September 2015

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From the Minister

“Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.”
— Clearing by Martha Postlewaite

Martha is suggesting that only when we clear our schedules and make space will the song that is our life fall into our cupped hands. I love that image. I am thrilled to introduce you to our new Music Director, Jeanne Lucas who with her passion and talent for music will help you hear and sing your song.

Jeanne Lucas comes to us with fifteen years of experience working in church music ministry. She holds music degrees from Northwestern University and the Longy School of Music and her spiritual and musical tastes are eclectic and spirit-filled. She has been active in the early music scene in Boston, singing in vocal ensembles (including Cappella Clausura with Allegra Martin), onstage in operas and plays, and around the region with a bluegrass band. She has conducted choirs and made music in many different kinds of churches and synagogues and helped a few people who didn't think they could carry a tune in a bucket find their voice.

She comes originally from Lexington, Kentucky, the daughter of a minister, and is a member of Hope Central Church (UCC/DOC) in Jamaica Plain. She has been in the Boston area for most of the last 13 years and lives with her husband and two children in Quincy. Jeanne is excited about more deeply exploring Unitarian Universalism, working with Rev. Jill Cowie in creating vibrant, thoughtful, and transformative worship experiences, and most of all, getting to know many of you in your music making and your spiritual journey.

Jeanne will start with us Oct 1st and Caroline Harvey our organist will be leading the choirs during September. Times on Thursday will be the same. Please join me in welcoming Jeanne. I look forward to making space in worship together as we invite the sacredness of both being and becoming into our lives. See you in the Meetinghouse.

Rev. Jill


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RE Matters

If you are called to be in relationship with what First Parish has to offer to children and youth, I extend a warm welcome. My goal this year is to foster connection. It is to provide children and youth with experiences that connect them more deeply with themselves, each other, members of the congregation, nature, and with the “otherness” that comes from beyond ourselves yet beckons us to sing our unique song in contribution to the chorus that is humanity. (If you’re intrigued by the idea of inviting this otherness in, check out September’s congregational theme.) This all sounds like a tall order but it happens with small, intentional, loving actions and interactions. My study time this summer was devoted not only to the process of deepening connections but also to collaboration in how to bring this about. I welcome you to make time and space to bring your children and youth to church this year. As well, I invite adults to explore how they can enrich their spiritual lives by nurturing connection in our religious education program. It promises to be joyful for joy is a path to the sacred. Welcome!

The first gathering of children and youth will be Sunday, September 20th in the Parish House, following a Time for All Ages in the Meeting House. A Religious Education Open House to answer questions and tour the classrooms will take place after the service.

In Faith,
Christine Bulman


From the Theme Team: Invitation

Are you making room in your life for what is sacred, filling your own well so that you have enough to give the world? Religious life involves creating a life with enough space to invite others and otherness in, whether it is a new perspective, a hard truth, or new insight. As this new year begins, the calendar fills, and life gets busier, remember to create space for invitation.

Spiritual Practice

1) Read The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, a widely-read spiritual writing that invites us to rethink our lives. Pick the one line that you hope will most characterize your life.

2) Read the essay Following an Ancient Call, by Christine Paintner. Discern which of the two orientations – monk or pilgrim – is inviting you most clearly. Consider it your spiritual work for the coming year.

3) Invite in the voices of Black Lives Matter. Read the sermon, “I Racist,” one of the most read and forwarded pieces of the Black Lives Matter conversation. For many it is a challenging piece, but if being “a people of invitation” means anything, it means at least being willing to make space for and invite in hard truths and new perspectives.

4) Invite a friend to church. As UUs we have a complicated relationship with sharing our faith. Think about the reasons why you would want to share this faith, and then ask someone to join you at church.


Upcoming Events

Ingathering Brunch

September 13 after service


Healthier Choices for You and Your Family

September 16
7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Parish House

Matt Meyers

Did you know that over 1300+ chemicals are banned in Europe, and only 11 are banned in the U.S.? That the average woman puts 168 chemicals in her bloodstream during her morning routine? That your personal care products labeled "safe," "pure," "natural," "gentle," "hypoallergenic," and even "pediatrician recommended," can contain known endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, allergens, and even carcinogens?

In this workshop, First Parish member Jean O'Halloran will teach you an easy way to become an "ingredient detective," able to recognize the most common toxic ingredients on product labels, and where to search online for ingredients when they aren't listed on the label. Come join the conversation, and leave empowered to make healthier choices for you and your family!

Jean is a two-time breast cancer survivor and mom of three young children. As an Independent Consultant for Ava Anderson Nontoxic, she enjoys furthering Ava's mission: to educate families on the health effects of harmful chemicals in their everyday products, and to offer them safe and effective alternatives.

