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Things We Do
Children & Youth
What To Expect
The Oasis - October 6, 2021
October 06, 2021
October 6, 2021 by Pastor Dan God of the world: this week, celebrating World Communion Sunday, we broke bread shoulder to spiritual shoulder with faithful around the world. We give you thanks that we are all made in your image, with such richness of experience, perspective, a...
The Oasis - September 22, 2021
September 22, 2021
September 22, 2021 by Pastor Dan Last week I met someone with a scripture reference tattooed on his arm. It certainly wasn’t one I recognized just by chapter and verse. It was I Chronicles 11: something. I Chronicles isn’t a book I know by hear...
The Oasis - September 15, 2021
September 15, 2021
Rev. Eric Dupee Lately, I find myself talking a lot about self-care. We can’t eliminate the challenges and stressors life throws at us, but we most often can, to some extent, tend to our own needs in the midst of it. Being intentional about boundaries is a great way to c...
The Oasis - September 8, 2021
September 08, 2021
September 8, 2021 Pastor Dan Hollis A few people have remarked to me since my sermon on Sunday that they enjoyed learning some new things about how the Bible was put together, and about the history of the people and the land this week’s Scriptu...
The Oasis - September 1, 2021
September 01, 2021
Oasis 9-1-21 As Labor Day approaches, I’m mindful that finding work-life balance has been difficult for many of us. During the pandemic, many workers have been working from home, which has its advant...
The Oasis - August 25, 2021
August 25, 2021
I’d say we got pretty lucky here in York with Hurricane Henri. Some of the more worrying forecasts had people anywhere near New England shorelines getting ready for a rough time. I’m grateful that we ended up on the better end of th...
The Oasis - August 11, 2021
August 11, 2021
The Oasis August 11, 2021 Did you take a Church Membership class, here at First Parish Church, and never actually become a member? Have you been attending First Parish Church for some time and wondered when you would be invited to officially join? How woul...
The Oasis - August 4, 2021
August 04, 2021
I believe all persons of faith are theologians. That is to say we all reflect on divine matters. We all have beliefs and concepts we hold to be true. The question is are we good theologians? Are we intentional about it? Do we take our task as theologians serio...
The Oasis - July 28, 2021
July 28, 2021
by Pastor Dan Hollis The other night, I needed to drive over to the church to pick something up. It was late, and I was struck by how empty the roads were. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was because it wasn’t the weekend, but there was surprisingl...
The Oasis - July 21, 2021
July 21, 2021
July 21, 2021 by Pastor Dan What do you do when you need to focus? When there’s something you need to think long and hard about, or there’s something important you need to get done, and your mind just won’t settle. You’ve got all ...
The Oasis - July 14, 2021
July 14, 2021
by Pastor Dan Are you worried about something today? Are you afraid of something coming down the pike? Are anxieties piling up? Are people standing against you? Is it fear of the unknown, or perhaps worse, fear of the known? Do you have to do something or go somewhere that&...
The Oasis - July 7, 2021
July 07, 2021
July 7, 2021 by Pastor Dan I’ve noticed lately that our congregation has had a surprising number of surgeries and significant medical procedures taking place over the last couple of months, and that trend isn’t slowing down. People are getting things removed, thin...
The Oasis - June 30, 2021
June 30, 2021
June 30, 2021 Community cannot feed for long on itself; it can only flourish where always the boundaries are giving way to the coming of others beyond them – unknown and undiscovered brothers and sisters. &nb...
The Oasis - June 23, 2021
June 23, 2021
When’s the last time you overreacted to something? Was it the supermarket parking lot? The on-ramp of the highway? Sitting in front of the evening news with something highly throw-able within arm’s reach? It’s something all of us do at one time or another, an...
The Oasis - June 16, 2021
June 16, 2021
I feel as though we are living between two significant times. It appears the worst weeks and months of the pandemic are behind us, but we have not yet returned to a normal life. I feel both hopeful and antsy. I’m hopeful, because restrictions are being ...
The Oasis - June 9, 2021
June 09, 2021
June 9, 2021 Rev. Eric Dupee This will not be the most inspirational Oasis message, but I wanted to share some important information. We are open for worship! Please join us at 9:30am, no signups or distancing required. Summer is typically a quieter time at First Parish Churc...
The Oasis - June 2, 2021
June 02, 2021
In a previous church I served, I had a conversation with a new member. He said, “One of the things that attracted me to this church was that it is Open and Affirming.” He went on to say, “I don’t fit into the LGBTQ category, but when I ...
The Oasis - May 26, 2021
May 26, 2021
by Pastor Dan A number of years ago, I was tasked with being the hike leader for a group of middle schoolers summiting their first 4,000-footer in the mountains of New Hampshire. We were assigned Wildcat D, one of five peaks of the popu...
The Oasis - May 19, 2021
May 19, 2021
Jalaluddin Rumi begins his poem titled The Guest House writing, “This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.&rdq...
The Oasis - May 12, 2021
May 12, 2021
May 12, 2021 by Pastor Dan It took me a long time to get into roller coasters. As a kid, there were countless trips to amusement parks, whether it was through school, youth group, or a family outing. I would go on the occasional roller coaster, but for years it wasn’t nec...
