First Church Boston
Sunday, May 17, 2020, 11 AM

WERS 88.9 and Live Streaming on Facebook
“Into the Wilderness”                 Rev. Stephen Kendrick  

To the members and dear friends of First Church--

When we all went into lock down nearly two months ago, we at FCB wanted to reach out--a lot.  So we sent our stuff out all across the week.  And I think you all appreciated it, and it served a good purpose.  And much of what we sent out, we still want to do--but going forward, we want to lessen the load on your email boxes and simply combine several good things into one email outreach on Tuesdays, followed by the regular E-news on Friday (which will contain the Order of Service). 

Included here (click here) is an edited version of my sermon two Sundays ago, attached, which was an introduction for my sermon this weekend.  I don't want to be too dramatic, but this coming Sunday, which in past years would have been Annual Meeting Sunday, it seemed like the right time to offer a kind of "State of the Union" address. It will be titled, "Into the Wilderness."

It feels like one of the most important sermons I have ever tried to give--and it will be a bit longer than usual--there is vast ground to cover, but I will make it as compelling and vital to you as I can.  We are at a crossroads, and I want all of us to sense what that Wilderness before us portends, and what is being asked of us.  A church is more than a building--we all know that--but also needs to be a Beloved Community, and we have, as we move within a decade of our 400th anniversary, tough and daunting vistas before us!  It is a good time to remind ourselves of our mission and what we create, together.

So tune in--it really is important, and I would not ask this under normal circumstances, but I do now.



There will be an online religious education class Sunday morning following the story in the worship service. See link below to log on.

Hello families,

Thank you for attending last week's lesson by zoom. It was fun and I was thrilled to see you all! This week we will be meeting by zoom again at 11:15 am. I will send you the link by email.

The Golden Rule by zoom!

This week's lesson will review The Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and the suggestion from scripture to "Love thy neighbor as thyself." The central story, "The Good Samaritan" from Christian scripture, guides exploration of what it means to "love thy neighbor" and helps to raise the idea that our "neighbors" include everyone in the world.

Until then, take care!

Liz Coughlan

Use the link below to log on. It will be the same link for Coffee hour afterwards. 

Click here to see the order of service for Sunday.


Religious Education and Coffee Hour Link
Meeting ID: 965 7243 4202
Password: 060738

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        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 965 7243 4202
Password: 060738
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We are thinking of you all during these hard times. I hope that these pictures created by the children of the RE program bring you joy!
Best, Liz Coughlan. 
Director of Religious Educatio

You're Invited! 

We are so happy to invite you to our Friday Evening Music and Meditation service, from 7-8pm. Our service tonight includes meditations, music from Robbie Pate, small group discussions, and prayers. 

Tonight we will share poetry written by First Church's own Richard Baydin, "Peace Can Be," and "HopeFest" and a meditation from Mary Oliver, "In Blackwater Woods."  

We hope you can join for music, meditations and small group discussions! 

Best Regards,

First Church Boston invites you to a scheduled Zoom Meeting: the Music and Meditation Friday! 

Topic: Music and Meditation- Friday Gathering!

Time: May 15, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 662 457 1357

Password: fcb66

Social Justice Committee Updates

 At least four First Church members attended the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) Zoom meeting with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins on Wednesday this week. DA Rollins spoke passionately about her advocacy to decarcerate certain defined groups of prisoners who risk contracting the Covid19 infection in prison. DA Rollins noted one group of people who need to be considered for release are pretrial detainees, “otherwise known as innocent people”. GBIO’s Co-Chair and a leader on criminal justice reform issues, Beverly Williams led the discussion and gained the agreement of DA Rollins to write a letter together re the need for housing for discharged prisoners, at least 800 beds.

We’d like to get started with our book study of the Common Read but so far have only two people signed on for “The Indigenous People’s History of the United States”. Member Susan Brauner notes a New York Times article from May 13 "A Life on and Off the Navajo Nation" by Wahleah Johns which describes a new chapter of indigenous life in the age of Covid19-   Please contact Rosemary if you are interested in joining in this year's Common Read- We’ll decide when to meet and how to divide up the book when we have a few more readers aboard.

Our next physically distant but relationally close Social Justice Community meeting will be on Sunday, June 7, 1PM. Please let us know if there are issues of concern to you in this difficult time.

Standing Committee voting Tuesday, May 19 meeting on a "Special Meeting" in September. Zoom in to watch. 

As mentioned in last enews, the Standing Committee will be voting to hold a "Special Meeting" in September in lieu of an annual meeting this May due to the COVID pandemic. If you would like to watch the Standing Committee live and in action, (because who doesn't love watching committees work?!) the zoom link is below. 

Topic: Standing Committee
Time: May 19, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 983 9789 5569
Password: 002830

Would you like to phone fellow members of First Church? 

In the first weeks of the COVID shelter in place, the Membership Committee's Beth Curran and the Friends and Helpers' Margaret Moody organized a large phone call outreach to check in on one another. 

We are preparing to organize a second phone tree to make phone calls to members and friends in June, and check-in on each another during these ongoing COVID times. 

If you would like to join in making phone calls to the community, please email Thank you!

Pastoral Notes

Eileen Brewster, Carole Chinman and Richard Baydin all contributed greatly to the life of First Church. Their families appreciate your letters and notes of support and concern. We will share contact information for Richard's brother shortly, and until then we wanted to be sure to re-share information for Eileen's sister, Maria, and Richard, Carole's husband. Your letters and notes are appreciated! 

Please send notes of care and concern to: 

Maria D. Smith, (Eileen's caring sister)
2955 White Plains Rd., Apt. 5-C,
The Bronx,
New York City, NY 10467.

Richard Chinman (Carole's beloved husband)
1160 Beacon St., #103
Brookline, MA 02446



First Church Boston evaluating church re-open scenarios
When can we worship together again? I am researching on how and under what conditions need to be present to re-open FCB. There is a lot of information out there and will take time to sift through the best practices for the safety of all concerned.  There are many resources; everything from webinars offered by church insurance companies to complex plans to re-open work places from John Hopkins University, a global leader in infectious diseases. Click here to read.  In addtion, I am reaching out to other Back bay congregations to see what their thoughts are about reopening as well. Sadly, the short answer seems to be that gathering as a large group is a long way off. Stay tuned.
                                - Julianna Dunn, Church Administrator.
Many thanks to Vivian Borek for her voice talents during the Sunday morning broadcasts on WERS. Tune into the radio station or listen to the live stream through their website. Thanks, Vivian!
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66 Marlborough Street
Boston, MA  02116

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