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The March Steeple newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of First Parish,
From the Climate Action Team! We Need You! Life Needs You! Its not hard!
Take the First Parish Climate Change Challenge
Be The First To Complete the Challenge!
Anyone Can Participate
Big Celebration on Sunday April 25
About the Power of Community to Effect Change!
What Is It? Between now and April 25th do these 4 things:
1. Practice Meatless Mondays.
2. Read three articles about the carbon tax legislation being
proposed in Massachusetts.
If you agree, take one action in support of it:
3. Investigate companies that can offer electricity completely derived from renewable resources. It may cost a few cents more per kilowatt
hour. If you can’t afford that, you still get credit for learning about it! Mass
Energy Consumers Alliance
4. Sign the postcard available in Scott Hall every Sunday in support of the new EPA standards put forth by President Obama (through the
Clean Air Act) for industry.
Each time you complete one send an e-mail to [email protected]
or [email protected]; or leave a message on the church phone afterhours 508-872-3111.
Reverend Kathleen Hepler
The Steeple
VOL 8 NO. 3 March 1, 2015
First Parish in Framingham
Unitarian Universalist
A Welcoming Congregation
Minister’s Column
The snow is relentless. The lists are long. The news grim.
What can the Christian season of Lent mean this year to us as religious liberals?
In the Biblical stories, Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray; to face the demons within himself as he
prepared for his public ministry. With the touch of ashes on foreheads, Christians typically make a decision to
give up something as a sacrifice for spiritual deepening. It used to be that most Christians fasted from all food
on Ash Wednesday, and, then, gave up one thing for 40 days. These days, some do this… many don’t.
I wonder, what if we, Unitarian Universalists, take Lent seriously. From what might we fast so that something
else more nourishing can emerge in us and through us as we live our lives?
As a citizen with privilege in a land of excess I have tried to keep the many in the world who have little power
or material “stuff” in mind with my Lenten decisions. “Please God, help me to let go of my stuff!” is so much
the prayer of us “haves” as to be spiritually embarrassing from the get-go. Still, I have to start where I am and
make choices that allow that privilege to work for love and justice.
(continued on page 2)
Worship Services, 10 am
Sunday, March 1
All Our Relations
Dr. Dan McKanan
Sunday, March 15
Loneliness and Solitude
The Worship & Arts committee welcomes Dr. Dan
McKanan from the Harvard Divinity School to our pulpit. His sermon will reflect on the people, animals,
plants, and even animate objects to whom we are related. How does our special love for certain fellow beings shape our respect and care for the interdependent
Sunday, March 8
The Genius of Community
Rev. Kathleen Hepler
What was the number one reason that was given for
why people become part of First Parish in Framingham Unitarian Universalist? Community. There are
fewer and fewer places where people can commit
themselves to that which abides in our church.
Rev. Kathleen Hepler
A reflection on the meaning and relationship of these two
human experiences.
Sunday, March 21
Fifty Shades of Grace
Rev. Kathleen Hepler
Sunday, March 28
Diving In and Letting Go
Rev. Kathleen Hepler
We cannot know ahead of time the results of the efforts of our commitments; yet having them makes all
the difference. This is a service about both choosing to
shape our lives AND releasing them to something
greater than ourselves.
Minister’s Column
So here is what I will do on the 40 days of Lent:
I will fast from acquiring unnecessary “stuff”.
Not because this will impact the world that
much, but because less management of things
will free me up to participate more in the work
that is needed to heal the world. AND because I
seek more time to enjoy the world. I will…
- give away or recycle one thing each day
- resist buying anything that is not for basic living needs
-bank the money saved from non-essential
spending and give it away for good purpose
I will fast from despair and feast on hope.
So then….each day of Lent I will:
-limit my reception of the general news to 3 chosen outlets twice a day
-set my phone to an hourly reminder to take a
five minute gratitude/beauty break
-spend a minimum of a half hour a day learning
more deeply about these two chosen issues:
Global Climate Change and Economic Inequality
From the Board of Assessors
Service Opportunity: Taskforce to Evaluate the Future of 110 Edgell Road
The Board is now working to convene a taskforce of First
Parish Members to help evaluate options for the future of
our 110 Edgell Road property. Over the next six months,
this group will gather information from a variety of First
Parish stakeholders and outside advisors to help us think
through the choices we face about keeping, renting, or selling all or parts of the land and building. If this is an issue
that is important to you, particularly if you have experience
or knowledge in the relevant areas of law, real estate, or
Framingham planning, zoning and historical boards, we
hope you will consider joining this taskforce. In addition to
task force meetings and email collaboration, members
should expect to spend time on research and historical
document review, meetings with First Parish members, and
consultation with experts outside of the church.
If you are interested, please contact Beth Walton at [email protected] by March 15, 2015. The Board will select taskforce members from among those who are interested.
-take one action each day for one of these issues
-conspire to put myself in the way of grace and
beauty and joy with people I love every week.
This year I will be intentional about the season
of Lent. The Easter I seek is to be ever more present in the nurturing of the beloved community
on earth that Jesus so ably and bravely modeled.
To my community of fellow travelers at First
Parish… you are those who help me feast on
hope. To those who might be thinking about
joining our community…see you Sunday at 10!
With Love,
Rev. Kathleen Hepler
To all of those who have pledged, a heartfelt
thanks. We raised $153,000 in pledges and
$1,500 at the Rock Concert donated by Big Red
Sun, The Mighty Winds and The Saints and Sinners Choir. A special thanks to Steve and Sarah
Mittleman for the wine.
There is still time to pledge. Last date is March
15th and final payment is December 15, 2015.
We are appreciative of donations in any size.
—The Capital Campaign Committee
The Season of Nominations:
Opportunities for Lay Leadership
At First Parish, our success in realizing
our mission depends on lay leaders who
embrace the stewardship of our congregation and dedicate their time, often behind the scenes, to keep our church running smoothly. Each year the Nominating Committee begins its work to identify individuals who are willing to serve
in the positions we elect at annual meeting. Among these:
members of the Board of Assessors and Trustees; the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer; the Collector, Clerk, Auditor,
Registrar and Moderator; the By-Laws and Canvass Committee Chairs; and finally the members of the Nominating
Committee itself.
These positions vary in the time and skills they require, but
each one provides opportunity to deepen your connection
to our work. If you would like to serve or are interested in
learning more about these positions, please contact Nominating Committee Co-Chairs Diane Montgomery
([email protected] or 508-254-4476) or Ilene
Hofrenning ([email protected]).
Religious Exploration
way. How do you embrace where they start but encourage them not to finish there?
9. A desire for greater purpose. Millennials will not
stay long at work or causes that have little greater
meaning or purpose. Is your mission and vision clear,
compelling and inexhaustible?
10. Personal mission. People aren’t waiting for
someone to change the world, they’ll just do it. How is
your vision motivating people who have vision?
11. Trust in user reviews. People place far more
trust in user reviews than advertising copy. What are
others saying about your organization and how
would people find that out?
Here are the 12 trends in no particular order:
12. The death of cash and cheques. When was the
1. Online as the New Default. What are you doing to
last time you wrote a cheque or paid $500 cash for
embrace the online world beyond a barely-supported
something? No one does that anymore. But every
and moderately outdated website, podcast or FaceSunday most church leaders expect most of their ofbook page?
fering to come in via cash or cheque. Is most of your
2. Wifi and Smartphones. They are googling you
giving happening online? Why not?
while you’re speaking. Do you assume your audience
is intelligent, literate and has options?
3. Dialogue. People want to talk, not just listen. What Roberta Altamari, our Interim DRE is pleased to
invite everyone to Themed Discussions
scalable, meaningful venues do you have for people to
All are enthusiastically welcome! Note there have
go to online and inhouse for real conversation?
been schedule changes.
4. Loyalty. Brand loyalty is low. 4 of the top 5 global
Cultural Trends Church Leaders Shouldn’t Igcompanies didn’t exist 40 years ago. How are you
showing the relevance of an ancient faith to the cur- nore. Monday, March 9 at 7pm in the Memorial
Room. A future talk , if there is interest, is
rent generation?
“Connecting to Other UU’s and How Doing So Benefits
5. Lack of guilt. Guilt used to motivate people to
change and even to come to faith. Are you still using
guilt to motivate people?
6. Declining trust in authority. People will still trust Mystery Friends are coming….
authority when the authority has earned their confi- The R.E. Council will be welcoming sign-ups for our
dence. But they start out with suspicion. More than
beloved “Mystery
ever, trust is earned slowly and lost instantly. How is
Friends” program on
the way you exercise authority worthy of people’s
Sundays, March 8th
and 15th. It will be
7. Declining trust in institutions. You have to
even more fun this
show people how an organization can help them, beyear as letters will
cause by default, they don’t think it/you can or will.
be mailed to your
How are you demonstrating trustworthiness?
home! And we will be exchanging home-made gifts (or
8. Personalized, eclectic spirituality. People want very in-expensive bought gifts if you’re not feeling creato find their own unique path, and most start out that tive) on April 12th at Social Hour.
Because of the snowstorms last month, I wasn’t able
to lead a discussion on a topic I was very excited to
talk to you about. Inspired by an online essay/list
called "12 Cultural Trends Church Leaders Can't
Ignore (But Might)" on, I am eager to talk about these trends and how they affect us
here at First Parish. In awe of the significance of this
exploration, I am sharing my column with excerpts
from this list. Join me on Monday, March 9th from 7
to 8pm to talk together about how we can prepare to
meet these cultural changes with enthusiasm and
poise ourselves for future growth.
Religious Exploration
Help Wanted in our RE program
Discussion about Five Wishes
The RE programs needs two assistants for our
Justice Sunday on March 22nd and our special
Sunday on April 5th. No skill is necessary. Just
come and help out as needed.
The RE program and the YRUU youth group are
both welcoming ideas and leadership for onetime special events. Do you have a craft, game,
or other activity that you love that you think the
teens would enjoy? Let us know.
The YRUU youth group needs chaperones for an
overnight they want to do on Saturday, March
14 into Sunday, March 15. Only requirements
are that you can stay awake for a three hour
stretch. Extra would be that you like talking/
hanging with teens.
Join Roberta Altamari,
Interim DRE, for a talk
about Five Wishes. Five
Wishes is changing the
way America talks
about and plans for
care at the end of life.
Five Wishes lets your
family and doctors
know: who you want
to make health care
decisions for you when
you can't make them; the kind of medical treatment you want or don't want; how comfortable you
want to be; how you want people to treat you; and
what you want your loved ones to know.
Attend the discussion in the Memorial Room on
either of the following dates:
⇒ Monday, March 16th 6:30 - 8pm
⇒ Wednesday, March 18th 10 -11:30am.
Contact Roberta at [email protected] about any
of the above activities.
Music Notes
I am so very excited to be the new Music Director at First Parish, Framingham! For the past 18 years, I have
worked at UU Churches, and in the words of our minister Kathleen Hepler, am “UU on a cellular level.”
Our choir rehearses on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:00. (In the fall, we will switch to a Wednesday evening rehearsal time, as that works better for most people’s schedules.) We have a lot of fun together and
produce a lot of beautiful music, too. New members are always welcome. No previous musical experience is
necessary; we will help you learn.
Several musicians in the church community have already approached me about playing during worship. If
there are others of you out there, let me know. I love to see/hear members of the congregation participating
in worship in this way.
I live on the north shore (Salisbury) with my two precious dogs, Louise and Tucker. My commute to First
Parish typically takes just over an hour. When asked why I would work at a church so far from my home, my
typical response is, “It’s a UU thing.” This liberal religion is part of my soul.
Happy Music-Making!
