Worship & Sermons

WORSHIP

Summer Sunday services during July and August will be held in our church sanctuary at 10am and livestreamed on our YouTube channel unless otherwise indicated in the schedule. To attend services you must be vaccinated; those who are not vaccinated are welcome to attend services online. Masks are not required. Socially distant seating is available in designated areas of the sanctuary.

View the full 2022 summer schedule HERE.

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 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

Seeking Not Running

Seeking Not Running

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan Thank you, Diane, for your beautiful and moving Journey of Faith. You have given us a huge gift, and I wanted to be sure we took the time and learned from that gift. I’m sure many of us can relate to your story of religious upbringing,...

In Each Other’s Hands

In Each Other’s Hands

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan Thank you, Alex.   My remarks this morning are entitled “In Each Other’s Hands.”  Placing my hand down on the page, holding the paper with my elbow, tongue stuck out in focused attention and effort, I would carefully draw with my right...

“Values, Mission and Ends. Oh My!” 

“Values, Mission and Ends. Oh My!” 

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan Thank you, Julie, and thank all of you who participated in helping to articulate the values, mission, and ends of our beloved congregation.   Thank you for believing in and caring about this congregation and its future. Thank you for...

How Will I Know: The Art of Discernment 

How Will I Know: The Art of Discernment 

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan The text message came through as I walked out the door of our home. “There’s a Letter to the Editor in this morning’s paper. You should read it.”   And so it began, the unexpected bend in the road, an unanticipated Letter to the Editor...

Neurodiversity and Self-Compassion

Neurodiversity and Self-Compassion

  By Rev. Helen Murgida, Ed.D.    Welcome! This morning I will share my stories of working with neurodiverse students in the field of education and how this has shaped me as a compassionate caregiver. These reflections have helped me to articulate where I stand...

Perfect in Our Brokenness

Perfect in Our Brokenness

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan ​“We all love you, that’s not the problem. Now you just have to love yourself...” words from a truthful friend in recovery. “That’s a lot of diplomas and awards on that wall behind you,” said a person interviewing me to be a minister....

There is More to the Story

There is More to the Story

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan Tomorrow is the thirty-fourth year that we have honored the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. The idea of commemorating Dr. King’s legacy began in 1968, four days after his assassination, when Representative John Conyers...

Dialoguing across Differences: Is It Possible?

Dialoguing across Differences: Is It Possible?

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan Is dialogue across differences possible, in today’s political and polarized climate? The short answer is yes — yes if there is a shared common goal or purpose for the conversation and we connect to the worth and dignity of the other...

“UUs Don’t Believe Anything” and Other Misperceptions

“UUs Don’t Believe Anything” and Other Misperceptions

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan “UUs Don’t Believe Anything” and Other Misperceptions I’m going to start this morning by giving you the headline, or the end of the sermon, at the beginning. There is so much to be said and so little time. Trying to answer the question...

Unfolding

Unfolding

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan “God is not inevitable.” I was sitting in meditation when this thought came to me. “God is not inevitable.” It brought me great joy. I felt like a light had been turned on in my mind, leaving years of spiritual seeking, questioning,...

Threads

Threads

  By Rev. Rebecca Bryan If someone had told me that pain was a prerequisite for joy, I wonder whether would I have still chosen joy. Or would I have settled for something mediocre? Would I have settled for feeling somewhat alive, for finding a little hope, for...

Lost in Non-Translation

Lost in Non-Translation

  Listen to Rev. Rebecca's sermon "Lost in Non-Translation" by clicking on the FRS &U podcast play button to the right. Questions to ponder, discuss and hold... When were you made to feel welcome by someone who did not know you? What happened, and how did you...

In Honor

In Honor

  By Rev. Rebecca Bryan It is indeed my honor to serve as your minister. This is a wonderful congregation with deep and rooted history, both in not only our association and denomination but also here in Newburyport and the surrounding towns. I take this call...

Whose Welcome?

Whose Welcome?

  How welcoming can make you more deeply welcoming   By Rev. Rebecca Bryan Last June, we voted as a congregation to become a Level 2 Sanctuary Congregation. This means that we covenant, or promise, to support the Main Street Congregational Church in Amesbury,...

