Wednesday, May 8, 2024
This Sunday


Rev. Anne welcomes Chan Master Gilbert Gutierrez who will give a Dharma Talk at our 10:30 service and offer a workshop in the afternoon from 1:00 - 5:00. All are invited. Light lunch will be served in-between the service and the workshop. Registration for the workshop is requested.

Meeting of the Minds at the Crossroads

The product of any faith based practice must ultimately be insight which leads to profound wisdom and unbridled compassion. 

The Chan Buddhist School represents a guide on how to conduct ourselves on Earth (Samsara) and more than that, explore what does it all mean. Gilbert will lead a day of training into life’s lessons and gaining faith in Mind. This Mind is often referred to as HeartMind by Chan practitioners. Gilbert will also lead us in guided meditation and provide instructions on how to properly meditate. Practitioners of all levels will gain beneficial experience in this crossroads meeting. 


The Chinese Chan (Chan) tradition has always been renowned for its practice of "mind-to-mind transmission" and the continuous passing down of its teachings. Gilbert Gutierrez, known as Jing Jian Chuan Hui in Chinese, is one of the five immediate Lay Dharma heirs of Ven. Master Sheng Yen from Dharma Drum Mountain. Gilbert inherits the lineage of both the Caodong and Linji Chan schools. Among these five disciples, he is the only Chan master resides permanently and actively propagating the teachings in North America.

Throughout his 54 years of dedicated Chan practice and over 20 years’ teaching of the Dharma, his guidance in meditation is vibrant and insightful. He skillfully imparts learning and experiential understanding in a relaxed, approachable yet profound manner, blending everyday life situations with the great teachings of Chan masters. Inherited traditional Chan teaching style, Gilbert points to the mind directly, which is the core of Chan. Gilbert’s teaching emphasizes guiding meditation through right view and insight into the ultimate truth, helping practitioners to avoid unnecessary detours and directly access the treasure of enlightenment. With his wholehearted dedication and wisdom, he strives to carry on the lineage and bring salvation to all beings.

This Sunday, we welcome guest conductor and pianist Sarah Hager. She will direct the sanctuary choir in singing Vermont composer Gwyneth Walker’s peaceful “Peace, I Ask of Thee” (from The Millennium Suite) and buddhist monk Sarvadarśin’s meditative “A Life That's Free.” For the centering music, Sarah will play Erik Satie’s lyrical and hypnotic piano piece “Gymnopédie No. 1.” And for the postlude, she will play Hungarian composer Ernst von Dohnányi’s energetic piano piece “Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10” (from his collection of piano Bagatelles “Winterreigen”).

Thursday, May 16th


This month Building Bridges will focus on media bias. The 'Media Bias Chart' (ad fontes, January 2024) will provide an excellent visual comparison of various media around 'Reliability' and 'Political Bias' We'll also watch the two short videos below with time for discussion after each.

Media Literacy: Know Your Sources & Media Bias

Approx 11 minutes (8:53- 9:53 covers the Media Bias Chart)

Political Media's Bias, in a Single Chart

Approx 5 minutes (interview with Media Bias Chart creator)

First Visit and First Look Events begin Wednesday May 15 at 10:30 a.m. when the “Something Is Being Done” monument will be unveiled. The monument is designed by sculptor Meredith Bergmann, and includes more than 20 Lexington women and girls who have made significant contributions to the community, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the country, and beyond. LexSeeHer set out to make women visible. The new monument recognizes women’s economic, political, intellectual, social, and cultural contributions. Learn more at


Event summary:


Wednesday May 15, 10:30 a.m. Unveiling Ceremony with the LexSeeHer Chorus. Request tickets at Limited seating is available. Additional standing room and lawn seating is available in designated areas on a first come, first served basis.


Wednesday May 15, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Children’s Activities, Guided Tours. (To request a special group tour, please email


Thursday May 16 Guided Tours (to request a group tour, please email


Friday, May 17, 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. Guided Tours, Children’s Activities, Volunteer Appreciation “Under the Stars”

LexSeeHer invites you to enjoy a Friday afternoon or evening first visit to the new monument. Support local businesses by picking up take-out food, gather near the monument, and enjoy being in community.


Saturday, May 18 2:00 p.m. Dedication Day with the Children’s Community Chorus and special dance performances.

Please visit to request tickets, and to learn more about the monument. The events are free, but donations are encouraged as LexSeeHer Inc. is a non-profit organization and continues to raise money to provide ongoing support for the upkeep of the monument, for future signage to accompany the monument, and for the Living HERstory initiative. Events are outside, and intended to proceed rain or shine. Check for updates. Standing room and lawn seating are available on a first come, first served basis. 

