Congregational Workings


Theological Diversity Work Group 2015-2016

As Unitarian Universalists, we are not bound by an accepted set of common beliefs. How do we encourage each other on our spiritual journeys, even when we seem to be on different paths?

What about the hymn that brings comfort to one singer, but discomfort to the person in the next seat? Can we be students of one another, rather than judges? Both comforting and comforted?

What does it mean to be a mixed salad congregation rather than a melting pot?

Evening Programs

To encourage discussion and reflection on these questions, we worked with the STAR program to host a series of five evening programs in the fall of 2015, and held two Community Conversations in February and March of 2016. In addition, the Worship Associates wrote a statement that appears in the order of service, "You Sing My Hymn, I Sing Yours"; and Marta preached on theological pluralism, which was followed by a well-attended Reverberations discussion.

October 6, 2015
Bill Gardiner: Theological Pluralism in Unitarian Universalist History

November 3, 2015
Woody Kay: Creating the Conditions for Theological Pluralism: The Case of the United States

December 1, 2015
First Parish Panel with David Deakin, Mary Finn, Ginny LaCrow, Mary-Beth Landy, Celia Wcislo, and David Whitford, Moderator.
Click here for a video of the program.

February 2, 2016
A Conversation with Josh Davis, long-time First Parish member
Jesuit Spirituality, Evangelical Christianity, and Unitarian Universalism are all a part of Josh Davis’s spiritual life. Hear Josh reflect on how his embrace of an unconventional mix of observances and connections came to be. Be part of a nurturing community that encompasses and can be enriched by such “heretical” journeys.
Click here for the text of Josh's talk.
Click here for an audio recording of Josh's talk.

Note: You will need First Parish's usual username and password to access Josh's materials. If you need assistance, please contact churchoffice @

March 1, 2016
Wendy Page, Humility and Healing

Community Conversations

On February 27 and March 13, 2016, First Parish community members were invited to take part in small group conversations about theological diversity. Approximately 35 people participated, including Parish and Worship Committee members. Many thanks to all attendees, facilitators, and scribes for your time, attentive listening and thoughtful comments.

Handout for Community Conversations on Theological Diversity

Small Group Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you make First Parish your religious or spiritual home?  What do you tell others about why First Parish is important to you?
  2. How have your beliefs or practices changed or deepened since coming to First Parish?
  3. How might we help one another grow and deepen in our religious or spiritual lives? 

Please click here for


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