The Oasis - May 5, 2021
May 05, 2021
Greetings First Parish Church, The church is in the business of gathering people. Not being able to gather in the usual ways has made this year difficult on all of us. However, if everything goes as planned, on May 16, 2021 something will happen at First Pari...
The Oasis - April 28, 2021
April 28, 2021
This past week, I was in St. Charles, Missouri. I rented a bike in order to ride on the Katy Trail. The Katy Trail is a 237-mile rails-to-trail extending across most of the state of Missouri. It is the longest such trail in the country. Over half the...
The Oasis - April 21, 2021
April 21, 2021
April 21, 2021 by Pastor Dan They say in New England, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.” But what if you do like the weather? All this week, I’ve felt like the minute I get a ch...
The Oasis - April 14, 2021
April 14, 2021
April 14, 2021 Rev. Eric Dupee In the Muslim faith, the month of Ramadan began yesterday. I think that is why I have fasting on my mind. Here are a few thoughts on fasting from Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. In the Christian faith, we emphasize fasting ...
The Oasis - April 7, 2021
April 07, 2021
April 7, 2021 by Pastor Dan And what a holy week it was! From the triumphal entry of Palm Sunday (rung in so stirringly by Nate’s solo) to the dawning of new life on Easter (heralded by Joyce, Wendell, and so many others in betwe...
The Oasis - March 31, 2021
March 31, 2021
March 31, 2021 Rev. Eric Dupee For Easter, we need a new message for the sign in front of the church. It only takes a few words. I could come up with one myself. I could consult my Bible or just make up something. However, I decided to do an internet searc...
The Oasis - March 24, 2021
March 24, 2021
March 24, 2021 Pastor Dan Hollis A wilderness journey often reminds us what we’re missing—our shortcomings, our gaps, our insufficiencies. Trudging along a desert highway from your broken-down car to the gas station miles away with four drops lef...
The Oasis - March 17, 2021
March 17, 2021
March 17, 2021 by Pastor Dan “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little l...
The Oasis - March 10, 2021
March 10, 2021
March 10, 2021 by Pastor Dan I don’t know how old I was—7 or 9 maybe? Surely not 10. My mom used to go get tennis lessons, and when my little brother and I had nowhere else to be she would take us with her. I remember it as kind of a fancy faci...
The Oasis - March 3, 2021
March 03, 2021
Pastor Dan Hollis “Giving up something for Lent” was never a part of my life growing up. It wasn’t part of my family’s tradition, and it wasn’t part of my church’s tradition. Neither was fasting. Until I went through Semina...
The Oasis - February 24, 2021
February 24, 2021
Pastor Dan Hollis With our virtual Annual Meeting coming up this Sunday (February 28 at 10AM, contact the office for access), I find myself reflecting on each of the last three Annual Meetings I have been here for at First Parish. Truly, this year was un...
The Oasis - February 17, 2021
February 17, 2021
Rev. Eric Dupee Today, between 7:30-8:30am, Sue Wierzba and I greeted a number of people in front of the church and offered ashes-to-go. It was early. The temperature was a bit brisk. As I stood in the stiff breeze and waited for folk to drive up, I had to ...
The Oasis - February 10, 2021
February 10, 2021
Pastor Dan Hollis I’m sure many of us grew up occasionally needing a babysitter, and there are probably many of you who needed to employ a babysitter to watch your own kids from time to time. I remember having a few different ones over the years, and ...
The Oasis - February 3, 2021
February 03, 2021
Rev. Eric Dupee When Isaiah proclaimed, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,” he was saying we need to be remolded. Clean up your act, he urged. In the wilderness, change your head, ...
The Oasis - January 27, 2021
January 27, 2021
by Pastor Dan Today is January 27th, a day designated by the United Nations as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I plan to keep this week’s reflection brief, for one because I share this week’s Oasis with some important words from Pastor Eric, but also to leav...
The Oasis - January 20, 2021
January 21, 2021
Rev. Eric Dupee I was so pleased by the conversation that took place yesterday over Zoom regarding the solar farm proposal before our church. Not everyone was of the same mind, but each listened to the other. There were disagreements, but the conversation r...
The Oasis - January 13, 2021
January 14, 2021
January 13, 2021 by Pastor Dan “Breathe deep, seek peace.” A favorite mantra of mine since I was a kid, taken from a favorite book by James Gurney. Who needs to feel the peace of God right about now? I know I do. And day to d...
The Oasis - January 6, 2021
January 06, 2021
Rev. Eric Dupee Today is epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas. It is the day we recognize the Wise Men making it to Bethlehem and finding the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12). It is also the day our camel, Charlie, makes his final appearance of the Christmas s...
The Oasis - December 30, 2020
December 30, 2020
Rev. Eric Dupee Dear Members and Friends, We are just days from the end of 2020. I don’t know anyone who is sad to see it go. I get the sense resolutions are not as popular as they once were. In fact, some professionals are advising against it this...
The Oasis - December 16, 2020
December 17, 2020
December 16, 2020 Rev. Eric Dupee One of my fondest memories as a kid is worship on Christmas Eve. For me, there has always been something special about crowding into a house of worship, singing carols, hearing the story of the ...
