Pastors' Blog

Mar 24, 2017 - Kent French

A few years ago, I shared with you in a sermon about a 45-second video that the Mindfulness expert, Jon Kabat-Zinn often shows in his talks. You can watch it here. Go ahead, it will only take you a minute. Best to watch it full screen.

The first time, you just look for how many times the people wearing the white t-shirts pass the balls. And then…if you watch further you may have noticed that you missed...

Mar 16, 2017 - Kent French

At some point today, you turned on the faucet and out came a rush of clean, sanitary, drinkable water. You used it to brush your teeth, to wash your hair, to make your coffee, to take a shower, to clean the dishes and the clothes, to flush the toilets, and simply to have a cool, refreshing drink. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average family of four uses 400 gallons of water a day....

Mar 09, 2017 - Kent French

There’s an old spiritual with the words:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees,
His name was Nicodemus and he didn't believe.
The same came to Christ by night.
Wanted to be taught out of human sight.

Nicodemus was a man who desired to know
how a man can be born when he is old.
Christ told Nicodemus as a friend,
"Man you must be born again."
Said, "Marvel not...

Mar 02, 2017 - Kent French

On this First Sunday in Lent, we will welcome once again our friends from Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland and join them Friday night in shabbat services at 6:15pm. We continue to be grateful for this collaboration, centered in shared music and our Minister of Music Susan DeSelm’s long association with both congregations...

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...

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...

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...