for more info

Friday, June 17, 2011

Eco-Stewards Montana 2011

Thanks for the many prayers- we had a gift of a week June 2-9, 2011 in Montana for our Eco-Stewards Program “Living With and From the Land on the Crow Reservation: Sustainability and Reconciliation through Agriculture, Health and Green Building.” Check out the Eco-Stewards Blog to see an excellent 8 minute audio-slide show Becky & Bolton put together, and remember all our wonderful 12 Eco-Stewards in your prayers, especially our three summer interns over the next 8 weeks (Gerard, Dave and Andrew). Enjoy these next two weeks as they will be the longest days of the year! Peace on earth, Rob

Monday, December 6, 2010

An Advent Prayer for Climate Justice

It is once again Advent. And this week while the Climate Change negotiations continue in Mexico, something seasonally hopeful is emerging thanks to our sisters & brothers in the Episcopal side of our Church. They are meeting in the DR this week to bring representatives from the Global North and South together to say as Christians who take the call to Earth Stewardship seriously, we will pledge to commit ourselves as fellow members of the Body of Christ to reduce our emissions even in the light of our nation's failures to make such faithful decisions.  Our friends Chris Morck and Willis Jenkins (both have preached at Watershed in the past) are helping in this process and are present in the DR this week. We pray for them and all those involved - and here is a prayer that comes to us from them that I thought helpful to share: (hope to see you at FPCW this coming sunday for Advent 3 "We Listen" at 5pm.)
An Advent Prayer of Hope
O God, Creator, Sustainer, Judge and Lover of all your Creation,
Inspiration and Life-giver through Jesus who shares with us in Earthly life,
We acknowledge our utter dependence upon You and Your creation for life itself.
We thank You, we praise You for the mystical workings of the whole community of life, and
express our sorrow for the pain we cause to You and Your whole creation.
As we live through Advent,
we seek new hearts and understanding to live more gently as part of Your Creation.

We humbly beseech you, O Holy Spirit, O Wisdom,
to move through Earth and her wondrous community of life,
to touch and enliven this gathering of your faithful,
that they may amplify your life-giving Word.
Bring Your power, Wisdom and judgment alive in all those who are tired, fearful or cynical.
Pierce the hearts of those leaders of nations gathered in Cancun
that they may gain new understanding from the troubled, beleaguered waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Grant to the world’s leaders, having failed their task in Copenhagen,
a heightened sense of urgency to govern responsibly,
to protect Earth Community
from our stubborn, dangerous path of wanton consumption of Earth’s gifts,
the waning legacy of Your ancient, precious creation.
This we pray in the name of Jesus, who keeps leading us through the darkness, teaching us new ways, bringing us to the Light.
–from Members of The Earth Care Ministry
of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Episcopal, Burlington, VT, USA
Sylvia Knight, The Venerable Catherine Cooke, Robert K. Wright,
Travis Puller, Elizabeth Emerson, James P. Vos,
David H. Turner, The Rev. Dr. Nancy Bloomer

Friday, September 24, 2010

ONE ~ 5pm

After 3 years and 140 Watershed services at 7pm at FPCW, we are engaging in something NEW.  Beginning this sunday September 26, 2010, we are moving to ONE worship service at 5pm - and this will continue each week.  Watershed is far from ending, it is helping to once again birth something new at First Presbyterian Church of Waltham.  Our morning service and 7pm service will merge to become one so that we can together better listen for, and join the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst.  This is an exciting change, and we invite you all to be an active part in it.  Please join us for the first service this coming sunday - as we together will "listen now for the gospel - alleluia - it is God's word that changes us - alleluia!!"

peace be with you, Rob

Friday, September 17, 2010

Food and Faith Forum - Tuesdays 5:30-7pm, 9/21-10/26

Friends- please join us for this exciting forum:
"Just Eating": A Food and Faith Forum: Tuesdays 5:30-7pm, Sept 21-Oct 26, 2010 First Presbyterian Church of Waltham, 34 Alder Street. Free and all are welcome.
The Waltham Ministerial Association is sponsoring this 6 week forum on "Just Eating" to explore together the important connections between what we eat and how we live as people of faith. As an interfaith community, we'll come together to share some food and discussion on topics such as the spiritual aspects of eating, global hunger, healthy eating, food and our environment, and building community through how we eat. For more information or to sign up, please contact Rob Mark at, 781-893-3087 or Sara Irwin 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Labor Day Watershed Monday Sept. 6, 7pm

As is our "custom", we will shift Watershed to Monday Sept 6 at the usual 7pm, in honor of the Labor Day long weekend. Let us gather together that monday to swap stories of glimpses of the Spirit at work in each of our summers. This will be Rob's first time back at Watershed after South Africa. peace be with you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bergsig visit