Claudia Keyian, Music Director
Caring through Sharing
Around The Parish
There are many ways to "lend a hand" and deepen
your connection to First Parish and the wider community. New ways to get connected :
There is a new bulletin board outside of the minister's office with information about ways you can
There will be a table during coffee hour once a
month which will have the high need items for
the following month.
Sign-up to receive a monthly e-mail listing ways
you can share you time or talent in the coming
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single
moment before starting to improve the world—Anne
If you would like more information contact Dawn
Mendelsohn at dpm[email protected] or Beth
Walton at [email protected]
If you would like to share a joy or a concern in the
newsletter please contact the Caritas Coordinator.
Caritas helps those in the Parish who face difficulties such as hospitalization, illness, and death of a
loved one. Caritas coordinates cards, visits, meals,
referrals to services and newsletter announcements.
The Caritas Coordinator for March is Lucille Riddle. She can be contacted at 508-875-5468 or by
email at [email protected]
UU Urban Ministry
Bethany House, a residence for young women has
subsidized housing and includes those transitioning
from a shelter. There is a lack of this type of housing.
Bethany House needs furniture such as beds, dressers, and desks. Please contact Myrna Howe at 781235-4226 if you have furniture to donate.
Seeking Employment
Amy Caruso is asking anyone who wishes to
help the Caruso family either with meals or
dog walking, to go
to a free private
online community to organize support for
caregivers. Volunteers can see the calendar
under Mike Caruso's name, after they have
signed in.
Former member Esther Hopkins would welcome cards at her home on Martha’s Vineyard
to cheer her in her time of illness.
Pat Paul of Ashland is home recovering and
can’t receive visitors but would love cards.
Brian Knapp-Cordes is looking for any kind of
work that is not at a desk. His skills include
mathematical modeling. Call (cell) 603-943-9060 .
Roxbury Youth Program is an afterschool program
that provides daily homework assistance, SAT and
MCAS prep, and preparation activities for college
application. Our First Parish UU Urban Ministry
committee is planning to provide food, conversation
and an activity at the Roxbury Youth Program on
Wednesday, March 11. We welcome any who
would like to join us! Contact Valerie Waldman 508877-7769 for more information.
Joy to Share!
Parishioners David Ortmeyer and Deborah
DuBourdieu are delighted to have been cast in
major roles in the upcoming Weston Friendly
Society production of “State Fair!” Performances
will take place on Saturday, March 21, at 2:00
pm and 7:30 pm, Sunday, March 22, at 2:00 pm,
and Saturday, March 28 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm
at Weston Town Hall. Tickets available at and at (978) 295-9085.
Take A Bite Out of Hunger
March collection will be cereal; hot and cold; full
size and individual serve donations are welcome.
Please bring on Sunday and drop them off on your
way into church or leave in the collection area
outside of Rev Hepler's office in the Parish House.
Dessert, wine, and recycled clothing
Our stylish interim DRE will host a fun evening of trading clothes and delicious treats on Sunday, March 8th at
6:30pm (in the 110 Edgell Living room). Bring clothes
you no longer want to share (and all leftover clothes
will be donated to charity). Join us to get rid of unwanted clothes, try a new style, or find a new treasure.
contact Aimee Dalrymple at [email protected]
or 508-652-9946.
Spirituality Book Group
Tuesday March 31 at 7:15 in the Memorial Room to
read "When things fall apart" by Pema Chodrun. All
are welcome! Please email Julia Schneiderman at
[email protected] if you plan to attend!
Women’s Alliance
The Women’s Alliance will meet Monday, March 9 at
noon in the Huntley Room. The program will be Julie
Fox discussing her interesting experiences in her life
as ex-pat for 29 years. (An ex-pat is an American
whose job takes them to other countries.) Bring a
sandwich; coffee and tea will be served.
Meeting for Middle School Youth & PFLAG
First Parish in Framingham is pleased to host OUT
MetroWest’s (formerly WAGLY) new monthly supportive program for LGBT middle school youth in
MetroWest Boston to explore identities, make new
friends, eat pizza and have fun! There will be a concurrent PFLAG meeting for parents and adult family.
