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May 23, 2021 – Pentecost

THE FIRST CHURCH OF DEERFIELD
“The Brick Church”  / “The Brickless Church”

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) and welcome to worship. This morning, for the first time in fourteen months, members of First Church of Deerfield gathered bodily for worship, on the lawn of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in old Deerfield. We give thanks for the dual blessings of warm weather and effective vaccines that made this gathering possible, and for the many creative spirits and willing hands that helped in preparing our reunion.

For our members and friends who are unable gather in person, we offer this digital version of the morning’s service, and continue to make this pledge: whoever you are, and wherever you may be (figuratively or literally), you are welcome here.

 

ORDER OF WORSHIP
Sunday, May 23, 2021 – PENTECOST

 

PRELUDE
Prelude   Andante   G.P Telemann
Dr. Thomas Pousont, organ

CALL TO WORSHIP

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings,
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays,
Today the church draws breath at last and sings,
As every flame becomes a tongue of praise.
This is the feast of Fire, Air and Water,
Poured out and breathed and kindled into Earth.
The Earth herself awakens to her maker,
Translated out of death and into birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release.
Today the gospel crosses every border,
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace.
Today the lost are found in his translation,
Whose mother-tongue is love, in every nation.
​(Malcolm Guite, Pentecost)

HYMN
Hymn  Siyahamba
Thomas Pousont, vocals

 

READING
The Acts of the Apostles 2:1-21 (NIV)

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young people will see visions,
your elders will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.

PRAYER OF INVOCATION
God of Pentecost,send your translating spirit among us. Teach us to speak in tongues of love;
so that speaking, we may be heard; and hearing, we may understand; and understanding, we may be reconciled to one another and to you. Amen.

SERMON
What just happened?
Rev. Knapp


HYMN

Hymn  Be Still, My Soul
Karen Smith Emerson, Nancy Pond, Thomas Pousont, Marc Dancer

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
May 23, 2021
shared by Mary Dancer

SHARING OF GIFTS
Today’s special offering will go to Save the Children, to support their work in caring for children in crisis at the US border. To make a donation, click here and select “Save the Children” from the drop-down menu. 

BLESSING OF THE OFFERING

As a fire spreads,
As a wind blows,
As a dove flies,
So your Spirit moves,
Disregarding the boundaries
we have set for your grace.
May our love, too,
Reach beyond our borders.

Bless these gifts we offer today,
And through them, bless
The children who come from away.
Guard them from all harm,
And speed their deliverance
Into safe and loving homes.

You have taught us,
That where our treasure is, there
Will our heart be also;
May this offering open our hearts,
To those who seek refuge.
For we remember that our ancestors, too
Were once strangers in a strange land.

In the name of Christ, in the name of Love,
And by all your holy names, we pray. Amen.

HYMN
Hymn  O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing
Karen Smith Emerson, Nancy Pond, Thomas Pousont, Marc Dancer

BENEDICTION 

Go now in peace, in love, and in joy.
To seek the signs of grace.
May your souls be refreshed by the winds of the Spirit.
May your hearts be ignited by her flame.

May your scars you bear become your story,
And may your story become your gift to the world.

RESPONSE
Benediction Response  God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again
Karen Smith Emerson, Nancy Pond, Thomas Pousont, Marc Dancer

POSTLUDE
Postlude  Lobe den Herren   J.G. Walther

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

LET’S GET TOGETHER!  As the weather warms, new possibilities emerge for connection. The deacons are helping to arrange small, outdoor gatherings (of no more than four people) for the purpose of enjoying one another’s company and (re)discovering our common ground.  If you would like to participate in one of these gatherings, CLICK HERE to let us know you are interested, and one of the deacons will contact you.  I look forward to seeing you soon! — Pastor Liza

BE A PART OF OUR MINISTRY: If you have found spiritual sustenance at the Brick Church (or the Brickless Church!), and you would like to be part of our ministry and mission, we hope you will consider making a donation or pledge in support to the First Church of Deerfield. MAKE A PLEDGE or GIVE NOW or send check to:
The First Church of Deerfield, P.O. Box 276, 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342)

 

The First Church of Deerfield
an inclusive, inquisitive congregation of
the United Church of Christ
and the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Liza B. Knapp, Pastor
deerfieldpastor@gmail.com
office@firstchurchofdeerfield.org.
Dr. Thomas Pousont, Director of Music Ministry
Tom Mershon, Sexton
Pat Auchard, Office Administrator
Ann Hallstein, Pastor Emerita

If you wish to make a donation in support of our ministry,
text “GIVE” to (413) 307-3730 or click below:
https://fcd.breezechms.com/give/online.

