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 choirs, 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 and Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie. In addition to remembering those who have gone before, we will reflect upon 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.
Listen to Past Services
Sunday, November 1st, 2015
Sunday, October 25th, 2015
Sunday, October 25 9 AM & 11 AM
"Parity, Not Charity"
Unitarianism (the belief that God is one, not a trinity) had its beginning in the Transylvania region of Romania almost 500 years ago. For 20 years now, the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council has helped to facilitate partnerships between congregations around the globe. First Parish Church of Stow and Acton is partnered with a Unitarian congregation in Olasztelek, Romania. Intern Minister Ilene Gillispie also grew up in a UU church which had a partner church program, and in this service she will share her experiences traveling to Romania as a child, teenager, and young adult. We will reflect together on the Partner Church Council's motto-- parity, not charity-- and explore the many ways that we can be nurtured spiritually through partnership. This service should be of particular interest to those considering or planning to visit Transylvania with FPC's first-ever Unitarian Heritage Pilgrimage this spring! While she is an experienced preacher, this will be Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie's first time preaching here at FPC. Hymns of Transylvanian origin will be included in this worship service.
Sunday, October 18th, 2015
Rev. Tom Rosiello will be preaching this morning.
In our tradition we affirm the equal worth and dignity of every person. We proclaim all lives as sacred yet we witness senseless and unprovoked killing at an alarming rate. In the last week or two we witnessed the occurrence of at least three horrible shooting incidents on school campuses. Recent statistics reveal that 90 people die every day of gun violence in our country. Yet, in spite of this alarming rate of gun violence, which is killing children and innocent people, it seems that no one is willing to do anything about addressing the problem. When will enough be enough? When will it be time for our country to join the rest of the civilized world and enact reasonable gun control legislation? This Sunday we will remember the victims of gun violence. Using the principles and teaching of our faith tradition, we will explore the problem, the inability or unwillingness of our national leaders to take action, and the way we can at least try to work for change. Please join us to explore this very important and timely issue.
Sunday, October 11th, 2015
Each week in our covenant we make the statement, "service is our law." It is a powerful statement that as a church we try to live up to. This Sunday we focus upon the call to serve and the import role service plays in our faith tradition. We will explore the opportunities to serve here at First Parish and in our community with others from First Parish.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015
When the Dalai Lama was once asked to describe his religion, he quickly responded, "My Religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." Teachings of kindness and compassion are at the heart of every major world religion, but translating this teaching into practice is quite another thing. We will explore what it could mean to live a religion of kindness. This morning as our children in religious education become part of a campaign to "Choose To Be Nice,” in worship we will explore cultivating more kindness and compassion in our lives. Music will include David Friedman's beautiful song, "We Can Be Kind," as well as music about kindness and compassion form several different religious traditions. The Rev. Tom Rosiello will be preaching and music will be under the direction of Mike Pfitzer.
Sunday, September 27th, 2015
Many religious traditions are held together by a creed, but in our liberal faith tradition it is our covenant that holds us together. Our covenant is essentially a set of promises we make to each other. This morning will explore that concept of covenant and what it means in our lives and in our faith. The Rev. Rosiello will be preaching and will be assisted by Intern Minister, Ilene Gillespie in leading the service. At the 11 AM service the choir will premiere a new musical setting of the words of our covenant.
Sunday, September 20th, 2015
This morning our services are inspired by the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. This summer 9 innocent Black people were shot and killed in a Wednesday night service at their church and within hours their family members expressed "forgiveness" for the perpetrator of this heinous act. How is that possible? We will explore the teachings on the necessity of forgiveness in our lives from the Jewish as well as many other religious traditions. Our youth will present a dramatic version of the biblical story of "Jonah and the Whale." The Rev. Rosiello will be preaching and assisted by Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie in leading worship. The music will include traditional Hebrew songs and the great spiritual, "Freedom Come."
Sunday, September 13th, 2015
We officially begin the church year with a return to two services and the commencement of this year's religious education program for children and youth. We will "pull out all the stops" to welcome you back and begin what promises to be a great church year. All the staff will be taking part in worship and there will be lots of participation from volunteers of all ages. Our music, under the Direction of Mike Pfitzer, will include contributions from the adult choir, youth singers, drummers and members of the Jazz band, as well as Organist/Pianist, Sanghee Kim. Our new Intern Minister, Ilene Gillispie, will be assisting Rev. Tom Rosiello in leading worship. The sermon by Rev. Rosiello will focus on the question of why going to a church is important in our lives. This service will not only be a great opportunity for members to reconnect with each other and our tradition, but also an excellent introduction to our church and Unitarian Universalism for new-comes. Please join us for this uplifting service and please bring friends or neighbors who might be interested in finding a spiritual home.
Sunday, May 31st, 2015
Our Senior Youth, along with the Junior Youth, will present a service for all on this Sunday. An integral part of the service will be the presentation of personal credos by our 10th and 11th grade youth as a culmination of their year-long participation in the Coming of Age Program. Be prepared to enjoy a wonderful service presented by a group of truly awesome youth!
Sunday, May 10th, 2015
Many of us are familiar with the traditional Christian story of Mary, but did you know that Mary is an important figure in many religions? On this Mothers' Day, we will take a musical look at Mary in different forms of Christianity, the Russian Orthodox Church, and Islam. The Youth Choir and Adult Choir will sing anthems from these religions, and we'll tell stories of Mary from each of these traditions.