Weekly Update

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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.
  • Sunday Service


    In this time of national division, how can we keep our hearts open to those with whom we disagree? What does psychology teach us about the difference between the liberal and conservative approach to politics? Is it possible to find a way to find common ground across the political divide, or will we remain mired in opposition and immobility? Rev. Anne Mason will pose these difficult questions on Sunday in her sermon, “Doors of the Heart.”

    There will be Sunday School for Pre-K through 8th Grade. The nursery will be open for babies and toddlers.


    This Sunday, guest pianist Hannah Shields and our alto soloists, Julia Jaffe will provide the music for our worship service. Julia will sing Felix Mendelssohn’s reverent “O Rest in the Lord” (from Elijah) and Camille Saint-Saëns’ lovely and passionate “Mon Coeur S’ouvre a ta Voix” (from Samson et Dalila). Hanna will play Franz Schubert’s serene “Moment Musicaux  Op. 94, No. 1, “ Robert Schumann’s lyrical “Romanze” (from Faschingsschwank aus Wien) and J. S. Bach lively “Gigue” (from Partita No. 1 in Bb major).

    Hannah Shields has performed throughout the US both as a soloist and a chamber musician and is a laureate of the YKAA International Com­peti­tion, the Fite Young Artist Com­pe­ti­tion, and the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition. She has attended the Yellow Barn, Banff, and Taos summer chamber music festivals.  Hannah has lived in the Boston area since graduating from the New England Conservatory, and currently makes her home in Jamaica Plain.

    Julia Jaffe, was born in Minsk, Belarus where she attended a specialized music school majoring in piano.  At age 15 she immigrated to the USA and pursued dual studies as an opera/classical singer and a linguist. As a singer Julia had been a lifelong learner.  After completing a BA in vocal performance from the University of Utah she worked privately with a New England Conservatory teacher as well as Hebrew College Cantor.  Julia sang the lead roles with the Lowell Opera House and Commonwealth Lyric Theatre in Boston as well as in the ensembles of Utah Opera House and Opera Tampa.  She was a soloist with the Blessed Sacrament Church in Cambridge for nearly 10 years.  Currently, Julia is  enjoying a stylistically eclectic concert career — she performs programs of Russian and Gypsy romances;  Lieder; Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino songs, opera arias and early music.


    audio-icon-small Listen to last Sunday’s sermon by Rev. Anne Mason, “Don’t Tell Me Not To Fly.”

  • October’s Plate Collection

    mlk-day-of-serviceOn Sunday, October 16th, an original and active member of the organization Lexington CommUNITY, Sam Zales, will speak about the importance of Lexington’s annual Martin Luther King “Day of Service” Celebration that is held every January. Sam has been a prime mover in the development of this celebration that engages the whole community in public discourse on the topics of diversity and social justice. First Parish has always been well represented in furthering this program that embodies the core values of our beliefs as a church.

    This is a chance to give financial support to this important and inspiring community organization. The plate collection on Sunday, October 16th will be generously donated to Lexington CommUNITY so that Sam’s work, and the work of many members of this church who have served closely with him, will continue.

  • From Your Minister


    This month we explore what it means to be a Community of Healing. I am excited to think about what that means not only for us as members of First Parish, but for us as members of this greater community of Lexington. On November 20th, I would like for us to sponsor a national event called the Transgender Day of Remembrance. I can vision us on the Battle Green, surrounded by members of local LGBTQI folks as well as First Parish folks holding candlelight vigil. Too many transgender kids are being bullied. Too many transgender adults have been murdered. Too many communities are fighting efforts to make space for our trans community to feel accepted. TDOR is a day to support the trans community and show that we are a church of welcome and radical hospitality. I am looking for a few people to work with me to prepare for this event, as we reach out to the local LGBTQI groups in the high school and beyond. Please consider being on the steering committee with me as we put our desire to be a community of Healing into action.

    In faith,

    Rev. Anne

  • Welcome Back, Lisa Maria

    Lisa_Maria_SteinbergIt is so good to be back! My maternity leave was just what it needed to be, a time to recover physically and get to know my son, and for my family and I to adjust to our new life as a family of four. I am grateful to be in a field and work for a community that sees the necessity and value in paid parental leave, and I look forward to the day that all working parents have this benefit in the US, as virtually all other nations in the world do.

    A big THANK YOU to you all for the touching and special welcome back gift of the hand decorated onesies for Vinny; we had a good time going through them all and seeing all the different designs and artwork. I also want to thank Sadie Kahn-Greene for her masterful handling of parts of my portfolio during my leave, as well as the LRE Committee of Amy Jamison, Laura Juitt, Debbie Armstrong, and Ruth Rose, OWL lead Elisabeth Jas, and Jane Eckert for helping with publicity. Thank you to Anne, Katie Camire, Rip, and Jane Foley for picking up various aspects of my responsibilities as well. Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to support a mom with a new baby, and this village has done just that. Thank you all for support, well-wishes, cards, and kindness.

    In Faith,

    Lisa Maria

  • Saturday Night – In Good Company Concert

    In Good Company will present “Hail to the Chief” at First Parish on Saturday, October 15th, 7:30pm in the Sanctuary.

