Our folks at the School on Wheels fundraiser, May 2024:

Sunday Worship

In-church services take place at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Those who are vaccinated need not wear masks. 

  The pastor pre-records the sermon at home and posts it Sunday morning at Facebook.com/Stephen.Finlan1. You can click on the videos that'll be there. Video links of the most recent sermons are also posted here. Or go to my YouTube channel.

Pastor

Pastor Steve Finlan (MTS, Boston University, 2013; Ph.D. University of Durham, 2004) began serving at First Church in August 2018. Some of his sermons are posted below.

From Blessing of the Animals, 2020:

​ ​


The First Church. Preaching the Gospel of Jesus.

29 Howard St., P.O. Box 361, West Bridgewater, MA​​ 02379

​Sunday worship, 10:00 a.m.                                            Established 1651

Bible study on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.                            (508) 587-3118

​​Bible Study:​​

  We have a Bible study at the church on Thursdays, now at 10:00 am, downstairs with social distancing but with no mask requirement. We are now reading passages from the current issue of Upper Room. Open to everyone. Personal insights and sharing welcomed. The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84534175240?pwd=dFkvQzVOdFRDOXZiYWVla1h5QUt1QT09 If they ask for a passcode, it's 527525 (but they probably won't ask).

United by love and guided by ​the teachings of Jesus,we maintain a

   welcoming house for the worship of God.

We study the Bible, and teach in Spirit and in truth. We seek to build 

   a sustaining and caring community of faith. Reflecting our

   history, we have affiliation with both the UCC and the UUA.

​ ​Quote of the Week:

“With Duns Scotus I resist thinking of incarnation as an emergency measure made necessary by human sin. Incarnation was in the divine eternal intent for loving union with creation... Incarnation is a divine necessity coming from the place of love.”  ​      — Anna Case-Winters, God Will Be All in All, 176


READ A SERMONClick on a title. A tab will open at far lower left of screen. Click on that to open the Word file.
2017:
1-29: The Pure in Heart
3-19: In Spirit and in Truth
10-22: Forgive, Hand It On
2018:
1-21: Pour Out Your Heart
1-28: No Deceit
2-11: Healing the Broken Hearted

SERMONS AT THE FIRST CHURCH:
7-8: Who Does He Think He Is?
7-15: Righteousness and Peace Will Kiss
8-5: Bread from Heaven
8-12: Be Imitators of God
8-19: That I Should Lose Nothing
9-9: Children or Dogs?
​9-16: Divine Things
9-23: First Pure
9-30: Whoever Is Not against Us

10-7: Created the Worlds

10-21: Lord It Over

10-28: May the Lord Deal Kindly w/ you (Ruth)

11-4: Love 'm Both?

11-18: Shine Like the Stars

11-25: The Letter and the Spirit

12-2: With the Clouds

12-9: All Flesh: The Theme of Peace

12-16: With All Joy

12-23: To Love Kindness

12-30: Debating with Scholars

2019

1-6: The Word Dwells in You Richly

1-13: I Will Be with You

1-27: Drink of One Spirit

2-3: To Proclaim Release

2-17: Be . . . As Your Father

2-24: A Spiritual Body

3-3: From One Degree of Glory to Another

3-6 (Ash Wed.): Too Great a Burden

3-10: Hearts and Mouths

3-17: Under His Wing

3-24: Spiritual Drink

3-31: We Had to Celebrate

4-7: Con-formed

4-14: A New Thing

4-19 (Good Friday): Who He Is

4-21 (Easter): My Father and Your Father

4-28: Swallow Up Death

5-5: Feed My Sheep

5-12: I Will Comfort You: ​Hear My Voice

5-19: Alpha and Omega

6-2: The Secret of Unity

6-9 (Pentecost): The Spirit of Truth

6-16: Was Carried Up

6-23: Jew or Greek

6-30: For Freedom

7-7: The Dust of Your Town

7-14: The Word is Very Near

7-21: Hospitality

7-28: Jenny Williams's sermon:

    For the Beauty of the Earth

8-4: How Can I Give You Up?

