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,
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.
In partnership with the
United Church of Christ.
Yoga is available at the church for the summer - $10 donation. For a full schedule, visit Emily White's website at Breathepeaceyogi.
Tim White and Pastor John at General Synod
July 2017, Baltimore, Maryland
I hold my life in my hand continually...
Psalm 119:109a (NRSV)
While in the woods of Maine, I found myself holding on to and letting go of much.
At one point I stood on the top of Eagle Rock, in time to observe the setting sun. Mist swirled around the mountains. The sun glowed orange red undulating in and out of this mysterious moving fog. On the return trip, my traveling companions and I were grateful for headlamps to guide our way, as we were grateful for one another. I held onto the light of those headlamps as I held onto the comforting light of friends, family and our God walking with us. I let go of the fear of what might be... bears, roots to trip on, moose and more... and simply walked, prepared for every possibility, both by what I held on to and what I let go of.
I never let go of you. I never let go of the knowledge, held in my mind, my heart and my prayer, of the deep grief which was taking place back home in Dudley.
It became a ritual this year for me to walk into the cold water of a pond, stand by myself for a time, looking out at no one, only mountains and sky, and see only you... holding you in love, praying the Lord's Prayer, naming the sadness of sudden loss... Barry, Bill and more... asking why... then letting go of a need for an answer... holding on to the heart knowledge and the vision on the water of you holding one another...
This year, especially this year... I'm glad to be home.
I had the most wonderful meeting and conversation with Stacey, Will, Aurora and Arabella Lavigne this past week and they asked me; "Do you believe in signs?" "Yes" I said. "There is much I cannot explain and try not to. I am open to every possibility. What have you seen? What have you felt and heard?"
They shared much... some of which I'll keep private here. Yet, this I have permission to share. While visiting the place of Bill's moving on in the journey of his life... a song came on the radio. When Stacey got home she played the song on YouTube. You may view it by clicking below. It's called "Die A Happy Man" and it's sung by Thomas Rhett. As Stacey watched she thought..."that place looks familiar." She did a bit of research and discovered it's the place she and Bill were married in Hawaii.
... Holding on. ... Letting go.
Sometimes we do both at the same time.
Deep Peace and Deep Love to you
and to all our church family and everyone reading this now.
I hope to see many of you on Sunday.
For now... this moment, together.
With gratitude, Pastor John
DIE A HAPPY MAN
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Read Pastor John's latest article in the Webster Times:
Marrying My Best Friend
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