Sermons

“Cleaning out our Closets” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – October 20, 2019

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 course, soon thereafter, did a search for his sermon and was quickly reassured that he and I were approaching this topic from different angles. Not surprisingly, his was a reflection on the decluttering that was required of...

“Letting Go of the Plan” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – October 6, 2019

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 barques. Each sailing vessel carried an auxiliary steam engine and a twelve-day supply of coal for the entire projected two or three years’ voyage. Instead of additional coal…each ship...

“Jumping In” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – September 29, 2019

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 mitzvahs of many friends in my youth, I am not Jewish. But Judaism, along with Christianity and other world religions and indigenous, earth-based traditions, is one of the many sources of our...

“An Uncertain Climate” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – September 22, 2019

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 All of them gathering force before the United Nations Climate Action Summit which begins tomorrow. All led by youth, and inspired by 16-year old Greta Thunberg Greta started...

“Beginning the Journey” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – September 15, 2019

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 and even dangerous. Some journeys are metaphorical – still demanding – but less so physically and more so emotionally or spiritually. Like physical journeys, sometimes...

“How Are the Children?”  –  Mark W. Harris – May 19, 2019

“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 into mystery and questions Going into the desert. Getting to the other side.   Go forth, Leave behind the comfort and community of one place Head into the anxiety and...

“Expressions of Ministry”  – Mark W. Harris – May 5, 2019

“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.

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.

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