“Thinking About God: Theistic Beliefs and Practices” This is the second lay service the worship committee has planned about our members’ beliefs and practices. We’ve asked our three speakers to address questions such as: What is the source of your faith or beliefs in your religious or spiritual life? Does “God” or the “Divine” call to you and manifest itself in your life? What is your motivating religious / spiritual impulse and how is it made manifest in your life?
“A Walk to the Altar of the World” by Andrea Greenwood – April 29, 2018 (Ordination Sermon for Jolie Olivetti)
A Walk to the Altar of the World A Sermon for the Ordination of Jolie Olivetti April 29, 2018 The First Parish of Watertown The Rev. Andrea Greenwood One autumn day, in a century that has passed, I took a small expedition to the woods of New Hampshire. Somewhere I had read that there was a […]
“Easter Magic” by Andrea Greenwood -Years and years ago, out pickling berries with my two year old, O asked him how he found so many and he answered very simply: “I open my eyes.” What do you see on Easter morning when the eyes of your eyes are opened? What treasures are hiding nearby, awaiting your discovery?
“Composting for Our Future” by Mark W. Harris – For the past few years Andrea and I have been mixing up a stew of copost in our backyard. Worms point to a symbiotic relationship of mutuality and collective care. Where do we offer nourishment and fortification to others? This is a service in celebration of spring.
“A Good Value Faith” – by Mark W. Harris – Many of us think about money all the time. This is not an obsession, but a reality that bills need to be paid, or we have to see if we have enough for retirement. Can we afford dental implants or a vacation? Our feelings about money often reflect scarcity, fear and limitations. How is that relevant to our faith?
“Shepherds and Psalms” by Andrea Greenwood -Somewhere I read that it was shepherds who started the whole notion of counting; that as their flocks grew too large to keep track of by name, they started to develop systems of numbering – which later transferred into methods for counting stitches in knitting. This put a whole new spin on the old advice to count sheep as a way to fall asleep, and got me thinking about shepherds . . .
“The Sacred in the Profane” by Mark W. Harris – The President of the US has brought profanity to a new level by using it in public settings. The use of offensive language in reference to certain countries where he preferred not to see immigrants coming from was a recent example. Yet all of us swear, some more profusely than others. What is the purpose of swearing? Can it be used for good?
“Slipping on the Shoes” by Andrea Greenwood – I realized that this year Valentine’s Day coincides with Ash Wednesday; the holiday devoted to love mingled with one that asks us to reflect on temptation and sin. How might these themes combine to send us out into the world with courage and hope?
“What Makes a Church?” Mark W. Harris – This morning is a participatory service, where people will ask the question of themselves, what are you hoping to get out of church? Is it a place where you are trying to be a better person, or do you only want a community that affirms the person you already are? Is it about affirming your needs, or is it about having a vision for what a true community can be?
“Happiness is a Warm Gun” by Mark Harris – Gun violence is a terrible blight on our country. Bowing to the NRA, every politician seems to affirm the “Right to Bear Arms.” Drawing on the old Beatles song, we see how fear grips us all, and we need to regain our faith and trust in each other.
“Birthdays and Bicycles” by Andrea Greenwood – The other day, Mark and I were talking about what Martin Luther King, Jr. would be doing were he alive today. I was thinking about income equality and the poor people’s campaign. Mark was thinking about gun violence. Then I remembered a story about the year Martin Luther King, Jr. got a bicycle for his birthday. What did it represent? Where might it carry him?
“I’m On the Prayer Chain” by Mark W. Harris – Last year when I was having issues with my heart, the women in the office at St. Patrick’s Church asked if they could put me on the prayer chain. Thinking every prayer helps, I said, yes. What does it mean to be on the prayer chain?
Christmas Eve Homily – “Decorating Our Lives” – How do the ornaments we hang on our trees symbolize the stories of our lives, and the meaning we can share with others.
“Finding Sacred Places” by Mark W. Harris – Jesus is born in Bethlehem. His family goes down into Egypt to escape from King Herod. Places play such a huge role in all sacred stories. Time and place are often what define each of us. Where do you come from, and what does it say about you?