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


    Join us this Sunday when Rev. Anne Mason speaks on how there is much that we think we know about Islam, and more that we have yet to learn. In this time of rising Islamaphobia, it is important that we understand the faith of our Muslim fellow citizens. What do our faiths have in common? Rev. Anne will explore what the upside-down stories of the Mullah Nasrudin have to teach us about opening our heart, and seeing the world in a new way in her sermon titled, “The Greater Jihad: The Spiritual Work of Opening the Heart.”
     There is no religious education programming this Sunday. The nursery will be open for babies and toddlers.


    This Sunday, guest pianist Yukiko Sekino will join baritone David Meharry in sharing their musical gifts during worship. David will sing Moses Hogan’s lovely arrangement of “Deep River” and Haydn’s passionate “Rolling in Foaming Billows” (from The Creation). For the centering music, offertory and postlude, Yukiko will pay Ludvig van Beethoven’s fiery “Prestissimo” (from Sonata in F minor, Op. 2 No. 1) and Robert Schumann’s lyrical “Posthumous Variation IV” (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13) and his serene “Des Abends” (from Fantasiestücke, Op. 12). Praised for her “thrilling, inspirational performance” (Florida Sun-Sentinel) and “elegance of line, leaping energy” (San Jose Mercury News), Yukiko Sekino’s career  encompasses a wide range of interests. She made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 16, and has since performed with the New World Symphony and Harvard-Radcliff Orchestra, among others. Dr. Sekino graduated from Harvard University and the Julliard School, and holds a doctoral degree from SUNY Stony Brook. She has given master classes in the US and China.


    audio-icon-small Listen to the story from the All Ages Thanksgiving Service last week as told by Rev. Anne Mason, Lisa Maria Steinberg, LRE, and members of the congregation.

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, November 23
    Office Closed
    Thursday, November 24
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Friday, November 25
    Office Closed
    Saturday, November 26
    Sunday, November 27
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Monday, November 28
    Members & Friends 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Halalisa Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Tuesday, November 29
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Wednesday, November 30
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
  • Thanksgiving Message

    thanksgiving-blessingsDear Friends,

    As we begin preparing food or packing the car to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, many of us may be feeling concern. How are we going to engage in conversation at the dinner table with people who may have voted for a different candidate from us, one who challenges the principles of our Unitarian Universalist faith? Rev. Meg Barnhouse offers a thoughtful article in the UUWorld Online called, “Here come the awkward holidays.” You can read it here.

    Thanksgiving Blessings to you and yours from the staff of First Parish!

  • A Note from the Board

    Tom-RichI want to personally thank Rev. Anne and Lisa Maria for organizing Sunday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Over 80 Parishioners marched onto the Battle Green after the Sunday service to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Rip and the choir led the Parishioners in song on the walk from the church to the Green, singing “Siyahamba” (“We are marching in the light on God”). On the Green, we were honored to hear from Grace Ann Stevens, who spoke of her experiences as a transgender woman. Parishioners read the names of 25 transgender persons who lost their lives to violence and hate during the past year.  We closed by singing “We Shall Overcome”.

    As the proud parents of two LGBTQ children, Suzanne and I were deeply touched by the event, as I know everyone else was.  Thank you Rev. Anne and Lisa Maria.

    In the spirit of community,


    Tom Rich

    Board Chair

  • Poinsettia Sale – Deadline Today

    poinsettiaIt’s time to plan for a festive sanctuary this holiday season! First Parish will be accepting orders for poinsettias from Wilson Farm.

    The cost is $10.00 for a 6 1/2″ pot, with proceeds going towards the purchase of greens for holiday decorating of the church. Order forms and payment (cash or checks made payable to First Parish in Lexington) are due on Wednesday, November 30th. Orders will only be accepted with payment.

    After the Christmas Eve services, you may take your poinsettia home. If you’d like your plant to be in honor or in memory of someone special, please include a message, which will be printed in the Christmas Eve order of service.

    To place an order, please download and print the order form here, or fill out an order form at the piano, and return with your payment to the church office by Wednesday, November 30th. Please contact Jane Foley in the church office with any questions. Thank you!

  • The Great Fall Auction a Great Success!

    thank-youThis year’s Great Fall Auction was held last Saturday night, and I’m very pleased to report that we raised $24,000 for the church.  I want to thank everyone who helped make this year’s Great Fall Auction a success:

    – bid recorders Margie Gibbons, Mary Brinton, and Paul Brouillette
    – data entry team of Pete Tasker (lead), Bob Gibbons, Julie Millane, Dick Fleiss, and Bob Kvaal.
    – food and beverage coordinators Amy Breiting and Polly Erickson and their helpers Judy Cole and Pam Moffat.
    – silent auction coordinator Toni Tasker and her helpers Sarah Matthews, Carolyn Fleiss, and Maureen Bovet
    – runners Jordan O’Hare Gibson, Joel Brouillette, Liz Whitman-Kinghorn, and Jeremy Whitman-Kinghorn
    – auctioneers Deb Weiner Soule, Chris Hess, and David Rose
    – proxy bidders Marianne DiBlasi and Anne Khudari
    – everyone who donated an item, and,
    – everyone who purchased an item.
    Your 2016 Great Fall Auction Team — Tom Rich (chair), Toni Tasker, Pete Tasker, Margie Gibbons, and Bob Gibbons.
    In the spirit of community,
    Tom Rich
    Board Chair
  • Buildings & Grounds Work Party

    church-work-partyWork off that Thanksgiving Dinner!  Come to a Church-Wide Work Party!

