First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church • 330 First Parish Rd, Scituate MA 02066

Posts with the category “minister-s-reflections”

Practice Resurrection! - October 20, 2019
by FPUU Admin 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 ...  Read More
A Time to Turn - October 6, 2019
by FPUU Admin 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 demonst...  Read More
Communion with Ourselves - Sunday September 29
by FPUU Admin 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 brough...  Read More
But What Can We Do? - Sept. 22, 2019
by FPUU Admin on September 22nd, 2019
Despair is solitary.  Hope is communal.  Hope depends on community and on compassion.  Both words begin with the same prefix, “com” meaning with.     “Community” refers to individuals coming together, while compassion means to suffer with, to feel another’s pain as if it were your own.  We act when we feel and when we know we are not alone.  And that’s when things begin to happen. ...             ...  Read More
What's the Story? - Sunday, September 15, 2019
by FPUU Admin on September 18th, 2019
As we begin this worship series Cherishing the Earth and Ourselves, I invite you to consider the stories we tell about the earth and how those stories shape our understanding of our relationship to our planet home.  So today I have three stories for you..... Read the stories and the rest of the sermon here:...  Read More
"Can You Hear the Stars?" - August 25, 2019
by FPUU Admin on August 28th, 2019
On Sunday August 25, Pamela Barz led the congregation in a reflection process of the poem The Silence of the Stars by David Wagoner.  You can do your own reflection on it here: ...  Read More
"Through Hardship to the Stars : Per Aspera Ad Astra" by Brian Sutton - August 11, 2019
by FPUU Admin on August 14th, 2019
"The point I want to make is that throughout this church year I am dedicating myself to the spirit of "Through sweat to the stars" as a member of First Parish, to "Our Vision," and I invite all of us to do the same. This is not a call to sign up for bottle duty, committees, coffee hour, coffee house, or weeding, and so on. I have confidence that all those and more will happen.... Instead of a call...  Read More
"Cosmic Webs" by Kate Glennon - July 28, 2019
by FPUU Admin on August 1st, 2019
This summer all these services and the poetry have touched on that power that the visible stars have to make us know our humble place and our limited time. But that night, for me, for the first time, the elevator-drop feeling melted into something different. The night sky no longer felt scary, it didn't seem cold and eternal and lifeless.I felt like I was being embraced, sort of. Like I was still ...  Read More
"Starship First Parish" by Lin Haire-Sargeant, July 14, 2019
by FPUU Admin on July 15th, 2019
Imagine that you are going to leave Earth to venture out to the stars, in search of a habitable planet. You will not be coming back! On Starship First Parish, your physical needs will be supplied. You will be allowed to choose five items to bring—two that are personally meaningful to you and three items from the Earth’s treasures that you choose for their cultural or historical value. What would y...  Read More
Poems for the Summer Solstice - June 23, 2019
by FPUU Admin on June 26th, 2019
On Sunday June 23, First Parish poets William Clark, Kate Glennon, Lin Haire-Sargeant, Spencer Howe, Cathy Kang, and Noah Kermond read poems for the season.  Read some of those poems here:...  Read More
Hearing Each Other into Speech - June 9, 2019
by FPUU Admin on June 11th, 2019
"For the voice of the holy doesn’t just thunder down from Mt. Sinai.  It doesn’t just speak through the voices of clergy or gurus or Zen masters.  The voice of the holy is within each of us, waiting to be spoken, waiting to be heard. "  Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
We Are the Parade - Easter Sunday April 21, 2019
by FPUU Admin on April 22nd, 2019
Read the rest of the sermon here: ...  Read More
In Debt to Life - April 7, 2019
by FPUU Admin on April 8th, 2019
This parable and its call to interdependence is too important, too radical, to let it be interpreted by those who would tame it.  Our series on the parables ends today, but it is important that we continue to look at these stories.  Whatever we may believe about them, they continue to be used to shape our society, so we must continue to voice our understanding of the challenge these stories offer ...  Read More
When Lawyers Hear Stories - a sermon by the Rev. Ms. Anne Robertson, March 31, 2019
by FPUU Admin on April 3rd, 2019
"When I say that the Bible, like human life, is fundamentally story, I’m not making any claims about fact or fiction. What I’m saying is that reading the Bible to try to discern fact from fiction is missing the point. Reading the Bible to pull out laws for this and that is missing the point. The Bible is an invitation to relationship with the characters we read about. We are invited to put ourselv...  Read More
Must We Be Fair? - March 24, 2019
by FPUU Admin on March 27th, 2019
What does J.B. Priestley's drama An Inspector Calls have to do with a story Jesus told about how to live a life of deep fulfillment?  Read Pamela Barz's sermon to find out:...  Read More
The Spirituality of Imperfection - March 17, 2019
by FPUU Admin on March 18th, 2019