The Oasis - December 9, 2020
December 09, 2020
December 9, 2020 This week, as we continue our journey through Advent and light the candle of Peace, our Oasis reflection comes from church member Joanne Myers. We encourage you to take a few deep breaths and seek the calming presence of God as you read it: Peace eludes me....
The Oasis - December 2, 2020
December 02, 2020
December 2, 2020 Rev. Eric Dupee Have you met “Charlie the Camel?” Did you know First Parish Church has a camel as tall as me that lives in the church parlor? The first time I saw Charlie, I thought of the Christmas greeting card image of the W...
The Oasis - November 25, 2020
November 25, 2020
November 25, 2020 by Pastor Dan Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good week! Even in difficult, complicated times such as these, I have faith that there are always things to be thankful for. Our lives are full of blessings, if we but allow ourselves to see them. As f...
The Oasis - November 18, 2020
November 18, 2020
Rev. Eric Dupee Have you ever felt pressured to have it all together? Have you ever felt compelled to hide your struggles or pretend you were merry when you really felt stressed and exhausted? If so, I want to invite you to join me in reading an Advent devo...
The Oasis - November 11, 2020
November 11, 2020
Eric Dupee At Sunday’s outdoor worship service, I invited all the veterans to either stand or raise a hand so we could acknowledge them and offer our gratitude for their service. There were quite a few veterans in attendance. &n...
The Oasis - November 4, 2020
November 04, 2020
November 4, 2020 Rev. Eric Dupee Today, I’ve spoken with a number of people who claim to be tired after staying up too late watching the election results. It seems we are all anxiously awaiting a result. Recently, I came across a quote from Sister J...
The Oasis - October 28, 2020
October 28, 2020
October 28, 2020 by Pastor Dan There is a lot of anxiety in the communities we live in these days. Many are anxious about the virus we have been living with for months, that shows no signs of slowing its frightening work. Many are anxious about making en...
The Oasis - October 21, 2020
October 21, 2020
October 21, 2020 Rev. Eric Dupee All Saints Sunday During the course of the pandemic, I’ve sensed an enormous amount of grief and loss. My prayers are with those whose loved ones have died, but also with those who grieve the loss of family gatherings, the loss ...
The Oasis - October 14, 2020
October 14, 2020
October 14, 2020 by Pastor Dan It has been a dry season. Yesterday’s rain was a balm to the cracked skin of our lands, but days like that have been a bit of a rarity lately. In fact, the lack of rain the last couple of months made yesterday’s w...
The Oasis - October 7, 2020
October 07, 2020
Rev. Eric Dupee In my first contribution to the Oasis I want to thank this community of faith for the welcome and hospitality I’ve received. I’m so thrilled to be with you. This is a special time to be in Yor...
The Oasis - September 30, 2020
October 01, 2020
September 30, 2020 by Pastor Dan We are made in the image of God. It says so in Genesis. But what does that mean, exactly? Does it mean that God looks like a person? Does it mean our minds are similar to God’s mind? Does it mean that there are qualitie...
The Oasis - September 23, 2020
September 23, 2020
September 23, 2020 by Pastor Dan 2 Kings 2:1-14 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me ...
The Oasis - September 16, 2020
September 16, 2020
Rev. Estelle Margarones Dear friends, It has been a true honor to journey with you for these past 21 months; a time that included a number of significant events in the church’s history. I want to thank you for placing your trust in me and for opening your li...
The Oasis - September 9, 2020
September 09, 2020
September 9, 2020 Pastor Dan Hollis The problems of our lives and our world can easily become so big for us that they are all that we can see. They are certainly what we need to be focusing on in order to make a better world for ourselves and those who come ...
The Oasis - September 2, 2020
September 02, 2020
Rev. Estelle Margarones “I’m not that kind of Christian.” Have you ever said this in response to someone’s perception about Christians? I’ve said this many times…including a few this week. I dread having to say, “I’m not ...
The Oasis - August 26, 2020
August 26, 2020
August 26, 2020 by Pastor Dan Keeping cool is a never-ending proposition, isn’t it? And I’m not talking about the kind of cool where you pop on a pair of sunglasses and a leather jacket and hip-check the jukebox at the local soda fountain. That...
The Oasis - August 19, 2020
August 19, 2020
August 19, 2020 by Pastor Dan Hollis The other day I made my twice-monthly trip into civilization to shop for necessities. By this point, most of us are familiar with the register lines in bigger stores with markings on the floor asking shoppers to wait in...
The Oasis - August 12, 2020
August 12, 2020
Rev. Estelle Margarones There are 12 school teachers in my family, ranging from pre-K to the university level, so it’s not really a surprise that the upcoming school year is a hot topic of conversation in my family right now. Given all of the implications surrounding child...
The Oasis - August 5, 2020
August 05, 2020
August 5, 2020 by Pastor Dan These last few months, many have been spending more time at home than we’re used to. We’re treading the same paths, seeing the same sights, and discovering the routines that work for us. I wonder if, in the ti...
