Weekly Update

The email newsletter of First Parish in Lexington is published on Wednesdays at 4 pm. Submissions are due on Tuesdays at 9 am. Email submissions or inquiries to the church office.
  • Sunday Service

    In this worship time for all ages, everyone is invited to explore together in thought, word, and deed. What does it mean to live out our seven principles? Every week we declare that “service is our prayer.”  What might it look like to use our hearts and our hands to engage in service? Our special collection this week will go to the Lexington Interfaith Food Pantry, and we will have a chance to engage our faith in our annual Amnesty International Letter Writing.

    Join Rev. Anne Mason and Lisa Maria Steinberg, Director of Lifespan Religious Education, at 10:30am.


    Click here to listen to last week’s homily, “Weaving a Tapestry of Music, Mantra, and Meditation” by Rev. Anne Mason.

  • Special Collection and Donation Drive

    Every year during March, First Parish has a month-long collection for the Lexington Interfaith Food Pantry.

    There are two ways you can help. First, please donate personal care products, which are not covered by the Federal food stamp programs. These include shampoos, lotions, dental care products, and other toiletries. Products containing alcohol or hotel sized items will not be accepted. There will be baskets at both entrances to the church marked Food Pantry donations. We will also continue to accept non-perishable food items as we have been doing on an ongoing basis.

    The second way you can help is by making a monetary donation during the special plate collection on Sunday, March 4th. Carolyn Wortman, Director, will speak at the service. All non-pledge contributions will be donated.

    Thank you as always for your generosity of spirit and gifts to others in need. If you have any questions or want more information about the Lexington Food Pantry, please contact Lynne Yansen or Tom Wanderer.

  • Amnesty International Letter Writing Campaign

    First Parish’s annual Amnesty International letter writing activity will be held this coming Sunday, March 4th. The letter writing has been an annual event here at First Parish and is part of a similar effort being held at other churches here in Lexington.

    This year we will have three letters, all involving prisoners of conscience: · Two Iranian women who went on a hunger strike in protest of being transferred to a prison where women convicted of violent offenses are held in inhumane conditions. · Three members of the Burundian non-governmental organization who are on trial for “threatening state security” and using fake documents. · Thich Quang Do, Vietnam’s longest detained human rights defender and Supreme Head of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. He has been imprisoned, placed in internal exile, or held under house arrest for over 30 years.

    Letters and envelopes for each of the cases will be provided. If you would  like to bring self-addressed labels to place on the envelopes that is fine. Contributions to defray the cost of postage are welcomed.

  • Sarasa Ensemble Concert

    The next Sarasa Ensemble Concert being held at First Parish will be on Sunday, March 4th at 3:30pm.

    “Les délices de la solitude” – Introducing the exemplary musician and gambist, Reiko Ichise, to our Sarasa family, this intimate program provides clear evidence why the bass viol was so revered by the Sun King, Louis XIV. As well as a celebration of the 350th anniversary of François Couperin’s birth, this will be a rare chance to hear re-discovered works by two of the finest players of Georgian England, who were also great friends, Carl Friedrich Abel and Giacobbe Cervetto.

    Click here to purchase tickets. Students $10, Seniors $20, General $25

  • News from the Board

    As we come to the end of the first Phase of our capital campaign, the focus is beginning to shift from reviving our historic building to reviving our mission.

    The Board has continued to consult with Dan Hotchkiss as we continue that transformation. His consistent perspective has suggested the work of creating a shared mission would require substantial effort by the Board, Minister, staff, and congregation. Additionally, the Board and Minister would need to be supported by improved governance processes that relieved them from routine and tactical decisions.

    As the tremendous turnout at the two Imagination Cafés (Jan. 28 and Feb. 11) testifies, the church is off to a great start. To complement and enable this missional work, a parallel effort on governance has also begun: the Board created a Governance Task Force (currently consisting of Bob Gibbons and Dave Juitt) intended to help build a shared understanding of which kinds of decisions can be made by whom, with a goal of optimizing the management and operations of the church so that our precious resources (like space or money or staff time) can be devoted most effectively.

    As an example, one important (and sometimes difficult) aspect of church governance focuses on the use of the church’s facilities. Who has priority for using our spaces (both within and outside the congregation)? Who can use the space for free, and who must contribute rent (and how much)? Do members of the congregation have special privileges? Do some organizations (e.g. mission-aligned or partners) or activities (e.g. weddings or protests) have special status? Who makes the decisions?

