March 2015

In This Issue…


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From the Minister

"On those days when we don't feel up to being the David against the Goliath of injustice or cruelty or ignorance, we can ask ourselves what small steps we are willing to take. We can build up our courage by taking our place as a snowflake (for good) and find solace and strength in the mounting pile of snow that builds as others do the same. The fact is, were we all to commit to a couple of small acts, done with great love, in the name of causes or concerns that worry us sick, the avalanches of this world would take care of themselves. And heroism would cease to be the realm of the few."
                                                    — Rev. Vanessa Rush

This month I have been finding solace and strength in the mounting pile of good will and small acts that I have witnessed and experienced as actual snow continues to pile itself upon us. Neighbors looking out for each other, walks being shoveled, meals being made, rides being offered. I have especially found solace and strength in the community of First Parish, all the small acts done with great love, acts magnified by our shared intention, purpose and mission.

Mission statement #1: We welcome each other to affirm life and all its mysteries.

I want to take a moment and thank all the members who have helped welcome and affirm each other and all of life's mysteries. Bev Burgess and her team of greeters, Abigail Alves, John Gerety, Bill Bell, Carol Martin; Ben Cowie-Haskell, and Martha Jackmauh. I want to thank the worship associates and readers who with their wisdom and presence help us hold an cultivate meaning and gratitude for life. Bev Burgess, Carol Martin, Eric Kluz, Kevin Mirise, Marie Caristi Holly Harris, Stanley Fogleman, John Jackson, Jeff Watson, Annie Spang, Matt Silvia, Mary Ann Cushing, and Joan Lunt. And I want to thank our youth and adult choir for their amazing abilities to help us embody our liturgy. Mary Parker, Mary Ann Cushing, Nancy Robinson, Pat Baird, Mike Bliss, Jack Martin, Amy Martin, Edwin Henneken, Suzanne Thorin, Chartis Tebbetts, James Morrison, Josiah Stevenson, Mike Nakashima, Marie Caristi, Peter Eldredge, and Mark Alves. (I realize I need an updated list of the youth choir, its growing so fast…stay tune.) I want to thank our outreach team that hosts Friday at First Parish, Phil Struzziero, Sheila Conley-Jackson, Katy Gallagher-Wooley and Bev Burgess. And lastly, I want to thank our Property Committee that makes our welcoming and gathering possible, Jane Goedecke, Art Myles, Larry Lunt, and Nancy Sandell.

Mission statement #2: We care to connect with each other and are communities.

So many people care. Thank you to our monthly caring coordinators who bring food, and offer rides to people in need. Pokey Kornet, Joanne Chittick, Jane Goedecke, Jane Ellis, Penny Myles, Dee MacKinnon, Nancy Robinson, Diane Watson and Kay Mixon. Thank you to all the members who help them reach out to people in need. Thank you to Lisa Marder who helps to bring together our adult faith formation groups, and thank you to the members who facilitate our small group ministries, Circle Ministry and Soul Matters: Jack Martin, Annie Spang, Joan Kovach, Jane Ellis, Mike Bliss, John Kornet, Peter Eldredge, and Karen Roy. Thank you as well to our recently formed caring presence team, Mary Parker, Jean O'Halleran, Jody Goff, Mike Bliss, and Mark Alves. You will hear more about them as time goes on.

Mission statement #3: Act to serve a just and sustainable world.

Thank you to the team that supports our youth programming, Jill Silvia, Sarah Williams, Joan Kovach, Ben Cowie-Haskell, and Phil Struzzziero as well as the people who spend their Sunday mornings with our youth, Jodie Goff, Penny Duxbury, JoAnne Mirise, Katy Holden, Lindsay and Will Newell, Lynn Doxey, Kate Mozinski, and others I am sure. Thank you to our preschool advisory board who lifts up our UU values to children in our community, Margie Brown, Pat Baird, Diane Watson, Ronnie McMorris, and Carol Martin. Thank you also to Ronnie McMorris who has offered to facilitate a group focused on acts of ministry for human worth and dignity and acts of ministry for our earth. Thank you to Ben Cowie-Haskell, Brian O'Halleran, Lynn Doxey,Meg Dewitt and John Gerety for offering to participate in this group. Thank you to Mark Alves and Carol Martin for coordinating our Christmas Charities, and thank you to the mystery person who takes the food to the food pantry every week. Thank you to all of you who contribute to our weekly charity donation.

