Current News

The Plate Report: Where the Offering Goes

By , October 11, 2017
post a comment »

First Parish shares it’s plate collection each Sunday. Most weeks we split the collection, 50-50 between First Parish and another organization chosen by the Social Action Committee. Occasionally, as with hurricane relief this season, we give the entire collection away.

This Summer, in July, August, and on Labor Day Sunday, First Parish collected monies shared 50-50 with the Needham Community Council. A check for $832.88 has been sent to the Council. As the collection was split, First Parish also received that amount. The total raised this past Summer was $1,665.76.

In September, collections were:

  • Ingathering Sunday, September 10th a total of $1,506.10 was raised and given entirely to the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund administered by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC).
  • Sundays, September 17th & 24th $482.53 was raised for Generic Ministry, with the other half going to First Parish. The total raised was $965.05.

And on Sunday, October 1st $910.50 was raised and split 50-50, half each–or $455.25–going to the UUA-UUSC Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund and to the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Hurricane Maria Relief Fund. For nearly 30 years, the Hispanic Federation has partnered with 100 grassroots organizations to serve East Coast Latinx communities through education, immigration advocacy, economic empowerment, environmental justice, and healthcare access.

For the remaining 4 Sundays of October, First Parish is splitting our plate collection 50-50 with Massachusetts Community Action Network (MCAN), a network of local faith-based community organizations working for economic and racial justice, inspired by many faith traditions’ deep and enduring call to justice. Current campaigns include improving public education, increasing the minimum wage, ending mass incarceration, and compassionate immigration reform, including sanctuary networks to protect undocumented immigrants. In November, the amount collected with be listed.

Thanks to the Social Action Committee for choosing the causes we split our collection with, to reinforce our values made manifest in the world, and to all of you for your generosity in making that happen!


Come Learn the Plain and Simple Truths about Legacy Giving

Join First Parish Members Jim Leffingwell and Bob Smart on Sunday, October 22nd at noon in the parlor for a workshop on legacy giving. Jim and Bob are both part of the Legacy Giving Committee.

Jim will lead the workshop based on his years of experience in planned giving. After many years as a pastor and non-profit executive, Jim entered the professional world of planned giving and worked for 2 independent schools and later as the New England Representative of the American Baptist Foundation. He conducted many workshops on planned giving during his 10 years there. Jim retired from the Foundation in 2000.

Bob is a well-known local attorney. He will be there to support Jim and answer questions such as how to create a will and a codicil.
Please RSVP to Jim at so that he can plan for handouts.

For more information about the Legacy Giving Campaign, see

Vegetarian Potluck Dinner on September 24

The Green Congregation Committee is sponsoring a Vegetarian Potluck Dinner on September 24th at 5:30 in Parish Hall!  It will be an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company at the beginning of the church year, and to encourage all of us to eat more meatless meals and more locally sourced food, such as from the Needham Farmer’s Market now located in front of the Needham Town Hall.  Look for an invitation shortly!  Our committee is gathering vegetarian and vegan recipes to be part of an online cookbook.  Please submit to Susan McGarvey at

Memorial Service Celebrating the Life of Ed Lane


September 30th, 11am, Sanctuary
Reception to follow at noon in the Parish Hall

All are welcome to a memorial celebration of the life of Ed Lane. Rev. Catie Scudera will officiate — with many other ministerial guests, we are sure. Childcare will be available.

We regret that the service is scheduled on Yom Kippur, but we hope all that wish to will be able to attend.  

First Parishoners: Please be in touch with Buffy Duhig if you are able to assist with the reception. 

The Mardi Gras Auction – Tickets Onsale Now

Join us on Saturday, November 4th 6-10pm at First Parish for an evening of food and fun as we celebrate and raise money for our church programs. We will have silent and live auctions featuring many exciting items — from delicious food deliveries, to dinner parties, fun nights out, stays in vacation homes and more!  