The Oasis - July 29, 2020
July 29, 2020
July 29, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones I prayed about what to share with you today. The phrase that immediately sprang to mind is, “Fill your own cup first.” Humans can live for about 3 weeks without food, but only approximately 3 days without water. Water is an...
The Oasis - July 22, 2020
July 22, 2020
Rev. Estelle Margarones Dear friends, My driveway and yard are full of brown leaves. It seems rather autumnal, though the thermometer registers 95 degrees today. We expect leaves to fall in late September or October (but not in July). Initially I was concerned about the...
The Oasis - July 8, 2020
July 08, 2020
July 8, 2020 First, a note from Pastor Dan: This week’s Oasis features a submission from one of our Deacons, Sue Wierzba. Today Sue shares with us a spiritual practice that has great meaning to her, to me, and to many across the world. At her home in York, she has creat...
The Oasis - July 1, 2020
July 01, 2020
July 1, 2020 by Pastor Dan "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will nev...
The Oasis - June 24, 2020
June 24, 2020
The Oasis June 24, 2020 First, a note from Pastor Dan: This week’s Oasis features a thoughtful and faith-filled message from a member of First Parish Church’s Mission Board, Phil Woodman. Phil has been a part of our church’s regular mission trips to G...
The Oasis - June 17, 2020
June 17, 2020
June 17, 2020 by Pastor Dan If our buildings were open, this past Sunday would have been Children’s Sunday, a day to celebrate the faith formation our young people have been undergoing all year long as children of God, disciples of Christ, and curiou...
The Oasis - June 10, 2020
June 10, 2020
June 10, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones Sunday 6:55 AM: I woke up to an ugly truth today about my bias and my place in a racist society. I knew I was privileged, but I didn’t even grasp how much the systems were stacked in my favor and against people of color. Tears ar...
The Oasis - June 3, 2020
June 03, 2020
A Pastoral Preface: These are extraordinary and tumultuous times. Our stability has been rocked. Our patience continues to be tried. Our nerves are frayed. And yet, our core is intact! God is! Hope lives! Today, Pastor Dan shares some information about systemic injust...
The Oasis - May 27, 2020
May 27, 2020
May 27, 2020 by Pastor Dan “What kinda mon eat after him mudder-in-law buried?” A phrase that has sat in the deepest corners of my mind since childhood. A phrase narrated by Denzel Washington in a Jamaican accent on a cassette tape my little br...
The Oasis - May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was 8 years old feeling the chill of the air conditioning as I sat on the hard metal table; the white paper crinkling as my legs swung off the side. Dr. Morrissette, my pediatrician listene...
The Oasis - May 13, 2020
May 13, 2020
May 13, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones Dear friends, It’s been two months since the Coronavirus disrupted our lives. Many of us have sought to firm up our foundations through things that bring comfort. Perhaps, for you, it’s been reading the Bible, or building, gar...
The Oasis - May 6, 2020
May 06, 2020
May 6, 2020 by Pastor Dan It is so strange to see signs of new life right now. The sun has been shining so often lately, and fresh green is sprouting from the garden in the front of my home. Birds are singing. Easter has come, and with it it brought resurr...
The Oasis - April 29, 2020
April 29, 2020
April 29, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones Dear friends, Yesterday Governor Mills extended the stay at home order and outlined a stepped approach to returning to reopening the state. First Parish will also take a stepped approach. This is just the beginning of a time of dee...
The Oasis - April 22, 2020
April 22, 2020
April 22, 2020 Rev. Estelle and Pastor Dan would like to thank Linda Drew of First Parish Church’s Mission Board for writing this week’s Oasis message. We hope that this Earth Day is a chance for you to experience gratitude for God’s wondrous creation, as we ...
The Oasis - April 15, 2020
April 15, 2020
The Oasis April 15, 2020 A Note from Pastor Dan: If you don’t receive the United Church of Christ’s Daily Devotional, you will have missed out on this meaningful message on Monday written by Molly Baskette. I include it below as a moment of spiritual groundin...
The Oasis - April 8, 2020
April 08, 2020
April 8, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones This is Holy Week, the week between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) and Christ’s Resurrection (Easter). A lot happened in that week and we are experiencing it this year as we have never done before. There is...
The Oasis - April 1, 2020
April 01, 2020
April 1, 2020 by Pastor Dan The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled s...
The Oasis - March 25, 2020
March 27, 2020
March 25, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones Dear friends, We find ourselves in a time like none we’ve ever experienced. There is global uncertainty and collective concern, yet there is hope. As Christians, we’ve got Resurrection hope. We know that we will rise...
The Oasis - March 18, 2020
March 18, 2020
March 18, 2020 by Pastor Dan Healthy or sick, we have to remember to breathe. Whether we can fill our lungs or only take shallow breaths, we all need air. But in these times of uncertainty and anxiety, we often forget to take time to breathe. Let us remember there was a time ...
The Oasis - March 11, 2020
March 11, 2020
March 11, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones A Special Letter from your Senior Pastor and Church Moderator Dear friends, On behalf of church leadership, we want you to know First Parish has a comprehensive plan in place to mitigate any potential effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-...
