Four people with taper candles light chalice framed by two rings

Sunday Reflection – Katherine Calabro – March 12th, 2023

Mar 13, 2023

What does FPW mean to me?

Well, that question is going to require a walk down memory lane, because FPW has meant so much to me and my family over the years, and like all things, has evolved a great deal.

So, the year was 2008, Matt and I had moved to the Boston area about 18 months earlier for work and graduate school, and had been living in Watertown for the past 6 months (just down the street on Summer street). Aside from some colleagues, we didn’t know anyone in the area. Growing up, I remember my childhood church as a great place for community, and so the idea of finding a similar place here was appealing. But, I will admit, the spiritual side of a religious organization was more than a little off-putting. I had been raised in a Congregational church, and while it wasn’t super conservative or restrictive, I could never shake the feeling of: “Really? I have to buy into all of….that? Can’t we all admit that some of this is kind of suspect?” And so, like many, especially of my generation, I nearly wrote off all religion entirely.

But then in a random conversation, I learned about Unitarian Universalism, and like for many of us, it immediately felt like – “Oh: That!” Like I had been an UU all my life and never known it. When I found out that the nearest UU church was in walking distance, it felt serendipitous. The first time we attended service, it immediately felt right. Walking in, there was no overbearing religious imagery, the space was light and airy and welcoming. The readings weren’t all from the bible, but from all sorts of sources, from poetry, to Chinese proverbs, to pop song lyrics. It opened my eyes and let me start to actually THINK about what I believed, without any cloud of guilt hanging over me.

Since then, I have evolved from being a Guilty Agnostic, to a tentative Athiest, to a proud Athiest, to a confused Humanist, to, well, I don’t know if I could put a label on what I identify as now. But, that’s the great part- I don’t have to! I have realized that the journey- the ability to explore my spiritual side, and most importantly, the motivation to think outside of my comfort zone, is what I really value.

Now, back to that community aspect that originally inspired coming here. Over the past 15 years, Matt and I have gone through many different phases of our lives. In our 20s, we were fortunate that there were many other young couples attending- and they became some of our closest friends. While most of those friends have moved away, on to the next phases of their lives in other parts of the country, we will always remember the years of dinners, game nights, ski trips, nature walks, and everything in between. In our 30s, when we started a family, I’ll never forget the support we got from this community- the meals delivered to our door when we got back from the hospital, the advice from you wise older parents about everything from sleep schedules to daycare recommendations, the concern and support we got when we suffered complications during our second pregnancy. And now that we have school age kids, getting a chance to see my ‘Mom friends’ on Sundays is the highlight of my week. Once again, our closest friends are part of this community.

When I was first asked to talk a little about what FPW means to me, I was concerned about having enough to say. Now, it feels like what I’ve just shared barely scratched the surface. I could go on and on about the people I’ve met here, the growth I’ve experienced as a person, and the appreciation I have for a place where my children will grow into caring, self assured young adults who (hopefully) never have to feel unsure about who they are, or guilty about what they do or don’t believe.

Worship Committee
Website | + posts

The Worship Committee works with the Minister and the Music Director to ensure the spiritual needs of this congregation are met in the vision, structure, and tone of the worship services. The committee serves as the congregation’s means of actively participating in making its worship services meaningful and supportive or individual and communal spiritual growth and enhancement. The committee helps coordinate special services, lay-led services, and organizes lay-led summer services.

Related Posts: Sermons