Meetings & Classes

Religious Exploration Zoom Call | Sundays | 9-9:45 am  This Sunday the RE Program will be holding it’s regular Zoom Call at 9am. We will not be doing any kind of lesson this week. Instead, we will be playing games together. Children are encouraged to bring paper, something to draw with, and their sense of humor!  FMI about the RE program, please email Toben: dre@firstparishportland.org.  Also please have a look at the new Daily Practice Calendar for the upcoming week. Feel free to join in as many of the suggested practices as you would like.

 

Pastoral Care Calls & Office Hours for Meetings with Reverend Christina | Mondays 9 am – 12 pm and Tuesdays 2-5 pm  Reverend Christina will be holding Pastoral Care phone or Zoom calls for members of First Parish. Please email Sheila to schedule a call in the weeks ahead.

 

ONLINE Breathing and Meditation Class | Wednesdays | 8-9 am  Explore breathing techniques to nurture your mind, body and spirit. Pranayama is an ancient practice from India used to heal dis-ease, prepare for meditation, and access spiritual realms. All are welcome to join in these powerful tools of transformation. Taught by Rev. Christina. Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/630981602 ; Meeting ID: 630 981 602. One tap mobile (audio only): +19294362866,,630981602#

Poetry & Meditation Gatherings | Thursday Mornings | 8-9 am  Join Rev. Christina on Zoom on Thursday Morning’s for Poetry and Meditation. We will share poetry and spend time in silence together. All are welcome. Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/250298315; Meeting ID: 250 298 315. One tap mobile: +19294362866,,250298315#

Path to Membership Class | Thursday, June 4 | 6-8 pm | Zoom  Are you interested in joining First Parish as a member? Join members of the Leadership Team to learn about our church governance and the responsibilities of membership at First Parish. FMI, please contact, Laurie Hasty, Membership Coordinator: membership@firstparishportland.org

 

Upcoming Events

Virtual Palaver Gathering | May 31 | 5 PM  Join Palaver Strings for a dynamic and intimate video performance as we celebrate the joy and togetherness that music can create, even in these difficult and separated times. The Virtual Palaver Gathering will support the 50+ live and live streamed concerts in our upcoming 7th Season, as well as our second year of music education programming in the Portland community. We look forward to another year of sharing live music and reflecting on social issues in New England and beyond. The Gathering will be streamed live on YouTube at 5 PM on Sunday, May 31. We will email the link to you and put it live on our website the week before. Palaver Strings is a rental partner with First Parish- please help support their good work in our community!  RSVP & DONATE HERE

 

Mass Poor People’s Assembly & ONLINE Moral March on Washington June 20, 2020  The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard! Register and more information HERE.

Announcements

Welcome VISITORS! To receive more information about First Parish, please fill out the Visitor Card linked HERE or email our Membership Coordinator, Laurie Hasty, at membership@firstparishportland.org. We look forward to connecting with you!

 

Sad News:  Rev. Christina’s father, Salvatore “Johnny” Sillari, died this past Tuesday at his home with Christina and her mother. Christina will be taking some time off, but will be in the pulpit on Sunday June 7th. Please refrain from reaching out to Christina at this time, as she is quite overwhelmed managing her father’s service and her family. If you’d like to send her a note, cards can be sent to First Parish, 425 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04103.

 

Flowers for Flower Communion Service | June 14: Our Flower Communion service will be held on June 14. Since we cannot make an in-person bouquet as we have done in years past, we wanted to offer you all a chance to help create a virtual bouquet. One way to do this is to bring a flower with you to the Zoom service. Another way to do this is to take a picture of flowers and upload it to your Zoom profile photo.  To do this, visit https://zoom.us/ and log in. If you don’t already have an account, you will need to create one. Once logged in, the site will automatically take you to https://zoom.us/profile. You can add a user photo from this profile page. You will need to have the photo on the device you are logging into Zoom from, and the photo file should be no larger than 2MB.

First Parish Annual Meeting on Zoom | June 14: First Parish’s Annual Meeting will be held on Zoom following the worship service on Sunday, June 14. This is an important opportunity for Members to elect officers and approve the budget for the year. The annual report, agenda, materials and voting instructions will be distributed via email on June 8. Members are encouraged to stay on the Zoom call (not Facebook), or call in at 10:45, to ensure a quorum for the meeting.

Important Voting Information for Annual Meeting: In order for Members to be able to vote in this new Zoom medium, we need to ensure two things: (1) that all members have their first & last names clearly displayed ontheir screens, and (2) that all members know how to virtually raise their hands. This is critical – without both of these tools, we will be unable to count your vote! Stay tuned for more instructions on both items, or poke around in Zoom to teach yourself!

Kids’ Art & Music in Online Services: As a fun summer project , I would like to encourage the children and youth of First Parish to send me photographs or pictures of their artwork to be used in our Sunday worship services.  No people, just nature, buildings, pets or examples of their own drawings, paintings or sculptures. In addition, any musically inclined children could submit short videos of them sharing their music-making, as long as the parents are comfortable with us sharing during a service. The benefits are many: foster creativity in our youth, give them a role and voice in our worship services, and avoid copyright infringement using online content. Please help us feature the amazingly creative youth we have at First Parish. If you have questions or wish to send submissions, contact Scott at musicdirector@firstparishportland.org.

