of Scituate, Massachusetts
First Parish
Unitarian Universalist Church
by First Parish on January 8th, 2020


by Pamela M. Barz on January 8th, 2020

With the news of fires raging in Australia and the assassination of General Soleimani in Iraq, I wondered if a sermon on keeping Christmas in our hearts was still what I needed to say to today, still what you might need to hear.  But I think it is.  For the Christmas spirit Scrooge found, the Christmas spirit we need to hold onto, isn’t about jollity and games and feasting, though those may be part of it.  The basis of the Christmas spirit is regarding ourselves and absolutely everyone else as worthy of care, as delightful.  It is living as if all of Life, not just our own individual lives, is a valuable gift.  And think how different our society and our planet might be if more of us did actually live with the Christmas spirit throughout the year.  Read the whole sermon here:

by Pamela M. Barz on December 9th, 2019

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  The philosopher George Santayana wrote that aphorism, and I’ve always taken it to mean the grand sweep of history – remember the cause of wars, the downfalls of empires, the seeds of revolution, but as I was thinking about Scrooge’s encounter with the Ghost of Christmas Past I realized that those words apply to our own pasts as well.  "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  For in Stave Two of “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens shows us – and Scrooge – the past he has forgotten and is now perversely living out.   Read the rest of the sermon here:

by First Parish on December 4th, 2019


by Pamela M. Barz on December 4th, 2019

“Marley was dead: to begin with,” Dickens opens A Christmas Carol.  “Dead these seven years,” Scrooge says a little later.  Seven times he says that in the first stave of this carol in prose, seven years dead exactly this Christmas Eve - but seven is a magic number and Marley is not as dead as he seems..... Read the rest of the sermon here:

by First Parish on November 27th, 2019


by First Parish on November 20th, 2019


by Pamela M. Barz on November 20th, 2019

Do you ever just know something is for you?  In March of 2018, I was scrolling through the Clergy Chicks group on Facebook (yes, there is such a group) when a post jumped out.  A clergywoman I didn’t know had written, “Hey all, I was in this program and it was phenomenal!  It is across ages, denominations, and across the US and Canada. Check it out.”  And below was a link to a post from the Sisters of Saint Benedict – Our Lady of Grace Monastery:
Are you a clergywoman in need of spiritual renewal? Do you want to thrive in ministry? Have you been ordained at least 5 years? Do you yearn to belong to a community of like-minded women who will support you for a lifetime? As you lead your congregation, do you feel like a stray dog at the whistler's convention? Then Women Touched by Grace is for YOU!
Hosted by the Sisters of St. Benedict of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana, this Lilly Endowment funded program has a 15-year history of ministering to Protestant clergywomen in an atmosphere of prayer and hospitality.
For additional information and an application form, visit www.wtbg.org.

So I did.   Read about what happened next and what Pam learned here:

by First Parish on November 13th, 2019


by First Parish on November 6th, 2019


by First Parish on October 30th, 2019


by Pamela M. Barz on October 27th, 2019

Today in my annual Halloween sermon, we’re exploring what wisdom and examples the Neflix series Stranger Things might offer us.  Every year I choose a topic thinking it will be funny and campy, and every year I find the topic offers a serious connection to our world.  This year is no different.  For in many ways we are living in a Stranger Things world.  Read the rest of the sermon here: 

by First Parish on October 23rd, 2019


by Pamela M. Barz on October 23rd, 2019

"This idea of living in an I-Thou relation with the earth and all its inhabitants is at the heart of our Unitarian Universalist faith.  Our Unitarian ancestors broke away from the traditional Christians of their time because of their belief in the inherent goodness of humankind.  In this church that happened in 1825.  Our Transcendentalist ancestors enlarged that goodness to encompass the natural world as well, finding the divine inherent in birds, beasts, flowers, trees, and stones.  Though none of them of course used the 20th century concept of the I-Thou relationship, their theology leads to it – for if all is inherently good, then it is not to be used, but to be cherished, that what is best for the other may unfold along with what is best for you.  Unlike other Christian traditions which have to push against their traditional understanding of physical matter as sinful and only spirit as good, our tradition celebrates the holiness of all of life.  And we need to draw on this holiness NOW to help us work with others to save what still can be saved.  We need to believe and live the belief that the earth is not here for our enjoyment but for the shared enjoyment and nurture of all life forms."   Read the whole sermon here:

by First Parish on October 16th, 2019


by First Parish on October 9th, 2019


by Pamela M. Barz on October 6th, 2019

"Confessing our sins is not a “woe is me” action; it is not an act of self-flagellation.  It is a clear-eyed assessment of our power to help and heal and make whole ourselves and the world, of the ways we have not taken up the power which is ours, and of the ways we will move into our power more fully in the new year ahead.  Confessing our sins is an act of hope, promise, and strength.  It demonstrates our faith in the power of life as we move through a season of death.  As we turn towards taking up our power and our commitments, we say “yes” to life, to love, to the universe, to God."  Read the rest of the sermon here:

by First Parish on October 2nd, 2019


by Pamela Barz on October 2nd, 2019

One of the main contributions of our Unitarian ancestors to the Western Christian tradition was to connect the awe that one feels in nature with religion.  Before the Transcendentalists, Christianity focused on the largeness of God and the smallness of humankind.  ...  It took the Transcendentalists to name that sense of awe one feels in nature as also part and particle of the divine.  They brought God outdoors. Read the entire sermon here:

by First Parish on September 25th, 2019






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