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Bringing Alive the Prayer

a sermon given by Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti on Sunday, May 3,2015

To listen to this sermon please click here.

Living a Life of Prayer

a sermon given by Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti on Sunday, April 26, 2015

To listen to this sermon please click here.

Living with Losses

A sermon given by the Reverend John H. Nichols on Sunday, April 12, 2015


It was just the second day that we were newly minted hospital chaplains. All seminarians must serve an internship as chaplains and this was mine. On day two we were looking forward to another comfortable time of orientation and donuts, but instead, our supervisor said to us, “Here are your four assigned wards. Go out there and be chaplains.”

We were stunned. That was it? No further training? No more pep talks? No tips on how to talk to patients or doctors? No more donuts? Just go do it? Well, it was time. Much of ministry is on-the-job training with time for reflection later, and we were now officially “on the job.”
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Taking Easter Seriously

a sermon preached by the Reverend John H. Nichols on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015


Have you ever wondered if God was real, and if so, how would we really know it? Has God ever shown up in people’s lives or by some miraculous doing left a signature some place? How big would an event have to be in order to constitute God’s signature in human lives?

These are the thoughts that drive some folks to church on Easter Sunday or to the synagogue on the High Holy Days. Some pray asking God for a sign. Some climb mountains hoping to have one of those transcendent moments. Some go to the sea. Some plant gardens and others read or write poetry or study theology or scripture. Few are exempt from a lingering curiosity about what lies behind and beyond the barriers that our comprehension cannot cross.
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A Life of Awakenings

a sermon given by the Rev. John H. Nichols on Palm Sunday March 29, 2015


I was leading a hike in the Southern range of Vermont’s Green Mountains, and one night we camped at the end of Stratton Pond. I awoke to the hush of a new morning with the glow of early sunlight backlighting Stratton Mountain. Mist was rising off the pond, and the bird songs came across more clearly because of the surrounding quiet. The weariness of the previous day’s hike had fallen away.

Henry Thoreau once spoke about “an infinite expectation of the dawn which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep.” He was talking about the optimism that can survive all our dark nights of the soul and believe that somewhere down the line, no matter what, new light will be breaking into our lives. “An infinite expectation of the dawn that never leaves us.”

The dawn can work wonders on my psyche and perhaps on yours? Have you ever taken a problem home and worried it all night. Somehow the longer you dwell on it the worse it seems. You become irritated, annoyed, angry or fearful until there is nothing left to do but go to sleep. Then the first light of the new day begins to dispel the darkness in more ways than one.
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Talking About God

a sermon preached by the Rev. John H. Nichols on Sunday , March 22, 2015

To listen to this sermon please click here.


Several years ago a member of the Newton Unitarian congregation introduced me to a friend saying “We’ve heard the word, “God” out of this fellow more times in one year than perhaps in the entire history of the church.” Mind you I understood that I was being affectionately teased. Still I became curious as to whether what he said might be true. Might I be the only minister of Newton to use the word “God” appreciatively or in prayer in such a long time?

I have known all of their ministers for the past forty years, known them well enough to know something about their religious beliefs. Clyde Dodder and Clarke Wells were both theists. Clyde had been a Christian and Clarke was a Christian. Gerry Krick who they thought was a strong Humanist was actually a theist, strongly influenced by the liberal Christianity of Boston University at the time he attended. So it turns out that their next to last minister, James Ford, is the only Humanist who has served that congregation in forty years, perhaps more. How could I have been the only minister of The Unitarian Society in Newton to use the word “God” more than a few times?
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What are you Talking About

a sermon given by the Rev. Rosemary Lloyd on Sunday, March 15, 2015

To listen to this sermon please click here.


Remember, human, you are dust and unto dust you shall return…

Remember, human, you are dust and unto dust you shall return…

Such a cheery message for a gloomy, almost-Spring Sunday….

A preacher with such a topic should probably apologize to all the young parents in the room. To the children and the young at heart. The pregnant and the sick. The broken-hearted and the hopeful.

But I can’t apologize, not really.

I didn’t set up the system. It is the future we were all born into when we were delivered into life.
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How To Be Mature

a sermon given by the Rev. John H. Nichols on Sunday, March 8, 2015

To listen to this sermon please click here.


Most of us grew up expecting that the sheer passage of time would finally land us in the magical world called “Maturity”. It turns out we were wrong. Maturity is not something that time automatically bestows upon us. It is something we may rise to occasionally but then only in our best moments.

More often than not we take three steps forward toward maturity and two steps back. On our worst days it is more like two steps forward and three steps back. Our childhood’s old feelings, reactions and habits pull us back. Our past trips us up. We stumble and fall more often than we care to admit.
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In Our Hands

a sermon given by the Rev. John H. Nichols on Sunday March 1, 2015


Once there was a woman who lived by the banks of a broad river. One day, while she was walking along the riverbank, she heard the cries of an infant coming from the water. She got into a nearby boat and rowed out until she saw a raft floating down the river and holding a baby. The raft was sinking. Fighting a strong current she quickly caught up with it and rescued the baby. She then took it home and cared for its needs.

A few days later, the woman was again standing by the river when she heard the cries of another baby. Carrying the first child with her, she rowed out, and she found yet another child floating down stream on a sinking raft. She pulled that second child in, and she cared for it also. The next day it happened again, and then, it happened again the following week.
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