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

    Come and join First Parish in our meaningful end of year ritual. As each member brings a flower from your own garden (or local florist!) we recognize the individual contribution we each make to the wonderful bouquet of wholeness that is our congregation. As we each take a flower from someone else, we will carry home our connections to each other and a sense of gratitude for all that we each bring. What a beautiful season of growth we have had together this year.

    Rev. Anne Mason, Worship Leader

    This is an All Ages service. Everyone will be in the sanctuary.


    The sanctuary choir, with soloist Austin Burns, will sing Rip Jackson’s energetic original composition, “Because of You” (from The Beatitudes: A Journey of Compassion, Justice, and Love Triumphant). They will also sing Rip Jackson’s arrangement of “You Raise Me Up,” with soloists Austin Burns and Julia Jaffee and Erik Svensen on horn. Julia Jaffe, Toni Tasker, and Elizabeth Walsh will sing Mendelssohn’s lovely trio “Lift Thine Eyes” (from Elijah). For the centering music, guest youth pianist Abby Myerberg will play Camille Saint-Saëns’ beautiful composition “The Swan.” For the postlude, Rip Jackson will play J. S. Bach’s magnificent orga arrangement of the last movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto in F Major.”

    Click here to listen to last week’s sermon by Rev. Anne Mason, “Courage for Joy.”

  • Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association to sponsor Rally Against Hate

    Please join with people of faith this Sunday, June 11 at 6:00 PM on the Battle Green for a Rally Against Hate.

    This event is not only a response to the acts of hate that have taken place in Lexington but a statement of who we are as members of this community and what we stand for. Rabbi David Lerner, Rev. Barbara Callaghan, Dr. Mary Czajkowski and others will speak. Eric Abbot, Summer Rabbinic Intern, is leading music, and we will share in prayer and spirit. The event will likely take about 45 minutes. Please come and show your support.
    ~Rev. Anne
  • A Note from the Board

    This is my final Weekly Update column as your Board Chair.  At the June 13th Board meeting, the Board will elect a new Chair, and I will transition to ex-officio (non-voting) Board member.  It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Chair the past two years. I think we would all agree that it’s been an eventful two years: an Interim Minister, a new settled Minister, a new Religious Education Director, a new Music Director, a new Administrator, and new programs and initiatives started (Voices on the Green, musical concerts, revived interest in social justice).  After years of minister and staff turnover, I think we have the outstanding minister and staff that we’ve longed for — I hope they are with us for many years to come. We’ve also seen extraordinary Building and Grounds activity this past year — my sincere thanks to Dave Pollack (Chair of B&G) and Toni Tasker for their leadership and hard work.


    With gratitude,

    Tom Rich

    Outgoing Board Chair

  • Building Construction Update

    The scaffolding in up, the old basement windows are out, and painting and construction on both will begin as soon as it stops raining!

    The entrance driveway is now open. Until the window construction is done, all traffic must exit through the back of the parking lot. There is limited access to the basement. Please be cautious when coming to the building.

  • Unity Group

    The final Unity Group luncheon takes place on Monday, June 12th at 12:00pm. Please note that this is the annual meeting, so there will not be a program. All are welcome to come and enjoy the luncheon! Learn what it takes to be part of this monthly program and how you can help.

    The luncheon will take place in the Parish Hall during construction.

  • Soul Matters “Matters”: A Spiritual Exercise to Try

    For the month of June, chalice circles/covenant groups are exploring the question “What does it mean to be a community of joy?” As Rev. Anne spoke about last Sunday, the theme of Joy can be deceptive. One could easily see this as a way to end the year “on a light note.” But there is deep work for us to do with this topic.

    Instead of viewing the world as a place of misery and brokenness, where much of our work involves endurance and sacrifice, UUs—among others—argue that taking pleasure and delight in the world humanizes us, reconnects us to the world, and sustains us in the hard work of ministering to the world. And that joy can come from our simple surroundings, from paying attention to the sources of joy around us—and from doing that every day.

    One of the Soul Matters spiritual exercises for this month asks us to capture five images of everyday joy five days in a row.  Use your phone’s camera, or keep a notebook. What around you, in Mary Oliver’s phrase, “kills [you] with delight”?

    Here are a couple of questions from the June materials: “How is joy inviting you to return to life?” “Could a little more courage on your part invite joy back in?”

    Poet Anne Sexton and Janusz Szuber may provide some inspiration:



  • 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.”


    Day of Service

    This year’s Day of Service was a great success! Approximately 45 of us were able to participate this year. The day started off with breakfast and an inspirational talk by Rev Anne. Under the direction of Toni Tasker and Meg Jackson, 150 gift bags were assembled for the children in Zambia from among the generous donations of First Parish. Safe travels! Our nature conservancy crew pulled 16 bags of mustard green from one of the wooded trails in Lexington. Thank you, Ben Soule! The Lexington Interfaith Garden and Lexington Food Pantry rounded out the activities this year which are both always popular and fill early. Thank you, Cherie Noe, Marty

    Kvaal, and Lynne Yansen! In addition, a big shout out to Polly and Bob Erickson for arriving early to perk the coffee and staying late to box our leftovers. The day ended with lunch prepared and served at Douglas House while listening to live piano. Thank you to Brenda Prusak, who brought this important group to our attention. More pictures of the post-breakfast workday will be forthcoming!







    Special Plate Collection

    Thanks to all who contributed to the special plate collection on Sunday, June 4th. Donations totaled $1,782, which will be sent to METCO, Inc.


    Waking Up White Community Discussion

    All are invited to “I’m a Good Person – Isn’t That Enough?” tomorrow, June 8, 7:00 pm at Temple Iasaiah.  Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White, will lead this workshop. First Parish is a co-sponsor of this event.

