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

    As individuals and as communities, we need boundaries that keep us safe, that provide a “home,” that even help us know who we are. As Universalists, however, we believe we must reach beyond these boundaries to connect with the larger world. Can we be both “safe” personally and “indivisible” from our fellow humans? Join Rev. Helen Lutton Cohen, Minister Emerita, this Sunday at 10:30am when she will explore these questions. Don Cohen will present a story for the Time for All Ages, “Keep Out, I Think.”

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


    This Sunday, the sanctuary choir will sing Handel’s joyful “Hallelujah, Amen” (from Judas Maccabaeus) and René Clausen’s beautiful Set Me as a “Seal” (from A New Creation). Austin Burns, Rip Jackson and Elisabeth Jas will sing the dramatic trio “When I Reach the Place I’m Going,” written by The Judds. For the centering music and postlude, organist Rip Jackson will play Bach’s poignant “Erbarm’ dich mein” (BWV 721) and Buxtehude’s thunderous “Praeludium in D Major” (BuxWV 139).

      Click here to listen to Rev. Anne’s sermon of February 12th, “Our Separate Fires Will Kindle One Flame.”

  • Special Plate Collection this Sunday

    On Sunday, February 19th, the plate collection will be donated to WATCH in Waltham. Daria Gere, Executive Director, will be speaking.

    WATCH is a CDC (Community Development Corporation) that provides a variety of programs from a tenants’ clinic, housing repair and weatherization, and language classes and tutoring to the new immigrant community in Waltham.

    The community WATCH serves is diverse, but primarily composed of young, low income families from Guatemala and El Salvador. Thirty-five percent of Waltham school children are from Spanish speaking households. Several First Parish members have volunteered in the “Barnraising” housing program and at Breaking Barriers, WATCH’s ESL program. Breaking Barriers at WATCH is the only ESL program currently offering classes in Waltham. Volunteer teachers and tutors are always needed.

    Support for this vulnerable community is critical in these troubled times.

  • Empty Nester Program on Thursday

    The next meeting of the empty-nestprogram, “Are You a New Empty Nester?” takes place on Thursday at 7:00pm 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 Jane Eckert. Contact Ruth Rose with questions.

  • Concert at First Parish on Friday

    Join the Blue Heron Medieval Ensemble at First Parish this Friday night as they present the fifth installment of the complete works of Johannes Ockeghem, featuring one of the composer’s earliest masses, inspired by an anonymous English mass on the same plainchant melody, but utterly transformed by the Flemish genius. The program will include a movement from the English Missa Caput and other music by mid 15th-century English composers such as Robert Morton and Walter Frye.

    Blue Heron: Martin Near & Laura Pudwell, cantus; Owen McIntosh, Jason McStoots, Mark Sprinkle, Sumner Thompson, tenor & contratenor; Paul Guttry & David McFerrin, bassus.

    Doors open at 7:30pm, Show at 8:00pm. Click here to buy in advance and save: $65 Preferred / $32 General / $27 Senior (General) / $10 (Student (General).  At the door: $68 / $35 / $30 / $10. Under 18 free.

    This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lexington Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

  • 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)

  • This Week in Social Action

    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.”

    Full House at Film Screening

    Despite the snow, the screening of “Beyond the Wall” filled up the Lexington Venue with standing room only. This very moving film depicted personal stories of reentry, relapse, recovery, and redemption, putting a human face on the social, economic, and emotional barriers encountered by imprisoned individuals. We were offered insights and hope for ways that reentry from prison can be more successful. There were opportunities to learn about mentoring programs to help returning citizens. This film screening was a very rewarding collaboration with our fellow UU churches, and the audience contributed over $300 for the associated social impact campaign, “After Incarceration, There’s Life”.

    Amnesty Letter Writing Great Success

    Thanks to all the brave souls who came to church last Sunday and signed letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience in China, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan. We got close to 200 letters signed and another 40 or so signatures on our petition asking Lexington Selectmen and Selectwomen to pass a resolution declaring Lexington to be a “welcoming community” for refugees. For those who did not get a chance to sign the petition it will be available during coffee hour this coming Sunday. Please stop by the piano.

    Help Declare Lexington a Welcoming Community open to Syrian Refugees

    During the coffee hour this Sunday, members of the Social Action Committee will be circulating a petition to be presented to the town selectmen and selectwomen urging them to consider a resolution declaring that Lexington is a “Welcoming Community” for all refugees (and in particular Syrian refugees who are amongst the most vulnerable). The petition is part of a nationwide campaign sponsored by Amnesty International and is intended as a simple expression of concern and support. It does not ask or request that Lexington be a sanctuary community nor that it commit to any resettlement plan.  The petition is being circulated at other religious communities in Lexington. Please take a moment to sign the petition.

    Amnesty International Meeting this coming Sunday, February 19th

    Please join us this coming Sunday at 1:00 pm in the Common Room for our regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The meeting this coming Sunday will feature a first-hand report of the situation in Iraq from our member, Terry Rockefeller. We will also review our “I Welcome” campaign encouraging Lexington to adopt a resolution stating that Lexington is a safe community and welcoming community (not a sanctuary) for refugees. Meetings last no more than an hour and tend to be quite lively and informative. See Al Jacobson for more details.

  • Office Closings

    In observation of President’s Day, the church will be closed on Monday, February 20th. In addition, the office will be closed on Tuesday, February 21st. Other staff will be available on Tuesday. For pastoral emergencies, please contact Rev. Anne Mason at minister@fplex.org or 781-862-8200 x2.


  • New Art Show in Parish Hall

    “Rock, Ice, Bacteria, and Time: Photos and Observations on Climate Change” by Lew Counts is now on display in Parish Hall. Please take some time to view the geological wonders of the Swiss Alps, Glacier National Park in Montana, and Waterton Park in Canada, and learn about the devastating effects that the warming planet is having on these areas.

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, February 15
    Choir rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Nonfiction Book Group 7:30 p.m. Parlor
    Thursday, February 16    
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Empty Nester Group 7:00 p.m. Parlor
    Friday, February 17    
    Blue Heron Concert 8:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Saturday, February 18    
    B&G prep and painting 1:00 p.m. Various
    Sunday, February 19    
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary & Parlor
    Social Action Committee meeting 12:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Amnesty International Meeting 1:00 p.m. Common Room
    Monday, February 20    
    Church Closed    
    Tuesday, February 21    
    Main Office Closed    
    Staff Meeting 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    B&G Meeting 7:00 p.m. Parlor
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Common Room
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