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

    In western mythology, women are made responsible for all the world’s woes. Unconscious adherence to this mythos has had a detrimental effect on the psychology of both men and women. In honor of Women’s History Month, Regie Gibson dives into the story of Pandora to see what modern spiritual and life lessons we can draw upon to pass on to our daughters and help better our world.

    Regie O’Hare Gibson, Worship Leader

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

    This Sunday our guest speaker, Regie O’Hare Gibson will share his poignant and profound performance poem “Mother Africa.” He will be accompanied by a percussion ensemble. They will also present Regie’s inspiring “Our Mother: A Blues Prayer,” which is “The Lord’s Prayer reimagined. Austin Burns will sing Jacqueline Hairston’s inspirational arrangement of “No Ways Tired.” Elizabeth Walsh will sing Enya’s hauntingly mystical “Evening Falls” (from Watermark). For the centering music and postlude, Rip Jackson will play Scott Joplin’s wonderful piano pieces “Solace” and “The Maple Leaf Rag.”

    Click here to listen to last week’s Celebration Sunday sermon by Rev. Anne Mason.
  • A Note from the Board

    This is a Weekly Update full of thanks to the staff and all the parishioners who made the Friday Pledge Party and the Celebration Sunday Service so special:

    – to Erik Svenson and Elisabeth Jas for organizing the Friday night pledge party, including producing the very moving video presented at the party;

    – to Rev. Anne, the choir and my fellow Board members for providing highly entertaining pledge music at the party, and to Rip for working with the musicians during rehearsals for accompanying them at the party;

    – to Toni Tasker for organizing another building clean up event Saturday morning;

    – to Anne, Lisa Maria and Rip for orchestrating a beautiful and moving Celebration Sunday service;

    – to Shawna Yen for delivering a wondering testimonial on Sunday;

    – to my fellow the Stewardship Team members (Bob Coyne, Katie O’Hare Gibson, Marsha Fox, Bob Gibbons, Erik Svenson) for all their hard work on the pledge drive;

    – to everyone who came to the Pledge Party; and,

    – to everyone who attend Celebration Sunday;

    And most of all, heartfelt thanks to all the members and friends who made pledges for the 17/18 church year.  If you have not made your pledge yet, please do so within the next week. Your Stewardship Team will report back to you shortly on pledge drive results.

    In the spirit of community,

    Tom Rich

    Board Chair

  • 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.

  • This Weekend – Minns Lectures 2017

    The Minns Lectures, an annual presentation on important issues for Unitarian Universalists and the world, will explore the history of UUism and racial issues. The lectures will take place on Friday evening, March 31, at 6:00 p.m., at First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St., and on Saturday, April 1, at 3:00 p.m, at First Parish in Cambridge. Speakers are the Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed who has written two books on the subject, and the Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, president of the Starr King School of Ministry, a UU seminary in Berkeley, California. For more information, please contact Helen Cohen.

  • Food Donations for Installation

    If you’re wondering how you can help with Rev. Anne’s Installation celebration, food donations will be gratefully accepted!

    In addition to the usual veggies/fruits/dips/crackers, we’re asking FPers to bring food with a New England flavor, i.e. clam dip, finger rolls with seafood, maple syrup flavored foods, blueberry muffins, cranberry bread, and wherever your creativity takes you.

    Please sign up at the piano during coffee hour this Sunday or send an email to Bobbie Hodson or Hazel Graham.

    All food items will be collected before church on the 26th and/or from 1-3pm in the afternoon.

  • Lexington Choral Festival this Sunday

    Lexington Choral Festival

    Sunday, March 19th at 3:00 PM

    Hancock Church in Lexington, MA

    Free Admission

    Due to inclement weather, the Lexington Choral Festival was rescheduled to Sunday, March 19th at 3:00 pm at the Hancock Church. The First Parish Sanctuary Choir will join 11 other choirs from Lexington in raising their voices together. This year’s festival features over 200 singers participating. The performance is approximately 90 minutes in length. A reception will follow. Admission is free and open to the public. Free parking is available behind the church and around the Battle Green. The church is fully accessible.

  • Work Party Thank You!

    A great, big thank you to Toni Tasker for organizing two work parties and to all those who came out to help. Things have been painted, scrubbed, caulked, fixed, organized, moved, and removed. Thanks also to Bob Coughlin for putting in extra hours. The church is going to shine for the celebration of Rev. Anne’s Installation!

  • This Week in Social Action Ministry

    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.”

    Social Action Committee Meeting – Sunday, March 19th, 12:00pm, Parker Hall

    Amnesty International Meeting – Sunday, March 19th, 1:00pm, Common Room


    Criminal Justice

    REMINDER: The Politics of Justice: Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform in Massachusetts

    First Parish UU of Arlington. Saturday, March 25: 12:45 to 5 pm.

