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.
To receive weekly e-updates, sign up here.
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, February 19, 10:25am
Our guest preacher will be Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, the Senior Minister and Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, working to strengthen bonds between UUs and the Roxbury neighborhood where the UUUM operates. She is on the Massachusetts Moral Revival leadership team, which strives to reclaim what it means to be religious in the public square. For decades Old Ship has partnered with UUUM, primarily through our financial contributions, including our annual fundraising for the UUUM Renewal House program.
Rev. Earl’s sermon will be “Standing for What We Love.” In times when core values are under threat, we must stand for what we love – but also ensure our circle of love is wide and broad enough to include those who are not like us.
Prior to her arrival at the UU Urban Ministry, Rev. Earl spent 10 years at a faith-based nonprofit in RI serving the homeless community. She is past president of the Board of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, recipient of the 2014 Heroes of Faith Award from the Rhode Island State Council of Churches for her interfaith work, and is a longtime vegan committed to standing up for nonhuman animals.
Sunday, February 26, 10:25am
"Traits Not States" is Ken's sermon title. Theses three words were a sort of mantra for the renowned scholar of religion, Huston Smith, who died on December 30 at the age of 97. Smith considered himself a Methodist from birth to his last days, but at the same time he integrated spiritual practices from all of the world's major religions into his daily routines. Ken's sermon will be a reflection on messages gleaned from the life and work of this remarkable and warm-hearted man. (See the "Life Learning" section of our newsletter, below, for the opportunity to view the series of Bill Moyer's interviews with Huston Smith, beginning on Wednesday, February 15.)
Moments from Merrie Market . . .
Vespers with the Old Ship Choir --
Expressions of Love
On Thursday, February 16 at 6:30 p.m., the Old Ship Choir will hold a special Vespers service in the Meeting House, reflecting on expressions of Love. A gently lit Meeting House, music by Vaughan Williams and Bairstow, poetry by E. E. Cummings, and plenty of silence for quiet contemplation — all contribute to a peaceful pause in the midst of our busy lives. All are warmly invited!
Coffeehouse Off the Square presents McIsaac & Ross and Jay Psaros on Sat., Feb. 18 at 8pm
“Psaros is a true performer at heart. The artists’s style is effortlessly effective drawing listeners near with his understated and universally appealing sound. He lets his listeners breathe easy as his guitar gently sways. Kevin MacIsaac and Deborah Ross have long been local favorites as singer songwriters, traditional performers and presenters of other artists. Their fine playing and singing and light humorous touch and personal generosity make them a pleasure to hear and to know. $15 admission at the door.
Candlelight Concert on Sun, Feb. 19 at 4pm
The second of our Candlelight Concert performances, featuring Blue Heron, will be next Sunday, February 19, at 4 p.m. Blue Heron is comprised of very talented vocalists who will be presenting a tremendous range of Renaissance music. This concert will be given free of charge; your contribution is welcome.
Here is a clip of Blue Heron performing.
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.
Old Ship Youth need financial support for their service trip in April.
Family finances should not prevent UU Youth from service and learning opportunities. Hingham Massachusetts is a well-to-do community, but not everyone has the same resources. We want to assure that low-wealth teens can participate fully in our service and learning trip to Immokalee, Florida.
In April, Old Ship Youth Group will be traveling to work and learn with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers; a week-long service/learning trip through the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice. Click here to learn more and support the youth.
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.