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Hidden Blessings

The Rev. Sarah Buteux July 2, 2017 Matthew 10:40-42 Before worship began last Sunday a man came to the door of the church on crutches needing help. Ernie welcomed him in and made him comfortable before he set off to find me and let me know we had a guest. As soon as I heard, I went up, offered him a cup of cold water - (because that’s just what you do, I swear I hadn’t read ahead in the lectionary) and I sat down for a few minutes to hear his story. This is not an unusual occurrence here at First Churches. We are a downtown church, after all, and I’m thankful to say that church still means something to people, especially when they’re down and out. Whether or not they are religious, people seem to feel a little [...]

By | 2017-07-05T13:18:41+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Coming Into One’s Own in the Family of God

Rev. Sarah Buteux June 4, 2017 Confirmation Sunday Acts 2:1- 21   “Coming into one’s own.” Have you ever heard that expression before? It’s kind of what we’re doing today, right? Today is the day you affirm the faith you have been raised in as your own. But it’s kind of a strange phrase and a strange concept, when you think about it. Strange: this idea that you can actually ever reach a stage in life where you know yourself to have become your full self, your best self; this idea that you can come to a place where you know you have reached your full potential and are solid and secure in who you are, what you do, all you know. Can any of you out there remember the moment when you finally came into your own? Have any [...]

By | 2017-06-04T13:09:18+00:00 June 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Northampton Pride Parade Defies Rain, Marches On

Article printed in Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 8, 2017. By Morgan Hughes NORTHAMPTON — Despite the threat of rain, an estimated 30,000 people were out on the streets for the 36th annual Northampton Pride Parade, which kicked off at noon Saturday. Tens of thousands of cheerful and colorfully decorated people lined up around Main and Bridge streets to celebrate and advocate for the LGBTQ community. “My moms are gay and I support other people who are gay,” said Maya Lieberman Bachman, 14, enjoying an unobstructed view from the bed of a pickup truck in front of TD Bank on Main Street before the parade. “I like being here for the fun of it, and being able to support people.” With a “Born This Way” flag hung behind their lawn chairs as they cheered and waved, Maya, her friend Jane Techu, [...]

By | 2017-05-10T12:14:29+00:00 May 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love God

This daily devotional was written by teens in Massachusetts to help us love throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love God. April 11   https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RJMaRWsi9Kk What benefits have you found from working with a team versus working alone? How does it feel knowing you can count on your teammates? Even when you may think you are alone, you always have the ultimate teammate. God always has your back. "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

By | 2017-03-08T10:12:39+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love Our Families

This daily devotional was written by teens from all over Massachusetts, to help us love better throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love our Families. March 20 “ First, be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5: 24 Here is a list of easy activities that you can do with your family during Lent that do not require electronics, and engage your spirit, mind and body! Going for a walk together Bike ride Change competitive games to cooperative games (ex: Instead of having your own money in Monopoly, share the wealth) Play the game Sorry, and each time you leave Start, meditate on an instance that needs apology until you get to Home. Color Tag (When the tagger is getting close, you can be “safe” by touching the ground [...]

By | 2017-03-08T09:09:24+00:00 March 20th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love Our Neighbors

This daily devotional was written by teens from all over Massachusetts, to help us love better throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love our neighbors. March 18 By Greg Richane [Slow Down] ________ Immerse Yourself in your neighbor's context __________ Put yourself in a position to LISTEN _______ See specifics Share specifics ___________ Exchange words SHARE ENERGY

By | 2017-03-08T09:08:18+00:00 March 18th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love Ourselves

This daily devotional was written by teens in Massachusetts to help us practice loving better throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love ourselves. March 12 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm him. Plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 Don’t ask yourself what the world needs ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that because because what the world needs is people who have come alive.-Howard Washington Thurman

By | 2017-03-08T09:14:36+00:00 March 12th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love Ourselves

This daily devotional was written by teens in Massachusetts to help us practice loving better throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love ourselves. March 11 “Love yourself first first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”-Lucille Ball   Physical exercises is a great form of self-care and a healthy way to de-stress and take time to listen to your inner voice. Take a walk, go for a jog, or go for a bike ride and enjoy the benefits of this practice--yes, practice, something that we need to do not just today but everyday.      

By | 2017-03-08T09:15:10+00:00 March 11th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love Ourselves

This daily devotional was written by teens in Massachusetts to help us practice loving better throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love ourselves. March 10 Meditation is a great way of reconnecting with oneself and practice self-care. Deep breathing is a crucial part of meditation. Take 5 deep breaths and then sit and relax as you read this meditation.   Meditation Stardust…..the sprinkling of the universe's light into each of us. Imagine the feeling of glowing from the heart. Imagine knowing that you are connected to everything in the universe….and that you are perfect. Imagine it because that is who you are. Imagine it because when you live with Stardust, with light in your heart, you live in your greatness. Prayer My brilliant Image One day the sun admitted, I am just a shadow. I wish I could show you [...]

By | 2017-03-08T09:16:26+00:00 March 10th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love Ourselves

This daily devotional was written by teens in Massachusetts to help us practice loving better throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love ourselves. March 9 When God made creation, God pronounced it good. And on the sixth day, when God created humanity, God pronounced it all very good.   The image above of God's creation was captured on a reflective walk and photo session. Take a walk, snap a picture, and be grateful for the wonderful life God has given each of us.

By | 2017-03-08T09:18:05+00:00 March 9th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments