Rev. Anne H Mason
Senior Minister

Rev. Anne Mason brings a deep passion for ministry to her position as Senior Minister at First Parish. Her journey through life has taken her to unexpected places, but she has always maintained her spiritual connection as a foundational core of who she is.

Rev. Anne’s religious journey began with being a Director of Education while her children were young. She worked as the Director of Music at the UU church in Lancaster PA, and then after graduating seminary and completing an internship in pastoral care at Hershey Medical Center, she became the Senior Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster.

Becoming a Unitarian Universalist Minister has been a journey of joy and discovery, and she is excited to walk with this congregation on their path of religious quest. How we show up in the world is connected to the faith we discover along the way. Our purpose is to be true to our deepest selves while we work to make this world a better place. Rev. Anne finds deep meaning in the weekly affirmation of faith – that our covenant exists “to the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with the divine.”

Rev. Anne and her husband, composer Simon Andrews, are delighted to have relocated to the Greater Boston area, and look forward to all of the connections made as we work together to create the world we dream about.

Rev. Anne is on Sabbatical and will return in May 2022.

Rev. Kathleen D Hepler
Sabbatical Minister
(781) 862-8200 Ext. 4

Rev. Kathleen Hepler will be serving as our Sabbatical Minister while our senior Minister, Rev. Anne Mason is on sabbatical from January to April 2022.

Rev. Kathleen brings a wealth of experience to First Parish. In 2021 she served as the Sabbatical Minister at the North Parish of North Andover, Unitarian Universalist. Previously, she served as Interim Minister at First Parish Church United of Westford and the Senior Minister at First Parish in Framingham.

The sabbatical is a time of opportunity for our congregation as well as for Rev. Anne. It will afford all of us a chance to spread our wings and to grow in our capacity to minister to one another and make decisions together.

Rev. Helen Lutton Cohen
Minister Emerita

Helen Lutton Cohen, Minister Emerita of the First Parish in Lexington, MA, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where her family was active in the First Unitarian Congregational Church. She attended Sunday School there and was presented her graduation certificate by Sophia Lyons Fahs, the national director of Religious Education for the American Universalist Association.

She taught Sunday School, and participated in the youth group and in the Ohio Valley Federation of Liberal Religious Youth. The Rev. Dr. Cohen graduated from Swarthmore College, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Old English Language and Literature. She taught in the English Department of Yale University from 1968 to 1970, where she met and married Don Cohen. She and Don taught at Brock University in St. Catharine’s Ontario through the early 70’s, and their daughters, Rebecca and Sarah, were born there. After leaving teaching, she became active in the St. Catharine’s Church of the Unitarian Fellowship.

Helen attended Harvard Divinity School from 1977-80, and was called to the First Parish in Lexington, Massachusetts, where she served from 1980 to 2002, and was named MInister Emerita by the congregation upon her retirement. The congregation published a book of her sermons, Believing in Evolution, in 1994. Her denominational activities include co-writing The Sabbatical Handbook with the Rev. David Pohl, serving on the UU Minister’s Association committee that created CENTER and on CENTER in its first years, presenting a paper on women in ministry at the 1999 Professional Days,  serving as minister-in-residence at Meadville/Lombard Theological School in winter 2000, and volunteering at the UU Urban Ministry in Boston.

Rip Jackson
Director of Music
(781) 862-8200 Ext. 4

Rip Jackson is currently the Director of Music and Organist at First Parish in Lexington, Massachusetts. Rip is a conductor, singer, composer, and keyboardist (harpsichord, piano, and organ) who is passionate about many genres of music, including jazz, early music, classical, world, folk and musical theater.

After attending a performing arts high school in Atlanta where he specialized in dance and choreography, he went on to study music history, piano, harpsichord and organ at Florida State University (Bachelors), Emory University (Masters) and Case Western Reserve University (doctoral work). From 2000-2015 he worked in Rutland, Vermont, as the full-time Minister of Music at Grace Congregational Church and Director of the Rutland Area Chorus and Orchestra.

Rip has conducted performances of many orchestral and choral masterpieces, including Beethoven’s Mass in C and “Pastoral” Symphony No. 6, Brahms’s German Requiem, Bach’s Cantata No. 97 and Brandenburg Concertos, Mozart’s Requiem and Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia. Rip has also musically and stage directed large productions of Broadway shows including Miss SaigonWest Side StoryJesus Christ SuperstarJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Les Misérables. In May 2010, his original composition, The Beatitudes: A Journey of Compassion, Justice and Love Triumphant, was premiered in Rutland, Vermont, in collaboration with Maris Wolff’s The Vermont Dance Collective.

Pratik Mamtora
Communications Director
Lead Teacher
(781) 862-8200 Ext. 3

Pratik Mamtora joined the FPLex staff and community in Fall 2020. He has a way of making you feel like he’s an old friend right away with his warm, compassionate manner and outgoing spirit. Pratik has been part of UU congregations for over a decade. He has served on Worship and RE Committees along with being a greeter and usher on Sundays in NJ, IL and NY.

Pratik is inspired by opportunities, creativity, courage and humanity. His caring and kindheartedness is exemplified by his enthusiastic approach to all his endeavors. An avid fan of classic TV shows like I Love LucyThe Mary Tyler Moore Show; he loves to read, write poetry, practice yoga and hike in his spare time. If you ever meet… or when you meet him, Pratik will make you smile.

Pratik lives in Lexington with his four legged furry friend, Kashmere. She often accompanies Pratik to the office. This Pomsky has become the FPLex mascot and loves treats of all kinds. She enjoys meeting other pup friends when we host the Blessing of the Animals service at First Parish.

Mia Roop
Interim Office Manager
(781) 862-8200 Ext. 1

Mia Roop grew up in Lexington and attended Colby College. For the last 35 years she has worked in high tech sales for Lotus, SPC, Symantec, Nuance, and Claris. Mia has been married to Larry Roop for 35 years and has two children and two dogs.

The Roop family started attending First Parish services and religious education in 2007. Mia was a First Parish Greeter and Greeter Coordinator for many years, served on the First Parish Personnel Committee in 2014, and is currently a member of the Racial Justice Team.

She is excited to serve as the Interim Office Manager and looks forward to working alongside her beloved FPLex community.

Michele Townsend Grove
Religious Education Consultant

Michele Townsend Grove joined First Parish as a religious education consultant in Aug 2021. In November, Michele had the pleasure of being with the FPLex community in person and enjoyed meeting many passionate and dedicated members and friends. She looks forward to more opportunities to interact, converse and learn about our religious education passion and vision. Michele works closely with the Religious Education Committee and can be reached at their above email.

Michele lives with her family in Galena, Illinois near the Mississippi River on the border with Iowa and Wisconsin. She has served as a religious educator since 1988 and a Unitarian Universalist religious educator since 2003. She is glad that her experience led her to be in relationship with us.

Annelie Nygren-Mitchell
Primary Teacher

Annelie Nygren-Mitchell has been a primary grade teacher at First Parish since 2018. She is an experienced early childhood educator who brings her knowledge and joy of young children to our community.

Annelie is currently working in an after school program with ages ranging from PreK-3rd grade. She is especially excited to facilitate children’s spiritual journey each Sunday at First Parish in Lexington.

Annelie was born and raised in Sweden but moved to the United States as a young adult. She now resides in Concord, MA with her husband Dave. Together they raised their son Erik who is a junior in college. She enjoys cooking, reading, movies and exercising in her free time.

John Roop
Youth Coordinator

John Roop joined the First Parish staff in September 2019 as Youth Coordinator.
John grew up at First Parish in Lexington and is a graduate of the OWL and Coming Of Age programs. John has always been involved working with young people since he was a teenager and has a lot of experience in leadership roles.

He is currently finishing his B.A. degree in psychology at Clark University. In his spare time John likes to play basketball, write poetry, and take pictures of nature. He brings enthusiasm for and dedication to our youth programs.

William Losch
Tech Manager

I’m thrilled to be a new member of the family here at FPLex. Even after a few short weeks I can already tell that it is a community filled with enthusiasm, friendship, and care for one another.

My own experience and training is in playing classical and jazz music on the double bass, and I spent the last few years at Florida State University where I earned my BA in strings performance. I hope to be able to use my musical sensitivity to provide the folks who are participating virtually as seamless an experience as possible, and to capture on film some of the beautiful moments we create here at FPLex.

When I’m not working or practicing music, I love to cook and to exercise. My favorite things to cook are steak and feijoada (Brazilian beans with pork), and my favorite way to stay active is by practicing martial arts like Jiu-jítsu and Muay Thai. Now that you all know a bit about me I would love to get to know each of you as we continue worshiping together so please don’t hesitate to introduce yourselves if you haven’t!

And FPLex’s very own Lydia D’Andrea is my loving Grandmother. You have been an incredibly welcoming community and it is truly a treat to meet each and every one of you.