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

    Five hundred years ago in October, Martin Luther spoke truth to power. In protest, this monk nailed 99 theses on the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church, articulating what he believed the Catholic Church was doing wrong by selling indulgences. Today we celebrate the legacy of his courageous act which began the Protestant Reformation, and explore how this is still important for us as heirs of a faith which asks us to question authority and find a true religious path.

    Rev. Anne Mason, Worship Leader

    This Sunday, guest organist Sarah Hager joins bass soloist David Meharry in offering great German Reformation music. David Meharry will sing J. S. Bach’s powerful “Quia fecit mihi magna” (from his Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243) and Martin Luther’s chorale “O Lord, We Praise You.) Sarah Hager will play Bach’s “Prelude in e minor, BWV 533,” and Johann Pachelbel’s “Toccata in G Minor and “Prelude and Fugue in G Major” on the Hutchings tracker organ.

  • Controversy, Rigged Elections, Capitalism, Moderation, Reports, Community!

    For all of the above, come to the Semi-Annual Meeting of the Congregation this Sunday after the service. Come to listen, vote, think, complain, wonder.  Here’s the Official Warrant, but no arrests.


    Sunday, October 22, 2017

    in the sanctuary immediately after the close of the morning service



    David Juitt (Parish Clerk) hereby notifies legal members* of First Parish in Lexington, Unitarian Universalist, to meet for the Semi-Annual Meeting in their sanctuary on Sunday, October 22, 2017, immediately after the service, to act upon the following articles:

    ARTICLE 1: To elect a Moderator to preside at this meeting;

    ARTICLE 2: To approve the minutes from the previous parish meeting;

    ARTICLE 3: To receive the Annual Reports from Board, Committees, Ministries and Officers;

    ARTICLE 4: To elect members of the Parish to fill the following church positions:

    • Board Member At-Large;

    ARTICLE 5: To hear a report from our Parish Minister, Rev. Anne Mason;

    ARTICLE 6: To hear a report from Campaign Committee on the Capital Campaign initiative;

    ARTICLE 7: To hear from Selected Committees;

    ARTICLE 8: To hear any other business that may properly come before the meeting.


    The Parish Board:

    Chair: David Rose

    Members-at-Large: Debbie Armstrong, Mary Brinton, Robert Gibbons, David Juitt,

    Katherine O’Hare Gibson, David Pollack, David Rose, Elizabeth Walsh

    Finance Committee Chair: Marsha Fox

    Parish Clerk: David Juitt

    Ex Officio: Rev. Anne Mason, Tom Rich


    *Members are entitled to vote in Parish Meetings and to hold elective office only after having been members for a period of at least three months in order to acquaint themselves with the Parish.

  • 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

  • Focalpoint Deadline

    If you have an event, committee meeting, or program that you want to include in the November issue of the Focalpoint, please send to Jane Foley in the office by Tuesday, October 24th.

  • Nonfiction Book Group

    Image resultThe Nonfiction Book Group will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, October 24 at 7:30 pm at First Parish in the Parlor to discuss Destiny Disrupted  – A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamin Ansary. If you are a lover of nonfiction books and want to join in on the conversation, please contact John Oberteuffer.




  • 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.

  • Among Our Own

    With sadness and surprise, we learned on Monday that Bill Smith has passed away. Since his move to Chelmsford, Bill had not been attending services regularly, but he remained active with the History Committee and was working with the 325th Celebration Committee as well. There will be a viewing at Douglas Funeral Home on this coming Sunday, Nov. 5th from 2 to 5pm. Please hold his brother and sister in your hearts in this time.

    Also, the memorial service for Tom Peterson is Saturday, November 4th at 11:00am at First Parish. Please join Tom’s family as they honor and remember him.

  • 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.”

    Communities Without Borders

    Join us on Sunday, October 29 to hear Meg Jackson, Al Jacobson, Lynn Perry, and Toni Tasker share experiences of their trips to Zambia with Communities Without Borders. Hear about their educational support and medical screening for orphaned and vulnerable children left behind by the AIDS/HIV crisis. Find out how to apply for the Al Jacobson/CWB Traveling Fellowship which annually supports two First Parish travelers.

