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, March 6th, 2016

Urban Ministry Sunday

This Sunday our worship will focus on our Urban Ministry.  First Parish is a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry. The UU Urban Ministry is the oldest social service agency in the country. Among the programs it presently runs are a domestic violence shelter, a transitional housing program, and various after school and weekend programs for inner city children and youth.  The Urban Ministry is also an advocacy organization and strives to bring people together across differences and work for justice.  
The service will be led by First Parish Minister and Member of the Urban Ministry Board of Directors, The Rev. Tom Rosiello.  The guest preacher will be The Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, Executive Director and Senior Minister of the Urban Ministry. In her sermon she will explore how “race” keeps us apart from our sisters and brothers, and how being "broken-hearted by the racial divide" can lead us to healing it. The music will include uplifting justice hymns and anthems. Following each service there will be a presentation and discussion about the Urban Ministry and the ways members of First Parish have been and can be involved.  Come and be part of the network of people who support our Urban Ministry. 

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Although many articulate that the purpose of our prison system is to rehabilitate offenders and prepare them for re-entry into society, the way the prison system operates does anything but that. In fact many practices from mandatory sentencing to solitary confinement, do just the opposite. As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm the equal worth and dignity of every person and justice equity and compassion in human relationships. This morning we will examine how we are called to apply those principles in the context of our prison system. Rev Rosiello, a former Assistant District Attorney and criminal defense attorney, will be preaching and will include insights from his prior profession.

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Our days are full of anxiety and stress of all kinds. It is easy to become consumed, overwhelmed, even defeated. But there are ways to negotiate the stress. We will examine advice for life from the Sermon on the Mount, Rules of White-Water Rafting, and the story of a donkey who fell in a well. You just never know where you will find some great lesson for leading a better life. Our worship service will include a time of guided meditation to help us let go of some of our stress right on the spot. The Rev. Tom Rosiello will preach and lead worship assisted by Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

On this Valentine's Day our focus will not be on romantic love for a partner, but on love for our neighbors. "Love Your Neighbor as Yourself" is one of the two primary commandments in Christian Scripture. The very same words appear in the Hebrew Bible book of Leviticus and the theme is reflection in most religious traditions. Inherent in this commandment is the idea expressed in our principles that every human being has the same worth and dignity and we are called to treat all our neighbors with the same love and compassion we want for ourselves. Loving your neighbor as yourself means that you proclaim that their life matters as much as yours. On this Sunday when we hang our black lives matter banner in front of our church we explore what it means to truly love your neighbor as yourself.

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Generosity Sunday

"It is in Giving that We Receive"  The Spiritual Practice of Generosity
This morning we are going to pull out all the stops in a celebration of your generosity. Choirs, youth singers,  drummers, and jazz musicians will all contribute to the festive atmosphere.  Our ministers Tom and Ilene will be joined by Members of the Stewardship Committee who will share with you all that your generosity makes and can make possible.  The sermon will explore generosity as an important spiritual practice in all our lives.

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

This morning we will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Tu B' Shevat, which is, "The New Year for Trees." It is the time in Israel when the new buds appear on the trees and also a time when the age of a tree is calculated and new trees are planted. In the midst of our New England winter our Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, and our Minister, Tom Rosiello, will reflect on the meaning they each draw from this holiday. Join us on this day of trees, new beginnings, and some early thoughts of Spring.

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

This service will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy has great relevance for us today as our country undergoes, yet again, racialized tensions throughout every level of society. In this service, we will sing spirituals and reflect together on King's message of the unity of all humanity. Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, will be preaching, and will be assisted with worship by the wonderful First Parish Church Jazz Band.

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Reverend Eliza Blanchard will focus on what it means to declutter the soul. As we curate what we hold tightly to, we’ll explore ways in which clearing out our spirits’ basements, and attics can transform us.  Reverend Eliza Blanchard graduated from Harvard Divinity School (where she met Rev. Tom) in 2004, served the U.U. Society of Grafton and Upton for five years, and now offers spiritual direction and pet loss support as an affiliate of The First Parish in Brookline, U.U.

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Join us for an intergenerational service observing the holiday of Epiphany, honoring the special day on which the three kings arrived to bring gifts to the newborn Jesus. Director of Religious Education, Michelle Cote, and Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, will co-preach about the gifts we each bring to the world, and the epiphanies we have that can change our lives (just as the lives of the kings were changed upon meeting the baby Jesus). This service will include beloved hymns like,  We Three Kings, and will also involve movement and sharing to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

On this 7th day of Hanukkah we will tell the story of the Maccabee people who never lost hope that they could overcome those who oppressed them and tried to take their culture away. We will be treated to some wonderful Hanukkah and join in singing songs of hope.  In the sermon Rev. Tom Rosiello will address the fear so many are experiencing with the recent incidents of terrorism and how we might address it in light of the lessons learned from the Jewish experience in both ancient and modern times. When the French Jewish writer, Tristan Bernard and his wife were arrested by the Gestapo, he proclaimed, "We have lived in fear, now we shall live in hope."  This morning's service will be about fear and its antidote, hope.  Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie and director of Music, Mike Pfizer will assist in leading worship.

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