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
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, January 15, 10:25am
On this date of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, Ken will speak on the "Moral Arc of the Universe" - an idea Dr. King returned to often, derived from the words of the 19th century Unitarian preacher and abolitionist Theodore Parker. It is a beautiful image... but what might it really mean?
Fellowship Hour will be a "Birthday Day" - with cake at twelve tables, one for each month of the year. See our Membership Coordinator's article below for further details.
Sunday, January 22, 10:25am
Two days after the inauguration of our new president, Ken's sermon will be "Keeping On". Whatever our politics, however we voted, and however we feel about the new administration, how do we, each of us and as a community, decide where to put our energies, from personal to political?
There will be a sermon conversation in the Parish House parlor at noon.
Sunday, January 29, 10:25am
Ken will be exchanging pulpits with Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch, the minister at Second Parish in Hingham - an annual exchange at about this time of year. So, Stephanie, a descendant of the first minister of Second Parish, will be preaching here; and Ken, a descendant of our first minister, will be preaching at Second Parish.
Stephanie's sermon will be "Do You Hear What I Hear?". She writes: "We each hear things differently, interpreting what others say in light of not just their tone and purpose but also our own experience and priorities. What's the point of trying to understand how others will respond to a message? How could we even accomplish such a thing?"
Moments from Merrie Market . . .
Coffeehouse Off the Square presents Paul Rishell and Annie Raines on January 21 at 8pm
The January Coffeehouse Off the Square will feature a return of this W.C. Handy Award-winning Delta Blues Duo, which combines Paul's earthy singing, sweet but pungent guitar style and deep knowledge of the genre with Annie's spirited soaring vocals and fierce harmonica work. The results are "So good it hurts" according to the renowned Pine Top Perkins. Anne and Paul just keep growing, and together they continue to thrill audiences far and wide. Not to be missed! As usual all proceeds go to the human rights programs of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). Admission is $15 at the door (no advance tickets). In our Fellowship hall.
Click here to see a video.
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
meeting house preservation
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. You may read the full nominating document complete with photos describing the scope of the work done on the project here. Congratulations to everyone who worked on and supported this spectacular project!
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!
Curious about the early history of Old Ship and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…