May 16, 2021 (Ascension)

THE FIRST CHURCH OF DEERFIELD
“The Brick Church”  / “The Brickless Church”

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) and welcome to worship. The Brick Church Meeting House remains closed due to coronavirus response measures, and so we invite you to worship with us here — in the Brickless Church.

Whoever you are, wherever you may be (figuratively or literally), you are welcome here.

 

 

ORDER OF WORSHIP
Sunday, May 16,  2021
7th Sunday of Eastertide / Ascension Sunday

 

PRELUDE
Premier Kyrie     François Couperin
Dr. Thomas Pousont, organ

CALL TO WORSHIP
Welcome and Call to Worship
Rev. Liza B. Knapp

HYMN
Hymn #211  Crown Him with Many Crowns (Verses 1-3)
Thomas Pousont, vocalist

 

AFFIRMATION
(Each week during Eastertide, we offer an affirmation from a different part of our wider tradition. This week’s affirmation comes from the Iona Community of Scotland.)

With the whole church
we affirm that we are made in God’s image,
befriended by Christ,
empowered by the Spirit.

With people everywhere
we affirm God’s goodness at the heart of humanity,
planted more deeply than all that is wrong.

With all creation
we celebrate the miracle and wonder of life,
the unfolding purposes of God,
forever at work in ourselves and the world.

PAUSE FOR CONTEMPLATION

rest here in openness,
for a moment, or more

 

READING
The Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11
read by Liza

 

 

SERMON
Heads in the Clouds
Rev. Knapp

 

ANTHEM
Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen    African-American Spiritual  
Choral Scholar Christopher Gergis, bass

 

PRAYERS OF THE WORLD
(Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky of the Park Avenue Synagogue, NYC)

We pray that our prayers change us and the world.
We pray for the safety of Israelis and Palestinians.
We pray that both sides find a way to forge a lasting peace.
We pray that no one with the power to save life stands idly by.
Amen

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
May 16, 2021
shared by Mary Dancer

 

ANTHEM
Steal Away       African-American Spiritual 
Choral Scholar Stephen Morris, baritone

OFFERING

“If anyone has the world’s goods and sees their sibling in need, yet closes their hand, how does God’s love abide in them? Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and in truth.”
1st Letter of John 3:17-18

(To make a donation to the ministries of First Church of Deerfield, see Announcements below.)

 

DEDICATION

May these gifts
be a sign of our gratitude,
that you are steadfast in your love;
and a sign of our intent,
to be more steadfast in ours.
Amen.

 

HYMN
Hymn #232   Joyful, Joyful We Adore You (Verses 1,2, & 4)
Karen Smith Emerson & Joanne Potee, vocalists

BLESSING
Benediction May 16, 2021

 

POSTLUDE
Dialogue    François Couperin

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

BIG NEWS
!!!NEXT SUNDAY!!!

PENTECOST, IN-PERSON
Outdoors at PVMA

 

Sunday. May 23rd, at 10 am
(weather permitting)

Friends, it has been over a year since we gathered in person for worship. Now, thanks to the dual blessings of warm weather and effective vaccines, we are ready at last for a reunion of our beloved community! Join us for a safely distanced, in-person, outdoor worship service, May 23rd at 10 am. (Note: a digital worship service will also be available as usual, for those unable to attend — and in case of rain!)

We will gather on the west lawn of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. (Enter from their parking lot on Memorial Street in Old Deerfield — just follow the red balloons!) Socially-distanced seating will be provided; bring a cushion for comfort if you wish. Wear sturdy shoes and bring your cane if needed, as we will be on the grass. MASKS ARE REQUIRED. There will be no live singing at this service, but we may hum along to music specially recorded for us by Tom Pousont.

Questions? Concerns? Contact Liza or Mary D.

 

*******

 

BE A PART OF OUR MINISTRY

If you have found spiritual sustenance at the Brick Church (or the Brickless Church!), and you would like to be part of our ministry and mission, we hope you will consider making a donation or pledge in support to the First Church of Deerfield.

