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

    History is full of traps—places where we get stuck or stories we forget at our own peril. History can be inspirational, it can hold us back, or be a source of learning. This Sunday guest minister, Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk, will explore with us the power of history, personal and institutional.

    Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk, Guest Minister

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

    This Sunday, guest pianist Yukiko Sekino and our alto soloist Julia Jaffee will provide the music for worship. Julia will sing Moses Hogan’s joyful arrangement of “Walk Together Children” and César Franck’s serene “Panis Angelicus” (from Messe à trois voix, Op. 12). Yukiko will play 4 lovely classical piano pieces during the service: Bach’s stately “Allemande” and “Sarabande” (from Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828), Mozart’s lyrical “Adagio” (from Sonata in F major, K. 280) and Shostakovich’s lively “Prelude in d minor” (from Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues).

      Click here to listen to Rev. Helen Lutton Cohen’s sermon of February 19th, “Boundaries.”

  • Performers Needed for All Ages Skit

    Lisa Maria Steinberg is seeking 7-12 people (children, youth, and adults) to perform in an all-ages skit on Sunday, March 5th. Both speaking and pantomime parts available. Full Cast mandatory rehearsals on Sunday, February 26th at 11:45am and Sunday, March 5th at 9:30am. Please indicate if a speaking part is desired. Also needed, one adult available on both dates to be assistant director/assistant cast wrangler. Email Lisa Maria at dre@fplex.org to sign up.

  • News from Buildings & Grounds

    First Parish will be celebrating Rev. Anne’s Installation on March 26, and the church is already buzzing in preparation!

    The Building and Grounds committee is holding two Work Parties to do some early spring cleaning to present our best face to Rev. Anne’s colleagues and guests.

    We need your help on Saturday, February 25 and Saturday, March 11, any time from 8:00 to 4:00 PM. No special talents are needed, as we will paint, clean, caulk, construct shelves, hang art, move a few things: in general, polish the church to reflect our joy in having Rev. Anne as our new minister. Just come as you can, for one hour or more, and we will have a job for you.

    Thank you for helping make First Parish shine. See you on Saturday!

  • Creative Callings this Thursday

    yarnAll are welcome to participate in an informal group of members and friends who enjoy fiber arts. On Thursday, bring your knitting, crocheting, beading or other fiber work and meet in the church parlor from 2:00 pm to 3:45 pm for a low-key time of fellowship, creativity, and sharing of ideas.

    Just drop by or email Karolyn Eisenstein to join the email list.

  • 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.”

    Economic Justice Advocacy

    Last week First Parish’s Economic Justice Team met with Laura Wagner, UUMass Action Director, to explore areas of common interest. UUMass Action has been organizing and mobilizing congregations in the state since 2006. It gives effective public voice to our moral values. This, Laura explained, is different from “issue” organizing in that it lifts a moral umbrella under which a diversity of issues are acted upon. She noted that with this framework individuals might have a primary concern that they work on, but they also “show up” for other actions and events that support our values. This faith based approach, and the priority issues it works on (Immigration, Economic Justice, Climate Change, and End Mass Incarceration Together), mirror those worked on by many FP folks. The FP team looks forward to working closely with UUMassAction. To learn more about them visit their website here and hold the date of April 11 for UUMass Action Advocacy Day. Attending: Rev. Anne, Pete, Stephen Shick, Jane Beswick, Karolyn Eisenstein, Dave Pollack, and Bob Kvaal.

    Criminal Justice Advocacy

    The UU group, End Mass Incarceration Together (EMIT) has been working very hard on criminal justice advocacy over the past few years.  EMIT sent out the following good news indicating the possibility of some good changes this year coming from the State House.

    “Thanks to your actions in support of justice and corrections systems reform in Massachusetts, we have scored a major victory. House Speaker DeLeo appointed a more progressive legislator, Rep. Claire Cronin, D-Brockton, as co-chair ( with Sen. Will Brownsberger, D-Belmont) of the joint Committee on the Judiciary of the Statehouse. This ​is worth celebrating because the House Co-Chair of Judiciary has a huge influence over what bills are heard, voted on and released from committee, to go before the whole Statehouse for a vote.”

    This following action item appears in the UUMass Action newsletter. The original goal was to obtain 500 signatures by February 14th. That goal has been reached and upgraded to 750 signatures. Please read below and consider signing.
    Sign on Letter for Ending Mass Incarceration
    Led by the Coalition for Effective Public Safety (CEPS), a sign-on letter has been created demanding that state leaders make good on promises to improve fairness and outcomes for those in the system, reduce prison and jail populations, decrease recidivism, and cut prison costs. We also urge the Governor and legislators to take responsibility now in executive actions and legislation to address long-standing failings of the Department of Correction and the Parole Board.
    Individuals and organizations are called to sign the letter which details what must be corrected in the criminal justice system.
    We are also asking you to tell your legislators to call on Governor Charlie Baker, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg to address the clear and profound disparate treatment of people of color in our justice system and to address necessary justice issues spelled out in the letter. 
    Click HERE to Sign Your Name

    Other Social Action News:

    Special Plate Collection Thank You

    Donations received during last Sunday’s special plate collection for WATCH, a Community Development Corporation located in Waltham, totaled $1,251. The money will go for the important work that WATCH does in their community “by promoting affordable housing, providing adult education and leadership development, and empowering underrepresented residents through civic engagement.” Thank you for your generosity!

