2019 Pledge Testimonial – Phil D’Amico and Lisa Bennett

Phil: Good Morning. My name is Phil D’Amico and this is my wife Lisa Bennett. 

We began attending First Parish almost 5 years ago. This was after years of gentle prodding by my childhood friend Carolyn Copp. 

Lisa: Phil was raised Catholic and I wasn’t raised in a church at all. For a long time, I had an interest in the UU church and had learned just enough about it to think it could be a place where we could grow spiritually and find others who shared our values. We were even married by a UU minister, but we never took the time from the busyness of life to take the step of actually attending a service until that Easter Sunday five years ago. Our daughter Elena was then six, and our desire to find a grounding community for her gave us the push we needed. 

Phil: Lisa and I believe in the adage “It takes a village to raise a child”, and we were looking for a broader community of people and ideas for her, beyond that of her formal education and even our circle of friends and family. 

Over the years, First Parish has become an important part of our lives, both individually and as a family. 

Lisa: Elena and I both sing in the choirs. Elena loves the communal aspect of choir, and she sings with gusto! I’m a musician who hadn’t sung for many years before joining the choir this fall. It has been a wonderful way to get to know more of you through my deep love of and connection to music. 

In addition, you all supported us when we suffered the losses of each of my parents over the course of the past three years. 

Phil: When Elena performed in Grub’s Place two years ago, she developed lasting friendships ‐ with friends of all ages. This is when we knew for sure that First Parish was a special and important home for her. 

As with most things, Elena says it better than I can. One Sunday, after Elena had performed with the Chalice Choir, a woman ‐ whom we hadn’t met ‐ approached us and complimented Elena on her singing. Elena turned to us and said, “That’s what I love about First Parish. Everyone is family, even if you’ve never met them!” 

Lisa: For us, the Religious Exploration program is a big part of what makes First Parish special. It has been a place for Elena to make new friends, and has provided our family a foundation for talking about ideas and values that are important to us. 

By teaching in RE, we’ve had the chance to get to know many of the kids in Elena’s grade. I’ve had the privilege of seeing each grow in different ways, accepted and embraced for who 

they are and where they are. From studying Thoreau to Middle OWL to Neighboring Activists, RE has enriched our family as a whole. We’re looking forward to Neighboring Faiths, more OWL!, and Coming of Age ‐ all yet to come. 

Phil: RE does not charge tuition, so we rely on your pledge to sustain and grow our Religious Exploration program. 

For Elena ‐ and all the children ‐ please give generously. We thank you for your support.