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So far Todd Weir has created 171 blog entries.

House Church Schedule for Lent 2017

Our House Church Groups begin on Monday, February 27.  The readings for each week are listed below.  Feel free to add comments and insights to the page.  Enjoy the book and your groups!   If you are looking for a group contact the church office at (413) 584-9392 or admin@firstchurches.org. Week 1 - Feb. 27                                                                                                                                                          Introduction through Chapter 2 (A Deeper Loyalty)  p. 1-49 [...]

By | February 21st, 2017|Adult Education|0 Comments

“Are There Exceptions to the Golden Rule?”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir February 19,2017 Scriptures: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Matthew 5:38-48 I began the week knowing that I would be preaching on love your neighbor, love your enemies, and turn the other cheek. Since Gandhi and Martin Luther King saw our Gospel text as a strategy for nonviolent resistance to injustice, I watched for examples. Last Saturday our Church Vision and Organization meeting moved because the Sugar Shack Alliance, an environmental group, was offering nonviolent resistance training, and nearly 50 people, mostly young women, signed up. We have had space requests for more training, and groups like The Worker’s Center have dozens of millennials who are organizing a safe streets program to protect and be in solidarity with immigrants. Young people are rediscovering nonviolent action. I had coffee with Rabbi Justin David, who was recently arrested with a [...]

By | February 20th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: “Choosing to Live in Right Relationship”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir February 12, 2017 Scripture:  Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Matthew 5:21-35 (Click on the play button above left to listen to the sermon.) I have found a great appreciation for the book of Deuteronomy this week.  This is a very ancient law book, now nearly three millennia old.  Some of these laws feel strange and dated, such as practices for animal sacrifices, that they like lambs should not have blemishes.  Don’t use mixed fibers and shellfish are an abomination.  Others laws are remarkably relevant.  Don’t eat dead animals you find on the ground.  Appoint judges in every city who are impartial and who don’t take bribes.  Hired workers should be paid fairly.  Debts should be forgiven after seven years.  Parts of the crop should be set aside for poor people.  Here is a good one from [...]

By | February 17th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Life Outside the Salt Shaker

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir February 5, 2017 Scripture:  Matthew 5:13-20 (Click on the "play" button below to hear the sermon.) Jesus said we are to be the salt of the earth.  Salt is one of the essential things for life that is often taken for granted and forgotten.  You probably did not think much about salt this week, but consider how often you unknowingly use and need it.  Salt is more than a condiment to make our food taste better.  Our body needs a certain amount for good health.  The chemical compound for salt, sodium chloride, is essential for many chemical reactions which take place in the body.  When deprived of it we become dehydrated, our blood pressure will drop and we would eventually slip into a coma and die without salt.  Of course, this must be [...]

By | February 6th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Religious Leaders Decry Travel Ban

by JACK SUNTRUP @JackSuntrup NORTHAMPTON — Religious leaders across the state on Tuesday called on President Donald Trump to reconsider his executive order that freezes refugee resettlement in the United States for four months. In an open letter, the Massachusetts Council of Churches called the executive order “injurious.” “We grieve this decision to limit refugees, as it will cause further suffering, not just to our fellow Christians escaping persecution, but all refugees fleeing violence,” the letter reads. It quotes from scripture, specifically Deuteronomy 10:19: “You shall also love the foreigner, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.” “Our savior was a migrant,” the letter continues. “We hear Jesus Christ declare in Matthew 25 that His followers will be judged if we do not welcome the stranger. We stand under that judgment today.” The letter ends with a call [...]

By | February 1st, 2017|News|0 Comments

Lenten House Church Dialog Series

“The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian” By Brian McLaren Inviting all believers, questioners and questioning believers to a rich faith discussion!  First Churches will begin home reflection groups for the Lenten Season beginning on the week of Monday, February 27 and continuing for 6 weeks until Holy Week and Easter in mid-April.  Groups will meet weekly, and we hope to offer 4-5 different times and locations in the day and evening.  Sign ups will begin as soon as we set the sites and dates.  (Please contact pastor@firstchurches.org if you are willing to be a group facilitator or willing to host a group in your home.  You don't have to do both!) Books will be on sale at the church starting Sunday, February 5 at a cost of $15. Here [...]

By | January 29th, 2017|Adult Education, News|0 Comments

Sermon: What is a Disciple to Do?

Sermon preached by Rev. Todd Weir January 22, 2017 Scripture: Matthew 4:12-23   What would Jesus do?  WWJD?  I never bought the bracelet, but I do think this is a foundational moral question. If we want to be followers of Jesus.  So, how do you think Jesus would have spent this inauguration weekend?  Would Jesus have attended worship at the National Cathedral on Friday, proclaiming with Franklin Graham that the rain is a sign of God’s blessing?  Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Baptist megachurch in Dallas, preaching from the Prophet Nehemiah, famous for building a wall around Jerusalem to keep the city safe.1 Would Jesus bless Trump or any President, saying that God had called them to be president?  Or would Jesus have been hanging around with Congressman John Lewis, or wearing a pink hat with kitten ears on Saturday?  [...]

By | January 23rd, 2017|Sermons|2 Comments

Sermon: “More Light and Truth…Stay Tuned!”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir January 15, 2017 Scripture:  Isaiah 49:1-7 Click on the play button below to listen to the sermon.   Preaching this weekend in the shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. always fills me with a mix of hope and of fear.  Dr. King was the complete package; a gifted theologian whose thoughts and writings inspired; a second-generation black preacher formed in the passion and rythyms of the Gospel tradition, a person of immense courage speaking in the face of death threats, and a leader and strategist who could not only say, “Let justice roll down like waters,” but also build the irrigation system.  The man, the moment and the movement came together and made Martin.   I am inspired and challenged, not simply because his light shines so brightly compared to mine, but something [...]

By | January 16th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: “From Resolution to Revolution”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Sunday, January 8, 2017 Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17 (Click below on play button to hear the sermon.) It’s time to write some New Years' resolutions.  (Get out a pen.)  Where do I start?  How about some exercise?  I make that resolution every year.  (Write down "Exercise four times a week.")  That should do it.   I think it is good to start with the body, if we can't tend the body, how will we ever tend the soul?  The body is the Temple, and without being well, I can't get other stuff done.   I have two more stand-by resolutions.  Write in my daily journal.  This is my primary spiritual practice.  Things get clear to me, as I think and feel on paper.  This is the one thing I still do with pen and ink in [...]

By | January 9th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments