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
We love to give tours! 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. We have volunteer tour guides who are happy to come and give a tour. 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.
Contact information to arrange a tour:
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.
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
Sunday, February 14
Our preaching will be by Old Ship member Diane Elliott. Her sermon will be "Acts of Faith." Diane writes: "There are times when decisions are made and paths are taken without knowing where you are going or what you will find when you get there. For me a decision of this nature was an Act of Faith when I decided to attend the Parliament of World Religions, which was first created in 1893 to cultivate harmony among the world's religions and spiritual communities. In October ten thousand people from over 80 countries and 50 different religious and spiritual communities came together for interfaith dialogues. What does living in an interfaith world look like today and how can we be a part of it?"
Diane has been a member of Old Ship for 29 years. She was a Director of Religious Education for 23 years and served at three different congregations, including ours. She attended Andover Newton Theological School and graduated in 2007. (Now she lazes about stirring up trouble whenever she can.)
Sunday, February 21
We will have a guest preacher, Rev. Carol Cissel. Her sermon will be "Loss, Remembrance, and Joy." She writes: From the moment we enter the world, our brains begin preparing us to leave it. Part of that preparation includes the gathering and storing of beautiful and painful memories. Why do we remember...what we remember? How do our emotions affect our memories? Is it possible to grieve, learn from and lovingly catalog our losses? Why do we remember...the things we remember?"
Rev. Cissel serves the Unitarian Society in East Brunswick, NJ; she has three adult children and one grandchild.
Sunday, February 28
"Blessings" will be Ken's sermon. Here are Ken's thoughts about this sermon:
"I am frequently (though probably not often enough) somewhat overwhelmed with the extent of my good fortune. From the blessings and love of family and friends to the blessing of being your minister, sharing in joys and sorrow, learning and serving. Yes, I've had some share of sorrow in my life too - who hasn't - but at the same time I am of course well aware of the far greater depths of sorrow and struggle and suffering that all too many others experience. What, then, are we to do with whatever measure of good fortune is ours?
First Parish offers grants for social justice work.
Old Ship Church’s Social Outreach program, as commissioned by the Parish, is pleased to administer funds appropriated for social outreach in support of 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 and the application form, click here.
.• 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…