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Freedom For: A July Fourth Message

Before sitting down and committing these words to paper (or, rather, to pixels), I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say to you this July. The first, of course, is “hello!”  I’m used to sending out a mini-sermon once a week, and this is the first time that I will be doing it once a month, instead.  As you may have been missing your weekly update from me, I have just as equally been missing you, even…

Farewell to Kathy Marks

We wish Kathy well as she embarks on the next step of her musical journey. We will be having guest organists at Florence Congregational (and Kathy will be subbing with musical mp3s that will be appearing on our website) as we start the search for a new organist. We were able to have our first coffee hour and farewell party just last week and below you can see some pictures taken that are also posted on our facebook page.

Mini Sermon #59

Sermon Lesson: John 3:1-12 Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm: Psalm 29 In A Nutshell Some of you might recognize the sermon lesson as an extension of Sunday’s lesson and I thought I would take the opportunity of June’s Pine Grove News to expand on Sunday’s Sermon. For a quick recap for those of you who were not in church on Sunday: Nicodemus was a learned Pharisee, one of the Sanhedrin (or high court), and considered Jesus a teacher.  However,…

Daily Hampshire Gazette features FCC

After giving interviews over the phone and in person over the past week, our Moderator Wayne Peereboom and Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn (along with community activist Priscilla M. Ross), were featured along with FCC in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. We are pleased with continued coverage of the church and the focus given to us in our current financial situation. With God’s grace and the support of the greater community, Florence Congregational (FCC) hopes to remain here for our members and…

Quote

While recording a scripture lesson, I received this unexpected yet absolutely marvelous compliment: You preach it like a Puritan.” Kyle Brazauski As a descendant of Thomas Rogers, who sailed on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom, I can’t think of a higher compliment to my preaching.

New Flag in YouTube Studio

I know many of you have not only indulged in “Archdeacon spotting” during my weekly youtube sermons, but also have tried to pick out the flags that I have hanging or draped over various pieces of furniture in my living room here in Colebrook, CT. So far, to count, the Y Ddraig Goch (or the Flag of Wales) has been shown in the background in the most prominent position, with St. Andrew’s Cross popping up here and there. The Lion…

Virtual Bible Study???

Are you interested in a virtual Bible Study? If so, please contact Rev. Averill at reverendAEB@gmail.com or 860.278.6640 (text or phone call, please feel free to leave a message). Alternately, you can fill out the contact page. Rev. Averill is trying to gauge interest in our congregation for a Bible discussion while we’re still self- isolating. The topic of our discussions would be the weekly mini-sermon. Options on Zoom and Facebook are currently being considered.

Sojourner Truth Memorial

In so many ways we stand in a singular place in history.  The sister communities of Florence Congregational Church (FCC) and Beit Ahavah (The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton) today stand together in fellowship with one another and with the greater world.   Our joint Meeting House has its roots here in Florence, MA in a religious coalition born in 1857 among a diverse group of Protestants.  We constructed our church among the very pine trees where Sojourner Truth herself preached…

An Update from the Music Corner

Kathy Marks says the choir is doing well and that all members enthusiastically await participating in live services again. Kathy has loved what Rev. Averill has done with the on-line services through our website — pianos medleys, recordings of organ music and hymns, and the recordings made from her weekly visits to the church. And Rev. Averill has enjoyed using popular tunes from the 60’s and 70’s to embellish the videos for a more contemporary feel! Kathy plans to be…

Notice on reopening FCC

The Florence Congregational Church Cabinet ( Officers and Committee members) met today to discuss the re-opening of the church. After lengthy discussion including caring for our elder church members, it was decided to have the Cabinet meet again on June 28th and at that time discuss opening the church in July. In the mean time, we will opt for the continued online services graciously being given by Reverend Averill Blackburn with music by Kathy Marks. If you have special concerns, please…
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