    Black Lives Matter Boston: In Their Own Words

    The First Parish in Brookline, UU, invite all to hear Black Lives Matter Boston activists who have been on the front lines talk about the context of black history and what the struggle looks like today! Discover how individuals and faith communities can make a difference. Sunday, February 26th, 3-4:30 pm, First Parish in Brookline, 382 Walnut Street, Brookline.

  • Annual Pledge Drive & Party

    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, which will come from roughly 160 households. Pledge cards will be mailed to parishioners in late February and we hope everyone will have pledged by March 12th.

    Also, please plan on coming to the Pledge Party, in the Parish Hall at 7:30 PM on Friday, March 10th.

    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)

  • Voices on the Green

    A Breakthrough!

    Last month’s inaugural Voices on the Green event was a Breakthrough success. A packed house enjoyed a sparkling evening of speakers, storytellers, and musicians all focused on our first theme, Breakthrough!  First Parish members Don Cohen, Cammy Thomas, Zoe Perry-Wood, and Regie O’Hare Gibson were featured storytellers, along with community stars Jeff Leonard (and his jazz trio) and Dr. Todd Rose from Harvard. Along with the aural events, there were delicious edibles contributed by many in the congregation. Afterwards, we were able to provide a hefty donation to the Lexington Arts Council as our co-sponsor of the evening—a good outreach to the community.

    Ok, so what’s next?

    What do Larry Prusak, Mary Brinton, and Regie O’Hare Gibson have in common?  The only way to know will be to come to the next Voices on the Green event called “Balancing on the Hyphen.” Along with other storytellers, speakers, and musicians, they will explore the tensions and opportunities that come from balancing multiple identities—living locally as an Asian-American, an African-American, a bi-sexual American, an immigrant-American, a bi-religious family, etc.

    Do you have a hyphenated story to tell? We are looking for a few other people from First Parish (or your neighbors) who can illuminate this topic in an artistic, musical, humorous, thought-provoking, and/or heart-touching way. Do you know a song or a poem or a piece of art that speaks to this topic? If so, send your thoughts to one of the steering committee members: David Rose, Deb Lapides, Regie O’Hare Gibson, and Laura Juitt.

    Our co-sponsor/collaborator for this evening is the Lexington Youth and Family Services; we will share our proceeds and donations with them.

    Save the date: Friday, April 7, right here at First Parish.

  • March Donation Drive

    Every year during March, First Parish has a month-long collection for the Lexington Interfaith Food Pantry. Housed in the basement of the Church of Our Redeemer, it has been active in Lexington since 1990, when the Lexington Council of Churches, including First Parish, founded the program.

    The Pantry is coordinated by Carolyn Wortman, who directs the entire operation with the help of a large, unpaid staff of volunteers from most of the faith communities in Lexington. In recent years, the number of families serviced has grown to more than 70 per week. Financial eligibility at the Pantry is determined and certified by Lexington’s Social Service Director. Typical shoppers served are the elderly; individuals who are unemployed or underemployed; low income families with children; and people with medical or mental health issues. Most clients are Lexington residents, as well as residents of local towns that do not have a food pantry.

    There are two ways you can help during the month of March. First, please donate personal care products, which are not covered by the Federal food stamp programs. These include shampoos, lotions, dental care products, and other toiletries. Products containing alcohol or hotel sized items will not be accepted. There will be baskets at both entrances to the church marked Food Pantry donations. We will also continue to accept non-perishable food items as we have been doing on an ongoing basis.

    The second way you can help is by making a monetary donation during the special plate collection on Sunday, March 5th, when all proceeds will go the Pantry. Carolyn Wortman will be at the service to speak briefly about the current status of the program and its benefits to many Lexington residents.

    Thank you as always for your generosity of spirit and gifts to others in need. If you have any questions or want more information about the Lexington Food Pantry, please contact Lynne Yansen.

  • Minuteman Indivisible Lexington

    On Monday evening, February 13th, the organizers of the newly-formed Minuteman Indivisible Lexington group, Pete Tasker, Michelle Olson, Karolyn Eisenstein, and Jane Eckert, held their kickoff public meeting at First Parish. Despite the snow, 76 people from the Lexington area attended — 47 Lexington residents from outside First Parish, seven from surrounding towns, and ten from First Parish in addition to the organizers — all of whom are interested in resisting the erosion of the civil and human rights won over the past 30 years.

    This new group is chartered to follow the Indivisible Guide, which provides information and tactics for use by citizens to influence their state and US legislators. The meeting agenda included orientation to the Indivisible national organization and its Guide, in-state advocacy planning, outreach to other Indivisible groups locally and across the country, morning coffee action, and introduction to the group’s Facebook page. A second public meeting will be held in two or three weeks at the Cary Library or the Lexington Community Center.

    If you are interested in following this activity, visit and “like” the Facebook page.

    Contact Pete Tasker for more information.

  • This Week at First Parish
    Thursday, February 23
    Creative Callings 2:00 p.m. Parlor
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Saturday, February 25
    B&G work party 8:00 a.m. Various
    Sunday, February 26
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Children’s Skit Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Monday, February 27
    Staff Meeting 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    Members & Friends 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Tuesday, February 28
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Wednesday, March 1
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