Sunday Services – October 26, 2014 – 10:30 AM

Search Committee Sunday Service

Beyond Categorical Thinking

Please join the Ministerial Search Committee and the Rev. Jory Agate, a representative from the UUA chosen to lead this service and workshop, for this special Sunday and special program, designed to be an important part of our search process:

Beyond Categorical Thinking Service and Workshop following the Service (with a Potluck brunch/lunch in between the Service and Workshop).  This is an informative service and workshop that is designed to promote inclusive thinking and help prevent unfair discrimination in the search process for a new minister. This program includes a thought provoking service led by the Rev. Jory Agate followed by a three hour interactive workshop. Babysitting will be provided for the workshop so please join us, even if you need childcare!

This is a Children’s Worship Circle start.

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Maria Ahmed and Ellen Rutter are coordinating this year’s Fall Yard Sale. We are budgeting $3000 for this year’s combined Fall Fundraisers, which include the Pie Sale (or some version of it), the Poinsettia Sale, and this Yard Sale. It takes a LOT of hands on deck for this sale to be the success it’s become.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • DONATE items to the sale. Furniture and other big-ticket items are highly desired. Please make sure electronics are in working order! Books, household objects, decorations, sporting equipment, toys — all are welcome. Items can be brought to the church on Saturday from 9 AM until 1 PM. (If you need to drop things off later or need us to pick them up, please let us know so we can arrange it.)
  • HELP OUT! Your help is needed to set-up (Saturday), work the sale and clean-up.
  • BAKE for the bake sale! (Please consider packaging that will allow us to sell single servings – for instance, 2 or 3 cookies together in a baggie.)
  • MAKE soup or chili. We will sell single servings as well as pre-packaged (2 or 4 servings).
  • SEE the sign-up board in the chapel and take on a job. Many hands make light work and lots of money for the church!
  • Have a truck or some muscle we can borrow? We need a truck and strong folks to move things on Saturday morning!
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Sunday Services – October 19, 2014 – 10:30 AM

Reverend J. Mark Worth

“Faith of the Free”

This month our congregation turns 290 years old!  We will celebrate our birthday, recalling how we came into being back in 1724, and how the Evangelical Congregationalist-Unitarian Congregationalist split of 1834 shaped who we have become.

A sanctuary Start for the children.

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Sunday Services – October 12, 2014 – 10:30 AM

“The Beauty of Imperfection”

Reverend J. Mark Worth

“There is a crack in everything God has made,” according to Ralph Waldo Emerson.  We are all imperfect, but there can be beauty in imperfection!

There is no RE programming.

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Sunday Services – October 5, 2014 – 10:30 AM

“Why I’m a Universalist”

Reverend J. Mark Worth

When he was about 12, Mark went with the Methodist Youth Fellowship on a visit to a Jewish synagogue.  Because of that visit, Mark became a Universalist, although he had no word for it at the time.  In this second sermon of a two-part series, we will explore the Universalist side of our Unitarian Universalist tradition.

Today is a sanctuary start for the children.

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Organ Resurrection

Leonardo 9.7.14 IMG_3474 (2) (2)

Leonardo Ciampa has long been a well-respected organist, pianist, and composer in the musical scene of Greater Boston. He is the artistic director of organ concerts at MIT and the founding director of the MetroWest Choral Artists.  As a concert organist, he has performed in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but he is particularly admired in Italy, where he has played in many festivals. Maria Ferrante, for many years one of the most well-known sopranos in the Worcester area,  has collaborated frequently with Ciampa.  “Leonardo is an original, and that makes him interesting. He sees. I mean, he sees the truth in things that most of us miss. And he is not afraid. It comes out in his compositions and in his humor. He is on a higher vibration than most of us, and he lights up a room. Nothing is static with him; he is always creating and learning and bringing all that to those around him.”

