Weekly Update

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  • Sunday Service

    sanctuaryLeonard Cohen, of blessed memory, famously said about his nature: “I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.” Come to church and wring out a bit….the season of Advent is upon us. What is it that you would like to prepare yourself for? Could we make room for joy? Join Rev. Anne Mason as she preaches on being “Soaked to the Skin.”

    There will be religious education programming for Pre-K through 8th grade. The nursery will be open for babies and toddlers.


    The sanctuary choir will sing Felix Mendelsohn’s beautiful chorus “Behold a Star from Jacob Shining” (from Christus). Austin Burns will sing the exciting song “Something’s Coming” (from West Side Story). David Meharry and Austin Burns will also sing a 12th-c. French motet “Veni, Veni Emmanuel” (the oldest version of “O Come, o come Emmanuel”). For the centering music and postlude, Rip Jackson will play on the organ J.S. Bach’s bold “Wachet Auf, Ruft uns die Stimme,” BWV 645 (from the Schübler Chorales) and Louis-Claude Daquin’s joyful “À la venue de Noël” (from Livre de Noëls).


    audio-icon-small Listen to Rev. Anne Mason’s sermon, “The Great Jihad: The Spiritual Work of Opening the Heart,” November 27, 2016

  • 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!

  • Fire Drill this Sunday

    fire-safetyThere will be a FIRE DRILL this SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4.

    A fire alarm will sound after the Postlude this Sunday to indicate evacuation of the sanctuary and classrooms. The protocol below was established by the Safe Congregation Plan:

    Minister announces a need to evacuate the building and reviews the instructions:
    (1) exit calmly out the rear doors and slowly down the front steps
    (2) walk across Harrington Road to the center of the Battle Green
    (3) confirm that children downstairs and in the Common Room will be brought to the Battle Green to meet their families.

    Worship Leader (only in an actual fire) calls 911 to alert fire department

    Greeter Leader notifies Religious Education teachers and other groups to evacuate

    Other Greeters calmly assist in sanctuary evacuation, encourage parishioners to proceed out the exits, and assure that adults with limited mobility ‘shelter in place’ in the front vestibule of the church (and NOT go down the stairs).

    A few reminders:

    1.  Parishioners should bring coats to church

    2.  Children should bring coats to church and then to class

    3.  Coffee Hour still will be held, after the fire drill

    4.  Children’s Choir still will meet, after the fire drill

    Thank you for your cooperation with this important drill.

  • Buildings & Grounds Work Party

    church-work-partyChurch-Wide Work Party on Saturday!  Work off that Thanksgiving Dinner!

    This Saturday, December 3 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 the church 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.

    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

    PS  If you’re unable to come, a second Work Party is scheduled for Saturday, December 10 from 8:00AM to 12:00PM.  Start with a little work and then go to the Holiday Workshop, which starts at 9:00 in Parker Hall.  Or attend the Holiday Workshop first, and then come upstairs to do a different kind of work, but just as important!

  • Note from the Board

    Tom-RichFirst Parish is looking for a volunteer (or volunteers) to be Communication Lead, as Jane Eckert is stepping down from this position that she has held for the past 18 months (please thank Jane for her outstanding work!).

    Here are the responsibilities of the Communication Lead:

    Work with Rev. Anne and the First Parish staff to plan items for external communication.

    Provide project management to the church website team, by identifying needs and issues

    Establish liaisons with local media outlets

    Keep abreast of deadlines for submission to various outlets

    Submit requests to the Town for permits for sandwich boards in the Center

    Submit articles for publication to the Lexington Minuteman and other media outlets.

    Recruit writers for articles and work with in-house editors to polish the article.

    This is a wonderful and important opportunity for someone to serve First Parish. Please contact me if you are interested.

    In the spirit of community,

    Tom Rich

    Board Chair

  • 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.

  • Wreath Sale Ends on Sunday

    December 4th is the final Sunday to purchase wreaths from Boy Scout Troop 119.wreath A couple of Pieter Svenson’s friends from his troop will be selling wreaths during social hour. If interested in placing an order, please see them at the wreath sale table.

  • 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.

  • Christmas Eve Casting Call

    2015pagaent-1Now casting for Christmas Eve’s 5:00 service nativity story! Looking for children, youth, and adults to participate in all the various roles of the nativity scene. Most parts have one or two short lines, but animals don’t. Children who are in children’s choir are already participating in the service, and logistically will be unable to also hold a role in the nativity story. Also looking for an adult (or two, or adult/youth team) to manage costume distribution and run the rehearsal pre-service on Christmas Eve. Do you have costuming skills? If we have a lot of sign ups, we may need to make more costumes, so let me know if you have such skills!

    Mandatory rehearsals for the cast are on Sunday 12/18 at 11:45, and on Christmas Eve prior to the service.

    Sign up by December 11th by contacting Lisa Maria.

  • Sunday – Last Day to Donate Winter Outwear
    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
  • This Week at First Parish






    Wednesday, November 30

    Choir rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Thursday, December 1
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Lexington Refugee Assistance Program 7:15 p.m. Common Room
    Friday, December 2
    Saturday, December 3
    B&G Work Party 8:00 a.m. Church wide
    Memorial Service for Kathryn George 1:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Halalisa Singers Concert 8:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, December 4
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Fire Drill 11:30 a.m. Church wide
    “A Christmas Carol” Fireside Reading 4:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Coming of Age 5:45 p.m. Common Room
    OWL 6:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Monday, December 5
    Tuesday, December 6
    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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