Weekly Update

Subscribe to the Weekly Update
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


    Sharing stories from teenagers involved in Lexington Youth and Family Services, Rev. Anne will explore how we can build healthy networks in our lives.  By focusing on stories of strength instead of stories of trauma we make the choice to live our lives with a positive influence.

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


    This Sunday, all of the music played and sung during worship comes from the afternoon Folk Concert. The sanctuary choir, with John Kirk playing banjo and singing the solo part, will present Pete Seeger’s emotional “To My Old Brown Earth.” Allison Flanagan, Julia Jaffe, Toni Tasker and Elizabeth Walsh, along with the sanctuary choir, will sing William Walker’s powerful shape-note anthem “Wondrous Love” (from Southern Harmony). Rip Jackson, Tegan Kirk-Elkin and Elizabeth Walsh will sing the Wailin’ Jennys’ beautiful song “One Voice.” Guest musicians Andrew Donovan and Mark Therieau, guitars; Ben Green, bass; John Kirk, guitar, banjo, and violin, and Trish Miller, guitar and banjo, will play Jay Ungar’s lovely “Ashokan Farewell” and the joyful Aappalachian tune “Forked Deer.” For the three hymns, the folk band will accompany the congregation in Pete Seegers’ “If I Had a Hammer,” Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” and ”Amazing Grace” (sung to the music “House of the Rising Sun”). As a genre, folk music embodies music transmitted orally and includes many songs with known and unknown composers. It contrasts with commercial and classical styles in that it has been transmitted and evolved by a process of oral transmission or performed by custom over a long period of time. In the 20th century, America experienced a great revival of folk music, much of it deriving from Celtic (Scottish, British, and Irish) origins. It survives in a living tradition to this day in the Appalachian regions of North America.

    audio-icon-small Listen to last Sunday’s homily by Rev. Anne Mason, “The Veil Between the Worlds.”

  • Special Plate Donation

    lyfs-source-of-strengthThis Sunday is November’s special collection plate donation. The recipient of the collection plate will go to LYFS, Lexington Youth and Family Services, the free accessible teen counseling center housed at First Parish. LYFS operates in partnership with the Lexington Public Schools. Two First Parish members, Connee Counts, Co-President, and Anne Khudari, Clerk, serve on the Board.

    Besides the counseling center, Lexington Youth and Family Services brought an upstream, evidence-based suicide prevention program, Sources of Strength (SOS), to Lexington High School in 2015. In its second year, SOS been building a community of caring teens and adults in Lexington. Two members of the LYFS Youth Board, Emily Zhang and Bill Gao, will discuss the work they are doing at Lexington High School.

  • Last Chance to Register for “Living as Legacy” Workshop

    legaciesRegistration closes at the end of today (Wednesday). Legacy Workshop, Saturday, November 5th, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Meg Newhouse will lead 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. Sign up with Lisa Maria Steinberg (dre@fplex.org) or Jane Foley (admin@fplex.org)

  • Tonight – Adult Program for Empty Nesters

    The next meeting of the empty-nestprogram, “Are You a New Empty Nester?” takes place on Wednesday, November 2nd at 7:30pm in the Common Room. This program offers a place 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? The discussion will be facilitated by Cindy Anderson and Jane Eckert.

    ~Ruth Rose

    LRE Committee/Adult Programs

  • 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.”
  • Unity Group November Meeting

    unity-novemberThe next meeting of the Unity Group will take place on Monday, November 14th beginning at noon. All women of the church are welcome!

    12:00 Socializing

    12:30 Lunch

    1:30 Program

    If your last name begins with S, T, U or V, please bring a dessert.

    Everyone else, please bring a main dish, side dish or salad.

    The Program

    First Parish’s new minister, The Reverend Anne Mason, has gone through a long and circuitous route to becoming a Unitarian Universalist Minister.  She will explore her spiritual path as it has evolved towards what she calls a ‘Post-Christian’ perspective. Come prepared with questions to engage in conversation, and be prepared to answer a few questions yourself!



  • Time Change this Weekend

    Don’t forget to turn your clocks back Saturday evening so you come to church on time!

  • Folk Concert this Sunday!
    2016 Folk Concert

    We hope you can make it to the second annual Folk Concert of First Parish this Sunday at 3:30 pm in the sanctuary. It’s going to be a great concert, with an ensemble of guitars, fiddle, banjo, string bass, mandolin and other folk instruments accompanying folk duo, John Kirk and Trish Miller, along with the First Parish Sanctuary and Children’s choirs. The musicians will perform music featuring Appalachian fiddle tunes, Irish and Scottish folk tunes, music from the 1960’s, shape-note choral pieces, folk trios and solos, and other Celtic music. Some of the songs, both instrumental and choral, to be featured in the concert are “Ashokan Farewell” (made famous in the Ken Burns documentary, The Civil War), an original shape note setting of “Wayfaring Stranger” and an ancient Celtic lullaby “Enini.”

