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

    For years this congregation has stood as a sanctuary of liberal religion in Lexington. Our purpose today is as critical as it was 325 years ago. What is it that we each must bring to keep our chalice flame alight and continue our positive influence on the world around us? Join Rev. Anne Mason this Sunday at 10:30 as she explores how “Our Separate Fires Will Kindle One Flame.”

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


    This Sunday, we celebrate the genius of Mozart. Amy Sims (violin) and Colleen McGary-Smith (cello) will be guest instrumentalist. They, along with Rip Jackson (piano), will play Mozart’s lyrical “Andante” and virtuosic “Allegro” movements (from the Piano Trio in Bb Major, K. 502) during the centering music and postlude. Amy Sims will also play the beautiful “Andante con moto” from Mozart’s Violin Sonata in Eb Major, K. 380 for the offertory. For the introit, the sanctuary choir will sing Mozart’s most popular choral anthem “Ave Verum” and Elizabeth Walsh will join them in singing the ethereal “Laudate Dominum” (from Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, K 339).

      Click here to listen to Rev. Anne’s sermon of February 5th, “Balancing the Wheel.”

  • Important Note from the Board

    First Parish Members and Friends,

    At last October’s Semi-Annual Meeting, I indicated that your Parish Board would work on addressing the findings of the Historic Structures Report, which identified a range of needed repairs to our building over the next 10 years.

    I’m very pleased to say that the Board has hired Dan Hotchkiss, an expert in church governance and management, to help draft the outline of a five-year plan for First Parish. Dan will work with the Board this month to design steps to address financing options for the building needs identified in the Historic Structures Report as well as other long term building needs. He will also help us begin to dream of how our mission aligns with our building needs, and vision a future for First Parish which will ensure that we remain a strong presence on the Green for years to come.

    The Board will vote at the March meeting on the basic structure of this plan, which will include a Capital Campaign and the roles and responsibilities of the First Parish Board, committees, and members and friends in visioning and implementing those plans. This will be an exciting process for us as a congregation.

    In the spirit of community,

    Tom Rich

    Board Chair

  • Declaration of Conscience Follow-Up Information

    Two weeks ago, First Parish in Lexington signed a Declaration of Conscience from the UUA and UUSC. Below is a follow-up request for individuals and congregations. It reads:

    Thank you for joining thousands of Unitarian Universalists and people of all faiths who have signed the Declaration of Conscience! To date, we’ve had:

    Over 10,000 signatures, including,
    Signers from all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.,
    Over 200 congregations endorsements, and
    More than 600 committed clergy members 

    The movement is growing as more and more people commit to defending our values and our communities by resisting the oppressive political agenda in Washington and across the country. Our Beloved Community has never been under greater threat, and never have so many risen to answer the call so quickly. Share the Declaration with your friends on Facebook!
    Here’s how you can stay engaged. As a signer of the Declaration of Conscience, you are invited next week to join the first of our regular Conscience Call virtual gatherings. You’ll see inspiring stories of resistance, hear from partners in solidarity, and find out about ways you can take action.
    Save the date:

    Conscience Call
    Friday, February 10, 2017
    1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT
    Details to follow next week!

    Here are a few more key ways you can stay connected and keep heart:

    Yours in faith & conscience,
    UUA and UUSC

  • New UU Class

    Are you new to First Parish and/or interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism? Please come to the New UU Class, which will be held on Saturday, February 11th from 9:00am to 12:00pm. The class is for new visitors to First Parish, new members, and anyone wanting a refresher! The class will include discussion about UU beliefs, the Seven Principles, the six Sources, and the UU symbol – the flaming chalice. We will cover the benefits and responsibilities of membership at First Parish, what our motto Love, Seek, Serve means, our mission, and our covenant and why it is different from a creed. We will also speak about church governance and opportunities for connection and service.

    Please contact Rev. Anne Mason at minister@fplex.org or Jane Foley, our Parish Administrator, at 781-862-8200 or admin@fplex.org.

  • Annual Pledge Drive Update

    The annual pledge drive brings in about two-thirds of the funds that provide worship and music on Sundays, pastoral care throughout the year, children and adult religious education programming, and community outreach. Our goal this year for the pledge drive is $393,000. Pledge cards will be mailed to parishioners in late February and we hope everyone will have pledged by March 12th.

    Have questions about the pledge drive? Stop by our table at social hour after church on Sundays. We have chocolate and colorful charts!

    Your Annual Pledge Drive Team (Bob Coyne, Marsha Fox, Bob Gibbons, Katie O’Hare Gibson, Tom Rich, and Erik Svenson)

  • Free Screening of “Beyond the Wall”

    On Saturday February 11 @ 10am at the Lexington Venue, please bring family and friends to a free screening of the film, “Beyond the Wall.”