Meets second Wednesdays of the month 6:30-8pm,
starting March 11. For more information visit or call 508-875-2122.
Sacred Circle Dance
Sunday, March 15th (changed from March 8th)
6 - 8 pm in Scott Hall. No partner, experience or RSVP
needed. All dances taught; some live music. A donation of $5-$10 to help with First Parish expenses will
be appreciated. For more information, contact FP
member, Paula Adelson (508) 485-1030.
Meets Tuesday March 24 at 7 pm in the Memorial
Room. This group meets monthly for discussion and
exploration of women's spirituality. All First Parish
women are welcome; for more information, please
First Parish Auction – May 9
“A First Parish Hoedown!”
Save the date for a fun evening of food, drink, and
lots of fantastic items for auction! This is a great
community event, and one of our most successful
fundraisers. This year’s theme is “A First Parish
Hoedown!” Get out your boots, spurs, and cowboy
hat and come on down for good grub and good
Please think about what you might donate for the
auction. Members of the church donate some great
things every year – weekends at summer homes,
home maintenance services, consulting and advice,
artwork…. And there is always the opportunity to
unleash your culinary talent and host a “Dine and
Unwind” evening for some of your fellow parishioners.
Finally, if you have connections to a local business,
we are always looking for donations of goods and
services to auction. Please let us know, and we will
be happy to contact them!
Auction Contact people include:
Marjie Rochon, Auction Coordinator: [email protected]; Diane Montgomery, Member Donations: [email protected], 508254-4476; Carol Lawton, Outside Donations:
[email protected], 508-877-0697.
Yes, There Is An Afterlife
With legacy planning, your appreciation of and contributions to First Parish can go on, joining a more
than 300-year-old tradition of First Parishioners building a foundation of support for the congregation
they love. The First Parish Endowment Fund, managed by your Trustees, provides an annual pledge of
more than $20,000 to supplement the canvass. Building the fund helps bring financial stability to our
faith community. You don’t have to be a millionaire to leave a legacy gift; bequests of all sizes to the First
Parish Endowment Fund work together to provide benefit to all For information, contact the FP Trustees
Dennis Charles, Rich Lawson or David Ortmeyer.
MARCH 2015
9:15 Children’s Choir
Rehearsal, Olympia
Brown Room
10 am Worship
11am Teacher Recognition
5:30 pm Free
Medical Clinic, 110
6pm ESL,110
Edgell Rd
6 pm Huntley: RE
7:30 SH Heritage
7 pm Bell Choir
6 pm YRUU, Huntley,
7pm Ballroom
Dance Class, Scott
9:15 Children’s Choir
Rehearsal, Olympia
Brown Room
11 am JYG Bake Sale
6 pm YRUU, Huntley,
11:30 Women’s
6pm ESL,110
Alliance, Huntley
Edgell Rd
5:30 pm Free
Medical Clinic, 110
7:30 SH Heritage
7pm Ballrroom
6:30 pm, Dessert, wine Dance Class, Scott
and recycled clothes,
110 Edgell Road
7pm Discussion
with Int. DRE, Memorial Rm
11am ESL,110 Edgell
6 pm ESL,110 Edgell
11am ESL,110 Edgell
6 pm ESL,110 Edgell
8 am Coffee & Muffins:
9am ESL 110
