who we are
Welcome to First Parish in Hingham, Unitarian Universalist, known as Old Ship Church.
We are a liberal Unitarian Universalist community of about 250 members of all ages. More than 100 children and youth participate in our religious education programming. We worship in an historic Meeting House and we hold religious education classes and gather after services in
our Parish House across the street. Our minister, Rev. Kenneth H. Read-Brown, has been with us for more than 25 years.
Our Meeting House, a National Historic Landmark, has stood on Hingham’s Main Street since 1681. It is the only remaining 17th-century Puritan meeting house in the U.S.
Our community encourages personal spiritual growth through worship, engagement and service to others.
We do not require adherence to a specific creed. We affirm the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Principles and Sources, and we support each individual's unique search for truth and meaning. We are proud that our community is both a "Welcoming Congregation" and a "Green Sanctuary," both official designations from the Unitarian Universalist Association. We cherish diversity of religious backgrounds, racial and cultural identities or backgrounds, ethnicities, national origins, ages, ranges of ability, sexual orientations, gender expressions, financial means, educations, and political perspectives. We welcome all to share in congregational life.
tours of Old Ship Meeting House
During July & August, the Meeting House will be open daily for tours from 1 - 4 pm.
From September through June, tours are by appointment only. Please call the office in advance with a minimum of two days notice if at all possible. Old Ship is open on Sunday mornings for worship and anyone is welcome to come early (9am-10am) to view the inside of the building.
The Office is located in the Parish House, diagonally across the street from the Meeting House.
Office Mailing Address:
107 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Office Hours in the summer: Wednesdays only
Phone Number: 781-749-1679
To receive weekly e-updates, sign up here.
MINISTER'S BLOG: Musings etc.
Click here for directions
We are very pleased to welcome you to Old Ship. We want you to feel comfortable among us.
Our summer custom is to gather in the parlor of the Parish House (107 Main Street) for informal worship led by members of our congregation. The service begins at 10 am. See below for a list of worship leaders and topics for summer 2015.
From September through mid June, our worship service, held in the Meeting House at 90 Main St., begins promptly at 10:25 am and lasts about an hour.
Childcare is available before and
during Sunday services.
Our Parish House, where we hold religious education classes, child care, fellowship hour,
meetings, etc. is across Main Street from the Meeting House at 107 Main St.
Click here for what to expect on Sunday
upcoming worship services
Summer Worship Services
10:00 am in the Parish House, 107 Main St.
Summer services will be held in the Parish House, across the street from the Meeting House, mostly led by Old Ship members. These intimate services include a talk from the worship leader as well as our usual sharing of joys, sorrows, and concerns, and time for conversation around the topic. Coffee & light refreshments complete the morning. See below for worship leaders and topics.
August 30 Judi Flaherty "In any language..." What are some of our assumptions about the challenges faced by people newly arrived in the U.S.? How does country of origin or native language affect our ability to live, work, learn, worship, and play together?
September 6 Pat Bianco will return to the thrilling days of yesteryear and repeat an Old Ship sermon from almost 30 years ago. This sermon was the first or second sermon given by Ken Read Brown (aged 37) at Old Ship. This will not be an incredible simulation -- only Ken is Ken--but it will re-visit the words of his excellent sermon. The subject concerns a dark forest, Dante, and learning to row. (By the way, this novel service is being done with Ken's OK)
Worship Services move back into the Meeting House on September 13 at 10:30am.
Sunday, September 13
We resume worship in the Old Ship Meeting House! Our annual Homecoming Service will include our water communion ceremony; we are all invited to bring a small sample of water from some special summer place, near or far - we will gather the water in a single bowl, symbolizing our returning together in community. Ken's brief sermon will be "Kinds of Love" and will serve as a bit of introduction to his class on Dante's Inferno and Divine Comedy.
Sunday, September 20
In the midst of the High Holy Days on the Jewish calendar, a time for reflection on how we have lived our lives, individually and collectively, during the year passed, Ken's sermon will be "Naming the Lives that Matter."
Sunday, September 27
"Who Are You Really?" will be Ken's sermon. Ram Dass, echoing ancient wisdom from many traditions, affirms that whether we are aware of it or not, each of us lives on the level of ego, the level of soul, and the level of oneness. Is this true? Does it matter?
• All events are listed on the calendar
• This month's e-newsletter here
Old Ship Annual Fund Drive / Canvass
What does Old Ship mean to you? Please show your commitment to the Old Ship community by making a pledge of financial support.
Click here for the pledge card, letter and informational materials. Please return your pledge ASAP! Thank you.
meeting house preservation
Old Ship is proud to announce that the Meeting House Restoration Project completed in 2014 has received a significant award: The 2015 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award, given for Restoration and for Stewardship. You may read the full nominating document complete with photos describing the scope of the work done on the project here. Congratulations to everyone who worked on and supported this spectacular project!
Curious about the early history of Old Ship
and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…