The Oasis - March 4, 2020
March 04, 2020
March 4, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones In just a few days, I'll be celebrating one of my favorite days of the year. It's not St. Patrick's Day. It's the first day of Daylight Saving Time. After so many months of rising in darkness, I feel giddy upon waking to sunlight on that ...
The Oasis - February 26, 2020
February 26, 2020
February 26, 2020 by Pastor Dan What do we do when God shows up? Because God shows up every day. God isn’t just out there in some far-flung Heaven that only the strongest prayers can ever hope to reach. God is active here, among ...
The Oasis - February 19, 2020
February 19, 2020
February 19, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones You’ve surely heard the expression, “What a difference a day makes!” In reflecting upon yesterday’s weather, it is certainly true of yesterday and today. In fact, after the biting cold on Tuesday, 32 felt downr...
The Oasis - February 12, 2020
February 12, 2020
February 12, 2020 by Pastor Dan “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:34-35...
The Oasis - February 5, 2020
February 05, 2020
February 5, 2020 Rev. Estelle Margarones Like many New Englanders, I sat down to watch the Super Bowl this year more enthused about the snacks and the commercials than the game itself. The buffet was great, the game was good, and the commercials, well...read on. I'm st...
The Oasis - January 30, 2020
January 30, 2020
January 30, 2020 by Pastor Dan We build prisons for ourselves out of a lot of things. Prisons of hate and intolerance. Prisons of fear and misunderstanding. We build prisons for ourselves every time we don’t treat our fellow man ...
The Oasis - January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020 by Pastor Dan Saturday night snowstorms are a dreaded phenomenon in my profession. Church is Sunday morning and the snow is coming down; what do you do? How do you handle this? What could go wrong? And then if you’re like me and you&...
The Oasis - January 15, 2020
January 15, 2020
January 15, 2020 by Pastor Dan The last several months at times feel like the world has been facing disaster after disaster without respite; some natural, some not. Today Australia burns, the Philippines face volcanic eruption, and Puerto Rico won’t ...
The Oasis - January 8, 2020
January 08, 2020
Rev. Estelle Margarones The signs that it's over are all around us. Decorations are coming down. Living rooms are once again 'just so'. Specialty items are now in the 'clearance' bins at Hannaford. Savvy marketers are already have aisles featuring Valentine candy. But this year,...
The Oasis - December 31, 2019
December 31, 2019
December 31, 2019 Rev. Estelle Margarones Many years ago,I handed each of the children in church a note card that I had paper-punched. In the corner of each card was a tiny circular hole. I asked the children to hold it up to one eye and look through it. Each did and ...
The Oasis - December 24, 2019
December 24, 2019
December 24, 2019 by Pastor Dan People keep taking off their gloves in order to shake my hand. I don’t know if it’s some ancient custom passed down from Aristotle or Benjamin Franklin, or if shaking hands with gloves on was considered the ultimate vulgarity at tha...
The Oasis - December 18, 2019
December 18, 2019
December 18, 2019 Rev. Estelle Margarones A few years ago, my brother announced to me, “Christmas is a secular holiday.” I was so taken aback that I didn't respond well. I've had some time to think about it now, and here's my response: Yes, there may well be more th...
The Oasis - December 11, 2019
December 11, 2019
December 11, 2019 by Pastor Dan Life is all about new beginnings. Sunrise after a long night. Eggs and flour and sugar and all manner of things being transformed into something completely new when it comes out of the cake pan. Newborn babies, to whom every...
The Oasis - December 4, 2019
December 04, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones Advent: The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting (http://www.Merriam-Webster.com/dictionary/Advent.) On Thanksgiving Day, I saw several facebook posts from folks wh...
The Oasis - November 27, 2019
November 27, 2019
November 27, 2019 by Pastor Dan In case you really haven’t been paying attention, it’s Thanksgiving time again. A time to gather with friends, family, and community to practice gratitude for the blessings we experience in our lives. And for the...
The Oasis - November 20, 2019
November 20, 2019
November 20, 2019 by Pastor Dan Why do we pray? In my personal life (that is, when I’m not praying as a part of my duties as a pastor), I find myself praying far more often when I need something than when I do not. I prayed for s...
The Oasis - November 13, 2019
November 13, 2019
November 13, 2019 Rev. Estelle Margarones I got quite a surprise when I went outdoors today. Winter is knocking at the door! As I write, it’s 35 degrees outside and a woman at the Post Office told me that it’s going to be 14 tomorrow! (Don’t panic-it’...
The Oasis - November 6, 2019
November 06, 2019
Matthew 19:26 With God, all things are possible! Dear friends, The Bible tells us that with God, all things are possible, but it doesn't say that all things will be easy. The Bible doesn't tell us that that we will never experience tumultuous times, but it does say that Go...
The Oasis - October 30, 2019
October 30, 2019
October 30, 2019 by Pastor Dan Hollis Sitting in my office right now is a bag of dog treats. They’re not the standard cookie-cutter bone shaped biscuit things either; I managed to come into possession of a bag of “gnaw bones,” made of wha...