14 days to go | Festival of Colors (Holi) | Lexington Hastings Park | May 18, 2024 | 1 pm - 5 pm

21 Multi-cultural performances | 2 Live bands | 200+ Performers | 29 Sponsors | 7 Multi-cultural cuisines | 6 High-school Emcee's | Lots of outdoor games

Just as a multitude of colors springs up in nature with the onset of spring, human beings have been endowed with many colors. We see this very evidently in our Town of Lexington, home to people with ties to many different parts of the world. Our Festival of Colors aims to celebrate the many colors in our lives and the oneness of it all.

This will be a 4-hour program where

* You will enjoy family-friendly cultural presentations like dances (American, Mladost, Chinese, Taiwanese, Sri Lankan, and Indian), musical bands (Italian and Indian), etc

* You can relish cuisines from the vegetarian food stalls and an ice cream truck. (Honest, Bombay Brunch, Joy of Treats (sweets), Maitri Ice Cream, Szechuan Dumplings Restaurant, and others)

* Booths/vendors from different communities will display their wares and services

* Entertainment for all ages includes bouncy houses, henna, and face-painting booths

* Finally, we will play with dry organic powdered colors – a tradition from India where we welcome spring and greet friends by applying colors on each other’s faces and throwing colors in the air

We sincerely appreciate our performers, sponsors, food vendors, volunteers, and attendees. Please join us, and let's have FUN!!!

To find more information or buy tickets, go to

Our overall program video:

There will be plenty of volunteer opportunities. If you would like to join us in helping organize this event, please sign up at

All the proceeds will go to the Lawrence Homeless Shelter, MA, and Adarsh School at Govardhan, UP. Thank you. Let's have funnnnnnn. See all of you soon.


Festival of Colors


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.


Tuesday, May 14

7 -9 p.m.

Robinson Hall

Please click here for the agenda and Zoom login information.



We continue our exploration of the gift of pluralism with a special nod to Mother's Day and the idea that we are all “mothered” and nurtured by many things, people, and experiences.

Caroline and Annelie

May 12th Workshop Following Service


11:30 – 1:00          

Lunch in Parker Hall         

1:00 – 5:00           

Meditation in Parish Hall

       1:00 – 1:40    guided


       1:40 – 1:50    break

       1:50 – 2:50    Lecture

       2:50 – 3:00    walking


       3:00 – 3:10    break

       3:10 – 3:50    meditation

       3:50 – 4:30    final words

by Master Gilbert, Q&A

       4:30 – 5:00    group photo,

tea time

Register Here

DRUUMM Public Workshop

Please join us for the Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) Public Worship! First Parish is co-sponsoring this worship service, and hope you will attend! This service will be broadcast online on Wednesday, May 8th at 8 p.m. You can join a group of us in person in Robinson Hall at that time to watch in community. If you would rather watch from home, please register here to get the link. We hope to see you there!


FPLex Budget Presentation & Q&A

May 19 After Worship

Ever wonder where the money you donate goes? On May 19 after the worship service, grab a quick cup of coffee and food and head back to the Sanctuary for a gripping presentation from Finance Chair, Omar Khudari, and Treasurer, Mia Roop. We will be voting on the budget at the Semiannual Meeting on June 2, so here is your chance to learn about the budget and ask questions.

Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom and Everywhere

Deadline for Your Personal Comment on Draft Environmental Impact Report 

Extended to June 14th

Click here for information.

Ferry Beach Retreat


Memorial Day Weekend 2024

Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27

First Parish in Concord &

First Parish in Lexington


As we have for many years, First Parish in Concord and First Parish in Lexington will have an official retreat together at the Ferry Beach Retreat and Conference Center in Saco, Maine over Memorial Day Weekend. Families, couples, and singles of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend! The joint Ferry Beach Retreat Committee is busy making plans for our weekend!


Registration is by a new process that has two parts this year as follows:


1) Register and pay for lodging, meals, and fees directly with Ferry Beach, using the this website that is specific to our weekendFB Registration. Information about lodging options are also found on the Ferry Beach Website. If you prefer, you can call 207-282-4489 x1 to speak to a member of the Ferry Beach registration team and register that way. Be sure mention you are a member of FP Lex to get the special rates they are offering us. 


Registration is first come, first served, so the sooner you register, the more choices you’ll have for lodging! Please register soon and latest by May 9, if at all possible.


2) Complete your Registration by filling out our Google form (Registration, Part 2) with info that will come directly to the joint Planning Committee. Please find the form here: FP Info Form  


Activities that we’ve loved over the years are being planned again – Sunday night Talent Show, Croquet Tournament, Sand Structure Contest, Bingo, Bracelet Making. Let the Planning Committee know if you’d like to offer an activity or help with something! 


Information is available here: Ferry Beach Registration! - First Parish in Lexington (

If you have questions about Ferry Beach, especially if you have never attended before, feel free to contact your co-chairs: 


Deb Weiner Soule ( or Elisabeth Jas (

Office: (781) 862-8200 |

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