February 2017

From the Minister

I am your pastor!  I am your pastor no matter who you voted for.  I want to know what is in your heart.  What inspires your love and what fears inhibit your loving. 

Dear Friends:

Before the service on the 22nd of January I shared a brief reflection about the Women’s March that I attended in Providence and I will try to repeat it here for those who were not present.

The Women’s March was an emotional event.  Those that attended were filled with passion.  Two strong feelings came across as I witnessed the gathering and spoke to a few people, read their signs, and listened to the speakers.

The first feeling was love.  There was a strong element of being happy to be gathered together to freely express what was in the collective hearts and minds of those present.  The second feeling was fear.  Many expressed fear of losing some element of their safety.  For some it was fear of the loss of health care.  For others fear of future oppression based on their gender, religion, or sexual identity.

What we all know from our life experiences is that both love and fear can be motivating, driving us to express what we feel and perhaps take action to defend and protect ourselves.

If we are honest we also know that love and fear can be blinding.  That is, we get so caught up in our passion we cannot hear a different point of view.  Communication becomes polarized, we learn nothing from each other and interpersonal growth comes to a screeching halt!  The remedy for this is to seek out others with opposing points of view.
We must not be righteous in our love and cripplingly defensive or paralyzed by our fear.

I am not asking anyone to be “politically correct” and just get along by stifling what is inside.  Indeed there will be times when political events and decisions intersect the boundary of human rights events.  However, the point of intersection is sometimes unclear and different depending on an individual’s point of view; these are opportunities for discussion.  I would never ask that you compromise your beliefs or cease from their expression.  I do lovingly remind all of us that everyone has a belief system forged from experience and everyone’s expression of that belief should be encouraged and welcome be it liberal or conservative.

I am your pastor!  I am your pastor no matter who you voted for.  I want to know what is in your heart.  What inspires your love and what fears inhibit your loving.  It is my hope that our ministry together is one based in love, openness, welcome and deep listening.  Beyond our individual relationships and between you as a congregation and me, I trust that each of us strives for a community of such richness.

In Faith,
Bob McKetchnie

Rewarding Volunteer Opportunities

Do you enjoy helping seniors in need?  South Shore Elder Services Meals on Wheels program provides a hot and nutritious meal to over 1200 consumers daily on the South Shore, including Cohasset.  This program needs volunteers to make this happen.  If you would like to learn more about how you can assist in their efforts, please contact Jody at 781-848-3910 x 430.

If you are compassionate, dependable and can give 4 to 6 hours of your time weekly, you may want to contact Terri Fedrow at the Norwell VNA Hospice Program, 781-610-1427, or tfedrow@nvna.org.

RE Matters

Dear Members and Families,
The RE Committee and the Acting Director of Religious Education are planning the curriculum and activities for next year.  Do you have questions about the program?  Would you like to introduce an activity next year?  Do you have any concerns? Ask the DRE or one of the committee members and we will discuss it during a meeting.  RE Committee Members are: Phil Struzziero, Chair, Meghan Gilmore Neri, and Sarah Williams.

We are continuing our Winter Session with a curriculum titled: “In Our Hands, A Peace and Social Justice Program”.  Some of the projects will include gathering words and images used to define and identify peace and justice.  Reminder: We are asking the children to bring a recent photo of them that can be part of the social justice collage we will be making on Jan. 29.  Would you please help your child to find such a photo and remind her or him to bring it?

Grades 6 and up Youth Brainstorming Meeting Rescheduled
Rescheduled to Sunday, Jan. 29 (immediately after worship) Open Brainstorming Meeting for Youth in Grades 6-12.  Junior and Senior Youth Group kids, would you like to be more involved in active projects together? Please join Donna Shecrallah in the Atkinson Room to brainstorm project ideas—anything from social action projects and community involvement, to fun off-site activities or exploring other cultures.  Bring your ideas and let’s make something happen!

Beginning in February – Children’s Chapel
We are excited to add “Children’s Chapel” once a month as part of our RE Program.  It will take place the second Sunday of each month during regular RE time. Children begin in worship and stay until they are sung out.  Then the children and youth will come together to explore spiritual matters in their lives.

Upcoming RE Sunday Schedule:
Sun., Feb. 5,   Affirmation of Self
Sun., Feb. 12, Children’s Chapel
Sun., Feb. 19, Intergenerational Service
Sun., Feb. 26, Faith in Action; Taking Care of Our World
Sun., March 5, Unity Sunday – Intergenerational Service at FP UU of Norwell

We are excited to offer as part of our Spring Curriculum, the K-1 Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) program.  K-1 OWL will meet during regular RE time beginning March 19 and will be taught by Mark Alves and Lynn Doxie, trained facilitators. Parents of the K-1 graders should have received an invitation to join us Sunday, February 26, 11:30-12:30 for parent orientation immediately after worship.  At the orientation we will give an overview of the course content followed by parents signing permission slips and registration forms for the program. There will be a Parent/Child Meeting on Sunday, March 12, 11:30-1 p.m.; Snacks and childcare will be provided.   Intended Dates for OWL program to run: 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, & 5/14.

