THE Messenger by ert554898


                                               THE Messenger
                                                          January 2011
  Friday 1/21/2011 -
 Saturday 2/22/2011                                        The First Churches
                                                   129 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060
A Christian Spiritual                                        413-584-9392
Formation Retreat to
      Ground you
      spiritually                THE SUITCASE PROJECT
      Replenish your
      energy, joy and          In January the Missions Committee will
      purpose                     be sponsoring the Suitcase Project
      Help you live your      as an opportunity for our congregation to
      life as a spiritual       help support children and teens in the
      practice                           foster care system.
The retreat will be held                                                       CONTENTS:
                             The Sunday School is planning to be actively
at the MACUCC                 involved in collecting new suitcases (small
Conference Center in           ones) and duffel bags and items that are      Announcements
Framingham, MA,                  needed by the children in transition.            3-6, 8 & 9
beginning 1/21 at 7: 00
p.m. – 1/22, 4:30 p.m.        More specific information will be provided     Pastor‟s         2
This 2 day spiritual                       in mid-January.                   Message
retreat is for people on          Please contact Dana (727-8677)
all steps on the spiritual                                                   Sunday           7
                                        with any questions.
path. There will be                                                          School
                              Thanks so much for your always generous
many activity options to
choose from.
                                                                             Pull out
For more information                                                         Calendar        11
contact Cindy Bolton @
508-875-5233.                         YES YOU CAN!
Do you use Bill Pay for paying your bills? Have you every wondered if you can pay your
Church pledge on-line? The answer to your question is, “Yes you can”! It is an easy way to
pay your pledge without having to write out a check each week.
To set up the account you will use either the First Baptist Church or the First Church of
Christ, as the Payee. The address is 129 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060 and the name
on the account is your name. The account number is your pledge number and you can get
that from Kathy Felton, Sue Stone or Marcia Kennick.
If you also decide to pay your Capital Campaign pledge with Bill Pay you need to set up
another Payee to either the First Baptist Church or the First Church of Christ, with the same
address and account number as above. When you enter the account name use your last
name and as much of the words “Capital Campaign” as you can.
Some people like paying their pledge every week, some once a month and others quarterly.
What ever you choose is up to you. If you have any questions feel free to ask anyone of our
financial secretaries.
Sue Stone, ABC
Kathy Felton, UCC
Marcia Kennick, Capital Campaign
Messenger 2

                                They Need to Hear from You!
                        Reflections from your Interim Pastor, Rev. Mark Seifried

        I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named,
                   so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,
                              ‘Those who have never been told of him shall see,
             and those who have never heard of him shall understand.’ ~~ Romans 15:20-21
Have you ever encountered those people who freak out when they hear that you go to
church? Or have you ever overheard a conversation where folks were criticizing people of
faith – specifically Christians?
Perhaps it‟s because I‟m hyper-sensitive, but I frequently find myself in situations like this.
I used to pretend that I didn‟t hear the church being criticized because I didn‟t want to have
to defend the church or my faith. Then, when I began to think about it, I came to
understand that people who “dog” Christians don‟t know any good Christians … at least not
our kind of Christians. Now I say something. I defend my God and boast about my
The people I hear bashing Christians are thinking about fundamentalists who see the world
in black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. They‟re thinking of the folks who would
condemn someone who is pro-choice and cheer a convict receiving his “due justice” with
the death penalty for a crime he may or may not have committed. They‟re thinking of
bigots and hypocrites who claim they love God but are selective in who they call “neighbor”
so they don‟t have to love them, too.
The people I overhear at the gym or in the store who are verbally bashing Christians don‟t
know our church. They know the church that preaches the hellfire and damnation of
Revelation, but not the church of grace whose theology is more rooted in the Beatitudes
(see Luke 5:20-26). They don‟t know the progressive church that preaches “Love your
enemy.” They do know the church that wants to burn the Koran.
You know what I‟m talking about don‟t you? You know these people don‟t you – the people
who hear about a different faith than the one you know and see practiced at the First
Churches? So why don‟t you tell them about our God? Why don‟t you tell them about our
church? Why don‟t you invite them to church? Wouldn‟t it be good news to have them fall
in love with our God, to know our Jesus?
They need to hear from you … their life depends on you … and so does ours!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
May Christ be born in you so that you, too, become God‟s redemptive love incarnate …
living, breathing, and drawing others to the Source. May 2011 be our year of growth and

                               Pastor Mark Seifried, Interim Minister
                             Home: 508-852-0961 Cell: 774-262-4070
                                                                                   Messenger 3

                                   What a Ministry!
                     Janet Dahlberg announces her retirement
After almost 45 years, Janet Dahlberg has opted to become less active in her incredible
ministry. Mostly that means, she will not officially be on staff as the Minister of Music.
However, we will cajole her to come to choir practice, sit on the organ bench with Dana
each Sunday morning and even attend staff meetings when she desires.

Janet‟s retirement Sunday will be January 30. Plans for that service are still in the works.
If you‟d like to be part of the tribute and help celebrate this saint‟s ministry, please contact
Dana at (413)727-8677 or Pastor Mark at the church office or (774)262-4070. More
information will be in the weekly bulletins as plans develop.

In the meanwhile, let us give thanks to God for Janet‟s ministry of music that touched tens
of thousands of lives and for the millions of quiet ways she has blessed the church
throughout the years. We‟ve all gotten to know God‟s wonderful love more fully as a result!

                            Book Discussion group
                      with Pastor Mark & Becky Lockwood
                   So Sexy So Soon by Diane E. Levin & Jean Kilbourne

How do we as adults counteract the overt “sex is a commodity” messages so prevalent in
our culture? Our children and teens are assailed by these messages on every level- by
music, images on television, magazines, even toys! So Sexy So Soon is an easy to read
book that offers practical information on the impact of our overly sexualized culture on our
children. In the book group we will discuss how parents and caring adults can protect
children from these destructive cultural messages.

Pastor Mark will help us explore what God and Christ teach us about creating respectful
and equitable intimate relationships and how we can translate these values for our

The group will meet four times at First Churches, in the evening at 6:00, beginning
Wednesday, January 12 through February 2. For more info contact Becky Lockwood:
413.584.1880 or email:
Messenger 4

                        2011 SUNDAY MORNING FLOWERS
If anyone would like to have flowers placed on the Communion Table to memorialize or
honor someone or an event in this calendar year, 2011, the sign up sheets for the winter
and spring months are located on the door to the church office.

                           All 2011 dates are currently available.
The cost for flowers is $25. If you chose to pay by check, please make your checks payable
to: “The First Church of Christ”. Please write, “Altar Flowers”, on the memo line.
The sign up sheet for 2011 is now on the door of the church office.
       For more information, please call Deacon, Sandy Hoover, 413-584-1178

                                 MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE
 Have you ever thought you wanted to do something special in memory of a loved one
 that has passed away, or is there someone special in your life that you would like to
 honor? Why not give a gift of an anthem. The choir is in need of some new songs and
 anthems for all to enjoy. If you are interested in giving a gift of music please get in
 touch with one of our choir directors, Dana Pasquale or Janet Dahlberg. All checks
 should be made out to the First Church of Christ and in the memo write "Music Gift".
 To those of you who have purchased an Anthem, we sincerely appreciate your support.

     Fair Review Meeting                            PURCHASE A GROCERY CARD
          Sunday 1/9/11
                                               A percentage goes to support the efforts of the church
Please join us in the Parlor after
worship service for a brief meeting.         The River Valley Market, Big Y and Stop & Shop
We hope to receive comments and              grocery cards will be on sale during the coffee hour
feedback. All are welcome.                   after worship service.

                           SURVIVAL CENTER DONATIONS
Please consider buying a few extra items at the grocery store each time you shop and bring
them to church for the weekly collection of non-perishable groceries. The Survival Center is
grateful for and has come to depend on our support of the food pantry. Dana Pasquale has
been dropping off the donations and so far we have collected and given 180 pounds of food
in the last four weeks. Thank you for your continued support.
“The King will reply, „Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and
sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
                                                                                Messenger 5

                              LENTEN HOUSE CHURCHES

      Following our book study of Jim Wallis‟ The Call to Conversion and the Second Hour
video series on “Politics and Faith” in October, the Peace and Justice Committee proposed
weekly house churches or study groups for the Lenten period. The Church Council
enthusiastically endorsed this idea and asked the Peace and Justice Committee to develop
an implementation plan.

       All church members will be invited to read and discuss Marcus Borg‟s The Heart of
Christianity in small groups (8 – 12 adults and teens), meeting in neighborhood clusters at
member‟s homes during the Lenten period, March 9 – April 24, 2011. Everyone will be
assigned to a house church in their neighborhood or geographical area. Each group would
choose a meeting time that best suits a majority of the group. Anyone unable to attend at
that time could attend another house church. A designated group facilitator will help
convene and launch the weekly conversation, assisted by a companion guide. The
meetings will be open to any interested persons, whether they were church members or not.

      The purpose of the Lenten House Churches is threefold:

      1) Enable church members to get to know others better in an informal setting.
      2) To help us examine the foundations of our faith.
      3) To prepare for the process of selecting a new settled minister by assessing our
         faith understanding and considering the future direction of First Churches.

     Please contact any member of the Peace and Justice Committee or Church Council if
you have any questions at this point. There will be more detailed information in February.
We hope you will be able to join us.

      David Entin, for the Peace and Justice Committee.

                              How good and pleasant it is
                          when God‟s people live together in unity!
                                     Psalm 133:1
Messenger 6

                                 TROUBLES IN HAITI

As many of you know, I was scheduled, along with 8 people from the Springfield area, to go
to Haiti on 11/19/10, bringing with me the 79 school kits so generously contributed by our
congregation. The purpose of our trip was to show solidarity with the member churches of
CONASPEH as they start to rebuild, to commemorate the 20 people killed in the collapse of
the school with a bronze memorial plaque listing their names, to build a relationship
between the CONASPEH nursing school and the nursing school at AIC, and to try to start a
dialogue on the internet between high school students at CONASPEH and students at
Chicopee Comp. I also intended to meet with Miguelson Charles and help him apply to
several colleges in the United States. Unfortunately, due to the cholera outbreak and the
riots against the United Nations forces who many Haitians thought brought the cholera to
Haiti, Patrick Villier, the head of CONASPEH, asked us to postpone our trip.

Mark Pohlman and I decided that we wanted to get to Haiti before the end of the year and
booked tickets for 12/9/10. Once again our plans were thwarted. The results of the
election for President were announced on 12/7/10. Many people believed the elections
were rigged in favor of the party of the incumbent president, and once again Haitians took
to the streets. The airport in Port-au-Prince was closed for several days, and Mark and I
decided that there was too much unrest for us to go at this time.

I do not know when I will be able to return to Haiti. Some of the group will be going in
February, after the runoff elections. I ask for your prayers for the people of Haiti and for
Miguelson. Thank you for all your support.
– Pauline Bassett

          Gathering Joys and Concerns for the Pastoral Prayer
In this new year, we are initiating a new option for gathering prayer requests. Baskets,
pens, and slips of paper will be placed in the back and front of the church. You are invited
to write down your prayer request or requests and place the slip in the basket. You can
write whatever you like: "For friends going through a divorce," "For Lisa who is having open
heart surgery", "For world leaders to address climate change." If you include your name, it
will also be read aloud during the prayer, unless you put it in parentheses or otherwise
indicate that your name should not be shared. Prayer requests will be brought forward
when the children leave for Sunday School. They will then be given to Pastor Mark and he
will include them in the prayers that morning.

We are doing this to make sure more people hear the prayer requests, to provide people
who are shy about speaking with an opportunity to share, and to make for a more
cohesive service. If you do not write out a slip, you will still have the opportunity to speak
your prayer requests aloud before the prayer is offered.

Thank you for trying this new way of sharing your prayer requests with the community.
Please give Pastor Mark or one of the deacons your feedback after we try this a few weeks.

Denise Karuth,
for the Deacons
                                                                             Messenger 7

                              News from the

                               January 2011

Our Sunday School program will begin the year 2011 on January 9th with the celebration of
“Three Kings” Sunday. This celebration will include a special Children‟s Message and the
Parade of the Giant King Puppets during our regular worship service. Weather permitting,
the parade will continue out onto the streets of Northampton. Children should keep their
coats, hats, and gloves handy so that they can join the parade. Parent volunteers will be
needed to accompany us. Please let Cindy Naughton know if you are able to join us on that
day. We will arrive back at church before the end of the service for a brief lesson.