To learn more about Ava Anderson's inspiring story and explore her full line of safe products for your skin, babies, pets, and home, visit: AvaAndersonNontoxic.com/jeanohalloran.
You can also follow Jean's Facebook page: facebook.com/avabyjean.

Please RSVP to ava.by.jean@gmail.com.


Invitation from the Circle Ministry Team

September 20
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM in the Parish House
* sample small group ministry *

The theme for this month is Invitation. Our INVITATION is to invite you to a group experience. We have become more reliant on email and texting to communicate in our lives and we seem to spend less time in the company of one another. If you are yearning for a sense of roots, place, belonging, deep sharing and personal spiritual growth then Circle Ministry may be what you are looking for. Circle Ministry began nine years ago and has proven to be an excellent way to meet and get to know people in a more intimate way. The small groups meet twice a month, follow a flexible format, and focus on a preselected topic.

Our invitation is to new comers and long timers alike. We will be holding a sample small group ministry session on September 20th from 11:30 to 12:30 in the Parish House. We have learned that the best way to introduce Circle Ministry to you is have you do it – not teach it or explain it; but simply to do it and experience it. We plan to provide child care for those of you with young children.

We hope you’ll join us,
Circle Ministry Coordinators

Jack Martin (781) 378-0942
Annie Spang (781) 749-3364


Finding Ourselves in Rhythm

September 26
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM in the Trueblood Hall

Matt Meyers

Finding Ourselves in the Rhythm is an interactive training and workshop designed for ministers, musicians, lay worship leaders, choir members, and worship committee members looking to explore ways of working together and using music to create more engaging worship. It includes tools for working as a worship team, integrating music into worship, elements of song-leading, and also conversations about culture, race, and inclusiveness that are involved in planning worship.

Music has the ability to engage our hearts and bodies together in an integrated and transformative worship experience. Join us for a day of exploring the theory and specific tools of worship planning, including experiential worship, discussions, small-group activities, and take-home resources.


West Meets East Poetry Group

Begins September 28
4:00 – 5:30 PM in the Atkinson Room

This fall the First Parish in Cohasset will be offering a series of poetry reading group sessions open to the public. The group will meet on five successive Monday afternoons, beginning September 28 at 4:00-5:30 PM in the Atkinson Room, First Parish House, 23 North Main Street.

The focus of the group will be readings and reflections on contemporary poets Gary Snyder and Jane Hirshfield. The selections will be from Snyder’s collection Danger on Peaks and Hirshfield’s Come,Thief. Both volumes are available online and in bookstores with good poetry sections.

Both poets are students of Buddhism. Lawrence Ferlinghetti once referred to Gary Snyder as the “Thoreau of the Beat Generation,” and Polish Nobel Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz said that Hirshfield’s poetry “invites ethical awareness . . . and . . . illuminates the Buddhist virtue of mindfulness.”

Jim Morrison and Marie Caristi-MacDonald will lead the sessions, and Reverend Jill Cowie will serve as a facilitator. A donation of $10 is suggested. For more information or to register for the sessions, please e-mail either Marie at mariecaristi@gmail.com or Jim at j.c.morrison@me.com.


GMOs: What You Need to Know

September 30
7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Parish House

Matt Meyers

The Arctic apple, a genetically modified apple, will soon hit store shelves near you. Are you curious to know more about GMOs? What are the potential risks or benefits to eating them? Are GMO foods any more or less nutritious? How prevalent are they in our food supply? And, how are they regulated by our government?

Politics can sometimes cloud issues, making it rather difficult to determine what’s best for you and your family. Come join Tenley Mirza MS CNS LDN, licensed clinical nutritionist and founder of South Shore Nutrition (www.southshorenutrition.com), as she discusses GMOs. With her background in biology, genetics, biochemistry and nutrition, she will provide an unbiased, scientific overview of this hot topic, along with practical tips for shopping, cooking and eating out.

Please RSVP to tenley@southshorenutrition.com by September 23, 2015.


Robine Andrau Book Launch

September 10
4:00 – 6:00 PM at Riva Restaurant, Scituate Harbor

Bowing to the Emperor: We Were Captives in WWII by Robine Andrau and her mother Klara, is a gripping point-counterpoint narrative of the Andrau family’s experience in their respective prison camps in Indonesia and in Japan. Besides being their personal story, it shines a light on the atrocities the Japanese inflicted on the predominantly Dutch population in Indonesia during WWII.

Available on Amazon (www.amazon.com, paperback or Kindle) or order at Buttonwood Books or Barnes and Noble. If you think it a worthwhile read, please post a review on Amazon. Also, come if you can to Riva’s restaurant in Scituate Harbor on Thursday, September 10th, 4-6 PM for a book launch.

Send comments to randrau@comcast.net; see also www.robineandrau.com.