January 2023: G is for the Growing Edge

Dear Friends,

What a treat it was to be with many of you and your families on our first Christmas Eve at First Parish in Lincoln. Across two services, we welcomed over 350 people. The music and candlelight were astounding (you can re-live both services here). To everyone who helped in large and small ways to make that evening what it was, we are so grateful.

Now we turn to 2023, believe it or not! We wanted to let you know about a few new (and familiar) things we’re looking forward to at First Parish. In line with the opportunities for growth that a new year brings, our worship theme for the month of January will be “The Growing Edge.” The Civil Rights theologian Howard Thurman writes, “Look well to the growing edge! All around us worlds are dying and new worlds are being born; all around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new leaves, fresh blossoms, green fruit…” (full quote).

In terms of the new, we are launching a regular adult education hour, and we’re calling it The Forum. On second and fourth Sundays of each month at 11:30, The Forum will gather (in the Stearns Room or Sanctuary) for learning and discussion on a broad range of topics. See the blurb below for details of upcoming Forum programs, and plan to stick around after coffee hour.

Other winter programs that are taking shape include Food for Thought (dinner and a program on a Wednesday night), Sip Talk Learn, and a Sunday evening class on Buddhism and Mindfulness taught by Steve Schwartzberg.

Howard Thurman’s words remind us that growth takes many forms. Sometimes growth is visible on the surface, sometimes new life is “silently at work” deep beneath the surface. Where is the growing edge for you in your life this year? And what about the community of Lincoln and its surroundings – what “new worlds” are we being called to bring forth?

Let us know what is on your heart and mind as we enter 2023. We can’t wait to continue the journey together.

Nate & Kit

Staff Schedule Changes

Beginning in January, FPL staff will hold its worship and planning meetings on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-12:30.

Beginning in January, Nate’s teaching and writing days will be Monday and Tuesday. He will be available for visits, meetings, and other FPL work on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

This month at The Forum:

Language Matters
Sunday, January 8 and 22 at 11:30, Stearns Room.
(presented by the Racial Justice Advocates)

Perhaps you’ve heard terms like “identity politics,” “white supremacy,” or “intersectionality.” The specific contexts out of which these phrases arose, and the variety of their current meanings and implications, might be surprising. Join Sarah and Nate after church for two sessions in which we explore the history and current contexts of some of the most important – and sometimes challenging – phrases in our discourse around race and racism. We’ll offer a space for sharing our own reactions, inspirations, and confusions, and we’ll learn more about some fascinating ideas and movements, such as Boston’s own Combahee River Collective.

Coming Soon at The Forum:

  • Theology of Hymns – February 12
  • Buddhism & Mindfulness, with Steve Schwarzberg – February 26
  • Hauwa Ibrahim & Peace Institute – March 12
  • And more!

Big Questions Book Club

February 6 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Poetry for Seekers

February 10 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Theology on Tap

February 24 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

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