There is no Sunday School program on January 2nd. Families are encouraged to attend the
Worship Service together. Our regular lessons will resume on January 16th when we will
begin studying the Parables of Jesus, including “The Two Houses”, “The Mustard Seed” and
“The Unforgiving Servant”.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our wonderful Christmas Pageant. The children
worked very hard to prepare their songs and lines, and many adults worked hard to
support their efforts. I am very proud of them and very appreciative of the assistance we
received from so many in our congregation.

Submitted by Cindy Naughton, Director of Christian Education

     The Staff of the First Churches would like to thank the congregation
      for their thoughtfulness and very generous Christmas gifts. It is a
                      blessing and a pleasure to serve you.
            Janet, Dana, Cindy, Liza, Kevin, Giselle and Pastor Mark
                              Have a Happy New year.
Messenger 8

Super Saturday
Saturday, March 5, 2011                                       35 Workshops Inspiration
8 AM - 3 PM                                                     Fellowship Super Worship
Ludlow High School                                            Pastor Relations Marketplace
500 Chapin St., Ludlow, MA                                    FacebookMissions& Justice
Join hundreds of delegates, pastors and lay leaders from        Provocation Deacons
all over the Conference for our SECOND SUPER                  Christian Education Lunch
SATURDAY – a full day of workshops and networking
around best practices for church leaders.                     Networking Demographics
                                                               Collaboration Stewartship
With 35 new and repeat workshops and worship featuring        Resources Best Practices
several provocative Conference pastors, this day will have       Youth         Learning
something for everyone in your church - educators,
mission committee members, clergy, deacons, treasurers           Hospitality
                                                                          Safe Church
and others - so we hope you‟ll gather a team and make           Welcomers Treasures
your way to Ludlow! Workshops sizes are limited and will
be assigned on a first-come first-serve basis, so please
                                                              Love & Good Deeds
register early. Registration forms can be found online

Annual Meeting - Looking back and looking forward
This is the second Super Saturday being held to supplement the 211th Annual Meeting
that was held in June, 2010, and as such it continues in the same theme: “Provoke One
Another… to Love and Good Deeds” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
This Super Saturday, however, also looks forward to the 212th Annual Meeting to be held
in Sturbridge on June 18, 2011, with three workshops looking at resolutions to be taken up
at that gathering.

Pricing and Registration
Delegates who attended the Conference Annual Meeting in June of 2010 will receive the
special discounted delegate rate, or they may transfer that rate to someone else in their
     Annual Meeting Delegate rate: $29.00
     Early Bird rate (register by Jan. 31): $39.00
     Regular rate (register by Feb. 21): $49.00
     Youth gathering participants $15.00
     all prices include lunch and materials
     Please see Pastor Mark if you would like to receive scholarship for this event.

“Hand to Hand/ Heart to Heart: School Kits and Paths of Justice”
A Super Saturday Gathering for Youth in Grades 7 - 12 and Youth Leaders
This gathering will run simultaneously with the wider Super Saturday event. Join us for
music, storytelling, thinking, praying, playing, and putting our faith into action.
                                                                       Messenger 9

                                                  The Wizard of Oz
                                          The Amherst Leisure Services
   An Invitation to Singers               Community Theatre will be presenting
                                          the beloved musical, “The Wizard of Oz”
At our first rehearsal of the New Year,   January 13-16 and 21-23 at Bowker
January 7, 2011, the choir will begin     Auditorium on the UMass Campus.
learning the cantata that we will
present this spring.                      This is a fully staged production with
                                          spectacular singing, dancing, costumes,
We will be singing John Rutter's          set design, a full orchestra and even
Requiem with the Williamsburg             flying.
Congregational Church Choir on
April 10, 2011.                           Several members of our church
                                          community are involved in the
This is a beautiful work composed in      production including Heather Davies as
1985. We will be offering four            “Glinda”, Samantha Hinds as a
movements from the Requiem                “Lullabye League Munchkin”, Jonathan
(Requiem aeternam, Pie Jesu,              Naughton as the “Munchkin Mayor”
Sanctus/Benedictus, and Psalm 23:         and a “Flying Monkey”, Karen Hinds as
the Lord is my shepherd) in order to be   the Costume Designer and Cindy
sure that the cantata is an appropriate   Naughton as the Musical Director.
length for inclusion in our worship       They would all love to have friends from
service.                                  First Churches come and see the show.