    Directed by Rip Jackson. First Parish is handicapped accessible. Parking is available behind the church on 7 Harrington Road. Suggested Donation $10-$20 (more if you can, less if you can’t). For more information, call the church at 781-862-8200 x4, or visit www.fplex.org

  • 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.

  • News from the Board

    Tom-RichFor those of you who were unable to attend last Sunday’s Semi-Annual Meeting, I wanted to repeat here the highlights of the Board’s presentation on the Historic Structures Report, which was the product of a study to assess the needs of our building from a historic preservation perspective. The report (available by clicking here) identified needed repairs that ranged in urgency from “implement within the next several months” to “implement within the next 10-15 years.” The two largest repairs are replacing the sanctuary windows and painting the exterior of the building. The total estimated cost of all repairs is $1.2 million, which are front-loaded over the next 1-4 years. (That is, the $1.2M is not distributed evenly over a 10-15 year period.) The report also indicated that we should set aside $70,000 per year to maintain the building, once the repairs are completed.

    Over the next 2-3 months, the Building and Grounds Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Board will work on developing a set of recommendations on which repairs should be undertaken and when and — importantly — how the repairs should be funded. We will present those recommendations at a congregational meeting for comment, discussion, and feedback. We expect a several week comment and discussion period. Because the recommendations will necessarily involve one or more of a capital campaign, borrowing money, or selling assets, we will require a congregational vote to proceed.

    Please contact any member of the Building and Grounds Committee for more information on the report. We welcome your participation in this process as we move forward.

    In the spirit of community,


    Tom Rich

    Board Chair

  • The Auction is Coming!

    auctionThe auction is just over two weeks away, and we are gearing up for a great event! If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th. Doors open at 6:00pm; bidding on silent auction items goes from 6 – 7:30pm; and the live auction starts at 7:30pm. Credit cards and checks will be accepted this year, although paying by credit cards reduces the income to the church by 2.75%, so checks would be greatly appreciated.

    We are all set for live auction items, but we could still use a few more silent auction items (that would sell between $20 and $75-ish). 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)

  • From UU Urban Ministry: Post-election Service of Healing & Transformation
    Dear Friends of the Moral Revival:

    As we head toward Election Day on Nov. 8 – when we call on people of conscience to cast ballots in keeping with their deepest moral convictions – we also begin to look beyond that day.

    The last year has been a time of great strife and division. Our country, our state, our city, neighborhoods and families need healing. To that end, we are calling on people of faith to come together for a

    Post-election Service of Healing & Transformation 
    Sunday Nov. 13th
    Trinity Church in Copley Square

    We will pray, sing, and reflect on how to stand with courage against intolerance – while also speaking and active from a place of love.

    We are asking people of all people of all faith traditions and no faith tradition to come together across the many lines that divide us. We hope you will not only join us, but that you will reach out to your community to spread the word. We need to come together, inspire one another and find a higher way forward together.
    For more information or to volunteer to support the service please reach out to us at moralrevivalboston@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you there.

    In faith,

    The Massachusetts Moral Revival Team
  • Newcomers Welcome to the New UU Workshop

    Theme Chalice8 – 11 am on Saturday, Dec 3. at Polly Erickson’s house:  2 Ryder Lane in Lexington

    Come for breakfast, stay for the workshop!

    Unitarian Universalists talk about deeds, not creeds. What does this mean about the role of faith in our lives? What do we actually believe if we don’t share a creed?

    We will spend the morning getting to know each other by sharing our spiritual paths, our questions, and our hopes for religious community. Rev. Anne will share some highlights of Unitarian and Universalist history and theology, leaving space for questions and shared exploration.

    If you are new to Unitarian Universalist thought, new to First Parish, or just want a chance to get to know our new minister, this is the place to be! If you are interested in membership in this congregation, you will have an opportunity to learn more about that, too.

    If you can’t come on Dec. 3rd but would like to attend this workshop at a later date, please let us know.  We will schedule another one in the New Year.

    Register with Jane in the office: admin@fplex.org or 781-862-8200 x1.


  • UUA Bulletin: We Are Unitarian Universalists

    uualogoInterested in what is going on in the larger UU denomination? The monthly e-newsletter of the UUA can be viewed here. Highlights include:

    Save the Date: Give #Thanks2UU on November 29

    2017 GA Youth Caucus

    Holiday Cards from the CLF

    Share Your UU Social Action Projects


  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, November 2
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Empty Nesters Program 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Thursday, November 3
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Nonfiction Book Group 7:30 p.m. Parlor
    Saturday, November 5    
    OWL Retreat 8:00 a.m. Parker Hall
    ‘Legacy’ Workshop 9:00 a.m. Common Room
    Folk Concert Rehearsal 4:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, November 6    
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Folk Concert 3:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    OWL 6:30 p.m. Common Room
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Monday, November 7    
    Staff Meetings 11:00 a.m. Office
    Tuesday, November 8    
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Common Room
  • Click this button to benefit First Parish when you shop at Amazon.