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

    The Coming of Age service is the culmination of our ninth and tenth graders’ year long exploration of their Unitarian Universalist identities and will mark their transition into the next stage of spiritual development. Coming of Age participants will be sharing their personal credos answering the question: “what do you set your heart to?”

    Ninth and Tenth Graders

    This is an All Ages service. Pre-K through Grade 8 stay in sanctuary. The nursery will be open for babies and toddlers.

    This Sunday during worship, the sanctuary choir, guest singers and guest instrumentalists will present music from their upcoming Broadway concert. For the anthem, they will sing Robert Edgerton beautiful a cappella arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” (from West Side Story). For the introit, the choir, with soloist Jamie Willis, will sing Jonathan Larsen’s dynamic song “La Vie Bohème” (from Rent). Court Gettel (flute), Ben Green (bass), and Rip Jackson (piano) will play two exciting movements from Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio. They will also play Gabriel Fauré’s hauntingly lyrical “Pavane, Op.50.”

    Click here to listen to last week’s sermon by Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, Director of the UU Urban Ministry, “Making Beloved Community Real.”

  • Sunday – A Broadway Cabaret


    Sunday, May 7, 2017, at 3:30 PM

    First Parish in Lexington
    7 Harrington Rd. Lexington, MA

    Suggested Donation: $20/adults; $10/Students and Seniors

    (More if you can and less if you can’t – all are welcome!)

    First Parish in Lexington will present a Broadway Cabaret on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 3:30 PM. The concert will feature the First Parish sanctuary and children’s choirs and soloists, guest singers, and a pit band (piano, drums, electric guitar, electric bass, trumpets, horns, flute, saxophone and clarinet) performing solo and choral music from Broadway including selections from RentJesus Christ SuperstarAnnie, West Side Story and Show Boat. Suggested donation: $20/adults; $10/students and seniors (more if you can and less if you can’t – all are welcome!). For more information call the church at 781-862-8200 or visit www.fplex.org.

  • Food Donations for Reception

    Last call! Wondering how you can help with the Broadway Cabaret?

    There will be a reception following the concert, and donations of finger food such as brownies, fruit, cupcakes, veggies, and other small, healthy items are needed. Please contact Hazel Graham if you can bring something and what it will be.

    Email Hazel here if you can contribute.

  • Empty Nester Program

    Since the fall, a group has been meeting to explore what it means to have an empty nest. Our group includes those who still have some of their kids at home. Initially we focused on the kids and how they were doing. Subsequently, we have looked more at what does this mean for parents who are now entering a new stage of their lives. Jan Graham, PhD, a retired child and family therapist, wrote her dissertation on the process that people go through in this stage of life. She will explore some of the issues with the group at our meeting on Thursday, May 11 at 7 pm in the Common Room. Please join us even if you have not come to the group before.  Contact Jane Eckert, facilitator.

  • Mayfair Coming Very Soon!

    Mayfair is coming right up:  Saturday, May 13th, just more than a week away!!

    1.  Post a yard sign in your front yard beginning Sunday, May 7th. Signs will be available at church beginning Sunday, March 7th.  Stop by the piano on Sundays or use our link to Sign up Genius (see below).

    2.  Have your picture taken at Mayfair by professional photographer Zoe Perry-Wood.  Sign up by emailing Amy Breiting at abreiting@gmail.com.

    3.  Bring your bikes for tune-ups by our experienced biking wizards.

    4.  Donate some time!  How about:

    ~ baking some delicious goodies or other comestibles?

    ~ planting seedlings or re-potting plants?

    ~ making espresso at the coffee bar or serving delicious lunch to our shoppers?

    ~ selling on Saturday or sorting and pricing on Friday day and evening?

    ~ setting up before or cleaning up after?

    5.  Donate much-loved but no-longer-needed treasures to sell!  We eagerly await your:

    –  Jewelry   Good estate jewelry of gold, silver or semi-precious stone to nice costume jewelry to fun resort wear to once-in-a-lifetime purchases (as in “what was I thinking?”). We are also looking for watches that still work or good ones that just need a battery or cleaning. Fine pieces will be sold at a separate table with special security. There is a definite market for junk but the good stuff always goes quickly. We accept pieces you just can’t find the right outfit for but hate to toss into the costume jewelry pile. It will be priced specially to bring needed dollars to First Parish. Any questions contact the jewelry chairs Carolyn Fleiss or Lee Brami.