We invite any interested singers who      Tickets are available by going to
are not already in the choir to join us Tickets may also be
for the next three months. We will        purchased at the Bangs Center in
devote the last part of each of our       Amherst.
rehearsals (7:45-8:30) to learning the
Please consider joining us--and
bringing a friend (church membership
is not required)!
We promise you will enjoy singing this
lovely music!
Please call Dana at (727-8677) if you             Ladies Luncheon
would like to sing along!
                                             The Dorcas Society will not meet for
                                            their monthly ladies luncheon during
                                           the month of January. Please look for
                                            the next scheduled lunch date in the
                                                    February Messenger.
Messenger 10

                               ~ STATEMENT OF WELCOME ~
 We, the members of The First Baptist Church of Northampton and the First
 Church of Christ in Northampton, together known as the “First Churches,” invite
 into our fellowship and membership all persons who love God and accept Jesus
 Christ as their Savior, without regard to such differences as race, ethnicity, age,
 gender, ability, sexual orientation, economic status, marital status, level of
 education, or any other difference that may be misunderstood as a barrier to
 Christian fellowship. We further welcome all who seek God, and we express our
 sincerest hope that in fellowship with the community of faith they may find the
 answers for which they search.

                               ~ENVIRONMENTAL COVENANT~

   We are an Environmentally Covenanted Church and promise to lift up and care
   for God‟s earth through what we do in worship, education, individual and
   congregational lifestyle choices and in our church‟s community, national and
   global involvement.

              The staff of                                        Pastoral
  The First Churches of Northampton
            Wishes everyone
            Happy New Year                          If you have prayer requests or pastoral
                                                       needs, please contact Pastor Mark:
Rev. Mark Seifried        Interim Pastor            774-262-4070 (c) or 508-852-0961 (h)
Janet Dahlberg            Music Director
Dana Pasquale             Music Director          We encourage you to please contact the
Giselle Dudley            Church Administrator    church office if members or friends would
Cindy Naughton            Christian Ed.Director   like a home or hospital visit.
Kevin Mulligan            Church Sexton
Liza Knapp                Youth Director
                                                   “May the God of hope fill you with all joy
                                                    and peace in believing, so that you may
Office: 413.584.9392      Fax: 413.582.9942
                                                   abound in hope by the power of the Holy                   Spirit.” Romans 15:13

                       A special thank you from Lynne LaValley
     Lynne would like for everyone to know how much she has appreciated your kind
     gestures, good will and well wishes. It gives her great joy and comfort to know that
     out of sight is not out of mind.
             Lynne‟s address is 80 Damon Rd. Apt 1108 Northampton, MA 01060.
                      January 2011
                   Monday        Tuesday    Wednesday          Thursday        Friday       Saturday

                        JUNE 2010


2              3             4              5              6              7             8
No Sunday      4:30          7:00 Peace     7:00           12:30 Capital 3-7:00
School         Hampshire     and Justice    Deacons        Campaign      Farm Share
               Assoc.        Meeting        Meeting        Meeting       Pick up
               Ministry                                    Epiphany
               Committee                                                  7:00 Choir
                                                           Three Kings
9              10            11             12             13             14            15
Three Kings                  6:30 Finance   6:00 Book                     3-7:00
Celebration                  Committee      Discussion                    Farm Share    6:00
                             Meeting                                      Pick up       Pollinate
Fair Review                                 7:00
Meeting                                     Trustees                      7:00 Choir
16             17            18             19             20             21            22
MLK Service    MLK Day                      6:00 Book                     3-7:00
               Office                       Discussion                    Farm Share
Sunday         Closed                                                     Pick up
School                                      7:00 Council
Resumes                                     Meeting                       7:00 Choir

23             24            25             26             27             28            29
                                            6:00 Book                     3-7:00
               Messenger                    Discussion                    Farm Share
               Submissions                                                Pick up
                                                                          7:00 Choir

30             31
The Ministry
Of Janet
Churches of Northampton
129 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060

                        The First Churches of Northampton
                     129 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060

                   We are a combined church of American Baptist
                            and United Church of Christ

               Worship Service, Sundays at 10:00 A.M., with child care
             Children's Sunday school at 10:00 A.M. Everyone is welcome!


                              Telephone: 413-584-9392
                                 Fax: 413-582-9942

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