First Churchers are a family and community that seek to identify how “God is Still Speaking” in our lives, our community, and our world at this time in history. Some of us are in our eighties and nineties, and some of us have just been born, the rest of us are all ages in-between. We are gay, straight, bi-sexual, married, single, divorced, and widowed. Some of us have children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, adopted children, and no children. Sometimes we cry, sometimes we fight. We wrestle with the spirit in us and surrounding us. We forgive, we love, and most certainly we laugh. Some of us are athletic and climb mountains and white water canoe, and some of us have all we can do to get out of bed because of our aches and pains. We come from all over the Pioneer Valley. Some of us walk to worship, some of us drive, some of us arrive by van, some on the Applewood Bus, and some the PVTA bus. We tend on the average to be on the liberal end of both the theological and political continuum. We are committed to Anti-Racism, Peace, and saving our Environment. We are proud to say that we are one of the first Open and Affirming congregations of the United Church of Christ.
Our history goes back to 1739 when a group of Hadley villagers started a new community and a new church. We are still on the move. During the last few years we have been planning for a new adventure for the 21st Century. In February 2008, after a great deal of metaphorical sorting and discarding, we set forth. We are creating a church culture that is true to the scriptures, relevant to our times, and consistent with who we are and who we want to be.
We have re-invented a new structure for how we worship, pray, work and play together, based on two Practices and five Foundations.
Practice 1 Every Member Ministry Each of us in the Church is a lay minister. We take the gospel message of love and justice into world. For more information on this practice CLICK HERE.
Practice 2 Small Group Life Through the continuation of existing groups and the creation of new groups, small group life in the church will be on-going, with many varieties and opportunities for small groups available to all. Small groups may be organized around any of the Five Foundations: Spiritual Life, Community Life and Care, Transformative Learning, Lay Ministry in the World/Social Justice, and Stewardship of Resources. Go to SMALL GROUPS for more information.
Come with us on this exciting adventure. Join us for worship or any of the Transformative Learning events, participate in any of the Social Justice teams, or come for any of the social and just plain fun times. Click on any of the links on the homepage to find out what’s happening, when, and where and how you can participate.
For more history on First Church, click on A Very Brief HISTORY of First Congregational Church in Amherst.
For more in depth history, read 250 Years at First Church in Amherst:1739-1989. available at the Jones Library, First Church Lounge or for sale in the church office.
For Emily Dickinson's (and her brother Austin’s) connections to the First Congregational Church, go to: www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. For tour information about the Emily Dickinson House, email: Joan Langley: email@example.com
For someone to talk to about the history of First Church, email or visit with Gale McClung: firstname.lastname@example.org, Diane Kelton: email@example.com, Thayer Greene: firstname.lastname@example.org, Carole Ann Camp: email@example.com