    Hear from Senator Brownsberger, Middlesex DA Marion Ryan, Sen. Donnelly, Cassandra Bensahih of EPOCA and Jobs not Jails, and Rahsaan Hall of ACLU-MA’s Racial Justice Program. Find out what important changes are planned for this year; discuss with panelists and learn about action opportunities.

    Email to register: end-mass-incarceration@firstparish.info


    Political Activism

    Healthcare in Congress

    The replacement for the Affordable Healthcare Act has been reported out of two committees in the House; it is called the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The AHCA  treats healthcare as a marketplace that is shaped for profit-making, provides tax cuts for high-income earners, cuts assistance to the states, and removes critical Medicaid support that currently makes healthcare affordable for low-income people. The sponsors in the House want to fast-track the AHCA in order to avoid Congressional Budget Office cost analysis if possible, and then pass it to the Senate where they hope to limit debate. They want to get this bill passed before the April Congressional recess.

    Heard enough? To learn more about the impact of the proposed changes, listen to this recording from experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Families USA, and Planned Parenthood Action. If you want to make your voice heard on this and other issues, go to your local Minuteman Indivisible Lexington website, click on the Join our Team button, and provide your contact information and indicate where you would like to put your effort. If you’ve signed up but not filled out the survey, please click on the Join button and update your preferences. Contact Pete Tasker for more information.

  • Community Conversation on Racial Justice

    Please bring your hearts and minds to this conversation on racial justice. Sponsored by the Lexington Human Rights Committee, join Rev. Anne and the Lexington Area Interfaith Community as they lead conversations and workshop ideas on what we can do to have a meaningful impact on the lives of those living and working in our town. Share stories and explore how you and your neighbors can work together to build a more racially just community.
    Thursday, March 30, 2017
    7:00 to 9:00 PM
    Parish Hall, Sacred Heart
    718 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421

  • Save the Date – Voices on the Green

    Voices on the Green, First Parish’s new community series of programs on contemporary issues, will present its second program on Friday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the church. The theme is “Balancing on the Hyphen,” and the speakers and music will explore the challenges and rewards for people living in bi-cultural or multicultural families in Lexington. The program is co-sponsored by the Lexington Youth and Family Services, and participants will include church members Larry Prusak, Shawna Yen, Regie O’Hare Gibson, Mary Brinton, as well as students and adult board members from LYFS. Details on the program and how to obtain tickets ($20 for sponsors, $10 for general audience, and $5 for students) will appear shortly.

  • March Collection Drive for Lexington Interfaith Food Pantry

    Thanks for all those who have donated so far to the March Collection Drive! Please don’t forget to buy extra personal care items during your weekly shopping this month. Items such as shampoos, lotions, dental care products, feminine hygiene products, and other toiletries are needed.

    We will also continue to collect non-perishable food donations.

    Since it’s inception, the Food Pantry has been supported by those who live and work in Lexington with both monetary and food donations. Staple items are purchased as needed with donated monies.

    The Food Pantry also currently receives donations from:
    Wagon Wheel Farm Stand, Lexington
    Panera Bread, Alewife
    Whole Foods, Winchester
    Feed Children Program, Whole Foods, Bedford
    Food Link
    Fresh Bakery, Stop and Shop, Lexington
    Wilson Farms CSA members
    Boston Area Gleaners
    Lexington Interfaith Garden
    Lexington Community Farm

    These donations enable the Pantry to distribute some produce, bread, and pastries to our clients. School food drives, the yearly Lexington Postal Carrier Food Drive, and individual donations help keep our costs down.

    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.

  • Mayfair is Coming! Mayfair is Coming!

    It takes a village to run a fair! A volunteer sign-up sheet will be on the piano during social hour starting this Sunday. Volunteer opportunities include helping with the books, plants, jewelry, publicity, cafe, electronics, collectibles, baked goods, and more.

    Have you started your spring cleaning? Or ridding your attic/basement of stuff you no longer want or use? No place to store those books from your winter reading? Have you given up dressing up? Or downsizing to smaller quarters?

    If so, think MAYFAIR. It’s coming on Saturday, May 13th. Please consider donating items to the Mayfair selection of jewelry, collectibles, white elephants, books, and other good stuff.

    More info will follow. Just please don’t toss it; donate it!

    Amy Breiting

    Marty Kvaal

    Mayfair Co-chairs

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, March 15    
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Master Singers’ Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Thursday, March 16    
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Empty Nester Program 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Friday, March 17    
    Roaring Jelly 7:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Saturday, March 18    
    OWL Retreat 9:00 a.m. Parker Hall
    Sunday, March 19    
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary & Parlor
    Social Action Committee 12:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Amnesty International Meeting 1:00 p.m. Common Room
    JHYG 3:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Coming of Age 5:45 p.m. Parker Hall
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Common Rm & Parish Hall
    Monday, March 20    
    Staff Meetings 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    LYFS Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Tuesday, March 21    
    80+ Luncheon 12:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    B&G Meeting 7:00 p.m. Parlor
    Lexington Ski Club 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Common Room
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