Pastors' Blog

Jun 16, 2022 - Amy Norton

Dear Ones, 

Fresh off the heels of last week's All-Parish Meeting, where we voted in the newest slate of nominees and passed our budget (both unanimously) as well as heard a comprehensive report from our Financial Planning Team, we also had moments to reflect on all of the ways God has been at work (and at rest) in our community this past year.

We heard our UCC Area Conference Minister, Alex Shea Will preach on the importance of waiting for God's vision to unfold, and we turned...

Jun 08, 2022 - Amy Norton

Dear Church Family,

Can you believe our "program year" has come to a close and our June All Parish Meeting is upon us? 

What an incredible year it's been - from a return to in-person worship and church school, to our Outdoor Family Worship series, to our virtual Christmas Eve that stretched into a virtual January, to baptisms, a sabbatical, Easter festival worship, and more, we have been on quite the journey this year!

This Sunday, we welcome our UCC Area Conference...

Jun 01, 2022 - Amy Norton

Dear Ones,

As we mark the celebration of Pentecost, the liturgical holiday when the Holy Spirit swept in like a fiery tornado unleashing radical understanding amidst the worshipping crowd, it struck me that we are celebrating some miracles of our own.  

The story of Pentecost depicts a moment when the Spirit intervened to sew understanding and connection amidst a disparate crowd, leading to deepened connections and a flourishing community. This Sunday, in an era when most news...

May 26, 2022 - Peter Ilgenfritz

I tested positive for COVID last Monday after an afternoon walk with a friend in the Arboretum and not being able to smell the lilacs that were supposedly quite fragrant.

“You have COVID!”, she said, joking. I knew I had congestion and a cough from springtime allergies. I knew I didn’t have COVID. At least I didn’t when I’d tested last week. But that afternoon back at the office I took another test. 

I couldn’t believe it – two lines! What does that mean, two lines? I read the...

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...