Pastors' Blog

Jul 06, 2017 - Kent French

We keep hearing in the news about how deeply divided our country is. I've been watching the divide widen increasingly at least since the 2000 presidential election. I talk to people who have families like mine, where we are split down the middle by our politics and our theology.

Each political season it has become increasingly easy to vilify our opponents, to ridicule anything that comes out of their mouths. Our choice of media sources reinforces our sense of separateness. They...

Jun 29, 2017 - Kent French

Whenever I plan a wedding ceremony with a couple, I always assure them that something will not go as planned. The more planning that goes into the ceremony and reception, the more I emphasize this. The flower girl will have a last-minute meltdown, the best man will forget the rings, someone will flub their vows, an embarrassing relative will get drunk and start groping the groom.

Stuff will happen. And I often say, most likely it will be the unplanned things that end up being the most...

Jun 22, 2017 - Kent French

Shortly after Easter last year, a new visitor came to see me for a one-on-one chat. He immediately let me know that he was being investigated for a federal crime and would most likely be sentenced to several years in prison.

He told me that he was enjoying worship and our community, planned to come regularly while he waited out the legal process and just wanted to be up front with me about his situation. He has since become a regular worshiper, joined the church and has even shared...

Jun 14, 2017 - Kent French

In the 10th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 10:1-23), Jesus commissions his disciples. He uses some pretty strong language. He impels them to do things like: cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, travel without money or baggage, don't suffer people who don't welcome you. It's a tall order.

My guess is that the disciples were...

Jun 08, 2017 - Marla Walters

Last Sunday we celebrated the Day of Pentecost, and recalled together that fantastic story about the Holy Spirit whooshing through Jesus’ followers and a whole lot of other people (Acts 2:1-21) — helping them understand one another, despite their different languages, helping them envision a hopeful and courageous future together, despite their fear, giving them a boldness they didn’t know they had.

Peter preached a...

Jun 01, 2017 - Kent French

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit.

From Barbara Brown Taylor:

Did you know the word “conspire” means to breathe together? Take a breath. Now blow it out again. There! You have just launched a conspiracy. You can hear the word “spirit” in there too – to conspire – to be filled with the same spirit, to be enlivened by the same wind. That is why the word appeals to me, anyhow. What happens between us when we come together to worship...

May 25, 2017 - Kent French

This Sunday we are pleased to welcome the 60-voice youth choir from our Minister of Music Susan’s home church, the 200-year-old Church Street United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. These young people will bring us the music of Aaron Copland, Stephen Paulus and others, with anthems both invigorating and contemplative.

We are continually blessed with Susan’s musical leadership here at United Parish,...

May 18, 2017 - Kent French

It’s one of those beautiful words that we seldom use and may have forgotten. My guess is that it is not in your active vocabulary. Honestly, it hasn’t been in mine, until a new member of our Stewardship and Budget Ministry Team suggested that we have a Consecration Sunday.

Consecrate basically means “to make sacred.” When we pray over the bread and juice at communion, we are consecrating them, asking God to make them holy, spiritual food for us. We do the same over our offering when...

May 11, 2017 - Kent French

There is a great story about 12-year-old Jesus wandering off from his parents amid the hubbub of Jerusalem at Passover. It takes them three days to find him. You can imagine how scared and angry Mary and Joseph must have been. When they find tween Jesus, he is sitting among the learned rabbis, seemingly holding court, calmly and animatedly discussing ancient texts and age-old questions of faith. (Luke 2:41-52)

I love...

May 04, 2017 - Kent French

There are many good things happening at United Parish in Brookline the next few Sundays.

This Sunday, May 7:

  • United Parish is participating in the Project Bread Walk for Hunger, gatheirng at 8:30am in our parking lot. 
  • After worship, Thinking Forward Session in the Sanctuary. Come learn about all that our ministry teams are dreaming about for our future.
  • Our 2017 Stewardship packets will also be ready for...