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 - 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
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 former ministerial 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, January 13, 10:25am
"Leaping into the New Year": this service for all ages will be held in our Fellowship Hall and give us all an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and on our hopes and resolutions for the year to come.
Sunday, January 20, 10:25am
"Not to Weary in Well Doing" - will be Ken's sermon. These words, lifted from Ebenezer Gay's 18th century sermon "The Old Man's Calendar," are a reminder these centuries later that there is much for us to do in this world of ours during whatever years are given us to right wrongs and improve lives. Martin Luther King, Jr., certainly lived accordingly during his much too brief years. What about us?
Sunday, January 27, 10:25am
This will be our annual pulpit exchange with Second Parish in Hingham (UU). Ken will be preaching at Second Parish, and Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch will be preaching at Old Ship. Stephanie's sermon will be "Voices - Frankenstein and his Monster." Mary Shelley's 200-year-old thriller raises many questions, many of them questions that still plague us - such as how and to whom we listen. This sermon will explore some of these questions with focus on what responsibilities we have to those unheard.
Coffeehouse off the Square
Ry Cavanaugh & Jennifer Kimball
January 19th 8pm in the Fellowship Hall
Ry is best known for founding Session Americana, & Jennifer was half of The Story. Each have released solo records. Now these two great talented singers, writers, & players can be seen & heard together in a very exciting duet experience. Note: Proceeds from Coffee House on the Square performances benefit the UU Service Committee.
Faith in Action: Living Our Values, Building Our Vision
Saturday, January 26, 2019 9:15AM-3PM - here at Old Ship
You are invited to a special program helping UUs to learn how to better advocate for the world we wish to see! Faith in Action: Organizing Effective Justice Ministry Teams presented by the UU College of Social Justice (10:00 AM-12 Noon). Climate Justice and Action presented by UU Mass Action (1:00 PM-3 PM): The impacts of the climate crisis effects us all, but some communities bear the burden fossil fuels use more acutely than others.
You are welcome to come to part or to the full program. There is no charge for the event which will be held in the Fellowship Hall. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.
To register: contact Davalene Cooper at email@example.com
Candlelight Concert on Sunday, January 27, 4pm
In the depths of winter, we are all looking for something to brighten these short days. The January Candlelight Concert is just the answer. Yoojin Jang and Renana Gutman, an extraordinary violin-and-piano duo, will present 19th-and 20th-century works "with fiery virtuosity." Ms. Jang, a native of Korea, is being hailed as one of the new generation's brightest young string virtuosi. Ms. Gutman, a native of Israel, has performed across four continents as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and collaborative artist. This very special concert, which will be held on Sunday, January 27 at 4:00 in the Meeting House, will be presented free of charge; your contribution is welcome.
Here is a clip from a concert in Jordan Hall in Boston, MA
Support Old Ship
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.
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.
Curious about the early history of Old Ship Meeting House and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…