June 2, 2021
Annual Ministry Theme: Imagine

June Ministry Theme: Openness

The openness of our hearts and minds can be measured by how wide we draw the circle of what we call family.

-Mother Teresa
Sunday Worship
"Together We"
The June 6th service will be the final one streamed online from the sanctuary during the pandemic. June 13th will be our Youth service via video, and June 20th will be our Young Church Service, held outdoors at Atkinson Common and streamed on YouTube. Summer services will be held on Zoom at 9:30am starting June 28th. We will resume in-person services in the sanctuary on Opening Sunday, September 12th. All services next year will be both in person and online.

This has been a year of loss, change, and renewal. Join us as we honor this year, transition into summer, and take a glimpse at what lies ahead next church year. Reverend Rebecca will be reflecting on the discussion at the annual meeting through the lens of covenant. 

Everyone is invited to join after services for a follow-up discussion on the topics addressed in the service.

Worship Service at 10:30am, livestream on YouTube only: http://bit.ly/FRSyoutube

Everyone is invited to join after services for a follow-up discussion on Zoom on the topics addressed in the service.

Join the post-service discussion on Zoom: 
Meeting ID: 817 2180 1499 / Passcode: 668856
One tap mobile: +19292056099,,81721801499#
Dial by phone: +1 929 205 6099
Response to Proposed Gender-Neutral Bylaw Changes

At the FRS Annual Meeting, Article 4, the motion to update our bylaws to gender-neutral language, saw much discussion from the congregation. We recognize that discussion is key to our democratic process. We also know that there was genuine hurt that came out of this exchange. We apologize that the Board did not create a more inclusive process for learning about and making these changes. 

Over the years at FRS, we have seen similar intense discussion at previous annual meetings, and it has led to much soul-searching and heart work on the part of the congregation which has made us a much stronger community. We are confident that will be the case here as well. The Board and the Governance Committee will ensure ample opportunities for dialogue and learning coming out of this meeting. In the words of our mission, we ask that we all use this opportunity to "journey together in love."
How do we start this part of our journey together in love?

1.The Board and Governance Committee will host a Listening Circle
When: Thursday, June 3 from 6-7pm via Zoom

The Listening Circle is to hear from those who have concerns about the proposed bylaw amendments in Article 4. The Listening Circle will provide an open forum for concerns to be shared and heard. The purpose of the Listening Circle is not to debate and no decisions will be made.

To Join Zoom:

Meeting ID: 968 0502 1325 
Passcode: 155569 
On tap mobile: 
+19292056099,,96805021325# US (New York) 

2.We will reengage the Welcoming Committee in support of our role as a Welcoming Congregation.

If you'd like to be involved, please email frswelcomingcommittee@frsuu.org.

We will be creating opportunities for learning and dialogue about the proposed bylaw changes in the early fall to keep the process moving forward. 
FRS Dinner for 2 Anywhere in the World Raffle!
Only 2,500 tickets will be sold -- drawing on June 20th
Summer Series: Joy

Each summer, Reverend Rebecca offers an email series open to everyone. This year's theme is joy. Registrants will receive an email each Monday for nine weeks, from June 2-August 16. Each week will include a brief reflection and suggested exercises, including writing prompts, conversation starters, and embodied spiritual practices.

Sign up here! Please share with a friend or relative who may be interested. They need not be a member to participate.
ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) 
When: Tuesday, June 8, noon, at Loretta, 15 Pleasant Street, Newburyport

To attend you must have had both your COVID shots (one if J&J) at least two weeks before the meeting. RSVP required as seating is limited to 12, two tables of 6, under current rules.

Please bring small bills to facilitate payment of your portion of the check, and your sense of wonder at being able to experience new things.

To RSVP, please email Will Buddenhagen at willbuddenhagen@aol.com or call 978-463-0882.
Climate Action Project
When: Tuesday, June 8, 7pm via Zoom

Mission & Goals:

An informed citizenry insistent on urgent government action to slow climate change! In response to this need the FRS Climate Action Project plans to:

  • Think globally, work locally, act personally.
  • Raise awareness within FRS and the local community on the urgent need for climate action by organizing a series of events, discussions, and communications on key climate change topics.
  • Grow the reach and effectiveness of our small group by attracting more FRS members and friends to join with us in this cause, and by collaborating with other like-minded local organizations and agencies of government.
  • Publicize concrete actions by which concerned citizens can combat climate change in their personal lives, through government channels, and/or by participating with advocacy groups.

