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.
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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.
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, March 26, 10:25am
As Unitarian Universalist religious educator Sophia Fahs once wrote (you can find her words in our hymnbook), it really does matter what we believe, because "Some beliefs... encourage exclusiveness... and other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathy..." Ken's sermon, titled "Theology Matters", will explore how our beliefs about God, life's meaning and purpose, and much else, effect how we choose to live our lives.
This sermon will serve as an introduction to the class that Diane Elliott will lead with Ken on "Building Your Own Theology" beginning on Wednesday, March 29, 7:00. See details below in the "Educating Minds and Hearts" section of our newsletter.
Sunday, April 2, 10:25am
“Resilience” is Ken’s sermon title for this week. How is it that we human beings so often manage to keep going when we think we can’t? How can we strengthen our personal resilience, physically and/or spiritually? How can we strengthen our shared resilience?
Sunday, April 9, 10:25am
Ken will be joined by Jim Scott, Unitarian Universalist composer, song-leader, guitarist extraordinaire, and environmental activist who when co-chair of the UU Ministry for the Earth helped to create our UU “Green Sanctuary” program.
Some of you will remember Jim and his music from earlier appearances at Old Ship, His theme this year will be “Turning Toward the Sun - Spring and Transformation: All is rekindled in the turn toward the sun, longer days, another spring and another transformation.” Jim’s songs and poetry reaffirm our place in the amazing, continuing web of life, more important than ever in the midst the crisis of the life spirit of the earth.
Sunday, April 16, 10:25am - Easter
Ken’s sermon for Easter this year will be “The Gift of Easter.” Ken writes: “It seems to me that something in the human spirit yearns for something like Easter, and this ‘something’ transcends categories of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist, in fact transcends believers and non-believers. We will celebrate gifts given and received that respond to this yearning.”
There will be a cooperative egg hunt for the younger set. Sensible shoes and warm clothing are the attire for this outside event. More details on this non-competitive egg hunt can be found by clicking here.
Sunday, April 23, 10:25am
“The Poetry of Earth” is the theme for this year’s Earth Day worship service.
Earth Day always falls during National Poetry Month, yet usually not much is made of this. Well, this year we will make something of it! In the midst of the crisis of climate change and the proposed roll-back of all sorts of federal environmental regulations, might the role of poetry be all the more important? Yes, we need good science, but don’t we also need good poetry to offer both solace and inspiration?
This service will also serve as an introduction to this year’s spring poetry class led by Elizabeth Torrey and Ken Read-Brown (see details elsewhere in the newsletter).
Sunday, April 30
“We Are Marching” will be Ken’s sermon, coming the day after the Climate March on Washington and many other marches and rallies across the country and around the world.
Moments from Merrie Market . . .
Banding Together - Youth Group Concert
March 25, 8pm, Fellowship Hall
Four Old Ship bands have been created with ages ranging over eighty years! Tickets are $5 with all proceeds to support the youth group service learning trip to Immokalee, Florida in April. Light snacks will be provided. Please come cheer these rockin' bands on and offer up your own solo act during the open mic!
Unitarian Universalist Association's New England's Regional Assembly -
April 21-22, 2017 in Woburn, MA
Your New England Region UUA is bringing us a unique opportunity to gather with New England Unitarian Universalists for a celebration of spirit. Worship with acclaimed liturgist-singer-music director Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout and UU/UCC preacher Rev. Robin Bartlett. Sing with composer-musician-song leader Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. Attend a UUA Presidential Candidates Forum. Meet and greet your New England Region UUA staff, and choose from three workshops being offered. REGISTER: new-england.eventbrite.com Youth are welcome to participate; special rate for ages 12-19. Free child care available for ages 11 and under.
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
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.