8-11: The Real Treasure

8-18: A Better Country

8-25: Warren Turner's sermon:

​   The Jesus Ethic

9-1: Repairer of the Breach

9-8: You Will Do Even More

9-15: A Broken Spirit

9-22: Faithful in a Little

9-29: The Good Fight

10-6: The Kingdom Within

10-13: Cleansing or Saving?

10-20: Build Houses

10-27: Other Rogues

11-3: A Son of Abraham

11-10: My Redeemer Liveth!

11-17: Rivers of Living Water

12-1: While It Is Day

12-8: Fulfills the Law

12-15: The Least in the Kingdom

12-22: Scattered the Proud

12-24: From the East

12-29: The Fear of Death

2020:

1-5: Children of God

1-12: To Fulfill All Righteousness


Partial Index:

​Micah
1:6 > 9-25-22                               1:16 > 9-25-22

2:9 > 11-7-21                               3:3 > 6-16-19               
3:6 > 11-5-23                               3:9-12 > 11-5-23

5:2-5 > 12-23-18

6:6-8 > 1-29-17, 2-11 & 12-23-18, 10-6-19, 1-29-23
6:7 > 10-27-19                              6:8 > 4-16 & 8-20-23

7:1-2 > 11-5-23

Zechariah
​4:2 > 12-4-22                       4:6 > 1-29-17, 7-15-18

4:10 > 12-4-22                     8:16 > 1-16-22

9:9 > 4-2-23

9:9-10 > 8-19-18, 4-14-19, 10-18-20, 3-7 & 3-21-21, 4-10-22

9:9-12 > 7-9-23                    9:10 > 4-2-23

12:10 > 1-27-19

Luke
1:26-32 > 12-18-22                1:33 > 12-6-20

1:35 > 2-7-21                         1:35-45 > 12-20-20

1:38 > 12-18-22                     1:39-45 > 12-19-21

1:39-53 > 12-22-19                2:7 > 12-24-21

2:10 > 2-7-21                         2:21-39 > 1-1-23

2:22-40 > 12-27-20, 12-31-23        2:25-32 > 7-18-21

2:25-36 > 12-24-19                2:30 > 7-26-20

2:38 > 7-26-20                       2:41-52 > 12-26-21

2:42-52 > 12-30-18                2:52 > 4-3-22

3:1-6 > 12-9-18                      3:12-18 > 12-12-21

3:15-17 > 12-16-18               3:21-23 > 1-13-19

4:1-13 > 3-6-22               4:16-21 > 8-19 & 12-30-18, 2-3-19

4:18 > 12-4 & 12-11-22 , 10-29 & 12-10-23

4:18-19 > 1-30-22                    4:21 > 1-30 & 12-11-22

4:21-30 > 1-30-22                   4:24-30 > 9-9-18, 2-3-19

4:25-27 > 3-24-24                   4:29 > 8-9-20

4:44 > 12-26-21

5:10 > 1-24 & 12-12-21, 1-21-24

5:21 > 1-8-23                            5:23-25 > 1-8-23

5:31 > 6-27-21                          5:31-32 > 9-15-19                    5:32 > 10-30-22                       6:17 > 6-14-20, 1-30-22

6:17-21 > 2-17-19                    6:17-23 > 2-13-22

6:20 > 3-21-21                         6:26 > 2-13-22

6:27-28 > 2-20-22                   6:27-36 > 2-17-19                    ​6:31-38 > 2-20-22                    6:35 |> 1-2-22