    Buy your Hail to the Chief tickets now and get preferred seating, closer to the stage!

    Only those who purchase tickets ahead of time will get preferred seating.

    Tickets bought at the door will be general admission.

    This will be a rousing and delightful musical about presidential campaign songs — before there was Queen or Katy Perry, candidates and their supporters had to write their own promotional tunes. You may have seen White House Chair, which was a solely choral performance. “Hail to the Chief” takes everything great about that show and brings it to another level, so come see the transformation for yourself! Journey back to a simpler time with us when Donald’s ancestors still went by Drumpf and the only way people could insult each other was with pen and ink. As a special treat, there will be an opening act, a performance by the Lexington High School Jazz Combo playing selections from the Great American Songbook.

  • Note from the Board
    Tom-RichLast year your Parish Board started a “Congregational Conversation” series — these were open meetings held in the sanctuary after the Sunday service that focused on issues of importance to the entire congregation.  Next Sunday, October 9th, we will hold our first Congregational Conversation of the new church year. The subject will be the new worship format we’ve used so far this year.  There are some minor differences (for example, the Unison Affirmation is now near the end of the service) and more significant differences (notably, the second through eight graders spend more time in the sanctuary than in previous years). Maybe you hadn’t noticed any changes. Maybe you like the changes. Maybe you don’t. The Board, Rev. Anne, and Lisa Maria want to hear your thoughts and opinions.

    See you in the sanctuary after the service. Childcare will be available

    In fellowship,
    Tom Rich
  • This Week at First Parish

    Wednesday, October 5

    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 4:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Thursday, October 6
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Trustees Meeting 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Friday, October 7
    Saturday, October 8
    Munroe Saturday Night 7:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Sunday, October 9
    Greeter Orientation 9:15 a.m. Common Room
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Congregational Conversation 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary
    Monday, October 10
    Holiday – Office Closed
    Tuesday, October 11
    Board Meeting 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
  • The Great Fall Auction
    auctionThe Great Fall Auction is fast approaching – make sure November 19th is on your calendar. Doors open at 6 PM; the live auction starts at 7:30 PM.
    We need your donations!  Do you like to cook?  Consider hosting a dinner at your house! Do you have a summer home? Consider offering your home for a week or a weekend!  Do you have a special skill or interest? Show it off at your house? Do you have season tickets to the symphony or a theatre company? Offer tickets!
    To donate an item, email the details to fallauction@fplex.org or fill out the on-line donation form by clicking here. The deadline for donating items is October 19th. Donate your item before then so the auction team doesn’t have to chase you down!
    We also need volunteers.  The auction doesn’t just happen by magic — it takes many hands. The auction team needs folks to coordinate food and beverages and to help set up and clean up on November 19th.
    Thank you for supporting this important fundraiser for the church.
    on behalf of the Auction Team — Margie and Bob Gibbons, Toni and Pete Tasker, and Tom Rich
  • Are You a New Empty-Nester?

    empty-nestHow do you feel now that one/all of your kids are off to college or out on their own? Join us in this group meeting to talk about the changes, challenges, and joys of having either one child or your youngest leave the nest this year. Your family structure is different now; how is the change affecting you? This discussion group will meet on October 12th at 7:30 pm in the Common Room. If there is interest, further meetings will be scheduled.

    Facilitators: Cindy Anderson and Jane Eckert

  • The Gallery at First Parish Church

    amantha-tsarosExuberant Abstractions: Spreading Joy – paintings by Amantha Tsaros will be on display October 1 through November 30 in The Gallery at First Parish Church.  Amantha is a Lexington resident with a BFA & MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY.

    Amantha is a former Illustrator with illustrations appearing in Esquire Magazine, the New York Times Review of Books and Strathmore Paper Products. Amantha’s paintings have been exhibited at the Massachusetts State House, Cary Memorial Library, Hopkinton Center for the Arts, and Munroe Center for the Arts, Lexington, MA. Her work has appeared on The Change Blog, The Daily Interview, Makers Make Podcast, Imagine the Possibilities Podcast, 100 Proof Radio Show. She currently lives in Lexington with her husband and two children.

    Artist Statement about Exuberant Abstractions: Spreading Joy

    Heartbreak, Happiness, and a wish for a more joyous world. My goal is to create forcefully joyous paintings that can’t be ignored. These are bold, loud, opinionated pieces of optimism that grow out of my passionate desire to drown out the negativity and darkness and absurd bullying that are heaped on us at an ever-increasing rate and ear-splitting volume these days. Let’s drown it all out with Love, Joy, Optimism, and Happiness. Ultimately, art is undoubtedly a dare. To allow yourself to laugh—loudly and shamelessly. To give yourself permission to let your liveliness loose in a field of hot pink wildflowers. And to realize, then accept, that you deserve pure, undiluted joy.

  • Caring Community at First Parish

    lotsahelpinghandsIf you are interested in lending a hand to someone who needs it in the congregation by offering to take them a meal or giving them a ride, or if you find yourself in need of such help, please write to Caring Community of First Parish Coordinators, Celine Nussbaum and Deborah Beers at caringcommunity@fplex.org or call First Parish at (781) 862-8200 and Jane Foley will take your contact information to give to the coordinators.

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