    –  Books, CDs, DVD Only books in good condition (no textbooks) including:

    Current fiction & nonfiction

    Art books

    Children’s Books


    Gardening and Field Guides

    Recent travel guides

    Books on CD

    Contact Mary Knuth for more information about books.

    –  Collectibles  china, glassware, artworks, silver

    –  White elephants    Toys, games, puzzles, kitchenware, holiday decorations, craft materials, pictures and frames, small appliances, tools, gift items.  (PLEASE no clothing, shoes, broken items, worn or outdated sporting equipment, no exercise equipment or large furniture.)

    –   Electronics    See Bill Pittore’s email to FPCHAT of April 25th for a list of desired items.

    –  Plants    Bring perennials, annuals and vegetables you may have started from seed, along with garden ornaments, guidebooks, and even new or barely-used garden tools.

    –  Plastic and paper bags for folks to carry home their purchases.

    Drop-off for donations at the church will be on Thursday, the 11th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm and on Friday, the 12th, beginning at 9:00 am.

    Sign up at the piano on Sunday, contact Amy Breiting or Marty Kvaal, or click here to go to the Signup Genius online account for Mayfair.

    Come early! Drink coffee! Shop! Eat lunch! Shop some more!

  • Unity Group Luncheon and Program

    Please join the Unity Group on Monday, May 8th at noon for a catered lunch provided by The Chateau. Cost is $11, payable by cash or check to Unity Group.

    This month’s program will feature Jack Manuel, pianist extraordinaire, who will present a medley of songs we may all remember. We hope you can join us for this social gathering of friends, new and old.

  • Note from the Board
    At this coming June’s Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly, delegates will vote on a new president for the UUA. This is an extremely important election, given the recent resignation of the past UUA president and the controversy over UUA hiring practices. Your Parish Board would like congregants to express their preferences to the First Parish General Assembly voting delegates (Marianne DiBlasi, Ben Soule, and Deb Weiner Soule). We will do this by having congregants vote at the June 4th Semi-Annual Meeting and then direct our delegates to vote in accordance with the congregation’s preferences.
    I encourage everyone to learn about the three candidates and cast an informed vote.  Click on the candidate’s name to visit their website.
    The UUA website also has a page with additional information on the candidates.
    Thank you for participating in this process and being prepared to cast your vote at the June 4th Semi-Annual Meeting.
    In the spirit of community,
    Tom Rich
    Board Chair
  • 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.”

    Waking Up White Book Discussion

    First Parish is co-sponsoring with Temple Isaiah and other congregations in Lexington a presentation by Debby Irving on June 8 entitled “I’m a Good Person – Isn’t that Enough?”

    In anticipation of that, John Oberteuffer will be leading a discussion of her book, Waking up White. Please borrow, or buy a copy now and join together on Sunday, May 21st at 4 pm in the Common Room for an interesting discussion.

    Plate Donation for UU Urban Ministry

    Thank you for your generous donations last Sunday during the special collection. The total amount that will be sent to the UU Urban Ministry is $1,150. Thank you!

    Save the Date – Day of Service

    All members of First Parish and their families are asked to keep Saturday, June 3rd, free to participate in our Annual Day of Service. A wide spectrum of activities will be available to all ages. We will highlight the day’s activities in the coming weeks.

  • Seeking Donations for Zambia Trip

    Meg Jackson, Lynn Perry, and Toni Tasker will be traveling to Zambia in June, representing First Parish in Lexington with Communities Without Borders. CWB’s mission is to improve the education and health of AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children, and to nourish hope for a better future. CWB’s approach is to build ongoing community to community relationships at the grassroots level, by working with local school and health educators. To help meet that goal, supplies are critically needed.

    First Parish is collecting donations from May 1 until June 3. Many specific items are needed, as requested by our hosts in Zambia. The use of many items commonly used in the US is not sustainable in Africa, so please contribute only the items listed below. Please, no more bedding! Thank you!

    New School Supplies

    Pencils, pencil sharpeners, mini-erasers, crayons, chalk, colored pencils, pens, markers, chart paper, small notepads, masking tape, coloring books, computer paper, lined paper, construction paper, and stickers.


    Legos, blocks, Duplos, Lincoln Logs, Matchbox cars, K’Nex, playdough, small decks of playing cards, as well as soccer balls and pumps, jump ropes, and tennis balls. Lightly used items are gladly accepted!


