January 20 worship cancelled

Due to snow and predictions of freezing rain, sleet, and icy roads, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our worship service tomorrow, January 20.

We will miss seeing you (and one another) and hope you will come be a welcome part of our journey together at another time.

Meanwhile, please stay safe and warm. Blessings!

Christmas Eve Services

The Light we’ve been watching and waiting for is about to arrive!

On Christmas Eve we offer two completely different services:

At 5 o’clock, the Family Un-Pageant Service begins. It features a fun, moving, wondrous re-telling of the Christmas Story, and EVERYONE is invited to participate. Just choose a prop or costume when you arrive, and you’ll be called to come “on stage” at the appropriate time. The joy (and a little chaos) is contagious. The service ends with a goosebump-producing singing of “Silent Night” by the light of our antique candelabra. Then stick around for a cookie reception.

At 10 o’clock we have a very different kind of service: one with beautiful piano music, carol-singing, time for silence and reflection, Communion, and, of course, “Silent Night” and candles.

All blessings of the season to you! We hope to see you!

Christmas Eve and other special services

The light we’ve been watching and waiting for is almost here–and we have several special services to help us prepare and celebrate.

At 7 p.m. Friday, December 21, we host Longest Night: An Advent Service of Darkness and Light. This beautiful service is designed especially for anyone having a hard time in this season–those who are grieving, those who are depressed, anyone for whom the forced happiness of the season feels oppressive and alienating. But you don’t have to be sad to love this service and what it offers. It’s also for anyone who would benefit from a little spiritual and emotional spaciousness as we head into Christmas and all it brings.

We follow the service with a carol-sing around a bonfire. It lifts the spirit–and it’s really fun, too.

At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 23, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we present a Service of Lessons and Carols. The First Church Choir will sing six beautiful carols, and the folks in the pews get to sing, too. Don’t miss it!

On Christmas Eve, we offer two completely different services:

At 5 o’clock, the Family Un-Pageant Service begins. It features a fun, moving, wondrous re-telling of the Christmas Story, and EVERYONE is invited to participate. Just choose a prop or costume when you arrive, and you’ll be called to come “on stage” at the appropriate time. The joy (and a little chaos) is contagious. The service ends with a goosebump-producing singing of “Silent Night” by the light of our antique candelabra. Then stick around for a cookie reception.

At 10 o’clock we have a very different kind of service: one with beautiful piano music, carol-singing, time for silence and reflection, Communion, and, of course, “Silent Night” and candles.

All blessings of the season to you! We hope to see you!

Annual Holiday Brass Concert

Annual Holiday Brass Concert

Valley Festival Brass

Sunday, December 9th, 6 pm

All the holiday favorites and more Donations benefit Not Bread Alone

Advent and Christmas at First Church Amherst

The World Is About to Turn!

There are many ways to enter into the spirit of Advent and Christmas at First Church. We hope you will find ways to connect and feed your soul. Here’s a little of what Advent is about, and a schedule of some of our activities–from worship services to caroling, coming together in quiet and even sadness, and the joy of the Christmas Eve “Up-Pageant.” We hope to see you!

One Year of Sanctuary: A Service of Reflection & Renewal

On Sunday, October 14, we will mark the one-year anniversary of Lucio Perez taking sanctuary in First Church Amherst. (The actual date is October 18.)

All are invited to this special service, which will include bell-ringing, stories, prayer, blessing, candles, music, and the church’s recommitment to walking with Lucio and his family through this long separation and time of uncertainty and struggle.

On Saturday, October 20, church members, the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, many sanctuary volunteers, community members, and some elected officials will come together for a Day of Solidarity with Lucio and his family. Events begin at 4 p.m. in the church sanctuary, and will include a circle of solidarity, protection, and light around the outside of the building, and light refreshments inside.

Let Lucio and his family know that you continue to stand with them. Come to one or both events!

Welcome, Students!

So you’re starting to miss home. Still figuring out where your classes are and learning your way around town. Getting to know your roommate(s), and discovering that the H is silent. In the midst of all the adjustments, here’s one solid thing: You’re always welcome at Amherst’s LGBTQ-loving (for 31 years), peace-making, anti-racism, Earth-tending, soup-kitchen, sanctuary church. Come check us out! You’ll be glad you did.

(Sunday worship doesn’t begin until 10:30 a.m., so go ahead: Sleep in!)