    Written and produced by Concord filmmaker, Jenny Phillips, it was filmed locally at the Billerica House of Correction/ Middlesex Jail. Jenny Phillips and the main character, Louie Diaz, will be present after the film for conversation. The film, in coordination with the “After Incarceration There’s Life” campaign, strives to break down common stereotypes and barriers, to stimulate new conversations about re-entry, and to support preparations of individuals for release. Middlesex County Sheriff, Peter Koutoujian, calls this documentary, “Riveting, gritty, powerful, and provocative-it is real life.”

    In the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, please join us in moving forward in conversation and action on criminal justice reform.  These once incarcerated individuals are our neighbors, friends, and family who are in need of understanding and support.

    First Parish Lexington joins First Parish, Bedford and Follen Community Church in sponsoring and supporting this event.

  • A Night of Broadway Solos and Duets at First Parish

    This Saturday, February 11th, Munroe Saturday Night’s presents A Night of Broadway Solos and Duets. First Parish in Lexingtonʹs soprano and tenor soloists Elizabeth Walsh (Broadway singer) and Austin Burns (opera singer) will perform an evening of Broadway solos and duets with accompaniment by Rip Jackson on piano. Come spend an evening serenaded with stunning and beautiful repertoire from the American stage. Austin and Beth will sing music from Show Boat, West Side Story, Miss Saigon, Les Mis and other exciting songs from Broadway musicals. Rip Jackson will also play George Gershwin’sʹ Rhapsody in Blue (excerpt). Doors will open at 7 PM and the concert begins at 7:30 PM. Reservations are strongly recommended. For more info about the concert, call 781-862-6040 or www.munroecenter.org/reserve-your-seat.html. Suggested donation of $10/person.

  • This Week in Social Action – Amnesty International & Climate Justice

    The Social Action Ministry (SAM) at First Parish comes from our Unitarian Universalist faith based on the values of love, justice, community and responsibility. We do this within the supportive environment of our broader church community and the mission of First Parish “…to act on our values to serve the larger community and create a more just and loving world.”

    Amnesty International

    Following Sunday’s service in the parish hall, the local chapter of Amnesty International will be conducting their annual letter write-in. Today’s letters are directed at government officials and involve prisoners of conscience in China, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. There will also be a special petition to sign which will be presented to Lexington Selectmen and Selectwomen asking them to pass a town-wide resolution declaring Lexington as a welcoming community for all refugees, and most notably refugees from Syria.

    This is an important activity sponsored in part by the Social Action Committee and part of a town-wide activity. The more letters signed the better! To preview the letters, please click on the links below. You can also print and sign ahead of time and bring to church on Sunday.

    Any questions, please contact Al Jacobson.

    China letter

    Uzbekistan Farmonov letter

    Vietnam letter


    Climate Justice

    The confirmation of Greg Pruitt for Secretary of the EPA would be detrimental to our environment and needs to be opposed. He has sued that agency 14 times, is a climate change denier, and wants to eliminate many of the regulations protecting our air, water, climate and natural environment. Please contact our senators Warren and Markey and share your concern.


    Senator Elizabeth Warren

    Boston Office

    2400 JFK Federal Building

    15 New Sudbury Street

    Boston, MA 02203

    Phone: (617) 565-3170

    Springfield Office

    1550 Main Street

    Suite 406

    Springfield, MA 01103

    Phone: (413) 788-2690

    Washington Office

    317 Hart Senate Office Building

    Washington, DC 20510

    Phone: (202) 224-4543


    Senator Edward Markey

    Boston Office

    975 JFK Federal Building

    15 New Sudbury Street

    Boston, MA 02203

    Phone: 617-565-8519

    Fall River Office

    222 Milliken Boulevard, Suite 312

    Fall River, MA 02721


    Springfield Office

    1550 Main Street, 4th Floor

    Springfield, MA 01101


    Washington, D.C. Office

    255 Dirksen Senate Office Building

    Washington, D.C. 20510


  • Lexington Choral Festival

    The First Parish Sanctuary Choir will join 11 other choirs from Lexington in raising their voices together in the 12th Annual Lexington Choral Festival on Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. hosted by Hancock Church. This year’s festival features choirs from 12 area churches and temples with over 200 singers participating. Admission is free and open to the public.

    Participating this year are choirs from, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Sacred Heart Church, Hancock United Church of Christ, Church of Our Redeemer Episcopal, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, First Parish Church, St. Brigid Church, First Baptist Church, Lexington United Methodist Church, Temple Emunah, Trinity Covenant Church, and the Chinese Baptist Church. Each choir will sing 2-3 numbers of their own choosing, then all the choirs will join in a mass performance together.

