Gleaning a Success!
Above are some of the hands that gleaned 300 lbs. of potatoes, beets and carrots for Rachel’s Table this past Sunday. Youth from First Churches, Edwards, and St. John’s worked together to harvest food at Brookfield Farm in Amherst. They then transported all that fresh produce down to Kate’s Kitchen in Holyoke. Kate’s Kitchen provides a hot noon time meal 365 days a year to anyone in need. Through their lunch program they also empower, educate, and train un-employed and underemployed individuals interested in the culinary field.

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I am really proud of our youth and very thankful to Manny Pintado who stepped in at the last moment to help chaperone this event. This trip wouldn’t have been possible without his help. Thanks Manny!

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First Churches is now part of a joint youth group – for kids 6th grade and up – with Edwards, Haydenville, U.C.C., and St. John’s. Gleaning with Rachel’s table served as our first big event together. Joining together in service activities was one of the top interests our youth expressed. We’re off to a great start!

Many Thanks to Angie and Kelli Montalvo-Greene for hosting the Scarecrow Making Party

It was a lot of fun meeting parents and kids from the larger community. There was great food and lots of fun to be had stuffing hay into old clothes and creating some very funky scarecrows. My kids had a great time, and I’m sure everyone else’s kids did too. Thank you, Angie and Kelli, for your gracious hospitality.
Service Focus for November
We at First Churches have recently opened our doors, or more specifically set aside a closet in our basement, for the Friends of the Homeless to store toiletries. The Christian Education Board thought we could offer them a warm welcome by helping to get the closet stocked for winter. During our offering time through the month of November, the Children will be collecting sample size shampoos, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, etc. as well as socks. Please join with them in contributing to this effort.

Craft Table at the Christmas Fair
We can use some volunteers to help us entertain kids during the Christmas Fair. I have a fun and easy craft for children, but we need a few more hands to help. It’s also a great opportunity to tell people in our community about our wonderful Sunday School. Let Pastor Sarah know if you would like to help.

And Speaking of Sunday School…
Patti and Rachel will be teaching this month, but we can still use two more teachers for the month of November. Many thanks to Gabe and Stacey for all their help through September and October. They helped get our Sunday school off to a great start.
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And Finally Common Ground …

will now be providing child care during our worship time. Maggie Krone, who provides child care in our nursery on Sundays, has agreed to come and help with the children on Thursday nights.

We still want to encourage children to be as much a part of our worship as they would like to be. But Maggie will be on hand to create a safe space in the parlor adjoining our worship service, where kids can find even more things to do while still being under the watchful eye of a caring adult.

Maggie is wonderful with children, and the parlor is close enough that kids can come back in and rejoin us for communion, the blessing, or any part of the service to which they feel drawn.

I’d like to thank everyone for their support of this new ministry and especially thank the Christian Education Committee for seeing the importance of funding childcare during this time.