of Scituate, Massachusetts
First Parish
Unitarian Universalist Church
by First Parish on March 26th, 2020


by Pamela M. Barz on March 9th, 2020

Spirit without religion is like breath without a body.  It’s like light without a refractor.  But by religion I don’t mean a system of doctrines to which one must assent.  By religion I mean the ways we try to make meaning.  Read the whole sermon here:   

by First Parish on March 4th, 2020


by Pamela M. Barz on March 2nd, 2020

The idea of sanctuary in many ways goes against our natural human inclinations.  Sanctuary is an ideal we strive for.  Our English word comes from the Latin word “Sanctuarium,” from sanctus, holy, and arium, a container.  As an aquarium contains aqua, water, a sanctuary contains sancti, the holy ones.   So though we call the building the sanctuary, what is important, what is holy, is that which it holds.  Us.  We are what is holy here.  Read the whole sermon here:

by Pamela M. Barz on February 12th, 2020

If you do any research into Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women the question which comes up over and over is “Why?”  Why has a book about four young white women in 19th century Concord, Massachusetts, continued to be read and admired for 150 years?  It has been translated into over 50 languages, adapted for plays and movies, including the most recent, directed by Greta Guerwig and up for 6 Oscar nominations tonight, including best adapted screenplay.  Writers from Patti Smith to John Green, from Simone de Beauvoir to JK Rowling have credited the novel with inspiring them to write.  Even Teddy Roosevelt said he “worshipped” (his word) Little Women and its sequel Little Men.   What is the universal and timeless appeal of this seemingly provincial story?  Read the sermon here:

by Pamela M. Barz on February 2nd, 2020

People sometimes characterize Unitarian Universalism as a religion where you can believe anything you want.  But that is not true.  We may not have creedal statements to which we must assent, but we do have some shared beliefs and the first of them is that humankind is good.   Read the whole sermon here;

by First Parish on January 29th, 2020


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






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