Pastors' Blog

Dec 07, 2017 - Kent French

This week we will read the words from Isaiah 40, “Comfort, o comfort you my people.” They are the words of a people in exile. The words of people desperate for a good word, for release from captivity, for someone to lead them out on clear-cut paths.  

It’s the voice of people decimated by hurricanes and earthquakes this fall. It’s the voice of 65 million...

Nov 30, 2017 - Amy Norton

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown; of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown! Oh the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer; The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir!

I first heard this song on an old rerun of "Rick Steve's European Christmas," playing in the background while viewers were treated to some b-roll of the British countryside in winter. Suddenly I had a favorite Christmas song...well, alongside O Come, O...

Nov 21, 2017 - Amy Norton

Every time I go to give the benediction, part of me wants to launch into the song "Sabbath Prayer" from Fiddler on the Roof. While re-watching it, I may bristle at some of the gender stereotypes that are at play when the parents ask God to send their daughters husbands, and to make them good "mothers and wives." I'm struck nonetheless by the feeling of love both given and received: the looks on their faces remind me of...

Nov 16, 2017 - Kent French

This Sunday, we step aside once more from our series on the Elements of Worship to celebrate and prepare for Thanksgiving Day.

Last Sunday, we heard a wonderfully engaging sermon about communion, and what it means to share a table with our companions (literally, "those who break bread together") and to follow Jesus into the realm of risky love. As you prepare for whatever meal you...

Nov 09, 2017 - Amy Norton

As I grew up, I slowly became aware that different types of Christians celebrated communion at varying frequencies. My Catholic and Anglican friends took communion at every service, some of my non-denominational Protestant friends only had communion a handful of times per year. My church celebrated communion on the first Sunday of the month, the same Sunday that we’d re-affirm our church covenant, which had been written by the church community some time before I was born.

I never...

Nov 02, 2017 - Kent French

"Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?" Revelation 7:13

This Sunday we are going to step aside from our Elements of Worship series to remember All Saints Day, celebrated this past Wednesday, November 1. We will also welcome once again the Boston University Trombone Choir. (If you haven't experienced them before,...

Oct 26, 2017 - Kent French

Each Sunday, you and I make a theological statement together. We sing the words: Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise God, all creatures here below; Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise God the source of all our gifts! Praise Jesus Christ, whose power uplifts! Praise the Spirit, Holy Spirit! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

This is...

Oct 19, 2017 - Susan DeSelms

This week, our series on the Elements of Worship continues with an exploration of the ways in which music, and especially song, contribute to our worship as a community. This is a subject I've devoted much of my life to, so it is a pleasure to have a chance to share some of my thoughts and ideas with you in a formal way! Appropriately, the Cherubs, the Carolers and the Youth will also be offering their gifts to the congregation for the first time this fall, and along with the Chancel Choir,...

Oct 12, 2017 - Amy Norton

There’s a great little book published by the UCC writers' group, called A Book of (Un)common Prayers: Extraordinary Prayers for Ordinary Occasions. It’s one of my favorites. I love it because it covers such occasions as “When I’m Stuck in Traffic,” “When I Have Dreams I am Fred Astaire,” “Thanksgiving for Sex,” and “When I Play the Lottery” (included...

Oct 05, 2017 - Amy Norton

Has anyone ever wondered how a sermon comes into being? Or what makes a sermon such a unique genre? How might Jesus have gone about preparing his “Sermon on the Mount” (or “Sermon on the Plain”, if you prefer the version in Luke)? Writing a sermon felt so daunting to me when I first started seminary, I had no idea where to begin. Do I start with...

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