Summer Services

IMG_9199First Parish adheres to the time-honored tradition of Unitarian Universalist congregations in New England by holding simple, informal services during the summer months. (Our regular services begin the Sunday after Labor Day, and end in mid-June.) Our summer services, often led by parishioners, offer opportunities to explore topics or experiences together in different ways and sometimes in different places.

Most of our Summer Services convene in the Vestry and are structured similar to our regular services, including time for prayer/meditation and, of course, Coffee Hour. While there will be no choir, many weeks will feature live music.

2017 Summer Services Schedule
10 a.m., Vestry

June 18
“Fathers and Songs about Fathers” 

The Rev. Dr. Deborah Pope-Lance

The Rev. Deborah J. Pope-Lance, First Parish’s Affiliate Minister, provides training and coaching to clergy and congregations on the ethics of ministerial practice and congregational life. She holds Ministerial Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association in both Parish and Community Ministry, is an accredited Interim Minister with the Interim Ministry Network, and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. 

June 25
“Yoga Mind Body Spirit”
Karen Kwass

Using postures (asanas), and breathwork (pranayama), development of a quiet mind and the practice of relaxation, the flow of prana (life-force energy), and compassionate self-acceptance, helping to release stress and increase consciousness.

Karen teaches Kripalu Yoga, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Kundalini-inpsired classes, meditation, and Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra.  Her teaching encompasses holding postures and gentle flow.  She is dedicated to making yoga accessible to all, to those who don’t think they can do it, she encourages modifications that enable students to make yoga both doable and enjoyable.  

July 2
“Patriotism and the Seven Principles”

Joan and Matthew Shear

What is the relationship between Patriotism and the Seven Principles? How do they influence each other and what is patriotism? In this small group format there will be opportunity to explore and discuss these themes.

July 9
“When Good Ideas Go Wrong”
Matthew Shear

Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” How might this apply to ideas like our UU Principles?

July 16
“Earth Centered Ritual: Peace Mandala”
Sandy Hoyt & Suzanne Reitz

The theme of this ritual is to create a visible and tangible prayer for peace, in the form of a mandala, both inner peace and world peace.  As we all create the mandala in sacred space and with prayerful hearts, the energetic for peace grows and is held in the mandala.

Suzanne and Sandy have been creating and offering earth-based rituals together for over two decades. They feel ritual holds an authenticity and genuineness that comes from one’s own experience, and is balanced by a respect for the personal experience of each person present. They strive to offer ritual from the passion found in one’s own being and help each person touch the Sacred within the ritual setting.

July 23
“The Heart and the Mind”
Elizabeth Lewis

What makes us human? There are two defining characteristics of our species: our capacity for emotion and our capacity for logical reasoning. Liz will explore how logic and emotion interact in our lives, and what these interactions reveal about us.

Liz Lewis is a rising senior at Natick High School and an active member of First Parish’s High School Youth Group. 

July 30
“Lammas: The First Harvest of the Celtic Wheel”
Melinda Morgan

What serves you well?  What do you wish to shed as we begin our approach into the shorter days and the darkness of the approaching winter solstice. What is the power of ritual – old and new in our lives – that travel at the speed of light?  And how did beer save world?

August 6
“Growing Compassion”

Penny Beer

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”  – Pema Chodron

August 13
Musical Sunday
Songs and Hymns for UUs: A Group Sing-Along Led by Matt Shear and Penny Beer

“… a congregation that loves to sing is almost always a vital and strong religious community. … Our songs let us know that we are one religious people despite the many spiritual paths we follow.”- Rev. Wm. Sinkford

August 20
“The Antidotes to Hate”
The Rev. Dr. Stephanie May

After last weekend’s hate-filled violence in Charlottesville, we gather to reflect on antidotes to hate. From national politics to a troublesome neighbor, what allows us to resist the tug of hatred? Through music and words, our service will seek to explore and inspire love.

August 27
TBD
The Rev. Dr. Stephanie May

September 3
Blessing of the Backpacks
Kate Holland, Director of Lifespan Spiritual & Ethical Exploration

This special back-to-school service will lead all ages–(school-bound or not)–to reflect on the touchstones in our lives that remind us of our strength and that we are loved.

Regular services in our Sanctuary resume on September 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.