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
Sunday, March 1
Ken’s sermon will be “Talking About Islam.” More often than not, and sadly, the words “Islam” and “Muslim” are paired in news reports with words such as “extremist” or “radical” or “terrorist”. We know in our heads that such adjectives describe a tiny minority within the vast global community of Muslims; yet we do also know that thousands of extremists and brutal terrorists self-identify as Muslim. How, then, ought we most usefully and accurately understand and talk about this faith practiced by almost one billion of our fellow citizens of the world?
There will be a sermon conversation at noon in the Parish House parlor. (But first be sure to purchase your “Cupcakes with a Cause” during Fellowship Hour!)
Sunday, March 8 – UU Union Service at First Parish Scituate – 10:30
Our UU Union tradition of over twenty years continues as UU congregations from Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell, and Scituate gather together as one. What fun!
This year’s service has for its focus" “Commit2Respond” – a new UU activist program to address climate change and climate justice. What are our sorrows as we contemplate the challenge of climate change? What are our hopes and commitments as we seek to make the world a better place?
There will be child care for the very young; but all ages are invited to this multigenerational worship service, a service which will include plenty of singing led by a large and wonderful joint choir, our own included along with our music director Berni Nadeau (and one song led by Ken Read-Brown). There will even be some dancing – and an on-the-spot art project led by our own Beverly Tricco!
First Parish in Scituate is at 330 First Parish Road.
Ken’s sermon will be “Now More than Ever” – a reflection on our human need for real and deep community, and in particular for religious or spiritual community. What is genuine community? What does it mean to be a committed part of a community, in particular a religious community such as ours? How can we strengthen our community and in so doing nourish our souls?
Our monthly outreach offering will benefit the Furniture Bank of the South Shore, a program of Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore.
“Still Learning from Selma” will be Ken’s sermon, fifty years after the Selma march that helped to change our nation. What did the march on Selma accomplish, how were UUs involved, and what ought we still be learning from it all?
At noon there will be a special Old Ship forum with Don Papson, co-author of Secret Lives of the Underground Railroad in New York City. The book is based on the meticulous records kept by Hingham native (and nephew of our third minister) Sydney Howard Gay and Louis Napoleon, a free black man; together they aided numerous fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom.
The day will begin with Children’s Chapel, led by Beverly Tricco and Ken Read-Brown – 9:30 in the nursery, for children and the young at heart of all ages!
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 elsewhere in the newsletter).
Ken’s sermon will be: “The Only Way Through”
Potluck/Community Dinner on Feb. 28
Please join fellow Old Shippers for a round of Community Dinners on Saturday February 28th. This is an opportunity to have dinner with a group of Old Shippers in a host home with no agenda other than to enjoy a delicious pot-luck meal and good conversation. The date is earlier than was announced in the Meeting House a few weeks ago. If you would like to host a dinner or be a guest, please contact Janice McPhillips at 781-740-8782 or email@example.com or Ivy Butterworth at 781-749-3190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cupcakes with a Cause Sunday 3/1 during Fellowship Hour
As part of our Social Justice work on homelessness, Old Ship will be selling “Cupcakes with a Cause” on Sunday 3/1 to fund the supplies needed by School on Wheels, a program which brings tutoring and other educational supports to children whose families are experiencing homelessness.
Old Ship Community Canvass Supper
Saturday, March 14 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Join us for supper & an inspirational program to launch our annual pledge drive, in a new approach to fundraising. All friends of Old Ship are welcome and childcare will be provided for younger children by the youth group for a nominal fee. Just RSVP to Julianna in the office. Click here for more info. We make fundraising fun!
Social Outreach Grants available. Deadline extended to March 18.
The social outreach committee funds projects that further Old Ship’s Third Purpose: to act for social and ecological justice. This year, preference will be given to projects with an emphasis on homelessness and/or nutritional security. For more information/application, click here.
• 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…