Pastors' Blog

Apr 13, 2017 - Kent French

Easter, Resurrection Sunday, is the day that speaks to the core of our Christian faith. That Life triumphs over Death. That Love overcomes Hate. That God is stronger than the forces of Empire. That you cannot keep a good Messiah down.

In a faith that is supposed to be about Good News (the root meaning of “Gospel” and “Evangel”), Easter is the most Good News day of them all. And when we have Good News, what are we required to do with it? We are required to share it.

I imagine...

Apr 06, 2017 - Kent French

I was recently reading an essay by author and pastor Sara Miles, who writes about the “whiplash” of Holy Week:

Think about it. During Holy Week, we wave palms in the air and hail Jesus as king, the long-awaited messiah who’s going to save us from our oppressors, then we change our minds and scream that the oppressors should crucify him;we share a loving last supper with...

Mar 31, 2017 - Kent French

This recent orthopedic setback has given me time to look at life slightly differently. It has definitely forced me to slow down. It has given me an opportunity to receive kindness and care from this beloved community, in emails, cards and delicious food. I am deeply grateful. You, along with my mother and better half and close friends, have encouraged me not to rush things. Thank you for your kind admonitions, your love, prayers and generosity. I look forward to being back with you in...

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 knowhow a man can be born when he is old.Christ told Nicodemus as a friend,"Man you must be born again."Said, "Marvel not, man, if you wanna be wise,Repent, believe and be baptized".

It’s a paraphrase of this week’s Gospel, the story of...

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 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...

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