“Odd Arrangements and Funny Solutions,” by Rev. Dr. Helen Lutton Cohen

Service video

The author of today’s reading writes: “We all share the need to feel we exist, and that we are safe—we need to feel both present and secure. I am convinced that these very basic emotional needs lie at the heart of all kinds of behaviors.” The way we seek to fulfill these needs are as unique to each of us as our fingerprints. If we strive to understand others’ behaviors and the reasons behind them in the same way we understand our own, we can come to recognize our common humanity beneath the surface.

The Rev. Dr. Helen Lutton Cohen, Minister Emerita of the First Parish in Lexington, MA, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where her family was active in the First Unitarian Congregational Church. She graduated from Swarthmore College, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Old English Language and Literature. She taught in the English Department of Yale University from 1968 to 1970, where she met and married Don Cohen. She and Don taught at Brock University in St. Catharine’s Ontario through the early 70’s, and their daughters, Rebecca and Sarah, were born there. After leaving teaching, she became active in the St. Catharine’s Church of the Unitarian Fellowship.

Helen attended Harvard Divinity School from 1977-80, and was called to the First Parish in Lexington, Massachusetts, where she served from 1980 to 2002, and was named Minister Emerita by the congregation upon her retirement. The congregation published a book of her sermons, Believing in Evolution, in 1994.

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