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 the story of Holy Week, Jesus looked to his disciples for companionship while he struggled with the fate he knew was to be his. Yet his friends were so heavy with grief they could not keep their eyes open. Our world is so full of sadness that sometimes we yearn to close our eyes against the suffering around us. Rev. Anne will ask this morning, “What will it take for us to stay awake?”

    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 two songs from their upcoming Broadway concert on May 7: Jonathan Larsen’s very moving “Will I Lose My Dignity” (from Rent), with soloist Tim Jacoby and Kern and Hammerstein’s poignant “Mis’ry’s Comin’ Aroun’” (from Show Boat), with soloist Julia Jaffe. Tim Jacoby and Austin Burns will also sing Stephen Schwartz’s beautiful vocal duet “On the Willows” (from Godspell) with guitarist Mark Therieau. For the centering music, Rip Jackson will play Bach’s ethereal organ work “Ich Ruf’ Zu Dir” (from Orgelbüchlein). Guest flute player Meg Newhouse will join Rip in playing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lyrical “John 19:41” (from Jesus Christ Superstar) for the postlude.


    Click here to listen to last week’s Reflections by the Senior High Youth Group.
  • 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.

  • Note from the Board

    On behalf of your Parish Board and the Stewardship Team, I want to thank everyone who participated in our Annual Pledge Drive. As of last Monday we have received pledges totaling $406,764 from 166 households, including 16 households that pledged for the first time.

    We exceeded our goal of $393,000 — and we should celebrate that. However, as I stated in church on March 26th, this goal represented what the Stewardship Team hoped we could achieve. The goal did not represent the amount that the church needed in order to fund all the programs and activities that I believe should be funded — to achieve that goal we would have needed to raise roughly $435,000 from the Pledge Drive.  In all likelihood, this means that we will miss for the third year in a row a $25,000 loan payment to the First Parish Trustees, from whom we borrowed money to pay for the steeple 15 years ago.

    I mention this in the spirit of trying to educate parishioners on the church’s financial condition and what it takes to operate the church. I will speak more about this on April 30th, when we present the draft 2017/2018 church budget at a congregational conversation following the Sunday service.

    In the spirit of community,

    Tom Rich

    Board Chair

  • Newcomer Info Session this Sunday

    New to First Parish and/or Unitarian Universalism? Please join Rev. Anne Mason and the Members and Friend Committee on Sunday, April 9th at 11:45 am for an informational session about the church, UUism, and how you can become a part of this vibrant congregation. Please come to the minister’s office after social time.


  • Unity Group Luncheon & Program

    Please come to the monthly Unity Group luncheon and program this Monday, April 10th. Social time at 12:00pm, lunch at 12:30, followed by the program at 1:30.

    Do you know that April is National Poetry Month, when people are asked to read a poem each day of the month? We are going to celebrate it at Unity Group.

    Please bring one of your favorite poems to share with us. It can be something you wrote yourself or a poem you especially like.

    As Oprah Winfrey says “A great poem can move you, shake you, and remind you what it is to be human.”

  • UUA General Assembly Registration Now Open

    The 2017 UUA General Assembly, which takes place in New Orleans from June 21st through June 25th, is an opportunity for UUs from around the country to celebrate, caucus, sing, debate, and worship together. And this year, member congregations will be voting for a new president of the Association!

    This article from the UU World magazine provides information about New Orleans, the candidates, and the programs of GA, as well as links for registration, candidates’ websites, and organizations involved in the programs. We hope that the article will peak your interest in attending General Assembly.

    Please contact Rev. Anne if you want to know more about General Assembly and/or are interesting in going.

    Also, there are still a couple of delegate slots open. If you are a member of First Parish and want to participate in the plenary sessions and voting, please contact Tom Rich.

  • 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.”


    UU Mass Action

    We hope you will join others from First Parish as we put our faith into action by gathering with UUs from across the state for UU Mass Action Advocacy Day.

    Tuesday, April 11th, 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Arlington Street Church & The State House

    Keynote speaker: Rev. Paul Robeson Ford, Senior Pastor of the Union Baptist Church, Cambridge

    Worship leader: Rev. John Gibbons, Senior Minister at First Parish in Bedford

    Musician: Rev. Fred Small, Climate Justice Minister, Arlington Street Church

    For more information go to the UU Mass Action website.

    To connect with other First Parish folks who are attending contact Stephen Shick.


    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.

  • New England Regional Assembly: April 21 & 22
    The NE Regional Assembly is being held in Woburn on April 21 and 22. On Friday evening there will be a forum with the UUA Presidential candidates and attendance is FREE! Pre-registration is required to know how many are coming.  We are fortunate to have this Presidential Candidate forum happening so close to home. Come and participate in the Democratic process of our UU faith.
    On Saturday, there is great worship, including a preaching by our previous summer minister, Rev. Robin Bartlett. There will also be staff-led workshops and a community sing with composer-teacher-musician, Dr. Ysaye Bardwell. The cost to attend on Saturday is $125.
    For more information contact Marianne DiBlasi. To Register: http://www.uua.org/new-england/awaken
  • Mayfair is Coming!
    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.

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

    Slots are filling in, but help is still needed! Please visit the piano on Sundays to see you how can help make this First Parish spring tradition a great success!  Or sign up online here:  Mayfair  


    Amy Breiting and Marty Kvaal

  • Save the Date – Broadway Concert

    First Parish in Lexington will present a Broadway Cabaret on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 3:30 PM, in the sanctuary. The concert will feature the First Parish sanctuary and children’s choirs and soloists, guest singers, and a pit band (piano, drums, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, contrabass, trumpets, horns, flute, and clarinet) performing solo and choral music from Broadway including selections from RentJesus Christ SuperstarAnnie, West Side Story and Show Boat. For more information call the church at 781-862-8200 or visit www.fplex.org.


  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, April 5    
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Master Singers’ Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Thursday, April 6    
    Five Wishes Program 11:30 a.m. Parish Hall
    Communications Team Meeting 2:00 p.m. Common Room
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Voices on the Green Rehearsal 6:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Friday, April 7    
    Voices on the Green 7:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Saturday, April 8    
    Joseph Hanson Memorial Service 11:00 a.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, April 9    
    Drop-in New UU session 11:45 a.m. Minister’s Office
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary & Parlor
    Coming of Age 5:45 p.m. Parker Hall
    OWL 6:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    SHYG 7:00 a.m. Common Room
    Monday, April 10    
    Unity Group 10:30 a.m. Parker Hall
    Staff Meetings 12:00 p.m. Minister’s Office
    Tuesday, April 11    
    Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
  • Channing Memorial Fund Deadline April 26

    The Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society is currently holding a denomination-wide fundraiser to repair and restore the memorial stone for the Rev. William Ellery Channing at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Channing’s 1819 Baltimore Sermon crucially defined and celebrated the emergence of Unitarianism, and his advocacy for education, reason, justice, and compassion led the first generation of our movement. Brochures for this project are available this morning at the piano. Donations can be made either through Faithify: https.//www.faithify.org/projects/help-preserve-channings-monument/ (where the contribution will be augmented by other UUA donors if the goal of $5000 is met), or by check to the UUHHS (memo line “Channing Memorial”), 670 High Street, Dedham, MA 02066. Please see Helen Cohen if you have a question. The deadline is April 26.

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