    Children’s outerwear (winter jackets, sweatshirts, and fleeces) and black dress shoes for school-aged children (ages 5+)

    Monetary Donations

    For more information or to make a donation go to www.communitieswithoutborders.org.

  • UUA Denominational News

    Three Interim Co-Presidents of the UUA

    Following Rev. Peter Morales’ resignation as President of the UUA on April 1st (click here for the article), the UUA Board of Trustees has named the Rev. Sofía Betancourt, the Rev. William G. Sinkford, and Leon Spencer interim co-presidents until the election of a new president at General Assembly on June 24. Morales resigned in the face of a growing controversy over UUA hiring practices, which critics say systemically favor white ministers. The goal of three co-presidents is to treat this as an opportunity instead of a series of problems. In the words of William G. Sinkford, Sometimes it takes a shock to a system to get it unstuck, and if nothing else, we’ve gotten that shock.”

    To learn more about the UUA interim co-presidents, visit this article from the UU World.

    — Marianne DiBlasi

    (Marianne will be contributing information to the Weekly Update about UU news, events, programs, and opportunities.)

  • In Other News…

    First Parish Member and playwright Don Cohen’s new play to be read at Munroe Saturday Nights’ next performance

    Perhaps you’ve been reading the news about the Cassini spacecraft recently – how its mission is nearing an end after decades of work, featuring interviews with the scientists who birthed and cultivated the program?  Maybe you’ve seen the remarkable images coming back to earth as the mission explores the rings of Saturn.

    The subject of space exploration plays a major role in Celestial Mechanics,” playwright Don Cohen’s new work which will be featured for the upcoming May 13, 2017 Munroe Saturday Nights performance. The reading, directed by award-winning director, actor and playwright Melinda Lopez, will feature actors Will Lyman and Deb Martin. The event will be held at First Parish in Lexington, 7 Harrington Road, at the head of the Lexington Battle Green. The performance begins at 7:30 PM.

    Don Cohen is the author of a book of short stories; other stories have appeared in The South Carolina Review, The Fiddlehead and Jewish Fiction.net. He has been awarded a Massachusetts Artists Foundation playwriting fellowship for Bella Vista Lodge. Previous plays by Cohen presented in readings for Munroe Saturday Nights include Length of Stay.

    Melinda Lopez, acclaimed as “one of Boston’s most important writers” by WBUR (NPR in Boston) is a playwright, actress, and educator. She is currently the inaugural Mellon playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company, and teaches theatre and performance at Wellesley College and playwriting at Boston University. Ms. Lopez is active in the Cuban American community and co-produced Munroe Saturday Nights’ opening production for this season focusing on Cuban arts and culture.

    Reservations are strongly recommended for this event. A suggested donation of $10/person is invited. First Parish is handicapped accessible, and free parking is available at the rear of the church. Reservations are strongly encouraged.  Visit http://www.munroecenter.org/reserve-your-seat.html to reserve your seat.

    The Reclaim Our Democracy group at First Parish in Concord is inviting members of our neighboring congregations to attend the following movie event.

    “Requiem for the American Dream”

    Monday, May 15, 7-9 pm

    First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA

    How did we become a nation that is so far removed from our core beliefs? In this extraordinary 2016 documentary Noam Chomsky discusses how the concentration of wealth and power among a small elite has polarized American society and brought about the decline of the middle class. Through interviews filmed over four years, Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality.

    “Regarded by many as America’s most influential intellectual, Noam Chomsky is also a great story teller. Without overwhelming the viewer or the material, he marshals data, example and anecdote, cutting through 250 years of history to distill ten basic principles of wealth and power which have conspired against the American Dream.  More than anything, the film is a well-organized, thoughtful look at these forces and their consequences moderated by Sen. Mike Barrett with . Home-made refreshments included. Free and open to the public.

    For more information about our group, please visit ReclaimOurDemocracy.org.

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, May 3
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Thursday, May 4
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Saturday, May 6
    Coming of Age Rehearsal 10:00 a.m. Sanctuary
    Cabaret Rehearsals 2:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, May 7
    Broadway Cabaret 3:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Common Room & Parish Hall
    Monday, May 8
    Staff Meetings 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    Unity Group Luncheon 12:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Tuesday, May 9
    Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Insight Meditation 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Wednesday, May 3
    No Choir Rehearsal
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