During this month of November, we’re reflecting on the theme of Memory. This morning I’d like to spend some time thinking with you about memory and how it shapes us. About how the stories that we tell about ourselves and our experiences shape our sense of identity and self-understanding. Last week, we touched on the […]
Last week, we thought about grief together. And I mentioned that among the things we might find ourselves grieving these days are climate change and our current political situation. And it’s not just grief that we feel, it’s also anxiety and disorientation. Life feels hard to many of us right now, particularly challenging, as some […]
Last year, at just about this point in late October, my mom found herself first, in the hospital, and then in rehab, recovering from pneumonia. She was there for quite some time and, as any of you who have spent much time in medical facilities know, it can be hard to sleep in such places. […]
When I first announced a few weeks ago that I would be preaching a sermon on Marie Kondo’s book, one of you very kindly and graciously asked me if I knew that Mark had also preached on the same book this past spring. And I was very grateful to have learned of that. I, of […]
In her book, Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard tells a bit of the story of the English explorer, Sir John Franklin: “In 1845, Sir John Franklin and 138 officers and men embarked from England to find the Northwest Passage across the high Canadian Arctic to the Pacific Ocean. They sailed in two three-masted […]
This morning, I’d like to spend some time talking about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the days in between, which all together are known as the Jewish High Holy Days. And I want to begin with an acknowledgement that although I’ve had a deep life-long respect for Judaism, and attended the bar and bat […]
On Friday, 4 million people in 140 countries took to the streets to participate in the Global Climate Strike, making it the largest climate protest in history. • 400,000 people across Australia • 1.4 million in Germany, including 270,000 in Berlin alone • 100,000 in London • 250,000 in NYC • 40,000 in San Francisco […]
There are many kinds of journeys. People journey when they leave their homes or homelands of necessity, pushed by violence or scarcity or pulled by opportunity. People journey when they feel called to explore or discover the world around them, or to go on a pilgrimage. Some of those journeys are physical and demanding, arduous […]
“Movin’ On” by Mark W. Harris
June 2, 2019 – It is time to say farewell to church and community. How do we accept the transition to retirement, and move on?
“Living With Ghosts” by Mark W. Harris – We all live with ghosts. What ghosts from your past do you live with, and how do they affect you?
“How Are the Children?” – Mark W. Harris May 19, 2019 – First Parish of Watertown Opening Words – “Beyond Borders by Rick Hoyt Go forth Because we are always going forth from somewhere Going from our homes, our childhoods Going from our cities and countries Going from innocence to experience to enlightenment Going […]
“Expressions of Ministry” by Mark W. Harris – I have spent the last many weeks discussing with students where they derive their authority as ministers. Mostly we conclude that authority is drawn from the communities we serve. We must live with people and engage with people. As I disentangle from 23 years of ministry in Watertown, we all must ask what our expressions of ministry are in a congregation where we teach that we are all ministers to each other.
“Holy Envy” by Mark W. Harris – UUs often say that we don’t believe in that resurrection story, but that we believe in science where dead people don’t come back to life. Yet do we sometimes long for one transforming belief, and have holy envy towards those who do believe?
“The Power of Ideas” by Mark W. Harris – I have long been fascinated by the power of ideas, and how certain “truths” get inside our heads and remain there as gospel, even if they only contain a kernel of truth. How much does the power of an idea have a hold on you?