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Mini Sermon #27

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 25:1-13 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 78:1-7 (NRSV) (or, in King James Version) Referenced Bible Lesson: Matthew 22:36-40 (NRSV) Once again, with this particular parable, we step into the world of first century Palestine, the world of the historical Jesus.  I want to stress before we begin that this is a scenario that easily could have happened in Jesus’s time in any Galilean (or, indeed, Palestinian) village. Many modern readers think of it…

Remember To Turn Back the Clock

Hello, everyone, and for those of you who celebrate — Happy Halloween! This is a small reminder that our clocks fall back in the early hours of Sunday morning. Meaning: you get an extra hour of sleep before the reopening of Florence Congregational! Have a great evening giving out candy or nutritional snacks to the kids in your life — and we’ll hopefully see you tomorrow!

Mini Sermon #26 (or, the Original Guide to Becoming a Saint)

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 5:1-12 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Revelation 7:9-17 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 34:1-10 (NRSV) (or King James Version) Today we’re rewinding a bit although we remain in the Gospels.  We go back to the beginning of Jesus’s ministry … before the Pharisees attempted to trap him, before hordes of people wanted to just try to touch him in hopes of some of his blessedness falling upon wretched hands, before Jesus even had much of a name (if any) for himself.…

Found: Bible

Found on the premises of 130 Pine Street (and kindly placed in my box): One Bible. The only identification in the Bible is that it once belonged to “Kingdom Hall.” Also contains several family photographs without dates or names written on them, and a shopping list placed in the folds. If this is your Bible and you’ve misplaced it, please reply or contact Rev. Averill. I will announce this in church on Sunday. I’d love to see this Bible and…

Mini Sermon #25

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:41-46 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:34-46 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 (NRSV) (KJV) Today, as we look at Jesus’s ministry, we look at the question of the Messiah. Now, the term Messiah has become a bit warped in the modern Christian consciousness.  It’s original meaning from Hebrew culture over two thousand years ago has been pinpointed by Christians and early church leaders onto a specific individual, and then has evolved as…

Call to Meeting 11/15

The Florence Congregational Church130 Pine Street, Florence, MA  01062Telephone: (413) 584-1325Fax: (413) 584-0760 The Reverend Averill Elizabeth Blackburn To the members of the Florence Congregational Church of Northampton, Massachusetts, in Florence, City of Northampton, Massachusetts: You are hereby notified of the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Florence Congregational Church on November 15, 2020 following the morning worship service in the Sanctuary. For the following purposes: To Review and vote on the 2021 Annual Budget and the 2021 slate of officers.…

Mini Sermon #24

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:15-22 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 99 (NRSV) (KJV) This week we continue with the Gospel of Matthew, but we don’t quite have a parable.  We do, however, have a teaching from Christ. Before we turn to the rather famous “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” and what caused Jesus to utter these words, we are presented with a verbal confrontation the Pharisees have with Jesus. I have often remarked that to understand the parables,…

Mini Sermon #23

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:1-14 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Philippians 4:1-9 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 (NRSV) (KJV) This is the parable of a wedding–and let’s be honest, everyone loves a wedding. Speaking from experience, I know that weddings can get pretty ugly, pretty quickly (at least in the planning stages). Although I have yet to be a bride, I’ve been a flower girl, a bridesmaid, an impromptu maid-of-honor, and a groomsmaid (for those of you who are fortunate enough not to…

Podcast of the Bill Newman Show

If you missed Rev. Averill on “the Rev. and the Rabbi” portion of The Bill Newman Show yesterday – you can relisten to the podcast! Conversation topics include: her education in Scotland, her ties to the greater Northampton community, Sojourner Truth (briefly), the future of Florence Congregational Church, and interfaith dialogue!

Rev. Averill on Bill Newman Show Tomorrow AM

Rev. Averill will be a guest on the “Bill Newman Show” tomorrow morning. She will be speaking about the history of Florence Congregational, its future as we move forward, as well as what it was like to study for the ministry in Scotland! You can listen in at about 9:30 AM on WHMP 101.5 & 107.5 FM / 1240 & 1400 AM or online here.