From Trash to Treasure

From Trash to Treasure

  By Rev. Rebecca Bryan We were in the process of blending our families after remarriage, four children and two adults. Always one for the importance of rituals and wanting to find a way to commemorate the transition, I had lugged us all down to the local...

As We Move Forward

As We Move Forward

  By Reverend Rebecca Bryan  When I began studying to be a Unitarian Universalist minister nearly ten years ago, I was oblivious to issues of race. I certainly would have told you that I was not prejudiced; in fact I dated the one black boy in my high school and...

The Powerful Question

The Powerful Question

  Watch the video recording of the sermon. By Reverend Rebecca Bryan  “The risk with Unitarian Universalism is that you skate. You skim from cause to cause and theology to theology, but never go deep. That may be interesting and even fun; however, what happens...

Finding Home – Listening

Finding Home – Listening

  Here we are with a sermon and service all about listening, and there is so much going on in the service! The paradox is clear. I know.  How are we to listen, Reverend Rebecca, when there is so much to listen to, so much worthy of our attention? I’m still...

The Power of Hope

The Power of Hope

  “Are you in recovery? Because it sure sounds like you are based on what you say from the pulpit.” My congregant smiled at me and my heart sank. I hadn’t yet decided whether to be “out” about being in recovery. As a minister I was conflicted. I wanted to be...

And

And

  By Rev. Rebecca(Transcript from a recording of Rev. Rebecca’s sermon that was delivered extemporaneously.) ​How many of you know who this is? Mr. Potato Head. Yes, and Mrs. Tater. The female is smaller, but don’t let that fool you – make no assumptions about...

The Power and the Possibility of Liminality

The Power and the Possibility of Liminality

  By Rev. RebeccaAs I sat there, the  pain of seven days only getting worse, I knew what I had to do. It was time to go to the hospital and receive medical care. I had been hoping against hope that this pain would go away on its own. I was avoiding receiving care...

Just for the Fun of It

Just for the Fun of It

  By Rev. Rebecca(Transcript from a recording of Rev. Rebecca's sermon that was delivered extemporaneously.)So for my sermon today, I'm doing something that's called a Question and Answer Box, and I had invited folks to submit questions in advance. I received a...

Joy: Evidence of the Divine

Joy: Evidence of the Divine

  (This sermon is dedicated to Linda Buddenhagen who gave me the inspiration) What is happiness, and is it achievable? Moreover, is the pursuit of happiness really where we ought to be putting our efforts, or as people of faith and morals, are there other more...

The Iconic Steeple

The Iconic Steeple

  By Rev. Rebecca BryanI first experienced our beloved and majestic steeple when I was here visiting as a prospective minister last February. My husband and I arrived in town a little early and were immediately drawn to its charm. We were walking back to the...

Moving in to Root

Moving in to Root

  We invite you to listen to the Podcast recording of this Sunday's sermon.As the sermon was an interactive reading and dialogue there is no formal transcript available. The hymn Rev. Rebecca Bryan refers to at the beginning of her sermon is hymn #140 - Hail the...

How Roots Can Free Us

How Roots Can Free Us

  By Rev. Rebecca Bryan“Heave ho.” I flung another box into the large dumpster and watched it land deep in a pile of trash. I paused to see if the automatic cruncher thing would push it further down out of sight; maybe it would even get buried. I returned to my...

A Doorway to Everything

A Doorway to Everything

  By Rev. Rebecca Bryan This morning we come together for as many reasons as there are people in this sanctuary. We come to celebrate Passover, Easter, and spring. We come to uphold family tradition of church on Easter morning, and we come to explore what it...

A World without Other

A World without Other

  By Rev. Rebecca BryanMany famous and infamous things happen in a moment. We make decisions every day, every moment, in fact. In and of themselves most never amount to anything. Every decision is interconnected to a web of earlier decisions and moments though by...

Centering – The Journey to Your True Self

Centering – The Journey to Your True Self

  On April 7, friends and members of the First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist’s shared a Sunday service on centering voices and people who have historically been marginalized. Friends Elliot and Susan shared their story of “The journey of finding and...

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