This Sunday’s service: History of the Northshore Church

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The Park Street Church of Peabody

Come explore the history of Danvers and Peabody at our service this Sunday, February 1, with noted local historian Bonnie Hurd Smith in her talk “Conviction, Cooperation, and Faith: A History of the Northshore UU Church, 1815-1966.”

The Northshore UU Church represents the 1966 merger of Danvers and Peabody churches. There was once a separate Unitarian church and a Universalist church in each town; these founding “grandparent” churches are fondly remembered by some of the older members of today’s congregation. The origins of the Northshore UU Church go back to the first Universalist church in Danvers, in 1815. In Peabody, the first Unitarian church was established in 1825 in what would later be called the Park Street Church. Hurd Smith’s talk will touch on events over the past 200 years that affected the churches and their communities. (Click here for a brief history of the Northshore UU Church.)

Bonnie Hurd Smith is a well-known researcher, writer, and speaker on the North Shore and around Greater Boston. Through her communications company, History Smiths, she helps clients use history — their own story and their community’s — to engage audiences in ways that benefit both.

Bonnie holds two degrees from Simmons College, and she is the author of numerous books on women’s and local history. She was recently recognized by Oxford University Press as the definitive scholar on one of the founding 18th-century American Universalists, essayist Judith Sargent Murray of Gloucester. She resides in Salem.

February 1 is also Food Sunday. Good nutrition is essential for good health. The Danvers Food Pantry is currently having trouble keeping food in stock with an increasing number of people in need. There are three ways you can help: Bring food to church and place it in the Food Pantry basket in the Fellowship Hall; write a check made out to “Danvers Food Pantry”; donate a grocery store gift card. Check or gift card donations may be given to Nelson, Gwen, or Daniel Scottgale to deliver for you. Thanks for sharing with others.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s service: Small Group Ministry

“The Small Group Ministry Experience” will be the theme of our service this Sunday, January 25.

The Tuesday Small Group Ministry will illustrate  the joy, wisdom, love, empathy, challenges, and other themes from individual meetings. We will also emphasize the value of pure listening and confidentiality, two of our basic practices. It is our hope that people will want to form their own small group ministries after experiencing this presentation.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s service: “Cry Innocent”

The trial of Bridget Bishop, the first of the accused witches hanged in Salem, will be performed this Sunday, January 18, by the local theater group History Alive! The performance, “Cry Innocent,” has received critical acclaim from the New York Times and others.

The audience will play the part of the jury and will also be able to question cast members while they remain in character. The subject of this 40-minute play will be an appropriate presentation for Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday.

The service leader is Peter VanDeBogert.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s service: “Opening Hatch”

Reverend Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson

Reverend Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson

Please join us this Sunday, January 11, when the Reverend Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson, minister of the First Parish in Beverly, will speak on the topic of “Opening Hatch.”

Reverend Kelly will invite us to reflect with him on our own bold dreams and how we may begin to pursue them. We will celebrate the holy quality of imagination as an antidote to fear and take up our charge as Unitarian Universalists to face the world as it simply is, in order to change it for the better.

Also this Sunday, the collection will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cape Ann affiliate. NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s service: “A Balanced Life”

Our 2015 services will begin this Sunday, January 4, with a talk by Jim Markan, a human resources manager, on the topic of “A Balanced Life.”

Markan’s talk will focus on what constitutes a balanced life: body, heart, soul, and intellect. Jim will discuss why a balanced life is important, and he will feature pragmatic ideas on achieving balance. This will be an appropriate topic for the start of a new year.

The service leader is Peter VanDeBogert.

This is also Food Sunday. Good nutrition is essential for good health and easy to donate. Please consider giving food in one of the following ways:

  • Two food items — one appropriate for a family with children and one for a senior
  • A check made out to the Danvers Food Pantry
  • A gift card to a grocery store or store that sells basic necessities

Food donations may be placed in the Food Pantry basket in Fellowship Hall. Check or gift card donations may be given to Nelson, Gwen, or Daniel Scottgale to deliver for you. Thanks for sharing with others.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

Our holiday schedule of services and events

Winter Solstice. Photo (cc) by Stephen Little. Some rights reserved.

Winter Solstice. Photo (cc) by Stephen Little. Some rights reserved.

The Northshore UU Church has several special services and events scheduled for the holiday season. It begins this Sunday, December 21, at 10:30 a.m. with our annual winter solstice celebration, which will be based on the service “A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual,” written by Julie Forest Middleton and Stasa Morgan-Appel. This celebration will have lots of music, rituals, stories, and candle-lighting. Church volunteer members and friends will be the readers. The Singing Group will perform many musical selections and will lead the whole congregation in song. The service leader is Jennifer Revill.

Our annual Christmas Eve service will be held on Wednesday, December 24, at 6 p.m. Our customary readings will include the Christmas story and other perspectives on this time of year. The festive music will include traditional carols. As always, the popular tradition of candle-lighting accompanied by “Silent Night” from the Bell Choir will conclude this special service. Music Director Judy Putnam is the service coordinator.

The Northshore Church will host the 34th Christmas Dinner with Friends on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. We provide a decorated dining space to enjoy on Christmas Day while sharing a delicious dinner with friends and others who attend. The dinner is free, without any request for a financial contribution. The dinner includes roast turkey with all the trimmings, an assortment of wonderful desserts, as well as carol singing and live musical entertainment.

The Danvers Clergy Association and Temple Beth Shalom are co-sponsors of the dinner. Anyone living in Danvers or the neighboring towns who needs a ride to and from the dinner should call the church and leave a message with the NSUU church administrator at (978) 774-7582. Individuals requesting transportation will be contacted to finalize transportation arrangements.

Our holiday services will conclude on Sunday, December 28, at 10:30 a.m. with the theme “A Look Back and Forward.” People can share their thoughts, emotions, and traditions related to this unique time after Christmas but before the New Year. Those who attended last year will receive the sealed envelopes containing the personal comments and perspectives they wrote a year ago. In the past people have been quite surprised to see what they wrote in their mini-time-capsules. This time we will write statements to be opened next year. The service leader is Peter VanDeBogert.

Visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s service: “Babies, Bikes and Barcelona”

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Our minister emeritus, the Reverend Edwin Lynn, will speak this Sunday, December 14, on the topic of “Babies, Bikes, Barcelona, and Other Great Gifts” — a long title for a short talk related to Christmas.

In addition to Ed’s homily there will be readings and a special emphasis on Christmas music from the Singing Group. The service leader will be Peter VanDeBogert.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

Photo (cc) by Kevin Dooley and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.