So many acts of love that remind us heroism isn't the realm of the few and is something we practice together every day, week after week. Of course, we as members and staff really couldn't do this without the leadership of our governing board who in conversation with the congregation articulate our goals, and keep us moving forward. Thank you to Steve Brown, Jack Martin, Lisa Marder, Joan Lunt, Bill Bell, Woody Chittick, and Pokey Kornet So much to be grateful for, praise for the day.

Yours in faith,
Rev. Jill
(Let me know if I missed name, apologies in advance.)


Upcoming Events – Save the Dates!

Sunday, March 8

Union Service in Scituate:
"Our Living Planet"

photoThe ministers and directors of religious education for the Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, and Hingham UU congregations have planned a fun, family engaging worship service around the theme of "Our Living Planet" and the joy we feel when we commit to lessening the impact of climate change.

The service will be held on March 8th in Sctituate, and we are looking for elementary age kids to participate in a living planet dance (by the same singers and choreographer who did the MLK dance). Please let Christine Bulman know if your kids wants to dance: cbulman.fpc@gmail.com

We promise an engaging worship service for all ages. Childcare available for 4 years and under. The Scituate UU church is located on First Parish Street in Scituate across the street from the middle school.


Sunday, March 15

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Guest Speaker: Author, Andrew Bacevich

Author Andrew Bacevich will speak during the 10 AM Worship Service at First Parish in Cohasset on March 15, 2015. Mr. Bacevich will talk about the cultural gap between the American's who serve and the 99% of those that don't, and how the church may respond. A post-worship conversation will follow facilitated by George Kovach and Stanley Fogleman.


Mondays, March 9, 16 & 30

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Book Discussion

Are you interested in reading this book with me and in its implications? I know I put faith in the liberal class and their expression in the church, politics and the press. I am interested in what Chris Hedges has to say and what you think about this.

Several of you have responded to my invitation to read this book. Lisa Marder also mentioned an on-line movie, "Obey," based on the book. It's 50 minutes long. We can incorporate that into our discussion; it's hard to watch alone. The book has 6 chapters. I suggest we meet three times: Mondays, March 9th, 16th, and 30th, from 5 – 6:30 PM in the Atkinson Room.

Please feel free to invite friends, and please let me know if you plan on attending. Thank you.
Rev. Jill, revjillcowie@gmail.com


Sunday, March 22

Stewardship Drive

See below "From the Parish Committee" for more information.


Sunday, April 12

Calendaring Sunday
Life is Easier if We Plan Ahead

Calendaring Sunday is set for April 12th, post worship during coffee hour in Trueblood Hall. Please take advantage of this one-time yearly signup and reserve your special event on the large calendars provided for the remainder of this year and next. By doing so, all conflicts will be avoided and you will make Sandy's job a whole lot sweeter. If by some chance you are unable to attend this calendaring session, please send a representative from your group to do so. — Joan Lunt for the PC


Parish Committee Spotlight: Diana Kornet

"I grew up in Harwich Port on Cape Cod, the eldest of five children. Started sailing by myself at the age of 8, beginning a life-long love of boats and the sea. Giving private sailing lessons was an ideal summer job – and I taught from the age of 13 to 19. The picture below was taken early last September when our friend Charlie Dattola kindly invited us out on his 28’ Sabre; it was a gorgeous fall day and we spent several wonderful hours sailing off Scituate and Cohasset.

photoJohn and I met through our college a cappella singing groups, while he was at Dartmouth and I was at Connecticut College. We married after I had graduated but before his senior year – we were so young! We lived in Hanover for three years (he attended Tuck Business School after graduation), and our son John was born there in 1968. Diana and Allison were born while we lived in Bethlehem for 7 years; John worked for Bethlehem Steel. In 1976 we moved to Cohasset when John joined Mass Financial Services. Our youngest, Abigail, was born here in 1980. It was when she attended the Carriage House Nursery School that we discovered Unitarian Universalism, and we joined in the early 80’s when Ed Atkinson was minister.

While the children were young I served on the Cohasset School Committee, the Board of Selectmen and did part-time work – as a registered real estate broker and a certified travel agent, among other things. From 1994 to 2001 I worked full time with an analog semiconductor company based in Silicon Valley; it was a fascinating time to be in that industry, even though my degree was in biology rather than the engineering sciences. From the fall of 2011 to the present I’ve enjoyed being a lab administrator in the Molecular and Cellular Biology department at Harvard.

First Parish is a wonderful group of people. I’ve served on many committees over the years – Music and Worship, Personnel, Membership, Green Sanctuary, Council on Parish Ministry – and led a capital campaign, led summer services, contributed to and helped edit Lenten Manuals, helped with the lobster roll sale for years, organized a couple “Chocolate Auctions” (an idea borrowed from John and Becca’s UU church in Medfield), participated in Circle Ministry and the Care Circle. Special friendships and my great respect for members of this community have kept me loyal through the rough patches – both in our own lives and in the life of the church – of the past 30+ years. Serving on the Parish Committee is a privilege and responsibility; I’ll do my best to make a significant contribution."