Yours in faith,
Donna Shecrallah, ADRE

From the Parish Committee

  • Cohasset was well represented at the Women’s March in Boston last Saturday, and more than 15 members of First Parish took the commuter rail in and walked up to the Common.  The train was full, and it was free!  We were so lucky that the temperature rose above 50 and the sun was out, which no doubt improved attendance.  It was a joy to be with women, men and children of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, physical abilities and perspectives sharing the common value of the importance of human rights.  I have heard estimates of the attendance ranging from 125 to 175 thousand people – the cell towers were so overwhelmed that no one could connect, regardless of which cell service or how many ‘bars’ of signal.  One could not ‘Find Your Friends’ or call them!  It was a wonderful experience, but I must say it was good to sit down after so many hours!
  • We are looking forward to the concert by the Genesis Chamber Singers, led by our former Choir Director Joe Young, on Saturday, Feb. 4th at 7:30 in Trueblood Hall.  Caroline Harvey Kinney will be accompanying them, and she says it is a spectacular concert!  Please see the posters for details about the program.
  • After our service on February 5th we’ll have our Semi-Annual Parish Meeting; 25 members constitute a quorum to conduct business.  In order to lighten the agenda for the Annual Meeting (which will be held on June 4th this year), the Parish Committee decided to hold this meeting to update our Bylaws, and also to discuss our current ministry.  We thank everyone who has responded to our request for feedback, and if you haven’t yet, please feel free to share your thoughts with any member of the Parish Committee – in person, by phone or email.

    Woody Chittick – woodychittick@gmail.com
    Meg DeWitt – dewittmeg@yahoo.com
    Pokey Konet – dianadkornet@verizon.net
    Penny Myles – pmyles74@comcast.net
    Pete Parker – peteparker250@gmail.com
    Nancy Sandell – nancysandell@comcast.net
    Sarah Williams – sarah.robbins.williams@gmail.com

Save the Date – Sunday, March 12 at 3 PM – Union Sunday Gathering
First Parish, Norwell

Every March five neighboring UU congregations  – Cohasset, Norwell, Scituate, Old Ship, and 2nd Parish Hingham have gathered to commemorate and celebrate our common heritage.  This year we have decided to have our gathering at First Parish Norwell – 24 River St. at 3:00 p.m.
Our decision to move to a later time is that the ministers of all five churches were unanimous in feeling uncomfortable about closing our churches at the regular Sunday hour.

There will be more details about the March 12th gathering in the the coming weeks but I am hoping you will mark the date, time and place on your calendar now.  It is our intention to continue the tradition of having all of our choirs participate and the theme this year is: “Singing for the Earth”.  This is an Intergenerational Gathering.  I hope you will come!

News from Jefferson in Guatemala

Check out the bulletin board this Sunday for a new letter from Jefferson and a new picture.. Jefferson has struggled with school this past year and will have to repeat grade 8. He needs some encouragement. Would anyone like to write to him on behalf of the church or Sunday School? Just getting beyond 6th grade is an accomplishment in Guatemala, but it would be very significant for him if he could graduate from high school. His family (with 5 children) lives on $78 per month. An education brings the promise of a much better life for him and his family. Let me know if you want to reach out to him.
Margie Brown Margiebrown99@gmail.com

Worship Schedule – Sunday at 10 AM in the Meetinghouse

January 29th   “In Service to Each Other”
Interdependence is a primary theme among Unitarian Universalists and often comes at a cost.  Today’s sermon will examine how “being in service to each other” can result in helping ourselves and others change our lives for the better.

February 5th   “This is Where I Belong!”
How important is a sense of belonging in your life?  Are our daily habits and evolving sociological and technological innovations adversely affecting our occasions for warmth and rapport?  Today’s sermon will explore how a strong sense of belonging may open us to others or may make us less approachable.
February 12th      “Beyond the Hearts and Flowers” 
Today’s sermon looks beyond the commercial expressions of “I Love You” that will abound on the 14th  of this month to those places of generous heart and ready spirit that make relationships work.

February 19th     “Poetry and Prose Sunday”   Kay Mixon, Laurie Hamilton, and Marie Caristi
In this service participants will share with you a piece of poetry or prose that informs their life or enlivens their spirit.

February 26th  “Flexibility: A Practical Wisdom” 
Things are always changing and change is hard.  Today’s sermon will look at the spiritual aspects of flexibility and adaptability that enable the development of a practical wisdom to guide our lives.

March 5th    “U.U’s and Uganda”   
Today’s sermon will review the humanitarian crisis that has emerged as a result of Uganda’s proposed anti-gay legislation.  Unitarian Universalists are playing a central role in providing sanctuary for many who are at risk of persecution and death while also fighting the political influence of the Christian right.