Greetings Friends and Neighbors of FPCU,
As we begin this year, we are full of hope and anticipation of better times ahead. Once again, we at FPCU are working to carry on old traditions in new ways. While we navigate through our New England Winter weather, we look forward to the signs of spring!
This season we will be offering a colorful array of potted Spring Bulbs and Annuals to celebrate the upcoming holidays and Spring’s arrival.
All plants will be foiled and for an additional fee a handmade bow can be added for extra pizzaz!
In keeping with being “Covid Aware” there are several delivery options including home delivery for a small donation.
You can pay by check, cash or through our paypal account located at the donations page on our website:
Decorations & Adornments Committee
Elana S.,, Betsy O., JoAnna S., , Mary L., Ruth C., Julie W. and Patty D.
Click Here for the order form.
FPCU 2021 Holiday Greens Festival
The frost is on the pumpkin and the holiday season is fast approaching! The First Parish Church United is preparing its annual 2021 Holiday Greens Festival to be held on Saturday, December 4th from 9am to 3pm. We will be offering our usual popular items such as wreaths, swags, roping, poinsettias, centerpieces, luminaries and other decorative items. Your order of holiday decorations from the Greens Festival helps to maintain our historic Meeting House & Fellowship Hall, as well as supporting the many outreach activities of our church including: Westford Farmers Market, Habitat for Humanity, AA, The Lowell Wish Project, Westford Food Pantry, Middlesex Shelter/LTLC & local scout groups, the annual Strawberry Festival and the Apple Blossom Pancake Breakfast. We ask that you complete the 2021 order form and return it along with your check or money order to: First Parish Church United, 48 Main Street Westford, MA 01886
We need many many volunteers! Any time you can share will help make this Greens Festival a huge success and you will have fun doing it. Please take a look at the variety of different volunteer opportunities and consider signing up for those that are of interest to you. If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected] Thank you!!
June B. Evans
June Ellen Brunkow Evans of Tyngsboro, formerly of Westford, passed away peacefully on August 17, 2018 due to pancreatic cancer at age 78. She was the loving wife of Charles C. Evans, who died in 2014, to whom she was married for 55 years.
She was the daughter of the late Genieve and Otto Brunkow. Born in Madison, WI and raised in Glen Ellyn, IL, June graduated from Glenbard West High School and attended the University of Illinois before moving to Westford in 1962 where she raised her family. She returned to school and graduated cum laude from the University of Lowell with a BA in American Studies in 1991. A member of the First Parish Church United of Westford, she was for many years the office manager and administrative assistant there until her retirement.
A familiar face in her community, June was a member and past president of the Westford Garden Club, and past president of the Westford chapter of AFS Intercultural Programs. June sang in her church choir and the Westford Chorus. She was an active member of the philanthropic organization for women, P.E.O. International. She was also a volunteer usher at the Merrimack Regional Theater and a volunteer flower arranger for the Power of Flowers Project. June was involved over the years with events at her church, such as the annual Strawberries ‘n Art Festival, the Greens Sale, and church fairs.
June was a devoted mother and grandmother and kept in contact with her relatives. She had a calm, friendly way about her, and connected readily with others, making friends everywhere she went. She was a talented seamstress and a knowledgeable gardener. She enjoyed spending time with her book group, water exercise group, and fellow alumnae. One of her favorite hobbies had been her travel adventures with her husband, Chuck. Together they visited Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, Turkey, Germany, France, England, Finland, and other destinations in Europe and throughout the US. They also enjoyed taking family ski vacations and camping trips together in earlier years. June took great interest in her grandchildren’s lives, and was a constant presence at their music performances, sporting events, and graduations.
June is survived by her son John Evans (Isabelle) of West Newton, daughter Lisa Greene (Richard) of Newton, and daughter Sally Evans (Matthias) of Natick, and 6 grandchildren: Michael, Melanie, Camille, Chiara, Dylan, and Cajetan. She also leaves a sister Mary Lou Vergara of Cary, NC, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. June was the sister of the late Dorothy Brunkow Walker.
June will be remembered for her loving, gentle nature and her kindness to all.
A memorial service will be held at 12 noon on Sunday September 2 at the First Parish Church United, 48 Main St, Westford. Visitation will be at Blake Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St, Chelmsford, from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday August 30. https://www.blakefuneralhome.com/
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made in June’s memory to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168 Boston, MA 02284 or via www.dana-farber.org/gift or to the Stanley R. Tippett Hospice Home to support patient care at VNA Care, Fund Development, 199 Rosewood Drive, Suite 180, Danvers, MA 01923 or via http://www.vnacare.org/ and specify Tippett Hospice Home.
In November 2017 the RE Committee applied for a grant offered by First Parish Church United which fit the Church and Outreach theme “Who is MY Neighbor and How Can I/we help? We learned about an opportunity to support a program run by the Lowell Wish called ‘B.I.T.s Bags (Basic Items for Toddlers) whose mission spoke to us. In this program social workers who visit families in need carry bags filled with age appropriate items for toddlers: board books, bubbles, rubber duckies, stacking toys, etc. so that they may offer these essential, yet basic items which encourage play, fine motor skill development, language development, understanding of cause and effect, the list goes on!
Our students in the RE program range in age from toddler to high school and are exposed to a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and experiences. The idea and concept of Neighbor is an important one to the RE program and building an understanding of ‘neighbor’ is part of the K-2 curriculum. By learning about and supporting other children, just like themselves, who are our ‘neighbors’ even our youngest RE students will be able to make a connection to the mission of helping other ‘little kids’ have access to the ‘fun’ toys they themselves had access to as little tikes.
