Pastors' Blog

Jun 03, 2021 - Amy Norton

Communion Sunday: prepare your own communion at home with whatever food or drink you have and we will bless and share this holy meal together.


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...

May 27, 2021 - Kent French

Ten years ago, our church reorganized it ministry structure. When I arrived three years later, it was a specific part of my call to help United Parish live more fully into this vision of ministry and our directions of: • Exalting in Worship • Deepening in Christian Faith and Spirituality • Gathering in Community • Stewarding our Resources...

May 20, 2021 - Kent French

For the past several years, we've held a Consecration Sunday, when we bring forward our paper pledge forms to the communion table and place them in baskets. It has been a moving moment in worship, much like the embodied processional of communion, when we move together as the living, breathing, metaphysical body of Christ. We see the variety of our congregation, all shapes, sizes, colors, ages and abilities coming forward to pledge our time and money to the work of this parish, this corner of...

May 13, 2021 - Kent French

We continue our series on the three essential prayers of Help, Thanks and for this week, Wow! (based on Anne Lamott's book of the same name) as we celebrate our season of Eastertide and Stewardship.

Help is a familiar prayer. We know what it's like to need help, even if we have trouble asking for it. We also know what it's like to offer help.

Thanks is also familiar, especially if we were raised with...

May 06, 2021 - Amy Norton

Peter has had a bit of a week, when we find him in this Sunday's scripture passage. God has pretty much instructed him to let go of some of his deeply held beliefs, to let go of things that brought him a sense of comfort, connection, and familiarity, and to try structuring the church and its religious practices a little -well, quite a bit- differently. 

Wait, is this a story...

Apr 29, 2021 - Katharine Henry

Dear Beloveds,

There are plenty of settings in which it is appropriate, right, and good to say “thanks.” We thank our families, friends, service people, and God. Last week, Kent invited us to consider the first essential prayer: “Help!” As we continue in the season of Eastertide (the fifth Sunday) and United Parish’s time of stewardship (the second Sunday), we consider the second topic of...

Apr 22, 2021 - Kent French

We can all agree that the past 14 months have been a doozy, unlike anything most of us can recall in living memory. Through all of it, I continue to be impressed and inspired by the resilience and ingenuity of our staff and congregation. We have held it together amazingly well. But it's not always easy.

About a decade ago, Anne Lamott offered a book on "the three essential prayers," called ...

Apr 15, 2021 - Kent French

This Sunday, we welcome member Kate Baker-Carr as our preacher.

Kate writes:

These last weeks have been a time of great transition and change.

We have moved from Lent through three of the holiest days in the Christian calendar—Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday—and are now in the joyous season of Easter! We are summoned to new life with the Risen Christ. The transition seems straightforward and direct, but in real life, it rarely is. Transitions can be murky and...

Apr 05, 2021 - Kent French

One of the benefits of the pandemic has been the ways it has normalized gathering online. Family get-togethers, parties, conferences and worship have continued to happen -- just online. Sure, many of us have had our fill of Zoom fatigue and frustration, but we have been able to connect with loved ones and colleagues across hundreds, even thousands, of miles in ways we wouldn't have considered a year ago.  While we can all agree they have not been the same as being "in person," and we've...

Apr 01, 2021 - Amy Norton

Holy Week 2021 at United Parish

Dear Ones, 

With all of the events of the past year...with all of the events of the past week, it feels like we have been dwelling in Good Friday for quite some time. And yet, despite the goings on of the world around us, Christ has been born, Christ has offered up his friendship, teachings, and love, and Christ will soon be betrayed by a friend and executed by the state while we stand by in the crowd and watch. Each year when we get...