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.
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:
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PJ's weekly reflection:
The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them.
The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it:
"Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me.
These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
Mark 10:13-16 (The Message)
I am so blessed to be pastor of a multi-generational church family.
We need exposure to the innocence and purity of children. We delight in the wide-eyed wonder, sense of mystery and awe which children possess.
They are our hope for the future.
We need the challenge which teenagers provide. We marvel at the scale of their dreams and their discontent with the ways things are. They help us question
our own authority even as they question the same.
We need young adults, forming and shaping a new world. We are blessed by their new ideas and the decision of some to continue to bring new children into this world. Their energy gives us energy.
We need adults in their middle years. We are amazed at all they can juggle between their work and children and aging parents and everything in between.
Their day to day labors, their steadiness and their fortitude inspires.
We need adults in their later years. We are encouraged by their wisdom and their example of perseverance and the childlike wonder which often returns.
They are our connection between past, present and future.
God bless us all at every stage of the journey of our lives, O God...
Blessings to you faithful reader wherever you are in the journey of your own life.
For the journey ahead.... Pastor John