MAKE A PLEDGE
or
GIVE NOW

or send check to: The First Church of Deerfield, P.O. Box 276, 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342)

 

*******

The First Church of Deerfield
an inclusive, inquisitive congregation of
the United Church of Christ
and the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Liza B. Knapp, Pastor
deerfieldpastor@gmail.com
Dr. Thomas Pousont, Director of Music Ministry
Tom Mershon, Sexton
Pat Auchard, Office Administrator
office@firstchurchofdeerfield.org.
Ann Hallstein, Pastor Emerita

If you wish to make a donation in support of our ministry,
text “GIVE” to (413) 307-3730 or click below:
https://fcd.breezechms.com/give/online.

May 9, 2021

THE FIRST CHURCH OF DEERFIELD
“The Brick Church”  / “The Brickless Church”Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) and welcome to worship. The Brick Church Meeting House remains closed due to coronavirus response measures, and so we invite you to worship with us here — in the Brickless Church.Whoever you are, wherever you may be (figuratively or literally), you are welcome here.





ORDER OF WORSHIP
Sunday, May 9, 2021

6th Sunday of Eastertide
PRELUDE
Voluntary in G major   William Boyce
Dr. Thomas Pousont, organ

 

CALL TO WORSHIP
May 9, 2021
Rev. Liza B. Knapp

 

HYMN
Come and Find the Quiet Centre
Thomas Pousont, vocalist

 

PAUSE FOR CONTEMPLATION

rest here in openness,
for a moment, or more

SERMON
Reclaiming Mother’s Day
Rev. Knapp
CONFESSION AND AFFIRMATION
(from “Creating Peace,” a Statement of Conscience passed by the General Assembly of the UUA in 2010)

 

Our faith calls us to create peace,
yet we confess that we have not done all we could
to prevent the spread of armed conflict throughout the world.

At times we have lacked the courage
to speak and act against violence and injustice;

at times we have lacked the creativity
to speak and act in constructive ways;

at times we have condemned the violence of others
without acknowledging our own complicity in violence;

too often we have allowed our disagreements
to distract us from all that we can do together.

We affirm a responsibility to speak truth to power,
especially when unjust power is exercised by our own nation.

In reverence for all life, we covenant to practice peace
at all levels of human interaction.

Amen. Shalom. Blessed Be.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
May 9, 2021
shared by Mary Dancer

 

ANTHEM
The 23rd Psalm     Bobby McFerrin
The Deerfield Academy Chorus, directed by Thomas Pousont

 

OFFERING

“If anyone has the world’s goods and sees their sibling in need, yet closes their hand, how does God’s love abide in them? Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and in truth.”
1st Letter of John 3:17-18

(To make a donation to the First Church of Deerfield, or to donate to our Community Meal, see Announcements below.)

DEDICATION

May these gifts
be a sign of our gratitude,
that you are steadfast in your love;
and a sign of our intent,
to be more steadfast in ours.
Amen.

Smith College Greenhouse, 2018 


ANNOUNCEMENTS



BIG NEWS
!!!SAVE THE DATE!!!

PENTECOST, IN-PERSON
Outdoors at PVMA
Sunday. May 23rd
(weather permitting)

Friends, it has been over a year since we gathered in person for worship. Now, thanks to the dual blessings of warm weather and effective vaccines, we are ready at last for a reunion of our beloved community! Join us for a safely distanced, in-person, outdoor worship service, May 23rd at 10 am. (Note: a digital worship service will also be available as usual, for those unable to attend — and in case of rain!) Stay tuned for more details….

Questions? Concerns? Contact Liza or Mary D.



From the Mission Committee

This month’s non-perishable food collection will be held next  Tuesday, May 11, at the church from 1 – 1:30.  Bette Schmitt will be there to receive your donation!

Thank you!

~~

Thank you, First Church, for your extremely generous response to our call for donations to cover this month’s Community Meal. We are no longer in need of funds and due to your generosity, we now have surplus funds, that will be held for a future good cause(s).



BE A PART OF OUR MINISTRY

If you have found spiritual sustenance at the Brick Church (or the Brickless Church!), and you would like to be part of our ministry and mission, we hope you will consider making a donation or pledge in support to the First Church of Deerfield.

