Sermons from the 2017-2018 church year at First Parish
Heleena Mathew is a Community Organizer at the Merrimack Valley Project
The Rev. Lilia Cuervo, a native of Colombia, was the first Latin American woman ordained in the Unitarian Universalist denomination. She pioneered full time ministry in Spanish in San Jose, CA. where she served for six and a half years. At First Parish in Cambridge she also made history by being the first woman (and a Latina at that!) to be installed as a Parish Minister. She just ended four years of very productive multicultural ministry there.
She is a co-founder of the Latino/a UU Networking Association (LUUNA), and the initiator of, and a translator and contributor to, Las Voces del Camino, the Spanish language Unitarian Universalist hymnal.
Before entering seminary, she had a career as a Demographer working in Colombia, Brazil and United States. In 1964 she was invited by the University of California at Berkeley as an exchange Visiting Assistant Professor of Demography at its School of Public Health. Later she worked as the Evaluation & Research Associate at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in New York City.
Her degrees include a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry, a Master of Demography from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Math & Physics from Women Teachers College, Bogota, Colombia.
The Rev. Douglas Wilson was born in Vancouver, grew up in Santa Barbara, and fell in love with the music of the Beatles and Bob Dylan in the mid-sixties. He graduated from UCSB in religion and philosophy and from Starr King School for the Ministry and was ordained in Brooklyn in 1971. After hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1973, he moved to UU Rowe Camp, which was founded in 1924. Doug founded UU Rowe Conference Center in 1974, which he co-directed Rowe Camp and Conference Center, mostly with his wife Prue Berry, who is a lot nicer than he is, until 2012, when he retired. Since then, he’s mostly been doing whatever he wants to do.
The Reverend Ellen Rowse Spero has served as our minister since August, 2002.
Ellen is a graduate of Brandeis University, University of Maryland (with an M.Ed in Special Education) and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She has served as the Assistant Minister at the First Parish in Lexington, MA, and as the Interim Minister at Hope United Church of Christ in Alexandria, VA. Before entering the ministry, she was a special education teacher in Alexandria, Virginia. She grew up as a Unitarian Universalist, attending the First Church Unitarian in Littleton, MA.
Reverend Russ Menk served as Intern Minister at First Parish from September 2011 through June 2012.
Russ graduated from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California with an MDiv degree in 2013. He was given Preliminary Fellowship by the Unitarian Universalist Association with the award of his degree and he received Final Fellowship in 2016. Rev. Russ was ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz County and continues to serve there.
Prior to that, Russ had joined the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002 and after holding several lay-leadership positions decided to become a UU minister. In 2008 Russ retired after 29 years from his career in Aerospace, and moved to California to attend seminary. He enjoys life, people, church meetings, learning, nature, and dark beer.
Stephen Shick is Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson where he served as Senior Minister. As a parish minister he has also served congregations in Haverhill, MA and Portland, ME.
Stephen was instrumental in establishing Community Ministry in our Association. He served our faith nationally as the founding Director of UU Peace Network and Director of the UU Service Committee's U.S. Programs Department. Before becoming a UU minister he was the founder and host of Consider the Alternatives, a national radio program carried on 400 commercial and non-commercial stations. Stephen teaches the art of preaching with out notes and manuscript as part of a national program sponsored by the UU Ministers Association. His newest project is Momentary Meditations, a one minute nature and poetry meditation published weekly on YouTube. Stephen is author of two Skinner House books, Be the Change and Consider the Lilies. Stephen lives in Lexington with his wife JoAnn Mulready-Shick. They have three adult children, Sarah, Dora and Michael.