Wednesday, April 17, 2024
This Sunday


Our Climate Action Team (CAT) will lead this special service in honor of Earth Day. Join us for this very interactive service that will include legislative updates, and information on the Hanscom Field standout, and plastics management in town. Lexington High Climate Team Leaders Dora Liao, Atreyi Basu and others will be introduced by Bob Kvaal and discuss why they are involved in climate change work. As we move forward in the year, the question for all is "What will you do?"

This Sunday, the sanctuary choir will sing John Rutter’s inspirational choral anthem “For the Beauty of the Earth'' and John Ratledge’s arrangement of Jean Ritchie’s poignant Earth and social justice song “Now is the Cool of the Day,” with soloists Chelsea Cannon, Ben Soule and Toni Tasker. Soloists Yunona Tabala and Jamie Willis will sing Leonard Bernstein’s inspirational duet “Make Our Garden Grow'' (from “Candid”). And for the postlude and centering music, minister of music Rip Jackson will play his original compositions for piano “Might Oaks” and “New England Marshlands” (written for First Parish in Lexington in 2016).


The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth UUMFE is a national organization that is firmly rooted in the long history of our faith’s prophetic action on environmental and human rights issues. It is a resource for spiritual grounding and education that inspires deep practices of Earth care, justice, and flourishing for individuals and congregations. On The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth website ( you will find a rich collection of resources including Weekly Live Meditation Gatherings, Monthly Full Moon Spiritual Gatherings, Action, Reflection Circles, Movement Chaplaincy, Movement training for young adults, and a wide variety of Worship, Small Group, and Action programs. We hope you will join with the many other First Parish Climate activists and generously support The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth on Sunday.

Please Send to the Commonwealth Your Comments Opposing the Proposed Hanscom Field Hanger Expansion for Private Jets 

North Airfield Ventures, LLC plans to triple private jet hanger space at Hanscom Field. They have submitted a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office.  

The First Parish Climate Action Team (CAT) strongly opposes this project. It will result in many more Hanscom private jet flights causing significantly increased jet emissions that will worsen climate change. A private jet is the most polluting form of transport a traveler can take. The European Federation for Transportation and Environment found that private jets emit up to 14 times more CO2 per passenger mile than commercial planes and 50 times more CO2 per passenger mile than trains []. And more private jets will cause more take-off and landing noise in towns surrounding Hanscom. 

One of the most effective ways to oppose this project is to submit a comment about the DEIR to the MEPA Office that the expansion will worsen climate change and noise. CAT encourages parishioners to submit such a comment.  

An online “DEIR Comment Toolkit” provides information about the project, simple suggested comments, and how to submit your comment via email or via the MEPA Office online portal. Please look at this Toolkit.  

The important action is to simply state to the MEPA Office that you oppose the increased emissions and noise that will result from the tripling of jet hanger space at Hanscom. 

The public comment period ends in about 3 weeks on Friday, May 10th.


The family of David Levine invites you to the Celebration of his Life on Saturday, May 4 at 11:00 a.m. David was a beloved member of First Parish for many years. Please keep his wife Regina, his daughters Naomi and Sylvia, and his grandchildren in your hearts during this time.

FPLex Democracy Action Meeting

You are invited to join us this coming Monday, April 22nd at 4:00 p.m. at First Parish. If you are looking for things to do and information to follow in helping to preserve our democracy during this critical election year, this meeting is for you. 

  • Postcarding and Letter Writing: FPLex parishioners have already written and sent 1900 postcards since our Democracy team’s kick-off meeting last December; we have just secured another 30 batches of 20 cards for people who requested them and we have other opportunities coming up that we will discuss at the meeting.
  • New: Online interactive voter support: For those of you who would like to be able to interact with voters without having to cold call or text them, the VoteRiders organization advertises a country-wide Voter Helpline for voter questions. They maintain a database of voter information for every state, and we can volunteer to be trained to use that database to answer a caller’s questions. If you discover that a caller does not have the document(s) needed to get a state ID in their state, you can alert other trained volunteers to help them acquire that document (s) and VoteRiders will cover the cost. Now is an ideal time to get trained while demand is light so you will get know the system well before the busier time as the primary and presidential election approach.
  • New: Strategic Giving: Financial support to grassroots organizations on the ground is important now as they are building working relationships with voters in their districts. We think these organization are in the best position to provide reliable voter information to counteract voter subversion and disinformation. We will describe partner organizations we consider reliable so you can focus on their judgement. You may have an organization to share with us and others in the meeting that you have found to be particularly helpful.
  • Keeping Informed: Several months ago we had recommended that you try to listen regularly to Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American to understand the historical context with what’s happening with our democracy. We will give you a list of political observers whose area(s) of expertise we consider most important for providing useful perspective in this chaotic election year.  
  • Reference Books: Last month we completed a book-read and discussion of David Pepper’s Saving Democracy: A User’s Guide For Every American.  We consider this the most important description of systematic attacks underway in the down-ballot statehouses that reverberate up through the system and account for much of the state and federal disfunction and anti-democratic legislation that we see.

