Weekly Update

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

    Sometimes our Abundance feels just a bit too….abundant. Whether we are collecting, maintaining or lessening our possessions, our relationship to the ‘stuff’ of life is complex.

    On Sunday Kelly Clark (Rip Jackson’s cousin from Georgia) will be the guest singer for the service. He will join Rip in singing duet versions of “Abide with Me” and “Bringing in the Sheaves.” Kelly will also sing Charles Gounod’s iconic “Ave Maria” (adapted from J. S. Bach’s “Prelude in C Major”). For the centering music and postlude, J. S. Bach’s joyful “Preludium and Fuga in G Major, BWV 557” and Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude in Db Major” will be played on the piano and organ.


    Rev. Anne Mason, Worship Leader

  • Thursday! 325th Celebration Kick-Off

  • Help Needed for 325th Events

    The event this Thursday, November 9th,  is going to be an exciting dive into the history of this congregation, and we are hoping to offer a warm welcome to all who attend.

    We could use some help with a few things:

    • Ushers/Greeters: (5pm – 7pm) OR (7pm – 9pm)
    • Welcome participants at either the front and back of the church.  You get to wear a period hat! And dress up if you would like!
    • Cider/Donut Handler:  (5pm – 7pm) OR (7pm – 9pm)
    • Stand at the kitchenette and help ensure that cups of cider and donuts are available (provided)
    • Camera monitor:  (5:30 pm – 7:30 pm) OR (7pm – 9pm) – Camera will be on tri-pod.  Just aim it at the speaker in case he moves during his presentations (Q&A, Lecture).
    • General support: (5pm – 7pm) OR (7pm – 9pm) – Available to the FP 325 committee to do small tasks to make the presentations run smoothly.

    Please use this ONLINE SIGNUP LINK  or EMAIL me directly if you would like to volunteer.

    There are TWO MORE events coming up: Washington/Madison debate on NOVEMBER 16th, and the December 3rd Celebration that includes events from Lunch through a dramatic presentation written by Don Cohen.  Volunteer sign up (Greeters, Task Support, Lunch Set up) coming SOON!

    Contact Elisabeth Jas if you can help.

  • The Great Fall Auction is this Saturday!
     The 2017 Great Fall Auction is Saturday night, November 18th at the church.  Doors open at 6 PM with finger food and beverages; silent auction is from 6-7:30 PM; live auction starts at 7:30 PM.  Come and be a part of this fun church social event! We will gratefully accept donations of finger food, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. You can view the catalog by clicking here.
    You do not need to be present to win!  If you see a live auction item you’d like to bid on but can’t attend the auction, fill out the proxy form by clicking here or email FallAuction@fplex.org with the item and your maximum bid.


    To reserve a childcare voucher, please email Lisa Maria Steinberg.

    See you Saturday night!

    The auction team,

    Toni and Pete Tasker, Margie and Bob Gibbons, and Tom Rich (chair)

  • Winter Outerwear Clothing Drive

    Thank you for all of the donations of gently used or new fall and winter outerwear for children, women and men. The box has been overflowing!

    The clothing will be donated to immigrants supported by WATCH in Waltham, which serves families with limited resources. (See http://watchcdc.org/index.php.)  Families particularly need winter jackets, coats, snowsuits, snow pants, hats, gloves or mittens, and boots. Rugged outdoor coats for men are especially appreciated (most of these guys have outdoor construction jobs).  Men’s sizes tend to be smaller (M and L, not XL usually), but WATCH can find a home for everything. Stylish coats for women are also a hit.

    The outerwear needs to be clean and in good condition, so it can be distributed without delay.

    Donations will continue through Sunday, December 3rd. Items may be brought to the Collection Center outside Jane’s office.

    Questions? Contact Marty Kvaal…and thanks!

  • Congregational Photo this Sunday


    It’s time to update the congregational photo! This Sunday, please gather on the front steps immediately following the service, smile, and then head to social hour or children’s choir. Please look for Lew Counts in front of the church.

