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

    Today people are more “connected” than ever thanks to smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Yet American’s are statistically some of the loneliest people on Earth! In this talk Peter Bowden, a Unitarian Universalist and popular speaker on digital life, community building, and spirituality, will share how we can bridge our online and offline communities, better welcome people into the heart of our congregation, and bring our values more fully into the world in this service about “Friendship in the Digital Age.”

    This Sunday, all of the music will support the theme of “connection” in the digital age. The sanctuary choir will sing an encore presentation of Brian Tate’s exuberant “Connected” and Franz Joseph Haydn’s joyful “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” (from the Heiligmesse). Singers Austin Burns, Rip Jackson, Elizabeth Walsh and guitarist Mark Therieau will present The Wailin’ Jennys’ inspiration hit “One Voice” (from 40 Days). For the centering music, composer and pianist Rip Jackson will play a lyrical, original composition titled “Ambient Meditation #1.” And for the postlude, Bach’s energetic organ work “Prelude and Fugue in Bb Major, BWV 560” will be played on the church’s Hutching’s tracker organ.

    About Peter Bowden:

    Known for his practical advice, contagious enthusiasm and humor, Peter Bowden has been working with Unitarian Universalists for over 15 years. Specializing in building community, designing and launching spiritual exploration groups, and helping our leaders make sense of digital technology, his work is increasingly focused on how social media is changing how people explore spirituality. When not working with our congregations, Peter produces educational media (PBS Kids projects) and coaches climate activists, scientists, and other justice leaders on digital strategy. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, the Rev. Amy Freedman, and their daughter.

    Click here to listen to last week’s sermon by Rev. Anne Mason, “Brave Space.”

  • Semi-Annual Meeting – Reports Needed

    The semi-annual meeting of First Parish will take place on Sunday, October 22nd following the service. Please plan on participating in this important democratic process of our UU congregations!

    If you chair a committee, please turn in your committee report to Jane Foley by Monday, October 16th at noon.

  • Thursday Evening Adult Program Film Series, Part III

    Image result for long strange trip uuThis Thursday, October 19th, from 7:00pm to 8:30pm, join us for the third in the film series, Long Strange Trip. This week’s video focuses on American Unitarianism from the years 1620 – 1860.

    Learn about Unitarian Universalism’s development as a progressive faith tradition from early Christianity to the Transcendentalists of New England and beyond. What is the story of Unitarian Universalism? How did two distinct faiths rooted in Christianity become a faith home for Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, humanists, and more?

    All are welcome! No registration required. Snacks will be served during the movie, followed by a brief discussion.

  • The Great Fall Auction

    This year’s Great Fall Auction is on Saturday, November 18th at the church. Doors open at 6 PM; the silent auction is from 6 – 7:30 PM; the live auction starts at 7:30 PM.

    We need your donations by Sunday, October 22nd! Do you like to drive? Offer rides to Logan! Do you have extra tickets to the symphony or a play? Offer tickets! Do you like to cook? Consider hosting a dinner at your house! Do you have a summer home? Consider offering your home for a week or a weekend!

    To donate an item, email the details to fallauction@fplex.org or fill out the on-line donation form by clicking here.

    We also need volunteers. The auction team needs folks to coordinate food and beverages and to help set up and clean up on November 18th.

    Thank you for supporting this important fundraiser for the church.


    on behalf of the Auction Team — Margie and Bob Gibbons, Toni and Pete Tasker, and Tom Rich

  • Voices on the Green – This Saturday!

    Please come to the season opening of Voices on the Green this Saturday, October 28, from 7:00-9:00 pm, when we present, I Protest! Doors open at 6:30 for refreshments and conversation.

    First Parish member Nancy Earsy will tell the story of her arrest in 1971 (along with 400 others) protesting the Viet Nam War right here on the Green. Bestor Cram, prominent PBS film-maker, who was also there on the Green that day, will show archival film from that nationally famous protest that involved many Lexington and First Parish community members. Sam Berman, a long-time active and productive Lexington citizen, will recount the history of his role in the writing and first singing of “Charlie and the MTA,” a protest song later made famous by the Kingston Trio.

    First Parish member Suzanne Adams will tell us about leading her first (successful!) protest and changing school policy when she was in middle school, and Michelle Olsen will share the story of her transformation from Wall Street analyst to Minuteman Indivisible founder here in Lexington. And the executive director of Communities for Restorative Justice, Erin Freeborn, will talk about her decision to work there, where criminals and victims are brought together to provide some recompense for the victims. CRJ, made up of 18 communities including Lexington, is our partner for this evening’s event, and donations for the program will be shared between it and the church.