Welcome New Members!

photoMarlene Booth moved to Cohasset two years ago. She is a semi-retired consultant in the bio-pharmaceuticals industry and enjoys music, dancing and staying in shape. She has two sons, one grandson and lives with 2 dogs enjoying life by the ocean.

photoStanley Fogleman
(pictured left)

Will and Lindsay Newell (pictured below) live in Hingham with their 1-1/2 year old daughter, Brooke, and their 3 year old beagle/shepherd mix, Elsie, who they added to their family last spring. Both having grown up attending Unitarian Universalist Sunday schools themselves, Will and Lindsay knew that they wanted to find a similar church to introduce Brooke to the UU faith and so they began their search of local churches.

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They had originally planned on attending a service at First Parish, as well as Old Ship Church and Second Parish in their own town of Hingham to see which was the best fit for their family but after their first Sunday at First Parish they knew their search was over! They were so pleased to introduce Brooke to First Parish last September with the beautiful Water Ceremony and are really looking forward to becoming more involved with the church community as Brooke grows.

The Silvia Family — Jill, Matt, Ben & Molly (pictured below)
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photoSuzanne Thorin — "My mother was born in Massachusetts and always missed the hills after the family moved to Detroit. I retired last August and had always planned to live in Maine, but it was just too lonely. So, I moved here and to Wheelwright Farm about 10 months ago. I was a library administrator at the Library of Congress, Indiana University, and Syracuse University. I have no children, but 2 nieces, 2 nephews, and a sister in Chicago. My four cats were all strays (one from Hull) and I believe they have a pretty good life with me. (I do love them.) I am learning to draw and paint, have renovated my little cape cod, and keep working on my aging body through Pilates and other exercises. I attended several churches looking for one where I could grow spiritually and become part of the community. From the moment I entered the First Parish church, I felt that community and kept coming back. Thanks to everyone who has made me welcome and provided an atmosphere where I can grow."


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Music Program

I have been fortunate to attend the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City, from February 25-28. As I sit in my hotel room, preparing to depart, I am mindful of the tremendous power of music to change lives; sometimes for a moment, sometimes forever. I have been inspired by amazing choral performances, stimulated by engaging interest sessions, and surrounded by the support of colleagues old and new. I will return to Massachusetts dreading the piles of snow but eager to resume my work, refreshed and renewed.

At First Parish, we have a wonderful opportunity to be moved by music as a part of our worship. I am reminded, thanks to this conference, that it is the great power of music that can make us beautifully disturbed in our comfortable world. It can and should make us think, reflect, and question our current way of living, such that we can sail a bit farther from shore, risking the safety of complacency. Great music, performed exceptionally well, can do that. It dares us to ascend to a new place, without the banality of artistic flabbiness. Expect your music at First Parish to rise above the ordinary and the immediately accessible. Be disturbed, and let the discomfort of stretching your mind and spirit, through music, be a sign of beautiful growth.

Thanks,
Joe


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RE Matters

Resilience is the theme for March. When did you bounce back from a difficult time? How did you do it? These are some questions that might come up as we explore the theme of Resilience in church this month. When discussing this topic with children, it can range from problem solving to facing fears to finding inner stillness or cultivating gratitude – all ways that we work with and promote our own resilience. For ideas and stories to spark your exploration of this topic with your children, check out this UU World Families insert. There are stories, activities and reflections on the topic of resilience. There is no shortage of children's books that speak to resilience. Check out some of the following titles:

Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
Moondance by Frank Asch
Feelings by Aliki
Badger's Bad Mood by Susan Varley
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Regina's Big Mistake by Marissa Moss

One of the ways we can all foster resilience is building community. The more people are connected, the deeper their resilience in tough times. Think of all the ways neighbors and friends can support each other severe winters, illnesses, injuries or other challenges. We're building community between children and adults this spring by getting to know each other through the Secret Pen Pal Program.

Children's forms should be turned in by March 1st and we will pair them up with a pen pal via lottery (due to the overwhelming response from adults!) shortly thereafter. Chosen adults will receive a letter with all the information they need to begin the program. Two boxes – one for letters to children, the other for letters to adults – will be placed above the staff mail slots across from Sandy's office. We will exchange letters until June when we will have a special picnic after church when the identities of the secret pen pals will be revealed. Looking forward to the month of March at First Parish during which we will usher in SPRING!

