- Sunday Service
Winter Solstice celebrates the return of hope to our land as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight. We participate in this ancient ritual to connect with the natural rhythms of light and dark, of warmth and cold, of winter and spring. Is your Hope buried deep, like seeds in the earth? Come explore the nurturing darkness of Solstice with Rev. Anne Mason and Lisa Maria Steinberg, DRE, in this All Ages service.
Through beautiful music, hymns, sermon, and poetry, the powerful transformation from darkness to light will be uplifted. Artist and soprano sax player Katie Runde and pianist Rip Jackson will play some of the music from the Paul Winter Consort that can be heard at St. John the Divine during the Winter Solstice Concerts there each December, including the rousing piece “Dancing Day.” There will also be an original Solstice composition by Rip Jackson for soprano sax and organ, and the sanctuary choir will sing Eric Whitacre’s beautiful “Glow” and Morten Johannes Lauridsen’s hauntingly serene “Sure on this Shining Night.” Alto soloist Julia Jaffe will sing Paul Winter’s mystical arrangement of “Silent Night” in Russian.
- Christmas Eve Rehearsal Schedule
If you are participating in either of the Christmas Eve services, please see the schedule below for rehearsal times.
Sunday, December 17th
11:45 – 12:30 Children’s Choir in Yellow Room
11:45 – 12:30 Play rehearsal in Sanctuary
12:30 – 1:00 Youth Choir in Sanctuary
Sunday, December 24th
2:30 – 3:30 Play rehearsal in Sanctuary
4:00 – 4:45 Children and Youth Choirs rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:00 – 6:45 Choir rehearsal in Sanctuary
- Climate Action Team
Join the First Parish Climate Action Team
Stop by our table at Coffee Hour this Sunday, December 17th
In 2004-06, First Parish went through an internal process to be designated a Green Sanctuary Congregation. The goal was to make every aspect of congregational life as sustainable and environmentally responsible as possible. We asked ourselves what did we need to do to live our 7th Principle, to “affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
We then created plans to increase building sustainability, improve congregational practices, and create relationships with the wider community.
What you can do Right Now:
~ Learn more about the Massachusetts Carbon Pricing Legislation
~ Learn more about the issues and what others are doing:
~ Come to Worship on February 11, 2018, and hear Rev. Fred Small, Climate Activist and one of the initiators of the Green Sanctuary movement.
- 325th Suncatchers for Sale
Want to commemorate the fabulous 325th celebration of First Parish? Buy one of these beautiful, glass suncatchers! They come in blue or green and make great ornaments. You can purchase them for $10 each on Sunday during social hour or at the office Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 4:00pm.
- Early Focalpoint Deadline
If you have an event, committee meeting, or program that you want to include in the January issue of the Focalpoint, please send to Jane Foley in the office by Tuesday, December 19th, with publication on Friday, December 22nd.
- 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.”
Special Plate Collection
Last Sunday, your generous donations during the special plate collection totaled $1,142 and will be sent to the UU Urban Ministry’s Believe in Success, a bi-lingual (Spanish/English) job- and educational-readiness program for low-income women/LGBTQ persons who have experienced domestic violence or other trauma. Thank you, as always!
For the past several years, Deb Lapides, Dori Reuss, Brenda Prusak and Jane Beswick have been creating lovely gift bags for the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry’s Renewal House, a domestic violence shelter in Roxbury. On Saturday, December 9th, 36 gift bags were delivered for the individuals and families who are currently residents at the house. Click here for more information about Renewal House and how you can help.
Last Saturday, several First Parishioners not only delivered gift bags to Renewal House, they helped sort and distribute food with Fair Foods, Inc., a non-profit organization that has been rescuing food surplus and distributing it to low-income communities in the Boston area since 1988.
Good Samaritan Fund
The official announcement and kick-off for the Good Samaritan Fund application process for 2018 will be in January’s Focalpoint. This Fund, established by Bruce and Eva Gordon, helps to “provide financial awards to needy individuals.” Deadline information, application requirements, and a link to the application will be included.
- Fall Clean Up
Thank you to the hearty souls who raked and cleaned up the outside of the church last Saturday before the snow fell. We will be able to appreciate all of the work they did when it melts and the results can be seen! A very warm thanks to (from left to right) Bob Kvaal, Dave Pollack, Dick Fleiss, Amy Breiting, Tim Jacoby, David Bovet, and Jim Gross. Thanks also to Tom Rich and Suzanne Adams who didn’t make the photo shoot, and to Margaret Brooke for taking the picture.
- Soul Matters for December
What does it mean to be a people of HOPE?
Something to consider: Are you bringing more hope into the world than you realize? If you don’t think of your work and commitments in that way, how might life look different if you did?
- WhaleCoast Alaska
The following information was on a postcard mailed to the church office:
WhaleCoast Alaska is a Unitarian Universalist eco-cultural and spiritual program for people who are looking for a more authentic Alaskan experience. WhaleCoast Alaska is operated in cooperation with four UU Alaska fellowships – Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Sitka – that provide home stays, dinner parties, activities, and transportation for the guests.
Significant funds raised through WhaleCoast Alaska helped finance the construction of the farthest north UU church in the world in Fairbanks. The Anchorage UU congregation are in the process of a major remodel of their church. In 2017, the participating Alaska congregations raised over $59,000 through WhaleCoast Alaska. Over the past 25 years, a total of over $554,000 has been raised for the work of these congregations. Over 1,400 guests have visited Alaska with our program.
We travel throughout Alaska to see wildlife in their natural habitats – humpback and killer whales, sea lions, seals and sea otters; bears, wolves, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, eagles, puffins and other birds in some of North America’s most beautiful scenery. We have two tours planned for 2018.
- This Week at First Parish
Wednesday, December 13 Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary Thursday, December 14 80+ Luncheon 12:30 p.m. Parker Hall Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor LYFS SOS 7:00 p.m. Parish Hall Scrabble Club 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall Friday, December 15 Roaring Jelly 8:00 p.m. Parish Hall Sunday, December 17 Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Yellow Room Play Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary Youth Choir Rehearsal 12:30 p.m. Sanctuary OWL 4:00 p.m. Parker Hall SHYG 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall Monday, December 18 Staff Meeting 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office LYFS Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall Tuesday, December 19 Lexington Ski Club 5:30 p.m. Parker Hall Empty Sky Sangha 7:30 p.m. Common Room Wednesday, December 20 Creative Callings 1:30 p.m. Parlor Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary Climate Collaborative 7:30 p.m. Common Room
The email newsletter of First Parish in Lexington is published on Wednesdays at 4 pm. Submissions are due on Mondays at 10 am. Email submissions or inquiries to the church office.