Worship & Sermons

WORSHIP

Join us for services at 10:30am on Sundays, from the Sunday after Labor Day through Father’s Day. Experience elements of the world religions, including our Christian roots and humanism. Find inspiration in choral and instrumental music (including organ), congregational singing, a time for children, readings, an offering, and meditative silence. Hear a sermon on social justice, spirituality, dealing with life’s challenges, or other issues. We may celebrate a holiday, act out a skit, hold a coming-of-age ceremony, or hear a member’s Journeys of Faith. Services end around 11:30am and are usually followed by a 30-minute fellowship gathering.

For a relaxed service with music from the jazz tradition, come to a Jazz Vespers. Our Christmas Eve service and Christmas Candlelight service are community traditions.

December 2022 Worship Schedule

Download and print the December schedule of worship services  HERE.

Sermons

Watch some recent sermons from Reverend Rebecca:

https://bit.ly/sermon-recordings

Come, Sunday

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ ​Monday morning is usually one of my favorite times of the week. It is when I take my day off and spend time with my beloved equine animal friends – horses, donkeys, and mules, all of whom are finding sanctuary in a safe environment...

Is it Helpful? The role of self-compassion in our search for inner peace

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ “Self-compassion,” my friend said. “I need to hear that sermon!” She went on to say, “I walk around sometimes wondering what is wrong with me. I seem to be the only person who doesn’t seem to know how to handle life.” I assured her...

Making Amends in the River of Life

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Unitarian Universalists have a long history rooted in positive theology and constructive social change. We didn’t accept the concepts of original sin or predestination, the belief that it was determined at birth whether people would...

What Stands in the Way of Our Peace?

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Over the last few years, being peaceful has become uncool. Around 2016, some of my liberal friends began to label being peaceful as “the easy way.” Not everyone felt this way certainly. Still, talking of peace, prayer, or inner...

The Beauty of the Flowers

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ It is indeed so good to be together this morning: to celebrate the beginning of a new church year, to welcome autumn, and to return to one another. We do this, as we do many significant things in life, through ritual, this morning,...

Forging a Path of Meaning: How Story Impacts Our Life

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Tell me a story about when I was born, or when you and mom met for the first time, or how you became a doctor. Children love to hear stories, and they are not the only ones. We all love stories. Storytelling is an ancient art that...

Dreams

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ When you’re young, time seems eternal, doesn’t it? Do you remember being in high school or perhaps college, or remember being a young parent? Do you remember when dreams were all you knew to think about, and nothing seemed...

Befriend the Gifts of Time

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ My grandfather loved trains. His great-grandfather, my great-great- grandfather, operated steamboats up and down the Missouri River. My grandfather’s father, my great-grandfather, worked as a superintendent for the St. Louis Public...

Speaking of Gnats

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​   When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least soundin fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great...

Musings about Death and Dying

  by Nancy Kidd ​   Some time ago, I had a patient who was dying and was quite at peace with it. She told me she was grateful she had time to teach her husband how to make his oatmeal. As a hospice social worker, I have had the privilege of helping people do...

Choosing the Upward Spiral

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​   We are bookended by joy today, and who among us doesn’t need some joy right now? How wonderful it is to see the front lawn of our church filled with vibrant rainbow-colored Adirondack Chairs, made of recycled materials no...

Goddess for our Troubled Times

  by Reverend Dr. Susmita Mukherjee I will start by reading a poem entitled, “Kali, the Mother,” written by Swami Vivekananda. I'm sure it’s a name that many of you are familiar with. Vivekananda was one of the first people who brought classical Hindu thought...

My Buddhist Practice

  by Bruce Deveau ​ I was first drawn to Buddhism in my late 20’s out of a need for connection. I didn’t really know anything about the Buddha’s teachings, but I was noticing that many people I admired or respected or read about were practicing the path of the...

