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


    From the earliest times people have found ways to honor their loved ones. From Samhain to Halloween to All Souls Day we celebrate our connections to those who have come before us.  Please bring a photo or small object which reminds you of a loved one or loved pet, and participate in our ritual of love and remembrance. Worship today is led by Rev. Anne Mason and Lisa Maria Steinberg.

    This is an All Ages service. All children will stay in the sanctuary. The nursery will be open for babies and toddlers.


    The sanctuary and children’s choir, with boy soprano soloist McKenna O’Hare Gibson, will sing the exuberant Appalachian song “I’ll Fly Away.” Mark Therieau will play the guitar solo in this joyful piece. The sanctuary choir will sing John M. Dye’s poignant shape-note choral piece “Wayfaring Stranger” (from The Sacred Harp). For the offertory, Toni Tasker and Elizabeth Walsh will sing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s serene “Pie Jesu” (from Requiem). For the centering music and postlude, Rip Jackson will play on the organ Bach’s most famous organ work, the monumental “Toccata and Fugue in d minor” and Leon L. Boëllmann’s lyrical “Prière à Notre-Dame” (from Suite Gothique, Op. 25).

    audio-icon-small Listen to last Sunday’s sermon by Rev. Anne Mason, “A Holy or a Broken Hallelujah.”

  • Note from the Board


    This coming Sunday after the service we will hold our Semi-Annual meeting. There are two important reasons to attend this meeting (other than fulfilling one of the basic obligations of membership at First Parish):

    – you will hear about an exciting new initiative — “Voices on the Green” — to be rolled out this year in conjunction with our 325th Anniversary.

    – you will hear a summary of the Historic Structures Report, which details the condition and needs of our church building.

    See you on the 30th.
    In the spirit of community,

    Tom Rich
  • Goodbye and Thank You to Michelle Lee

    I am sad to share that our wonderful Spirit Play teacher, Michelle Lee, will be leaving our First Parish Religious Education Staff Team family at the end of the month. Michelle is moving to Florida to pursue opportunities there and be close to her parents. Michelle has been with First Parish for over 16 years, caring for our children in the nursery and teaching in our primary class. To send Michelle away with our support and love, we will be taking a collection of money for her on Sunday.

    We all wish Michelle the best and hope you will join us after service and just prior to the semi-annual meeting this Sunday to say thank you and goodbye to Michelle.

    Lisa Maria Steinberg,
    Director of Lifespan Religious Education
  • Creative Callings

    yarnThis Thursday, October 27th, all are welcome to participate in an informal group of members and friends who enjoy fiber arts. Bring you knitting, crocheting, beading or other fiber work and meet in the church parlor from 2:00 pm to 3:45 pm for a low-key time of fellowship, creativity, and sharing of ideas.

    Just drop by or email Karolyn Eisenstein to join the email list.

  • Thursday – Nonfiction Book Group
    tribeAll are invited to come to the next gathering of the Nonfiction Book Group. On Thursday, November 3rd, the book, Tribe by Sebastian Junger will be discussed from 7:30 until 9 pm in the Parlor. Here is a short description of Tribe from Amazon:
    “We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding –“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.

    Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians, but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

    Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.”
  • Coming Soon – Legacy Workshop

    legaciesDon’t miss this amazing opportunity to 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 is based on Meg’s new book, Legacies of the Heart: Living a Life That Matters, however purchase of or prior reading of the book is not needed to attend the workshop. 

    Saturday, November 5th from 9am to 12pm, Common Room. Sign up at the piano or with Lisa Maria, Director of Lifespan Religious Education.

  • Folk Concert, Sunday, November 6th


    2016 Folk Concert

  • Chalice Circles

    soul-matters-logoHave you signed up for a Chalice Circle yet? These small groups follow the Soul Matters curriculum, engaging participants in a deepening of understanding and spirituality around our church’s monthly themes. We have almost enough people to be able to run groups on the 3rd Tuesday evening or 3rd Friday of the month. Contact Lisa Maria with questions or to sign up. If you are interested but need other time options, just let her know.

  • 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.

  • The Great Fall Auction – Donations and Help Needed


    This year’s Great Fall Auction is on Saturday, November 19th — doors open at 6 PM; bidding on silent auction items goes from 6 – 7:30 PM; and the live auction starts at 7:30 PM. Credit cards and checks will be accepted this year.

    Please submit your donations to the auction as soon as possible, so that we can publish the auction catalog on November 1st.  Submit your auction donation to FallAuction@fplex.org or you can click here to use our on-line form.

    We also need volunteers to bring appetizers and drinks to the auction, and to help setup and cleanup.  Email Amy Breiting for food and drink donations or the auction team if you’d like to help with setup or cleanup.

    Thank you, from the Auction Team — Margie and Bob Gibbons, Toni and Pete Tasker, and Tom Rich (Chair)

  • Fire Safety at First Parish


    In keeping with the Safe Congregation Plan of First Parish, members of Buildings and Grounds have updated the fire safety needs of the church. Areas addressed have included an inspection by the Lexington Fire Department, increased number of fire extinguishers, more well-marked EXIT signs, and fire blankets mounted at the rear of the sanctuary and in the downstairs hallway. Greeter responsibilities around candle lighting during the service also have been updated.

    The “Worship Service Evacuation Plan” in the Safe Congregation Plan (Sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3) includes information should a fire occur in church on Sunday morning. It calls for an annual fire drill exercise during a Sunday worship service and designates responsibilities of worship leaders, greeters, and parishioners. During November a fire drill will be planned. Date and details will follow in a Weekly Update once finalized.

  • Monthly Tidbit from the Kitchens Committee
    Each month, the Kitchen Committee will let you know what we are doing to keep the kitchens at First Parish clean, organized, and safe for all who use them. Ever wonder why we don’t use sponges in the kitchens? Because they harbor nasty bacteria that will make us sick. We want everyone to stay healthy, so we are using sturdy wipes and a spray cleaner instead. Please find these items near the sink areas and use them during clean-up.
    Questions? Please contact a member of the committee.
    Marty Kvaal, Carolyn Fleiss, Amy Breiting,
    The Kitchens Committee
  • This Week at First Parish

    Wednesday, October 26

    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Thursday, October 27
    Creative Callings 2:00 p.m. Parlor
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Lexington Refugee Assistance Program 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Friday, October 28
    Master Singers’ Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Saturday, October 29
    Master Singers’ Concert 7:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, October 30
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Annual Meeting 11:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Parker Hall
    Auction Committee 2:00 p.m. Common Room
    Coming of Age 5:45 p.m. Parker Hall
    OWL 6:30 p.m. Common Room
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Monday, October 31
    Staff Meetings 11:00 a.m. Office
    Members & Friends Committee 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Tuesday, October 25
    Music Committee 3:00 p.m. Common Room
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Finance Committee 7:30 p.m. Common Room
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