2024 Pledge Campaign – Elena D’Amico

Good Morning,

My name is Elena D’Amico.

I’m a junior at Minuteman High School, studying Veterinary Science.

As someone who has grown up in this Church, I’d like to talk to you about what First Parish means to me.

I’ve been a part of this community since 2014, when I was only 6.

There are many ways to participate here – regardless of your age – and this community made it easy for me to get involved and try new things.

I attended the Religious Exploration Program from second grade through Coming of Age. Thanks to Amy, Dawn, and volunteers, I learned about other faiths, other cultures, and the UU Principles. These are a part of who I am. I don’t just recite them; I try to live them.

I joined the Chalice Choir in fourth grade. Gail made it a lot of fun, and I learned that I like to sing. I’ve stayed through Chalice and Gospel Choir, and we even get to sing with the Adult Choir. Gail, Anderson, and Beth, encourage, challenge, and believe in me. Each rehearsal is filled with music, humor and care. They crack jokes to make us laugh and just have fun.

Several years ago this community put on a musical called Grub’s Place. You made it easy for me to be a part of it as a baby ant, and I discovered that I liked performing so much, I was a Mama Bear for a 6th grade play here at First Parish.

But the best part? Grub’s Place was an intergenerational production. I got to meet so many people of all ages. I created many friendships, and I love seeing all of you every Sunday. These connections mean more to me than any of you can imagine. One of the many reasons I come to church is to see all of you and talk to you and just catch up.

I also met my 2 best friends here. Emma, Liza, and I are sisters for life, we have been there for each other during the good, the bad, and the ugly. School friends will come and go but First Parish friendships are everlasting.

During the pandemic, it was hard to not feel isolated. Amy and Dawn created a new group – “Junior Youth Group” – and kept us connected with zoom calls and outside events where we could be together, but 6 feet apart. It was a safe space to connect and share our joys, concerns, and fears. This was a huge help to me and my parents. Thank you Dawn.

First Parish taught me the importance of giving back in whatever way I can. Now that I’ve “graduated” from RE, I’m helping take care of our youngest members in Little RE. I love taking care of the little children. I haven’t just created special bonds with the adults here, I have also connected with the littles.

I am also grateful for the guidance and love this family has given me through the many ups and downs these past years. Last year, I really struggled with my mental health and the sense that I felt I wasn’t good enough, that I was alone. So many of you – Amy, Dawn, Anderson, and Beth to name a few – made me feel that I belonged here and that this was, is, and always will be my home. I truly feel noticed, understood, and appreciated here.

Here at First Parish, we talk about pledging our time, talent, and treasure. This is the treasure part. As you reflect on what this community means to you, please think about what I’ve shared today. Everything I’ve shared:

The opportunities for growth and self-discovery Your support, acceptance and connections

All of this is possible due to your financial support. It helps make stories like mine possible.
Thank You!