4pm Girl
5:30 pm Free Clinic
Scout Meet6 pm JYG, Huntley
ing, Huntley
7pm, Scott Hall, Fairs and Room
7:30 pm, Choir,
Rehearsal, MH
8 am Coffee & Muffins:
9am ESL
110 Edgell
2pm Private
5:30 pm Free Clinic
6:30 pm, OUT MetroWest Middle School
7 pm BOA, Huntley
Program, Scott Hall
7pm, Scott Hall, Fairs and
6:30 pm PFLAG,
Huntley Room
7:30 pm, Choir,
7 pm FinCom,
Rehearsal, MH
Memorial Room
6 pm YRUU
sleepover, Huntley Room
7 pm Fairs and
Squares, Scott
7 pm Bell Choir
9:15 am Children’s
Choir Rehearsal,
Olympia Brown Room
5:30 pm Free
Medical Clinic, 110
6:30 pm 5 Wishes
Discussion, Memorial Rm
5 pm FCNS Staff
Mtg, Olympia
10 am 5 Wishes
Discussion, Memorial
10 am Worship
11 am YRUU Bake
6pm ESL,110
11 am Mystery Friends
Edgell Rd
7 pm Bell Choir,
Box, Scott Hall
11:30 am SJCC, Hunt- 7pm Ballroom
7:30 SH Heritage
Dance Class, Scott Chorale
6 pm Sacred Circle
Dance, Scott Hall
11 am ESL,110 Edgell
6pm ESL,110 Edgell
9:15 am Children’s
Choir Rehearsal,
10 am Worship
5:30 pm Free
6pm ESL,110
Medical Clinic, 110 Edgell Rd
7pm WomenCircle, Memorial Rm
10:15 RE Justice Sun- 7 pm–Bell Choir
7:30 SH Heritage
7pm Ballrroom
11:30 CAT, Huntley
Dance Class, Scott Chorale
6pm YRUU, Huntley
and Cave
9:15 am Children’s
Choir Rehearsal,
6pm YRUU, Huntley
and Cave
9am ESL 110
8 am Coffee & Muffins:
5:30 pm Free Medical
clinic, 110 Edgell
6 pm JYG, Huntley Rm
7 pm Multigen Traininig
for Familiy Promise, Olympia Brown Rm
7:30 pm, Choir,
Rehearsal, MH
6 pm YRUU, Huntley,
11 am ESL,110 Edgell
6pm ESL,110 Edgell
7 pm Mass Mothers of
Twins, Scott Hall
5:30 pm Free
6pm ESL,110
Medical Clinic, 110 Edgell Rd
7:15 pm Spiritual7 pm–Bell Choir
ity Book Group,
Memorial Rm
7pm Ballrroom
7:30 SH Heritage
Dance Class, Scott Chorale
4pm Girl
9am ESL 110
8 am Coffee & Muffins:
Scout Meet- Edgell
ing, Huntley
5:30 pm Free Medical
clinic, 110 Edgell
9am—2pm Under the Same
6:30 pm Parents and
Moon Board Mtg,
Others, Olympia & Dix Rm
7pm, Scott Hall, Fairs and
7:30 pm, Choir,
Rehearsal, MH
The First Parish In Framingham
Unitarian Universalist
A Welcoming Congregation
24 Vernon Street
Framingham, MA 01701
Non-Profit Org
US Postage
Permit # 319
Return Service Requested
The Steeple
March 1, 2015
First Parish in Framingham ~ Unitarian Universalist Established 1701
TEL: 508 872-3111
FAX: 508-879-5780
E-MAIL ADDRESS: [email protected]
Rev. Kathleen D. Hepler, [email protected]
The Reverend Dr. Charles A. Gaines
Roberta Altamari, [email protected]
Carol M. Greve
Claudia Keyian, [email protected]
Dean Arvidson, [email protected]
Sara Morrison Neil, [email protected]
Alma Gould
ASSESSORS: Diane Bassett, David Mendelsohn (Co-Chairs); Jill Borelli, Rich Boyd, Jim Carberry, David Eells,
Robin Hegvik, Tracy Marshall, Beth Walton, Mary Rose Wells.
AUDITOR: Bill Schreiber
CLERK: Pat Paul
COLLECTOR : John Hutchins
HISTORIAN: Janet Nichols
MODERATOR: Richard Paul
REGISTRAR: Abbie Merson
TREASURER: Debbie Doucette
TRUSTEES: Dennis Charles, Richard Lawson, David Ortmeyer
The Steeple is published monthly, except July & August. Send subscription inquiries to [email protected] or call
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