 

Church for EveryBody Campaign and Construction Update: Wonderful news! On Monday, the City Council voted to accept Community Development Block Grant allocation recommendations that included $50,000 for our A Church for EveryBody (CFE) Accessibility Project! This brings the total pledged to our project to $1.1 million, 92% of our goal! THANK YOU to all who have contributed to our CFE campaign so far. THANK YOU to all who have worked so hard on behalf of First Parish to make our accessibility vision a reality. We are SO CLOSE! If you have not made a pledge to our campaign yet and would like to do so, please let us know. There are still four years over which you can fulfill your pledge! If you know of friends or businesses in our community who may like to make a tax-deductible donation to our campaign, please let us know. We would love to reach our campaign goal prior to our planned groundbreaking in June! FMI, please email Austin Farrar at ahfarrar47@gmail.com.

 

“UU the Vote” Campaign Leader  First Parish is looking for a volunteer to organize the “UU The Vote” campaign at our church as part of a statewide effort sponsored by The Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN). Along with MUUSAN and other UU congregations in Maine, we can fight for our values, counter voter suppression, and expand democracy. The FPUU campaign leader will be part of a team organized under our Faith in Action Committee. If you are interested in volunteering to organize this campaign or have questions about it please email Carl Cappello at ccappello@maine.rr.com.

 

The Stewardship Team needs to hear from YOU!  Our goal this year is to collect $225,000 in pledges for the next church year! If you haven’t done so already, please take the time to fill out your pledge card and return it to us, or make your pledge ONLINE here!  If you did not receive a pledge packet, please contact Greg Dorsey at soulrnrg@gmail.com. The magic of what we do together is the miracle of community. Thank you- The Stewardship Team. Other links: Online Pledge Instructions & Pledging FAQ’s.

Text to Give: You can now make donations to First Parish via TEXT by following these steps:

  1. Type in (833) 763-0068 in the “To:” field of a text
  2. Type in the amount you want to give in the text box
  3. Click on the link to enter your billing information
  4. For subsequent donations, simply text the amount you want to give to the (833) 763-0068 & hit SEND.

OR… Mail Your Pledge Check!  Many of our parishioners usually pay their pledges with a check placed in the Offertory, and may prefer not to give online. If this is YOU, please mail your pledge checks to the church office at 425 Congress St, Portland, ME 04010. It is essential for us to maintain a smooth cash flow in these difficult times. Thank you for your generosity!

 

Help Grace-Street Ministry Fight Food Insecurity Among the Homeless and Recently Housed  One of the unintended side effects of social distancing is that community suppers are cancelled, and even the Preble Street soup kitchen has moved to all bagged meals. These meals are fine for many people, but for folks with different dietary needs, they can be inadequate. Those who are newly housed can no longer come to Preble Street, and they are at risk for food insecurity. Please help Grace-Street combat these issues by either donating money for food cards at our website gracestreetministry.org, or by sending $10 Hannaford cards to PO Box 7967, Portland, ME 04112. Thank you!

 

Mask Collection for our Community  Kate and Jen Stenberg are still making face masks! If you’d like to help make them for donation, or if you need masks for you and your family, please reach out to us!  kate.a.stenberg@gmail.com.

 

Weekly eNews Tips: Are you receiving our weekly eNews email? The eNews is filled with valuable information on how to get involved at First Parish. Email Sheila in the Office to sign up: office@firstparishportland.org. We hope the following tips will help you get the most out of this important mode of communication:

    • CLICK on the rectangular buttons & blue underlined words throughout the eNews to link to more information.
    • Click on the “ORDER of SERVICE” button above to get more information on readings and music from each service.
    • Wait…there’s more! Click on the “View Entire Message” link at the end of this email to read the full eNews!
    • Is someone you know not receiving the eNews even though they signed up? Encourage them to check their Promotions or Junk folders, and then move the eNews into their Inbox.

 

Need Help Getting Started on Zoom?  Thanks to Kate Stenberg, Worship Team, we now have our very own First Parish Zoom Guide linked HERE! Or, watch this helpful video to make sure you are up and running for Worship Service on Sunday, as well as other Zoom offerings!

 

>Watch Previous Online Services:  Did you miss a service recently? You can watch all of our online services on our FaceBook page, or read the transcripts of the services HERE.

 

Sermons: We receive many requests for copies of Rev. Christina’s thought-provoking sermons. You can now find her sermons in this Shared Sermons Folder. Please allow up to a week for sermons to be posted here.

 

Weekly e-News: Are you receiving our weekly email? It’s an online version of this page, filled with valuable information on how to get involved at First Parish. Email Sheila in the Office to sign up: office@firstparishportland.org. Please check your Promotions/Junk folders for this email, and move it into your Inbox to “teach” your email program that it’s not Junk!