"A theme throughout the New Testament is expressed by the father: the compassion of comfort by imperfect people. The father’s challenge is different than the previous parables about lost sheep and a lost coin. Lost children can talk back and express feelings and emotions. The father comforts his sons in pain. He is the one attempting to reunite the family."  From William Ketchum's sermon.  Read th...  Read More
Waiting to Grow - March 10, 2019
by FPUU Admin on March 10th, 2019
"Jesus was a storyteller.  He knew that the concepts he was trying to talk about – the realm of God, the kingdom of heaven, the fullness of love and justice among all people on earth – were so big, so deep, so wide, that you couldn’t pin them down in a didactic explanation.  He could only offer glimpses of the truths he wanted to convey through metaphor and simile.  He was a poet in prose."  R...  Read More
The Joy of Friendship - February 24, 2019
by FPUU Admin on February 24th, 2019
 When it comes to love, the English language is impoverished.  We have one word to describe our feelings for our significant other, our child, and our best friend – not to mention our favorite activity, vegetable, or vacation spot!  The ancient Greeks had 6 words:  eros – “romantic love”; storge – “love for family”; agape – “love for everyone”; philautia – “love of self;” and philia – “deep friend...  Read More
The Warmth of Joy - February 10, 2019
by FPUU Admin on February 10th, 2019
"How would it change how we understand ourselves and one another, how we understand our world, if things weren’t divided into good and bad, before and after, reward and punishment, but just all that is with joy suffusing everything?"  Read the entire sermon here:   ...  Read More
This Delight-Filled Universe - February 3, 2019
by FPUU Admin on February 3rd, 2019
Joy is not of our own creating nor can it come when called.  Joy bursts on us when we do not expect it – in response to a chord of music, the sight of a soaring bird, connecting to another’s heart.  Unlike happiness which comes from an awareness of ourselves and our surroundings, in joy we lose the boundary of self and merge with the music, the bird and the sky, the snow-lit world, the oth...  Read More
"Noisly Night, Holy NIght" - Christmas Eve 2018
by FPUU Admin on December 26th, 2018
"I think "Silent Night" speaks to the yearning of our hearts for that same peace, the same hopes that are part of the birth of every child, and the same joy present even in the midst of chaos.   Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
"When Fear Cramps Your Heart" - Sunday December 23, 2018
by FPUU Admin on December 23rd, 2018
The angels don’t call us to a life without fear – that is not humanly possible – and some fears are appropriate ... Rather, the angels remind us not to be bound by our fears ....  They remind us when we feel fear to take a breath and consider its cause and its effect.  Is it a fear coming from wisdom and intuition or a fear coming from a sense of loss or losing control?  Is the effect of the fear ...  Read More
When Fierce Angels Visit - December 2, 2018
by FPUU Admin on December 5th, 2018
Angels have gotten a bad rap in recent years.  With shows like “Touched by an Angel” and Sophie Burnham’s books on angelology, angels have been domesticated, diminished to sweet and safe guardian who look out for human beings and steer them to gifts they are said to deserve but might have missed.  That is nothing like the angels in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Those angels are fierce, uppity...  Read More
"Do Unitarian Universalists Celebrate Christmas?" - November 25, 2018
by FPUU Admin on November 26th, 2018
“Do Unitarian Universalists celebrate Christmas?”  Do people ask you this question?  They certainly ask me.  Usually it’s somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Year’s – I’m talking to someone who knows a little about our tradition but not much, and he wonders if I’m celebrating what he’s celebrating.  I always say “yes,” but the answer’s not really that simple.  We may be observing the same holy ...  Read More
Frankenstein, the Monster, and Us - October 28, 2018
by FPUU Admin on October 28th, 2018
In many ways Frankenstein and his creature are doubles of one another.  A theatrical production of the story which played in London a few years ago highlighted that with the actors playing Frankenstein and the creature switching roles every performance. The creature is hideous to look at, but a blind man in the book, unbiased by its appearance, is struck by the sincerity of his words and receives ...  Read More
Healing the Heart of Democracy - October 14, 2018
by FPUU Admin on October 14th, 2018
As I thought this week about all the issues facing our democracy, this labeling of other people who disagree with us or cross us – or cut us off! – this making people “the other” or “those people” seems at the root of them all.             And more and more it seems those labels come up:  Those people who want to pull books from the Scituate school curriculum; those people who rejoiced when Brett ...  Read More
The Risk of Peace - May 13, 2018
by FPUU Admin on May 13th, 2018
"Whatever our gender, whether we are mothers or not, promoting the health and growth of those in our care is the meaning of mothering." Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
A UU Diet - May 6, 2018
by FPUU Admin on May 6th, 2018
A healthy diet for body, mind and spirit seems ever harder to achieve.  In most households, adults are working full-time out of the home, and if someone is staying at home, that can be a full-time job too.  I get to the end of the day, to that window for cooking and eating dinner before heading out to a meeting or scouts or soccer practice, and even when I’ve planned a balanced meal, I often find ...  Read More