We kick the silent auction off at 6 pm with sumptuous appetizers and an open bar, followed by delicious and decadent desserts and the live auction.  Don’t miss the 50/50 bowl and raffle too!   Tickets are $35 per person. Buy your tickets at the auction table at Social Hour or online at Brown Paper Tickets (a small fee applies).  Please contact Rev. Catie if the ticket cost is a barrier to your attendance.

Thank you for your support of First Parish!

You can leave a last legacy at First Parish

The Legacy Giving Committee is delighted with the interest in the Challenge Campaign.  Over the coming weeks we will be sharing stories and ideas for including First Parish in your estate plan.

Many of you may not know of the generous bequest that Roberta Crocker recently made.  Roberta and her husband David raised their children at First Parish and were members for over 50 years. When she died last spring, Reverend Catie received word of her bequest.  We wish that we could have thanked Roberta while she was living. Her gift will make a lasting impact.

Including First Parish in your estate plan does not have to be complicated.  Our own Jim Leffingwell (a retired planned giving professional) will tell you how at a Planned Giving Workshop after church on October 22nd.  More information will follow but mark your calendar now!

If you have questions, reach out to the Legacy Giving Committee – Katie Barnett, Jim Leffingwell, Nancy Simpson-Banker, Eileen and Rick Vincent. Ad hoc members: Bob Rands and Bob Smart.

For more information:

Positively Aging Meets With Senior Center Director LaTanya Steele

Tuesday October 10, at 4pm in the parlor

Tuesday, October 10, we have a very special opportunity to hear and talk with LaTanya Steele, the Director of the Senior Center in Needham.  She will talk about old and new programs at the Senior Center (The Center at the Heights), give us materials, and listen to our suggestions about how they might be able to meet our needs in the future.

Some of you have participated in programs at the Senior Center, and you’ll have a chance to share your thoughts and recruit your friends from the Positively Aging group.  For those of you, who have never gone to a class, program, trip, etc. at the Senior Center, this is your chance to get connected.  There are SOOOO many wonderful things offered there.  There must be something for each of us.  

Please come to hear, participate, and share in another afternoon with good friends.  You’re missed when you’re not there.  Tuesday, October 10 at 4:00 in the parlor at First Parish.  We’ll provide the drinks and snacks.  

The Positively Aging Planning Team:  Helen Lane, Phyllis Beck, Fred Kresse and Kay Taylor  

Legacy Giving – A Simple Codicil to Your Will

By , September 18, 2017
post a comment »

The Legacy Giving Committee would like to thank all of you who stopped by our table at the Volunteer fair.  Many people asked how they could include First Parish in Needham (FPN) in their estate plan with a codicil to their will.  You are not required to have an attorney for most legal documents, but often it is a good idea to get legal advice before signing. A codicil is every bit as significant, and has the same binding legal effect, as a will. Wills and codicils must be witnessed by two disinterested witnesses. A notary public is not required, but is a good idea in case there is a subsequent will contest – the notary can testify as to what happened, and as to his or her opinion regarding competence, absence of duress, and the like.  The UUA has provided this language for use. 

Unrestricted Gift

I give ________ [$ amount description of property, or % of estate] to the First Parish in Needham Unitarian Universalist located at23 Dedham Avenue, Needham, MA 02492, for its unrestricted use.

 Restricted Gift

I give to the, First Parish in Needham Unitarian Universalist located at23 Dedham Avenue, Needham, MA 02492, [___ % of my estate or the sum of $________] to be used for [stated purpose]. If at any time in the judgment of the organization’s board of trustees it is deemed impossible or impracticable to carry out the above purpose, the Parish Committee shall determine a purpose as near as possible to that description above.

Please submit a copy of your completed paperwork to the UUA along with the form on the Legacy Challenge website.

If you have questions, reach out to the Legacy Giving Committee – Katie Barnett, Jim Leffingwell, Nancy Simpson-Banker, Eileen and Rick Vincent. Ad hoc members: Bob Rands and Bob Smart.

For more information, see

Page 1 of 3012345...102030...Last »