  • Upcoming 325th Events
    Thursday, November 16, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Washington and Jefferson Dialogue on the Issues of Church and State. George Washington and James Madison will discuss the issues of church and state. Come and hear the views of two of our early presidents on an issue which still troubles us today. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so please get tickets on Sunday morning, at the church office <fplex.org>, or at Wales Copy Shop.
    Sunday, December 3:
        12:00 Colonial Lunch, catered by Chris Bateman of Lexx Restaurant. And updated colonial meal fit for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans (nut-free, and most items gluten-free) with soup, olla (a meat stew), a variety of vegetable sides, breads, and finished with apple knobby cake and gingerbread! Coffee, tea, cider, and milk.
    Tickets for the lunch and the 3:00 program “325 and Counting,” are $20 for adults, $10 for children, and are available  on the next two Sunday mornings, November 12th and 19th, or through the church office. Please purchase your tickets as soon as possible so that we can provide Chris Bateman with the numbers he will be serving. 
    2:00 Bell-Ringing at the Old Belfry, Clarke Street and Massachusetts Avenue, opposite Cary Memorial Library. Followed by a procession to the church which will stop briefly at important sites on the Green, including the monument with the inspiring words of the First Parish Minister Jonas Clarke, who served the church throughout the second half of the eighteenth century and played a significant role in Lexington’s participation in the American Revolution. 
    3:00 “325 and Counting: A First Parish Historical Drama,” written by Don Cohen and presented in the sanctuary. An account of our “removal” from Cambridge, our founding, our first building, and a brief overview of key moments in the church’s life. Period music will be provided by music director Rip Jackson and members of the choir.
    Tickets are $10 for adults, $5.00 for children and youth, and are available on Sunday mornings and through the church office <fplex.org>.
  • Yearning to Breathe Free

    An evening of storytelling, poetry, dance, and music to raise awareness about refugee issues will take place at Cary Hall this Saturday, November 11th at 7 pm. Emceed by Regie O’Hare Gibson and with readings by Don Cohen of interviews he has had with refugees and asylum seekers. This event is sponsored by Munroe Center for the Arts and LexRAP (Refugee Assistance Program) and will be a fundraiser for LexRAP.  For tickets and to make a donation, visit http://www.munroecenter.org/msn-refugee-event.html


  • Unity Group Luncheon & Program

  • Holiday Greens For Sale

    Poinsettias for the Sanctuary

    It’s time to plan for a festive sanctuary this holiday season! First Parish will be accepting orders for poinsettias from Wilson Farm beginning on Sunday, November 12th.

    The cost is $10.00 for a 6 1/2″ pot, with proceeds going towards the purchase of greens and other items for holiday decorating of the church. Order forms and payment (cash or checks made payable to First Parish in Lexington) are due on Wednesday, November 30th. Orders will not be accepted without payment. If you’d like your plant to be in honor or in memory of someone special, please include a message.

    Please fill out a form at the piano during social hour or contact the church office with any questions. Thank you!


    Wreaths for Sale 

    Ethan Showalter from Lexington Boy Scout Troop 119 (Pieter Svenson’s former troop) will be selling wreaths during social hour over the next few Sundays. The wreaths are $15 each. If interested in placing an order, please see him at the wreath sale table. Wreaths will be available for pickup or home delivery.

  • Soul Matters for November

    Soul Matters Sharing CircleSOUL MATTERS at First Parish is a curriculum of monthly spiritual themes, used throughout the denomination, that our congregation is exploring, both in our worship services and in our chalice circles/covenant groups.

    November’s focus is “What does it mean to be a people of ABUNDANCE?”

    When it comes to abundance, our culture and our religion are clearly at odds.

    Our culture cries, “Accumulate!” Our religion counsels “Appreciate!” The mantras couldn’t be more different: The commercials tell us to “Go out and get what you want!” The pulpits plea with us to “learn to want what you have.”

    Here are some examples of  questions we are considering this month in the groups:

    • Does time no longer feel abundant? Is that being forced on you? Or might you have a choice?
    • Are you a swamp or a stream? Do you collect and hoard abundance or let it flow through you?
    • For many of us autumn is abundant with leaves blazing full of color. But if you blink, they are gone. What temporary blaze of abundance do you need to pay attention to before time runs out?

    If you are interested in participating in a group, please contact Lisa Maria Steinberg, Rev. Anne Mason, or Debbie Armstrong.

    For more information, click here:  Soul Matters Participant Guide

  • Music Sunday Photos

    On November 5, First Parish enjoyed a wonderful Music Sunday! The sanctuary choir, joined by guest singers and instrumentalists, performed pieces expressing the joy of music in our lives, the life of the church, and the world. The program ranged from mystical a cappella pieces to powerful songs with brass and African drumming. The brass players contributed a beautiful prelude and thrilling postlude with organ and percussion. Sunday was also the world premiere of the new hymn, “When Music Fills This Sacred Space,” with music by Rip Jackson and lyrics by Helen and Don Cohen, commissioned by Anne and Omar Khudari for the 2016 Great Fall Auction. Thank you, everyone, for your tremendous support for music at First Parish!






















