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! Please call the office or email to request a tour. We need two days notice in order to find a volunteer tour guide. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Worship services are in the historic meeting house located at 90 Main Street. Service starts at 10: 25 am.
Sunday, October 20, 10:25am
Ken will be preaching at First Parish in Cambridge as his half of a pulpit exchange, as we welcome to our Old Ship pulpit Rev. Adam Dyer, the minister at First Parish Cambridge. Ken was ordained by the Cambridge congregation in September thirty-five years ago.
Adam Dyer's sermon will be "We are the Power." Adam writes: "Who is the "we" when we speak of "the power of WE?" - in it I will explore what it means to call ourselves "we" in relation to our congregational units and as part of the larger Unitarian Universalist community." To learn more about Adam go to www.firstparishcambridge.org.
During Fellowship Hour, crafts will be available for sale to support Central American organizations working for justice and education. See the Social Justice Council section of this newsletter for details.
Sunday, October 27, 10:25am
Ken will be bringing an adaptation of the sermon he preached in Cambridge to mark the 35th anniversary of his ordination there, which in turn was an update of a sermon he preached at Old Ship marking the twentieth anniversary of his ordination. The sermon is "Return to the Most Human" (a line taken from a May Sarton poem) and is a reflection on the meanings and purpose of the ministry we share in congregations such as ours.
Old Ship Photo Directory: We're partnering with Lifetouch (formally Olan Mills) to create a new photo directory for our congregation. Our last one was done 10 years ago so it's time! Professional photos will be taken at the Parish House on November 18,19, 20 (M,T,W) from 2-9 p.m. Be included in the new directory and schedule your photo appointment at:
Each family unit will receive a free 8x10 photo and a directory. Contact Sharon Prehn (email@example.com or 781-925-0101) for more info or assistance with
Coffeehouse off the Square - Toni Lynn Washington & Paul Speidel
Saturday October 19, 7:30 pm
Old Ship Parish House
Classic blues singer, Tony Lynn Washington, has performed throughout the United States and Europe during a long, successful career, carrying on the tradition of Bessie Smith, Nellie Lutcher, and other blues greats. According to the Boston Globe she "has a lovely, deep, smooth voice that exudes strength and self-assurance." Toni will be accompanied by longtime blues guitarist Paul Speidel. Toni and Paul were a hit with our audience in an earlier performance.
Profits benefit the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. This is another way we support UUSC! And we get to hear great, live music!
Workshop: So You Want to Meditate
Saturday, October 26, 3 - 5 pm
led by Ken Read-Brown
Whether you are a long time meditator or wish to begin, and whether you've attended one of Ken's meditation classes or not, this gathering will offer some basic instruction in mindfulness meditation and in Eknath Easwaran's passage meditation. There will be time for questions and conversation, and time to meditate. All are welcome.
Community Dinners - October 26
Please join us for an evening of fun and fellowship on Saturday, October 26 for a Community Dinner. These dinners are groups of 5-9 adults who gather at the home of another Old Ship member for a congenial evening of dinner and conversation.
To host, you are responsible for sending an e-mail invitation to the group assigned to your home, preparing your home for dinner guests, coordinating the contributions for the potluck dinner, and enjoying the evening.
To attend, you are responsible for cooking or bringing some part of the dinner and enjoying the company of other Old Shippers. The only agenda is to get to know one another better, and all are invited!
We are looking for a part-time music director. For more info, click here.
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…