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Zoom Bible Study Invitation

You’re Invited to Barkhamsted Center Church’s Virtual Bible Study Wednesday, March 3rd, from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. The subject is THE GOSPEL OF MARK. We’re starting at the beginning at working our way through! FCC’s Rev. Averill will be technical moderator and all FCC members and friends are welcome to attend. If you are on the FCC email distribution list, you will automatically receive a zoom invite on Monday, March 1st. If you’re not on our list but would…

FCC to Reopen its Doors for Palm Sunday

On Sunday, March 28th (Palm Sunday) at 10 AM Florence Congregational Church (FCC) will resume worshipping in our sanctuary, located at 130 Pine Street. We will be following the guidelines and mandates per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A full list of the current guidelines can be found on mass.gov. The following are the safety precautions all attending worship must follow: Face masks are to be worn at all times. Social distancing will be practiced within the church to help prevent…

Mini Half-Sermons 45 & 46

Mini Half-Sermon #45 Sermon Lesson: Mark 1:12-15 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Peter 3:18-22 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Genesis 9:8-17 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 25:1-10 (NRSV)Referenced Bible Lesson: Job 1-2:10 (NRSV) The Temptations I remember growing up, one of my favorite band was the Temptations.  And, really, what’s not to love?  As Christians, we’re conditioned to think of temptation (the earthly sort, not the blues group) as a bad a thing.  But, really, it really isn’t necessarily.  Instead, it’s a part of life. …

Mini Sermon #44 Ash Wednesday

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 51:1-17 (NRSV)Referenced Gospel Lesson: Luke 21:1-4 (NRSV) This is a passage about motive, and there could be no better passage for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time for penance and contribution in the Christian calendar. In religious life, we often have to strike a balance, between the seen and the unseen.  The seen is what others around us see and…

Mini Sermon #43 Transfiguration Sunday

Sermon Lesson: Mark 9:2-9 (NRSV)Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 50:1-6 (NRSV) Transfiguration is one of those big words that in Christianity has a rather specific meaning and reason behind it.  When we speak of “The Transfiguration,” we mean, rather specifically, The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, and we tend to celebrate it a Sunday or two before Lent every year. But what does it mean? If we look “transfiguration” up in the dictionary, we’ll get an answer somewhere along the…

Vaccine Openings

The Northampton DPH has openings for tonight (Thursday, February 4, 2021) and tomorrow (Friday, February 5, 2021) for ELIGIBLE folks! This includes phase I (healthcare workers etc) AND ANYONE AGE 75 or older. Sign up on the city website asaphttps://www.northamptonma.gov/2219/COVID-19-Vaccination-Clinics

Mini Sermon #42

Sermon Lesson: Mark 1:29-39 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 147 (NRSV) Last week we saw Jesus cast out an unclean spirit (or a demon) in a synagogue and this sermon lesson follows immediately after that.  Jesus is with four of his first followers—Simon and Andrew, with James and John (two sets of brothers, coincidentally). We have several short stories of his ministry and his miracles placed together in a longer narrative, and for that reason it might almost…

Mini Sermons 40 & 41

Mini Half-Sermon #40 Sermon Lesson: Mark 1:14-20 (NRSV)Epistle: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 62:5-12 (NRSV) These few verses in Mark have been written about and over analyzed so many times that for the young minister (or even the experienced one), it is difficult to bring anything new to table.  When I read them just yesterday, I felt both a quiver of excitement and a sinking dread in my toes for that very reason. However, I like a challenge, especially when…

News from the Youtube Studio

New Wall Hanging in Studio My warm thanks and awe go out to the inestimable Sandy Hubbard who quilted this wall hanging ahead of the Lenten Season for my youtube ministry. It shows the Crosses at Cavalry (Luke 23:33). It will be featured in my prerecorded youtube sermons beginning this Sunday (January 31) and through Easter (and quite possibly beyond that). For those with a keen eye, you can also see in the lower left of the photograph the new…

Mini Sermon #39: Anointing an Everyman

Sermon Lesson #1: 1 Samuel 10 (NRSV)Sermon Lesson #2: 1 Samuel 16:10-16 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 20:6-9 (NRSV) In the United States, we have never taken to anointing kings.  The closest we have is the Netflix original series The Crown which showed, in great detail, the anointing of the young Elizabeth II, with full explanation from the Duke of Windsor (the former Edward VIII).  In fact, we Americans have always made a point not to anoint our elected leaders.  I was once…