  • 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.”
     Minuteman Indivisible
    Trump Tax “Reform”
    Details of the current House Republican tax “reform” bill have been released. This reform ought to more accurately be called the Trump Tax Scam because it steals money from the poor to support huge tax reductions for the ultra-rich and for multi-national corporations. About $1.5 trillion will be added to the national deficit over the next decade as a result of a number of proposed tax code changes that benefit only the ultra-rich. While it may appear that the poor and middle class get tax cuts as well, these cuts will be negated by the the cutbacks in funding for Medicare and Medicaid (and possibly Social Security) that will be necessitated to mitigate this huge giveaway to the billionaires.
    For more information on this disastrous bill, refer to the considerable detail and possible actions provided in this week’s Minuteman Indivisible Muster.
    Please call your US Representative and Senators this week to tell them that you support their commitments to fight this tax scam. They share our values on this issue, but they need to hear from you. Contact Pete Tasker for more info.
    UU Ministry for Earth
    Dear friend,

    As the days get shorter and the nights get longer—as the UN climate talks begin this week with the USA as the only nation in the world uncommitted—turn to the strength and warmth of community to find light and grounding in these times. This month’s E-News highlights courageous and steadfast UU climate action, new opportunities for community building and organizing, and a call to “reconsider” Thanksgiving. Thank you for reading and being a part of the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth.


    UU Valve Turner Leonard Higgins Faces Trial

    On October 11, 2016, UU Leonard Higgins joined four other activists in a direct action to close the safety valves on all five pipelines bringing tar sands into the U.S. from Canada. For almost a full day, 15% of the country’s daily oil supply was halted. On November 21, Leonard will argue in court why his action was morally necessary. He is facing a possible sentence of decades in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Listen to Leonard explain how and why he took action, and follow the live blog of the trial online.


    Save the Clean Power Plan

    Last month Trump-appointed EPA director Scott Pruitt signed a measure to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the United States’ first-ever rule to limit the carbon pollution of power plants. But the EPA is required to accept public comments. Take action now: submit a comment and send a message to Scott Pruitt. There is also a public hearing scheduled for November 28-29 in Charleston, WV. As people of faith and conscience, we are morally called to fight the repeal of the Clean Power Plan.


    Major Website Innovations Coming Soon! 

    UUMFE is thrilled to announce an overhaul of the entire UUMFE website and a collaboration with the UUA on the development of an online platform for climate and environmental justice activists to network, organize, and covenant together! Get a sneak peek on November 16 via a webinar with Aly Tharp, UUMFE Program Director. RSVP now and learn how you and your congregation or group can utilize this exciting new resource!


    “Thanksgiving Day Reconsidered”

    At the 2016 UUA General Assembly, a business resolution was passed calling on UUs to engage in education, reflection, and healing during 2016–2021, leading up to the 400th anniversary of the arrival of European colonizers in New England.

    This Thanksgiving season, learn about the role UUs played in starting the holiday, enter into dialogue and partnership with Indigenous peoples, and follow the lead of Indigenous environmental activists. One great opportunity: RSVP for this month’s environmental justice webinar with Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network lead organizer.

    Photo of Kandi Mossett by Emily Arasim, courtesy of EcoWatch.

    Visit UU Ministry for Earth online at uuministryforearth.org.
    Please support our work.   
  • Lexington Unites for Puerto Rico

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, November 8
    Deb Abel Dance Class 1:30 p.m. Parish Hall
    History Committee 1:30 p.m. History Room
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Master Singers Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Thursday, November 9
    NE LREDA Executive Team 10:00 a.m. Parker Hall
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Historic Document Exhibit Opening 5:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Scrabble Club 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Sunday, November 12    
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    All-Congregation Photo 11:30 a.m. Front Steps
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Yellow Room
    Legacy Circle Meeting 12:00 p.m. Parlor
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Robinson Hall
    Monday, November 13
    Unity Group Luncheon 12:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Deb Abel Dance Class 4:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Tuesday, November 14
    Deb Abel Dance Class 4:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Green Room
    Empty Sky Sangha 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Wednesday, November 15
    80+ Luncheon 12:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    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
  • Click this button to benefit First Parish when you shop at Amazon.