In Faith,
Christine


From the Theme Team: Resilience

What does it mean to be a people of resilience? When did we decide that resilience was a solo project?

It's not that we ever consciously decided that this was the case. It's just what we've been taught. The dominant culture around us may be well intended, but it takes us down the wrong path. "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps," it says. "You're stronger than you think." "If it first you don't succeed, try, try again.” This is how resilience is most often framed: it's all about individual mental toughness and inner strength. And yet at our best, we are more nuanced. When it comes to resilience, our most saving message has always been, “You can do it and you do not have to do it on your own!” It is a reminder that resilience does have a lot to do with what is inside us, but it has even more to do with what is between us. The true path of resilience is the path of connection.

We are indeed a people of resilience, not just a person of resilience. We survive our pain by knowing it is shared. We continue to walk through the dark only when we sense we are not alone. Internal grit only gets us so far; empathy, assurance and love from others gets us the rest of the way. Resilience has everything to do with the water within which we swim and the web of connections that surround us. Our covenantal theology asserts that we belong to each other. Let's also remember that our resilience also belongs to and depends on each other.

Spiritual Exercises:

1) Carve out some time this month to make a list of your TOP FIVE resiliency practices and habits. For instance, practices might include: getting enough sleep, exercising, spending time with animals, meditating, not checking email one day a week, watching a favorite TV show, cleaning house and creating order.

After you list your top 5, organize them according to these questions:

  • Which resiliency practice/habit is "saving" you right now?
  • Which one have you let slide and need to start doing more of again?
  • Which one was given to you by someone else? Which was a gift?
  • Which one did you discover on your own?
  • Which do you need to pass on to someone in your life? Who could benefit from sharing in this strategy? Might you invite them to do it with you?

2) Try one of these tests for resilience and find out your score. What did the questions unearth for you? What are some answers you'd like to see change? http://www.resiliencescale.com/your-resilience/test-your-resilience

From the Theme Team


From the Parish Committee

March is the time in the church year when we all evaluate our financial commitment to First Parish. The Stewardship Drive will officially begin with a worship service on Sunday March 22nd. I think for many of us, (at least I admit for myself), the only time we think or talk about the word "stewardship" is during the annual budget drive. Yet, when you really look at what that word means stewardship defines everything we are and do here at First Parish as well as all the ways we practice our religious faith.

Stewardship is defined as the "careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care". First Parish in Cohasset is entrusted to us, its Members and Friends. We are its stewards. We are not "owners" of First Parish; rather we are responsible for carrying forward all the assets of our congregation that have accumulated for almost 300 years. These assets include our congregation's history, its accomplishments, and its sense of religious purpose. Our assets also include our buildings and the church's financial resources. And, finally, our assets include the struggles, sacrifices, and devoted efforts of our congregation's people as they evolved over the years and created the liberal religious community that we enjoy today.

A sense of stewardship calls us to be generous in nurturing and sustaining the many assets of First Parish in Cohasset. And a sense of stewardship also urges us to build on what we have received and pass it on lovingly to the generations who follow us.

Mark you calendars! More information on the Stewardship Drive will be coming soon. Hope to see you on Sunday March 22nd.

Jack Martin
Parish Committee Chair


Join a Group to Volunteer at Rosie's Place

Last month a First Parish Group served a meal at Rosie's Place and many people asked about doing it. Below is the blurb from the volunteer coordinator. I too would love to join a group to serve a meal. When would you like to go, dinner, lunch, any 12 years (+) want to join us?

Let me know your interest and time frame and I will follow up to plan a date. Thank you and I look forward to it. — Rev. Jill, revjillcowie@gmail.com

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Rosie's Place serves over 90,000 healthy and delicious meals a year and we rely on a network of volunteer catering groups to provide a healthy meal to everyone in need. Caterers make a donation of $350 to underwrite food costs and then prepare and serve a nutritious meal to approximately 150 women in our dining room.

Rosie's Place staff will design the menu, purchase the ingredients on your group's behalf and guide your group through meal preparations during your visit. All you have to do is show up at the start of the shift and the ingredients for a healthy and nutritious meal will be here waiting for you to prepare.

Depending on the date, groups may be as few as 5 or as many as 15. All volunteers must be 12 or older and volunteers age 12-15 need adult chaperones.

Catering a meal is a great way for a group to work together to build new connections with each other as well as with our guests. We have available shifts 7 days a week. Just let me know if this opportunity might work for your group and I will be happy to send you a list of our available catering dates.


