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

    Winter Solstice celebrates the return of hope to our land as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight. We participate in this ancient ritual to connect with the natural rhythms of light and dark, of warmth and cold, of winter and spring. Is your Hope buried deep, like seeds in the earth? Come explore the nurturing darkness of Solstice with Rev. Anne Mason and Lisa Maria Steinberg, DRE, in this All Ages service.

    Through beautiful music, hymns, sermon, and poetry, the powerful transformation from darkness to light will be uplifted. Artist and soprano sax player Katie Runde and pianist Rip Jackson will play some of the music from the Paul Winter Consort that can be heard at St. John the Divine during the Winter Solstice Concerts there each December, including the rousing piece “Dancing Day.” There will also be an original Solstice composition by Rip Jackson for soprano sax and organ, and the sanctuary choir will sing Eric Whitacre’s beautiful “Glow” and Morten Johannes Lauridsen’s hauntingly serene “Sure on this Shining Night.” Alto soloist Julia Jaffe will sing Paul Winter’s mystical arrangement of “Silent Night” in Russian.

    Click here to listen to last week’s sermon by Rev. Anne Mason, “Ponder Nothing Earthly Minded.”

  • Christmas Eve Rehearsal Schedule

    IImage result for time to rehearsef you are participating in either of the Christmas Eve services, please see the schedule below for rehearsal times.

    Sunday, December 17th

    11:45 – 12:30     Children’s Choir in Yellow Room

    11:45 – 12:30     Play rehearsal in Sanctuary

    12:30 – 1:00      Youth Choir in Sanctuary

    Sunday, December 24th

    2:30 – 3:30        Play rehearsal in Sanctuary

    4:00 – 4:45        Children and Youth Choirs rehearsal in Sanctuary

    6:00 – 6:45        Choir rehearsal in Sanctuary

  • Climate Action Team
    Photo by American Public Power Association

    Join the First Parish Climate Action Team

    Stop by our table at Coffee Hour this Sunday, December 17th

    In 2004-06, First Parish went through an internal process to be designated a Green Sanctuary Congregation. The goal was to make every aspect of congregational life as sustainable and environmentally responsible as possible. We asked ourselves what did we need to do to live our 7th Principle, to “affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

    We then created plans to increase building sustainability, improve congregational practices, and create relationships with the wider community.

    What you can do Right Now:

    ~ Sign up on December 17th to be part of the First Parish Climate Action Team and help imagine what we can do together in the coming year. Or contact Dave Pollack, Stephen Shick or Bob Kvaal

    ~ Learn more about the Massachusetts Carbon Pricing Legislation

    ~ Learn more about the issues and what others are doing:

    Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future

    350.org Massachusetts

    Climate Exchange Massachusetts

    UU Ministry for Earth

    UU Mass Action

    ~ Come to Worship on February 11, 2018, and hear Rev. Fred Small, Climate Activist and one of the initiators of the Green Sanctuary movement.

  • 325th Suncatchers for Sale

    Want to commemorate the fabulous 325th celebration of First Parish? Buy one of these beautiful, glass suncatchers! They come in blue or green and make great ornaments. You can purchase them for $10 each on Sunday during social hour or at the office Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 4:00pm.


  • Early Focalpoint Deadline

    If you have an event, committee meeting, or program that you want to include in the January issue of the Focalpoint, please send to Jane Foley in the office by Tuesday, December 19th, with publication on Friday, December 22nd.

  • 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

    Last Sunday, your generous donations during the special plate collection totaled $1,142 and will be sent to the UU Urban Ministry’s Believe in Success, a bi-lingual (Spanish/English) job- and educational-readiness program for low-income women/LGBTQ persons who have experienced domestic violence or other trauma. Thank you, as always!

    Renewal House

    For the past several years, Deb Lapides, Dori Reuss, Brenda Prusak and Jane Beswick have been creating lovely gift bags for the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry’s Renewal House, a domestic violence shelter in Roxbury. On Saturday, December 9th, 36 gift bags were delivered for the individuals and families who are currently residents at the house. Click here for more information about Renewal House and how you can help.

    Fair Foods

    Last Saturday, several First Parishioners not only delivered gift bags to Renewal House, they helped sort and distribute food with Fair Foods, Inc., a non-profit organization that has been rescuing food surplus and distributing it to low-income communities in the Boston area since 1988.

    Good Samaritan Fund

    The official announcement and kick-off for the Good Samaritan Fund application process for 2018 will be in January’s Focalpoint. This Fund, established by Bruce and Eva Gordon, helps to “provide financial awards to needy individuals.” Deadline information, application requirements, and a link to the application will be included.

  • Fall Clean Up

    Thank you to the hearty souls who raked and cleaned up the outside of the church last Saturday before the snow fell. We will be able to appreciate all of the work they did when it melts and the results can be seen! A very warm thanks to (from left to right) Bob Kvaal, Dave Pollack, Dick Fleiss, Amy Breiting, Tim Jacoby, David Bovet, and Jim Gross. Thanks also to Tom Rich and Suzanne Adams who didn’t make the photo shoot, and to Margaret Brooke for taking the picture.

  • Soul Matters for December

    What does it mean to be a people of HOPE?


    Something to consider: Are you bringing more hope into the world than you realize? If you don’t think of your work and commitments in that way, how might life look different if you did?

  • WhaleCoast Alaska

    Whale tail challas logo

    The following information was on a postcard mailed to the church office:

    WhaleCoast Alaska is a Unitarian Universalist eco-cultural and spiritual program for people who are looking for a more authentic Alaskan experience. WhaleCoast Alaska is operated in cooperation with four UU Alaska fellowships – Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Sitka – that provide home stays, dinner parties, activities, and transportation for the guests.

    Significant funds raised through WhaleCoast Alaska helped finance the construction of the farthest north UU church in the world in Fairbanks. The Anchorage UU congregation are in the process of a major remodel of their church. In 2017, the participating Alaska congregations raised over $59,000 through WhaleCoast Alaska. Over the past 25 years, a total of over $554,000 has been raised for the work of these congregations. Over 1,400 guests have visited Alaska with our program.

    We travel throughout Alaska to see wildlife in their natural habitats – humpback and killer whales, sea lions, seals and sea otters; bears, wolves, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, eagles, puffins and other birds in some of North America’s most beautiful scenery. We have two tours planned for 2018.

    Intrigued? Visit their website or contact Pete Tasker (who may or may not be going).

  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, December 13
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary


    Thursday, December 14
    80+ Luncheon 12:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    LYFS SOS 7:00 p.m. Parish Hall
    Scrabble Club 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall


    Friday, December 15
    Roaring Jelly 8:00 p.m. Parish Hall


    Sunday, December 17
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Children’s Choir Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Yellow Room
    Play Rehearsal 11:45 a.m. Sanctuary
    Youth Choir Rehearsal 12:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    OWL 4:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall


    Monday, December 18    
    Staff Meeting 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    LYFS Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Parker Hall


    Tuesday, December 19    
    Lexington Ski Club 5:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Empty Sky Sangha 7:30 p.m. Common Room


    Wednesday, December 20    
    Creative Callings 1:30 p.m. Parlor
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Climate Collaborative 7:30 p.m. Common Room
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