We urge you to join us at 4:00PM next Monday April 22nd. We do this so you can choose.

Submissions for The Weekly Update are due by the end of day, Mondays. To submit an article or information for consideration, please use this form.



Children are invited to stay with their families in the service today.

Caroline and Annelie


An Evening of Sacred Chant: A Millennium of Soaring Mystical Sound

Directed by Rip Jackson

Sunday, April 28, 2024

7:30 p.m.

Come and center inward, touching your deepest, truest self, as you are enfolded in the peaceful, healing, transcendent music of sacred chant—mystical music ancient and modern from Western, Eastern, and African traditions—performed by the First Parish Festival Choir and guest soloists, and directed by Rip Jackson. The evening’s candlelit program will include Gregorian chant, antiphons by Hildegard Von Bingen, Medieval polyphony, Renaissance masterpieces, Russian Orthodox hymns, Hebrew Sephardic chants, Hindu mantras, African sacred music, and modern mystical a capella music. The concert will take place on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 7:30 PM at First Parish in Lexington. There will be a sound bath at 7:15 before the concert. A free-will offering will be received, and public parking is available in the rear of the church. For more information, email

Thursday, April 18th


Two thought-provoking video clips!

(1) Social psychologist, professor, and author Jonathan Haidt delves into the impact of social media on democratic societies, dissecting the intricate web of challenges it poses to civic trust and civil discourse. ("The Fragmentation of Everything").

(2) National Governor's Association attendees hear from U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Amy Barrett, who share their opinions on how to engage in productive discourse even though holding very different opinions (“How to Disagree Agreeably”).


Meeting ID: 968 5208 9665

Passcode: Reunited

Phone: +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)



April 19th 

6:00 p.m. - Pizza and salad

6:45 p.m. - Movie & discussion

RSVP to Mia Roop

Please join the Racial Justice team in a two-part film series and discussion on why understanding the Reconstruction era matters. “Citizenship, rights, democracy – as long as these remain contested, so will the necessity of an accurate understanding of Reconstruction. More than most historical subjects, how we think about this era truly matters, for it forces us to think about what kind of society we wish America to be.” Eric Foner, Historian. Come join us as we view and discuss the movie, “Reconstruction – America After the Civil War,” based on the book Stony the Road by Henry Louis Gates Jr.  Rev. Helen Lutton Cohen will be leading the discussion Larry Roop and Connee Counts.

Interfaith Garden Diggings and Doings

We are once again growing organic produce for Lexington's Food Pantry. This is our 15th year gardening alongside folks from a dozen other faith communities in town.

YOU are cordially invited to join us. We are looking for more volunteers for one shift a month—either a Tuesday late afternoon or a Saturday morning.  We need one more volunteer on Tuesday, April 23rd, from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. Are you available to help out?

The Garden is conveniently located just next door to the church parking lot and behind the Fortmanns' house. No gardening experience is needed. Children (accompanied by an adult) and youth (community service credits available) are welcome. 

We make new friends. We learn a lot. We have fun. If you’d like to give us a try or to get on the regular volunteer list, or volunteer for Tuesday, April 23rd, please contact Marty Kvaal or Cherie Noe, the First Parish coordinators. 

We hope to see you.

From choir rehearsals to Soul Matters, Building Bridges to Meditation Group, Urban Ministry to Democracy Team, Climate Action Team to Youth Groups and all of the other wonderful ways to get involved here at First Parish, please check the church calendar.

Office: (781) 862-8200 |

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