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

Posts with the category “sermons”

Slavery in Scituate - June 19, 2022
by FPUU Admin on June 19th, 2022
For this Juneteenth service, three of First Parish's congregants joined Pam Barz in reflecting on the legacy of slavery and what this day means in our in our community.  Read More
Out of Time - April 3, 2022
by FPUU Admin on April 5th, 2022
Pamela Barz reflects on what she gleaned over the past three months of sabbatical, on her first Sunday back.  Read More
Solvitur Ambulando (It Is Solved by Walking) - March 21, 2021
by FPUU Admin on March 21st, 2021
Many of us have relied on walking and being in nature to center our bodies and minds over this past year. Pamela Barz reflects on this healing practice. Elizabeth Dubuisson’s music this week includes Gade from Lyric Pieces, Op. 57 by Edvard Grieg. Download the pdf of the sermon here....  Read More
Committed to Connection - March 4, 2021
by FPUU Admin on March 7th, 2021
Our joint worship with the Towson (MD) Unitarian Universalist Church celebrates connection on the 1 year anniversary of our last in-person service.  The service includes reflections by Pamela Barz and Clare Petersberger, minister of the Towson UU Church.  The service includes music played by Elizabeth Dubuisson and Tracy Hall, music director of the Towson Church, who also leads us in a practice of...  Read More
Dum Spiro Spero - Feb 28, 2021
by FPUU Admin on February 28th, 2021
Our focus on healing continues with a service on Breath. ("Dum Spiro Spero" means "While I breathe, I hope.")  Pamela Barz preaching.   The First Parish Choir sings "Give Me Wings" by Mark Patterson. Elizabeth Dubuisson plays "Page d’Album" by Claude Debussy, "Back to Life" by Giovanni Allevi, and "Menuet I" from "Partita #1" by J.S. Bach. The service also includes, with permission, a video of the...  Read More
Broken Pieces - Feb 21, 2021
by FPUU Admin on February 21st, 2021
As we reach the one year anniversary of the pandemic shutdown and slowly move towards coming out of it, our worship theme over the next few weeks will focus on healing.  On this first Sunday, we look at the broken pieces and the beauty which may build from them. Pamela Barz preaching. Elizabeth Dubuisson plays music by Clif Harden, Enrique Grenados, and J. S. Bach. The choir sings "Now I Walk in B...  Read More
Side with Love - UUA service - Feb 14, 2021
by FPUU Admin on February 14th, 2021
What if to "side with love" meant making bold, faith-full choices? What if it were even a little bit scary? This worship service brings together worship leaders and musicians from across the country to offer hopeful, moving, challenging reminders about what we, as Unitarian Universalists, are called to do, and BE, in the world. Today we join with UU's around the country for a shared worship experi...  Read More
Equanimity in Times of Covid-19 - Jan 31, 2021
by FPUU Admin on January 31st, 2021
Guest Preacher, Paul Langston-DaleyThe Rev. Mr. Paul Langston-Daley joins us today as our guest preacher. Paul writes about his service: "As we continue to be physically separated from one another, many are finding it difficult to remain balanced and grounded. Our common and daily activities have been interrupted now for almost a year and with so much disruption it's hard to set any new patterns. ...  Read More
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
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
The Gospel According to Scooby-Doo - Halloween Sermon 2020
by FPUU Admin on October 25th, 2020
“Scooby Dooby Doo! Where are you? We need some help from you now.” That song summonedchildren along with the detective dog and his human companions to 25 episodes of “Scooby-DooWhere Are You?” Unlike other theme songs which tell us something about the characters we’reabout to see, this song tells us nothing. It doesn’t even tell us that Scooby-Doo is a dog. Instead itsets us down in the middle of ...  Read More
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: Struggle and the Joy - June 14, 2020.pdf...  Read More
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
Leaning In – A Reflection for Annual Meeting Sunday by Mary Beaulieu
by FPUU Admin on June 1st, 2020
So, it is spring– A time for renewal and rebirth … for shedding our winter coats, basking in the warmth of the sun …  anticipating the promise of summer – the beautiful summer that comes to our very special community by the sea. And yet, this year, in this time, everything is more than just a little bit different. ... Read the rest of Mary's reflection here:...  Read More
Where Is God by Jo Murphy - May 17, 2020
by FPUU Admin on May 17th, 2020
"During this pandemic I am unable to go intoas many rooms, we are not allowed to hold hands, my mask is alwayson, I pray into door cracks, I take pauses with nurses, and remember Idon’t actually have any more control than I did before the pandemic. Ihave never been a doctor, I have never been able to heal, instead I tryevery day to do what we did during the pastoral prayer. I try to fillmyself wit...  Read More
