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! 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
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, January 29, 10:25am
Ken will be exchanging pulpits with Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch, the minister at Second Parish in Hingham - an annual exchange at about this time of year. So, Stephanie, a descendant of the first minister of Second Parish, will be preaching here; and Ken, a descendant of our first minister, will be preaching at Second Parish.
Stephanie's sermon will be "Do You Hear What I Hear?". She writes: "We each hear things differently, interpreting what others say in light of not just their tone and purpose but also our own experience and priorities. What's the point of trying to understand how others will respond to a message? How could we even accomplish such a thing?"
Moments from Merrie Market . . .
Meditation Workshop this Saturday, Jan. 28
Saturday, January 28, 3:00 - 5:00 in the Parish House parlor. Whether you are a long time meditator or wish to begin, this gathering will offer some basic instruction in mindfulness meditation and in Eknath Easwaran’s "passage meditation". There will be time for questions and conversation, and plenty of time to meditate. All are welcome – no need to sign up. Contact Ken with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Justice Annual Dinner with program on the Experience of Homelessness
You are invited to join us on Saturday, February 4th at 6pm, for our annual pot luck dinner in the Fellowship Hall. Jon Lanham, Triage Coordinator for Father Bill’s/Mainspring will be talking with us about the Experience of Homelessness using parts of the film “Time Out of Mind” (2015, starring Richard Gere) to illustrate living in a homeless shelter and the challenges faced by those who are homeless. Look for the sign up at the Social Justice Council table during Fellowship Hour or contact Brenda Black (email@example.com 781-740-2835) or Ginny Perelson (firstname.lastname@example.org 401-965-6744)-to let us know you will be coming and what you will be bringing (Main Dish, Salad or Side Dish, Dessert).
Vespers with the Old Ship Choir --
Expressions of Love
On Thursday, February 16 at 6:30 p.m., the Old Ship Choir will hold a special Vespers service in the Meeting House, reflecting on expressions of Love. A gently lit Meeting House, music by Vaughan Williams and Bairstow, poetry by E. E. Cummings, and plenty of silence for quiet contemplation — all contribute to a peaceful pause in the midst of our busy lives. All are warmly invited!
Check our our Life Learning classes. Check out the full schedule here.
.• All events are listed on the calendar
• This month's e-newsletter here
meeting house preservation
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. 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!
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.
Curious about the early history of Old Ship and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…