    On two upcoming Saturdays, December 3 from 8:00AM to 12:00PM, and December 10 from 8:00AM to 12:00PM, the Buildings and Grounds Committee is running a Work Party to get the interior and exterior of the church cleaned up and ready for winter.

    You may have noticed that the church gets “used”:  windows get dirty; small things get broken or don’t work right; leaves fall on the driveway—just like at your house.

    Hoping you see this as your “home” too, you are invited to join the committee to help get the work done.

    Tasks include leaf raking and yard cleanup, window washing, cleaning the many folding tables around the church, minor repairs, and small shelf construction.  On the 10th, come to the Holiday Workshop in Parker Hall first, and then come upstairs to do a different kind of work, but just as important!

    So bring your rake, your bucket, chamois, rubber gloves and squeegees, your tool kit, your energy and your love for your church!  In order to plan our projects well please just send a quick note that you are coming, and when, to: BuildingGrounds@fpcuu.org.

  • Sunday afternoon – “A Christmas Carol” Fireside Reading

    dan_fennPlease join Dan Fenn as he reads Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” All are invited to gather in front of the fireplace in Parker Hall, drink hot cocoa, eat cookies, and be transported back in time with this Christmas classic on Sunday, December 4th from 4pm to 6pm.

    Published in 1843, Dickens’s timeless tale of the curmudgeonly miser Scrooge and his transformation to benevolent benefactor following visits one Christmas Eve from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, was an instant classic that still enchants audiences today.

    Reading this story has been a tradition in Dan Fenn’s family: his grandfather and father read it before him, and for several years now Dan has shared this tradition at First Parish. With a real storyteller’s skill, Dan brings Dickens’s colorful language alive, to many a chuckle by the audience.

    Refreshments will be served.

  • Winter Outerwear Drive
    watchGently used or new  (and CLEAN) fall and winter outerwear for children, women, and men is being collected during November for immigrants supported by WATCH in Waltham.
    Families need winter jackets, coats, snowsuits, snow pants, hats, gloves or mittens, and boots. Men’s sizes tend to be smaller (M and L, not XL usually).  Rugged outdoor coats for men are especially appreciated (most of these guys have outdoor construction jobs), and “stylish coats for women” are also a hit. Please make sure everything is clean and mended, so it can be distributed without delay. Please no other clothing this year.
    Donations continue until early December. Bring items to the Collection Center outside Jane’s office. Questions? Contact Elaine Hylek or Marty Kvaal
  • Deadline: December 4 – Al Jacobson/Communities Without Borders Traveling Fellowship

    cwbAl Jacobson / Communities Without Borders Traveling Fellowship
    December 4, 2016 Deadline

    The Al Jacobson / Communities Without Borders Traveling Fellowship supports First Parish youth and adults as FP/CWB liaisons, strengthens First Parish’s commitment to CWB, and provides financial support for youth service trips. It sponsors two First Parish high school students or adults annually to travel with CWB and support its mission in Zambia. Each year, two fellows will be selected and awarded $2000 (about half of the cost) to participate in the annual CWB service trip to Zambia.

    Who is eligible?
    All First Parish high school, college-aged and adults are welcome to apply. Each year two people will be selected by the AJ/CWB TF Advisory Committee through an application process.

    What is the timeline?

    Applications are due on December 4, 2016. Interviews will follow in December and January. Applicants will be notified by February 1, 2017. Travel takes place every summer in late June and early July for a two-week service trip.

    Where do the CWB travelers visit?
    The AJ/CWB Traveling Fellows travel with CWB to Zambia, including Lusaka, Simukanka, and Victoria Falls.

    How do I apply?
    Applicants submit and complete applications, including 2 letters of references, to FP Office by December 4, 2016.

    Click here for the application.

    Lesley Benson, Margie Gibbons, Elaine Hylek, Al Jacobson, and Cherie Noe
    Al Jacobson / Communities Without Borders Advisory Committee

    Questions? Please contact Margie Gibbons at gibbons5@rcn.com.

  • Wreaths for Sale

    wreathPieter Svenson, Boy Scout wreath salesman for Troop 119, will be selling wreaths during social hour over the next few Sundays, through December 4th. If interested in placing an order, please see him at the wreath sale table.


  • Halalisa Holiday Concert

    halalisaWorld music choral ensemble The Halalisa Singers present Stars of Wonder, a concert of contemporary choral classics for the holiday season, on Saturday, December 3, 8 pm, at First Parish Church, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington and Sunday December 4, 3 pm, at First Parish Church, 327 Concord Road, Sudbury. The ensemble is led by First Parish Member and Artistic Director Mary Cunningham and accompanied by Trevor Berens, piano.

  • Fight for Racial Justice: A Community Conversation

    racial-justice-mattersJoin the community conversation Thursday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Temple Isaiah and grapple with the challenge of promoting positive race relations and a more fair justice system. Come engage with speakers Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond M.D., M.A. and his daughter, Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, in the sacred and serious work of talking about race and moving to action.

    Rev. Ray Hammond is the founder and pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Boston; Chairman and Co-Founder of the Ten Point Coalition; and member of the Executive Team of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and the Executive Committee of the Black Ministerial Alliance. Rev. Mariama White-Hammond is a Minister at Bethel AME Church and a racial justice and climate justice activist. She was Executive Director of Project HIP-HOP (a Boston youth social justice arts organization) and is currently a leader in the MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action, Green the Church, and other grassroots efforts.


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