Listen to Past Services

Listed below are audio recordings of selected Sunday 11:00AM services. To hear a service simply click on the red side of the audio player of the one you would like to hear. Alternatively, you can click on the .mp3 link to download the service to your computer or mobile device. Note: Due to limitations with FPC's current audio system, the sound quality for most musical segments was very poor. As such, many of these pieces have not been included. We are working on upgrading the system so that the complete services can be heard. Also, for reasons of privacy, the "Joys and Concerns" segments have been excluded. Should you have difficulty playing these recordings please contact: webadmin@fpc-stow-acton.org An RSS feed of the audio services is available here: Subscribe to FPC of Stow & Acton Services

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

We are a strong church that reaches out to the world with many social justice initiatives. But at our core, what keeps us strong, committed and able to work to together in so many areas, is the way we take care of each other. None of us are immune to loss, medical issues, or personal struggles and everyone in our church needs a little help from the greater community at some time. As a church we say time and again, "We are here for you when you need us!"

The Rev. Tom Rosiello will preach on our calling to care for each other. We will focus on our Lay Ministry Program at FPC and the Caring Connection Network, and explain what they do as well as invite you to consider how you might be involved in this important work. Music will include David Friedman's beautiful song, "We Can be Kind" and at the 11 Am service the choir will sing Aaron Copland's magnificent anthem, "The Promise of Living."

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

INGATHERING SUNDAY ....two services resume

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote:
"What have we learned from living since we started except to find in others what we are?"
On this first Sunday of the new church year, Rev. Rosiello will focus on the importance of community in our lives and its place in liberal religion. Historically, Unitarians and other liberal faith traditions have emphasized self-reliance and the perfection of the individual. But there is also a theology of interdependence that runs through ours and many other traditions. It says it is community that makes us who we are and that our dependence upon community may far exceed what we realize. We can find this message in sources as varied as Paul's Letter to the Corinthians and the African concept of “Ubuntu” which Bishop Desmond Tutu explains as, “the essence of being human.” According to Tutu, “Ubuntu" speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. Come and explore the theology of interconnectedness and the importance of community in knowing yourself.

Our minister Tom Rosiello will be preaching and leading worship. Our music will emphasize our global interconnectedness by including some African, Spanish, and other world music selections as well as some of our favorite hymns, and our choir will be back from their summer break to sing at the 11 AM service. Also, our Religious Education Programs for children and youth of all ages will also resume this Sunday. This would be a wonderful Sunday to bring a friend who might be interested in our church.

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Our history as Unitarian Universalists is multifaceted, as are our beliefs. This is one of the greatest strengths of our liberal faith-- its openness to seeking inspiration from a great variety of sources. In this service intern minister, Ilene Gillispie, will explore the multitude of spiritual paths within Unitarian Universalism, particularly focusing on how her own path as a lifelong UU came to intersect with the Sikh religion. This will be Ilene's last time preaching at FPC during her internship year. Mike Pfitzer and Sanghee Kim will be assisting in worship, sharing music that represents the vast diversity of the UU spiritual tradition.

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

A Jazz Worship, featuring the Parish Jazz Band

“I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention. . . .” So wrote Mary Oliver in her wonderful poem, “The Summer Day.” Come celebrate Spring and the coming May flowers with this Worship Service dedicated to poetry of Mary Oliver and others, with all the morning’s music provided by the Parish Jazz Band. Parishioners will read selected poems interspersed with carefully chosen inspirational numbers from the Parish Jazz Band’s extensive repertoire. Whatever your theological leanings (and no matter where you stand on prayer!) you are invited to join us in this beautiful service about finding your way in this world, joyfully, and gratefully.

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

To kick off FPC's first-ever Transylvanian Unitarian Heritage Pilgrimage, Rev. Eric Cherry will be coming from the Unitarian Universalist Association's International Office to share with us his views about the importance of international religious partnerships. Rev. Cherry writes: “In our religious tradition, it’s common for our primary sense of community to be with a local congregation. And, yet, we are also connected to a global U/U story that has had a profound effect over centuries, across many continents, and with transformative social justice movements. This morning, let's explore that story and consider how to find our place within it.”

Rev. Tom Rosiello and Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie,  will assist Rev. Cherry in leading worship, and a special brunch with Transylvanian foods and a performance from some of our FPC singers will follow the 11AM service.

Rev. Eric M. Cherry has been the Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s International Office since August 2007. In this position, Eric manages the UUA’s relationships with Unitarian, Universalist, and interfaith partners around the world, provides resources for congregational international engagement, and supervises the staff of the UU Holdeen India Program and UU United Nations Office. Prior to accepting this position, Eric served for 12 years as a parish minister with UU congregations in Burlington, Iowa and North Easton, Massachusetts.  Eric has long been involved in the UU Partner Church movement, serving as the English Teacher for Unitarian Seminarians in Kolozsvár, Transylvania in 1998. Eric is a graduate of Earlham College (BA) and Meadville/Lombard Theological School (M.Div), and lives in Mansfield, Massachusetts. We are pleased to welcome him to FPC to help reflect with us on the importance of partner church relationships as we prepare to send off a group of 31 FPC members and friends to visit our partner church in Olasztelek, Transylvania.

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

On this unique Sunday, you will have the opportunity to bring your burning questions for Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, to answer from the pulpit! The morning's sermon will consist of those questions brought by members and friends to church. So, start preparing now, and bring your questions about Unitarian Universalism, history, theology, world religions, and the meaning of life! We will reflect together in this service on the importance of questions, and will sing hymns together on this topic as well. Whatever is on your mind-- that's what this Sunday service will be about!

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Join us for an uplifting service that will focus on what the Easter message can mean in our lives today. After a special Easter Message for All Ages, our children will leave for the "Great Easter Egg Hunt." Both services will be filled with "Hallelujahs" and other great Easter music. We will conclude both services with an invitation to join the choir in singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. It will be a wonderful morning. Treat yourself to the experience and bring a friend.

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Thursday, 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary

"Maundy Thursday Communion Service"
This candlelight service will be led by our Minister, The Rev. Tom Rosiello, Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, our lay ministers, and musicians. We will tell the story of Jesus' final days focusing on the Passover meal that he shared with his disciples and what this ritual of "breaking bread together" means to us today. In this service we honor our history and celebrate our Christian roots while reaching beyond to the broader message of community and the ministry of humble service. We will be using the historic communion silver form both the First Parish of Stow and the Universalist Church of South Acton in the service. Whatever your religious background is, you are invited to join us for this beautiful service.

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

PALM SUNDAY

"The Best Teachers"
Our Unitarian faith has roots in the 16th century Europe where their approach to Jesus focused on his teachings rather than his divinity. That tradition thrives today in places like our partner church in Transylvania where they refer to Jesus as, "The Best Teacher." On this Palm Sunday we will look at the very human side of Jesus and what he taught. The Rev. Tom Rosiello and Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, will each offer reflections on what they see as the most important teachings. The services will also feature beautiful organ, piano, and choral music, and there will be great hymns to sing. Please join us.

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Max Weber, speaking about Americans, once said that we are "a nation of joiners" yet at the same time, we know that many are isolated, and lonely with little sense of belonging. Unitarian Universalist theologian, James Luther Adams, once said that it is "by our groups that we are known," indicating how important belonging is to our identity. Today both our minister, Tom Rosiello, and our Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, will offer a reflection on the importance of "belonging" in our lives.

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