Setting a Reminder for the Sacred - May 3, 2020
by FPUU Admin on May 3rd, 2020
Pamela Barz reflects on how we may find peace during these times.   Elizabeth Dubuisson plays "Barcarole" by Gustav Ehrlich, "Sailor’s Song" (Lyric Pieces, Op. 68 #1) by Edvard Grieg, and leads us in singing "Peace, Salaam, Shalom" by Emma's Revolution.  Members read "First Lesson" by Philip Booth and lead us in a guided meditation....  Read More
Worship with Nick Page - April 26, 2020
by FPUU Admin on April 26th, 2020
UU composer, musician, and singer Nick Page joins Pamela Barz, Elizabeth Dubuisson, and members of the adult and children's choirs in a service on finding hope and joy. When he's not leading worship, Nick Page is a Boston based composer, conductor and author who is best known for his song leading. In the 1980's he was a conductor with the Emmy Award winning Chicago Children's Choir. Since 1990, he...  Read More
Listening To The Earth - Earth Day - April 19, 2020
by FPUU Admin on April 19th, 2020
Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day by giving thanks for all the ways Nature is sustaining us today. The service will include reflections by church members; Pamela Barz will lead the service and Elizabeth Dubuisson will play "Evocation of Butterflies" by Catherine Rollin,"Sunshine on My Shoulders" by John Denver, and the theme from Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphonie" (arr.Fish), and lead ...  Read More
We Will Emerge - Easter Sunday - April 12, 2020
by FPUU Admin on April 12th, 2020
Passover and Easter both tell stories of people moving from narrow spaces to larger life, stories which offer hope to us today. In this service, Pamela Barz reflects on these stories  Read More
The Prophet From Nazareth - April 5, 2020
by FPUU Admin on April 3rd, 2020
As Christians move into Holy Week, Pamela Barz reflects on what hope Jesus' teachings and ministry offer to us as we experience many of our society's structures and systems making this time even more difficult for many among us.   Read More
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
Making Good - Virtual Service - March 22, 2020
by FPUU Admin on March 22nd, 2020
Beginning the week of Sunday March 15, First Parish gathered by Zoom instead of in person. This is our first recording, a week later....  Read More
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
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
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
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
A Delightful New Year - January 5, 2020
by FPUU Admin 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 par...  Read More
Hope from Heartbreak - December 8, 2019
by FPUU Admin 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...  Read More
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
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
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





"A Charlie Brown Christmas" "Church is a place where we get to practice being human" "Elizabeth Goudge" "Hope is the thing with feathers" "I Don't Want to be the Strong Female Lead" "I Worried" by Mary Oliver "Live to see clearly and the light will come /To you and as you need it." "Love is the doctrine of this church and service is its law" "Pilgrim's Inn" "Teach us to number our days." "The Silence of the Stars" "This Little Light of Mine" "We shall be a city upon a hill" "original relation to the universe" "those people" #UULent 1st principe 200th anniversary 2016 Presidentail politics 2016 Presidential election 2017 Presidential Inauguration 500th anniversary 7th Principle 95 Theses A Christmas Carol A Wrinkle in Time A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in Abundance Adam Advent African American Alcott All Souls Day All Souls Alliance of Unitarian and Other Liberal Christian Women Amalfi Amy-Jill Levine Amy An Inspector Calls Anne Robertson Annual Report sermon Ascension Day At-one-ment Balance egg at Spring Equinox Balance Ballad of Gilligan's Island to tune of Amazing Grace Beacon Beltane Beth Betty Williams Bible Black Panther Blake covenant Bonnie Prince Charlie Boston Braiding Sweetgrass Brett Kavanaugh Brit Marling Bryan Stevenson COVID19 Canvass Capuchin Crypt Casablanca Channing Charles Chauncy Charles Darwin Unitarian Charles Darwin Charles Dickens Charles M. Schulz Charlie Brown Christmas Eve sermon Christmas Eve Christmas star Christmas Community Coronavirus Daphne Day of the Dead Days of Awe Democracy Dickens Divinity School Address Duty Earth Day Earth Easter Gospel of Mark Easter Parade Easter story Easter Edmund Hamilton Sears Eleven Elizabeth Alexander Elizabeth Blackwell Emerson Epiphany Eric Garner Esther Everybody Comes to Rick's Eve Extravagance Faith & Film Ferry Beach Fifth