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 16th, 2016
Guest Minister The Rev. Hank Peirce
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, September 4th, 2016
Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the point when political campaigns launch into high gear for the November elections. The issues raised in this year's presidential campaign call for us all to really examine the moral values and perspective we will bring with us into the voting booth. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, or Independent voter this year causes us to ask some deep questions about who we are as a country, and what we as citizens and members of a progressive faith tradition need to be thinking about when we vote. The Rev. Tom Rosiello will be preaching and our Music Director Mike Pfitzer and pianist/organist Sanghee Kim will enrich our worship with their musical offerings.
Sunday, August 28th, 2016
Rev. Tom Rosiello will lead the service.
Are there places of natural beauty and wonder that feel sacred to you? Where you feel connected to something greater? Maybe you even visited them this summer? The idea that there’s a sacred relationship between people and part of their environment is not new to Unitarian Universalism. The Unitarian transcendentalists, and in particular, Thoreau, often reflected upon this idea. Thoreau’s thinking was influenced by the Hindu texts he studied, which acknowledged this special relationship. Rev. Rosiello will look at the influence of Hinduism on Thoreau in the development of this idea of sacred geography. Parishioners will be encouraged to explore sacred geography as it applies to their own lives.
The service will be held in FPC’s sanctuary, with music provided by pianist/organist Sanghee Kim. Child care will be provided.
Sunday, August 21st, 2016
This Sunday, August 21st, come hear Reverend Tom Rosiello preach on "Jazz Theology," along with great music from the Parish Jazz Band. The Band will play pieces by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and local composer Phil Myers. The worship service will be held at 10 AM. We hope to see you there!
Sunday, August 14th, 2016
Buddhism: Theology and Ecology— an exchange of ideas. Sue Darlington will be will be participating in the Chautauqua Institution (ciweb.org) lecture program ths summer. The focus is “Theology and Ecology,” and includes speakers discussing Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism (Sue), and civil rights and the environment. Sue will share her experiences from the week
Music provided by Lisa Martino