Peace and Justice

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Journal Notes from a Visit to Israel Palestine

        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 admin@firstchurches.org and we would be happy to get you a copy.

By |2017-01-18T20:14:59-05:00March 14th, 2016|Mission & Outreach, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

Songs for Syria: A Concert for Humanitarian Relief

                    The Valley Syrian Relief Committee presents a Concert for Humanitarian Relief, September 27th 2015 @ 3:00pm, Featuring Jazz, Blues and a special performance by Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble, and guests. Layaali is absolutely exquisite! Their charm, warmth and humanity will leave you breathless and eager for more."- Dr. Calvin Chen, Department of Politics, Mt. Holyoke College Concert Admission is free, donations encouraged. All funday raised will be donated to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a non-political, non-profit organization of medical professionals who provide medicine and medical services to Syrian civilians and refugees in neighboring countries.   If you are unable to attend but would like to support SAMS, visit the Valley Syrian Relief Committee's Facebook page or contribute directly to SAMS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VVoCxdm7T8 Remarks Dr. Abdul Fatah Elshaar, President of [...]

By |2017-01-18T20:15:06-05:00September 4th, 2015|Mission & Outreach, News, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

Medea Benjamin to Speak at First Churches This Sunday!

        Sunday, August 16th at 4 PM, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, will be speaking at here at First Churches (129 Main St) in Northampton, MA! She will be talking about The Axis of Diplomacy: Cuba, Iran and North Korea with a Q&A to follow. No ticket or registration necessary. We hope to see you there!! Buy your copy of Medea Benjamin's Drone Warfare book  and help CODEPINK ground the drones now! Click the link for more information!

By |2017-01-18T20:15:06-05:00August 12th, 2015|Mission & Outreach, News, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

NOHO PRIDE PARADE 2015

Once again First Churches was able to participate in the Annual Pride Parade celebrating our Open and Affirming Congregations. The First Churches Contingency There were many that came out to support the LGBT community. As Clergry, we support one another   We were not alone                 The Northampton Community can count on seeing the First Churches banner again and again!!     Pastor Todd, Dori and Sandie proudly representing our loving congregation   To find out more about the Northampton Pride Parade, follow the link

By |2017-01-18T20:15:07-05:00June 9th, 2015|Mission & Outreach, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

Understanding and Healing War’s Deepest Wounds

Three authors of recent books who examine war trauma and healing from different perspectives  share their work and join our moderator in a discussion on the challenge that faces us all: to help our veterans come back whole to themselves, their families, and their community. The authors are Mark Nickerson, LICSW, The Wounds Within: A Veteran, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015), by Mark I. Nickerson and Joshua S. Goldstein. This is an inside account of the iconic case of Marine Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey, a Belchertown MA vet whose battle with PTSD ended when he took his life after returning home from the early months of the Iraq War. Nickerson, an internationally recognized expert on trauma treatment who saw Jeff through his private practice, also examines the Lucey family’s decade-long campaign to improve a VA suicide [...]

By |2015-04-09T09:52:53-04:00April 8th, 2015|Mission & Outreach, News, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

PREPARING FOR THE LENTEN CARBON FAST

 2015 Center for Eco Technology presents “Ways to Save at Home” Second Hour on Feb. 15th You are invited to join Amanda Jacir of the Center for Eco Technology after worship in the Parlor to learn more about ways to reduce carbon (and spending!) at home. She will present two Green Energy programs you can participate in as a renter or homeowner. Mass Save offers free home energy assessment for home owners and renters. Mass Energy is programs to purchase clean energy for your electric bill. Come learn more about how you can either save money or increase your use of green energy. Click the link below for more information.

By |2017-01-18T20:15:10-05:00February 2nd, 2015|Environment, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

BOLIVIA

  David Entin, a member of the Peace and Justice Committee, just returned from a 10-day trip to Bolivia. He will be sharing with us what he learned as a member of the Food Sovereignty and Native Resistance Delegation in the Second Hour on Sunday, Nov. 16th.  Bolivia just re-elected Evo Morales and his Movement toward Socialism (MAS) Party to a third term with 60% of the vote against four opponents. President Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, received more votes in every province/state than in the previous election. During his five year term as President, the country’s economy grew at 6% a year and extreme poverty was reduced from one third to one fifth of the population. Come learn more about how the program of this Socialist Administration is benefiting those most in need in one of the poorest countries [...]

By |2017-01-18T20:15:17-05:00November 3rd, 2014|Mission & Outreach, Peace and Justice|0 Comments

Casino Gambling Forum on Ballot Question #3: October 27 @ 7 PM

Wondering why Massachusetts casinos are back on the ballot again? To find out, come to the Casino Gambling Forum on Monday, Oct. 27, 7pm, in Northampton First Churches' Lyman Hall. The panel will include Bob Steele, a former Connecticut congressman, who has written a book called "The Curse," describing the effect of casino gambling on a CT town. Also speaking will be Bob Goodman, a retired Hampshire College professor, who is one of the top researchers in the country on gambling. Organizers at the church made several attempts to find people to represent the pro-casino point of view, but they all "declined the invitation." They have a large TV advertising budget. Be sure to vote Tuesday, Nov. 4. "No" means casinos will be built in Massachusetts. Voting "Yes" means no Massachusetts casinos.   Here's a good feature from WBUR-FM last [...]

By |2017-01-18T20:15:18-05:00October 20th, 2014|Peace and Justice|0 Comments

First Churches at the People’s Climate March

“Planet Over Profit”, “Windmills not Weapons”, “Don't Frack with U.S.” These were a few of the signs we saw in Manhattan on Sunday, 9/21, when eight members of First Churches got off the Haydenville UCC bus, one of 450 buses coming in from all over the country, and joined 400,000 people (including Peter and Jenny Ives) for the People's Climate March, an all-day parade organized by Bill McKibben's 360.Org and supported by almost every progressive group in the US. Why? It was an attempt to influence 100 world leaders coming to a Climate Summit at the UN two days later. At the last climate conference, these leaders gave fancy speeches, then went home and did business as usual. Pres. Obama called for "voluntary" climate goals. As a result, the US, China, and India spewed more carbon into the air last [...]

By |2017-01-18T20:15:18-05:00October 6th, 2014|Peace and Justice|0 Comments

Mayor Narkewicz Says “¡Si!”

Suppose you missed your bus to work and feared you'd lose your job, even though it was only minimum wage.  (You were working 60 hours a week, supporting a family of 3 young children.)  So you borrowed a friend's car, only to be stopped by the police for a burned-out license-plate light.  They asked to see your license, but you did not have one, since federal law forbids undocumented immigrants from getting drivers' licenses.  Your parents had brought you here as a child, but there was no way for you to become a legal citizen in this "land of the free and home of the brave."  Suppose the local police complied with the federal "Secure Communities" law, and turned you over to US  Immigration and Customs police, who locked you up in prison indefinitely, then deported you, leaving you standing [...]

By |2017-01-18T20:15:19-05:00September 15th, 2014|Peace and Justice|0 Comments