Live Worship Broadcast at First Church Boston

We have aired our services on Emerson Radio WERS 88.9 FM for over 30 years. The services are broadcast every Sunday, but are the prior week’s worship service.

In response to the COVID pandemic, we have begun streaming live video for our in person worship. The details (and hopefully, production quality) will be subject to change. The streamed broadcasts will be available for viewing through links on this page on Sunday mornings at 11am.

Order of Service

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Rev. Edmund Robinson, Minister
Robert Jan August, Music Director

Gratitude and Farewells

Prelude           Les Barricades Mistérieuses
                                                François Couperin (1668-1733)  

Opening Words                                                                       

Opening Hymn #298   Wake Now My Senses

Chalice Lighting and Tolling of the Bell                                                                             

First Church Boston Affirmation

Love is the spirit of this church, and Service its law. This is our great covenant, to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.


Homily, part 1:
          The Founding                   Rev. Robinson

Musical Interlude 
Look to This Day                     Ellie Miller

                                             in honor of Rev. Stephen Kendrick
                        First Church Choir

Responsive Reading  # 646  
The Larger Circle

Homily, part 2:           First Church Redefines itself
                                                                              Rev. Robinson                                    

Call to the Offering

Offertory Hymn # 329           Life Has Loveliness to Sell    

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Homily, part 3:           Maturity and the Horizon of the Future                                                                                     Rev. Robinson

Musical Interlude       The Bell                   Larry Thomas Bell
                                            in honor of Rev. Stephen Kendrick

Erin Anderson, soprano; First Church Choir; Mary Collins, handbell; Sasha Callahan, violin; Wendy Rolfe, flute; Leo Eguchi, cello; Robert August, harpsichord

Response by Robert Jan August

Response by Rev. Stephen Kendrick

Closing Hymn # 29   Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

Charge to the Congregation                                                                                                                                     
Postlude         Triple Fugue in E Flat Major, BWV 552/II         
                                                             J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

You are invited to enjoy coffee and

  community on the front porch area.

About the Music in Today’s Service

Today’s music features two premieres, celebrating Rev. Stephen Kendrick’s 20-year tenure at First Church in Boston. Ellie Miller and Larry Thomas Bell were invited to compose music for this joyous occasion.

Ellie Miller writes: “Look to This Day” is a poem written in the 4th or 5th century and attributed to Kalidasa, one of the greatest of the Sanskrit dramatists. The poem was a favorite of my uncle and I had hoped to be able to set these words to music at some point.

Robert’s invitation to write something celebrating Stephen Kendrick’s years at FCB felt like a good chance to carry out that challenge. I was pleased to find out later that the poem was a favorite of both Stephen and Edmund. My music is written for 4 part a cappella (unaccompanied) choir”.

Look to This Day

By Ellie Miller 

Text: Kalidasa

Look to this day:

For it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course

Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.

The joy of growth,

The glory of action,

The splendor of achievement

Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow just a vision;

But today well-lived makes

Yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well therefore to this day;

Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

The Bell

By Larry Thomas Bell

Based on poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Drawn from texts by Ralph Waldo Emerson (one of Stephen’s favorite authors), Larry Bell’s cantata The Bell is scored for soprano solo, soprano, alto, tenor, bass chorus, handbell, violin, flute, cello, and harpsichord.

  1. Recitative

On bravely through the sunshine and the showers

Time hath his work to do and we have Ours.

  1. Music

Let me go where e’re I will

I hear a skyborn music still

It sounds from all things old

It sounds from all things young

From all that’s fair from all that’s foul

Peals out a cheerful song

            It is not only in the Rose

It is not only in the bird

Not only where the Rainbow glows

Nor in the song of woman heard

But in the darkest meanest things

Theres alway alway something sings.

Tis not in the high stars alone

Nor in the cups of budding flowers

Nor in the redbreast’s mellow tone

Nor in the bow that smiles in showers

But in the mud and scum of things

Theres alway alway something sings.

  1. Recitative

Royal state,

            Diamond star,

and cap of gold,

            Bedizened throne, how hard to hold!

—Are got by force, or fraud, or fate.

  1. Brahma

If the red slayer think he slays,

            Of if the slain think he is slain,

They know not well the subtle ways

            I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near;

            Shadow and sunlight are the same;

The vanished gods to me appear;

            And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;

            When me they fly, I lam the wings;

I am the doubter and the doubt,

            And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,

            And pine in vain the sacred Seven;

But thou, meek lover of the good!

            Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

  • Recitative

But go thou home,

Home to the mansion of the mind,

If sold good thy search would find,

In the bright bower of Joy, and Thought’s

immortal dome.

  • The Bell

I love thy music, mellow bell,

I love thine iron chime,

To life or death, to heaven or hell,

Which calls the Sons of Time.

Thy voice upon the deep

The homebound sea-boy hails,

It charms his cares to sleep,

It cheers him as he sails.

To house of God and heavenly joys

They summons called our sires,

And good men thought they sacred voice

Disarmed the thunder’s fires.

And soon they music, sad death-bell!

Shall lift its notes once more,

And mix my requiem with the wind

That sweeps my native shore.

First Church Boston Staff

Rev. Edmund Robinson


Director of Music Dr. Robert August


Julie Sheaves, Accountant

Javier Neyra, Lead Sexton

Daniel Bash, Sexton

Julianna Dunn, Church Administrator

First Church Boston choir

Erin Anderson

Alecia Batson

Karlie Traversa

Gina Marie Falk

Lily Tseng

Sophie Urquhart

Ethan Bremner

Christopher Lockman

Daniel Ryan

William Thorpe

Robert Winkley

First Church Boston Lay leadership

Standing Committee

Fern Beck, chair


Michael Sullivan, treasurer


Janine Mudge, chair



Greeters and snack hosts needed.

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Sunday Flowers

Please sign up to dedicate or honor someone by purchasing the flowers for a Sunday worship service. A dedication appears in the order of service. Cost is $75.Sign up sheet is in the Narthex.

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