Interfaith Programs

Interfaith Programs

PVP Update (March 2020)

Here is a follow up from the most recent PVP meeting:

  • We are continuing to move forward on campaigns related to housing, the opioid crisis and more.  We are forming teams for each of these campaigns which will drive campaign research, strategy and lead mobilization as needed.  Please get in touch if you would like to join a campaign committee!
  • We are asking for delegates from every member organization to attend PVP monthly meetings.  This can be from 1-3 people who act as the liaison(s) between PVP and their organization.  Delegates can receive training for their role if requested.  It’s really important that all of our member groups are at the table as we determine our direction.
  • We will be forming a Racial Justice Book Group in April!  The book is “So You Want to Talk About Race,” by Ijeoma Oluo.  The group is open to all PVP members and discussions will be facilitated.  Please get in touch if you would like to participate!

Here is recent media coverage of PVP’s work:

PVP Micah Awards Event

February 8, 2020

Mary Friedman and a group of First Church of Christ members attended the Pioneer Valley Micah Awards on February 8, 2020 where our own Rev. Marisa received an award for her tireless advocacy and action for Social Justice and Peace. Below are copies of Mary’s Call to Action and Pastor Marisa’s Award Biography.

Call to Action

First Church of Christ In Longmeadow joined the Pioneer Valley Project (PVP) last year.  There is wonderful diversity in PVP’s member groups which makes it a great way for our church to form meaningful relationships with a wider range of people, and enrich all of our lives. We are surely all in this together.

PVP gives us that opportunity for engagement. Recently First Church learned about the Nguni Bantu term “ubuntu”.  This concept means “I am because you are.”  My well being depends on your well-being. This idea is central to the work of the Pioneer Valley Project. If one of us or a group of us suffers from injustice, we all suffer.  All of our faiths teach us this.

Our country and our world are hurting.  We see daily the effects of hatred, division, and violence.  We, as individuals, faith communities, and other concerned groups are needed to act. …

Pioneer Valley Project

Save the Date!
Pioneer Valley Project’s Community Action Meeting

Tuesday, October 29th – 6:00-8:00 PM

Location TBA, Springfield

Join Us As We Take Action for:
-Quality Public Schools
-Addressing the Opioid Crisis
-Safe and Affordable Housing
-Ending Gun Violence

As new members of PVP we want to have a good turnout for this! Let’s show them that First Church CARES about what happens in the city! If you can go, please let Mary Friedman or Anne Landry know.

“Justice is what love looks like in public.”
-Cornell West

Pioneer Valley Project Update

July 2019

First Church is now officially a member of the Pioneer Valley Project (PVP) of Springfield. PVP is a diverse coalition of faith-based organizations and other groups which work together on a variety of social justice issues in the greater Springfield area.

At the PVP’s Issues Assembly, on June 25th at Sinai Temple, a large group of representatives from each member organization met to determine three major issues to address for the coming year. Six members of First Church attended this gathering. After an evening of sharing and discernment, the group identified the three areas for focus: 1. Education, 2. Housing 3. Opioid Crisis.

Attendees signed up for one of the three areas. They will gather information by researching and interviewing key players in the community. Next, the research team will identify an action which is specific, immediate, and winnable within the broad topic. (For example, in the broader area of education, PVP members were successful in getting the Springfield public schools to institute a “late bus” so that students could participate in after school activities or extra help.) Anne Landry is part of the Housing Research Team and Mary Friedman is on the Education Research Team which has had two meetings to identify people to interview and questions to ask.…

Coffee and Conversations

*Coffee and Conversations is meeting online!  Join us through Zoom!  Instructions below.*

Tuesdays at 10:00-11:00 am. 

Come for conversation with a cup of coffee and a faith presence!  On any given day Faith leaders and community members from Jewish, Episcopal, Catholic, UCC, Lutheran, Methodist, Muslim, Baha’I, and no faith tradition have joined us to talk about life bringing the lens of their sense of the sacred and guiding principles to the table.  Anchored weekly by Pastor Marisa and other interfaith friends.

All are welcome. Please join us as you are able.

Church Without Walls

First Sunday of every month @ 12:00 PM

(December will be the 3rd Sunday-December 15, 2019)

Court Square, Springfield, MA

Come down and join Pastor Marisa with a growing First Church presence at this organic outdoor service, rain or shine! Introduce yourself, meet our friends in the streets who join us in worship!

First Church is now part of Church Without Walls – a ministry to the homeless in Springfield launched and coordinated by St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Longmeadow and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts held with different partner clergy of Episcopal and UCC churches to provide weekly worship with free lunch on Sundays, and supplies on Tuesdays for the homeless including blankets, tents, sleeping bags, rides to medical treatment and more.

Each month First Church Longmeadow partners with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church to provide an ecumenical communion worship service with free lunch and snacks to people of the streets in downtown Springfield the first Sunday of every month! 

Join us every month on the first Sunday of the month – Church Without Walls (CWW) 12:00 – 1:00pm in Court Square, Springfield

Next CWW: Sunday December 15, 2019**  

** please note the date change – normally First Church does the first Sunday of the month but for December, Pastor Marisa preaches on the third Sunday:   DECEMBER 15, 2019

Come be with us as we offer a full worship service with communion, followed by lunch for all outdoors – you can help us in distributing communion and serving food, and you will never forget meeting and talking with the folks who come to this amazing street ministry!