Through the generosity of our church awarding us with a grant for $400, along with donations from members of our church and our community, and the collection of coins as RE children ‘filled their buckets’ at home, we were able to fill 50 bags to go towards the Lowell Wish’s goal of 500, that’s 10%! Each colorful bag held 8 items: board book, coloring book, ‘big’ crayons, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, inflatable beach ball, rubber ducky, and a brand new interactive toy (ie stacking rings). These bags were assembled by the children on a Sunday in April and delivered to the Lowell Wish by our RE Director, Nicki Tracey, and RE Committee Chair, Jennifer Scarano, along with her two sons, Nicholas and Julian. We are all very proud of our community and the outreach we were able to do to help our neighbors.
Strawberries ‘N Arts Festival Combines Great Food, Live Music and Professional Crafts in Westford
On Saturday, June 16th, the 43rd annual Strawberries ‘N Arts Festival will take place on the Westford Town Common. Sponsored by First Parish Church United, Westford, this traditional event offers the whole family a fun day that includes high quality artwork and crafts for purchase, a wide variety of food and homemade strawberry shortcake, plus musical performances by several local groups. Admission is free and everyone in Westford and beyond is welcome to join in the festivities.
The highlight of the day for many is the serving of fresh strawberry shortcake by FPCU members. Over 350 quarts of fresh strawberries, more 1200 oversized shortcake biscuits and lots of real whipped cream are combined to create over 1000 servings of this delicious treat. Customers can begin to line up before 12:30 p.m. to partake in what for many has become an annual ritual of the beginning of the summer season. Also available are a variety of grilled food including hamburgers, hotdogs, and Westford’s favorite Hubba’s BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.
This year, the Strawberries ‘N Arts Festival has over 90 craftspeople in attendance, lining the triangular green in Westford’s historic town center. Crafts for sale this year include handcrafted woodworks, a variety of handmade jewelry, wrought iron, handpainted glassware, framed photographs and portraits & much more. Additionally there will be crafts and entertainment for the kids, and continuous music performed by several local groups throughout the common and on the Westford Common bandstand. Rain date (in extreme weather conditions only) is Sunday, June 17th.
Free parking is available at the First Parish Church United, the J.V. Fletcher Library, Roudenbush Community Center and Abbot School. Proceeds will go to the First Parish Church United, which supports a variety of local and international charity organizations through its outreach programs. For more information, please visit www.TheStrawberryFestival.org.
Declaring Independence: Then & Now
Reconsidering the promises of the Declaration of Independence: A narrated performance and community conversation
What: A forty-minute performance piece in which a narrator and cast bring to life the Declaration of Independence followed by a community conversation and refreshments
When: Wednesday 6 June 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Where: First Parish Church United, 48 Main St., Westford, MA
This event is presented as a collaborative venture by the Westford Historical Society, the First Parish Church United and Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area.
For further information visit: www.freedomsway.org
What did the Declaration of Independence mean to citizens of 1776? What meanings does it hold for us today? The thought provoking public performance piece, Declaring Independence: Then & Now, seeks to explore these questions through an animated reading of our “American Scripture” presented by living-history re-enactors. As the 18thcentury words and ideas are performed, a narrator probes their meaning and challenges the audience to consider their relevance and power for today.
“Too often the Declaration of Independence is reduced to the single line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…,” notes historian Mary Fuhrer. “Yet the document is rich with meaning on many levels. It expresses what many Americans by 1776 had come to believe: that Britain’s king and Parliament had violated our fundamental rights, that we were justified in abolishing such a flawed government, and that we were entitled – and determined – to create a new and better nation. It also asserts truths that transcend time: that governments derive their power from the people, with the purpose of securing their liberty and guaranteeing their equality. The history of our nation has been, and continues to be, the story of our struggle to redeem and defend those promises for all.”
Declaring Independence: Then & Now is part of a multi-year joint initiative of Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society to engage citizens in the ideas and transformative potential of the Declaration of Independence. This initiative includes researching the ways in which independence was conceived and debated within colonial communities in the years leading up to 1776; tracing how the Declaration’s role evolved in American communities; and considering the challenges and potential of this living document for Americans today.
The performance will take place at the historic First Parish Church United, located adjacent to the Westford Town Common. The event is free and suitable for ages 8 and up. For further details, please go to www.freedomsway.org or contact (978) 772-3654.
About Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area
The 994-square-mile Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area (FWNHA) includes forty-five towns and cities in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire and is home to over 750,000 people. FWNHA connects people, places and communities through educational and interpretive initiatives that protect and promote shared resources and encourage residents and visitors to explore its landscape, history and culture. www.freedomsway.org.
About the Westford Historical Society
The Westford Historical Society (WHS) runs the Westford Museum at 2 Boston Road. The mission of the WHS is to promote the understanding and appreciation of Westford’s unique history to the community. By providing programming that features aspects of the daily lives, activities and achievements of Westford residents, they strive to expand and enrich understanding of how the town continues to evolve. They foster an environment of teaching and learning that strengthens a sense of community. www.museum.westford.org
About the First Parish Church United
The First Parish Church United (FPCU) was established in 1727 as the Second Parish Church of Chelmsford. Its existence was a prerequisite to establishing the Town of Westford in 1729. The Rev. Willard Hall was called as its first minister and served until 1775. Today, FPCU remains deeply rooted in its liberal religious history, while continuing to become more inclusive and diverse. It is a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association as well as the United Church of Christ, and is a community-based spiritual home for many in the Westford and surrounding areas. www.firstparishwestford.org