MAKE A PLEDGE
or
GIVE NOW

or send check to: The First Church of Deerfield, P.O. Box 276, 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342)



The First Church of Deerfield
an inclusive, inquisitive congregation of
the United Church of Christ
and the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Liza B. Knapp, Pastor
deerfieldpastor@gmail.com
office@firstchurchofdeerfield.org.
Dr. Thomas Pousont, Director of Music Ministry
Tom Mershon, Sexton
Pat Auchard, Office Administrator
Ann Hallstein, Pastor Emerita

If you wish to make a donation in support of our ministry,
text “GIVE” to (413) 307-3730 or click below:
https://fcd.breezechms.com/give/online.

May 2, 2021



ORDER OF WORSHIP
Sunday, May 2, 2021 / 5th Sunday of Eastertide

Street art by Banksy
CALL TO WORSHIP
for May 21, 2021
Whoever we are,
wherever we may be,
we worship this morning
on sacred ground.
For there is no place so large God’s love cannot fill it,
no place is so small God’s love cannot find it,
no place so lofty God’s love cannot reach it,
no place so lowly God’s love will not abide in it.
Let us welcome God’s love,
with our own.

amen.

INTROIT & HYMN
 #646  Siyahamba
vocals by Tom Pousont

 

PAUSE FOR CONTEMPLATION
rest here in openness, for a moment, or more
READING
from the Christian scriptures
The 1st Letter of John 4:7-21

read by David, Jean, Bruce, Mary, Alain, and Ben
REFLECTION
God is Love is God is Love…
Rev. Knapp
AFFIRMATION
Each week of Eastertide, our worship includes an affirmation from a different part of our spiritual traditions. These words, from the contemporary Unitarian Universalist tradition, are an affirmation, not of common theology, but of common purpose. 
We affirm that love is our greatest purpose.
Accepting one another is the truest form of faithful living.
The search for truth is our constant star.
We pledge our hearts, minds, and hands:
To challenge injustice with courage;
To find hope in times of fear;
And to live out our values every day
as a beloved community.
Thus do we covenant with each other
and with all that is sacred in life.
ANTHEM
Shumayela
Deerfield Academy Chorus
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
May 2, 2021
shared by Mary Dancer
OFFERING“If anyone has the world’s goods and sees their sibling in need, yet closes their hand, how does God’s love abide in them? Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and in truth.”
1st Letter of John 3:17-18
(To make a donation to the First Church of Deerfield, or to donate to our Community Meal, see Announcements below.)

ANTHEM
Ke Laolwa
(“I am led by the Spirit”)
Deerfield Academy Chorus

 

DEDICATION

May these gifts
be a sign of our gratitude,
that you are steadfast in your love;
and a sign of our intent,
to be more steadfast in ours.
Amen.

 

BLESSING

May love bless us and keep us;
may love shine upon us and be gracious unto us;
may love abide in us,
and we in love,
this day and evermore,
amen

RECESSIONAL HYMN
 #497   Send Me, Lord  Thuma Mina

Street art by Nick Walker. 


A note on today’s music:

We are pleased to welcome the members of the Deerfield Academy Chorus as our virtual guest musicians this morning. These student recently undertook a workshop under the guidance of conductor/arranger Steven Fischer, who has worked with both South African and American choirs. Today’s beautiful anthems are the fruits of that workshop.  All the hymns and songs in this morning’s service originated in South Africa, and reflect its history and spirit of ubuntu and social justice. To learn more, we invite you watch this beautiful Lesson on Ubuntu, prepared by members of the Chorus.



ANNOUNCEMENTS



A Request from the Mission Committee

The Mission Committee will again host a Community Meal on May 4 by rehiring  Brad’s Place for $325.00.  Unfortunately our MC budget lacks $197.55 to cover that sum.  We are requesting that, if possible, you send a check to The First Church of Deerfield for whatever sum you wish and in the memo line please write:  “For the Mission Committee’s Budget”.  If we receive a surplus then the extra will remain in the budget for further use.  As always, multiple thank yous for your attention and consideration to this worthy event.



BE A PART OF OUR MINISTRY

If you have found spiritual sustenance at the Brick Church (or the Brickless Church!), and you would like to be part of our ministry and mission, we hope you will consider making a donation or pledge in support to the First Church of Deerfield.