Ciampa was born in 1971 in East Boston.  His first job as an organist was at the First Baptist Church in Revere, when he was only 15 years old.  As he recalls, “From 1986 to 2012, between the ages of 15 and 41, I worked without interruption as a Music Director at various churches of all different denominations.  I needed a break.  It would be a mistake to think that one can avoid the politics of the world by retreating to the sanctuary of the church.  At many churches, the politics are worse than the politics in Washington!” Ciampa started doing substitute work. “I enjoyed playing the field. Besides the freedom, it was very healthy to see all different churches, each with a totally different dynamic.  And even if I sensed something unhealthy, I could walk out the door, go into my car, and by the time I turned on the ignition, it was all forgotten.  So I was not exactly eager to find a permanent job.”

One of the churches where Ciampa substituted was Trinity Episcopal in Shrewsbury. “This was December of 2013.  Trinity’s very wonderful pastor, the Rev. Dr. Erin Kirby, spoke to me.  And in the gentlest, most respectful way, she invited me to spend a whole season at Trinity.  Her genuineness disarmed me. I couldn’t say no.  So it was she who lured me back into more serious church work.  My four months with her and with that wonderful congregation was a great, great experience. Then that ended, and I was back to playing the field.”

One day, Ciampa’s wife happened to see on Craig’s List that the Unitarian Church in Westborough was looking for a Music Director. “There was nothing about it that excited me,” admits Ciampa. “But I was open to meeting with them.”

Little did Ciampa know that this was the home parish of the author and New York Times columnist Craig R. Whitney.  In his book, “All the Stops,” Whitney devotes several pages to the church’s 1895 Ryder organ, which he often played in his youth.  In the 1960s, the church purchased an  Allen electronic organ, whose speakers were placed inside the organ. Unfortunately, much pipework had to be removed to make room for them. “I met with the committee, “says Ciampa, “and they told me about the Ryder organ.  They proudly mentioned that they had decided to spend $5,000 toward getting it playing again. I nodded my head politely.  But I thought to myself, ‘$5,000? What’s that going to accomplish?’ This is an organ which today would cost maybe $350,000 to build.  Then I took a peek inside the organ and was horrified.  So much was missing, and there was no way to know if it still existed.  Suffice it to say, I had no hope of ever hearing the Ryder.  I was content to play the Chickering grand piano. And I took the job expecting that that’s what I’d be playing.”

Ciampa underestimated the determination of several parishioners, and of organ technician Alex Belair.  To everyone’s surprise, all of the pipes and mechanism were still extant.  Each pipe had been carefully preserved in newspaper.  Belair worked day and night, reinstalling the organ and tuning each pipe.  He finished on August 15th at midnight.  The next day, Ciampa and some members of the church went to see to organ. As Ciampa reported on Facebook, “Tonight I experienced something of an organ resurrection.  … One week and $5,000 later, the organ plays! All of it! And in tune! A group of us gathered at the church this evening. Folks were emotional. Some had never heard the instrument. Others hadn’t heard it in 50 years. And I? I was, of course, happy to witness the death of an Allen but, more importantly, the rebirth of a Ryder. When you pull the Great Open Diapason and play a few notes, you immediately remember that THAT SOUND is what it’s all about. That’s why we organists persist. What a great evening, one which says much about the power that music holds over the human spirit.”

Ciampa lives in Natick with his wife Jeanette McGlamery, an attorney.  He is the father of four boys, ranging in age from 10 to 2.

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Designing Our Next Minister

Program Sunday Service Search Committee

The service on this day will be presented by the search
committee. We want to know what you want in a new minister.
What features are most important? What skills do we most
need from her/him to be the best we can as a congregation?
Yes, we know you have filled out the ministerial search survey,
but we want to play off each other to hear more. We’re hoping
this meeting will give people the opportunity to communicate
thoughts and ideas that they may not have been able to express
in the survey. Come hear our provocative questions.

This is a Children’s Worship Circle start.

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