Pastors' Blog

Jan 23, 2020 - Kent French

Imagine if you were at work one day, minding your own business, copying something on the photocopier, when a man walks up to you and says something like, "Follow me and I will make you copy joy and love wherever you go." It could be any setting: shopping for groceries, getting on the bus, seeing patients or clients, teaching students, washing windows. You're just going about your daily life and it gets interrupted by an invitation, changing your course forever.

What would cause you to...

Jan 15, 2020 - 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 Christian at United Parish?


Jan 09, 2020 - Jaz Buchanan

This Sunday, we will remember Matthew’s account of Jesus’s baptism (Matthew 3:13-17), together. If you have ever asked yourself, why did Jesus need to be baptized when he is the son of God? You are not alone! I ask myself that, too.

I do not have the answer, but as I prepare a message for all of us to engage with and think about, I think Jesus’s baptism boils down to humility. Perhaps, even more importantly, his...

Jan 02, 2020 - Kent French

It is likely that you do not have the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) written, typed in or pre-printed in your calendar. No worries. We've been celebrating it regularly here at United Parish, like a lot of other churches, on the Sunday closest to the date. It hasn't quite caught on in the rest of our culture.

It marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and commemorates the familiar story of the Magi, or wise ones, following a bright star, meeting the baby Jesus and his parents and...

Dec 28, 2019 - Kent French

Happy Fourth Day of Christmas!

A few weeks ago, when we entered the season of Advent and began those four weeks leading up to Christmas, we were very intentional about not bursting into Christmas carols right away. We do have a weekly dose of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," the echt-Advent carol, because in keeping with the season, it anticipates Christ's coming. Since the broader culture is already loudly playing both sacred and secular Christmas season tunes, it seems a little counter-...

Dec 19, 2019 - 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 12, 2019 - Kent French

Have you ever been given a challenge or a task or asked to do something and you really thought, “I just can’t. I don’t have the bandwidth, I’m not capable enough. This never worked in the past.” And then, for some reason, you give in. You try it out. You “lean in,” as we like to say and respond, “Yes, Ok. Let it be with me.”

And it ended up being hard. It was challenging. And somehow, you made it through — probably with some unexpected and welcome help. Sometimes...

Dec 05, 2019 - Jaz Buchanan

This Sunday will be the first time I preach at United Parish in Brookline! It has already been two months since I started my field education internship with you all and I already feel like I am a part of the church family. I am so grateful for all the opportunities you have given me.

Each week, our Pastors, Kent and Amy, share the Good News with us that we are all loved, forgiven and renewed in God’s presence. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Whether we want to believe it...

Nov 25, 2019 - Amy Norton

Dear Ones,

If you couldn't tell from the Christmas music I was blasting in my car well before Thanksgiving (Advent used to start on November 15th!), Christmas is my favorite holiday of the Christian year, and Advent is my favorite liturgical season. I'm so ready. I've got Love, Actually queued up on Netflix, my family is buying our Christmas tree this weekend, and Kent, Susan, Jaz, and I have been busy...

Nov 21, 2019 - Amy Norton

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

A couple months ago at our "Ask the Pastor" forum (which will be happening again on February 2), we had a lot of great conversation about children's sermons and children's services, and out of that conversation emerged the idea to have a special service this fall that was geared toward our children and youth. All the elements of our typical worship service are present, with a bit more of an interactive flair...