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 30 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 the
Old Ship Meeting House!
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.
From July 5-August 31, the Old Ship Church will be open for tours from 1pm-4pm daily.
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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. For a glimpse into our congregation, please watch this introduction to Old Ship Church, a video put together by our student minister intern, Dave Egan. Enjoy!
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. The Meeting House is handicapped-accessible. 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. It is handicapped-accessible, with parking spaces and the entrance on the left side.
Click here for more information about what to expect on Sunday morning.
upcoming worship services
Sunday, June 10, 10:25am New Members Sunday
All those who have signed the Membership Book since last year at this time will be formally recognized and welcomed during this service. If you have been planning to join the church by signing the Membership Book, this would be a good time! Contact Rev. Ken Read-Brown or our Membership Coordinator, Erin Alix, if you have questions about the meaning of membership or would like to sign the Membership Book.
In brief messages, Ken and members of the Anti-Racism Group will ask us all: "Racism: What Are We Called to Do?" There will then be plenty of time for conversation. After a year filled with many opportunities to learn about the nature of systemic racism, what has moved or inspired us, and what should be next for us here at Old Ship?
Sunday, June 17, 10:25am
Our annual Flower Communion ceremony will be part of this service, reminding us of the many ways in which we are united in one community. We are each invited to bring a flower to add to a common bouquet; we will take a different flower from the bouquet as we leave.
Ken's sermon will be: "A Multi-Religious Path" - reflections on the interwoven traditions that have, in the spirit of our Unitarian Universalist faith, nourished me for over fifty years.
During the service we will also have an opportunity to thank Dave Egan for his fine year with us as our student intern minister. We will miss him! Following the service will be our annual salad and strawberry shortcake lunch on the Parish House driveway weather permitting.
Sunday, June 24, 10:00am: "Speaking from the Silence"
This will be our first "summer service", held in the Fellowship Hall of the Parish House at 10:00. This first service will be led by Ken Read-Brown, and will be in the style of the Friends (Quakers) who meet in silence and are invited to speak as the spirit moves.
Summer Worship ServicesStarting June 24, worship services move over to Fellowship Hall and begin at 10am. There are no religious education classes, but children are welcome. If you need Nursery care, please call Pat Bianco by Wednesday to arrange for Sunday childcare. She can be reached at 617-774-7474.
June 24-Ken Read Brown: "Speaking from the Silence" (Quaker style service)
July 1 - John Sneath: "Seeking God". John says, "I yearn to connect to something that pitches me outside of myself and sustains me in goodness. I'm tired of missing the mark and want to place my hope firmly in God. I thought it might be helpful to share a little about my search, and, if we have time, hear a little bit about yours."
July 8 - Chris Hossfeld: "Coming Together in Song"
We'll sing some beautiful hymns and explore why singing together has been such an integral part of community life for much of human history.
July 15 - Sarah Hurley: "Purpose for Your Passion"
Your passion is what brings you joy and makes you feel most alive and is necessary to one's vitality. How do we unearth our buried passion and sustain it amidst the busyness of life?
July 22 - Rick Mattila" topic to be announced
July 29 - Karen Churchill: "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bees but Were Afraid to Ask." A spiritual journey into sustainability.
August 5 - Mid Walsh "Return To Poetry" "In my life, the gifts of love, music, and poetry have vanished then reappeared. I've come 'full helix,' returning to the same place, but at a different altitude."
August 12 - Tom Willson: "Old Ship Restoration: A Religious Experience"
August 19 - Elizabeth Torrey: "Annual Summer Poetry Service"
August 26 - James Chen: "The Finger and the Moon: Art, Poetry, and the Philosophy of Life"
September 2 - Jin Kim: "From Korea to Boston's South Shore: How a boy from Seoul, Korea became a professional orchestra conductor." What experiences shaped him? This service will be in the Meeting House.
Sunday, June 10, 12 pm - 3pm
Join us for Pride Day at Old Ship! Inspired by Boston's Pride festivities going on throughout the month of June, members of Old Ship Church in Hingham are planning Pride Day at Old Ship. Everyone, of all ages, is invited! Please join us, on our beautiful front lawn, at 107 Main Street, from Noon - 3. ALL are welcome! So far there will be: Games, Tie-dye, Snow cones, and Live Music by Los Gallos Locos, with Carlos Zalduonso. We'd also welcome more people, businesses and organizations to get involved! We hope this will become an annual event! For more information, email Beverly Tricco at oldshipDRE@oldshipchurch.org.
Meeting House Forum: Shabana Basij-Rasikh on Monday, June 11, 7pm, “Education for Girls in Developing Nations”
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Shabana Basij-Rasikh will speak on the issues and importance of education for girls in a developing nation like Afghanistan. She will describe her own secret education during the Taliban years and the difficult and sometimes dangerous obstacles that girls and their families must overcome in places like Afghanistan to gain an education. She will tell the stories of the girls and their families who risk so much to have better futures for themselves and their country, and she will explain the steps that can be taken to help girls in Afghanistan and other developing nations get the education they deserve.
Free, but good will donations gladly accepted.
Support Old Ship
Old Ship is proud that the Meeting House Restoration Project completed in 2014 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 the current major project: restoring its 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"