Posts by florencechurch

Mini Sermon #25

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:41-46 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:34-46 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 (NRSV) (KJV) Today, as we look at Jesus’s ministry, we look at the question of the Messiah. Now, the term Messiah has become a bit warped in the modern Christian consciousness.  It’s original meaning from Hebrew culture over two thousand years ago has been pinpointed by Christians and early church leaders onto a specific individual, and then has evolved as…

Call to Meeting 11/15

The Florence Congregational Church130 Pine Street, Florence, MA  01062Telephone: (413) 584-1325Fax: (413) 584-0760 The Reverend Averill Elizabeth Blackburn To the members of the Florence Congregational Church of Northampton, Massachusetts, in Florence, City of Northampton, Massachusetts: You are hereby notified of the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Florence Congregational Church on November 15, 2020 following the morning worship service in the Sanctuary. For the following purposes: To Review and vote on the 2021 Annual Budget and the 2021 slate of officers.…

Mini Sermon #24

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:15-22 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 99 (NRSV) (KJV) This week we continue with the Gospel of Matthew, but we don’t quite have a parable.  We do, however, have a teaching from Christ. Before we turn to the rather famous “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” and what caused Jesus to utter these words, we are presented with a verbal confrontation the Pharisees have with Jesus. I have often remarked that to understand the parables,…

Mini Sermon #23

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:1-14 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Philippians 4:1-9 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 (NRSV) (KJV) This is the parable of a wedding–and let’s be honest, everyone loves a wedding. Speaking from experience, I know that weddings can get pretty ugly, pretty quickly (at least in the planning stages). Although I have yet to be a bride, I’ve been a flower girl, a bridesmaid, an impromptu maid-of-honor, and a groomsmaid (for those of you who are fortunate enough not to…

Podcast of the Bill Newman Show

If you missed Rev. Averill on “the Rev. and the Rabbi” portion of The Bill Newman Show yesterday – you can relisten to the podcast! Conversation topics include: her education in Scotland, her ties to the greater Northampton community, Sojourner Truth (briefly), the future of Florence Congregational Church, and interfaith dialogue!

Rev. Averill on Bill Newman Show Tomorrow AM

Rev. Averill will be a guest on the “Bill Newman Show” tomorrow morning. She will be speaking about the history of Florence Congregational, its future as we move forward, as well as what it was like to study for the ministry in Scotland! You can listen in at about 9:30 AM on WHMP 101.5 & 107.5 FM / 1240 & 1400 AM or online here.

Mini Sermon #22

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 21:33-46 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Philippians 3:4-14 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 19 (NRSV) (KJV) A Note on Storytelling Techniques Once again, Jesus returns to the idea of a vineyard and a vineyard owner when telling his parable. There are two obvious reasons for this. It is not – however – because Jesus lacks imagination – in fact, throughout the Gospels we can see that if Jesus had any earthly faults, a lack of imagination was not one of them.…

Mini Sermon #21

Jesus’s parables should never quite be taken at face value. Of course, the beauty of these stories – these lessons – is that they can be and the reader or listener can still get meaning out of them. However, if we really want to get to the heart of a parable, we have to understand the Historical Jesus and, quite often, the world and times in which he lived. The wonderful thing about this particular parable is that its designed…

FCC to Reopen Its Doors

On Sunday, November 1st (All Saints Day) at 10 AM Florence Congregational Church (FCC) will resume worshipping in our sanctuary, located at 130 Pine Street. We will be following the guidelines and mandates per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A full list of the current guidelines can be found on mass.gov. The following are the safety precautions all attending worship must follow: Face masks are to be worn at all times. Social distancing will be practiced within the church to help…

Mini Sermon #20

Author: Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn A quick note on Translation The NRSV reads that the laborers or workers are promised a “daily wage.” The daily wage – traditionally – was a Roman coin known as a denarius that held cultural significance. I will be referencing the denarius several times as it meant something to those working and was also a symbol of Rome. The “landowner” owns a “vineyard,” which has a very specific harvest schedule. Once the grapes spoil, they…