large outdoor chalice with stone base and dark metal shallow bowl surrounded by garden plantings


“Our Soul’s Address” – November 14th 2021

I am so proud to be a part of this church. What a vibrant, big-loving, truth-telling people you are. I hope you hear that this morning. Part of our commitment to being a Welcoming Congregation, for that is what this the First Parish of Watertown is, means considering what it means to truly belong in this place. And we can do this in a myriad of ways. Being a place of welcome can mean a lot of things. But at its core, and underneath all the different ways that we express and live welcome, is...

Remembered Names of Trans Americans Killed in 2021

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. During our service on Sunday, November 14th First Parish of Watertown commemorated these trans siblings who were lost in 2021: EJ Boykin, 23 Oliver Taylor, 17 Taya Ashton, 20 Samuel Valentin Shai Vanderpump, 23  Bianca Bankz, 30 Miss CoCo, 44 Natalia Smut, 24 Pooh Johnson  Fifty Bandz, 21 Zoella Martinez, 20...

“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...

Flower Communion Sunday – June 21, 2020

What an exquisite bouquet of people you are! I am touched and moved, even today, even in this time of physical distancing – or perhaps especially because of it – by this ritual and by Rev. Capek’s original message to his people…the simple message that each person is as beautiful and wonderful as a flower in bloom. Each one of us possesses an inherent worth, an inherent goodness, and an inherent beauty that neither time nor our distance from one another can diminish. That was Rev. Capek’s...

“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,...

“Finding Our Religious Label” by Mark W. Harris – May 15, 2016

“Finding Our Religious Label” by Mark W. Harris  May 15, 2016 – First Parish of Watertown, MA   Call to Worship – from Essentials by Jean Toomer (adapted)  “I am of no particular race. I am of the human race, a man at large in the human world, preparing a new race. I am of no specific region. I am of earth. I am of no particular class. I am of the human class, preparing a new class. I am neither male nor female nor in-between. . . I am of no special field. I am of the field of being.”  ...

November 2023