Current News

Help Wanted: Seeking Youth Program Coordinator

First Parish of Needham, Unitarian Universalist is looking for a creative and committed individual to act as our part-time Youth Program Coordinator. This person works under the supervision of the Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration and is responsible for planning and implementing weekly meetings (most Sundays) of our senior and junior high school youth groups, as well as our annual service trip during the April or February school break, and other service-oriented opportunities. The successful candidate will have some experience working with youth and will bring an open mind and generous spirit to our program.

Interested parties should submit a cover letter and resume electronically to dre.uuneedham@gmail.com. Please note “Youth Program Coordinator” in the subject line. The position is open until filled with the successful candidate expected to begin work in mid-August 2017.

You can learn more about First Parish at www.uuneedham.org.

Printed Job Announcement.

Budget Drive Update

For each pledge, we’re adding a leaf to our plant. 
Check out the progress of our budget drive campaign
week to week, and watch us grow!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Our Values. Our Growth. Together!

Thank you to all who have made your financial commitments to First Parish for FY17-18.  So far, we have over $100,000 committed from 41 households.  With a successful budget drive, we will be able to support our worship and programs, provide fair compensation to our dedicated staff, explore new ways (like Worship Café) to be more welcoming, and further extend our social action beyond our church walls.

We ask that you please respond with your pledge by March 19.  Our pledges of financial support represent our connections to this important community. While we cannot all give the same dollar amount, each of us can make a contribution that will support the mission and ministry that we all value.  All contributions in any amount are greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions or did not receive a letter, please contact Rev. Catie or any member of the budget drive committee.

~Katie Barnett, Erik Bailey, David Mackey, Joyce McGovern

Our Values. Our Growth. Together!

The Budget Drive for FY2017-18 is underway. Members and friends of First Parish will be receiving a letter asking each household to consider a significant increase in financial commitment to the church.  With a successful budget drive, we will be able to support our worship and programs, provide fair compensation to our dedicated staff, explore new ways (like Worship Café) to be more welcoming, and further extend our social action beyond our church walls.

We know that not all households will be able to increase, but we hope that all will make a pledge, and that those who are able will give as generously as they can.  Our pledges of financial support represent our connections to this important community. While we cannot all give the same dollar amount, each of us can make a contribution that will support the mission and ministry that we all value.  All contributions in any amount are greatly appreciated.

Please see our FAQ about the Budget Drive.

We ask that you please respond with your pledge by March 19.  If you have any questions or did not receive a letter, please contact Rev. Catie or any member of the budget drive committee.Add New

Katie Barnett, Erik Bailey, David Mackey, Joyce McGovern 

Human Trafficking: Hidden in Plain Sight

By , February 18, 2017
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Thursday, March 9, 2017, 7:30-9pm at Powers Hall in Needham Town Hall

Human Trafficking is modern day slavery.  It happens around the globe and in our own backyards.  We may just not see it.

Our speakers will share with us their professional and personal experiences in working against human trafficking globally and locally.

Only when we become aware can we help prevent trafficking!

  • Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski, RN and Delegate at the United Nations, focused on Trafficking in Persons and Refugee Crises
  • Steven Procopio, ACSW, LICSW and Consultant for Human Trafficking in Males
  • Peter DiMarzio, Homeland Security Investigations Victim Assistance Specialist
  • John Schlitter, Needham Chief of Police

Sponsored by Needham Human Rights Committee and Needham PATH (People Against Trafficking in Humans).

 

The Making Room Initiative: What’s Next?

The Making Room Task Force wants to thank all the attendees at the Congregation Meeting on Sunday, February 12.  There was a lively discussion about possible options to increase the seating capacity of the sanctuary.  In the end, the Task Force recommended: 1) refurbishing the balcony, and 2) simulcast the video of the Sunday service to a “Worship Cafe” in Parish Hall.  The Worship Cafe would be a pilot program to create an alternative, more informal worship space, serving coffee and allowing parishioners to stretch or move around more freely during the service.   Both of these recommendations will require investments in technology, furniture, or personnel.  These recommendations have now been passed to the Parish Committee, which will seek to incorporate these ideas within our operating budget.  With the Annual Budget Drive about to kick into high gear, please consider upping your pledge for these items to create more room and build a more welcoming space to our neighbors in these stressful times.  

RESCHEDULED: Screening of A Time to Choose

Sunday, March 12, at 3pm in the Sanctuary

In these dark days for environmental protection, can we make progress on our Commit2Respond pledge to reduce carbon emissions and work for eco justice? Yes, we can — and at this time it is more crucial than ever to do so.  The 90-minute film by Oscar-winning documentary director Charles Ferguson is a hard-hitting yet hopeful film. With footage from five continents, Time to Choose explores the scope of the climate change crisis and the power of solutions already available.  It will be followed by a discussion of concrete steps to address climate change as well as informational tables from local groups. Attendees can also enjoy refreshments in Parish Hall and a chance to browse informational tables from local groups.  This free event is sponsored by the Green Congregation Committee, Green Needham Collaborative, as well as 9 Metro West environmental groups, local League of Women Voters groups, and houses of worship. Please join us!

 

Anti-Racism Workshop

Ken Wagner will lead an 8-session workshop at First Parish called “Being White in a Racist Society” on Thursday evenings from Feb 16 to April 13 (note date change due to Feb. 9 storm), 7:00 to 9:00pm, with no session on Feb 23 during school vacation week. This is an exciting opportunity for us at First Parish.  Ken’s workshop is highly recommended by other UUs, and is free! The only requirement is that participants commit to attending all eight sessions, as each session builds on the work done the previous week.

The workshop is primarily focused on helping white people understand the racial component of their identity, and learn how to live with authenticity and integrity as a white person in a society grounded in white supremacy.  It involves understanding the structural foundation of racism quite apart from the bigotry and discrimination that flows from individuals and how it exists almost independently of individual racist people.  Racism itself is the source of great confusion among white folks because there are so many different definitions and conceptions of what it is and what it is not.  Thus, one encounters claims of “reverse racism” from individuals who have an entirely distorted concept of what racism is or is not.  We work through what the role of white people can or should be in racial justice movements, what our role in Black Lives Matter might be, what it means to be in solidarity with people of color and what it looks like to exhibit ally behavior.  We discuss situations and responses, i.e., things we commonly hear but are sometimes frustrated in responding to in an effective fashion.  Each week, Ken will send out reading material for use in the following session.

The session dates are Feb. 9 and 16; March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30; and April 6. You can come to the first session on Feb. 9 to see if you would like to sign on with no obligation.  Also, during the fourth session, on March 9, a film will be shown followed by a discussion.  It is possible to attend that session without going to the others.

Ken Wagner preached at First Parish on Jan. 22 and is an active UU with a long history in lay leadership. He is the former president of the Clara Barton District, the District Presidents Association and First Parish Church of Stow & Acton. He is married to Laura Wagner, Executive Director of UU Mass Action. Laura and Ken are both members of the UUA’s Allies for Racial Equity and are committed to anti-racism/anti-oppression/multicultural work. He has led anti-racism workshops for UU congregations, including Lexington and Groton.

If you want to participate, please sign-up with Marianne McGowan.

 

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