    Music for “I Protest!” will be provided and led by Nick Page, the nationally-known UU musician, choral director, composer, and author who grew up here at First Parish and is currently director of the Mystic Choral. Welcome, Nick! The inimitable Regie O’Hare Gibson will host the evening.

    You can direct questions about the event to  voicesonthegreen@fplex.org. Donations are $20 for sponsors, $10 for general admission, and $5 for students,  and are available at VoicesOnTheGreen.BrownPaperTickets.com.

  • 325th Anniversary Celebration

    We’re 325!—Important Dates Reminder

    As announced in this month’s Focalpoint, preparations for the celebration of First Parish’s 325th birthday are well underway. The UU adult education course with the film series “Long Strange Trip,” the story of Unitarian Universalism, began on Thursday, October 5, but you can still join in on Thursday evenings, popcorn provided.

    Plans for the three major events are taking shape:

    Thursday, November 9, 5-9 p.m.: Reception for the Historical Exhibit in the Parish Hall. Lexington historian Sam Doran will lead a Question and Answer session at 6:00, and will give a lecture on the history of First Parish and the town at 7:30, both in the sanctuary. Colonial-style refreshments will be available.

    Thursday, November 16, 7:30-9:00 p.m.: George Washington and James Madison Dialogue on the Issues of Church and State. Featuring nationally known experts on these two past presidents. The event is free but seating is limited, so please make a reservation at the church office. You can also pick up tickets at Wales Copy Center.

    Sunday, December 3, 12:00: Colonial Lunch. Catered by Chris Bateman of Lexx.

           2:00 Bell-Ringing at the old Belfry and Procession to the Church.

           3:00: Dramatic Presentation of the Founding of First Parish in 1692. Written by

    First Parish member and playwright Don Cohen. With colonial-era music, and a flying overview of significant events in our history since then.

    Tickets for lunch-and-program package, for members and friends of First Parish, are $20 for adults and $10 for children and youth, and will be available at the church office.

    Tickets for just the program will be $10 for adults and $5 for children.

    Congregants can participate in these activities in various ways, such as bringing refreshments for the exhibition reception, bell-ringing, ushering, serving lunch, costume-making, acting, taking tickets. Please think about how you would like to take part. Specific volunteer requests and sign-up sheets will be available on-line soon.

    Costume-makers: Anyone who would like to help make a few very simple costumes for the dramatic presentation on December 3 should contact Don Cohen <doncohen@rcn.com> or 863-1729.

  • From the Cooking and Cleaning Corner

    Related imageOur kitchen/kitchenette are once again under the watchful eye of the Ad Hoc Temporary Kitchen Committee (Amy Breiting, Carolyn Fleiss, Marty Kvaal, and Sara Mannix).  But we are only 4.  We need:

      YOU to help us keep the kitchens tidy and sanitary.  PLEASE:

    • Sanitize counters, sinks, and tables after every use. Bottles of sanitizing spray and paper towels are in wire baskets in the kitchen. NO MORE SPONGES.  NO MORE COTTON DISH CLOTHS
    • Wash/dry/ PUT AWAY all your dirty dishes before leaving the kitchen. Leave counters clear.
    • Label your food in the fridge with name and date, so it doesn’t disappear into the trash
    Our motto:  Cleanliness is next to Godliness!
  • 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.”

    Special Plate Collection

    Thanks to your generous donations last Sunday, over $3,000 has been collected to support the UUA/UUSC Disaster Relief Fund to help recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as the areas still recovering from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. You can also donate directly online at the UUA by clicking here.

    Fair Food Truck

    Elaine Hylek will be organizing groups of volunteers to help Fair Foods, Inc., a “non-profit food rescue organization dedicated to providing surplus goods at low or no cost to those in need,” to unload a food truck, package the food, and distribute the food to residents for $2 per bag.  This is a great opportunity for all of us to lend our support.  Three Saturdays have now been assigned to First Parish Lexington from 10:30-2:30:   Oct 28, Nov 18, Dec 9.  Please put these dates on your calendar. We need your help!!  Email Elaine Hylek ASAP.

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, October 11
    History Committee 1:30 p.m. History Room
    Deb Abel Dance Class 1:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Master Singers Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Thursday, October 12
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Thursday Evening Adult Program 7:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Scrabble Club 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Saturday, October 14
    Star Island Conference 10:00 a.m. Parker Hall
    Sunday, October 15
    Choir Rehearsal 9:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Yellow Room
    Social Action Committee 12:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    OWL 4:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Robinson Hall
    Monday, October 16
    Deb Abel Dance Class 3:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    LYFS Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Tuesday, October 17
    Deb Abel Dance Class 4:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Lexington Ski Club 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Empty Sky Sangha 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Wednesday, October 18
    Deb Abel Dance Class 1:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    Creative Callings 1:30 p.m. Parlor
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Master Singers Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
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