- Sunday Service
Join Rev. Anne Mason, Lisa Maria Steinberg, LDRE, and others as they explore, through story, song, and homily, what it means for a community to value individual participation. Each person’s gift is so important that we could not be the congregation we are without your own, personal offering. Come and watch our young thespians share a story, and hear a homily by Rev. Anne.
Rev. Anne Mason, Worship Leader
Today will be an All-Ages Service. Pre-K through 8th grade will stay in the sanctuary. The nursery will be open for babies and toddlers.
This Sunday the sanctuary choir, with soloists Chris Hess, Julia Jaffe and Elizabeth Walsh will sing Michael Culloton’s poignant arrangement of “Famine Song,” written by the women’s a cappella ensemble Vida. They will also sing James Green’s arrangement of the Cherokee “Morning Song,” with soloists Austin Burns and Elizabeth Walsh. They will be joined by Ruth Rose (pipes), Sarah Matthews (shakers) and Erik Svenson (bass drum). Julia Jaffe and Elizabeth Walsh will sing Antonio Vivaldi’s glorious “Laudamus Te” (from Gloria). For the centering music and postlude, Rip Jackson will play Antonin Dvorak’s peaceful “Largo” (from The New World Symphony) on the piano and Bach’s powerful “Praeludium in c minor” (BWV 549) on the organ.
Click here to listen to Dr. Rev. Nicole Kirk’s sermon of February 26th, “Historical Traps.”
- From Your Minister
First Parish stands with all who fight the increase of hateful language and deeds. Our values of love and tolerance, our acceptance of all religions and our desire to support those who are oppressed are the core of who we are. In the face of desecration of Jewish burial grounds in Philadelphia and Missouri, we stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters against the rise of hateful actions. In the face of government regulations we stand with our transgender friends in support of their right to be accepted as they are. And in the face of continued anti-Muslim sentiment, we continue to promote understanding and love. We will be planning a visit to the mosque in Burlington in early April, where we will meet with the Imam, have a tour, and get to know our Muslim neighbors. And recently, with Dan Fenn’s leadership, we sent at request that our local leaders take a moral stand on the side of Love. At their monthly meeting this week, responding to a request from First Parish, the Lexington Board of Selectmen reached out to the Wayland mosque in support and sympathy after they received a particularly vicious piece of anonymous hate mail. We applaud their actions and hope to continue to be a moral voice in Lexington to help us all find our path of love and tolerance.In faith,Rev. Anne
- March Donations for Lexington Interfaith Food Pantry
This Sunday kicks off the annual month-long collection for the Lexington Interfaith Food Pantry. Housed in the basement of the Church of Our Redeemer, it has been active in Lexington since 1990, when the Lexington Council of Churches, including First Parish, founded the program.
The Pantry is coordinated by Carolyn Wortman, who directs the entire operation with the help of a large, unpaid staff of volunteers from most of the faith communities in Lexington. We will welcome Carolyn this Sunday during the service, when she will speak briefly about the current status of the program and its benefits to many Lexington residents.
For the month of March, there are two ways you can help. First, please make a monetary donation during the special plate collection this Sunday, March 5th, when all proceeds will go the Pantry.
The second way you can help is by donating personal care products, which are not covered by the Federal food stamp programs. These include shampoos, lotions, dental care products, and other toiletries. Products containing alcohol or hotel sized items will not be accepted. There will be baskets at both entrances to the church marked Food Pantry donations. We will also continue to accept non-perishable food items as we have been doing on an ongoing basis.
Thank you as always for your generosity of spirit and gifts to others in need. If you have any questions or want more information about the Lexington Food Pantry, please contact Lynne Yansen.
- Annual Pledge Drive & Party
The annual pledge drive brings in about two-thirds of the funds that provide worship and music on Sundays, pastoral care throughout the year, children and adult religious education programming, and community outreach. Our goal this year for the pledge drive is $393,000, which will come from roughly 160 households. Pledge cards will be mailed to parishioners in late February and we hope everyone will have pledged by March 12th.
Also, please plan on coming to the Pledge Party, in the Parish Hall at 7:30 PM on Friday, March 10th.
Have questions about the pledge drive? Stop by our table at social hour after church on Sundays. We have chocolate and colorful charts!
Your Annual Pledge Drive Team (Bob Coyne, Marsha Fox, Bob Gibbons, Katie O’Hare Gibson, Tom Rich, and Erik Svenson)
- New Chalice/Soul Matters Group to Begin
First Parish in Lexington has a long history of Small Group Ministry with different names, including covenant groups, chalice circles, and soul matters. Despite the names, Small Group Ministry provides meaningful opportunities to engage with other parishioners, discuss topics of importance, and to get to know one another, and ourselves, more deeply. Ask someone you know at FP about his or her Group. They would be happy to tell you.