The HUUnger Campaign

This Spring, the Rev. Scott W. Alexander, of Vero Beach Florida; and the Rev. Daniel Kanter of Dallas, Texas; will be riding across America in a “Ride to Beat Hunger” to encourage Unitarian Universalist congregations to address hunger and poverty in their local communities this spring.

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The purpose of The HUUnger Campaign and the “Ride to Beat Hunger” is to raise awareness about the prevalence and pain of hunger in America today, and encourage Unitarian Universalists congregations all across America to address hunger this Spring in their own local communities. The United States is a land of great plenty, yet at any time, one in six Americans (some 13 million families) regularly face hunger in their lives. Every American community is haunted by the unnecessary tragedy of hunger and food anxiety. The HUUnger Campaign is dedicated to the proposition that one of the most fundamental of all human rights is freedom from hunger.

Rev. Scott Alexander is riding all the way across America in 30 days (115 miles a day) — from Costa Mesa, California, to Amesbury , Massachusetts — to raise $50,000 to $75,000 for the Harvest Food and Outreach Center of Vero Beach, Florida, a local non-profit that focusses on local hunger. The Rev. Daniel Kanter is riding from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Topeka, Kansas, to raise up to $10,000 for the “Food on the Move” a program of Dallas non-profit CitySquare, which provides portable meals for hungry local children over the summer. It is their hope that many Unitarian Universalist congregations across America will be inspired to do something similarly significant to address hunger and poverty in their communities this Spring by participating in The HUUnger Campaign.

Congregations that decide to participate in The HUUnger Campaign are encouraged to identify ways in which they can reduce hunger and poverty in their communities – most likely by supporting (with either financial contributions or volunteers) local non-profit organizations that are already addressing hunger and poverty in their locales. Some possible congregational actions include turning over the proceeds of a Sunday morning offering (or a complete month) to a local food agency; holding a fund-raising dinner or reception for a local food agency; gathering volunteers to help pack or distribute food from a local food bank; or having members fast for a day and collect the monies saved by not eating for a local food agency. There are so many ways to address hunger in your community, let your imagination guide you! Participating congregations are asked to share what they have accomplished by posting their efforts on The HUUnger Campaign Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/huunger.

Interested individuals (including UU children and youth) will also be able to follow the daily video blog of Rev. Alexander’s and Rev. Kanter’s ride (including daily live GPS data) through the Facebook page.

Together as compassionate and concerned Unitarian Universalists we can make a real difference by addressing hunger and poverty in our local communities, this Spring and beyond. We hope to see your posts on The HUUnger Campaign about what you have accomplished to address hunger in your local community.


UUCSJ Activate summer youth programs

Open to all high-school-aged youth interested in justice, UUCSJ's Activate programs offer you the chance to gain hands-on skills to help organize, transcend boundaries, and engage in justice work grounded in UU theology. Working with local partners, you'll create community across differences and leave with a deeper understanding of yourself and the work of social justice. Youth who attended high school during the 2014–15 school year are invited to participate. View/download the Activate flyer here: UUCSJActivateFlyer.pdf

Scholarships and financial assistance are available, so apply early! Find out more and apply today at uucsj.org/youth

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Sunday Worship Schedule

 

March 1:

Rev. Jill Cowie

March 8:

"Our Living Planet" Union Service in Scituate – 10:30 AM

March 15:

Post-worship sermon conversation with guest speaker, Andrew Bacevich

March 22:

Pledge Sunday – Rev. Jill Cowie

March 29:

Rev. Jill Cowie


Youth Schedule

March 1:

Children begin in the Meeting House with a Time for All Ages.

Childcare available for ages 1-4 in the Carriage House Nursery School. In the classroom: Tatyana Nakashima and Polly Duxbury.

Story: The Parable of the Sower.

March 8:

Union Sunday service at First Parish UU in Scituate. Come and enjoy story, music, movement and ritual during this multi-generational service honoring our climate.

Story: The Perfect Globe.

March 15:

Children begin in the Meeting House with a Time for All Ages.

Childcare available for ages 1-4 in the Carriage House Nursery School. In the classroom: Tatyana Nakashima and Polly Duxbury.

Story: The Colors of the Rainbow – a story about community resilience.

March 22:

Children begin in the Meeting House with a Time for All Ages.

Childcare available for ages 1-4 in the Carriage House Nursery School. In the classroom: Tatyana Nakashima and Christine Bulman.

Story: Helen Keller and Her Teacher.

March 29:

Children begin in the Meeting House with a Time for All Ages.

Childcare available for ages 1-4 in the Carriage House Nursery School. In the classroom: Tatyana Nakashima and Katy Woolley.

Story: TBA.