6:35-36 > 9-9-18, 6-28-20        6:36 > 9-17-23

6:37 > 9-17-23                          6:42 > 1-31-21

7:9 > 12-24-23, 3-24 & 5-19-24            7:13 > 3-12-23

7:50 > 10-7 & 12-23-18, 1-31-21, 7-9 & 12-10-23   

8:2-3 > 4-9-23

8:15 > 10-7 & 10-21-18, 2-7, 6-20, 8-15 & 8-22-21, 4-10-22, 12-10-23, 2-11-24

8:16 > 12-10-23                   8:17 > 2-17-19, 7-25-21, 7-31-22

8:19 > 7-25-21                        8:26-37 > 6-19-22

8:48 > 1-31-21, 12-10-23       8:50 > 4-30-23

9:4 > 6-14-20                         9:20 > 2-27-22

9:28-36 > 2-27-22                  9:49 > 12-3-23

9:49-50 > 5-15-22                  9:50 > 12-3-23

9:51-56 > 6-26-22                  9:52 > 6-14-20

9:52-55 > 1-28-18                 9:54 > 1-3-21

10:1 > 7-3-22                        10:5-11 > 7-7-19

10:16 > 5-10-20                    10:16-19 > 7-3-22

10:18 > 3-14-21                    10:18-20 > 7-7-19

10:25-29 > 7-10-22               

10:25-37 > 9-9-18, 7-14-19, 7-10 & 9-4-22

10:28 > 12-5-21                       10:39 > 4-12-20, 4-3-22

10:42 > 4-7-19, 4-12-20, 4-3-22     11:5-13 > 7-24-22

11:20 > 4-21-24                       11:50-51 > 3-17-19

12:4 > 4-30-23                         12:13-21 > 8-4-19, 7-31-22        

12:32 > 4-5 & 8-30-20, 9-12-21, 12-3-23

12:32-36 > 8-4 & 8-11-19         12:32-37 > 8-7-22

13:1-5 > 3-17-19, 3-20-22         13:10-17 > 8-21-22

13:11 > 6-2-24                            13:14 > 6-2-24

13:15-16 > 6-2-24                      13:20-21 > 9-8-19

13:30 > 9-19-21

13:31-35 > 3-17 & 12-22-19, 3-13-22

13:34 > 7-3-22                          14:1 > 9-4-22

14:7-11 > 9-22-19                      14:7-14 > 9-4-22

15:1-10 > 9-11-22                      15:3-7 > 6-19-22

15:7 > 3-27-22                           15:8-10 > 9-15-19, 3-31-24

15:10 > 3-27-22                         15:11-32 > 3-31-19, 3-27-22

16:1-13 > 9-18-22                      16:8 > 1-2-22, 2-5-23

16:10-13 > 9-22-19                   17:1-4 > 10-2-22

17:11-19 > 10-13-19                  17:11-21 > 10-9-22

17:19 > 12--10-23         ​

17:21 > 8-12-18, 7-14 & 10-6-19, 2-18-24

18:1 > 2-19-23                         ​18:1-8 > 10-20-19, 1-1-23

18:8 > 7-19-20, 4-11-21          18:9-14 > 10-27-19, 10-23-22

18:19 > 12-27-20, 10-3-21, 11-13-22 

18:25, 27 > 1-31-21                 18:34 > 3-26-23

18:38-42 > 5-10-20                  18:42 > 10-7-18, 7-9 & 12-10-23

19:1-10 > 11-3-19, 11-7-21, 10-30-22      19:8 > 7-23-23

19:9 > 5-10-20, 5-8-22, 7-23-23     19:12-24 > 12-22-19

19:29-40 > 4-14-19                  19:35-40 > 4-10-22

19:41-44 > 2-14-21                   19:44 > 3-13-22

19:46 > 7-11-21, 8-20-23         20:27-38 > 11-10-19, 11-6-22

21:1-4 > 1-28-24                       21:2-4 > 7-11-21

21:5-6 > 11-28-21                     21:5-8 > 11-13-22

21:20 > 11-28-21                       21:20-24 > 11-13-22

21:25-27 > 11-28-21                 22:31-34 > 4-5-20

22:43 > 2-7-21                          22:54-62 > 4-5-20

22:61 > 1-28-18

23:34 > 12-1-19, 12-24-21, 2-20-22

23:43 > 12-1-19                        23:46 > 4-7-23

24:10-11 > 4-12-20                   24:11 > 4-4-21

24:13-32 > 4-26-20                    24:13-35 > 4-16-23

