large outdoor chalice with stone base and dark metal shallow bowl surrounded by garden plantings

Sermons

In the Interim – December 4th, 2020

This month at First Parish we will be reflecting together in worship on our own relationships with stillness, and with the benefits that come from being still. This season is often a busy one, filled with activities and to-do lists. Perhaps, because of the pandemic, that will not be so true this year, at least not in the familiar ways. Perhaps you welcome the idea of “doing” less, or perhaps you dread it. But in either case, there are benefits that can come from the practice of being still. In...

Singing at the Bedside of the Dying – August 23, 2020

For the thirty years after my father passed, I had talked to myself and others about wanting to work as a hospice volunteer in some capacity. When my mother passed a few years ago, the urge to work with hospice patients was reawakened once again. I knew I had some skills I could lend to an organization by offering administrative support, but I really wanted to do something that would allow me to engage more directly with patients and their families. As a singer/guitarist, I thought that...

Fair Is Not Always Equal – August 16, 2020

Before I begin my homily, I invite you to participate in an art activity. Today’s story,It’s Okay to be Different, is appealing for many reasons, one of which is Todd Parr’s bold and accessible art style. The beauty of the illustrations lie in their simplicity.  The differences of the characters are presented simply and boldly to be celebrated.  For this activity, if you were to add a page to the story about yourself, what would it say? What would the illustration look like? Why? I invite you...

Conflicting Feelings – August 2, 2020

Good Morning! I gave myself a hair cut for the occasion. I’ll take it on faith that at least one person laughed at that. Has anyone else watched the late shows and laughed at a joke and wondered why no one else was laughing? It’s a totally different experience when there is no live audience agreeing with me. I wanted to talk today about conflicting feelings and emotions and choosing to change our attitudes and perceptions. When this quarantine and new way of life began I found myself planning...

The Magical, Mystical, Wonderful World of Trees – July 26, 2020

This reflection was presented with a slideshow of photographs by Carole Smith Berney. My Favorite Trees Many of you may know me as a nature and wildlife photographer. But did you know that I’m a “tree hugger”? Meaning, I love trees, their diversity, strength, beauty, graceful forms, and the benefits they bring to us. From my early years, trees have had special meaning for me. So, here comes a story about how I met some favorites. Once upon a time, as a young teenager, I would climb up and sit...

Poetry Potluck – July 19, 2020

Welcome! This morning's service is a Poetry Potluck - in which you are all invited to join the feast by bringing your favorite dish - in this case poetry - and sharing the poetic nutrition that feeds us - feeds our sense of wonder and mystery, feeds our soul, feeds our sense of shared community: sacred and profane, moving us to tears or making us laugh. Robert Frost wrote that great poetry “begins as a lump in the throat . . a homesickness, a lovesickness.” Poetry stirs something you can’t...

Why Bother? – July 12, 2020

Our opening words today are a paraphrase and extension of words from a speech by John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Some look at things as they are, and ask “Why? Others see things as they could be, and ask “Why not?” Still others take just one look/see, and say “Why bother?” When I was approached about doing a summer service, my partner and I had recently started volunteering with a local Sanctuary Church. I'd like to share a few thoughts from that experience: In the orientation, we were asked not to...

“The Language of the Unheard” – A Homily for Pentecost

We find ourselves once again at the threshold of a new month. Tomorrow is the first day of June, which means the beginning of Pride Month. When we met for our staff meeting on Tuesday, we thought we might focus this morning on Pride and on this congregation’s commitment to being welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons. That afternoon, I started watching the documentary “How to Survive a Plague.” It sounded timely given our current state. It recounts the story of AIDS activists in the 1980’s...

Flower Communion Sunday – June 21, 2020

What an exquisite bouquet of people you are! I am touched and moved, even today, even in this time of physical distancing – or perhaps especially because of it – by this ritual and by Rev. Capek’s original message to his people…the simple message that each person is as beautiful and wonderful as a flower in bloom. Each one of us possesses an inherent worth, an inherent goodness, and an inherent beauty that neither time nor our distance from one another can diminish. That was Rev. Capek’s...

Sermons by our minister and homilies by lay speakers call us to reflect on our lives and spirituality, learn from the sources of our Unitarian Universalist faith, and deepen our commitment to social justice.

April 2021
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