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


Musically Speaking – January 13th, 2023

Happy New Year!  All hopes and optimism return as we start anew this year.  Challenges can be overcome and we can create the goodness we want to see and be in 2023.  Our theme for January is Finding our Center, and success toward our shared world can rest on finding and knowing who we are, collectively and individually.  Our choir will be singing two anthems on January 29th that remind us of just that.  I have to admit that I love these two pieces of music and I love that our choir is growing!...

Musically Speaking – November 2020

Do you ever wake up with a song in your mind?  I do.  Today I woke up singing our Hymn of the Month,  The Lone Wild Bird.  This is not unusual for me.  The music around me really does permeate my inner life.  Inside my head, I tend to continue to sing music I am playing on my oboe, choir music, children’s music, and now even hymns.  I am constantly finding new ways to do old songs.  Considering the upheaval of the last few weeks, the dream lives we have could be corrupted with the political...

Singing at the Bedside of the Dying – August 23, 2020

For the thirty years after my father passed, I had talked to myself and others about wanting to work as a hospice volunteer in some capacity. When my mother passed a few years ago, the urge to work with hospice patients was reawakened once again. I knew I had some skills I could lend to an organization by offering administrative support, but I really wanted to do something that would allow me to engage more directly with patients and their families. As a singer/guitarist, I thought that...

Musically Speaking, June 2020

This month’s Musically Speaking is contributed by Guy Urban.
Charlyn is officially the FPW Music Director, and I am officially the accompanist, although it’s probably pretty obvious that we work together on almost every aspect of music at FPW.

Musically Speaking – May 2020

It occurred to me that all churches right now must be doing online services. I do not believe that any church would just stop all operations, especially during a pandemic when they are so needed. HOW they do the online services might be quite different. So, I contacted two of my respected colleagues and friends who are UU music directors, one in West Newton and one in Winchester. And, indeed, they do the musical parts of their services quite differently than we do. Each has a singular...

Music Sunday Homily by Guy Urban – May 3, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, a student at Wheaton College, where I used to teach, emailed me with some questions. She was writing a senior thesis on the role of music in church, and her advisor, an old colleague of mine, told her I was a church musician and she should contact me. Being totally caught up in preparing the virtual choir for today’s Music Sunday service, I struggled to find the time to think about her questions, but even when I found some time, I discovered that our current quarantine...

Musically Speaking – March 2020

Abundance is our theme of the month, and I celebrate all of us as artists with recognition and gratitude.  I am serious that I think we are all artists!  Special about us is that we are active in the church community and the general community at large as we share our talents.  Some examples:   1.  Any guest minister that has been with us has admitted that we are a fine singing congregation.  This year, we have been introducing new hymns and you all learn them and sing them with your whole...

Musically Speaking – January 2020

February 2nd is a day filled with history from the British Isles, as Candlemas, Imbolg, and/or Groundhog Day.  It is exactly half-way between Winter solstice and the Spring Equinox.  Its roots are from the pagan and Christian beliefs about the end of Christmastide and the beginning of spring.  It is about the kindness and strength of the goddess/saint Brigid, who has come to be the patroness of fire, healing, inspiration and new life.  People weave Brigid-crosses out of straw and eat pancakes...

Muscially Speaking – December 2019

Music and Hope. Perhaps there is always hope when there is music. I don’t think that there HAS to be music for there to be hope. Music just might make it easier. This makes me think of what it is like singing in a hospice choir. (Jean Gauthier started the Wayfare Singers, a hospice choir, and I am a member.) I have learned that hope is quality of life for a person in hospice. What is comforting is a small group of people coming into your room for a “SING”. We do a “SING” at least once per...

April 2024