Posts from 2021

Christmas Eve 2021

Join us Christmas Eve (Friday, December 24th) at 4 p.m. at Florence Congregational Church for Christmas Eve Service! There will be lessons, carols, and the lighting of the Christ Candle. All are Welcome! Please Note that We Are Still Under Northampton’s Mask Mandate. Thank you.

Dreaming a Jewish Christmas

“Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas”: Film & Panel DiscussionSaturday, December 11, 7:00-8:30 p.m.“DREAMING OF A JEWISH CHRISTMAS” film night followed by an upbeat and humorous clergy panel discussion led by Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, Rev. Averill Blackburn of FCC, and local multi-faith clergy.  We will start with havdalah to end Shabbat. Held indoors in the BA sanctuary, with masks, ages 12+ must be vaccinated. All ages welcome! About the film: Directed by Oscar-nominated director, Larry Weinstein, “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas” is…

The History of the Advent Wreath

By Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn In the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we light four candles in an Advent Wreath.  Some of us do this only at church.  Others of us follow this tradition at home as well.  We often read devotionals or say special prayers along with the lighting of the candles.  Some wreaths have a fifth candle in the center, which is lit on Christmas Eve.  But what is the history of the Advent Wreath?  Where did…

A Letter from Rev. Averill

Reclaim our Sacred Space By Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn During the past several weeks, Florence Congregational Church has gone through a great many changes—and several people have come to me in distress over these changes.  I understand.  I, too, have been distressed by the one week removal of our cross.  I have found the new stage area in our sanctuary to be foreign.  I mourned seeing the sign of our church removed from the side lawn. At times like these,…

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Florence Congregational Church (FCC) and the Bombyx Center have been featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. If you haven’t already read the article, read it here.

Mini Sermon #62 A Reformation Sunday

Reading: Romans 3:23-28 (NRSV) Indulgences.  We hear that word and maybe think of a candy bar, a beer on a Friday night, or maybe some chocolate chip cookie dough.  However, in the Middle Ages, the term “indulgences” was a religious word.  An indulgence was a piece of paper that the Catholic Church sold to absolve you—anyone really—of a sin.  The greater the sin, the costlier the indulgence.  They were invented when the Catholic coffers ran a little dry.  Why not? …

Call to Meeting 11/14

ALL CHURCH MEETING: You are hereby notified of the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Florence Congregational Church on November 14, 2021 following the morning worship service in the Sanctuary. NOTICES:  Choir Pews:  for sale to members for $100, complete with cushions. Please feel free to call the office to leave a message for Phyllis if you are interested. Let the office know by December 1st. Six pews are available: 2 short and 4 long. Religious Education: A CALENDAR FUNDRAISER will begin…

Mini Sermon #61

Sermon Lesson: Mark 7:24-37 (NRSV)Epistle: James 2:1-10, 14-17 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 125 (NRSV) This month, I am once again giving you a sermon that I was unable to preach from the pulpit, specifically, the sermon preached over Labor Day Weekend, when I was away at a funeral in Maine. What Happened Before The week before we had Jesus and his disciples in conflict with the Pharisees over the matter of unclean hands and ritual washings.  The important question that was asked…

Hurricane Henri

Church is canceled tomorrow … August 22nd …. due to Tropical Storm / Hurricane Henri. This is a safety precaution and to allow everyone to properly prepare for the storm before it hits. We hope you all remain safe, remain warm, and God bless you! See you next week!

Masks Return to FCC

This week the Mask Mandate has returned to Northampton, and we at FCC will do our part. As such, we will return to wearing masks for the time being! We thank you for your cooperation and support!