    The goal of the Governance Task Force is to look at time- and resource-consuming issues like these to create general policies, policies that will better guide church administrators in making these decisions more equitably and easily. The first of their policies was presented to the Board, and passed unanimously, at the February meeting. That policy specifies a small number of “classes” of users – like members or partners, for example – so that decisions can be more easily made. That policy document will be included in the minutes of the Board meeting for anyone to reference, and we will make sure that Jane has copies in the office as well.

    More clarifying policies will be coming as we strengthen the church for mission work. If you have an issue that you wish the Board would address, please send a note to Bob Gibbons or Dave Juitt for the Governance Task Force.

  • Stewardship Drive 2018

    First Parish Annual Pledge Drive

    Have you received your pledge card?

    Our Stewardship page is filled with information about why the pledge drive is essential to future of our church community.

    Our annual budget supports everything we do:

    And together our pledges are responsible for funding everything that we want to do in the future!

    March 18th – Join us on Celebration Sunday

    During the Sunday service we will be sharing our commitment to our community, our programs and our future by celebrating our Annual Pledge drive. Members and Friends have received their pledge cards in the mail in the last week of February.

    Please visit our Stewardship page and the Pledge FAQ page to find out more about how to participate in our Pledge Drive.

  • Missa Gaia Tickets Now On Sale

    Tickets for Missa Gaia are now on sale! Click here to order yours today.

    Friday and Saturday, April 13 & 14, 2018, 7:30pm

    This profound work, under the musical direction of Rip Jackson and theatrical and dance direction of Maris Wolff, will be a collaboration between the First Parish sanctuary and children’s choirs, the Vermont Dance Collective, and a world music ensemble of percussionists, guitar, piano, electric keyboards, soprano sax, oboe, cello, and bass. There will be drumming beginning at 7:15pm, and an Earth Fair and reception featuring Lexington environmental organizations in Parish Hall after both performances. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 seniors and $15 for students. Reduced ticket prices are available for those in need.

  • Soul Matters

    February’s Soul Matters theme is “What does it mean to be a people of perseverance?” February is also Black History Month, so you may want to talk with your children about the perseverance that black people have demonstrated over the centuries since they were enslaved and brought to the United States. PBS has some useful information at http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore and http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/classroom. Much of the material is for middle- and high school students, but you can translate it to fit the needs of your younger children.

  • Washington/Madison Dialogue now on TV

    The Washington/Madison Dialogue on Church and State, which was part of First Parish’s 325th celebration in November, is being televised by LexMedia on LETV/LEHD (Comcast ch. 9/809, RCN ch. 15/815, and Verizon ch. 36/836) as follows:

    Wednesday, February 28 at 9:30 p.m.

    Thursday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m.

    Saturday, March 3 at 10:00 a.m.

  • March for Our Lives
    No automatic alt text available.Many of our youth are planning to attend the March in support of bringing an end to mass shootings and gun violence in schools. First Parish’s Youth invite everyone to join them in this social justice action. Please contact Lisa Maria Steinberg if you want to join in marching so you can be added to our communication list for those planning to attend. In the coming weeks we will be making plans to travel to, safely attend, and return from the march in Boston.
    March for Our Lives
    March 24th, Noon to 5:00 pm, Boston Common
  • This Week at First Parish
    Wednesday, February 28    
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. **Parker Hall
    Master Singers Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    Thursday, March 1    
    Meditation Group 4:00 p.m. Parlor
    Scrabble Club 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Nonfiction Book Group 7:30 p.m. Parlor
    Friday, March 2    
    LYFS Open House 5:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    Master Singers Rehearsal 7:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Saturday, March 3    
    Master Singers Concert 7:00 p.m. Sanctuary
    Sunday, March 4    
    Choir Warm-Up 9:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Worship Service 10:30 a.m. Sanctuary
    Sarasa Concert 3:30 p.m. Sanctuary
    OWL 4:00 p.m. Parker Hall
    SHYG 7:00 p.m. Robinson Hall
    Monday, March 5
    Staff Meeting 11:00 a.m. Minister’s Office
    Members & Friends Committee 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Tuesday, March 6
    Ferry Beach Committee 6:00 p.m. Robinson Hall
    Empty Sky Sangha 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Finance Committee 7:30 p.m. Common Room
    Wednesday, March 7
    Creative Callings 1:30 p.m. Parlor
    Choir Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Parker Hall
    Master Singers Rehearsal 7:30 p.m. Sanctuary
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