Weekly Update

Subscribe to the Weekly Update
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

    Every week we affirm that the ‘Quest for Truth is a sacrament” of this church. What does truth mean in an age where anyone can gain publicity for a truth they may stake a claim to? With our religious history of skepticism and rationality, our faith is one which encourages us to seek the truth in love – and to use our whole selves on that quest. Join Rev. Anne Mason at 10:30 this Sunday morning.

    Rev. Anne Mason, Worship Leader

    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 Lee Dengler’s thoughtful anthem “Things that Never Die” (words by Charles Dickens) and Alice Parker’s lovely arrangement of “Be Thou My Vision,” with soloist David Meharry. David will also sing Gabriel Fauré’s deeply-moving “Libera Me” (from Requiem). For the centering music and postlude, Rip Jackson will play Enya’s serene piano piece “Watermark” (from Watermark) and Wilhelm Zachow’s powerful “Prelude in Fugue in C Major.”


    Click here to listen to last week’s sermon by Regie O’Hare Gibson, “Pandora, Lift that Lid: Woman as Gift Bearer.”
  • Buy Your Tickets! Voices on the Green: Balancing on the Hyphen

    The second in our community series celebrating First Parish’s 325th anniversary year, will take place on Friday, April 7th at 7pm at the church.

    Balancing on the Hyphen: Living Multiculturally in Lexington

    The program will explore the challenges and rewards for people of multicultural heritages living and studying in Lexington. There will be five short personal stories on the theme by Lexington residents Lawrence Prusak (management consultant), Shawna Yen (attorney), Marjan Kamali (author of Together Tea), and Mona Tavangar (LYFS board member), and Austin Fowlkes (METCO student from Boston at LHS). Lexington resident Dr. Mary Brinton (sociologist, Harvard University) will complete the presentations with a Ted-type talk expanding on the overall theme. Woven through the program will be musical performances and sing-alongs of thematically-related songs led by Geoff Keith, LYFS board member. Students from several LHS choral groups will be participating.

    Suggested donations are $20 for donors, $10 for general admission, and $5 for students, and donations will be shared between First Parish and LYFS. Tickets are available at VoicesOnTheGreen.eventbrite.com, and also during coffee hour this Sunday and at the door the night of the show.

  • From Your Minister

    This week brings me a full awareness of the joy and the sorrow that are intertwined in life. It is the fullness of existence that I experience in ministry and in my own life, which makes me all the more grateful to be a part of this community of faith. I look forward to the Installation this week with excitement and gratitude for our shared ministry, noting with delight all the energy being poured into the preparations. I am so grateful for the host of volunteers who are making this happen – the team who are working tirelessly in the background, the musicians who are practicing, those who are baking and preparing healthy and wonderful food, and all who have pitched in to clean and paint and make our beautiful church sparkle. A special thanks to Deb Weiner Soule who is chairing this effort with grace and precision!

    In the midst of all of this preparation, Simon and I are grieving the loss of his father. We will be heading to England for the memorial, the day after the Installation. During the week that I am gone, please hold us both in your hearts. If you have pastoral needs, please contact Jane in the office, and she will direct you either to one of our Pastoral Associates or to a colleague of mine. I will be able to read email next week as well, so don’t hesitate to contact me that way.

    We also had a quick trip to Lancaster, PA to settle our house there. It was good to reconnect with a few friends in the midst of all the packing and cleaning, and it is good to know that we are now able to find a house up here. We are in the midst of negotiating something…..stay tuned!

    With gratitude for this journey we are taking together,

    Rev. Anne

  • Important – Parking for Installation

    Due to the high number of visitors and guests expected for Rev. Anne’s Installation, we ask all First Parishioners who are able to please park in St. Brigid’s lot at 2001 Massachusetts Avenue and walk to the church.

    Thank you for your cooperation!

  • 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.

  • Among Our Own

    The memorial service for Jan Aldrich is coming up on Saturday, April 1st at 11:30 AM. Rev. Helen Cohen will be officiating this service because Rev. Anne will be in England all week.

    Please hold in your hearts the family of Joe Hansen who passed away on Saturday. Joe was a member of First Parish a number of years ago. We will have a celebration of his life at the church on Saturday, April 8th at 11:00 AM.

    We lift up our member, Rebecca O’Brien, who is mourning the recent loss of her father, Keith Hardiman.

    Lorna Morley, a former attendee of First Parish who was active in our small group ministry program, died last week at age 94. Services were held at Church of Our Redeemer. Please keep her family in your hearts.

  • Annual Pledge Drive Update

    As Pledge Team member Katie O’Hare Gibson stated in church last Sunday, we are off to a great start in this year’s Annual Pledge Drive.  Thanks very much to everyone who has pledged so far.

    We would like to end the pledge drive this week and announce a final result on Sunday.  If you have not pledged yet, please do so this week.  You can pledge on-line by clicking here. Or, you can mail or drop off your pledge card at the church office.

    Thank you for your generosity and dedication to the church.

    Your Annual Pledge Drive Team

    (Bob Coyne, Marsha Fox, Bob Gibbons, Katie O’Hare Gibson, Tom Rich, and Erik Svenson

  • Focalpoint Deadline

    The deadline for submissions to the April edition of the Focalpoint is this Friday, March 24th at 10:00am. Please forward information on programs, events, and committee happenings to Jane Foley in the office. Thanks!



  • Five Wishes Program Offering

    Join Rev. Anne and Lisa Maria Steinberg for an interactive discussion and process for end of life planning using the popular Five Wishes® Program. You may have made financial and other legal arrangements for when you die, but have you planned for your end of life care decisions, comfort, and treatment? This program is designed to help you understand the value in answering these questions, record them in writing, and have them available to your loved ones when they are needed, however far down the road that may be.

    The program will be offered as a two part series on Thursdays April 6th and 13th from 11:30am—2:00pm and will include lunch. RSVP is required so we can have the right amount of materials and food. Please sign up with Lisa Maria by April 3rd by email at dre@fplex.org or call 781-862-8200 x3. If you cannot attend this daytime weekday offering, let Lisa Maria know you would be interested in this program being offered again at a different time.

  • 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.”


    Climate Justice

    Please come to a free film screening of Before the Flood on Saturday, April 15th from 10:00am – 12:00pm.  With Evan Seitz of UUMass Action and others.

    “Addressing climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. Come together in community to learn and be inspired to take action on behalf of our common home.”

    The Venue Theater, 1799 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA, Doors open at 9:45am
    Sponsored by First Parish Arlington, First Parish Bedford, First Parish Concord, First Parish Lexington, and Follen Church

    Contact Stephen Shick for more information.

    Political Activism

    The President’s budget released a week ago increases military spending at the expense of many of the programs that support the health of our fellow citizens and the world we live in.

    Heard enough? If you want to make your voice heard on this and other issues, go to your local Minuteman Indivisible Lexington website to learn what’s happening; click the Join our Team button to indicate where you would like to invest your energy. Contact Pete Tasker for more information.

  • Final Week for Personal Care Donations

    This Sunday, please fill up the baskets with personal care items for the March drive for Lexington Food Pantry. The baskets will be by the doors through the end of the month. Items such as shampoos, lotions, dental care products, feminine hygiene products, and other toiletries are needed. Please no hotel-sized or alcohol-based products. Your donations are greatly appreciated!

  • Mayfair News

    Sign up online! Click here to help.

    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, plants, and other good stuff.

    Visit the piano on Sundays to see you how can help make this First Parish spring tradition a great success!  WE NEED YOUR TALENTS!

    Amy Breiting and Marty Kvaal

    Mayfair Co-chairs

  • Lexington’s Interfaith Garden: Diggings and Doings

    If it’s April, it’s spring at Lexington’s Interfaith Garden just opposite the church parking lot.

    This month, we’re off and digging—preparing the soil and hopefully planting peas, lettuce, and beets—the cool weather crops. We garden with volunteers from over a dozen faith communities in town during the spring, summer, and fall. In our 7 years of operation, we have produced over two tons of 35 kinds of organic produce for Lexington’s Food Pantry!!

    YOU are cordially invited to participate in this interfaith gardening effort. No experience needed!! You are welcome to come occasionally or on a regular basis or to come by and just check us out. The Garden is open on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. We let you know the dates assigned to First Parish and you can sign up as you’re interested and available.

    Children, youth, and adults—all are welcome. We learn a lot! We make new friends! We have fun! Do contact Cherie Noe or Marty Kvaal, the coordinators for First Parish, for more information.  We hope to see you!

