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What’s New at First Parish?
On Sunday, October 26, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., The First Parish in Wayland will officially install our 32nd minister. The Rev. Dr. Stephanie May, called by the congregation in May, 2014, is the first woman to serve as the church’s only minister.
An Installation Service is serious and joyful, both a profound statement about the unique bond between a minister and congregation, and a celebration of that relationship. Many special guests will attend, including a robed contingent of Unitarian Universalist ministers, some of whom will participate in the service. Our Minister Emeritus, the Rev. Ken Sawyer, will be among them, as will our two affiliate ministers, The Rev. Dr. Deborah Pope-Lance, and the Rev. Maddie Sifantus. The service will also feature special music, including a trumpet concerto to open the service with a flourish.
First Parish’s archives contain records of Installation Services from throughout the church’s long history. Though our meetinghouses have changed through the centuries, and some of the details of the services as well, there is a common thread running through them that reveals a special relationship between the congregation and the minister. The Act of Installation, during which the congregation and minister pledge to support one another, emphasizes the right of a free congregation to choose its own minister, and the right of a minister to choose the congregation she will serve.
We are delighted that The First Parish in Wayland and the Rev. Dr. Stephanie May have chosen each other. Please join us for this richly meaningful service. A reception will follow in the Vestry. Childcare will be available for children up to age 4, and a special kid-friendly order of service will be provided for older children who attend the service.
We are delighted that The Rev. Dr. Stephanie May became our new settled minister on August 1, 2014. She was called to serve after a unanimous vote during a special congregational meeting on Sunday, May 4, 2014.
During her sermon that preceded the meeting, Rev. May talked about the rich history of First Parish. She noted that beginning in 1640, generation after generation of First Parishioners have come together in community to search for truth in freedom and in the spirit of love. Many times through the ages those congregations called new ministers to walk along with them in their journeys of faith. Each generation has set the stage for the next to explore, to connect, and to serve.
One of the morning’s hymns, “Blue Boat Home,” says that “we kindred pilgrim souls” drift together as ship’s companions, making our way by the light of the heavens. First Parish is so delighted to welcome Stephanie May as a kindred soul, as a ship’s companion, and as our new settled minister.
October 26, 2014: Please join us this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. when the Rev. Dr. Stephanie May will deliver a sermon titled “Seriously Desiring to Join,” in which she explores how committing to a group can transform our lives and the lives of others.
At 5:00 p.m. please join us for the Installation Service for the Rev. Dr. Stephanie May, a celebration and recognition of the bond between our congregation and our new settled minister. A reception will follow in the Vestry, and childcare up to age 4 will be provided. All are welcome!
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We are a Unitarian Universalist congregation that affirms human dignity, community action, freedom of religious thought, and the power of love.
Our church views religious education and spiritual development as an integral part of every person’s life, in every stage and every age, for children, youth and adults. Come learn with us as we seek to build meaningful lives.
Our church is actively engaged in community service and social justice work throughout the region as we strive to make a positive difference in the world.