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So far Vanessa Keillor has created 64 blog entries.

600 gather for climate action in Northampton

By STEPHANIE MURRAY  @StephMurr_Jour  Printed in the Saturday, January 28, 2017 NORTHAMPTON — If there were ever a time to get involved in the fight against climate change, it appeared to be Saturday for Valley residents. Some 600 people packed First Churches on Main Street for “Climate Action in a Time of Crisis,” a panel made up of local leaders and experts to address the dangers of, and solutions to, climate change. Climate forums typically attract some 40 to 50 people in the city, but Saturday’s event drew 10 times that number. “This is the fight of our lives, folks,” said panelist Marty Nathan of Climate Action NOW. Additional panelists were state Senate President Stan Rosenberg, newly elected state Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, and Smith College Professor Nat Fortune. Lilly Lombard moderated the panel. “At this moment, we are faced with [...]

By | January 31st, 2017|Environment, News, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

Help for Syria Urged at Northampton Rally

By JACK SUNTRUP @JackSuntrup Daily Hampshire Gazette, Sunday, December 18, 2016 NORTHAMPTON — A world away from Aleppo, Syria, Zaid AlNassar stood behind a microphone Sunday and in Arabic tried to convey an unimaginable feeling: the pain of a relentless war that has ripped apart his homeland. Wind swept in and clouds churned overhead as about 100 people huddled in front of First Churches of Northampton, endeavoring to do what they could to help put an end to Syria’s civil war. “The pain and the bloodshed is unimaginable in Syria and in Aleppo,” AlNassar said through a translator. “Every day hundreds and hundreds of people die.” AlNassar, 37, who now lives in Westfield with his wife and five children, said he and his family were resettled in Massachusetts two years ago from Daraa, Syria, a city credited with helping spark [...]

By | December 19th, 2016|News|0 Comments

Common Ground in the News

By Heather Adams | Hadams@masslive.com  Follow on Twitter on September 26, 2016 at 10:40 AM As the sun begins to set, approximately two dozen people line picnic tables topped with fresh tomatoes, bread and fruits in the middle of Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden. Most of the food at the dinner was grown in the community garden by members of Common Ground, a farm-to-table dinner church through First Churches of Northampton. Read the full story here

By | September 26th, 2016|Common Ground, News|0 Comments

Green Party Presidential Candidate Speaks at First Churches

“The mythology is hold your nose and vote for the lesser evil and things will get better. “Lesser evil” politicians have been speaking for us and they are bought and paid for by their corporate influences consisting of “predatory banks, the fossil fuel giants, the war profiteers and the health insurance industry.” — Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein speaking during a campaign appearance at First Churches in Northampton Sept. 18, 2016 Photo by Kevin Gutting- The Valley Advocate   Photo Credit, Kevin Gutting for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, September 19, 2016 The Daily Hampshire Gazette: Monday, September 19, 2016 Story by Luis Feldman for The Gazette NORTHAMPTON — Green-Rainbow Party nominee for president Jill Stein spoke at the First Churches in Northampton on Sunday night with a message: Vote for the greater good, not the lesser evil. [...]

By | September 20th, 2016|News|0 Comments

FY 2015/2016 Annual Report

Friends, Here is the annual report for Fiscal Year 2015/2016. I mistakenly left out the clerk's report, so you will find it as a separate attachment here, and at the end of the printed annual report. Many thanks to all of you that submitted reports, and assisted with everything else going on around the Annual Meeting, we couldn't have done it without you. Click here to read: 20152016-annual-report clerk-report    

By | September 16th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Has Peace & Justice Been Up To?

Last month Manny Pintado attended the Jobs for Justice annual conference in Washington DC. On the school scene, he reported hedgefund managers are undermining public education by funding only charter schools. They're also donating to colleges huge sums of money with strings attached, to influence the course material. On the  work front, only 13% of US jobs are now unionized. Many workers can earn only the federal minimum wage -- $7.25/ hour --with no benefits, and an irregular schedule. On March 8 we co-sponsored an International Woman's Day celebration in Lyman Hall. The group honored several women from different parts of MA who are organizing against the Kinder-Morgan pipeline, a 30” diameter pipe running from the fracked-gas fields of PA to the coast, for export, contaminating whatever it touches, including MA protected forest land.  Also receiving an award was P&J [...]

By | April 6th, 2016|Mission & Outreach, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

Bible Study Continues

BIBLE STUDY "The Book of Comfort”  Monday Lunchtime Bible Study,      The lunchtime Bible Study group will be starting a new phase April  in our study of the prophet Isaiah. After weeks looking at the strong justice message of strong oracles by the prophet, the second part of Isaiah turns to the promises and hopes as people long to escape exile in Babylon. Some of our best hymns and images of faith come from the following list of passages: Isaiah 40: Comfort, Comfort, O My People… Prepare the Way in the Desert… Eagles Wings Isaiah 43: Behold, I am doing a new thing Isaiah 53: The suffering servant.. a man of sorrows, oppressed and afflicted Isaiah 55: Come all who are thirsty Isaiah 60: Arise, shine for your light has come Isaiah 61: Good news to the poor, the year of Jubilee [...]

By | April 6th, 2016|Adult Education, Education|0 Comments