Pastors' Blog

May 17, 2022 - Amy Norton

Dear United Parish Family,

If you’re reading this, chances are you have some feelings about being a teenager- whether it’s something you’re looking forward to with joy or anxiety, something you’re right smack dab in the middle of and trying to navigate, or something you look back on with a whole mix of memories, angsty and nostalgic all at once.

And you know what? Even Jesus was a teenager, with all that that entails - ...

May 12, 2022 - Thomas Mitchell

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…

I’ve often felt that that opening to Ecclesiastes is overused. Nonetheless, it does not mean that it isn’t true.

This Sunday will be my final Sunday with you as Seminarian. In some ways, it seems as though our journey together has only just begun, and yet it has indeed been nearly nine months since we started together.

This Sunday, we’ll continue with the fourth week of our Eastertide series...

May 05, 2022 - Amy Norton

Dear Ones,

Over the last two years, we've gotten used to regular, breaking news updates of national or international importance. It is tempting to numb out with optimism, it is easy to spiral in fear, it is hardest to stay present while acknowledging and feeling all that each momentous happening brings up in us. This week, I am sitting with heartbreak, anger, and even fear at the all-but certain overturning of Roe v. Wade, even as many of our Black sisters and siblings...

Apr 26, 2022 - Peter Ilgenfritz

Barbara Lynch, Convener of the Stewardship and Budget Ministry Team, noted in Sunday’s kick-off of this season’s stewardship campaign,

“Three congregations came together 52 years ago to form the United Parish. They didn’t come together just to survive, they came together to thrive. And TOGETHER is the only way we can continue to survive AND thrive.”

It has been a gift to my soul to cheer on your congregation’s wonderful stewardship team this year: Dot Gorenflo, Madeline...

Apr 21, 2022 - Thomas Mitchell

Happy Thursday! It was so great to return to an in-person Holy Week and see pews that were filled all around us.

As we enter into our stewardship season and Eastertide, we’re excited to introduce a new liturgy series from our friends at A Sanctified Art, I’ve Been Meaning to Ask. This series invites us into several weeks of opportunity for curiosity, courage, and connection. Along the way, you might notice that the familiar...

Apr 13, 2022 - Peter Ilgenfritz

Each year we return to the story of betrayal, desertion, suffering and death. And every year we come to the story with our own present and particular experiences of these realities in our own lives. Sometimes, perhaps in the remembering of the story, there’s a feeling of joining, an understanding of how it is with us. Sometimes, perhaps, a reminder of how unjust life can be.

And each year we return on Easter Sunday to the story of an unexpected and different rising to life where we’d...

Apr 05, 2022 - Amy Norton

Dear United Parish Family,

This Sunday, we have the joy of celebrating our confirmation class and the educational and spiritual journey they have taken.

Over the past church 'semester,' our confirmation class has been diving into some pretty big questions: 

What is faith?

Who is God?

Who is Jesus?

What is the Holy Spirit?

What does it mean to be a Christian in the world?

What does it mean to be a member of United Parish?

And much...

Mar 31, 2022 - Amy Norton

Dear Ones, 

As we move ever onward towards the Passion and Resurrection, we pause this Sunday to reflect on beauty, on being our authentic selves, and on taking a moment to pour out our souls in a 'frivolous' act of devotion. Our Gospel story is a classic Family Systems case study: Mary, Martha, Jesus, and a jar of expensive perfume. Our Lenten curriculum reflects,

"The story of Mary breaking open a jar of expensive perfume is surrounded by death. Only one chapter earlier,...

Mar 22, 2022 - Peter Ilgenfritz

So here we are, now just over a month into this sabbatical season. I remember on my own sabbaticals that somewhere around now I found myself letting go of what was, unable yet to worry or think about what might be, and able to be present right here, right now in this moment of time. I remember how surprising and strange it felt to be free to be in time in a way I’d never experienced before. I hope Kent is experiencing the gift of such presence in time now.

As for you, here at United...

Mar 15, 2022 - Peter Ilgenfritz

This Sunday, we are delighted to welcome to the pulpit Rev. We Chang, District Superintendent of the Commonwealth East District of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. God’s Decree.” Isaiah 55:8 (The Message)

Rev. Chang writes, "This is the scripture that has been poking at me. I’m thinking about relating this to the concept of...