    Irving is a racial justice educator and author. A community organizer and classroom teacher for 25 years, Debby Irving grappled with racial injustice without understanding racism as a systemic issue or her own whiteness as an obstacle to it. In this workshop she will lead participants in exploring the impact white skin can have on perception and how individuals can help themselves and others change misconceptions and attitudes. A graduate of the Winsor School in Boston, she holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from Simmons College. Her book, Waking Up White, tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing.

    Please join Jane Eckert and other members of First Parish at this event.


    Political Activism

    Healthcare and You

    The House of Representatives passed their American Health Care Act (AHCA) that makes drastic cuts to the ten Essential Health Benefits under the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare] currently in effect.  The recent Congressional Budget Office analysis predicted that 23 million citizens will not be able to afford healthcare if the House bill were to become law.

    The House AHCA proposal is now under consideration in the Senate. Our US Senators are our hope for counteracting this horrible bill. Come to a presentation by Dr. Daniel Pomeroy, Impacting Congress Beyond Phone Calls and Emails:  Engaging on Policy. The presentation will be held in the large classroom at Cary Library on Thursday, June 8th, starting at 7:15pm. This is an especially important time for us to understand the normal and arcane rules of the Senate as they work on their own version of the healthcare reform bill and how it gets reconciled with the House version. Dan is the manager of MIT’s International Policy Lab, having previously been the 2013-2014 AAAS Science and Technology Policy fellow in Senator Edward J. Markey’s office.

    This presentation is sponsored by Minuteman Indivisible.

  • UUA Denominational News

    Enjoy General Assembly (GA) From Home!

    Have you ever wondered what happens at General Assembly (GA)?  Now, you can experience the 2017 annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) from home.  The following events will be live-streamed from GA (June 21-25).  To view, visit http://www.uua.org/ga/off-site/2017Registration is not required.

    ~Welcoming Celebration

    ~Morning Worship Services

    ~General Sessions (UUA Business and Delegate Voting)

    ~Service of the Living Tradition

    ~UUA Presidential Candidate Forum

    ~Synergy Bridging Worship

    ~Ware Lecture *

    ~Closing Ceremony

    * Ware Lecture, Saturday June 24, 2017, 8:30 – 9:30 p.m.

    This year, the Ware Lecture will be available via live streaming video only; it will not be recorded or available for on-demand viewing later.

    Ware Lecturer, Bryan Stevenson, is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL, and is the author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.  To view his full bio, visit http://www.uua.org/liberty/criminaljustice/ware-stevenson

  • A Note from our Director of Music
    I am recovering well from my recent neck surgery and looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday morning, June 11th for worship. I will be working through June 18th and then will begin my summer period where I will be away quite a bit. For some of the time, I will be offline enjoying vacation and comp time. I will also be in the office at the end of July. I will be attending three continuing education workshops between late July and early September. And finally, I will be doing some work offsite beginning to prepare and plan for next year’s music and concerts. I am particularly excited to be working with Maris Wollf and the Vermont Dance Collective for a week later this month at Johnston State College working on next year’s Missa Gaia! More information will be coming later about this very profound project celebrating Mother Earth through music, theater, visual arts, and dance! Thank you everyone for reaching out to me and sending me healing thoughts!!!
  • In Other News…

    Pianist Yukiko Sekino will give a solo piano recital at the First Parish in Lexington on Sunday, June 11th, at 2pm.  Works will include Chopin’s Etudes, Op. 25, Copland’s Piano Variations, preludes by David Rakowski, and sonatas by Scarlatti.  Yukino plays piano for First Parish worship services in the summer. The Gold Medalist of the 2006 International Russian Music Piano Competition and a winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award, she has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China. Currently, she is piano faculty at the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education, and an Affiliate Artist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Suggested Donation: $10.


    Austin Burns is pleased to announce that he will be offering voice lessons over the summer for any interested students. Austin is a member of the choir here at First Parish and he teaches professionally in 3 different schools in the Greater Boston area. Austin has a Master’s degree in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and a Bachelor’s degree in composition from LaGrange College. For any questions please contact Austin Burns at austinbradfordburns@gmail.com.


    Peter Boullata is recovering very well from his surgery.  Cards may be sent to him at this address:

    Peter Boullata
    233 Humbercrest Blvd
    Toronto ON M6S 4L5
  • Welcome New Members

    Rev. Anne and the Members & Friends Committee (Polly Erickson, chair, Anne Khudari, Dave Horton, Pete Tasker, and Karolyn Eisenstein) welcomed the following new members on Sunday, June 4th:

    From left: Robin Rude, Marjorie & John Nickels, (Polly Erickson for Members & Friends) Michelle Olsen, Jennifer Daley, Ann Giauque, and Dave Juitt


    We also welcomed new members who were not able to be present: Liz Hartman & Richard Jobling, Lynn Perry,  Mary Edelman, and Joe Foster.

    Welcome to all who have found a home at First Parish!

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, June 7    
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Thursday, June 8    
    Creative Callings 2:00 p.m. Parlor
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Sunday, June 11    
    Flower Communion Worship 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    SHYG Step-Up Party 12:00 p.m. Common Room
    Yukino Sekiko Piano Concert 2:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    CWD Zambia meeting 2:00 p.m. Common Room
    Monday, June 12    
    Staff Meetings 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    Unity Group meeting 12:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Tuesday, June 13    
    Music Committee 2:00 p.m. Common Room
    Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Common Room
    Wednesday, June 14    
    History Committee 1:30 p.m. History Room
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
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