Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, February 20, 2020
A Place to Connect
September 2016
It is an exciting time of the year as we approach September. Following a record breaking sizzling hot summer, we anticipate the cooler days of the fall to compliment the beginning church season. Many who have taken time to celebrate with family events over the summer will return to church and its work in the community.
On September 11th we will celebrate with special music and on September 18th celebrate Homecoming with the children beginning Sunday School. There are several new ideas and ministries in the works for the fall.

The summer has not been quiet at the church. Some of you know of the “Facelift” renovation of the Cobb Foyer that has been ongoing since June. Additionally, work has been completed outside including new lines in the parking lot and exterior painting.
Several members have met to continue the dialogue begun by guest workshop leader, Rev. Norm Erlendson in June. Rev Norm challenged us to think deeply about our stance in the Northampton community asking big questions about who we are and what we envision our purpose and future to be. Moderator, Keith Moors entertained my request to modify the agenda of the monthly church Cabinet meetings from a discussion of the reports of various Boards and Committees to a gathering for Congregational Conversation about our work as the Congregational Church in the village. These were held July 24th and August 24th. My hope was to get people talking about the future of the church. Spring-boarding off Rev Norm’s points, could we define our sense of purpose and envision our future? What might we do to reach out to people? What might we do to “market” ourselves in this ever-changing diverse community?

Last month (August) we enjoyed potluck entrées prior to our conversation. Once finished filling our tummy’s, we got down to business with a focus on how we might engage in the community. Ideas were rolling including the following:

A weekly “Café” type gathering for community discussion of social concerns
Youth night
Participation in the Rag Shag parade and Holiday parade with a focus on connecting with the Civic center
Music Concert series (already being planned by Rebecca Flinker)
Regular Hymn sings – perhaps at local retirement centers
Specific family activities/events here at church at least once a month themed for the seasons
All church Tag Sale (maybe invite others?)
“Doubting Thomas” Forum
Participation in “Florence Night Out”

All agree that we need to be intentional in our effort to reach out to the community with ministries and programs that both acknowledge our passion for the work of Christ and serve the needs of individuals within our reach, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I look forward to hearing from you in the days to come. Please, what are your thoughts?

Pastor Irv

Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325