It's hard to believe today marks 3 full weeks in South Africa. We continue to feel graced to be here. While in KwaZulu-Natal we sang "siakhudumisa" and "we are marching in the light of God" with some schoolchildren - super moving! Becky posted some photos on her site (click here) of a moving return visit to the Bergsig Primary School where I first helped teach english in 1993. I've been incorporating the story of my first visit to South Africa in my weekly sermons here - as I tell people how my life was changed during that experience - and faith in Christ found. Our prayers continue to go with you all - south african birds are telling us we are missing some moving watershed worship services since this summer! Nkulukulu's blessings. much peace, Rob (Photo with Glen Rose who I "taught" with in 93, and is still a faithful teacher at Bergsig!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hope and hardship in Khetani Township, South Africa

Friends, we have had a wonderful and moving first week in South Africa. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  Please click here and take a look at Becky's recent post about a specific visit we had to a township in KwaZulu-Natal. I preach tomorrow here in Tarkastaad in the Eastern Cape at a Presbyterian church. God's peace and sala kahle,
Rob & Becky

Saturday, July 10, 2010

South Africa - Ubunye Fellowship

Becky and I will be in South Africa on a mission partnership pastoral exchange between our Presbytery of Boston and the Amatola Presbytery of South Africa from July 13-Sept 1. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve the church and learn from others in different contexts as to how church is "being done" and responding to real community needs. Here is a map of the general area. Queenstown is one of the places we will be hosted in a church member's home. I will be preaching at 3 host churches and visiting church gardens, HIV/AIDS clinics, and other projects.  We fly into East London on the coast. We will keep Watershed and FPCW in our prayers while gone - and look forward to swapping stories upon return. We may post some photos/ updates here as able (not sure of internet availability). Peace be with you, Rob & Becky

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

no watershed 5/16 and Eco-Stewards West Virginia 5/16-23

This sunday we'll have just one combined service at 10:45am - and no watershed. We'll be back to both services for Pentecost on 5/23.
Also, please keep an exciting group of 12 Eco-Stewards in your prayers, as we are gathering in West Virginia from May 16-23 for our  TENDING THE GARDEN: A FAITH RESPONSE TO PROTECTING & RESTORING MOUNTAINS, COMMUNITIES & RELATIONSHIPS training. Keep tuned in on our week at - thanks to Becky!
(you can tune in on Sunday 5/16 at 11am to and hear Rob preach at harvard's memorial church on "A Leaky World's Cup")

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

earth week thoughts

My father-in-law passed on this NYtimes article related to earth day - by John Tierny, and it got my juices fired. Give it a read – and see if any of my thoughts below make sense to you:
To many of these points I agree. Never can the movement of eco-stewardship of the earth shun technological innovation on principle alone. Clearly, technological solutions have been a critical part of the equation. However, an important (dare I say crucial) missing sound bite to this mantra is the important role of a moral framework for decision making around using such technologies. This is where I feel so strongly the church (and other faith communities) can/should play a key roll. For instance, with genetic modification, if not for the voices of some faith communities, our system that encourages larger yields on ever increasingly smaller (or more degraded or mono-cropped) land (efficiency) would have left the final word to companies like Monsanto who may someday control (and copyright) all natural seeds - and thus make it illegal for small farmers to practice holding seeds year to year - all in the name of efficiency (while ultimately for profit and power - and thus adding to the list of agro-businesses that become "too big to fail"). 
Now, that being said, if innovative companies work hand in hand with small farmers AND larger farmers (with controlled use of genetic modifications and engineering) - AND communities of faith who have the moral mandate to care for the least of these in communities and developing countries - what I feel would be very sustainably communities might result. 
I'm for nuclear IF we can develop a sustainable plan for the waste (and not put it on Indian reservations only!?)
I am also for faith communities helping teach instill the lessons I learned my parents - simplicity, thrift, and using less in the first place. 
At Watershed last night, during Station 4 of our rogation liturgy (Visions of Sustainability), we sat around a table together and used crayons, watercolors, pencils and magazine cut-outs to creativily depict how we sensed God calling us into new visions for living, and lifestyles that represented greater sustainability. The pictures that came out in just 10 minutes brought me a lot of hope for our shared, alternative future.  May we remember we are as God’s stewards, and have to get good at it. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Holy Earth Day and Charles River Clean Up

It has been 40 years since the first Earth Day, and we join the rest of our planet this day to give thanks for the utter gift of Creation.  This day is indeed holy, because it is a divine gift - just as the earth is holy as it also is a gift. We are called to be tillers and keepers and stewards of it (Gen. 2:15). May there be healing in all the places of fragility and degradation on our planet.
Here is a powerful reminder of a need for such healing (thanks to my mother -in-law for passing along):

  • We have a great chance to help respond as God's eco-stewards: THIS SATURDAY - for our annual Charles River Earth Day Clean-Up Day. Please show up at FPCW at 8:30am for some nourishment, and then we'll head to Logan Park off Woerd St. in Waltham to begin the clean-up at 9am. After all the Spring flooding, there is lots to be picked up. Free T-shirts to those who join us!
  • And this sunday, come to church and celebrate Earth Sunday with a special Rogation liturgy (come at 7pm to watershed to find out what this means). We'll have some special music from Violinist Angela Leidig (who will be planning at Oasis May 14) at our morning service 10:45am.
  • GARDEN BOXES - we've begun the process of making 3 new garden boxes to put out front of our church this season to grow veggies & plants. Let us know if you want to lend a green thumb!
  • And let's mark our calendars for 10-10-10 action day (we are planning an faith service day in Waltham):

