BACK FROM THE BRINK Should First Churches take a stand against the looming possibility of God’s green earth being destroyed by a nuclear Armageddon? On Sunday, Sept.23, our congregation will have a chance to vote on this agenda item: “A Resolution Calling for the United States to ‘Pull Back from the Brink’ and Prevent Nuclear War.” The essence of the resolution is as follows: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that First Churches in Northampton, Massachusetts, calls upon our federal and state leaders to embrace the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and make nuclear disarmament the centerpiece of our national policy. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that First Churches calls upon our federal leaders and our nation to spearhead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by: Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first; Ending the president’s sole unchecked [...]
Photo Credits, Janet Gula Left, Easter Cross, Right, Local Clergy and members of First Churches, Edwards Church, and St. John's Episcopal singing before the Palm Sunday Processional Left, memorial for Berta Caeceres, Right, Bell Choir, Photo Credit, Janet Gula
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 [...]
"Stunning." "Remarkable." "Unbelievable." "SO powerful and moving!" We heard these words again and again, as hundreds of people came to journey through the FLIGHT installation this past week. Thank you, thank you so much to artists Robin Brooks, Martha Brouwer, Harriet Diamond, Mary Frongillo, Laura Iveson, Phyllis Labanowski, Catherine Linberg, Mona Shiber, Rochelle Shicoff, Naomi Tannen, Denie Whalen, refugee women from Burundi and refugee youth from Bhutan for creating fabulous, powerful, provocative art and for all the ways they offered their time and energy to making the show happen. And to the many other behind-the-scenes folks, equally as important to making the show happen, who showed up and did the grunt work so graciously. None of this could have been possible without the wonderful support of the members, pastors and staff of First Churches, who gave over Lyman Hall during [...]
Our dear friend and Peace & Justice committee member, David Entin, has returned from a trip to Israel and Palestine. David shares his experience with us through his journal notes. Please take the time to read his notes, and make sure to join us after church on April 3rd for a talk and slide show in the First Churches Parlor. Journal Notes from Israel and Palestine If you prefer to read David's notes in print form, please feel free to call the Church Office at 413-584-9392, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to get you a copy.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our Haiti Scholarship drive. First Churches sent $4253.00 to Global Ministries to be used for scholarships for K-13 students at the CONASPEH school in Port-au-Prince. That is enough for 36 students to attend for free. Thank you for your generosity. Catherine Jordan and Pauline Bassett planned to visit Haiti in January with two members of First Church in Longmeadow. We were especially looking forward to a trip to the artist colony of Jacmel with Miguelson Charles. Unfortunately, Patrick Villier, head of CONASPEH, advised us not to make the trip in January due to uncertainty surrounding the runoff elections scheduled for after Christmas. The First Church group is now going in February, but no one from First Churches is able to go at that time. The runoff Presidential elections in Haiti [...]
The Vision Team is ready to launch our “Holy Conversation” about First Churches’ future. We invite you to Stage One: A Half Day Retreat on Congregational Strengths and Health - January 30 from 10 AM to 2 PM in Lyman Hall We will begin to explore our assets and strengths for the future, and how we can best maximize our resources for faith and mission. The process will include time for small group conversations, and well as personal reflections on your place in the future of the church. This is a HIGH PRIORITY meeting to listen to one another and to hear the Holy Spirit in our midst. Our process is not a roadmap with the destination set. It depends on what comes up in conversation. We will also have a [...]
“Oonagh buen dia. le cuento que estuvimos agradeciendo al creador por los niños, la mayoría salio bien en sus clases, solo 3 perdieron el año y al mismo tiempo agradecimos por la ayuda de su familia, su persona y de su iglesia y en especial por los niños que mandaron los materiales. se prendieron velas y se le dio una pequeña refacción, hubo chuchitos y cafecito.” School Supplies are given to students “Hello Oonagh - I tell you we were thanking the creator for the children, most of whom came out well in their classes, only three did not pass the year and at the same time we thank you for the help given by you, your family and the church, and for the children especially who you sent materials. We lit candles and had a little [...]