Meeting ID: 814 8673 2029

Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Spiritual Gathering
When: Sunday, June 13, from 3:30-4:30pm

Spiritual Gathering is an opportunity to gather and reflect on our own spiritual experiences and journeys together. We will meet at the Mall across from CVS on Pond Street in Newburyport.

If interested, email Susan at susanc0805@gmail.com.
Exploring Elderhood Together
When: Thursday, June 17, noon-1:30pm on Zoom


Our June program is inspired by cellist Yo-Yo Ma's album Songs from the Arc of Life, created with his long-time accompanist Kathryn Stott. They've chosen their favorite songs to reflect the breadth of life — what Ma calls "soundtracks" of our lives, times that can awaken us to deep memories, meaning, or a particular delight.

What are the soundtracks of your life? 

Continue reading here.

Join Zoom Meeting:
Community-wide Events
This section is for events and opportunities taking place beyond our FRS doors
Look, Listen, Learn: A Community Dialogue Series
When: Tuesday, June 8, 15, 29 from 6-8pm via Zoom
For more information click here!
Pride Picnic
When: Saturday, June 27 from 11:15-2pm at Main Street Congregational church, Amesbury
For more information click here!
Monday Night Meditation on Zoom
When: Mondays, 6:30pm

These weekly sessions are led by Joyce Haydock, Senior Dharma Teacher with the International Kwan Um School of Zen. She has been with the school since 1989. This FRS UU Monday group was established over ten years ago. Our sessions consist of two or three chants, two readings/teachings and 30 minutes of sitting meditation. Beginners are welcome.

Contact Joyce at 978-363-5457 or email joycehaydock@outlook.com to be added to our list and receive access information.
Spiritual Practice with Julie Parker Amery
When: Tuesdays, 11am

This is a drop-in program, so come as often as you'd like. Each week, we dive into a poem, reading, photograph, painting, or wisdom tale and notice what it's saying to us in that particular moment. This is not interpretation—it's not about trying to figure out what the writer or artist is trying to convey—but what it stirs within you. Questions? Contact Julie Parker Amery at julie.amery@frsuu.org.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 944 4098 2749
Passcode: 867415
Dial by phone: +1 646 558 8656
Guided Relaxation with Susan Cooper
When: Wednesdays, 10am

Join FRS member and LICSW Susan Cooper on Wednesdays at 10am for a brief period of mid-week relaxation and renewal. Each 30-minute session will include a guided visualization and reflection on questions around where we hold stress and how we can release it. You'll also learn some relaxation techniques to use on your own. This is a drop-in program; come one time or many.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 873 4945 8812
Passcode: 884416  
Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656
Online Friday Book Group
When: Fridays, 10-11:30am

We are reading the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This stunning work of fiction follows a blind French girl and a German orphan boy whose fates intertwine in the siege of Saint-Malo during WWII. Despite the war setting, Doerr captures the goodness of people under dire circumstances.

For this week we are reading through "The Rounds," ending on page 243.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 870 4388 5100  
Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656
closed captioning is available
The deadline for the next Steeple newsletter is Sunday, June 6, 2021. 
Send your questions, ideas, and submissions to steeple@frsuu.org.
Minister–The Reverend Rebecca Bryan; Affiliate MinisterStan Barrett; Affiliate MinisterHelen Murgida; Minister EmeritusThe Reverend Harold Babcock. Staff: Multimedia SpecialistAndrew Bakhit; Office AdministratorDiane Carroll; Director of Children's MinistryMara Flynn; Director of Church Music–Justin Murphy-Mancini; Director of Faith Formation and Spiritual ExplorationJulie Parker Amery; Business Administratorvacant; Director of Congregational and Community Engagement–Cynthia Walsh. Parish Board: Chair–Rebecca Brodish; Vice ChairJudy Fayre; Clerk–Holly Cashman; Treasurer-Endowment—Kim Kenly; Treasurer–Finance-Rich Johnson; Finance ChairTom Himmel; Maureen Adams, Juliana Beauvais, Micah Donahue, Vern Ellis, Michelle Kimball, Jennifer Rabold, Forrest Speck, Renee Wolf-Foster.
First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist | 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport MA 01950
978-465-0602 | frsuu.org