UPDATE: To view a livestream of the service: www.youtube.com/c/FirstParishinWayland.

The Reverend Ken Sawyer, minister of First Parish in Wayland for 38 years until his retirement in 2012, passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2022 surrounded by the love, care, and comfort of his wife Carol and their daughters, Amy and Becca. A memorial service for family, friends and the First Parish community will be held on Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m. A celebration of Ken’s ministry to the wider Unitarian Universalist world will be held in the fall.

Ken began his ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Houlton, Maine, in 1970. In 1974, First Parish in Wayland called him to be our minister.  Ken served First Parish from 1974 to 2012, a 38-year ministry marked by the congregation’s steady growth, strength of community, and long-term stability. A gifted preacher known for his humor and his affection for humanity and all its foibles, Ken mentored 18 ministerial interns during his tenure at First Parish.

Upon his retirement in 2012, the congregation unanimously voted “with deep affection and gratitude” to designate Ken as our Minister Emeritus. Ken compassionately brought his ministry to people of all walks and in all stages of their lives. He was a dedicated advocate for equity and he respected the innate dignity of everyone that he met. He will be remembered as someone who made everyone feel important, heard, and not forgotten.

Ken lived life to the fullest. He enjoyed hiking, cycling, and kayaking with Carol over the years. They spent many afternoons on their sunny deck reading, enjoying nature, looking out over his flower and vegetable gardens, and sharing cherished time with family. They spent many joyful summers on the coast of Maine. He learned about and created art in several mediums. He loved to travel. He was ever in awe of nature and the human spirit, and was insatiably curious to see, explore, and come to understand the world and the people around him.

Ken was beloved by First Parish. We deeply mourn his passing, and we are deeply grateful for his life and his ministry.