The Oasis - October 23, 2019
October 23, 2019
October 23, 2019 Rev. Estelle Margarones Dear friends, The Bible is full of stories of triumph over oppression and faith over fear. We must continue to place our hope in God and to press on. Isaiah 40:31 tells us we shall run and not grow weary. The York Weekly toda...
The Oasis - October 16, 2019
October 16, 2019
10/16/19 Rev. Estelle Margarones In the church office, there's a credenza that holds various historical artifacts including a silver-plated tea urn that dates back to the 1890's. It is an ornate reminder of yesteryear. A little card tells us that it was used for 20th century ...
The Oasis - October 9, 2019
October 09, 2019
Today is Yom Kippur, the most holy day observed by our Jewish brothers and sisters. It actually began at sunset last evening and will end just after sunset today. Christianity is rooted in Judaism so I thought I'd share some interesting notes about Yom Kippur, which, by the way, ...
The Oasis - October 2, 2019
October 02, 2019
October 2, 2019 Pastor Dan Hollis It’s hard to watch the news these days and see a road to a bright future. The chrome-plated flying-car dreams of yesteryear sometimes seem a foolish hope in the face of the crises and dangers and threats we hear about ...
The Oasis - September 25, 2019
September 25, 2019
September 25, 2019 by Pastor Dan Does not Wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To y...
The Oasis - September 18, 2019
September 18, 2019
9/18/19 Rev. Estelle Margarones Do you remember the children’s television show Romper Room with the teacher who would look through her magnifying glass and “see” the children watching the show? She would name them each week, “I see Jimmy and Susie and Ma...
The Oasis - September 11, 2019
September 11, 2019
September 11, 2019 by Pastor Dan There’s something that’s been coming up in conversation for me several times over the last couple of months. I think it comes up a lot because it’s such a common human reality. We have a bad relationship w...
The Oasis - September 4, 2019
September 04, 2019
September 4, 2019 by Pastor Dan Being family isn’t just about being related to someone, is it? We have to take part in that family. We have to set the table, do the dishes, mow the lawn, feed the cat, change the diapers, pay the bills, play the board...
The Oasis - August 28, 2019
August 28, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones Each of us is a unique and integral part of the whole of humanity and the entirety of creation. For anything in the natural world to bear fruit, there needs to be an interaction. This is true of things and ideas. Positive interactions tend to bear ...
The Oasis - August 21, 2019
August 27, 2019
August 21, 2019 by Pastor Dan When I was in seminary, I read a book by Margaret Bendroth, director of Boston’s Congregational Library. In it, she told a story of a visit she made to an old old New England church with a long history and its share of fam...
The Oasis - August 14, 2019
August 14, 2019
by Pastor Dan We build prisons for ourselves out of a lot of things. Prisons of hate and intolerance. Prisons of fear and misunderstanding. We build prisons for ourselves every time we don’t treat our fellow man as a brother. Ever...
The Oasis - August 7, 2019
August 07, 2019
Prayer and Encouragement in the Wake of Violence, Rev. Estelle Margarones I write, keenly aware that many are still feeling shock, grief, and outrage following two mass shootings over the weekend. Those acts of violence brought the number of incidents to 251 this year. That&rs...
The Oasis - July 31, 2019
July 31, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones Over July 4th, I spent a few days with family in Old Orchard Beach. All three of my sisters were there and we had a nice visit. I'm an “early to bed and early to rise” type, so while everyone else was still sleeping, I took a long walk on the ...
The Oasis - July 24, 2019
July 24, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones Just over a month ago, I had the opportunity to both bear witness to God’s grace and to experience it myself. I, along with Joanne Myers and Susan and Ray Mancinelli, joined folks from St. George’s Episcopal Church and the York-Ogunquit Method...
The Oasis - July 17, 2019
July 17, 2019
July 17, 2019 by Pastor Dan We leave on the High School Mission Trip this weekend, to serve others and worship God in new and different ways. Each year, our high schoolers travel to a different community to spend a week working with those in need, rebuildi...
The Oasis - July 10, 2019
July 10, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones “In God We Trust” so says our money. On the one hand, I've always found a particular comfort in that. I do trust God so I can understand faith (trust) as a currency. On the other hand, I know that God's grace isn’t for sale ...
The Oasis - July 3, 2019
July 03, 2019
by Pastor Dan Hollis Have you ever been just the right person that did just the right thing for someone when they needed it most? One of those beautiful moments when everything just happens to line up and you say the thing they needed to hear or do the thin...
The Oasis - June 27,2019
June 27, 2019
Pastor Dan Today is the last day of Kids’ Camp (what some of you know as Vacation Bible School) here at First Parish this year. There’s been a lot of great energy on the church grounds these mornings. Kids doing crafts, running in the grass, laughing, singing, an...
The Oasis - June 19, 2019
June 19, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones “Where is God in this situation?” is a question I learned to ask in my chaplaincy training and it serves me well to this day. No matter what you’re going through, God is always there. If you’re willing to do so, I&...
The Oasis - June 12, 2019
June 12, 2019
Pastor Dan Hollis Are you worried about something today? Are you afraid of something coming down the pike? Are anxieties piling up? Are people standing against you? Was that tax refund not the promised land you had hoped for? Do you have to do something or go somewhere that&rsqu...
