685 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
(781) 749 -1671 | Send Email
Meet Our Minister
Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch
Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch, Minister, Second Parish
The people of Second Parish in Hingham form a caring community whose principal mission is to seek, to learn, to serve, and to connect as we explore the meaning of life. We strive to always be there for each other in times of joy and celebration as well as in times of crisis and sorrow. Love for each other is the cornerstone of our covenant.
Central to our religious experience is the creating and nurturing of an atmosphere in which each person can search for his or her own spiritual truth. We support each other in this search for belief and understanding while, at the same time, respecting our differences.
We enjoy being together, both in church and at parishioners’ homes, for socializing and/or learning: after-church coffees, potluck dinners, book groups, men’s breakfasts, and women’s dinners. Music is an important part of this church’s life of camaraderie, both as part of our Sunday service and at occasional special concerts featuring both classical and eclectic themes.
Our long-running, annual Spring Art Show attracts many artists from the South Shore and beyond to display for sale their paintings and crafts. Included among the exhibiters are students of all grades from Hingham and neighboring towns, who join in what has become a popular community attraction.
We invite you to join us on Sundays when we worship together, gathering peace and strength for the coming week and beyond. Children attend the first part our service before going to their religious education classes. You are welcome to come and see us in action.
Stephanie enjoyed a long career teaching in the English Department at Westwood High School. Her work with students extended beyond the classroom as she directed musicals, plays and advised the Drama Club. She also worked in many capacities with her colleagues and was instrumental in developing the school’s New Teacher Program. With her late husband, Steve, she ran numerous workshops and gave many lectures on the American Civil War for fellow teachers and various historical associations. In addition to teaching, Stephanie has been active at Second Parish for many years, writing and narrating Christmas pageants, conducting worship services, preparing sermons, and serving on the Leadership Board.
After her retirement from teaching in 2010, Stephanie continued to work part-time as the New Teacher Coordinator in Westwood. Her major focus, however, became preparing for parish ministry at the Andover Newton Theological School. She graduated with a Masters of Divinity, cum laude, in May of 2015 and the faculty voted her recipient of the Andover Newton Award for Excellence in Biblical Studies. Currently she serves as president of the Hingham Hull Religious Leaders Association. Stephanie is the great-great-great-great-great granddaughter of Second Parish’s first minister, the Reverend Daniel Shute, who served the church for fifty years. Visit our sermons page to read some of Stephanie’s recent sermons.
With love for each other and with respect for each person’s search for truth, we unite — in the spirit of Jesus — for the worship of God and the service of our neighbors.
Second Parish is affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, but we do not emphasize denominationalism. As a diverse, inclusive congregation, we are interested in human cooperation and a search for truth, regardless of traditional labels; and we understand that each person must be free to seek, in his or her own fashion, the source of life that has been traditionally described as God.
In our Church School we try to pass on to our children the basic religious heritage of our forebears, and to instill in them a questioning reverent mind and a healthy understanding of right and wrong. Our Religious Education program draws inspiration from many sources, including Christian, Jewish, and other world religions, spiritual teachings from earth-centered traditions, ethical teachings from historical and contemporary thinkers, and examples from the works of Unitarian and Universalist men and women.
We are aware that we live in a changing world in which people are in increasingly close contact with all the other peoples of the world. By emphasizing our own status as a fellowship which serves a larger community, we would work towards the time when humanity is but one all-embracing network of human beings, working together for the common good.
For over 250 years, Second Parish in Hingham has been responding to not only the religious needs of its members and friends but also providing a place of community and fellowship for them. It was founded in 1746 as one of the churches of the “Standing Order” of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The Puritans who settled the colony in the 1630’s had dreamed of establishing a Biblical Commonwealth, a theocratic state. Farthest from their minds was the idea we later would call the separation of church and state. Meetinghouses were built and maintained and the salaries of the ministers were paid by taxes levied upon the citizens. Hingham’s First Parish Church had been gathered in 1635 and its members met for worship in downtown Hingham, the first section of Hingham to be settled.
Gradually there came to be a large enough number of residents in South Hingham to warrant the formation of a new church there and the construction of a new meeting-house. This meeting-house was raised in 1742 on land belonging to Theophilus Cushing, and the legislature of the colony was petitioned to allow the founding of a new parish. On March 25, 1746, the parish was formally set off from the First Parish by order of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony as the Third Parish. In 1770, as a result of some changes by the General Court to precinct designations involving Hingham and Cohasset, the Third Parish became the Second Parish, and remains so to this day. Second Parish tries to continue the basic function of the colonial parish church, serving the community as a whole, striving to fulfill its mission.
Susan Weisenbeck, Chair
Elaine Cadogan, Religious Education
Peggy Mosher, Social Outreach
Jane Shute, Membership/Growth
Donna Hanlon, Worship/Music
Lisa Shetty, Parish and Community Events
Victoria Milano, Finance
John Bradeen, Property
Minister: Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator of Religious Education: Leigh Baltzer – email@example.com
Organist/Music Director: L. Mark Slawson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Administrator: Sandi Smith – email@example.com
Sexton: Michael O’Keeffe
©Second Parish in Hingham | (781) 749-1671 | Email: Office@SecondParish.org