Journey to a New World - April 29, 2018
by FPUU Admin on April 29th, 2018
"John Lothropp left England for a new world in America, but perhaps the greatest journey he made was in his village in Kent, when he dismantled the framework of belief which confined him to journey into what he felt was a life-giving faith. "  Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
Staying Safe/Staying Open
by FPUU Admin on April 23rd, 2018
Type your new text here. "One of my favorite Charles Addams cartoons shows a college quad with a banner hung between pillars – “Welcome Class of ‘54”. Gathered below is the reuning class of ’54 – scruffy, in patched clothes, not a pin-striped suit or polished loafer among them. In the caption, one alumnus says to another: 'I thought it was me, but maybe the school’s no damn good.'I am thinking abo...  Read More
A Wrinkle in Resurrection - Easter Sunday April 1, 2018
by FPUU Admin on April 1st, 2018
"This is the good news the angels offer to the women at the empty tomb and that they, beyond the bounds of the story, offered to the other disciples.  Love – love which calls them back into their stories as actors, spreaders of the good news of the power of love, beings of love incarnate, as Jesus was and every other dancer of Life.  And this good news comes to us also, inviting us into the dance,...  Read More
Why Are You Weeping? - Easter Sunrise April 1, 2018
by FPUU Admin on April 1st, 2018
“Why are you weeping?” the angels ask Mary.  And she answers with the facts – because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have put him.  But it seems the answer isn’t good enough, because Jesus asks her the same question in his guise as the gardener.  He’s standing right there, so he’s obviously heard her first answer.  But he asks again, “Why are you weeping?”  This time she...  Read More
Listen to What Breaks your Heart - Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018
by FPUU Admin on March 25th, 2018
Type your new text here. "Black Panther and the story of Palm Sunday are ultimately both about power and suffering – how we use our power to respond to a suffering world.   Do we let our hearts break open or do we keep them closed?  Do we place ourselves in the midst of the suffering or above it?"  Read the whole sermon here:  ...  Read More
Paying Attention = Prayer
by FPUU Admin on March 18th, 2018
"Pay attention.  When you listen deeply to someone, so deeply that you feel what they are feeling, so deeply that you are not thinking about what you will say next but only holding them in your love, you are praying.  When you feel grateful for a kindness offered to you or for a luxury or privilege you enjoy, you are praying.  When you regret something hurtful you said or did – or something helpfu...  Read More
Revelation Is Not Sealed - March 11, 2018
by FPUU Admin on March 11th, 2018
"Revelation is not sealed."   That insight today lies at the core of our good news:  each of us must cultivate that inner voice, that communion with sheer silence, that relationship with God – whatever word you use.  The name doesn’t matter.  What matters is that truth not be limited or shut off because we didn’t hear it, didn’t understand it, or didn’t communicate it.  Truth speaks through us.  R...  Read More
We Worship with our Lives - February 11, 2018
by FPUU Admin on February 11th, 2018
"I rejoice in giving to this church because this church is doing things I rejoice in!"  For our annual Stewardship Sunday, Ann Svensen and Alma Morrison reflected on why and how they rejoice in First Parish.  Read their sermon here:...  Read More
We Worship with our Lips - February 4, 2018
by FPUU Admin on February 4th, 2018
"Worship draws us out of ourselves to engage with the holiness at the heart of creation; it invites the marchers into meditation and draws the mystics into engagement; it engages the orderly in the messiness of relationship and the dancers into the patterns of the year. "  Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
What Love Looks Like - January 14, 2018
by FPUU Admin on January 14th, 2018
"With Scituate being 96% white, the statistics I’m about to talk about may feel foreign to you.  Though experiences like Joy’s may bring them closer to home.  But until we understand these statistics are our statistics, until we understand the people behind the statistics as our people, nothing will change.  This may not be your life but it must be our concern if we are to make real that world whe...  Read More
Where the Light Leads - January 7, 2018
by FPUU Admin on January 7th, 2018
Once upon a time, long, long ago, not in a galaxy far far away, but in this one, in this world, some scholars say in Iran, some in Turkey, there were Zoroastrian priests studying the skies for wisdom. .... Continue reading:...  Read More
Finding Peace at Rick's Cafe - December 3, 2017
by FPUU Admin on December 3rd, 2017
Seventy five years ago last Sunday, the movie Casablanca opened.  November 26, 1942.... In a week when we’ve had North Korean missile tests bring the threat of war closer to our shores than it’s been since those days of World War II, the President retweeting videos purporting to show Muslim violence, the passing of the Republican tax bill with its topsy turvy values, and the firing for sexual hara...  Read More





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