Wednesday, May 22, 2024
This Sunday


There is comfort in keeping our personal world small - we can have more control over who we see and what we do. But when we open ourselves to the width and breadth of the world, how does that change us? Is there room for us even when we might not be the person others expect? How can we open ourselves to all that is is new and different?

This Sunday, guest pianist and organist Sarah Hager and singer Jennifer Burks will provide inspiring music for worship. Jennifer will sing Bach’s hauntingly beautiful “Zerfliesse, Mein Herze” (from Johannes-Passion, BWV 245), Lori Laitman’s lyrical “Will There Really be a Morning?” and Aaron Copland insightful “Laurie’s Song” (from The Tender Land). For the centering music, Sarah will play Aaron Copland’s meditative organ work “Down a Country Lane.” And for the postlude, she will play Russel Schulz-Widmar’s organ arrangement of Aaron Copeland’s iconic version of “Simple Gifts.”


The State of Massachusetts every year gives an award called “Commonwealth Heroines” to a number of women who “perform unheralded acts on a daily basis.” Representatives to the House are invited to nominate one person from their district. This year, Michelle Cicolo nominated our own Justine Neely, who recently learned that she is receiving the award, at an event in June. Justine wants us all to know that none of this would have been possible without the support of the whole community. Following is Justine’s bio. Please be sure to congratulate her!


Justine has been an active resident in Lexington for ten years. Beginning in October 2023 with the arrival of 30 families at a shelter in Lexington, Justine immediately stepped into action and helped to coordinate a town-wide effort to support recently arrived migrants whose needs were not being met by existing systems. Justine advocated and coordinated for many of the supports most needed for women and those with young children: coordinating donations, liaising with town, regional, and state-wide government officials, recruiting and directing volunteers, sourcing critical supplies, and being a practical and emotional support for the families. In addition to Justine's work with the shelter, Justine is passionate about disability services and supporting caregivers. She is a 2024 graduate of the Mass Family Advocacy Program through the Department of Developmental Services. She has been advocating for the needs of people with disability for over 30 years during her teaching career and then as a parent of a son with Profound Autism. In fact, this passion led to Justine leading an eight-year community effort to install a sidewalk on a Lexington street for the safety of children, elderly and the disabled, which will be completed in the summer of 2026. Justine enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two children.

Native Plant Sale Coming Soon!

Grow Native Massachusetts will be holding our annual Native Plant Sale right here at the First Parish in Lexington, on Friday May 31 and Saturday June 1.

This is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated events we run. It was conceived as a way to give our community access to a quantity and diversity of native plants rarely found in a single retail setting. The sale is powered by our staff and numerous dedicated volunteers who, along with many of those who come to shop, are brimming with enthusiasm for native plants and knowledge to share.

We expect to have 5,000+ plants representing 100+ native species, including perennial wildflowers, ferns, grasses/ sedges, shrubs, and trees. 

In the 2 weeks leading up to the event, you will see a flurry of activity over at 3 Harrington Road: event tents being set up, loads of plants being delivered and organized, signage put up to help get folks where they need to go. We work hard to make these plant sales safe and enjoyable for all attendees, our volunteers, and the surrounding community!

If you have questions about the event or would like to come check it out, visit

For the first time ever, this year we will offer a black garden plastic recycling program! The black plastic pots and trays used in the horticulture industry are not recyclable through municipal programs, but through a partnership with Van Berkum Nursery (NH) and East Jordan Plastics (MI), we will be able to send thousands of pots and trays to a facility that can turn them into new plastic for future use. A clearly marked collection area will be set up at the very back of the parking lot for 3 weeks post-plant-sale, where any and all black plastic plant pots and trays can be deposited. You are welcome to add yours to the pile, no matter where you got them! 

Click here for a downloadable version of these events!

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.

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.



There is no Children’s RE this coming Sunday, instead we have a youth-led service in which we honor those children and youth transitioning from one “stage” to the next.

Caroline and Annelie

Learning about Article Two: A Theological Reflection


A Theological Reflection on the Article Two revision proposal is offered here, and read more about the Article Two report to prepare to vote at our upcoming Semi-Annual Meeting on June 2.

New Assistant Minister!

The Board has approved the recommendation of the Search Committee to hire Phoebe Eckart-Lee as our one year contract Assistant Minister. Phoebe is working through the steps to become an ordained UU minister, and if all works out well, we can renew her contract so that she can stay with us for a much longer time. We are thrilled to have her join us in August. Phoebe will be focused on working with our youth and families, and will coordinate our Coming of Age program for 8th and 9th graders, which we will share with First Parish in Watertown. Phoebe will help lead us in worship by offering sermons, stories, readings or prayers, and will offer some programs for adults, for youth and for families. 

Many thanks to our intrepid Search Committee:  Liz Hartman, Tara Mayes, Rev. Anne Mason, Meg Newhouse, Dave Pollack, and Nita Sturiale. You all have done wonderful work for our congregation and we are so grateful for your care, your energy and your great work.

Brian Herrick, Board Chair

Phoebe's Invitation

Phoebe's Introduction


After a long hiatus exacerbated by the pandemic, First Parish will begin resuming periodic fire/evacuation drills as part of our established SafeCongregation Plan. All members and friends are asked to re-familiarize yourselves with marked emergency exits throughout the building. In the event of a drill, each person should proceed to the nearest marked exit by which they can leave the building as quickly and safely as possible. Please always be aware of your surroundings to ensure your safe exit. The planned rally point for evacuations will be our lot at 3 Harrington Road. Differently abled persons may shelter in place on the front porch of the church facing the Battle Green.

Drills are never convenient or comfortable, but actual emergencies aren't either. Drills are a time for practice and for safer congregation point persons to record data for quality improvement on subsequent drills. FPLex staff and the Board have been working to ensure our best practices with assistance from local public safety officials. Please trust in the process and know that the safety of all of our members and friends is always paramount. Information will continue to be shared as it becomes available.

Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom and Everywhere

Strong Hanscom Message Needed NOW!

The Draft Environmental Impact Report by the developers of the proposed 3 x hanger expansion of Hanscom Airfield for use by private, luxury jets is deeply flawed and filled with misinformation and omitted information, including the claim that the buildout will add NO additional carbon to the atmosphere. The public outcry needs to be loud and clear. 

The deadline for comments has been extended to 

June 14th. 

Please, please – if you haven't already – submit a comment to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office! This will send a strong message to Massport and the Healey Administration that a fair, sustainable future for ALL must come first. 

Use this link for everything you need to write a powerful comment for the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Office: (781) 862-8200 |

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