Who is Our Neighbor: Artbarn Community Theater

This summer we welcome our neighbors to come and share about their lives, work, passions, spirituality and inspire us about how we can serve “our neighbors as ourselves,” following what Jesus called the second greatest commandment (Leviticus 19:17-18, Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-28). See speakers list below.

If you come through our building’s hallways on weekday afternoons during the school year, you’re likely to hear children and teens belting out show tunes, learning dance moves or busily painting sets. For the past five years, Artbarn Community Theater has made United Parish their home. Artbarn’s mission is “fostering creativity, self-esteem and social confidence through the performing arts” for youth from preschool through high school.

I have long been enthusiastic about Artbarn’s presence in our midst because their mission closely aligns with part of ours: namely, to encourage children and youth to discover and use their voices and gifts and lead us in worship, word and song. Many of you have heard me say repeatedly that it’s how I grew up in church, where I first learned to sing and speak in front of others, teaching important life lessons and instilling confidence and a sense of value.

This spring and summer, other parishioners and I have enjoyed conversations with Matthew Kossack, Artbarn’s passionate and energetic executive director. His enthusiasm and dedication are palpable, contagious even. On Sunday, he’ll share more of Artbarn’s story and mission with us, accompanied by some meaningful music from the American musical theater canon.

We’ll conclude worship with a baptism on our front lawn (yes, the front lawn!), as Jaz, our former Seminarian and current Member-in-Discernment for ordination, and her wife Jackie bring 8.5-month-old Antoni for blessing and welcome into the Christian faith and community. We’ll also welcome into worship Christine VanDeWege (VAN-duh-wig-ee), our Sabbatical Associate Pastor.

It will be a joyous and fun summer Sunday. I look forward to seeing you there!

In faith,

Summer Worship Series: Who is Our Neighbor?

August 20 — Matthew Kossack, Executive Director, Artbarn Community Theater
August 27 — Aba Taylor, Executive Director, Brookline Community Foundation
September 3 — Arlene Hill, Brookline Housing resident

Previous speakers:
July 2 — Tommy Vitolo, Massachusetts State Representative, 15th Norfolk
July 9 — Raul Fernandez, former Brookline Selectman
July 16 — Rachel Silverman and Erin Venkatesh, Thrifty Threads
July 23 —  United Parish Mental Health Group
July 30 — Reverend Carrington Moore, Executive Director, common cathedral
August 6 — Reverend Erik Hoeke, visiting pastor
August 13 — Raana Mumtaz and Faiza Khan, Brookline Muslim Friends

Image credit: Jin Suk

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