MAKE A PLEDGE
or
GIVE NOW

or send check to: The First Church of Deerfield, P.O. Box 276, 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342)



The First Church of Deerfield
an inclusive, inquisitive congregation of
the United Church of Christ
and the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Liza B. Knapp, Pastor
deerfieldpastor@gmail.com
office@firstchurchofdeerfield.org.
Dr. Thomas Pousont, Director of Music Ministry
Tom Mershon, Sexton
Pat Auchard, Office Administrator
Ann Hallstein, Pastor Emerita

If you wish to make a donation in support of our ministry,
text “GIVE” to (413) 307-3730 or click below:
https://fcd.breezechms.com/give/online.



April 25, 2021

THE FIRST CHURCH OF DEERFIELD
“The Brick Church”  / “The Brickless Church”

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) and welcome to worship. The Brick Church Meeting House remains closed due to coronavirus response measures, and so we invite you to worship with us here — in the Brickless Church.

Whoever you are, wherever you may be (figuratively or literally), you are welcome here.



All today’s photographs were taken yesterday at Walking Cloud Farm, Shelburne Falls, MA.


ORDER OF WORSHIP
Sunday, April 25, 2021

4th Sunday of Eastertide
PRELUDE
Prelude on Amazing Grace  P. Pindar Sterns
Dr. Thomas Pousont, organ

CALL TO WORSHIP
Psalm 100
Rev. Liza B Knapp

HYMN
Now the Green Blade Rises
Karen Smith Emerson, soprano & Marc Dancer, recorder

AFFIRMATION
Each week of Eastertide, our worship will include an affirmation from a different part of our spiritual traditions. Today’s is one of the best-known and best-beloved — not a creed in the usual sense of the word, but rather a profound affirmation of trust in God’s loving presence: 

Psalm 23 
(read by Liza)

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff–
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

PAUSE FOR CONTEMPLATION

rest here in openness,
for a moment, or more

REFLECTION
Feeding Lambs
Rev. Knapp
PRAYER

Tender Shepherd,
When we get lost — look for us.
When we are in danger — protect us.
When we are hungry — nourish us.
When our friends go astray — help us bring them home.
And if we didn’t notice they were missing — forgive us,
and teach us to keep better watch over one another.
Amen.

 

MEDITATION (IN MEMORIAM)

Still Waters
From Sally Laubin: “My cousin Paul Laubin died March 1; he was the present maker of the world famous Läubin oboe so this is a loss to the whole music world not just our family. This video was made by the CT River (you may recognize the spot) as Paul was born in Hartford Hospital which looks out over the CT River. The music is Satie (you may recognize that too) played by the Boston Pops with Alfred Genovese playing the solo on his Läubin oboe. I envision this video as a way of honoring all those we have lost during this ‘400-day Lent.’”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
April 25, 2021

shared by Mary Dancer

OFFERING

“If anyone has the world’s goods and sees their sibling in need, yet closes their hand, how does God’s love abide in them? Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and in truth.”
1st Letter of John 3:17-18

(To make a donation to the First Church of Deerfield, or to donate to our Community Meal, see Announcements below.)

ANTHEM
United We Are!
FCD Choir and Deerfield Chorus

DEDICATION

May these gifts
be a sign of our gratitude,
that you are steadfast in your love;
and a sign of our intent,
to be more steadfast in ours.
Amen.

HYMN
Amazing Grace
Karen Smith Emerson, soprano & Marc Dancer, bass

BLESSING

God be with you ‘til we meet again;
by Her counsels guide, uphold you,
with Her sheep securely fold you.
God be with you,
‘til we meet again.

POSTLUDE
All Glory be to God on High  N.A. Vetter



ANNOUNCEMENTS



A Request from the Mission Committee

The Mission Committee will again host a Community Meal on May 4 by rehiring  Brad’s Place for $325.00.  Unfortunately our MC budget lacks $197.55 to cover that sum.  We are requesting that, if possible, you send a check to The First Church of Deerfield for whatever sum you wish and in the memo line please write:  “For the Mission Committee’s Budget”.  If we receive a surplus then the extra will remain in the budget for further use.  As always, multiple thank yous for your attention and consideration to this worthy event.