The Oasis - June 5, 2019
June 05, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones Last Sunday after church, six of us from First Parish attended the United Church of Christ (UCC) York Association meeting, a gathering of pastors and delegates from the 21 UCC churches in York County. I arrived dutifully during the registration time (...
The Oasis - May 29, 2019
May 29, 2019
May 29, 2019 Rev. Estelle Margarones When I was little, my mother had a coffee cup collection. There must have been 20 or 30 mugs in our dish cabinet. As a child, I knew she loved her coffee. My siblings and I would get her a mug for every birthday, for Mother's Day, and for ...
The Oasis - May 22, 2019
May 22, 2019
Dan Hollis Once upon a time, there was a pig. This pig built a house for herself out of wood: logs, fenceposts, whatever she could find. The finished product didn’t look half-bad; it certainly wasn’t no straw house, no sir. ...
The Oasis - May 15, 2019
May 15, 2019
Philippians 4:6–7.Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jes...
The Oasis - May 9, 2019
May 09, 2019
May 9, 2019 by Pastor Dan Hollis I once knew an 82-year-old woman who woke up one day and decided that she needed to help the homeless. It was nothing like anything she had ever done in her life, but it was something she just knew she needed to do. Now, sh...
The Oasis - May 1, 2019
May 01, 2019
by Pastor Dan Hollis As windy as it can get here on the seacoast, we can’t actually see the wind. We can see the leaves move and we can feel it on our faces and we can hear it whistling around outside the house, but we can’t see the&...
The Oasis - April 24, 2019
April 24, 2019
April 24, 2019 by Pastor Dan Hollis There’s a movie I loved when I was young called “Titan A.E.” It told the story of the human race after our planet was destroyed and we were left to wander the stars without a home, trying to scrape out ...
The Oasis - April 17, 2019
April 17, 2019
I love finding out something I didn’t know before. That feeling of “huh, neat,” you get when you learn some new factoid. For instance, did you know that just like humans, cows moo in regional accents? Or that in 1915 a man named Cecil Chubb b...
The Oasis - April 10, 2019
April 10, 2019
April 10, 2019 Pastor Dan Hollis What are you waiting for? No, I don’t mean that as an accusation. I’m legitimately curious: what is it that you are waiting for? This time of year, I’d say it&rsqu...
The Oasis - April 3, 2019
April 03, 2019
Pastor Dan Hollis Recently I went on a drive with some friends to Burlington, Vermont. It’s more than a three-hour drive one-way, and as luck would have it one of my friends was happy to be the driver as long as the rest of us paid for gas. &n...
The Oasis - March 27, 2019
March 27, 2019
March 27, 2019 Dan Hollis What do you do when you need to focus? When there’s something you need to think long and hard about, or there’s something important you need to get done, and your mind just won’t settle. You’ve got all kind...
The Oasis - March 20, 2019
March 20, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones I must have been about 6 years old and I was out with my aunt. I wanted a package of crayons, but didn't have any money. She offered to lend me the 32 cents if I would pay her back. I did and that was my first purchase ever. Fast forward a year or two. I ...
The Oasis - March 13, 2019
March 13, 2019
It’s not an uncommon sight at my house, the sight of dishes slowly but steadily accumulating. Many homes have excellent discipline surrounding dirty dishes, and as with many things the simplest solution is often the most effective: do the dishes after ev...
The Oasis - March 6, 2019
March 07, 2019
Pastor Dan Hollis “Breathe deep, seek peace.” A favorite mantra of mine since I was a kid, taken from a favorite book by James Gurney. “Ruach.” An ancient Hebrew word meaning wind, breath, or spirit. &nb...
The Oasis - February 27, 2019
February 27, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones Ash Wednesday is a week from today. It marks the start of the Lenten Season, the time leading up to Easter. Lent is a reflective time where Christians consider the life and ministry of Jesus. We may choose to give something up for Lent as a way to ho...
The Oasis - February 20, 2019
February 20, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones Early last Thursday morning, there was some excitement at the parsonage. I distinctly remember hearing the church bells “bong bong bong” at three AM. 'Uh-oh', I thought, 'this isn't good'. You see, I'd worked all day, had a committee meeting, ...
The Oasis - February 6, 2019
February 06, 2019
February 6, 2019 Rev. Estelle Margarones It's back to winter today, but the beginning of the week reminded me of March and I found myself wondering what the yard will look like this spring and summer. What is even now, gathering energy to be reborn and renewed? Sometimes the ...
The Oasis - January 23, 2019
January 23, 2019
January 23, 2019 Pastor Dan Hollis The snowy season is home to some of my favorite and least-favorite things. As much as I dislike being cold all the time, and how hard it is to drive even as the plow operators work tirelessly to clear roads and make life ...
The Oasis - January 16, 2019
January 16, 2019
Dear friends, I remember a convention I went to in Boston. I don't remember the year or the even the speaker's name, but what left a lasting impression is the speaker's story. She was over six feet tall. She talked about being a teenager and having to wear men's clothing. Women'...