24:35 > 4-4-21                            24:38 > 4-4-21

24:47 > 5-16-21, 4-2-23             24:47-53 > 4-14-24

24:49-52 > 6-16-19

Colossians

​1:15 > 5-10 & 6-28-20, 8-27-23

1:16 > 10-7-18, 5-24 & 8-2-20, 4-25 & 5-16-21, 2-13-22, 6-12-22, 4-23-23

1:19 > 5-16-21, 5-22-22             1:27 > 12-18-22

2:3 > 12-3-23                              2:7 > 12-3-23

2:9 > 5-16-21                              2:9-10 > 12-22-19

2:10 > 7-3-22                              2:15 > 5-16-21, 7-3-22

3:3 > 4-17 & 5-22-22                          3:3-4 > 6-21-20

3:10 > 8-9-20                          3:12-17 > 1-6-19, 12-26-21

3:22 > 9-8-19


James

1:2 > 6-9-24                                1:5 > 10-31-21, 6-9-24

1:15 > 9-10-23                       1:17 > 12-1-19, 6-28-20, 1-2-22

1:22 > 9-30-18, 7-14-19             1:27 > 9-30-18

2:12-18 > 9-9 & 9-30-18           2:20 > 9-26-21

2:24 > 6-28-20, 9-26-21            3:1-6 > 9-16-18

3:3-9 > 9-12-21                    3:16-17 > 7-15 & 9-23 & 9-30-18

3:9-11 > 10-7-18                     3:16-4:3 > 9-19-21

4:1-8 > 7-15 & 9-23-18                   4:7-8 > 9-19-21
5:13-20 > 9-30-18​​, 9-26-21       5:16 > 2-12-23


Easter, 2021:

​​More Sermons at The First Church

2020, cont.

1-19: Arise and Shine

1-26: The Time Is Fulfilled

2-2: The Meek Will Inherit

2-9: Let Your Light Shine

2-16: First Be Reconciled

2-23: My Holy Hill

3-1: ​Joseph Aoude’s sermon:

    Lead Me Not into Temptation

3-8: Born Again

3-15: Gushing Up

3-22: Who Sinned?

3-29: Speaking the Truth

4-5: The Sheep Will Be Scattered > video

4-12 (Easter): There They Will See Me > video

4-19: Suffer Trials

4-26: Burning within Us

5-3: They Know His Voice

5-10: If You Know Me

5-17: Another Advocate

5-24: Taken Up from You

6-14: Freely You Received

6-21: Everything Secret Will Be Known

6-28: A Cup of Water

7-5: Revealed to Infants

7-12: It Shall Not Return to Me Empty

7-19: Groaning for Redemption

7-26: A Pearl of Great Value

8-2: Increasing and Yielding

8-9: Where Are Prophets without Honor?

8-16: From the Heart

8-23: The Living God

8-20: Even the Dogs

9-6: Regaining That One > video link

9-13: Live to the Lord > video link

9-20: May Not Perish > video

​9-27: Change Your Minds > video

10-4: To Collect His Produce > video

10-11: ​Invite Everyone? > video

10-18: Not the Son of David > video

10-25: Render to God > video

11-22: The Least of These > video

11-29: One Like a Son of Man > video

12-6: Prepare the Way > video

12-13: Cause to Spring Up > video

12-20: She Who Believed > video

12-24: The Whole Life

12-27: Living on Hope > video

2021:

1-3: He Has Made Him Known > video

1-17: Baptizes with the Holy Spirit > video

1-24: Drop What You're Doing > video

1-31: Teaching with Authority > video

2-7: In Whom There Is No Deceit > video

2-14: Many Who Were Sick > video

2-17: The Moth Does Not Consume > video

2-21: Sharon Fenn's sermon:

    Search for the Rainbow in your Heart

2-28: What Were You Arguing about? > video

3-7: Overturning the Tables > video

3-14: Falls into the Earth > video

3-21: Not by Might > video

3-28: (Palm Sun.): Deeply Grieved > video

4-4 (Easter): Why Are You Weeping? 