First Parish is starting a new Chalice/Soul Matters Group in March. It will meet on the third Friday of the month from 7-8:30 PM. A sign up sheet will be left on the piano on Sundays. If you are interested or would like more information please contact Mary Knuth.
- Communications Team – Training Available
Do you have WordPress skills? Are you a Facebook fanatic? Do you think First Parish would benefit from widening our social media outreach? The Communications Team is looking for a few tech-savvy people to help grow First Parish’s social media presence in the world. We invite anyone interested, including our youth, to contact us if you can put your social media skills to use for First Parish.
Training is available through the online course site, Udemy. First Parish has registered for the course, Church Social Media and Membership Growth, with instructor Peter Bowden, a church social media and growth consultant.
Please contact Lee Jeffers Brami, Communications Co-lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know we have many parishioners of all ages with highly developed technical skills, and any help is appreciated!
- News from the Board
I hope that 4 PM on March 26th is on everyone’s calendar, when a milestone event in the history of First Parish occurs — the installation service for Rev. Anne. We “called” Rev. Anne last spring, but it’s time to formally “install” her as Parish Minister. These are two separate events, much like public officials who are elected in November but then not sworn in until January. To help prepare for this special event, our hard working Building and Grounds Committee planned two spring cleaning events — one was held last Saturday and one is planned for Saturday, March 11th from 8 AM to 4 PM. Please consider lending a hand so that First Parish sparkles and shines on the 26th!
Tom Rich, Chair
- Mayfair is Coming! Mayfair is Coming!
It takes a village to run a fair! A volunteer sign-up sheet will be on the piano during social hour starting this Sunday. Volunteer opportunities include helping with the books, plants, jewelry, publicity, cafe, electronics, collectibles, baked goods, and more.
Have you started your spring cleaning? Or ridding your attic/basement of stuff you no longer want or use? No place to store those books from your winter reading? Have you given up dressing up? Or downsizing to smaller quarters?
If so, think MAYFAIR. It’s coming on Saturday, May 13th. Please consider donating items to the Mayfair selection of jewelry, collectibles, white elephants, books, and other good stuff.
More info will follow. Just please don’t toss it; donate it!
- This Week in Social Action Ministry
The Social Action Ministry (SAM) at First Parish comes from our Unitarian Universalist faith based on the values of love, justice, community and responsibility. We do this within the supportive environment of our broader church community and the mission of First Parish “…to act on our values to serve the larger community and create a more just and loving world.”
Criminal Justice Advocacy
Senator Will Brownsberger, Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee, was one of the speakers at last year’s community forum held at First Parish. Click here to find out what he is working on and to learn about the measures now being presented in our state legislature for criminal justice reform.
Amnesty International News
“I wanted to share with you [an excerpt from] this wonderful press release from the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights regarding our letter writing a couple of weeks ago. Great work feel good, it makes a difference. I will keep you posted on further developments and reports from the EU delegation.” ~ Al Jacobson
PARIS 28 February 2017 (VCHR) – In preparation for a visit to Vietnam by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights from 20-24 February 2017, members of Amnesty International in Boston launched a letter-writing campaign to urge the EP delegation to press for the release of prominent Buddhist dissident Thích Quảng Độ, Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), currently under house arrest in Saigon.
Alvin Jacobson, who coordinated the campaign, informed the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) that he sent a parcel of 70 individually signed letters to Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chairman of the EP Subcommittee on Human Rights and head of the delegation to Vietnam to his office at the European Parliament in Brussels before the delegation’s departure to Hanoi.
For the full press release, click here.
- This Week at First Parish
Wednesday, March 1 No Choir Rehearsal Thursday, March 2 Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor Saturday, March 4 Memorial Service 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary Master Singers’ Concert 8:00 p.m. Sanctuary Sunday, March 5 Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary & Parlor Coming of Age 5:45 p.m. Common Room OWL 6:30 p.m. Parker Hall SHYG 7:00 p.m. Common Room & Parish Hall Monday, March 6 Master Singers’ Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall Finance Committee 7:30 p.m. Common Room Tuesday, March 7 Music Committee 3:00 p.m. Sanctuary Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Common Room Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
- Query from Adult Programs
Do you practice earth-based spirituality, paganism, or Wicca? We’re looking for people in our congregation who engage with these spiritual practices and might be interested in having support from Adult Programs in honoring this part of our UU sources in this community. Please contact Lisa Maria if you want to talk more at email@example.com or 781-862-8200 x3.