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.

February 2023 Worship Schedule

Download and print the February schedule of worship services HERE.

Sermons

Watch some recent sermons from Reverend Rebecca:

https://bit.ly/sermon-recordings

Goals, Glimmers, and New Year’s Resolutions

  Sermon by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ When was the last time your heart skipped a beat? I apologize to those who have had medical conditions and scares. My question is meant to be poetic, not insensitive. I want to know when your heart last skipped a beat in...

The Expectation and Promise of Peace

  Christmas Eve Reflection by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ Peace. Peace is not the absence of challenges. Peace is not when everything goes the way we think it should. Peace is not an award and isn’t given for those who work the hardest or do as they are told to do....

Peace in the Day to Day

  Christmas Eve Reflection by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ When people’s lives change, for instance when children go off to school for the first time or when a loved one dies, it is the ordinary things that are missed the most. It is the banging of the screen door as...

Her Voice

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ What is the nature of your homeland? Tell me what she taught you when you were very young. Did you learn of resiliency from the dandelion making her way through the seemingly impenetrable city sidewalk? Did you find yourself...

In These Times

  by Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​ “Give us something to live for!” My friend was sharing the struggles she had been having with her teenager. Her heart was breaking for her child, for that child’s siblings, and for her parents who lived with them, all of whom were...

All Our Ancestors and All Future Generations Are Present in Us

  Reflection by Tom Stites ​ YouTube video of full service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AxcFv7doY4 Reading from Thich Nhat Hanh, followed by Reflection by Tom Stites, begin at 30:15 Reading Our reading this morning comes from the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh,...

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...

Non-Apparent Disabilities

  by Reverend Helen Murgida, Ed.D. ​ Welcome! It is so good to be with you in person or through YouTube participation. One Sunday a year is dedicated to our Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry or AIM. AIM is a work in progress that embraces our FRS Mission and...

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...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This