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

    Each of us has our own unique story from having grown up in a particular race and class background. This Sunday we’ll explore insights from the intersection of different stories, asking “How can we be more present now to the lived experiences of those we see as different or other?” Please join Lisa Perry-Wood as she asks this question in her sermon, “Waking Up to a Life of Privilege: The Work of Race and Class Justice”

    Lisa Perry-Wood, Worship Leader

    Guest musician will be Yukiko Sekino.

    Click here to hear last week’s sermon by Lisa Perry-Wood, “Presence for Death and Dying: Awake and Aware at the End of Life.”

  • Mid-Summer Musings

    One year ago today I began my new position here at First Parish. I remember many things so clearly: Bob Coughlin’s welcoming smile and the air conditioner already on in my office…the beautiful prayer plant which the staff had purchased for me…the sounds of children playing throughout the building…and my excitement about finally beginning the ministry to which I am called.

    It was a full opening month, as I welcomed many parishioners into my office or met with folks at Panera. I loved those meetings as I listened and learned about you, as I received the books you had written, and learned of the love you have for First Parish. This August I would welcome more meetings, for I know that I have not had the chance to sit down with every member of this congregation. If you have an extra 30 minutes and would be willing, please email me and make an appointment. I want to continue to get to know you all, and hear about not just your memories and points of intersection with the congregation, but your hopes and dreams of what we can do together. For we are all called to bring our ministry into the wider world, and I would value hearing about how you do that in your life, or what you think we should be doing to build up our Unitarian Universalists values in the world around us.

    I wish you many warm and wonderful days in the weeks to come, and if you are lucky enough to find yourself near a body of water, I share this poem by Elizabeth Smither:

    The sea question

    The sea asks “How is your life now?”
    It does so obliquely, changing colour.
    It is never the same on any two visits.

    It is never the same in any particular
    Only in generalities: tide and such matters
    Wave height and suction, pebbles that rattle.

    It doesn’t presume to wear a white coat
    But it questions you like a psychologist
    As you walk beside it on its long couch

  • Water for Ingathering Sunday

    The annual Water Communion will take place during Ingathering on Sunday, September 10th at 10:30am. Wherever you will be in your life this summer, please save some water and bring it with you to this special service.


    Everything on the earth bristled, the bramble
    pricked and the green thread
    nibbled away, the petal fell, falling
    until the only flower was the falling itself.
    Water is another matter,
    has no direction but its own bright grace,
    runs through all imaginable colors,
    takes limpid lessons
    from stone,
    and in those functionings plays out
    the unrealized ambitions of the foam.

    ~Pablo Neruda

  • UU Monthly Bulletin
    UU Bulletin
    A monthly newsletter from the Unitarian Universalist Association to keep you and your congregation informed.
    Breakthrough Congregations Deadline Approaching


    Have you found a new revenue stream for your Unitarian Universalist congregation, or have you done something different in worship? Maybe you have a ministry in your community that has become the hallmark of your congregation? Whether you made this change on your own or got help along the way, we want to hear about it! Breakthrough Congregations is returning with a focus that seeks to celebrate and share innovative ways congregations are adapting to the challenges faced in an evolving religious landscape. This is not based on numerical growth or whole congregational health, though other benchmarks of health in your congregation will be considered. We are looking for bold, one time initiatives as well as ongoing, sustainable efforts. Congregations and covenanting communities may apply. Deadline is September 1, 2017. For more information and application materials, visit our website.

    Follow the UUA President on Social Media
    Want to stay connected with UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray on social media? Follow her Facebook page and Twitter account (@sfrederickgray) for updates and conversations on Unitarian Universalism and the work of the UUA! Want more ways to connect and stay informed? Follow the UUA on Facebook and Twitter (@UUA) as well.
    New from Skinner House

    To Wake, To Rise: Meditations on Justice and Resilience, edited by William G. Sinkford, is the 2017 edition of the UUA InSpirit series. This anthology includes 29 poems, prayers, and reflections about resisting oppression and keeping the faith in social action work. Written by a range of contributors, including ministers and lay leaders, these readings are ideal for both private contemplation and for use in worship. Collected and introduced by a former president of the UUA, and the first Black person to hold that position, these meditations are both a support for activists and a call to action in a new era of political and social division. Order today from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop.

