Pastors' Blog

Feb 14, 2019 - Amy Norton

Dear United Parish family,

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be diving into a sermon that Jesus gave to his followers (this Sunday in Luke 6:17-26 and next Sunday in Luke 6:27-38). In Matthew's Gospel, these passages are called the Sermon on the Mount, as Jesus delivers it from atop a high hill, reminiscent...

Feb 07, 2019 - Amy Norton

Greetings to you and peace, from the One who is and was and is to come!

Over the past 6 weeks, our children and youth (and teachers and staff) have embarked on a new project called Epiphany Term! The Church School teachers have been using a curriculum created by members of our Children & Youth Deepening Ministry Team that explores immigration and refugees, hunger and food insecurity, and diversity and identity. These lessons have been centered around learning ways to welcome and...

Jan 31, 2019 - Kent French

Right now, we are in the liturgical season of Epiphany. Not every church observes this as a season, but lately we have. It stretches from January 6, the day when we commemorate the arrival of the Magi, or wise ones from the East who bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and stretches until Ash Wednesday, which falls on March 6 this year.

Epiphany means revelation or insight. Throughout this season, the assigned Gospel readings (from the...

Jan 24, 2019 - Kent French

This Sunday we will look at the story of Jesus going back to preach in his hometown. It starts out well, but then turns kind of rough. The congregation chases him to the edge of a cliff and threatens to toss him off of it. Check it out (Luke 4:14-30).

The story always makes me wonder what kind of preaching would cause our congregation or any other to get so mad during a sermon that you would chase a preacher to the...

Jan 17, 2019 - Wilson Hood

 This Sunday, as our community joins together for our regular weekly gathering, we will also be making time in our church school and worship to center on the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as we typically do every year on the Sunday before the federal holiday in his honor.

Many people know that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is a national holiday. But did you know that MLK Day was...

Jan 09, 2019 - Amy Norton

Whenever I think about Jesus' Baptism, I think of this scene from Godspell. I hear David Haskell's voice as John the Baptist, shouting out "...and he will baptize you all with the Holy Spirit, and with fiyahhhhh!!!" That's what came to mind when I was reading one of this Sunday's lectionary texts, Isaiah 43:1-7...

Jan 03, 2019 - Kent French

I've been driving and biking around Eastern Massachusetts' convoluted and tricky roadways for 30 years. For the past few years, however, I have been using the app Waze. You may know how it works. Presumably other Waze users are in cyber-communication, so that the app knows where there are road-blocks, stopped vehicles, police, traffic jams. At first, it’s kind of scary, almost like you’re following an omniscient God app to get around town...

Dec 26, 2018 - Kent French

Lessons & Carols 2018 Greetings

It is a pleasure to welcome you on this Christmas Eveto the United Parish in Brookline,whether this is your first time in the dooror the place where you worship every Sundayor anything in between.

Regardless of what star you followed,what flocks you’ve been tending,what angels you heard – even if that angel was a coercive loved one guilting you into coming --what gifts you brought,

I invite you to take a breath.Just relax a second.You...

Dec 20, 2018 - Amy Norton

Dear Ones,

Advent IV is upon us again, the Sunday where we help re-tell the story of the first Christmas (which, like our pageant, was unrehearsed). We'll hear the call of the angels, follow the star to Bethlehem, pay homage to the infant Christ, and return home by another way.

One of my favorite lines in the Christmas Story is "But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart."

In these few short days before Christmas, I invite you to do some pondering...

Dec 13, 2018 - Kent French

You probably remember that right after Mary heard from the angel Gabriel that she would be bearing the "Son of the Most High," she went hastily to tell her elder relative Elizabeth. After she arrived and greeted Elizabeth, little fetus John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth's womb, and the older woman immediately recognized what was happening to Mary.

And then Mary breaks into a kind of poem or song, traditionally called the Magnificat (Latin for "magnifies,"...