First Church Amherst | United Church of Christ MA

Web Name: First Church Amherst | United Church of Christ MA






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In-person worship resumes

Please join us in the sanctuary or watch the the live-stream on YouTube at 10:20 a.m. on Sundays. The channel is First Church Amherst, MA. In-person worshipers must wear masks and observe covid-related modifications.

A Just Peace church

If you’re looking for a church that is committed to making and promoting peace in the world (and trying to discern what that means in specific situations), please check us out. We have been a Just Peace church since 1987, and we love to welcome others who are longing for peace.

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We are a sanctuary church

For three and one-half years we offered sanctuary to Lucio Perez. Thanks be to God, Lucio now has a temporary stay of deportation and is home with his family.

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Family campout launches the fall program

The not-to-be-missed annual tradition brought church people of all ages to a pot-luck dinner, a bonfire (with s'mores), and a night of camping in the rain, followed by pancakes, hot chocolate, and home-made pear tart.

Youth Group visits Broad Street Ministry

First Church youth spent a week in Philadelphia at BSM, preparing and serving meals, talking with community leaders, and learning how the triplets of evil - racism, poverty, and mass incarceration - damage individuals and communities.

Together we seek to follow the call of Jesus Christ

Empowered by God’s Spirit, we commit ourselves to doing God’s work: seeking justice, loving kindness, making peace, and walking humbly together with God.

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Family retreat on Cape Cod

First Church families spend a beautiful weekend of fun and fellowship at Craigville.

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We are Open & Affirming

We welcome and affirm all people, including people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions into the full life and ministry of the church.

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We care for the Earth

We are committed to actively caring for God’s creation in the face of climate change and environmental degradation.

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We are committed to Anti-Racism

We seek to be a force for the elimination of racism and white privilege. We are engaged in an ongoing process of learning how to help dismantle racism.

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Come Sunday For ...

Worship & Communion 10:30 a.m.

Sunday School & Child Care 10:30 a.m.

Coffee Hour  After worship

Vibrant Community

New Here?

Welcome to First Church Amherst! No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, we are glad you are visiting us and look forward to greeting you in person.

What to Expect

Who We Are

First Churchers are a family and community that seek to identify how “God is Still Speaking” in our lives, our community, and our world at this time in history.

Who We Are

Latest News

Easter is Almost Here!

We are so excited to be celebrating Easter in person for the first time since 2019, and we would love to welcome you to this special service!

The service begins at 10:30, and will feature majestic organ pieces, two anthems sung by the First Church Choir (their first time singing in worship since 2019), Communion, a special children’s sermon, Sunday School and, at the end of the service, an outdoor egg hunt for children.

Masks are required, but we have found that continuing to wear masks for a while longer helps us all to feel Covid-safe and makes it possible for more vulnerable folks to worship with us in person.

The service will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel, but we’d love to see your face!

Lent 2022: Made for Glory

For we are what God has crafted, cerated in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand to be our path.— Ephesians 2:10

By tradition, Lent is a season of intentional focus on spiritual healing and renewal, a holy invitation to draw closer to God by following Jesus’ path of self-giving love. The Year W lectionary readings we’ll be using this season also invite us to consider and celebrate how we fit into the big picture of God’s extravagant love, which is to say: what our lives and our church are meant for.

These are the same questions we have been asking in our Alive with Purpose process. What joy there will be in bringing together in one rich season the gifts of Lent, our personal faith journeys, and the discernment of our purpose as a church!

There’s much more information about this in this Register and to come—about a Lent Challenge, Lent Lunches, a Lent Bible Study, reflection questions, and an inspiring touchstone. The heart of our journey together will be the time we spend in prayer, worship, and holy conversation. Please plan now to take on the challenge, and to participate in as much as you can!

(All services and events will be offered in a hybrid format, with in-person participation strongly encouraged and online options available via YouTube or Zoom.)

Ash Wednesday, March 2, 7 p.m.: Made for Wholeness

First Sunday in Lent, March 6: Made for Partnership

Second Sunday in Lent, March 13: Made for Good

Third Sunday in Lent, March 20: Made for More

Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 27: Made for Love

Fifth Sunday in Lent, April 3: Made for Joy

Palm/Passion Sunday, April 10: Made for Redemption

Maundy Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m.: Made for Communion

Good Friday, April 15: Made for Faithfulness (location, time, and format TBD)

Easter Sunday, April 17: Made for Life

Christmas Eve services

Advent and Christmas at First Church Amherst

It’s hard to believe we’re heading into a second pandemic Advent and Christmas, but we thrilled to be able to do a lot of things in person (as well as on YouTube) and we’d love to have you with us.

Here’s the main schedule for our Sunday worship services, Longest Night Service, Christmas Eve services and a few other special events. We’re also offering an Advent Bible Study and a special Advent Vespers series. If you’d like to know more about those, please give us a call at 413-253-3456.

Here’s the main theme and schedule:

Advent 2021: One True Thing

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of a parent’s only child, full of grace and truth. —John 1:14 (Women’s Lectionary translation)

When so much has changed. When so little is certain. When the ground keeps shifting beneath our feet. When divisions deepen and justice seems farther away . . . Advent invites us to remember, prepare for, and celebrate one true, never-changing thing: That God’s love is with us.

There is more than one true thing, of course; and we’ll be exploring some others. But in saying “one” we claim the most fundamental truth: that God is ever and always with us, that the Holy is always present and breaking in again to what is human and material.

To more fully explore One True Thing, we’ll be taking a three-pronged approach to the season: Advent Sunday and special worship services; “Advent Unbound” at Wednesday evening Zoom Vespers; and a two-part Advent Bible Study focusing on a new resource, the Year W Lectionary. (Read more about each of these offerings in the following pages.)

Because we’re still in a pandemic, we’ll be making some adaptations to ensure that everything we do is both safe and inclusive, either in person and online or just on Zoom. Make plans to engage as much of the season as you can. Prepare to revel in the gift of the One True Thing.

November 28, First Sunday in Advent
That Hope Will Sustain Us

Friday, December 3, 6 p.m. Family Advent Gathering—front porch
7 p.m. Greening of the Sanctuary

December 5, Second Sunday in Advent
That Peace Will Try Us
Trimming the Tree

December 12, Third Sunday in Advent
That Joy Will Surprise Us

December 19, Fourth Sunday of Advent
That Love Will Guide Us
A Service of Lessons and Carols

Tuesday, December 21, 7 p.m Longest Night Service (location TBD)

Christmas Eve: 5 p.m. Pageant service
10 p.m. Meditative service with Communion

Sunday, December 26, 10:0 a.m. Christmas Carol sing on Zoom

Welcome New Director of Youth and Family Ministry

We are thrilled to welcome Nathan Patti to First Church Amherst as our new director of Youth and Family Ministry.

Nathan brings with him a newly-minted Master of Divinity degree from Boston University and several years of youth ministry experience with churches in Florida.

We’re looking forward to resuming more youth and family events in the coming weeks and months, and we hope YOU will be there!

In-person worship resumes!

We look forward to welcoming all who feel comfortable with in-person worship on Sunday, July 11.

Contact First Church Amherst

First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
165 Main Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-3456

Contact Us

Mission Statement

We are God’s hands and feet. Together we seek to follow the call of Jesus Christ. Empowered by God’s Spirit, we commit ourselves to doing God’s work: seeking justice, loving kindness, making peace, and walking humbly together with God.

View Full Mission Statement

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