4-11: God Is Love > video

4-18: We Will Be Like Him > video

4-25: There Will Be One Flock > video

5-2: Abide in Me > video

5-9: I Call You Friends > video

5-16: The Fullness > video

5-23: He Will Declare It to You > video

5-30: Born of the Spirit > video

6-6: My Mother and My Brothers > video

6-13: Jenny Williams's sermon: Be Kind

6-20: It Grows, He Knows Not How > video

6-27: Wholesome Forces > video

7-4: A Prophet among Them > video

7-11: Troubling Prophets > video

7-18: Sheep without a Shepherd > video

7-25: Take Him by Force > video

​8-1: Give Us This Bread > video

8-8: The Bread of Life > video

8-15: Wisdom Was There > video

​8-22: It Is from Within > video

8-29: Spirit That Gives Life > video

9-5: Jenny Williams's sermon: United

9-12: No Magical Escape > video

9-19: One Such Child > video

9-26: A Cup of Water > video

10-3: The Imprint of God > video

10-10: Who Then Can Be Saved? > video

10-17: It Is Not So among You > video

10-24: Call Him Here > video

10-31: No Other Commandment > video

11-7: Widows' Houses > video

11-14: When Will This Be? > video

11-21: Jenny Williams's sermon:

      On Being Thankful, part 2

11-28: A Righteous Branch > video

12-5: Spiritual Milk > video

12-12: The Wells of Salvation > video

12-19: I Will Write Them on Their Minds  

        > video

12-24: Compassion for Others

12-26: All Were Amazed > video

2022:

1-2: The World Came into Being > video

1-16: His First Sign > video

1-23: Release to the Captives > video

1-30: Many Lepers > video

2-6: Love Hopes All Things > video

2-13: Blessed Are You Who Weep > video

2-20: Be Merciful > video

2-27: Being Transformed > video

3-6: The Temptation > video

3-13: I Have Desired > video

3-20: Neither He Nor His Parents > video


​​​2022, cont.:

3-27: Like a Hired Hand > video

4-3: Leave Her Alone > video

4-10: Command Peace > video

4-15 (Good Friday): My God, My God

4-17 (Easter): Say to Them > video

4-24: The Doors Were Locked > video

5-1: Jump in the Lake > video

5-8: Our God > video

5-15: Love One Another > video

5-22: The Advocate > video

5-29: You Have Loved Them > video

6-5: The Father Is in Me > video

6-12: All the Truth > video

6-19: Those Who Did Not Seek Me > video

6-26: The Fruit of the Spirit > video

7-3: As a Mother > video

7-10: Which Was a Neighbor? > video

7-17: Sharon Fenn's sermon:

      What a Friend We Have in Jesus

7-24: Persistence > video

7-31: Vanity of Vanities > video

8-7: Purses That Do Not Wear Out > video

8-14: Reckoned Righteous > video

8-21: Be Set Free > video

9-4: They Cannot Repay You > video

9-11: Finding the Lost > video

9-18: Faithful in a Little > video

9-25: The Love of Money > video

10-2: No Offense > video

10-9: The Kingdom Within > video

10-16: Jean Upton's Sermon:

      Don't You Think It's Time

10-23: We Have Sinned > video

10-30: To Seek Out and to Save > video

11-6: I Myself Shall See > video

11-13: Be Not Led Astray > video

11-20: Joyce Marble's Sermon:

     The Trinity

11-27: No One Knows > video

12-4: Prepare the Way > video

12-11: The Lame Shall Leapvideo

12-18: The Obedience of Faith > video

12-24: What Child Is This? > video 

2023:

