Rev. Laura Randall will be our guest minister this morning at 11 AM. We are living through tumultuous times. The desire to disengage and hide from hard truths is a strong one. Yet, we are part of a long tradition of people who stand up for what is right, giving voice to the voiceless, even when it is not always the easy thing to do. What are we, as people of faith, being called toward today? Join us as we explore what it means to walk toward trouble instead of fleeing from it in order to transform our hurting world. Rev. Laura Randall is the Legacy Campaign Director at our Unitarian Universalist Association, helping individuals and congregations nurture the faith we love through planned giving. She is the Affiliate Community Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church in Sherborn, Massachusetts, serving the broader community through ministries of stewardship and chaplaincy. Laura is a chaplain with AseraCare Hospice and serves on the board of Healing Moments Alzheimer's Ministry. Laura lives in Medford, Massachusetts with her husband, Luke, and their dogs.
Listen to Past Services
Sunday, November 27th, 2016
Sunday, November 20th, 2016
Together, as an inter-generational community, we will give thanks. We will sing traditional Thanksgiving hymns and be treated to a bounty of beautiful music from our FPC choirs and musicians of all ages. Our minister, Tom Rosiello, assisted by our director of religious education, Michelle Cote, and many of our children and youth, will lead the service. It will include the traditional ritual of breaking and sharing of bread which will be baked for us by the junior youth group. Please bring non-perishable food and toiletries to the service to be collected and donated to the Stow Food Pantry.
Sunday, November 13th, 2016
FPC's former intern minister, Ilene Gillispie, will return to share some wisdom from her experiences working with veterans. She is currently serving as a Chaplain Resident at the Veterans' Affairs Medical Center in Durham, NC and will focus on lessons she has learned working in intensive care, hospice, and mental health units. She and Rev. Tom Rosiello will lead worship together and music will be provided by Mike Pfitzer, Sanghee Kim with the FPC Adult Choir at the 11 AM service.
Sunday, November 6th, 2016
As we turn the calendar to November, we enter into what for most of us is, "A Season of Generosity." From Thanksgiving food baskets to holiday gift drives, we are asked to respond to the needs of others from a place of generosity. This year we will begin the season with our annual church “Generosity Sunday" ~ a time to reflect upon your giving to this institution and consider how you will support it over the next year. This is a very exciting year at FPC and so many things will be going on in the spring relating to the transition to a new minister that it seemed best to get our financial house in place earlier in the year. In our Worship we will focus on the GREAT EXPECTATION for the future of FPC and how the participation of every one of us is critical to make those expectations a reality. The Rev. Tom Rosiello will be preaching and music will include the gospel favorites, “Great Day" and “Every Time I Feel The Spirit."
Sunday, October 30th, 2016
All Souls Day is a day of remembrance for those loved ones we have lost, especially those who died in the last year. With words and beautiful music from our choir, soloists, and instrumentalists, we will bring them close again. Everyone is invited to bring a photo or memento of a deceased loved one to help us create our beautiful "All Souls Day Altar of Remembrance." Worship will be led by the Rev. Tom Rosiello In addition to remembering those who have gone before us, we will reflect upon how they live on in our hearts and on the legacy we each will leave behind when our time on this earth comes to an end. After the service we will plant daffodils in front of the church, so that they may rise up in the spring to remind us how the loved ones who have died live on with us in spirit. Visitors, especially those who have lost a loved one recently, are invited to join us and participate in this beautiful service.
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
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.
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".