The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

  by Joyce Haydock ​ Good morning. It is a beautiful morning, and so wonderful to be listening to and speaking about the healing messages and wisdom of Buddhism. First, I would like to thank Rev. Rebecca for inviting me to speak briefly about my Zen practice and...

Interfaith as a Continuum

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ My first foray into transformative interfaith work happened immediately following 9/11. I was taking classes focused on interfaith and learning the Abrahamic traditions at Hartford Seminary. Full time student status at Andover Newton...

The Power of Threes

  by Alex Matthews, Congregational Leader of Congregation Ahavas Achim ​ Read and print this reflection by clicking the link below: https://www.frsuu.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-05-01-The-Power-of-Threes-Alex-Matthews.pdf

Beyond the Binary: It Isn’t Simple

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ What comes to your mind when I say, “red pen”? Close your eyes, and let’s try again: red pen. How many of you thought of school papers, blue books, math tests, or English compositions? I know I did. It may be a cultural or age thing,...

My Own Personal Easter

  by Alan Seale ​ Read and print this Easter reflection by clicking the link below: https://www.frsuu.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/2022-04-17-My-Own-Personal-Easter-Alan-Seale.pdf

Spring’s Not My Thing

  by David Livingstone, Ministerial Intern ​ Spring never felt like it was mine when I was growing up. Maybe that sounds a little strange to you. And maybe it is a little strange, but I’ll try my best to explain. I was in kindergarten when I pledged an internal...

Climate Change is a Social Justice Issue

  by Marcos Luna, PhD, Professor of Geography & Sustainability at Salem State University ​ Thank you and good morning. When I ask my college students, "Who will be most affected by climate change?" they inevitably list future generations first, followed by...

To the Point

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Nancy Crochiere had asked me if I would prefer to read the piece you just heard, since I wrote it. I told her it would be preferable, by far, if she read it, because I have learned that pain is not meant to be held alone and that it...

The Choices We Make

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ This church was incorporated with the name The First Religious Society in 1794. In its history it had been the Third Parish of Newbury, founded in 1725, and the First Parish of Newburyport from 1765 until 1794 when it claimed its...

Receiving as Giving

  by Julie Parker Amery ​ “It is better to give than to receive.” How many of us have had that adage running through our bones and blood since childhood? It is better to give than to receive. From a tender age, we are taught this. We who identify as female in...

Coming Face to Face

  by Reverend Stan Barrett, Affiliate Minister ​ Rev. Rebecca gave us a real gift in her December 5th sermon last year. She told us about an encounter with “the Holy,” as she put it, a reconnection with “God, eternity, goodness.” She and Bart had just arrived at...

The Art of Communication

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ “I’m here for you.” Little did I know that those few words would lead to a request that would change the history of our church. Father Jarred and I had been getting to know one another since he and his family moved here last August....

Rainbow Stitches, Golden Lacquer

  by Ministerial Intern David Livingstone ​ When I learned that I would be delivering my first sermon to an empty sanctuary, my first thought was, “Well, later in my career when anyone asks about my first time preaching, I will be able to proudly tell them that...

Remarks on Anti-Racism

  by FRS Member Lark Madden ​ Good morning. I’m Lark Madden and I want to start by asking you to join me in looking at one of the readings in our hymnal. If you don’t have a hymnal don’t worry – I’ll read it to you. I like many of the readings in Singing the...

Reflections on Anti-Racism

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the 1966 Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly, the relationship he had with our Association wasn’t all a bed of roses. Though he and his wife Coretta did attend Unitarian...

Sources of Our Faith

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Happy New Year Good morning! Welcome to 2022, a year that many of us have being waiting for a long time, perhaps even since March 2020. This year, 2022, is the year of the Water Tiger in the Chinese New Year, starting on February...

Open Our Hearts

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ The year was 1967. It was the year the first heart transplant took place, the first ATM was made public, and Public Broadcasting System was incorporated. It was also the year that The Beatles recorded their world-famous album,...

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