A Joyous Afternoon
Today the First Parish in Milton, Mass., joyfully installed the Rev. Parisa Parsa as its twentieth permanent minister since 1678. The invocation was offered by the Rev. Jeffrey Johnson, pastor of the First Congregational Church in Milton that split off from the First Parish in 1834. The sermon was preached by Stanford University chaplain and former First Parish parishioner the Rev. Scotty McLennan, the charge to the minister was given by the Rev. Kay Jorgensen of San Francisco, the charge to the congregation was given by the Rev. Wendy Bell of Harvard, Mass., the prayer of installation was given by the Rev. William Clark of Lexington, Mass., and the benediction was given by the Rev. Parsa. Other speakers included the Rev. Terry Burke of Jamaica Plain, Mass., the Rev. Erin Splaine of Wayland, Mass., the Rev. Ralph Mero of the UUA head office, and First Parish DRE Jocelyn Burke. The congregation sang "Rank by Rank" and "We'll Build a Land", the choir sang an antiphonal setting of Psalm 100 with a brass quartet, and Music Director Emma Jean Moulton gave a virtuoso performance of Bach's Fantasia in G major on First Parish's rafter-shaking organ as a postlude. The steeple bell was tolled twenty times, once for each minister of the Parish.
Fausto was delighted to see fellow bloggers Tom of Prophet Motive, Chris of Philocrites, and Adam of Unity skulk back to the scene of last Saturday's picnic. (Good luck with that Mother's Day sermon tomorrow, Adam.) Fausto was bummed that the Rev. Peacebang had to perform a wedding elsewhere, and so couldn't participate in the service as had once been planned. Chris and Fausto also lamented that CC couldn't return, if only to be properly initiated into the St. Johann cult by such an impressive performance of the Fantasia.
Here's a consolation, CC. It's not the same, but it'll have to do.