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.
What are Unitarian Universalists? click here.
Copyright and Text—Unitarian Universalist Association.
tours of Old Ship Meeting House
We love to give tours of Old Ship Church!
From September 1 - June, we are happy to give tours, but kindly request two days notice in order to arrange a volunteer tour guide. Please call 781-749-1679 or email the office to schedule a tour. Please note: Old Ship Church is not open unless there is a tour scheduled.
To receive weekly e-updates, sign up here.
MINISTER'S BLOG: Musings etc.
SERMON ARCHIVES: read Ken's sermons here
Click here for directions
Curious about the early history of Old Ship and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…
We are very pleased to welcome you to Old Ship. We want you to feel comfortable among us.
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. You can park along Main Street on either side of the street, or along the circular driveway in front of the Parish House. A few handicapped-accessible spaces are located at the top of the circular drive in front of the Meeting House. Childcare, located in the Parish House, is available before and during Sunday services.
Our Parish House, where we hold religious education classes, child care, fellowship hour,
meetings, the office, etc. is across Main Street from the Meeting House at 107 Main St.
Click here for more information about what to expect on Sunday morning.
upcoming worship services
Sunday, October 22, 10:25am
"Living Beautifully?" will be Ken's sermon, inspired by the book by the American Buddhist
teacher Pema Chodron: Living Beautifully with uncertainty and change, which is being read in the
twice monthly Sunday morning Bodhisattva Study Group (to which newcomers are always invited!).
Can opening our eyes and ears and hearts to what Zorba called "the full catastrophe" of life actually
help us to "live beautifully"?
Fellowship Hour will feature "Come Meet Me": an opportunity to get to know the folks and
groups who make things happen around Old Ship. Y'all come!
Sunday, October 29, 10:25am
Ken's sermon will be "Coming to Terms"- reflections on aging, and the need for us to have more open and honest conversations with loved ones and one another as we age, and in particular if and when we face difficult diagnoses such as dementia at whatever age.
During the service we will have the opportunity to name dear ones who have died during the
past year, or in the more distant past. We are also invited to bring to the service, if we like, a photo
or other memento to contribute to our "altar of remembrance" (everything will of course be returned following the service.)
Coffeehouse off the Square October 21 at 8pm presents Toni Lynn Washington
This renowned blues singer draws on years in the Boston and New Orleans music scenes, .and on 8 years on the road with the group Sound 7. She came back to Boston to front for the group Boston Baked Beans all over the northeast. Toni now tours Europe annually and is occasionally at Hull’s C-Note. Now is our chance to hear her even more locally. The Boston Globe says Toni Lynn “has a lovely deep smooth voice that exudes strength and self-assurance. With her sharp articulation and occasional horn-like tones, she pulls the maximum emotional intensity from each note. Appearing with her to complete the sound is the long- term blues guitarist, Paul Speidel. Together they will make a memorable evening.
Empty Bowls Thursday, October 26, 5 - 7pm
Old Ship is sponsoring Empty Bowls this year, and this tasty and fun fundraiser for local food pantries is taking place in our Fellowship Hall on Thurs 10/26 from 5 - 7 pm. Plan to come pick out a handmade pottery bowl and have it filled with delicious soup donated by Whole Foods ($20 for adults / $10 for children and seniors). The bowls you will be taking home were created and donated by local high school students, Launch Program’s young adults, and local potters. All proceeds will go to local food pantries. Last year this event raised $4000: let’s match or increase that this year. If you would like to invite someone you know outside the Old Ship Community, look for the postcards describing the event at Fellowship Hour and send off your invite! Thank you!
Support Old Ship!
Old Ship is proud 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. Click here to donate to helping preserve the historic Old Ship Church including restoring our steeple.
Support Old Ship Church through Amazon Smiles!
Using this link below, shop on Amazon and a portion of the sales are donated back to Old Ship!
How? Start here: https://smile.amazon.com/ and designate Old Ship Church as your charity of choice.
Celebrating Ken's 30th anniversary
Hear the choir sing "The Mild-Mannered Preacher"