    This may be of particular interest to teachers, medical personnel, and high school/college students. First Parish Lexington has long been committed to helping this community; we encourage you all to consider this potential service trip!

    Information and applications for the Al Jacobson/CWB Traveling Fellowship are available on the church’s website. Applications are due on December 4, interviews follow during the months of December and January, and fellowships are awarded by February 4, 2018 for the summer 2018 trip. All are welcome to go on this service trip, with or without the Fellowship.

  • 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.

  • Phone and Tablet Recycling

    Image result for medic mobile

    Effective immediately, the phone and tablet recycling program at First Parish is going to support Medic Mobile, a nonprofit agency that “safely recycles your phone or tablet to fund healthcare programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Each smart phone donated and recycled funds up to 10 new phones for health workers in 21 countries around the world. Health workers use the phones to register pregnancies, track disease outbreaks faster, monitor essential medicine stock, and communicate about emergencies.” Visit their website here.


    This program is for smart phones and tablets only, which should be cleared of contact info before depositing in bin.

    Please do not leave laptops, Ipods, or other electronic devices in the bin. If you have a laptop to donate, please contact LexRAP.

    We are no longer accepting donations of used ink cartridges. Please dispose of them at the local Staples store.

    Thank you!

  • UU Mass Action Fundraiser and 4th Annual Story Slam


    A Story Slam is like the NPR show, “The Moth”

    When: Sat Nov 4, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

    Where: First Church Unitarian, Littleton 19 Foster St., Littleton

    This year we another fabulous line up of 6 storytellers!  Our emcee is 2015 storyteller finalist, Rev. Robin Bartlett, Senior Pastor, at First Church in Sterling, MA, a multi-denominational church affiliated with the UUA and the UCC.

    Our Story Tellers are:

    Rev. Lynda Sutherland, Minister, First Parish Church in Northboro

    Rev. Ellen Rowse Spero, Minister, First Parish Unitarian Church in Chelmsford

    Sam Wilson, Director of Youth ministries, Minister, Winchester Unitarian Society

    Rev. Jo Van Rue, Minister-in-Residence, First Parish in Concord

    Rev. Dr. Steve Edington, First Church Unitarian, Littleton

    Rev. Nathan Detering, Senior Minister, UU Area Church Sherborn

    Light refreshments will be served.

    Please support the work of UU Mass Action by having a great time at our annual Story Slam!  Don’t miss out – get your tickets today!!  You need a fun night out!

    Get your tickets today!

    $30 for one ticket  –  Invite a friend!  2 or more tickets, $25 each – Early bird until 10/26

    Starting 10/27 all on-line tickets and tickets at the door are $40

    If you want to purchase tickets by mail, send your check to:

    PO Box 224, Greenbush, MA 02040  – Please write Story Slam in the memo line

  • Local Talk and Book Signing
    Image result
    David Billings on White Supremacy and Undoing Racism
    First Parish Concord and the Phillips House (a historic house that was originally owned by a former slave) are co-sponsoring this free talk and book signing by David Billings, the author of Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy. 
    David Billings has been an anti-racist organizer and trainer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond since 1983.  He is an ordained United Methodist minister and a historian, and he has worked with hundreds of educational, human service, criminal justice, and faith-based groups around the country. He will speak about the pervasiveness of white supremacy throughout our culture and institutions, and how it can be undone.
  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, October 18
    Creative Callings 1:30 p.m. Parlor
    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 19
    Meditation 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Thursday Evening Adult Program 7:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Scrabble Club 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Friday, October 20
    Roaring Jelly Contra Dance 7:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    Saturday, October 21
    Munroe Saturday Night 7:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, October 22    
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Semi-Annual Meeting 12:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    OWL 4:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Robinson Hall
    Monday, October 23
    Staff Meeting 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    Deb Abel Dance Class 3:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    Tuesday, October 24
    80+ Luncheon 12:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Deb Abel Dance Class 4:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Nonfiction Book Group 7:30 p.m. Parlor
    Empty Sky Sangha 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Wednesday, October 25
    Deb Abel Dance Class 1:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 4:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Master Singers Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
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