Pastors' Blog

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...

Sep 29, 2017 - Kent French

We continue our series, Elements of Worship, looking more closely at each part of our worship and what it means to us. This Sunday, we will look at the Word, our scriptures, and how they almost always form the foundation, the bedrock for our worship.

Why scripture?

I am going to start the sermon by asking you about the Wesleyan quadrilateral (you can start doing your homework now). It sounds...

Sep 21, 2017 - Amy Norton

“May the Force be with you,” the Jedi says to his companion. “And also with you,” all my Catholic friends replied. I didn’t get the joke.

Growing up a low-church Protestant in a majority-Catholic town, I didn’t know what the “Passing of the Peace” was. Eventually I went to Mass with one of my friends and learned about this element of the service, and when my own church tried it once (thanks to an interim, I believe), I thought, “huh, we’re trying a Catholic thing today, interesting...

Sep 14, 2017 - Kent French

Earlier this decade, a journalist name Kathryn Schulz wrote an intriguing and engaging book called, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. You can see her 18-minute TED talk here. Her main assumption is that we all mess up, we all make mistakes, we all misinterpret the signs around us. Her argument is that we like being right and that we have...

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