COVID-19

Parish Commitee – 6/26/2020 – We Can Do This!

Just as we had settled into a routine of meeting together on-line, summer arrived and with it plans and pressures to re-open.  As more and more spaces and businesses open, we are discovering that this is not a return to the way things were.  We are living in a time right now of uncertainty and upheaval.  Old ways of thinking and behaving are being challenged.  It seems that we must constantly analyze risks as we make day to day decisions – is it safe to get my hair cut, can we invite friends...

“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...

Moving Forward When You Cannot See

Last week I spoke of my experience, as a sailor, of having been becalmed…that experience of having the wind, upon which I relied entirely, stop blowing…of having found myself stuck, unable to move, forced to sit still, forced to wait. I quoted Richard Bode from his book, First You Have to Row a Little Boat, who said, “It is perhaps an all-too-human frailty to suppose that a favorable wind will blow forever,” and that perhaps learning to be still, learning to be patient, is “an imperative of...

In the Interim – May 1, 2020

In the fall when we chose our worship themes for the year, we decided on the theme of “thresholds” for May. Thresholds are those places between and it seemed like a promising theme for a congregation between settled ministers and on the cusp of its second of two interim years. According to dictionary.com a threshold is “the sill of a doorway,” “the entrance to a house or building,” or “any place or point of entering or beginning.” We cross thresholds every day of our lives, usually without...

“Your Life is Precious”

I don’t know who needs to hear this this week, but your life is precious…more precious than any stock holdings…more precious than anyone’s retirement account…more precious than the economy itself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made according to the Psalms. That is what the Christian faith of my childhood taught me. Today there’s an old pseudo-religion masquerading as “Christianity” which tells us that the almighty dollar is more important than life itself. But that is a lie. Of course,...

In the Interim – June 2020

As I write, peaceful protests in defense of black lives continue to grow in cities and towns in all 50 states. I think this is good news. And I pray for those who continue to put their bodies on the line for justice. Violence committed against protesters by police, egregious and unnecessary, is being recorded and reported. I think this is good news. And I pray for the victims of that violence. I pray that those who perpetrate it will be held accountable for it. And I pray that their hardened...

First Parish Building Remains Closed

Now that businesses are beginning to re-open in Massachusetts, you may be wondering when the First Parish building will again be available for meetings, services, rental uses, and other gatherings. Here is an important update for you. The church building is currently closed for all use, including, but not limited to church committee meetings, community organization meetings, rentals, and all other gatherings. Staff will coordinate their occasional use of the building with Wendy and each other....

“Becalmed” – Homily for 17 May 2020

I had the extreme good fortune of growing up with a father who loved to sail, and who instilled in me a love of sailing. As a child, I spent many weeks over the course of many summers, cruising the Chesapeake Bay, exploring its inlets and coves, sleeping in the cockpit under the stars. It was beautiful and lovely…except when it wasn’t. There were plenty of mosquitos at dusk and dawn, and many hours spent sitting still under a hot sun waiting for the wind to blow. For many years, I did not...

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