“Mixed Blessings” by Mark Harris – A Mixed Blessing is something that mostly seems favorable to us, but also has some unfavorable features, too. For some of us, it might hold us back from complete gratitude, but it is also true that what seems unfavorable may actually be a blessing in disguise.
“Something from Nothing” by Andrea Greenwood – By coincidence, several of the books I’ve read in recent weeks center on islands, and oddly – locksmiths have popped up in two. When there is water all around, how can we be strengthened, and made whole?
Lay Service – November 5, 2017
“Good Without God : Non-Theistic Beliefs and Practices”
The Worship Committee has invited three First Parish members to speak on this topic; Nick Woebcke, Victoria Grafflin and Tom Ostfeld. (This is the companion service to one on Theistic Belief and Practices that will happen in the spring How has God played a role in your spiritual journey.)
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Are UUs still Protestants? Does it mean we are Christians or just like to challenge any orthodoxy?
Do you ever panic when you learn you have to speak in public, or fly in an airliner, or drive into the city? A sermon on what makes you anxious, and why is there so much anxiety in our society.
Opening Words – “My People” by Langston Hughes The night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. The stars are beautiful, So the eyes of my people. Beautiful, also is the sun. Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people. Responsive Reading – adapted from “Dusk” by Langston Hughes Wandering in the dusk, Sometimes […]
Opening Words: adapted from Henry Beston, The Outermost House “Nature is part our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery, we cease to be fully alive. …The Pleiades and the wind in the grass are a part of the human spirit, a part of our very flesh and bone, ..and part […]
“Truth is Victorious” by Mark W. Harris First Parish of Watertown – September 17, 2017 Opening Words (responsive) (Upanishads, adapted) We gather as a community of memory and hope, On a journey that carries us from untruth to truth From ignorance to wisdom, From animosity to love, From bondage to freedom. We rededicate ourselves before […]
“Talking to Birds” by Jolie Olivetti – May 28, 2017 OPENING WORDS From the preface to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks… devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue […]
“Let Go of Guilt, Put Love Out Front” by Jolie Olivetti, May 21, 2017 OPENING WORDS “To Savor the World or to Save It” by Richard Gilbert I rise in the morning torn between the desire To save the world or to savor it—to serve life or to enjoy it; To savor the sweet taste […]
“Mindfulness and Music” Homily by Guy Urban for Music Sunday at FPW May 7, 2017 A year and a half ago, I got hearing aids. My audiologist told me that I was border-line — my perception of higher frequencies was declining, as expected at my age, but probably not enough to require hearing aids quite […]
“Joy Infusions” by Jolie Olivetti – April 16, 2017 – Easter Sunday OPENING WORDS “i thank You God for most this amazing” by e.e. cummings i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which […]
“Going Against the Tide” by Mark W. Harris The First Parish of Watertown – March 26, 2017 Opening Words ― from Henry David Thoreau, Walden We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in […]
“Parts of a Whole” by Jolie Olivetti OPENING WORDS “The World Has Need of You” by Ellen Bass everything here seems to need us Rainer Maria Rilke I can hardly imagine it as I walk to the lighthouse, feeling the ancient prayer of my arms swinging in counterpoint to my feet. Here I am, […]