Sermons from the 2016-2017 church year at First Parish
Matt Meyer is an artist of percussion, knowledgeable and experienced in a variety of styles, including latin-jazz, Brazilian, folk, funk, Hiphop and pop. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has studied in Cuba, Ghana, and Central America.
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.
Justine Sullivan is currently serving as the interim minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick Maine.
Justine served as our Ministerial Intern from the fall of 2015 until June of 2017 while pursuing her Master of Divinity degree at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Justine was ordained in 2017 by her home congregation of Northborough, Massachusetts.
Justine is a member of the UU congregation in Northborough, Massachusetts, where she lives with her spouse Dale. Justine and Dale have been together since 1986 and legally married since 2004. Justine has been a social worker and psychotherapist for the past 20 years and has worked as a congregational consultant and facilitator throughout New England. In addition to serving in leadership positions in her home congregation, Justine served as president of the Clara Barton district board from 2012 to 2015
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.
Sermons from the 2018-2019 church year at First Parish
Reverend Shayna Appel, a UU and UCC minister, serves the All Souls UU Church in Brattleboro, Vermont. She also serves as chaplain to First Responders in the Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains, for the Peterborough Fire & Rescue, the Townsend Fire & Rescue, the Granite State Critical Incident Response Team and the UU Trauma Response Ministry Team.
Steve Zocchi has been the Music Director at First Parish since September of 2014.
Steve Zocchi is a pianist, guitarist, composer and music teacher from the Chelmsford area with over 25 years of teaching experience. He received his BA in Piano Performance from UMass Lowell. He studied organ with Dr. John Ogasapian and served as his Assistant Organist at St. Anne's Church in Lowell from 1997-1999. Prior to coming to First Parish, Steve served as Music Minister at St. John's Episcopal Church in Lowell from 2000-2014. He has performed in numerous eclectic piano concerts at local venues, juxtaposing classical, jazz and original compositions. He studied jazz piano theory with Steve Hunt. Steve's latest release 'Piano Works and Play' as well as his previous CD 'Compositions and Improvisation' include both music composed in the classical tradition as well as improvised music in several genres. Steve lives with his wife, pianist/cellist Meghan Zocchi, and their three sons in Acton, MA.
Sermons from the 2019-2020 church year at First Parish
An intern minister at First Parish for the 2019-2020 church year, Jennifer is a seminarian in her final year at Meadville Lombard Theological School and a Candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry.
Raised in a secular family but longing for religious community, she found her spiritual home as a young adult in the freethinking, open-hearted, justice-seeking Unitarian Universalist faith. Prior to answering the call to ministry, Jennifer’s winding vocational journey included stops in literary studies, nonprofit communications, and childbirth coaching. She is delighted to be learning and growing into religious leadership with the support of First Parish Chelmsford.