Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty
I believe whole-heartedly that each life is a journey from birth to the grave with the potential of living it in an enchanted way in between! As we live these lives, that we have been gifted, we find opportunities to share our personal experiences along the way. This sharing with another is our way to connect and cultivate meaning in our lives. Each experience that we encounter adds to the collective whole, each experience is hand crafted, refined with care, compassion, and love. Each of our life stories reveals who we are, our wisdom, and our deeper humanity. My call as a minister is to help those in my care to realize our place in the order of things and to call each of us, including myself, to embrace the potential to become our best transcendent selves.
First parish of sudbury is a community where you, dear visitor, can bring your whole self… the experiences, beliefs, and identity that you have cultivated thus far in your life. Come visit us and take the time to get to know us.
It will be my privilege and pleasure to be with you on this journey!
A Blessing For Courage…
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone inside,
When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen,
When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,
Steady yourself and see
That it is your own thinking
That darkens your world.
Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light.
Know that you are not alone
And that this darkness has purpose;
Gradually it will school your eyes
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night-corner.
Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.
Close your eyes,
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.
A new confidence will come alive
To urge you toward higher ground
Where your imagination
Will learn to engage difficulty
At it most rewarding threshold!
~ John O’Donohue in An Abundance of Blessings
What Unitarian Universalism means to me
We, all of us change, we evolve throughout our lives and Unitarian Universalism garners my faith because it is expansive enough to encompass me, ever encouraging me to evolve towards my better self. Unitarian Universalism provides a framework where I am able to bring my whole self, the things that I love and dislike about me. I am able and asked everyday to share my beliefs through direct community outreach and action. Unitarian Universalism holds, as Francis David shared centuries ago, which our guiding principles confirm today that, “We do not have to think alike to love alike.” Unitarian Universalists are able to be at home in a sanctuary of diversity.
The charge that I hold most dear is from the Rev. Theodore Parker:
Be ours a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere;
its temple, all space;
its shrine, the good heart;
its creed, all truth;
its ritual, works of love;
its profession of faith, divine living.
Marjorie grew up in central New York and spent her summers on an island in the Saint Lawrence River; she self identifies as a St. Lawrence “River Rat.” Marjorie moved to Massachusetts in 1987 to pursue her higher education in Architecture and was invited instead to pursue a career in the technology industry specializing in architectural software and computer aided design. Marjorie’s business career began in technical support and evolved into roles such a senior design engineer, a product manager and eventually market development manager. Much of her time was spent working with software developers, technical writers and “end users” helping them to envision and bring to market software solutions that addressed real world design needs. She worked with high profile clients such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Robert Stern Architects, and Frank Gehry Architects. Marjorie traveled extensively in her career both domestically and internationally presenting to small and large audiences. In describing those times Marjorie explains, “I traveled and learned so much about how people make meaning and the incredible cultures and beliefs that exist around the world; ultimately these experiences are what sustained me on my spiritual quest.” Rev. Marjorie answered “the call” to ministry 1998 in a cave in southern England, which compelled her to earn a bachelors degree in the distance learning program at Goddard College in Comparative Religions and Consciousness Studies. She “retired” from her career in for profit business in 2001 and started her masters of divinity that same fall. While attending Andover Newton Theological School, Marjorie worked for the Unitarian Universalist Association first in international relations and then as the assistant of the President of the Association. These roles provided Marjorie with an expansive knowledge of Unitarian Universalism from a national prospective. She graduated with her Masters in 2007, was ordained by the Arlington Street Church and was called to be the senior minister of the First Universalist Society of Salem, Massachusetts.
Rev. Marjorie was granted final fellowship at the UU General Assembly in 2010 and began working on her doctorate of ministry at Andover Newton Theological School. She completed her work on her dissertation, Engaging Technology in Twentieth Century Patterns of Meaning Making in 2013 and graduated with honors. In describing her doctoral work, Marjorie explains, “I wanted to marry my love of technology with my love of the spiritual quest. The Internet helped me to expand my knowledge, build connections with others on a similar journey, and to research what was available to me on a grand scale. Without the internet I would not have made my way to this incredible place in my life, my dissertation helped me to acknowledge the importance of the advent of such technology as the Internet and social media in our lives and in making meaning.” Upon completion of her Doctorate in 2013, Marjorie was called to be the Senior Minister at the First Parish of Sudbury Unitarian Universalist. “I feel blessed to be with this cadre of people in Sudbury, we are working hard to build the beloved community where all are welcome. It is true that our world is in a state of flux, it always has been and it always will be, but I am here to remind and help us to do better with and for one another. I encourage my people to embrace faith instead of fear and to choose love instead of greed, it is only then that we can be a voice of reason on the Sudbury green, ever standing on the side of love.”
Rev. Dr. Marjorie serves as a member of the Social Responsibility Panel of the UU Funding Program, which reviews grants and awards financial support to expand the reach of Unitarian Universalist social justice in the United States. She is also a member of the Sudbury Interfaith Clergy Association.