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23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492


Most Recent Sermon

Bridging Cultural Divides for Collective Liberation and Transformation

Sunday, July 3, 2022

10:30 am, live streamed from the Sanctuary

Rev. Dr. Michelle Walsh


Encounters with different cultural ways of being and belief systems have the potential to stir visceral discomfort and deep reactivity. In the ongoing polarizing challenges of these times – from COVID to the climate crisis amidst profound inequities, what meaning-making implications can we draw for 4th of July  as “Independence Day” amidst this? How can we as Unitarian Universalists embrace a deeper, more rooted call and spiritual practices for engagement? This sermon builds on a series of sermons with which the guest minister has been traveling for the past few years, alongside her lived experiences and writings.

Rev. Dr. Michelle Walsh, PhD, LICSW is a Unitarian Universalist community minister who is a certified Internal Family Systems therapist/practitioner and trained spiritual director with a private practice known as Sacred Play Explorations. She also has worked as a scholar activist for many years in urban contexts, teaches as a Lecturer at Boston University, and is the author of Violent Trauma, Culture and Power: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Lived Religion as well as chapters in other volumes.


Previous Sermons

Service of the Living Tradition

On Sunday, June 26 at 10:30am, we will be replaying a shorter version of the "Service of the Living Tradition" from the General Assembly 2022. Please note that this service will not be available on Zoom on Sunday but will be available at our usual First Parish YouTube...

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Fallow & Fertile Season: Flower Communion Sunday

June 19th at 10:30am, livestreamed from the sanctuary (Rev. Catie leading) Our creativity, adaptability, and wisdom are strongest not just after we’ve had rest, but as we’re having rest. How do we maintain our curiosity and “beginner’s mind” in a dominant culture that...

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Youth Led Worship Service: One Great Bundle

June 12th 10:30am, livestreamed from the sanctuary, with a social hour, weather permitting, outside to follow with light snacks To quote African American writer and activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, “we are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity.”...

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The Ordination of Jennifer E. Crawford

June 4th 4:00-5:15pm, Live streamed from the sanctuary, with a social hour, weather permitting, outside to follow with light snacks On March 9, the Parish Committee voted “yes” to ordaining Jenna at our congregation around the close of her internship with us. Though...

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Blue Masking Tape

June 5, 2022 at 10:30 am,  Live Streamed from the Sanctuary Reverend Jenna Crawford In this service, Jenna reflects on her recent move across town and her enthusiastic use of blue masking tape in the packing process. In her last sermon at First Parish, she’ll share...

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God Bless America

  May 29, 2022 10:30 am, Live Streamed from the Sanctuary Rev. Catie Scudera   For our Memorial Day Sunday worship service, we’ll conclude our monthly theme of Divinity and Reverence with a reflection of the Irving Berlin song, God Bless America and what...

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Woven in a Single Garment of Destiny

  Sunday,  May 22, 2022 10:30 am, fully pre-recorded service streamed live to the Parish Hall and available live online Service by the Unitarian Universalist Association; Rev Susan Frederick-Gray, preacher   Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said,...

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Acquaint Thyself Firsthand with Deity

  May 15, 2022 10:30 am, Live Streamed from the Sanctuary Rev. Catie Scudera   Our Universalist and Unitarian ancestors had wildly different theological understandings, which led to great controversies within those respective denominations and delayed their...

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Immanent Divinity, Radical Equality

The first of May invites us to consider the teachings of pagan tradition on the cross-quarter holy day of Beltane, as well as the fight for worker’s rights on May Day. What does a theology of immanent divinity have to teach us? And, how do we build relationships of...

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Letting Go While Holding Tight

  May 8, 2022 10:30 am, livestreamed from the sanctuary Jenna Crawford   In The Blue Jay's Dance: A Memoir of Early Motherhood, Louise Erdrich writes, "This is our human problem, one common to parents, [children], too--how to let go while holding tight, how...

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Get Rooted, Get Ready!

  April 24, 2022 10:30 am, prerecorded on YouTube/Zoom and streamed into the Parish Hall   “It will take all of us, working with all of us… doing what none of us can do alone” –All of Us, the new climate hymn by Dana Clark   Our faith calls us into...

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Easter Sunday

  April 17, 2022 10:30 am, live streamed from the sanctuary Rev. Catie Scudera leading   For our one Easter service this year, we’ll reflect on our Unitarian and Universalist Christian ancestors who invested in an “Easter Sunday faith” (as opposed to a “Good...

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