“In the new year, we want to do more.” 

Rev. Meg Soens, in her first year at First Parish Unitarian
Universalist church of Medfield, says her New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to
help her church give back to the town community.  “This church has so much to offer to the
communities around us, and we want to do a better job of sharing some of our
resources.  We decided to start with hosting
events that are thought-provoking, or support people as they deal with
different life struggles.”

This is the thinking behind the church’s new series of
monthly events, called “Mondays at UU Medfield”.  Once a month, starting January 27th,
the church will host an informative, interactive evening with regional experts
on a variety of topics. 

The spring schedule is taking shape now, and will kick off
on January 27th with a pre-screening of the new PBS/American Experience documentary, “The
Amish: Shunned.”  Mark Samels, the
executive producer of American Experience,
will show the new documentary (scheduled to air on PBS stations on February
4).  He’ll also talk about the joys and challenges
of making the film, and field questions from audience members.  As Mark describes the film,

is a
poignant and penetrating look at what it means to be cut off from faith and
family.  The film follows seven people
who have chosen to leave their closed and tightly knit communities for the
outside world, knowing that they may never return.  The former Amish find themselves struggling
to make their way in modern America. 
Interwoven with their stories are the voices of loyal Amish men and
women who explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties and traditions that
bind them together, and the heartbreak they feel when a loved one falls
away.  Through its sympathetic portrayal
of both sides, the film explores what is gained and what is lost when community
and tradition are exchanged for individuality and freedom.”

The evening will start at 7pm and run until 9pm and all are

“Parenting With Cancer” is another planned evening in the
Mondays at UU Medfield” series.  It that
will feature Dr. Sarah Shea, a psychiatrist on the Massachusetts General PACT
team (Parenting At Challenging Times). 
The March 31 evening panel will also include Medfield resident Jeff
Lloyd, who is himself is a parent with cancer. 
Rev. Meg hopes this evening will give parents who are dealing either
with their own or their spouses’ life-threatening illnesses the chance to explore
some common issues they face, and to share with each other and to learn from
experts.  There are so many questions for
parents, she notes, such as ‘how do I talk with my children about my illness?  How do I ask for help?  How do I let others help me?”  

The other two Monday events are still
in the planning stages, but as with the screening of “The Amish: Shunned”, and
the “Parenting With Cancer” evenings, Rev. Meg is excited about what is in the
works.  “I think we are going to have one
workshop on “Finding Meaning in Your Life”, and one dealing with “Hope in a
Time of Climate Change”, though we haven’t finalized things.  Stay tuned!”

All “Mondays at UUMedfield” events will
be free of charge, open to the public, and begin at 7pm.  For more information, email

Richard DeSorgher January 20, 2014 at 08:21 AM
How fortunate we are in Medfield to have one of the directors of PBS American Experience as a resident of Medfield. Anything by Mark Samels is always so professional, researched and well done. Another example of Medfield residents giving back their talents to the town; making Medfield, Medfield. Can't wait to see this premier showing on January 27, that will air nationally in February


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