A shout out from our "sister city" of New Bedford:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

holy saturday - holy silence

On this day when we keep a special silence, while Jesus lies silent in the grave, this icon seems to speak profoundly. Details below. Please join us at 7pm for our "intentional agape meal" tonight, followed by the great vigil of easter, the service of the light. Tomorrow's one easter service is at 10:45am.
About Icon, written by W.H.McNichols: "The title of this icon is "Jesus Christ Redeemer Holy Silence." Icons of Holy Silence are found in Greece dating back to the 14th century, but interestingly, they seemed to begin appearing with more urgency in 19th century Russia- this itself is a clue to the importance of this icon, as a prayer for then and now.

Holy Silence ("Hagia Hesychia" in Greek) was commissioned  be a "picture of unconditional love." The first thing to notice about Holy Silence, with a pleasant sense of shock and surprise, is that it pictures a female angel with the letters "IC XC" on either side of the top of the image announcing this is Jesus Christ. Although some icons of Holy Silence are more obviously male, this one appears to me clearly female. This is not unusual, since icons portraying angelic wisdom or "Hagia Sophia" are found dating back also to the 14th century. In the Hebrew Scriptures wisdom is more often female. And in the New Testament, "The Divine Wisdom" (I Cor. 1: 30), became an appellation given to the Son of God by Byzantine theologians. Behind her lovely flowing hair, in the aureole or halo is an eight pointed star: six, points for the days of Creation, one for the day God rested, and the final point for the "Day of Eternity" to come. This type of icon, also known as "The Silence of God," is a symbolic depiction of Christ as an eternally youthful angel - or even, as in this example, a female angel. The image was developed in 18th and 19th century Russia, and is associated with the Prayer of the Heart (the Jesus Prayer = "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, sinner that I am").
Icon "written" by William Hart McNichols

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Week Begins

Join us for Palm Sunday tonight at 7pm - where we will join in a procession of the Palms, and also begin our contemplation of the cross. We will also take up the One Great Hour of Sharing offering - a special offering of our Presbyterian USA denomination to help with disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities.  Check out the video below.
And also, please join us for our various Holy Week services, to help prepare yourself to fully celebrate in the promise of Easter's resurrection.
Maundy Thursday 4/1, 6pm begins with soup, shared service with Beth Eden Baptist, and closing foot washing liturgy
Good Friday 4/2, 7pm
Easter Vigil 4/3, 7pm begins with Agape Seder Meal, followed by vigil at 8pm
Combined Easter service 4/4, 10:45am

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Call to Action: Interfaith Community Forum on Housing & Homelessness

Friends - please consider coming to this event and show our support for those working on housing and homelessness issues in our community. Our church has pledged to bring out at least 5 people.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

need work? great part-time opp's - census 2010

Census 2010 One Day Job Fair
 Saturday March 6, 2010
Location:  Charles River Public Internet Center (154 Moody St. Waltham, MA)
Time: Walk-In all day between 9:30am-3pm
What to Bring: A valid, original Driver’s License AND your original social security card, OR a valid, original U.S. Passport
There are three parts to our application process, which take up to 2 hours:
v   Fill out an application
v   Verification of valid, original IDs (IDs requirement stated above)
v   Take a 30 min timed test (practice test online at
ALL positions are Flexible, Part-Time (15-40 hrs/week) and Temporary:
v   Clerical Work ($14/hour)
v   Field Work ($18.50-$20/hr)
To Sign-up for Testing: Please call 781-577-2950 directly (or 1-866-861-2010) WALK IN ALSO WELCOMED!

2010 logo.png

      Flexible Hours & Good Pay
Must pass written test
Charles River
Public Internet Center
(Park in municipal parking)
March 6, 2010 9:30am-3pm


      Info and practice test, go

US Census Bureau is
an Equal Opportunity Employer

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent begins

As the purple of lent has once again come to us, let us remember to pause, to stop, and remember the gifts of God that come to us each day, each moment. The gifts that are all around us. The freshly fallen snow clinging to branches, the bright blue morning sky, the voice of a friend, the smile of a stranger. Lent is an invitation - a gift - to us to stop, to slow down, to breath deeper, to listen and look for signs of God's beauty and grace that is all around.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

watershed on MONDAY 2/15 (not sunday 2/14), St. Valetine

Friends - just a reminder that Watershed will be on MONDAY 2/15 at 7pm and not Sunday 2/14.
And, an icon for Valentine's day. May love abound.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Come join us every tuesday from 4:30-5:30pm in our Watershed space for beginner's yoga taught by Lauren Star. This is a wonderful way to begin to better engage and care for your body. As we know, an important part of the spiritual journey is care of our own bodies. And if you can, consider staying around for 7pm bible study on tuesdays as well to complete the body and mind spirit-care!