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.
Click on tab below to read the thought provoking op-ed piece published in the Worcester T&G Tuesday,
April 26, 2016 written by Paul Gregory Smith.
View Pastor John's Clay Jar testimonial, given at the MACUCC 2015 Annual Meeting at UMass Amherst:
Sign Up for PJ's Place
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known as PJ's Place, please contact Pastor John
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PJ's weekly reflection:
Doesn't it sometimes seem like everything would be a lot easier if you only had yourself to worry about? Well, that might be lonely... so maybe you'd rather choose to live in a gated community, letting in only those you choose. Well now, give that some time. Work on all the rules. Try and keep everyone out. That's not really easier is it? Eventually you'd be building a higher gate, then an electric gate, then you'd have armed guards on the gate... you get the idea.
Life in community is complicated, with or without gates; there's no doubt about it. Even when everyone in the community is trying to be as helpful as they can its complicated, because people make mistakes. Recently I scheduled an event at our church for some young people, knowing that some of those young people had to be at another event at our church at the exact same time. The amazing thing is, in my mind, I saw no conflict, until someone brought it to my attention last Sunday. Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking. It seemed perfectly reasonable that those young people could be two places at once, even though the two places are many miles away from one another.
Fortunately the community I serve loves me as I love them, knows I don't make those sorts of errors on purpose, and forgives me when they occasionally occur. They simply encourage me to be and do my best. God bless them for that. Our best is all any of us can do, but our communities need us to be in unity in that purpose and mission, to do our best.
The bio on my Twitter feed says: "Humble follower of a carpenter who had some rather radical ideas about love." I first heard Rev. Mel White say this in an Adult Education program I lead called Living the Questions and I thought "Yes! That's me. I want to live that quote as best I can for the rest of my life & help others do the same."
We all need friends. We all need friends in community. We all need the encouragement, forgiveness, understanding, gentleness, constructive criticism, editing, hugs, laughter and tears that friends provide and share.
In reality, life in 2016 works best as we view ourselves as friends in community, as one family, on this common home, our earth. Even if you and I never meet, it helps make the world a better place when we think of one another as friends, treating one another as we'd want to be treated. That carpenter Jesus said something like that once... likely often. I simply do my best to follow.
Blessings to you friend... Peace, Pastor John
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Open and Affirming
All are welcome! The 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