    The performance is approximately 90 minutes in length. A reception will follow. Free parking is available behind the church and around the Battle Green. The church is fully accessible.

  • Unity Group Luncheon and Program

    All are welcome to the next Unity Group luncheon and program, which will take place on Monday, February 13th in Parker Hall. This month’s presenter will be Cammy Thomas, who will talk about Emily Dickinson and how her poetry influenced Cammy’s own poetry. Cammy writes:

    “Virtually unknown during her lifetime, Amherst native Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), who barely left her house as an adult, has become every American poet’s parent — she’s the mother and Walt Whitman the father of contemporary American poetry. She wrote almost two thousand poems, most of them unseen until a long time after her death, and virtually all of them of high quality. Why is she such a strong influence? We’ll look at a few of her poems, and I’ll talk a little about how she’s influenced my thinking and my poetry.”

    Cammy’s first book of poems, Cathedral of Wish, received the 2006 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her second book, Inscriptions, came out in 2014. Both are published by Four Way Books. Her poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Ibbetson Street #40, The Missouri Review, The Maine Review, Off The Coast, Third Wednesday, and Spillway. A fellowship from the Ragdale Foundation helped her complete her new book. Cammy teaches literature and creative writing at Concord Academy.

    Guests are invited to the social time and lunch, starting at 12:00 or just the program at 1:30. No reservations necessary.

  • Minuteman Indivisible Lexington Group Created

    Two weeks ago a group of people in our congregation interested in asserting our UU moral values through political activism established an Indivisible local group to serve as a focal point for their efforts and those of other interested people in Lexington. The group is called the Minuteman Indivisible Lexington, and the description of group is:

    Lexington-based Indivisible Group advocating for office holders and legislation that uphold the rights and dignity of all people, informed by science and humanitarian principles. We are networking with other Indivisible groups in Massachusetts to build an effective resistance movement and to devise a 2018 strategy. We invite you to join us. All newcomers are welcome.

    The political advocacy of the group will follow the tactics contained in the Indivisible Guide that describes how to effectively influence our members of Congress.  Political actions of this group will be drawn from the most egregious current assaults on our democratic and moral values.  The guide is downloadable from https://www.indivisibleguide.com.

    The first public meeting of the group will be held here at First Parish this Monday, February 13th at 7:30pm in Parish Hall.

    The Facebook site of the group is at Minuteman Indivisible Lexington.  It can also be reached at https://www.facebook.com/Minuteman-Indivisible-Lexington-619047868296753/. You may post your comments to the site and perform other Facebook functions.

    Contact Pete Tasker for more information.

  • Performers Needed for All Ages Skit
    During the All Ages Service on March 5th we will be performing a skit. I am looking for 7 to 12 people to participate – children, youth, adults.
    Three parts ~ Village Elder, Young Council Member, and YC Member’s Spouse ~ have lines to be memorized (the sooner you sign up, the sooner you will have the script to start memorizing!). The other parts ~ up to nine Council Members~  involve pantomiming, but have no lines.
    Synopsis: Village Elder is throwing a party and asks Council Members to bring wine, Young Council Member feels annoyed by this, YCM’s Spouse is sneaky and devises a way to secretly not have to bring any. At party, other Council members bring their wine, and pantomime being at a party.
    Rehearsals: Full Cast mandatory rehearsals on Sunday 2/26 at 11:45, and Sunday 3/5 at 9:30. Additionally, the three speaking parts will have a read through on Sunday 2/12 at 12:15. (There is no Children’s Choir rehearsal on 2/26- Children’s Choir members can participate without missing choir
    Email Lisa Maria to sign up. Please indicate if a speaking part is desired or not.
    ADULTS- I am also looking for one adult available on 2/26 and 3/5 to be my assistant director/assistant cast wrangler.
  • Save the Date – Rev. Anne Mason’s Installation

    All are cordially invited to

    the Installation of Rev. Anne Mason

    as Minister of First Parish in Lexington

    Sunday, March 26, 2017

    4:00pm in the Sanctuary

    More information to follow.


  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, February 8
    Choir rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Thursday, February 9
    Creative Callings 2:00 p.m. Parlor
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Saturday, February 11
    New UU Workshop 9:00 a.m. Parlor
    Stewardship Meeting 9:00 a.m. Common Room
    Screening of “Beyond the Wall” 10:00 a.m. Lexington Venue
    Munroe Saturday Night – Broadway Solos & Duets 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, February 12
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary & Parlor
    Amnesty Letter Writing 11:45 a.m. Parish Hall
    JHYG 12:00 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, February 13
    Staff Meetings 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    Unity Group Luncheon & Program 12:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Minuteman Indivisible 7:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    Tuesday, February 14
    Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
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