First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ,
Throughout the journey
of our lives we find ourselves on many different roads, traveling with a diverse group of people. We learn much through the joys and pains of daily living. Each of these experiences forms and molds us a bit more as children of God. At the First Congregational Church of Dudley we celebrate the journey you are on towards becoming the highest expression of yourself, whom God created you to be. As an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ we want you to know no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here! At our church we encourage a journey which is traveled with our bodies, minds and hearts, our intelligence and our compassion working together…side by side. This is a community of seekers who work to live the questions of our faith, the faith of Jesus, forming ourselves more and more in that image of perfect love.
Please take some time to explore our website, sign up for PJ’s Place (my weekly e-letter) and visit us for worship. You may not be fully sure why it is you are exploring a relationship with our church and The United Church of Christ. You may simply be following some inner urging. We encourage you to listen to the voice of your heart for God is still speaking now. Come and become something more, as together we seek to live and grow as followers of Jesus on The Way… an inclusive and ever-expanding journey of love, beginning with ourselves and our families, extending to our communities, our nation and all the world. We look forward to meeting and getting to know you soon.
Blessings on your journey,
In partnership with the United Church of Christ.
We are now on Facebook! Check us out at Facebook.com/DudleyFCC
Click on the tab below to read the thought
provoking op-ed piece written by Pastor John
published in the Webster Times, January 2017.
Open and Affirming
All are welcome! The Open and Affirming Coalition provides support and sanctuary to all our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers, their families and friends; advocates for their full inclusion in church and society; and brings Christ's affirming message of love and justice for all people.
View their website here:
View Pastor John's Clay Jar testimonial, given at the MACUCC 2015 Annual Meeting at UMass Amherst:
Follow Pastor John on Twitter
You can now follow Pastor John on Twitter @PJsPeace
Sign Up for PJ's Place
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known as PJ's Place, please contact Pastor John
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For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good,
and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Matthew 5:45 (NLT)
PJ's weekly reflection:
You and I are both surrounded by walls. It's true.
If you're reading this indoors, you're surrounded by literal walls,
yet there are other sorts of walls too.
For as far back as I can remember every sort of career path I envisioned involved public speaking. Yet, for many years, I suffered a debilitating speech impediment. As a teenager and into my 20's I stuttered terribly. Curiously, that wall in my life also created opportunities, including an increased ability to recognize walls surrounding myself and others.
I first learned I didn't stutter while singing and so I pursued singing. Then I learned I didn't stutter while acting in a play and so I pursued acting. To my delight I discovered I possessed a certain amount of skill in both of these areas which increased my confidence, desire to hone these skills to the best of my ability and to share these gifts with others. Miraculously, these and other experiences had a therapeutic type effect, making it possible for me to speak more clearly in every other area of my life as well. Likely you can relate to this story as you consider similar yet different walls you have faced in the journey of your life.
We are surrounded by walls we think about daily and others we may hardly think about at all. The circumstances of your financial, physical or psychological well-being create walls of varying heights, separating you from others in a variety of ways.
As followers of Jesus we do our best to recognize the walls surrounding ourselves and others, then to consider which walls are helpful and which are harmful to life. We would never consider taking down the walls of our home. Those are helpful walls. We could use more walls like that, providing warmth and shelter for others. Yet, living with minority status, whether in terms of race, class or religion can, in certain communities and countries, create nearly insurmountable and deeply harmful walls. Often it is simply our misperception of others which creates a fear which leads to hateful speech, violence and policies adding to the height of walls separating fellow members of the human family, children of God one and all.
Let's celebrate how beautiful it is, as Jesus shares,
the way light and rain find a way around walls.
Thank you my friend, as we strive together, to be love,
as we become light and rain for others.
Blessings and Peace, Pastor John