First Church Somerville UCC
First Church Somerville UCC


Baptism Sunday and Earth Day

Posted by molly on 16 April 2015

Hi Beloved!
I'm just back from California, where the third year of drought is making people very anxious, to Boston, where the snowiest winter on record is still melting into spring. This week is Heat Week at Harvard--when climate activists are turning up the heat on the administration, pressuring them to divest from the fossil fuel industry which is wrecking the planet. And next week is Earth Day. 

This Sunday, in between, we will meet in our lovely sanctuary. We will bless and baptize Will, Tommy, Olive, Avery and Alexander. We will make promises to teach them, protect them, and raise them up to adulthood, in the way of Jesus. 

I wonder, does keeping those promises mean making some changes in how we use (and misuse) the earth that is our home--and that will be their home long after we are gone? How can we turn up the heat on ourselves, on our own earth stewardship and climate activism? 

I'll be preaching on these questions and more. Heather W. is our able liturgist! Rev. Jeff is on vacation for two weeks, and Megan S. will pray with us. 

In the middle of worship: you can jump on your bike and ride off into the sun with other climate activists! see sidebar below. After worship: Big Meeting Brunch! If you're not already on a committee, come and eavesdrop on what is happening at deeper levels of leadership and activism in our life together (this week, Fellowship, Mission & Justice and Music Team will meet). You're so welcome--really.


Read the full post

Science & Spirituality & Communion

Posted by on 9 April 2015

Hi Beloved!
This Sunday is our traditional Science & Spirituality Sunday in conjunction with the Cambridge Science Festival. You're invited to wear anything that makes you look like a scientist - lab coats, particle accelerators, and tin foil hats. Even babies can get in on the act.

Our own John Olson - who made it into Molly's Easter sermon as "the atheist who doesn't believe much, BUT..." will be preaching on good old Doubting Thomas, what we believe, and the role of Mystery in spirituality and science.

Helping John bring the Word: Kathleen will be our liturgist, Josephine our accompanist, and 
Rev. Jeff will be reading and telling a bit of scripture.

It's also Communion Sunday, so feel free to bring canned and dry goods for the Somerville Homeless Coalition. 


All this week's announcments are HERE.

Read the full post

Easter Sunday

Posted by molly on 2 April 2015

Hi Beloved!

I am not a person who likes rides. I hate the feeling when I’m way up there and my stomach is all the way down there. I have aging middle ears, and get dizzy easily. And it’s just plain scary. I don’t understand why people ride roller coasters for fun.

Read the full post

Holy Week Services

Posted by molly on 31 March 2015

Here is a complete listing of our Holy Week services: each one a distinct, unique part of the holy roller coaster that is the emotional arc of this week in the life of Jesus. Please come join us for all of them--children welcome!

Read the full post

Palm Sunday Worship

Posted by molly on 26 March 2015

Hi Beloved!

A young pastor friend of mine asked me the other day what Palm Sunday means to me. “I know all about the political level,” she said. “But what about the personal?”

Read the full post

Holy Week at FCS

Posted by molly on 22 March 2015


Is something nudging you to deeper resonance with spring?

Is it not enough to eat Cadbury crème eggs and watch the crocuses bloom on your daily commute?

Read the full post

Lent IV

Posted by molly on 12 March 2015

Hi Beloved!
Can I get an amen? For birds singing, and rivers of snowmelt running down College Ave, and the church garden slowly revealing the glory that is to come.
But here’s the rub: yesterday felt like shorts weather. Today the temp is hovering back around the freezing mark. How do we trust that it’s ok to come out, actually? When we’ve been imprisoned in snow and ice so long? We’ve been tricked before. How do we really KNOW?
This week’s scripture and sermon is a toughie. It’s a more ample reading of the scripture that usually appears on posterboard at football games: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that She gave her only Child, so that everyone who believes in that one may not perish but may have eternal life…those who do believe in that one are not condemned, but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believe in the name of the only Child of God.”
Uh, what? “condemned already” for not believing? That is SO not First Church. Right?
But what if we actually do have an important decision to make about Jesus and following him? What if making this decision actually made our lives a lot better? What if we could make this decision without feeling like we were trashing other religions or becoming a total weirdo, someone our families and friends didn't recognize? 
I’m going to tell a story—a couple of stories—about how to trust our God, that it’s time to unfurl from our tiny ball, from the little cave that has held us imprisoned, and follow the voice of Jesus. The stories may make this scripture not only palatable, but sensible, meaningful, TRUE for us.
Mike R. is our able liturgist. Melissa and choir are cooking something good up, and kids will sing also! Jeff and Megan will pray and scripture us real good.
Blessings and peace and rivers of snowmelt,

Read the full post

Lent III and All Ages

Posted by jeff on 6 March 2015

Hi Beloved!
This week it's an All-Ages Sunday and the GREAT REVERENDO, Master of Magic, will DAZZLE and AMAZE you with Eggstraordinary Ellusions! 

You see, Beloved, The Great Reverendo understands that even though we're two weeks into Lent, sometimes it's really hard in our day-to-day lives to really BELIEVE it - I mean to SEE it with our own eyes. It doesn't feel like Lent to us sometimes. It just feels like--

or Winter.
or Deadline.
or Same Old, Same Old.

So this Sunday, expect to a learn a little magic to transform the end of New England's Winter Season in your own Lenten Season.

India will be our first-time, teen-aged liturgist, Molly will announce, Megan will pray, the Great Reverendo will preach, Diane and Aaron will play.

See you Sunday!
The Great Reverendo

P.S. For my final trick, I'll make one hour disappear...

... Don't Forget to Spring Forward this Sunday!

Read the full post

Antiracism Sunday

Posted by molly on 26 February 2015

Hi Beloved!

Can you believe Sunday is already MARCH?! Oh yes you can? Get ready for mud season!

Read the full post

Lent I: Themes from Blue Like Jazz

Posted by molly on 20 February 2015

Hi Beloved!
It’s day 2 of Lent. This is the hardest part for me! Getting on the hobby-horse of “giving up,” that meanie Temptation pushes me off at least 10 times. Does the no-sugar rule apply to honey in my morning tea? If I forget to match the next 10 emails I send with a prayer for the person I’m sending it to, can I pray 10 prayers in a row and catch up? Can I pray them tonight instead?
I’m already at the third stage of grief with my Lenten spiritual practice: bargaining.
Some people think giving things up for Lent is negative, archaic. I find it ancient, powerful, spiritually cathartic, myself. Whether I succeed brilliantly, have moderate success, or bomb out entirely (this is why I pick 3 or 4 practices—so I’m assured of doing at least one of them for 46 days).
Here’s a sermon I preached a few years back on “What Good is Lent?”
Maybe it’ll help you get back on the hobby horse if you’ve already fallen off, too.
Ash Wednesday last night was totally beautiful. David and Tara’s music, your honest praying, and a chance to run our hands through the “dirt and God” that lives on the communion table (if you missed it, check it out Sunday), a reminder of who we really are at our core.
This Sunday, Lent continues. I’ll be preaching, inaugurating our new sermon series on themes from Blue Like Jazz, the wonderful spiritual autobiography from Donald Miller. You can read the whole thing this Lent! Michael H. is our newbie liturgist—pray for him! Jeff and Megan will pray with us. Justine J. is back as our nimble accompanist for a third week!
And hey, can you believe I got through a whole pastoral letter without a single mention of snow?

Read the full post