    Request for Book Proposals

    Skinner House Books announces a search for an author or authors to write a book about the blessings of participating in a liberal religious faith community. The book would be fairly short, written in an informal, non-academic way. It could be thought of as an alternative to the increasing number of calls to be “spiritual but not religious.” This book would instead hold up what is good about religiosity, such as community, ritual, pastoral support, mutual caring, exposure to new ideas, and participating in social justice works while part of a faith community. It would use real-life stories and examples to show rather than tell about why Unitarian Universalists and other religious liberals find congregational life so sustaining. Learn more, including how to submit a proposal by September 15, on our website.

    Beacon Press Audiobooks

    Since launching Beacon Press Audio late last year, Beacon Press has expanded their audiobooks collection to include a broad range of voices. In The Third Reconstruction, listen to the story of how Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II helped start the Moral Mondays movement. Haroon Moghul’s struggle to forge an American Muslim identity is brought to life in the audio edition of How to Be a Muslim. Dr. Danielle Ofri’s latest book, What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, reveals the importance of doctor-patient communication. As Beacon Press director and audiophile Helene Atwan explains, “The great tradition of writing can be traced to an oral tradition of storytelling.” Whether you’re headed to work, traveling long distance for vacation, or preparing dinner, audiobooks are a fabulous way of consuming the written word. Check out more audiobooks on the Beacon Press website.

    Online Small Group Ministry

    Finding places to be seen and heard is an important step on the quest for meaning. Whether your congregation has many small group options or none, you can add an online small group experience to connect even deeper with Unitarian Universalism. The Church of the Larger Fellowship has members all over the planet.  Come learn together about what Unitarian Universalism looks like in other places. You might make a friend in another town, state, or country. The facilitated online groups meet twice a month to discuss a theme and connect with one another over a four-month period. Fall groups sign up in late August and September with meetings occurring October through January. If you are interested in joining one of these groups, contact Kevin Jagoe at kjagoe@clfuu.org to learn more.


    As the summer wraps up, do you have new young adults from your congregation who are moving away for a job or college? Is your congregation planning to do outreach on a college campus or to young adults this fall? Be sure to check out the HubMap! You can register a group or register as an individual seeking a group or doing outreach. See outdated or incomplete information on the map? Email UUA Young Adult and Campus Ministry Associate Annie Gonzalez Milliken at agonzalez@uua.org to let her know.

    OWL Facilitator Training

    The UUA and its Our Whole Lives (OWL) partners, the United Church of Christ, have produced a one-hour webinar to introduce new material and approaches in the Second Edition of OWL for Grades 4-6, now available from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop. Facilitators who lead elementary-age OWL programs are urged to access the recorded webinar. The new edition’s ten workshops help children gain knowledge, life principles, and skills to understand and express their sexuality in holistic, life-enhancing ways. This comprehensive, developmentally appropriate program for children ages nine through twelve introduces the topics of values, gender and sexual identity, peer pressure, and healthy relationships with sensitivity and inclusiveness. New topics in the 2017 edition include body image, social media/Internet, and consent. The update also provides a deeper exploration of gender identity and roles. Learn more about the OWL program on our website.

    Welcoming New Staff in Congregations

    New for the summer hiring season, the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances has created a Welcoming and Onboarding Checklist. This resource is designed to help you prepare for and welcome new staff and ensure that you attend to necessary forms and benefits enrollment steps. Because this is a new resource, we’re considering it “in beta.” That means we’re eager for you to use it and to suggest improvements. The Excel spreadsheet version of the Checklist (for customizing), a PDF version (for easy printing), and a feedback survey  can all be found on our Staffing Practices page, which includes slides from our recent General Assembly workshops. Check out these resources and more on the UUA website.

    The work of the Unitarian Universalist Association is made possible by the generosity
    of member congregations and individual donors.
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