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

Posts with the tag “unitarian-universalist”

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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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 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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Touched by Grace - November 17, 2019
by FPUU Admin 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 Sister...  Read More
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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
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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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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
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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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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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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
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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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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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Flowers in the Crypt - October 29, 2017
by FPUU Admin on October 29th, 2017
"Halloween invites us to embody and engage our fear of death and that’s why we celebrate it here in church every year on the Sunday before All Souls Day:  The Universalist All Souls Day assures us that those we love who have died are still part of the love which holds us all, whatever each of us may believe about what happens after death.  The pagan Halloween reminds us that though we too must cro...  Read More
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Protestants of the Protestants - October 22, 2017
by FPUU Admin on October 22nd, 2017
"So much of what we believe and embody today comes from Martin Luther – that each of us has our own relationship with the divine and it is up to each of us to cultivate that relationship, that we can help one another in that process but that no one can speak as divine authority for another; that there is a grace or love at the heart of all life which we do not need to earn or to merit, but availab...  Read More
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Blessed or Lucky? - October 15, 2017
by FPUU Admin on October 15th, 2017
Why do bad things happen?  Why do good things happen?  Why do we suffer?  Why do we benefit?  Is someone in charge?  Is there a plan?  Human beings have pondered these questions for thousands of years without settling on an answer.  When something good happens do you attribute it to an outside force which chose you?  Or is it just the luck of the draw?  Does everything happen for a reason?  Or do ...  Read More
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Our Heroes - Sunday September 17, 2017
by FPUU Admin on September 17th, 2017
Who were your childhood heroes? How has your regard for them shaped yourlife path? (Read the whole sermon here:)...  Read More
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Sea Change - Sunday September 10, 2017
by FPUU Admin on September 10th, 2017
Think about the sea changes of your life... (Read the whole sermon here:)...  Read More
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For Such a Time as This - March 12, 2017
by FPUU Admin on March 12th, 2017
     A modern comedian, an ancient Persian queen, and a Kenyan environmentalist walk into a bar – not quite, but my sources for this morning’s sermon do sound like the beginning of a joke.  What else could bring together Maggie Rowe, actress, comedy writer, and author of the new spiritual memoir Sin Bravely: My Great Escape from Evangelical Hell; Esther, one of only two women to have a book of the...  Read More
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Off the Hook - March 5, 2017
by FPUU Admin on March 5th, 2017
Though we often don’t think of religious practice in these terms, I’ve come to believe that the purpose of all religious practice at its base is really to help us stay present to the struggles going on around us that we may engage in the struggles to help one another.  This is the idea of ubuntu.   Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
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Songs of Freedom - February 26, 2017
by FPUU Admin on February 26th, 2017
Think what these songs meant in a world where black slaves were told they had no inner light; think what they meant to freed men and women subject to the laws and terror of Jim Crow; think what they still mean today:  Today, when the unemployment rate is double for African Americans when compared to that of whites; when African Americans make up 35 % of the prison population but constitute only ab...  Read More
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Hygge or Happy - January 29, 2017
by FPUU Admin on February 2nd, 2017
"Happiness comes when our sights are on larger goals and we live beyond our own needs and wants.  Happiness comes when we understand our good is tied with and to the good of others, when we understand ourselves as part of a larger whole.  Happiness is based in the faith that the power of love and life, what I call God, flows within and among us and our world even when sometimes we can’t see it. " ...  Read More
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Hygge or Happy - January 29, 2017
by FPUU Admin on February 2nd, 2017
"Happiness comes when our sights are on larger goals and we live beyond our own needs and wants.  Happiness comes when we understand our good is tied with and to the good of others, when we understand ourselves as part of a larger whole.  Happiness is based in the faith that the power of love and life, what I call God, flows within and among us and our world even when sometimes we can’t see it. " ...  Read More
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Giving Birth to the Dream - January 22, 2017
by FPUU Admin on January 22nd, 2017
"Calls come to all of us.  The question is not are we called but how have we been called and will we have the courage and the companions to enable us to respond?"  Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
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Reminders of Who You Are - January 8, 2017
by FPUU Admin on January 8th, 2017
"Perhaps the most important contribution we as a Unitarian Universalist community have to offer today is our good news of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual.  Let us preach the gospel of light and love, the good news that each person is precious and loved and must be treated with loving care. "  Read the whole sermon here:...  Read More
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Fear Not! - Christmas Eve 2016
by FPUU Admin on December 24th, 2016
"What might living without fear mean in your life and in our world?  As we head into a new year with possibilities that scare many of us, as we ponder whether peace ever can “over all the earth its ancient splendors fling,” even as we deal with family tensions over the holidays, the good news the angels offer us is that the only way for “the whole world to send back the song which now the angels s...  Read More
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Turn Out the Light (and See the Stars) - December 4, 2016
by FPUU Admin on December 4th, 2016
"This is the spiritual path of the mystics.  Christians call it the Via Negativa, Buddhists, the way of No-thing.  Instead of pushing to find the light, the positive, in all situations, we recognize that life contains sadness as well as joy, that to find our way we must lose it, that we gain insight when we realize we know not, that doubt and uncertainty open the door to greater trust and faith. "...  Read More
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Hope - November 13, 2016
by FPUU Admin on November 13th, 2016
Our tradition tells us that we are rooted in Deep Love, which some call God.  When we live out of that Deep Love, we walk in the ways of justice, peace, and mercy; when we fail to live out of that Love, fear, division, and violence prevail.This election does indicate that many among us are afraid – afraid of not having enough, afraid of change and loss.  And while the election results call us to s...  Read More
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Talk about Fear! - October 30, 2016
by FPUU Admin on October 30th, 2016
Rod Serling's stories gave the women and men of the late 20th century a way to see their fears and talk about them.  Were you worried about the pressure to conform, the prospect of vigilante violence, the power of greed, society’s emphasis on beauty, or the down-side of self-reliance?  There’s an episode for that.  The stories give words to nameless fears and bring people together in naming and di...  Read More
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Water Communion Celebration 2016
by FPUU Admin on September 11th, 2016
On September 11, 2016 we celebrated water communion in a different way:  instead of bringing water to share, the congregation was offered water to drink as a symbol of the ways their lives are watered at First Parish.  Find the liturgy and Pamela Barz's sermon A Watered Garden here:...  Read More
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We Are Each Other's Harvest - May 1, 2016
by FPUU Admin on May 1st, 2016
In this convergence of May Day, Passover, and Ascension Day we have stories of liberation from the bonds of winter, from the bonds of slavery, and from the bonds of debt.  But what do those stories say to us today?  How do they help us deal with our society’s current problems with inequities of race, gender, income, and power?  Reach the whole sermon here:...  Read More
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Standing with Spine Tingling by Brian Sutton - April 17, 2016
by FPUU Admin on April 17th, 2016
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part is the seventh principle, which we hopefully keep in mind more than just on Earth Day. It's the only principle with a metaphor - the web.  The other principles are all abstract, incredibly important humanistic words, but hard to draw in Pictionary; words like acceptance, dignity, encouragement, justice, peace, truth, meanin...  Read More
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