This Sunday we will pull out all the stops to present a very special musical service. Under the direction of Mike Pfitzer, our choir, along with youth singers from our Creative Arts Religious Education program, professional soloists, pianist Sanghee Kim, and an ensemble of professional musicians will present this large scale work based on the sources from which we as Unitarian Universalists draw our living tradition. Rev. Rosiello will lead worship and offer a reflection on the piece. You will not want to miss this very special service.
Listen to Past Services
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
Sunday, October 16th, 2016
Guest Minister The Rev. Hank Peirce
The Rev. Hank Peirce will be filling in for Tom when he is away this winter so come and get a preview. Over the past 15 years Rev. Peirce has served churches in Auburn ME, Medford, MA, and Westford MA. Hank is an interesting guy having been a roadie for a number of rock bands and he has been featured in a number of documentaries on 80’s rock, in print, and even on MTV. In his sermon he will share what meeting one of the world's religious leaders taught him about being hospitable. In Hank's words, "You never know what you will learn from interacting with different people from around the world and how that will help you in being hospitable to others."
Sunday, October 9th, 2016
The Rev. Tom Rosiello preaching and leading worship
Note: At the 9 AM Service our children and youth will go directly to the community room for a special Children's Chapel Service. At the 11 AM service children will start in the sanctuary as usual.
This Sunday in our own Unitarian Universalist way, we will observe the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur focusing on its teachings about forgiveness. Some people will never say they are sorry, while others give lip service to the words, but make no real change in their behavior. We will explore the teachings on the necessity of forgiveness in our lives from the Jewish, as well as many other traditions. We will also look at what is really involved in seeking forgiveness and forgiving another person and the consequences and effects that doing so has on our lives and the lives of others. Our service will be enriched by music from the Jewish tradition. In addition, a prize winning young Mexican pianist will be playing our prelude and postlude.
Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
The Rev. Tom Rosiello will be preaching and leading worship.
In theological, religious, or even political debates, we put a lot of effort into "being right." We hold our opinions strongly and knock heads with those who have different ideas and beliefs from ours, trying to convert them to our position. We judge them, dismiss them, even ridicule them. Rarely does anyone change their mind and these encounters accomplish very little. Instead, what happens is that we waste an opportunity to do something else: finding whatever common ground we can and working together in ways that help our community and world.
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
After the events of this summer where police officers were killed in Texas and violence erupted at some events that use the "Black Lives Matter" slogan, some in the greater community have been critical of our congregation's decision to hang a "Black Lives Matter" Banner on the front of our church. From their words to us, it is clear they really have little understanding of the deeply embedded racism in our country, and the number of young black men still dying needlessly on our streets and incarcerated in our jails.
We will explore this issue again, guided by the words of the great spiritual that our choir will be singing, "The Storm is Passing Over:"
"Take courage my soul and let us journey on,
for the night is dark and I am still far from home."
Indeed we are still far from the "home" of a truly non-racist society. We will explore why we now, more than ever, need to have that banner in front of our church. Yes, it takes a bit of courage, but as a faith tradition we have always stood for the rights of the oppressed, even when others criticized us. We particularly invite those from the greater community who have questions or concerns about the banner to join us in worship this morning so they might better understand why we as a faith tradition that proclaims the equal worth and dignity of every person are called to proclaim the message that "Black Lives Matter".
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
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
“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.