1-1: Falling and Rising of Many > video

1-8: That Message Spread > video

1-15: Only Speak the Word > video

​1-22: Follow Me > video

1-29: Blessed Are the Merciful > video

2-5: Practice What You Preach > video

2-12: Be Reconciled to Your Brother > video

2-19: That Voice > video

2-26: Worship the Lord > video

3-5: Born of the Spirit > video

3-12: The Hour Is Coming > video

3-19: The Sassy Blind Man > video

3-26: I Am the Resurrection > video

4-2 (Palm Sun.): Mounted on a Donkey > video

4-7 (Good Friday): Into Your Hands

4-9 (Easter): Do Not Hold on to Me > video

4-16: Our Hearts Burning > video

4-23: God Raised Him Up > video

4-30: He Did Not Threaten > video

5-7: Show Us the Father > video

5-14: In Him We Live > video

5-21: Alta Pratt's sermon:

    In God's Time, We'll Understand

5-28: I Pour Out My Spirit > video

6-4: In the Names > video

​6-11: Mercy Not Sacrifice > video

6-18: Your Faith > video

6-25: A Resurrection Like His > video

7-2: Slaves to Righteousness > video

7-9: Revealed to Infants > video

7-16: God's Will Be Done > video

7-23: You Judge with Mildness > video

7-30: What Is New and What Is Old > video

8-6: Milk without Money > video

8-13: A Still Small Voice > video

​8-20: I Will Gather Others > video

8-27: What Is Good and Perfect > video

9-3: Showing Honor > video

9-10: The Three-Step Method > video

9-17: Having Mercy > video

9-24: The Daily Wage > video

10-1: I Go, Sir > video

10-8: Give Him the Produce > video

10-15: A Feast for All Peoples > video

10-22: Joyce Marable's sermon:

      The Gospel of Thomas

10-29: Whose Son Is He? > video

11-5: All Brothers > video

11-12: The Dead in Christ > video

11-26: You Gave Me Food > video

12-3: Any Spiritual Gift > video

12-10: One Coming > video

12-17: What Is Sown > video

12-24: Hope of the Magi > video 

12-31: The Consolation of Israel > video

2024

1-7: Heavens Torn Apart > video

1-14: We Have Found Him > video

1-21: A Prophet Like Moses > video

1-28: Was Tested > video

2-4: Become All Things > video

2-11: The Face of Jesus Christ > video

2-18: The Kingdom Is Near > video

2-25: Faith As Righteousness > video

3-3: Zeal for Your House > video

3-10: Saved by Grace > video

3-17: The Law Within > video

3-24: The Gate of the Lord > video

(Easter): The Holy Spirit w/ Power > video

4-7: Peace Be with You > video

4-14: The Messiah's Name > video

4-21:Our Hearts Do Not Condemn Us > video

4-28: Sharon Fenn's sermon:

      Do You Trust God?

5-5: Faith Conquers the World > video

5-12: Joy Made Complete > video

5-19 (Pentec.): What Does This Mean? > video

5-26: Born from Above > video

6-2: Sabbath Made for Humankind > video 

6-9: Being Renewed > video

6-16: The Seed Would Sprout > video

6-23: He Made the Storm Be Still > video

6-30: (not yet)


Links to Pastor Steve's books

browse To Unite the Scattered Children of God

browse Salvation Not Purchased: Overcoming the Ransom Idea to Rediscover the Original Gospel Teaching

browse The Family Metaphor in Jesus' Teaching

browse Bullying in the Churches

a chapter from Problems with Atonement

a chapter from The Apostle Paul & the Pauline Tradition

excerpt from Sacrifice and Atonement: Psychological Motives and Biblical Patterns

Link to writings at ResearchGate.

Link to writings at Academia.edu


Steve’s email: sfinlan@bu.edu

Link to Steve’s own website, with more sermons, book links, and research links.