Principle First Parish Ladies' Sewing Circle First Sunday in Lent First Sunday Forgiveness Frankenstein Franz Gruber Fred Friendship Garden of Eden Genesis 1 Genesis 2 George Floyd Gilligan's Island Girl before a Mirror God Gospel Gratitude Greta Guerwig Greta Thunberg Halloween sermon Halloween Hanukkah Happiness Harold Bloom Harry Potter Henry Whitney Bellows Heroes High Holidays High Holy Days Honor Hospitality Hurricane Harvey I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day I-Thou I-You Individualism Inside Out Isaiah 40: 1-4 Italy J.B. Priestley Jacob Marley Jesus' baptism Jesus Jo March Jo's Boys John 20 John Lothropp John Winthrop Jonathan Safran Foer Joseph Mohr Joseph Joyce Byers Jo Julia Ward Howe Julian of Norwich Just Mercy Kindness Koran Laurie Le Chambon Lenten practice Lenten sermon Lent Lilly Endowment Program for Excellence in Ministry Linus Little Men Little Women Longfellow Lord of the Dance Louisa May Alcott Love once again break our hearts open wide Lucy van Pelt Luke 2: 10-14 Luke 2: 10 Luke 2:14 Luke MLK Sunday sermon Mairead Corrigan March for Life March sisters Marcia McFee Marie Curie Mark 14: 3-9 Mark Marley's Ghost Marley's Ghost Martin Buber Martin Luther King Martin Luther Mary Magdalene Mary Shelley Massachusetts Bible Society Matthew 6:27 May Day Meditation Meg Murry Meg Membership Sunday sermon Millie Dresselhaus Mobius strip Mother's Day Mothers' Day Mystic Seaport Museum National Airlines flight 2511 Native American Nativity Nature Nelle Morton New Year's sermon New Year's sermon New Year\'s sermon No seed ever sees the flower. 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What Unitarian Universalists believe Why do bad things happen Will Byers William Cullen Bryant Witch-hunt Witches Women Touched by Grace Women's March Wonder World War I Christmas truce Yom Kippur You are the light of the world action addiction afterlife anam cara angels angel art atheist awe baby dedication baker ban books beloved community birds black liberation theology blessed bones bread brevity of life bridging divides broken heart brokenness calling can worrying make your life longer? candles canvass sermon care change child dedication church covenants church clay bird clergy climate change climate crisis climate strke college reunion community dinner compost cosmic costume courage covfefe creation myths creation stories dance darkness death penalty death diet diversity do Unitarian Universalists celebrate Christmas? don't believe in God dream drunk from wells I did not dig economic inequality election end of days end-of-life environment evil evolution faith fear of death fear feeding ourselves and others finances finitude fire communion sermon flowers and joy follow football and the church football sermon frameworks freedom friends funding gardening and joy ghost story give the money to the poor giving glacier good grace graitude grief happy hearing into speech history holiness holy hopes for 2015 hope hubris human nature humanism hygge immortality imperfection incarnation inequality inequity inherent goodness inherent worth and dignity interpretation journey joy cometh in the morning joy judging justice kairos kite flying kites language lean in lectio divina life changes life of deep fulfillment light listening lives lost love lucky magi masks meaning in life meddle ministry miss the mark mission modern-day Transcendentalism monsters mortality movie mystery new earth new reformation nostalgia nurturing spirituality othering others parable paradigm shift paying attention peace dove peace perspective philia pledging poems poetry polarization political divide post-election sermon potluck suppers power and privilege praise prayer pray priesthood of all believers prosperity gospel racism randomness reason reconciliation recycle reflection regrets relationship religion renewables repentance resilience response resurrection reuse rich young man risk ritual role of women in Unitarian church sabbath and climate change sacred time sacrifice salvation science fiction security blanket seed self-acceptance self-care self-esteem sell all your possessions sermon on control sermon on fear sermon on fulness of life sermon on worry sermon seven deadly sins seven generations shooting silence sin skeleton slavery social justice sabbath sorrow sower spiritual practice spiritual response to election spiritual thirst spirituality spirituals stars star statistics stories story substance abuse suffering sunrise take something on for Lent talking about death tax collector teshuvah thanks the church in the 21st century the end of work the woman with the ointment theology time transforming church trees I did not plant trust umami spirituality understanding universe vision vulnerabaility vulnerablility war we aren't in control weeping whole hearted wind wishes for end-of-life care witch hats women at the empty tomb women worship preferences worship styles worship