J McGovern


Congressman James McGovern to Speak at “Beyond the Band-Aid”

Public Forum June 23

 Why are a growing number of people in America hungry, poor, homeless, and unemployed if we are the world’s richest nation?   What can be done to address the root causes of these conditions?   A public forum entitled “Beyond the Band-Aid” will be held at 6 pm on Sunday, June 23, at First Churches, Northampton to address these important questions.  Congressman James McGovern will give the keynote speech at the forum.


The Forum will open with brief statements by leaders of major agencies serving low income residents of the Pioneer Valley.   They will share information about the growing numbers of hungry, poor, homeless, and unemployed people of local communities.   Agency representatives offering updates on the increasing need will be:

Andrew Morehead, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts;

Clare Higgins, Community Action, Inc.;

Wanda Rolon, Service Net; and

John Weisman, Jobs with Justice.

Representative James McGovern, the U.S. Congressman whose newly re-drawn district  includes Northampton, will provide the major address of the evening, followed by a dialogue among the participants and written questions from the audience.    Rev. Todd Weir, pastor of First Churches, will moderate the forum.  All members of the community are invited to attend.

The Forum is sponsored by the Peace and Justice Committee of First Churches.   The Committee believes in the Biblical mandate of caring for the poor and works to educate on the need for societal change, as in the message from the prophet Isaiah (58:6-7), “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; and when you see the naked, to cover them. . .?”

For further information, call David Entin, chair of the Peace and Justice Committee at 413-341-3042 (or cell 413-210-7085) or Rev. Todd Weir, pastor, First Churches, 413-584-9392 (or cell 845-489-1506).