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

    sanctuaryThis Sunday, Rev. Anne Mason will reflect on one of our modern prophets, Leonard Cohen, and how his song “Hallelujah” encourages us to find healing by singing in the midst of love or in the midst of pain. When we bring our full selves into worship, we bring our joy and our sorrow, our fears and our joy. Come and worship with us today, wherever you are and however you are feeling. Together we will seek the Holy. Together we will worship.

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


    The sanctuary choir will debut Rip Jackson’s new gospel composition, “The Tables Turned. The children’s choir and soloist David Meharry will sing Bricusse and Newley’s inspiring “Pure Imagination” (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). Austin Burns will sing Leonard Cohen’s passionate “Hallelujah.” For the centering music and postlude, Rip Jackson will play two of his own compositions written for First Parish in Lexington — “New England Marshlands” and “Mighty Oaks.”


    audio-icon-small Listen to last Sunday’s sermon by guest minister, Rev. David S. Blanchard, “Hope for the Past.”

  • Composition by Rip Jackson to Debut this Sunday

    Rip_JacksonThis Sunday, the sanctuary choir will debut Rip Jackson’s new gospel composition “The Tables Turned.” Rip composed this lively anthem with a donation from Lewis Counts during the November 2015 Auction at First Parish in Lexington. It is dedicated to his wife, Connee Counts. It is written in a gospel style for soprano soloist, choir, and piano. The lyrics are from William Wordsworth’s 19th-century poem of the same name and urges people to venture outside and let Nature (rather than books) teach about wisdom.

  • Have You Made an Auction Donation?

    auctionThe Great Fall Auction is fast approaching – make sure November 19th is on your calendar. Doors open at 6 PM; silent auction bidding goes from 6-7:30 PM; the live auction starts at 7:30 PM.

    Today is the day we had hoped that all auction donations would be submitted. But we have a long way to go! Please submit those donations! To donate an item, email the details to fallauction@fplex.org or fill out the on-line donation form by clicking here.

    We also need volunteers. The auction doesn’t just happen by magic — it takes many hands. The auction team especially needs volunteers 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 (Chair)

  • Safety Task Force Presentation

    safety-task-forceMembers of the First Parish Violence Prevention Task Force have been busy at work formulating an evacuation plan for any potential threats from violent intruders. This follows a Violence Prevention Workshop for Houses of Worship held last March at Temple Isaiah and attended by members and staff of First Parish. Presenters included members of the Lexington and Burlington Police.

    Following this Sunday’s service, parishioners are asked to remain in their seats following the postlude for a ten-minute explanation and demonstration of the emergency plan by the First Parish Violence Prevention Task Force. This presentation is for adults only in the sanctuary. During social hour, we urge all congregants to watch a 6-minute video used to train the First Parish Violence Prevention Task Force. The video will run in the parlor and all adults (and teens) are urged to watch this important video. There will be continued childcare available during social hour so that parents can watch the video. Thank you in advance for attending this information session that is designed to keep all of us safe.

  • Social Action co-sponsors the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute Presentation


    The Social Action Committee of First Parish, in collaboration with other religious institutions of Lexington, are co-sponsoring The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute presentation, “Transforming Society’s Response to Homicide.” The presentation will take place on Sunday, October 23rd at 1:30 pm at the Follen Church, 755 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington.The featured speaker is Peace Institute Founder and President, Chaplain Clementina Chéry, along with staff members.

    All are invited to attend this important event, which is free and open to the public.

    “The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, founded in 1994 after the murder of Louis D. Brown, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people and the community about the value of peace and assisting survivors of homicide victims with immediate crisis management services and ongoing support to continue to make Louis’ vision a reality.” To learn more about the Institute, please visit their website.

  • Pizza and Game Night

    pizza-and-game-night-copy-1All are welcome to attend this monthly gathering for games and pizza! Please join Rev. Anne and Sadie Kahn-Greene for some group games and board and card games. If you have a favorite game to share, please bring it along!

    Please come on Saturday, October 22nd at 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the Parker Hall. Please RSVP here or email Lisa Maria Steinberg, Director of Religious Education, if have questions.

  • Amnesty International Meeting

    amnesty2Guantanamo, Vietnam, Mid-East and Human Rights Discussion

    All are welcomed to the monthly meeting of the Lexington chapter of Amnesty International. The meeting will be held this coming Sunday, October 23rd at 1 pm, here at First Parish in the Common Room. Hear a current update on what’s happening at Guantanamo from one of our members just back from Guantanamo, as well as ongoing case actions in Vietnam, Russia, and the mid-east.

    If you have any questions, please contact Al Jacobson.

  • Note from the Board

    Tom-RichHow often do you get to attend a World Premier? If you’re like me … never!  This coming Sunday can change that for everyone as the choir will perform Rip Jackson’s original composition “The Tables Turned” during the Sunday service. As a member of the choir, I’ve felt a special excitement each time we’ve rehearsed this piece — I can’t wait to sing it this Sunday!  A special thanks goes to parishioner Lew Counts, who funded this work via a hotly contested bidding war at last year’s Great Fall Auction.

    See you in church.

    In the spirit of community,

    Tom Rich

    Board Chair

  • Folk Concert, Sunday, November 6th


    2016 Folk Concert

  • Help Needed for Folk Concert


    The exciting performance of Folk Music – instrumental and choral – is coming very soon to our historic church. It is an outstanding event that deserves a special and welcoming reception after the program. Offering to donate cookies and cold drinks will do just that, and there is a good chance that you might be able to greet some of the performers!

    To look our very best and ensure there is enough for everyone, please consider bringing one or two packages of cookies or some bottles of cold drink. These can be left at the First Parish kitchen when you come to church that morning.

    Let’s make this concert event the success we want it to be. Please consider making a donation. Notify Hazel Graham or the office at 781-862-8200 x1 or email at admin@fplex.org.

  • Legacies Workshop

    legaciesPlease join Meg Newhouse as she leads a half-day interactive workshop on living as legacy—the ongoing imprint of one’s life and gift to future generations. Participants will explore the legacies they have received and those they have already “bequeathed.” The workshop will be a self-contained overview based on Meg’s new book, Legacies of the Heart: Living a Life That Matters. 

    Saturday, November 5th from 9am to 12pm, Common Room. Sign up at the piano or with Jane Foley, Parish Administrator, at admin@fplex.org.

  • This Week at First Parish







    Wednesday, October 19

    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Thursday, October 20
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Friday, October 21
    Roaring Jelly 7:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Saturday, October 22
    NE Region UUA Leadership Workshop 10:00 a.m. Parish Hall
    Game Night and Pizza Party 5:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Sunday, October 23
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Safety Workshop 11:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Parker Hall
    Amnesty International Meeting 1:00 p.m. Common Room
    Social Action Co-Sponsored Event 1:30 p.m. Follen Church
    JHYG 3:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    OWL 6:30 p.m. Common Room
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Monday, October 24
    Staff Meetings 11:00 a.m. Office
    Members & Friends Committee 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Tuesday, October 25
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Common Room
  • Deadline for The Focalpoint


    Submissions to the November issue of The Focalpoint are due on Monday, October 24th. Please send committee, program, and other important church-related news to Jane Foley by 10 a.m. at admin@fplex.org.


  • Updated Electronic Recycling Guidelines

    recyclingDid you know that First Parish participates in a fundraising program through Ecophones? This program returns a portion of the proceeds of the usable parts to First Parish. Ecophones recycles the metals and properly disposes of the hazardous materials. You can find out more information on their website.

    If you wish to make a donation, please leave only the following items in the bin outside of the office.

    Smart Phones

    Cell Phones


    Inkjet cartidges

    Please do not leave any other miscellaneous electronics. In a recent clean out of the bin, we found TV remotes; cords that didn’t fit any plugs; computer hard drives; and a wi-fi connector. Please save these types of items for proper disposal at the public works department.



    Cell Phones

    • Over 100 million cell phones are stockpiled in U.S. households creating 50,000 tons of potentially hazardous waste.
    • On average Americans replace their cell phones every 12-18 months. An estimated 130 million cell phones are discarded annually in the U.S. alone.
    • Cell phones contain toxic substances including Arsenic, Antimony, Beryllium, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Nickel and Zinc which leach into soil and groundwater and form toxins during incineration which have been associated cancer and a range of reproductive, neurological and developmental disorders.
    • The cadmium from a single cell phone is capable of polluting 158,200 gallons of water. (That’s 2.4 million 8-ounce sodas!)


    • The production of cell phones, ink jet cartridges and jewelry are all dependent on one or more rare metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium and even gold!
    • The mining of metals for consumer electronics and jewelry is the #1 cause of toxic pollution in the United States!
    • The average U.S. gold mine uses 3,520,000 pounds of cyanide per year!


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