The Oasis - January 9, 2019
January 09, 2019
Dear friends, On Sunday we celebrated Epiphany, a special day in the church that marks the time when the Magi arrived to pay homage (respect) to infant or toddler Jesus. My message was based on Matthew, chapter 2, verses 1-16. I focused on the star as light in darkness, pointing...
The Oasis - January 2, 2019
January 02, 2019
January 2nd, 2019 Rev. Dan Hollis 2 Kings 2: 23-24 [The prophet Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!” When he turned arou...
The Oasis - December 27, 2018
December 27, 2018
December 27th, 2018 by Pastor Dan Hollis Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time t...
The Oasis - December 20, 2018
December 20, 2018
Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the ri...
The Oasis - December 13, 2018
December 13, 2018
John 20:24-29 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the m...
The Oasis - December 5, 2018
December 05, 2018
Luke 3:2-6 During the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words...
The Oasis - November 28, 2018
November 28, 2018
Job 1:1-3 There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of ...
The Oasis - November 14, 2018
November 14, 2018
Acts 16:25-28 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’...
The Oasis - November 8, 2018
November 08, 2018
Job 41:9-14, 25-27 Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed; were not even the gods overwhelmed at the sight of it? No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up. Who can stand before it? Who can confront it and be safe? —under the whole heaven, who? I will not keep si...
The Oasis - November 1, 2018
November 01, 2018
Job 41:9-14, 25-27 Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed; were not even the gods overwhelmed at the sight of it? No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up. Who can stand before it? Who can confront it and be safe? —under the whole heaven, who? I will not keep si...
The Oasis - October 24, 2018
October 24, 2018
Genesis 7:17-19, 23-24 The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled so mighti...
Pastor's Pen - September 19, 2018
September 19, 2018
"They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes." &nb...
Pastor's Pen - September 12, 2018
September 12, 2018
Pastor’s Pen “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Ten years ago over a glass o...
Pastor's Pen - September 6, 2018
September 06, 2018
September 6, 2018 The Pastor’s Pen “Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work…Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for f...
Pastor's Pen - August 29, 2018
August 29, 2018
Philippians 4:12-14 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In...
Pastor's Pen - August 22, 2018
August 22, 2018
The Pastor’s Pen “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” &nb...
Pastor's Pen - August 15, 2018
August 15, 2018
August 15, 2018 Pastor’s Pen “When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established, what is humankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?&rdq...
Pastor's Pen - August 8, 2018
August 08, 2018
The Pastor’s Pen “The Kingdom of God is like: a mustard seed, yeast, a pearl, a chlld…” &nb...
Pastor's Pen - August 1, 2018
August 01, 2018
August 1, 2018 Pastor’s Pen Romans 12:9-13 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be ...
Pastor's Pen - July 25, 2018
July 25, 2018
The Pastor’s Pen “O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!” Psalm 96:1 One of my favorite readings at memorial services turns out to be a modern day parable written by Alice Walker. She may not have intended it so...
Pastor's Pen - July 18, 2018
July 18, 2018
July 18, 2018 The Pastor’s Pen “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 At first the death of a loved one may seem a cruel intrusion on such a ripe and gorgeous summ...
Pastor's Pen - July 10, 2018
July 10, 2018
July 10, 2018 Pastor’s Pen “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sa...
Pastor's Pen - July 5, 2018
July 05, 2018
Psalm 90:13-17 Turn, O Lord! How long? Have compassion on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work...
Pastor's Pen - June 27, 2018
June 27, 2018
Matthew 18:1-5 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingd...
Pastor's Pen - June 20, 2018
June 20, 2018
The Pastor’s Pen “Jesus told them many things in parables, saying: ‘a farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up…Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produc...
Pastor's Pen - June 6, 2018
June 06, 2018
1 John 3: 18-22 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. ...
Pastor's Pen - May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018 Pastor’s Pen “Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Love one another and know that I will be with you.” Matthew 7:12 The season of testing begins. Visitors from away backed up traffic on Route 1 over the weekend in the annual mad dash ...
Pastor's Pen - May 23, 2018
May 23, 2018
May 23, 2018 Pastor’s Pen “And (Jesus) took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19 NIV We experience deep emotion before we le...
Pastor's Pen - May 16, 2018
May 16, 2018
Pastor’s Pen “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you...
Testimony - Nelson Walter
May 11, 2018
Please take a moment to read this inspirational message by Nelson Walter, a member of the First Parish Church Open and Affirming Task Force. Testimony by Nelson Walter April 29, 2018 I’m Nelson Walter and I’m part of the committee evaluating whether it&rsqu...
Pastor's Pen - May 9, 2018
May 09, 2018
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” &n...
Sharing Good News
December 29, 2017
Join us weekly for Vital Conversations on Race, a cooperative venture between York-Ogunquit Methodist Church, St. George's Episcopal Church and First Parish Church. We continue this Lenten series at the York Public Library from 10-11:30 each Saturday though March 25. Participant...
If You're Reading This Message…
December 29, 2017
All the best thrillers include a phrase like "If you're reading this message, it means…" It's either a plea from a character expecting their own death, or a good-bye from someone who successfully made their getaway, or a bad-guy who's about to monologue their whole plan be...
Help Us to Help Others
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