Pastors' Blog

May 28, 2020 - Amy Norton

Dear United Parish Family,

Pentecost Sunday in the Before Times was marked with streamers, bells, red paraments, and a whole lotta Holy Spirit. Pentecost Sunday in the time of COVID will also be marked with streamers, bells, red paraments, and just as much (if not more) Holy Spirit. I'd like to think that the Holy Spirit is ever increasing in our lives, especially in times when we are spread apart from one another- she has much more space to fill now!

On...

May 21, 2020 - Kent French

According to the Gospel accounts, after Jesus' resurrection, he hung out with his followers for awhile. They walked, talked and ate together. They consoled one another and revisited his teachings. We remember this time with our own liturgical Fifty Days of Easter (April 12-May 31 this year).

And then, he left them again and ascended into heaven. And that's when the movement started to take off. That's when it was up to his followers to take his ministry out into the world.

On...

May 14, 2020 - Kent French

All believers were together and had everything in common. Acts 2:44

This one of my favorite verses from scripture. It shows the solidarity, commitment and interdependence of the early Christian community in figuring out how to continue the ministry of Jesus. At our best, I believe we do this at United Parish.

Despite this pandemic, our community has remained remarkably “together.” We have remembered what we have in common, namely, our connection to God and to one another. We...

May 07, 2020 - Kent French

We are in the season of Eastertide, the Great Fifty Days between Easter (April 12) and Pentecost (May 31) Sundays, when we actively re-imagine the risen Christ living, working, playing and conversing among and through us. It's also our Stewardship season at United Parish, when we come together and make our service and financial pledges for the next program year (due May 17). Learn more here.

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Apr 30, 2020 - Amy Norton

In our pre-pandemic world, Kent, Jaz, Susan and I talked about preaching on the Book of Acts during Eastertide. Rather than following the lectionary, however, which does indeed include many passages from Acts during this season, we decided we'd pick out passages ourselves, some of which never made it into the lectionary and may even be the first time you've heard them!

This week's...

Apr 23, 2020 - Kent French

We are now in the great Fifty Days of Eastertide that stretch from Easter (April 12) to Pentecost (May 31), in which we celebrate the risen Christ in our midst. We actually celebrate this all year long, but we especially highlight it during this season. This coincides with our Stewardship season, in which we renew our commitment to our parish's common life, and think about how each of us will contribute our time, talents and finances for our shared...

Apr 16, 2020 - Kent French

Nine years ago at Eastertime, our congregation received the gift of a modern oratorio, The Son of Man, commissioned by Susan DeSelms, our Minister of Music. Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom based his libretto text on passages from...

Apr 08, 2020 - Kent French

Holy Week 2020 at United ParishOn this, our holiest week of the year, we will continue to gather for worship online. We invite you and yours to join us.Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020 a live, interactive Zoom worship service6:45pm Foot-washing Ritual. Prepare a basin of water and/or wash cloth and towel and re-enact this loving, serving act of Jesus to his disciples (...

Apr 02, 2020 - Amy Norton

 

The year is...32...ish. No one has ever heard of coronavirus, let alone Zoom or Protestantism or Palm Sunday. It's early morning, and there you are in Bethphage, getting ready to load up your pottery on your donkey to head to market. You're bringing the colt, this time, too, to get her used to the route she'll soon take when she's strong enough to bear the weight of your wares. You pop back into your home to get your purse and when you come out, two men, clearly out-of-towners, are...

Mar 26, 2020 - Kent French

On March 18, Matt Crebbin, a United Church of Christ pastor in Newtown, Connecticut, published a piece on our UCC conference website titled “Lessons from Ministry in the Midst of a Disaster.” Matt is the pastor of the First Congregational Church (UCC) in Newtown and was serving there during the Sandy Hook school...

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