Family Promise Volunteers Needed!

Family Promise returns May 14

The First Church will once open our doors to 3-4 homeless families for seven nights in the middle of May.  We will again need volunteers to make dinner, host dinner, and stay overnight.  Ideally, we need one male and one female to sleep over night for each of the seven days we are hosting the families.  Overnight volunteers have their own private room (one of the two offices upstairs) and a comfortable bed to sleep on.  To sign up to help out speak with Jessica Kane or Hannah Diozzi or sign up here: http://signup.com/go/diZR2o

Program on November Election

Program on November Election

RESCHEDULED for Thur, April 6 at 7 pm

CLICK HERE FOR PRESS RELEASE

On Thursday, April 6, Pam Wilmot will lead a program about the November election and the current state of voting rights and access around the country.  Wilmot is the Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts and will describe how congressional districts have been redrawn since the 2010 Census and how and whythis “new age of Gerrymandering” is undermining our democracy.  In addition she will address about the current state of the Electoral College and explain why it no longer serves the original purpose of our country’s Founders.

This program is part of the First Church in Salem’s “Resistance” Speaker Series for 2017.  Over the course of the next 12 months the congregation is hosting a series of programs dealing with major social and political issues facing the United States.  

FILM: TIME TO CHOOSE - Climate Change for Good

Join us for a FREE screening of "Time to Choose," a documentary by Charles Ferguson about the urgent need to transition to renewable energy. With footage from five continents, "Time to Choose" explores the scope of the climate change crisis and the power of solutions already available. Learn more about this inspiring film and watch the trailer here, http://www.timetochoose.com/

6:30 - 7:00 Social hour / light refreshments
7:00 - 7:15 Welcome
7:15 - 8:30 Film
8:30 - 9:00 Optional Q&A

SNOW DATE: Wed., March 1 (you never know; it could happen!)

SPONSORED BY:
* Salem Alliance for the Enviornment (SAFE)
* North Shore 350
* Action Together North Shore
* The North Shore Environmental Coalition

For more information, visit www.SalemSAFE.org or contact jeffreysnell@comcast.net.

Minister's Musings: December 2016

Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us.

Dag Hammarskjold

As months full of turning points and surprises go, this last one was a quite something.  Regardless of where you might fall on the political spectrum, I think we all can agree about the last few weeks being memorable.  I know a lot of members and friends of our congregation had concerns going into the election and have concerns now.  At least one of the most mean-spirited political seasons in living memory is over.

I believe that communities like ours become more important, not less, during times like this.  Our way of being religious, our values, our vision for our community and nation, matter.  They really do matter. 

Lest we forget, we have been a community that makes a difference for a very long time.  Members of this congregation were patriots fighting for the founding of this nation.  We were abolitionists struggling to end slavery.  We were reformers advocating for the creation of public education, social relief organizations, and prison reform.  We were suffragists laboring for the right of women to vote.  We are a community that is part of a larger tradition that strives to make our world a better place.

And that tradition continues to this day.  The torch is handed to us at a time like this, as we stand up for our values, our interpretation of religion and scripture, and our belief that diversity does not make us weaker but rather contributes to our vibrancy and strength as a people.  And we are a part of larger tradition that believes God is found in this sort of work.  In the words of a former minister, “Church is the place where you get to practice what it means to be human.”

During this season of Advent, we are invited to reach out to the world in acts of hope, peace, joy and love.  I hope all of us will take one of the many opportunities we each have to do just that, be they large or small.  Our youth are practicing “random acts of kindness” this month.  Our members are finding ways to converse and connect about things that matter to us. (See information about our new “Conversation Circles.”)  During this season of merriment and festival of good tidings, there are so many ways that we can bring light to the lives of others, and then ourselves.  This is what this time of the year is all about.

 

A word about Global Warning

A word about Global Warning

The warnings are growing louder and we believe that more of us need to pay attention. The largest scientific body ever assembled to study anything, (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), has recently warned that human beings face a planetary crisis unless we can reduce our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 80% or more by 2050. This is profound.

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Meet Rev. Jeffrey Barz-Snell

Meet Rev. Jeffrey Barz-Snell

The Rev. Jeff Barz-Snell is the thirty-first minister of the First Church in Salem and was ordained here in December of 1998.  His responsibilities include planning our weekly religious services, pastoral counseling, outreach and managing the staff and programs for our growing congregation.  Jeff works to develop ongoing programming including children's religious education, adult discussion groups, lectures and social functions like our Pancake Breakfasts and Family Fun Nights.

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