Worship & Sermons

WORSHIP

Sunday services are held in our church sanctuary at 10:30am and are livestreamed on our YouTube channel. Advance registration is required to attend in person, and masks are required at all times in our church buildings. An outdoor 30-Minute Fellowship (weather permitting) and fellowship on Zoom follow the services.

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. The children’s choirs may sing. 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 Coffee Hour.

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.

Sermons

Watch some recent sermons from Reverend Rebecca:

https://bit.ly/sermon-recordings

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,...

Space of a River

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ I might have missed it, the chance to reconnect with God, eternity, goodness. We had just arrived at the Grand Canyon and checked in to our dormitory-style room. We walked into the modest, aging space, my partner pulling our canvas...

Whom Do We Ask?

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Helping, Fixing, or Serving – Dr. Rachael Remin Service is not the same as helping. Helping is based on inequality; it's not a relationship between equals. When you help, you use your own strength to help someone with less strength....

When More Is Not Enough

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ How do we know when enough is enough? How can we tell if our appetite is satisfied or even sated? I don’t know about you, but my sense of satisfaction, or “enoughness,” was broken long ago. For much of my life, I repeatedly passed...

Going Out of Business?

  by Reverend Bertrand Steeves - June 19, 1994 ​ A few weeks ago, during the morning worship service, Anne Verret-Speck sat on the stairs here surrounded by members of the Young Church and ably explained to the children my retirement. One bright five-year-old,...

AIM to Be Inclusive

  by Reverend Helen Murgida ​ Good morning and Welcome! If you are new to the First Religious Society, we are so glad that you have joined us. My name is Rev. Helen Murgida and I serve as Affiliate Minister and Pastoral Care Associate. I am a life-long educator...

Service of Remembrance

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ I have been with dying people, and the experience has often been beautiful. I’m sure many of you have sat beside the bedsides of loved ones passing away, perhaps even had the good fortune to sing to them or hold their hands,...

Exchange as a Pathway to Change

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Friends, have we forgotten one another? Tell me, in our busyness, our fear, our desperation, have we forgotten we belong to one another? Have we forgotten how to love one another, how to see the sacred spark of creation in each...

People of Promise

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ In her book Traveling Mercies, the author Anne Lamott tells why she makes her son Sam go to church. The main reason is to give him what I found in the world, which is to say a path and a little light to see by. Most of the people I...

You’re Invited…

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the pain you live in and think you cannot share. I’m sorry for the loss you’re going through and for the aloneness you sometimes feel. I’m sorry if you’ve forgotten how amazingly, spectacularly, beautiful you...

This, Vulnerability, and an Elephant

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ It has been 78 weeks since we have been together in this sanctuary. We entered the 2019-2020 church year on September 8, 2019, full of hope and anticipation. We had spent the summer doing many things, including installing our new...

Foreboding Joy

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ My friend reminded me about the concept of foreboding joy about three weeks ago. The timing was perfect, as I was in the middle of experiencing a severe bout of just that. The Delta variant was on the rise. My previous excitement and...

Together We

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ “While worship is our collective act of celebration, affirmation, challenge, and inspiration, it does not ask of us what attending an annual meeting does. Experiencing our worship without participating in the community’s decision...

Joyous Attention

  Reflection by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Do you believe in God? I don’t believe. I know. This is one of my all-time favorite film clips. The twinkle in Carl Jung’s eye and the childlike grin that filled his face bring me such joy. Jung was being interviewed in...

Turn, Turn, Turn

  Sermon by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ “We’re returning! Isn’t it great!?” People everywhere are talking about how wonderful this time of reemerging from the pandemic is. We hear how they’ve longed for connection and face-to-face time with their loved ones. I hear...

Refugia

  Reflection by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ An analysis published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy in June 2020 documents how the “sixth mass extinction of wildlife on Earth is accelerating” as seen by the astounding and alarming number of animals...

Sankofa

  Sermon by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ My toe just went over the finish line as I heard my childhood name over the loudspeaker: “Becky Bryan!” It was spoken quickly, amidst hundreds of others, and even so, I knew what I had heard. How in the world did they know my...

You’re on Mute

  Easter Homily by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ “Oh, Reverend Rebecca, you’re on mute.” “Sally, you’re on mute.” “Jeffrey, we can’t hear you.” What started as an occasional occurrence became commonplace within weeks, if not days. Isn’t that the way it is? We step...

Chapel by the Sea

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ I was participating in a mission-vision workshop for church last year when the idea of a chapel by the sea came to me. It woke me up, stirred my heart, and brought tears to my eyes. The dream sparkled! Could it be? A Chapel by the...

Quiet Down

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ When someone you haven’t seen in ten years  appears at the door, don’t start singing him all your new songs. You will never catch up.Walk around feeling like a leaf. Know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your...

To Pledge

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ My best year in college was one when I had fewer choices, only a couple of friends, no car, two pairs of jeans, and one dress. Unhappy my freshman and sophomore years, I had debated between transferring to another school and studying...

Turn and Love

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ “You’re going to be preaching on nonviolence. Do you know Bayard Rustin?” Justin, our Director of Church Music, asked me. His question was innocent enough. I had been a student and adherent of nonviolence for decades and did not...

To Be Forgiven

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan “How free do you want to be?” is a common phrase used by those in twelve-step recovery programs. We are promised that if we follow a few simple steps or suggestions, we will be free, first from our addictions and then from the things...

The Work of Lifetimes

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan Part One: The Work of Lifetimes “Whose pain is it?” I was lying in Shavasana, or corpse pose, at the end of yoga class when the veil between the conscious and unconscious lifted and I was gifted with an epiphany that liberated me. I...

Making Room for 2021

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan 2020! Oh, what a year it has been. I’m so ready for it to be over. I didn’t think it could get any worse, and then it did. The pandemic, Black Lives Matter, the loss of so many innocent people’s lives, the political situation, and...

A Veteran’s Message Home

  By Lynn Kettleson Thank you. It’s a privilege to be here today in a service honoring my fellow veterans.  I’ve spent my professional life as a storyteller helping others tell their tales. After all, we live forever in our stories. That’s how we’ll be...

The Perils of First Glances and Certainty

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan The thought came to me seemingly without provocation: “The camera lens is covered.” I jolted into recognition when I realized what was revealed. The camera on my computer had been “broken” for days, or so I thought. I blamed this...

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