANNUAL ALL CHURCH WINTER HOLIDAY WORKSHOP SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 - 11:30 - 1:30 This special ALL-CHURCH CELEBRATION begins at 11:30 (after church school) in the Harvey Assembly Hall. Everyone is invited to join in the fun of Holiday crafts and activities from 11:30 to 1:30. Delicious soup will be served for lunch. DESSERT IS UP TO YOU! Please bring a plate of cookies to share. Join in the joy of celebrating as a church family: Please bring an unbreakable ornament for our Church Family Christmas Tree (write your name and 2007 on the ornament). Also bring your Holiday Spirit! 9 MITTEN TREE REMINDER During Family Sunday on December 2 we will be sharing in our annual Mitten Tree. Each of us is invited to bring in a pair of new or nearly new mittens, gloves, etc. to hang on our tree. Our gifts of warmth will be donated to the Plymouth Area Coalition for the Homeless. Remember - homeless people come in all sizes. UNIT I THANKS Have you thanked your child’s Unit I teacher? Our leaders deserve your high praise and appreciation for their generous gift of time and caring to our young people during Unit I. Let’s hear it for the Unit I Leaders! Toddlers Gr. (3-4) Sally, Brad, & Bonnie Woodie & Elaine Lackey Jernigan-Smith Ellie Donovan Preschool Gr. 5-6 Larisa Hart Liz Connors Julie Guillemin Julie Lillys K-1 Gr. 7-8 Caleen Alexanderson Gail Murphy Beth Troiano Liz Connors Gr. 2 HIP Youth Group – Gr. 9-12 Deb & Mark Chris Connors Worsh-Farnum Sunsue Fleming A special THANKS to Nancy Greenfield, Unit I Leader, from the Religious Education Committee.