Pastors' Blog

Feb 23, 2017 - Kent French

Each year, on the last Sunday before the season of Lent, the lectionary offers us the story of the Transfiguration (this year in Matthew 17). For us rational, reasonable Protestant types, it’s a fantastical story. Even peculiar. Jesus shining like the Sun. Elijah and Moses appearing out of the blue. A cloud from heaven with a disembodied voice. Jesus asking his select posse of disciples not to tell anyone...

Feb 16, 2017 - Lindsey Franklin

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..."

This scripture passage, the grand finale of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew, has been described as the most unreasonable of all his teachings.

Love your neighbor as yourself? OK, that's pretty hard, but perhaps doable from time to time. But love your enemy? The bar just seems to be set too high...

Feb 09, 2017 - Trey Pratt

One of our favorite aspects of worship here at United Parish is the reading and exegesis of scripture during worship. Why do we love it so much? We get to examine, even for a short time, the ways in which scripture plays into our daily lives, and offers a framework through which we might examine our shared history.

This Sunday, our Youth Choir, Carolers, Cherubs, and Church Schoolers will embark on a kind of exegesis that might feel different than normal. They will be enacting a...

Feb 02, 2017 - Kate Baker-Carr

On Sunday, we will continue to explore the Sermon on the Mount, focusing on Matthew 5:13-20. The text concludes with the bold proclamation “…unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”These words anchor us firmly in the Sermon on the Mount and the entire Gospel according to Matthew.

So too, the precise ways Jesus instructs his followers to embody...

Jan 26, 2017 - Kent French

When I am courageous enough to open the news these days, I wake up to a whole lot of foolishness going on. At multiple levels. Some of it is a particularly pernicious brand of foolishness. This is not especially new in the way of the world, it just seems extra-concentrated right now.

I’m searching for a deeper wisdom.

The apostle Paul gives us this intriguing idea in his letter to the people in Corinth: “God...

Jan 20, 2017 - Lindsey Franklin

We hear a lot these days about the importance of unity: unity after a divisive political season, unity around particular causes or within our communities. In our scripture reading for this week, from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, (1 Corinthians 1:10-18) Paul calls for the quarreling Corinthians to “be united in the same mind and purpose.”

Yet, quarrels and divisions often happen because of deep differences between...

Jan 13, 2017 - Kent French

Pastor Kent's blog for January 15, 2017.  You can hear his sermon that day HERE.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a prophet? Someone who tells the truth, even when it’s unpopular or dangerous? Would you like to try? On Sunday, we’re going to think about this and what it means to live forward in the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., in our current political climate.


Jan 05, 2017 - Kent French

Several years ago, I became friends with a guy who had become a very successful independent theater producer in his 20’s. His company became the gritty, fun theater place in the Boston area among young hipster types.

He and I met working together in a “day job” of an educational theater troupe that traveled around to local public schools. He had obvious charisma, but otherwise was just a normal guy to work with: no pretense, no powerhouse personality, kind of goofy, even seemed...

Dec 23, 2016 - Kent French

I warmly invite all of you to join us this Saturday evening for Christmas Eve. Bring your friends and your family as we remind ourselves what it means to welcome God as a baby into this world.

At 5pm, we re-tell the Christmas story with an all-ages participatory pageant. It is unrehearsed, just as it was unrehearsed that first night in Bethlehem. Costumes are available, and there’s a part for everyone, whether you are an angel, a shepherd, a donkey, a wise one, an expectant mother,...

Dec 15, 2016 - Susan DeSelms

This Sunday, we will celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent with a liturgical feast for the senses, featuring music, poetry, displays of candlelight throughout the sanctuary and the the beauty of numerous poinsettias all donated honoring and remembering loved ones.

At a time when division among neighbors seems overwhelmingly strong, this season of Advent feels especially relevant. We are drawn to the themes Advent offers us: Hope! (for healing), Prepare! (for change that must begin...