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 Meeting House built in the 17th century in the United States that still exists.
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. Our community is both a "Welcoming Congregation" and a "Green Sanctuary", both official designations from the Unitarian Universalist Association, of which we are very proud.
Tours of Old Ship Church:
We are happy to give tours! Tours are by appointment only. Please call the office in advance with a minimum of two days notice if at all possible. 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.
Mailing Address: 107 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 2 pm
(Please note: the church office is not located inside the historic Old Ship Church. It is in a separate building across the street.)
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.
Our Sunday worship service from September through June, 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 1
Ken's sermon during this time of global political and religious ferment and violence will be "Religion: Problem or Solution?" A little after noon everyone is invited to a special forum in the Parish House parlor with calligrapher and designer Michael McPherson. Michael created the extraordinary calligraphy for poet Gary Snyder's translation of the Buddhist "Cold Mountain Poems." He is a partner and creative director at Cory McPherson Nash.
Sunday, February 8
Ken will be away this Sunday, and our guest preacher will be Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, from the UU Urban Minstry. Her topic will be: "Love and Respect Across the Differences: A Valentine's Day Refletion on Race and Class."
Rev. Earl recently was named Executive Director and Senior Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry. She had spent the previous ten years at McAuley Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit in Providence, RI that provides food, shelter and clothing to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. She also is immediate past present of the Board of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, and served on the Pro Bono Advisory Board, which brings together large Providence law firms and undeserved communities in need of free legal assistance.
Sunday, February 15
"A Sort of Love Story: The Poet and the President" will be Ken's sermon. What does Walt Whitman's love for President Lincoln have to teach us today... about poetry, politics, grief... and the many varieties of love?
Sunday, February 22
Ken will share the service with our guest worship leader, folksinger and storyteller Ben Tousley. This service of songs, stories and reflections entitled "Dignity" will be a thoughtful and participatory meditation on the UU principle of "the inherent worth and dignity of every person" as we come to understand dignity at every stage of life.
A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Ben has brought concerts and services to over 100 UU churches during the past 35 years, including several visits to Old Ship. Among his seven albums are his 2006 CD "Take My Hand" and his recent CD, "Take Heart." In addition to his musical work, Ben has served as a chaplain to college students and the elderly, as hospice bereavement coordinator and as volunteer coordinator for a homeless shelter. He currently teaches part-time at Springfield College School of Human Services in Boston and works part-time as chaplain for Cooley Dickinson Hospice in Northampton. Ben will bring his guitar... and Ken will bring his banjo and hammered dulcimer.
Hot Potatoes this Sunday!
The Youth Group will be offering a baked potato lunch on Sunday. This is a fundraiser for their service trip in April.
First Parish, Old Ship has a Social Justice Outreach grant program. For information on grant guidelines, an application form and this year's funding focus, click here.
• All events are listed on the calendar
• This month's e-newsletter here
Curious about the early history of Old Ship
and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…