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 Meeting House built in the 17th century in the United States that still exists.
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. Our community is both a "Welcoming Congregation" and a "Green Sanctuary", both official designations from the Unitarian Universalist Association, of which we are very proud.
Tours of Old Ship Church:
We are happy to give tours! 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.
Mailing Address: 107 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 2 pm
(Please note: the church office is not located inside the historic Old Ship Church. It is in a separate building across the street.)
Phone Number: 781-749-1679
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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 Sunday worship service from September through June, 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
For Palm Sunday worship, we will draw on selections from the two Unitarian poets, e.e. cummings and May Sarton, who will be the focus of this year’s Spring Poetry Class (which begins on April 1 – see details on the learning page of our web site). Ken’s sermon will be: “The Only Way Through”
Sunday, April 5 – Easter Sunday
“An Easter for Our Time” will be Ken’s sermon. Easter has its origins in ancient spring religious festivals as well as in the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Does it still have meaning for us… in our personal lives and in our shared life on our small Earth home sailing in the immensity we call the universe?
Choral music for this year’s Easter service will include “Calypso Alleluia” by Thomas Benjamin, “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Gabriel Faure, and “How Lovely Are the Messengers” by Felix Mendelssohn.
Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt details:
Families will all first come to the worship service and then the children will leave after the traditional “Resurrection Story” to begin the hunt. The Old Ship Easter Egg Hunt is a cooperative adventure using our Unitarian Universalist values of respecting everyone’s worth and dignity. This is not a competitive race to be won by the fastest legs. Instead, the hunt is by age group and involves finding written clues, using compasses and eggs cooperatively. All of the candy is pooled and shared among the entire group at the end. The smallest kids will be have their own special area to find eggs. Warm jackets and study shoes are encouraged.
Want more info on the hunt? :
Click here: /uploads/3/1/6/6/3166535/2015_easter_egg_hunt_instructions.pdf
Sunday, April 12
This will be our Coming of Age Sunday, a very special service on our worship calendar. The Coming of Age youth have been meeting with their mentors and other adult leaders all this year. This service will celebrate their completion of the program and will include the sharing of their faith statements – which is always moving and inspiring.
At 4:00 the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society will offer a benefit concert at Old Ship. They will be performing works from the Medieval era to the present. Among the treasures of choral repertoire for women’s, men’s, and mixed voices, the ensembles will present works devoted to Harvard’s Civil War Project, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the war and its historical legacy. The concert will feature early American music in Old Ship’s historic meeting house, as well as works by Perotin, Du Fay, Tallis, Bach, Chesnokov, and modern works by David Lang, Abbie Betinis, and John Muehleisen.
We missed having these groups at a service this past fall, we will be able to enjoy a full concert this spring! We are asking for a $10 donation at the door. Proceeds will be divided to benefit the youth group for their service trip to Appalachia and our music program for a needed new keyboard.
Our Earth Day service this year will feature the musical gifts of UU troubadour Jim Scott: “Gaia, Mother Earth, and the Oneness of Everything”
We will celebrate the earth with Jim's original songs and readings along with his personal reflections on the idea of Mother Earth or "Gaia" being one living organism. Our "spiritual response" in word and action is so timely now, as "the spirit of life on earth is in crisis.” Jim's uplifting songs, some of which are in our hymnbooks, offer a vision and inspiration to take the healing of the earth into our own hands.
From his work with the Paul Winter Consort, where he was co-composer of their celebrated "Missa Gaia / Earth Mass", Jim has long been an activist for peace and the earth with his music. Former Co Chair of the UU Ministry for the Earth, Jim helped create the "Green Sanctuary" program.
Ken Read-Brown will share in leading the service, and our choir will participate in the music. Jim has graced our Meeting House with his music on other occasion. It will be good to have him with us once again.
“Still Here” will be Ken’s sermon, a practical and spiritual reflection on the nature of Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. He will be drawing on his experience with parishioners and with his mother’s Alzheimer’s journey, as well as on his experience raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association during the past three years by running the Boston Marathon.
Short clip of Rev. Ken speaking at the People's Climate Justice March in September 2014! Preach!
Thanks to UU Planet for the clip!
Kristen Graves will be at Old Ship on March 28 at 7pm for a Youth Service Trip fundraiser. Take a listen then come and enjoy her live at Old Ship on Saturday!
Pasta Dinner - All Welcome
Friday, April 10, 6:30pm -- 8pm, Fellowship Hall
Families, Youth, Children and Friends of All Ages: Come and be inspired about your families' and your future at Old Ship! Listen to our youth describe what it means to have a spiritual home and why it is important for future generations to keep OS healthy and vibrant!! Please join the Religious Education Committee the Youth Committee and the Board of Trustees for a Perfect Pasta Community Canvass Supper - a new, social & inspirational approach to our annual pledge drive! Children and youth and members of all ages included as full participants in our exciting program!
Old Ship Youth are traveling to Appalachia in April. How You can Help? Donate scholarship money through Faithify.org. The Old Ship Youth Group is planning a service trip to West Virginia in April. There are some who need some financial assistance to make this trip possible. Old Ship is raising money through a crowd sourcing platform called “Faithify”. In fact, some Old Ship young adults, who participated in our New Orleans or Washington, D.C. trip have already put their money in the pot. That's how powerful these trips are. Please visit the Faithify.org website and donate to help provide scholarships to Old Ship Youth. Link below. We’ve raised $930 of the $1390 goal! We are 67% there! And if the $1390 goal is not reached, no money will be given.
• All events are listed on the calendar
• This month's e-newsletter here
Curious about the early history of Old Ship
and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…