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

Posts with the tag “sermon”

I Believe in Love: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
by FPUU Admin on December 7th, 2020
Throughout the ages, people have gathered during the long nights of winter to tell stories of death and rebirth. They may be stories of bravery called out from unexpected people, of a quest fulfilled after long hardship, or of ghosts returning from the dead to offer a message of new life.   Read More
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I Believe in Hope: Longfellow's "Christmas Bells"
by FPUU Admin on November 29th, 2020
Longfellow wrote "Christmas Bells" after taking a walk on Christmas Day 1863 while he pondered themessage of the bells chiming from the church steeples of Boston and Cambridge.1863. You know from that date that the Civil War was on Longfellow’s mind as he took thatwalk.... read the rest of the sermon here:...  Read More
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The Struggle and the Joy - June 14, 2020
by FPUU Admin on June 17th, 2020
Pamela Barz reflects on sustaining ourselves for the long struggle for justice - with joy.  Read the sermon here:  http://cloud2.snappages.com/5624a7c26130d73fd8bc02853fb40190b5aa1249/The Struggle and the Joy - June 14, 2020.pdf...  Read More
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Toward the Light - Sunday June 7, 2020
by FPUU Admin on June 10th, 2020
"We come to church to practice the harder job of love.   Love takes others.  And here we find others committed to the practice.  Our worship is just the start of our practice.  And so if we’re going to lean in so that love may flow out, I’d like to invite you to think about church differently.  It’s not a time or place you pop into when you need to be fed.  It’s a commitment to a practice.  We sho...  Read More
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Love's Twist - Sunday March 29, 2020
by FPUU Admin on March 29th, 2020
"Love will not stop disease nor protect our bodies from what may come.  We are mortal.  But love does offer our spirits a softer journey over the road we travel, cushioning us from the fear for the future which makes the present worse.  Love’s twist, like the Mobius strip, rounds our lives into a wholeness comprehending all.  Let us rest in this love whatever the coming days may bring."  Read the ...  Read More
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Spiritual or Religious? How 'bout Both? - Sunday March 8, 2020
by FPUU Admin 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:   ...  Read More
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Finding Refuge: Sanctuary - Sunday March 1, 2020
by FPUU Admin 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...  Read More
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Turning Toward Love - Little Women - Feb. 9, 2020
by FPUU Admin 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 Osca...  Read More
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Turning Toward Light - Just Mercy - Feb. 2, 2020
by FPUU Admin 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;...  Read More
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Bah! Humbug! - December 1, 2019
by FPUU Admin 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:...  Read More
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The Upside Down - October 27, 2019
by FPUU Admin 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: ...  Read More
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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"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
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"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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Avian Angels - November 26, 2017
by FPUU Admin on November 26th, 2017
Birds are everywhere at Christmas when you start to look for them. ... Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
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Gratitude for the Whole - November 19, 2017
by FPUU Admin on November 19th, 2017
What would it mean for your Thanksgiving table if this year you gave thanks for risks, for risks you have taken and for those you are still gathering the courage to attempt?  How might you look differently at your life and what you have cause to be thankful for? .... Read the entire sermon here:...  Read More
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