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, March 22
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Master Singers’ Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Thursday, March 23
    Creative Callings 2:00 p.m. Parlor
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Scrabble Club 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Saturday, March 25
    Private Rentals 1:00 p.m. Parish Hall & Common Room
    Sunday, March 26
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary & Parlor
    Choir Rehearsal 2:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Installation 4:00 p.m. Sanctuary & Parish Hall
    Monday, March 27
    Staff Meetings 12:00 p.m. Minister’s Office
    Members & Friends 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Tuesday, March 28
    LYFS Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
  • Local News Coverage of Rev. Anne

    As part of their Building Community series, the Lexington Minuteman featured Rev. Anne in their March 16th edition! In case you missed it, the article is below.


    Anne Mason, First Parish Church’s new minister, is looking to reveal Lexington more deeply to itself.

    “We have a vision of the American dream that is so handed down from a certain racial and class perspective,” Mason said. “It’s important to me to try and un-peel those layers of oppression.”

    On Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m., Mason will be officially installed as the minister of the Unitarian congregation. The event is free and open to the public.

    In an interview with The Lexington Minuteman, Mason said one of her goals is to show the common bond everyone has in the current political climate.

    “I want people to understand how vitally important faith is in our lives, not faith as described by certain louder voices in the country, but the faith of ordinary citizens which connects us to our deeper values,” Mason said. “It matters what I believe, it matters what you believe.”

    Mason is coming to Lexington from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she served as director of music at the Unitarian Universalist Church for that town.

    When asked about the role of music in faith and community building, Mason said she believes music fills a space all its own.

    “Music does everything that words can’t do, and it does it better,” Mason said. “Music has a way of entering into our consciousness. Designing worship is a multi-layered activity. The way that the hymns flow in and out of the service are very important to create an emotional cycle to the service and how it flows, kind of like a concert.”

    Mason’s musical career includes operatic singing, and a bit of mischief.

    While on a trip to Istanbul when she was 19, Mason said she got in trouble for singing in the Hagia Sophia, once a Greek Orthodox church, then a mosque, and now a world-renowned museum.

    “I was once threatened for singing a song in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul,” Mason said laughing. “I was just moved to song.”

    Coming to Lexington

    The move from Lancaster to Lexington is one Mason said she is excited for. She hopes to capitalize on the expertise of community members for a greater good.

    “I think Lexington has a long history of being national leaders,” Mason said. “We have so many individuals that live in the town that work on a high level at the academic institutions in the Boston area. I would love to find a way to connect the people that live here and the work being done in climate change and where progressive values are important.”

    Mason said much of her work in the past few years has focused around revealing the extent and pervasiveness of racism in modern society.

    In a world which is seeing increased emphasis on racism and race relations, Mason said relativism and empathy are the paths forward.

    “When people are the majority, they don’t understand the perspective of people who are not,” Mason said. “It changes my sense of who we are as human beings when we truly begin to feel for other people who are not us.”

  • Lexington Town-Wide Survey

    The Town of Lexington wants to hear from you! The town-wide survey is being conducted to investigate residents’ opinions regarding issues in seven categories:

    • Diversity
    • Economic development
    • Educational issues
    • Environment
    • Physical character
    • Town government
    • Town services

    The survey is ready for community input as of March 13, 2017. You may access the survey at the following web address:  http://www.lexingtonma.gov/2020survey

    The Lexington 20/20 Vision Committee is working on the possibility of engaging a cross-section of survey respondents in focus groups on the various topics covered.  At the end of the survey, respondents will have an opportunity to indicate their interest in participating in such a future focus group.

    The survey site will accept responses from March 13 to March 31, 2017.  Hard copies of the survey forms will also be available at the Cary Library, the Lexington Community Center and other public venues in town.

  • Free Film Screening – Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age

    All are invited to a free screening on the film, Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age.

    Hosted by The Phyllis Klein Thrope Memorial program of Temple Emunah, in partnership with Lexington High School and the Lexington Coalition for Youth

    “Award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”
    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 2017 / 6:30 – 8:30 PM
    Please RSVP at this website: https://goo.gl/d4lnjb

    Screenagers Movie Poster_April 2017

  • Click this button to benefit First Parish when you shop at Amazon.