BE A PART OF OUR MINISTRY

If you have found spiritual sustenance at the Brick Church (or the Brickless Church!), and you would like to be part of our ministry and mission, we hope you will consider making a donation or pledge in support to the First Church of Deerfield.

MAKE A PLEDGE
or
GIVE NOW

or send check to: The First Church of Deerfield, P.O. Box 276, 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342)



The First Church of Deerfield
an inclusive, inquisitive congregation of
the United Church of Christ
and the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Liza B. Knapp, Pastor
deerfieldpastor@gmail.com
office@firstchurchofdeerfield.org.
Dr. Thomas Pousont, Director of Music Ministry
Tom Mershon, Sexton
Pat Auchard, Office Administrator
Ann Hallstein, Pastor Emerita

If you wish to make a donation in support of our ministry,
text “GIVE” to (413) 307-3730 or click below:
https://fcd.breezechms.com/give/online.

First Church in the News

under construction

Advent at Home – 2020

ADVENT AT HOME

To help us celebrate Advent during the pandemic, our deacons have prepared a special Advent-at-Home goody bag for our members and friends. (If you are local, and don’t yet have yours, please contact us to arrange pickup or delivery! If you are farther afield, we invite you to find your own materials, and improvise!)

What’s in the bag?

Inside the bag are a variety of materials to help you celebrate Advent at home. Each Wednesday of Advent  we will send out a message inviting you to prepare for the coming Sunday’s worship with a special activity.

Preparing for Advent I – Sunday, November 29
Prepare Your Advent Candles!

One of the beloved traditions of our Advent worship is the weekly lighting of the Advent candles — symbols of hope, peace, joy, and love.  This year, we remember that the advent wreath was a tradition practiced at home, even before it became part of our church rituals. We invite you to join in this centuries-old tradition! Each week, as we worship online, let us light our candles at home — apart, yet together.

In your “Advent-at-Home” bag you will find four votive candles — three white, and one pink — one for each Sunday of Advent, representing Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.  Your Advent activity for this week is to prepare an Advent “wreath” — a special (and safe) place for the weekly lighting of the candles during Sunday worship.  Your arrangement can be as traditional or creative as you like. Then, on Sunday, be sure to have a match or lighter handy as you begin your worship at the ‘Brickless’ Church, so we can light our candles at home, together. Or, create your own ritual at home.

 

Preparing for Advent II – Sunday, December 6
Building Peace!

On the second Sunday of Advent, we light a candle for Peace. As we prepare for this Sunday, we invite you build a symbol of peace, from the pieces of origami paper in your Advent-at-Home kit. (If you don’t have a kit, you may use any square piece of paper; it is best if it is colored on one side.) You will find a clear, step-by-step video lesson here:
Origami Peace Crane Instructions

It’s easy to do — even your pastor managed to follow these instructions! When you are done, send us a photo, and we will share it in next week’s announcements! Then, perch your peace crane somewhere in your home where you will see it daily.  Let your peace crane be a reminder, that we are called not just to enjoy peace, but to build it.

 

Preparing for Advent IV – Sunday, December 13
Sharing Joy!

On the third Sunday of Advent, we light a candle for Joy. This week, we invite you to join in one of the joyful rituals
of Advent — decorating the tree!  In your Advent-at-Home kits, you will find two clear ornaments — empty, waiting to be filled by you. Open yours up, and fill it with some word or scene or token of the season (see examples below for inspiration!). Then close the ornament tight, lining up the little holes.  Thread a paperclip through the holes, and you are ready…..

….to hang your ornament on the  OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS TREE at the Brick Church!  Since we cannot invite the neighbors this year, we are spreading the cheer outside our doors with a tree on the front steps. Our Sexton/Stylist, Tom Mershon, will be setting up the tree this Saturday, so come by anytime after to see it — and add your own personal ornament to its branches!

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Advent IV – 
Welcoming Love!
This Sunday, we light a candle for love — the Love that welcomes us all. In your Advent-at-Home bag, you will find a white paper bag, and a battery-operated candle. Put them together, and you have… luminaria! You can personalize your luminaria by adding artwork or decorations, or by cutting or punching holes for the light to shine through.

On Christmas Eve, we invite you to place your luminaria in a window, where it will shine in welcome for all to see. Or — if you wish — stop by the Brick Church on  Christmas Eve, and place your luminaria on the steps by our Christmas Tree.

Christmas Eve Services

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