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Ministers' Blog

Godspell and Jazz

It was 45 years ago this week that the intoxicating folk-rock musical Godspell opened in New York City. So much more than a production, Godspell was an experience and a revelation. Godspell swept into the dust of the past the staid, institutional church with its severe creeds and yawn-inducing hymns. It invited the followers of Jesus to dance together into a youthful, brightly clad, sundrenched, ethnically assorted future.

Redeeming a Holy Week Hymn: A Reflection

As we work our way through the Lenten Season, Holy Week looms. During Holy Week, probably the most sacred week in the Church year, we will sing one of my favorite hymns: Were You There? It has been sung in homes and in churches for decades. It is a Spiritual but, unlike most Spirituals, it does not end on a note of praise. This one ends as a ‘sorrow song’, even with the ‘Resurrection’ verse that is included in The New Century Hymnal. Many hymnals, including the Pilgrim Hymnal, do not contain that verse.


On March 3, 2016, Associate Minister Rev. John Edgerton testified on behalf of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, on their legislative lobby day, at the Massachusetts State House. Rev. Edgerton spoke in support of declaring a homelessness state of emergency, calling on lawmakers to take immediate actions to help stop the crisis and save lives.

Walking through the Valley of the Shadow

While T.S. Eliot writes, “April is the cruelest month”, some of us would argue that February vies for that distinction. The freezing, wintry blasts that have us gripping our coats, scarves, and hats close to our shivering bodies, the never-ending gray days calling for us to add more lights to our growing lamp collections in every room of the house, the bone-chilling wet snow that finds its way into our “water-proof” boots, the stinging crystals of ice forming around our noses: Ah, February, why is it that although you are the shortest month, your days seem to stretch on forever?

Opening the Invitations of Epiphany

What was your last epiphany? Was it frightening or energizing? Or perhaps a bit of each? The word ‘epiphany’ means “manifestation, realization, or disclosure.” Usually it comes as a sudden perception or striking event revealing the essential nature or meaning of something. Spiritually it is about gaining a new perspective, recognizing a new awareness dawning. It may mean viewing what has been with us all along, but now from a different perspective, with a new consciousness.

Christmas Message from the Senior Minister

Dear Old South Church,

Throughout December, the Portico of Old South Church has become a sleeping place for unhoused neighbors. Area businesses are working with the City to banish homeless persons from neighboring parks and benches and doorways. Having nowhere else to go, some are gravitating each night under the shelter of our covered Portico. While the Back Bay Association is unhappy with us, Old South members have taken to ministering to them with food, warm clothing, and companionship. Maybe the Christmas story is happening right here?

Gift Wrapped

The UCC Advent Devotional for December 24, 2015:

"His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." Isaiah 9:2-7

I sleep like a baby on Christmas Eve. When my head hits the pillow I am out like a light, down for the count, taking the express train to snooze-town.