Dag Hammarskjold has said that “each morning we must hold out the chalice of our being to receive, to carry, and give back.” We receive with gratitude, and we give with generosity. And to do both we must care for our own being so that we are able to receive, and also to give.
This Sunday, tenor soloist Jamie Willis will sing Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog’s iconic jazz song “God Bless the Child” and Cyndi Lauper's inspirational and iconic song “True Colors” (from her hit 1986 album True Colors). For the offertory, our guest pianist Sarah Hager will play Karl Jenkins’s meditative “Benedictus.” And for the centering music and postlude, she will play George Winston’s spirited “Joy” and lyrical “Thanksgiving” (both from his popular 1982 album December).
Unsheltered Families in Need
Bruce Neumann, head of LexRAP, has asked if anyone might have room to host some unsheltered families. This is not the families who are currently already sheltered in Lexington - this is for additional families in need.
From the group coordinating support for migrant families in Lexington:
We’ve been contacted by the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants (ORI) with a concern about un-housed migrants. The shelter system is at capacity, and recently arrived families who are now on a wait list are having to sleep at Logan airport. ORI, together with the Brazilian Worker Center are looking for hosts to take families into their homes while they are on the waitlist.
Do you have space and willingness? This is not a long-term commitment - anything from a couple of nights to a couple of months would be welcome. Your only responsibilities would be a room and a bed, meals, and a smile. If you speak Haitian Creole, French, Spanish, or Portuguese, this is a bonus, but if you’re flexible and willing to get by with gestures, this would keep folks off the street and in a welcoming environment.
Please contact Ronnie Millar at 617-710-4668 if you think you might be able to help.
On Friday, December 22nd, First Parish in Lexington will present a Winter Solstice Experience at 7:30 pm. With music, ritual, candles, dancing and darkness, we will experience the quiet of the longest night, and welcome the sun as we wait for her return. Led by Rev. Anne Mason, with Minister of Music, Rip Jackson, this event will be a mystical experience exploring earth-centered imagery, with an invitation to cherish the darkness. You are invited to set aside your frenetic everyday concerns and take this hour for your own inward journey. The Solstice is honored by indigenous religions around the world and we will have music, dance and poetry which honor many traditions. A group of intergenerational dancers will weave movement and ritual to celebrate the peace of the darkest night of the year and the triumphant return of the sun’s nourishing light. The musicians will include soprano soloists Liz Savir, Chelsea Cannon and Natalie Brierre, soprano sax player Katie Runde Sanchez, along with guitar, electric bass, piano, electronic synthesizer, drums, rain stick, gong, Tibetan singing bowl and other atmospheric musical instruments. They will sing music from diverse genres including music by Paul Winter, Loreena McKennitt, Enya and original music by Rip Jackson. A free will offering will be taken and public parking is in the rear of the church.
Join us for this year’s Guest at Your Table program to learn what UUSC partners are doing to address immediate injustices – as well as the collective liberation they envision for the future. Listen to our UU Service Committee’s partners’ stories, such as the Foundation for Justice (FJEDD), supporting individuals and families impacted by human rights violations in Mexico and Central America.
The Poisoned Root of the Climate Crisis: Fossil Fuels
Just before the crucial Cop28 (UN Climate Change Conference [Conference of the Parties]) begins next week, the UN has warned again that the world is heading for a catastrophic future: 3° C (5.4° F) of global warming above pre-industrial temperatures predicted by the end of this century
Global temperature records were broken in 2023 and intensifying heatwaves, floods, and droughts have taken lives and hit livelihoods across the globe, in response to the global temperature rise of 1.4° C (2.5° F) to date above pre-industrial temperatures. Scientists say far worse is to come if global temperatures continue to rise.
To get on track for the internationally agreed global temperature rise target of 1.5° C (2.7° F), 22 B tons of CO2 must be cut from the currently projected CO2 total in 2030. This is 42 % of global emissions and equivalent to the output of the world’s five worst polluters: China, US, India, Russia, and Japan. Unfortunately, none of the G20 countries, which together produce 80 % of CO2, are reducing emissions at a pace consistent with their net zero targets.
UN Secretary General Gutteres said ”This is a failure of leadership, a betrayal of the vulnerable, and a massive, missed opportunity. Renewables have never been cheaper or more accessible. We know it is still possible to make the additional 1.5° C (2.7° F) limit a reality. But it will require tearing out the poisoned root of the climate crisis: fossil fuels.”
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Over Veterans Day weekend, former president Trump ranted with tropes from Hitler’s Nazi political vocabulary [vermin, thugs, …]. In the context of ”honoring” Veterans this was hard enough to tolerate from anyone — let alone a former president who may be a candidate for reelection in 2024.
The Preserve Our Democracy team encourages you to subscribe* to Heather Cox Richardson’s daily Letters from an American to help people caught up in the urgency of current news single out events when action is important to help avoid repeating a horrible time in history.
Please click here to read on about this important issue.
Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry (UUUM)
A Community Conversation on Tuesday, December 12th
6:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
A Long Road Home: The Roots of Homeownership Inequity
with Aja Kennedy
Co-sponsored by First Parish in Lexington and Follen Church
The Thursday, November 16th session had to be postponed and will now take place on Thursday, December 7th, 12:30-2:00
Among Our Own
We all have times in our life when we experience grief, loss, hardship and loneliness. One of the blessings of sacred community is having a group of compassionate, trained, and willing volunteers to companion us through these hard times. Have you experienced the support of members of First Parish during a rough time in your life? Would you like to learn more about how to be a warm, listening presence for someone else who is going through difficulties? If so, please consider becoming a Pastoral Associate. This important ministry of our church provides a supportive presence during these hard times. Rev. Anne is looking for a few more people who would be willing to commit to being trained to be able to offer active listening and supportive presence to members of our church. Please contact Rev. Anne if you are interested or would like to learn more. Training will happen in January at a time that works for everyone’s schedule.
Stop Hanscom Expansion for Private Jets:
Join a Standout to Spread the Word
Every Tuesday in November at 8:30 a.m.
Depot Square, Lexington Center
First Parish Climate Action Team
Lexington Climate Action Network
Address questions to:
Tom Wanderer, First Parish: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanne Krieger: email@example.com
Margaret Coppe: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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