Building the Beloved Community
First Church Somerville UCC

This Week at First Church

Ordinary Time



This is the first Sunday in it feels like forever when we are not blessing, commissioning, baptizing, instituting, setting aloft, or otherwise celebrating some big great thing/people. In the liturgical year, we are getting deep into what is known as Ordinary Time. It is exactly what it sounds like--not Lent, not Easter, not Pentecost, not Advent, not Epiphany--just, ordinary time. A chance to be rather than to do. A chance to enjoy what is daily and doesn't stand apart. God knows we need it, and the church fathers and mothers were smart enough to hallow it into the Church's year.

I'll be preaching, the second in a mild-mannered sermon series I like to call Summer Reading, because, guess what, I like to read in the summer. I'm preaching on the runaway bestseller among young adult fiction, The Hunger Games, and on a very strange, disturbing and illuminating story from Chapters 6 and 7 of the book of 2 Kings (read it!). Matthew Miller is our able liturgist. Jeff will teach our littles and join us for the offering and benediction. Mike Rodehorst sings! We won't have a baptism, or communion, or any extra liturgy whatsover. Just you and me and God, and the easy way we have of being with one another, and likely a couple of newbies shopping us. YES!

In the meantime, some homework: go have some ordinary time of your own. Can you quit work early? Hop on your bike? Not have a mountaintop experience, but rather, a park bench or a hammock experience? 
Bless you, and may you be a blessing to someone who needs it~

Sunday July 8: Sabbath Worship: Totally ordinarily wonderful music and preaching and religious education for littles, 10am
Wednesday July 11: Molly's office hours, Diesel Cafe, 8:30-10am
Thursday July 12: Jeff's office hours, Diesel Cafe, 8:30-10am
Sunday July 15: Sabbath Worship: Summer Book Series, The Life of Pi, Rev. Jeff preaching, 10am
All Week Long: Small Groups getting aloft! 

Summer Retreats

Wilderness Retreat

On Saturday, August 18, Rev. Jeff will be leading folks into the wilderness of Vermont's Green Mountains, for a quick overnight ascent into community and communion with nature. Whether you're an experienced backpacker or eager for your first foray into back-country camping, you're invited! RSVP to Jeff at

Family Retreat

On the weekend of August 10-12, Rev. Molly will lead a low-key Family Retreat at South River Flower Farm (aka friend Les and Sam's land) in Conway, MA (near Shelburne Falls). My friends will be away and have graciously offered their eco-friendly home and land for us to enjoy. Shallow river for swimming or fishing right on the property, tubing in the nearby Deerfield River, trampoline, homemade treehouse, zipline for littles and mediums, chickens and more. We'll harvest veggies from the fields, make communal meals, stare at the campfire, have sweet light worship together. Some beds available indoors, and lots of space for tenting. We'll do some chores in exchange for using the space, and chip in for groceries. RSVP to Molly at

Summer Small Groups

What are summer small groups? 
Summer Small groups are an opportunity to spend time with a smaller group of Beloved others - sometimes the coffee hour multitude can feel a little too big and loud and it's nice to settle down to chat or play with a smaller crowd. 
When do the groups start meeting?
Summer small groups start in July and will meet about once a week or as often you want.  We'll wrap it all up in August sometime with a little party to celebrate our new relationships.
What do we do in our group?
Dinner party?  Bicycle ride?  Happy hour?  JP Licks?  Art project? Prayer group? Service project? You can do whatever you want to do!  The co-leaders of each group will you get you together for the first time and help you decide how you'd like to spend time getting to know one another better.
AWESOME!!!  How do I sign up?!
Molly, Jeff, and the Holy Spirit have assigned you to a group!  Everybody gets a group!  You may have a busy schedule this summer, but the invitation to go a little deeper with your fellows will still be extended!
Questions, Concerns, Comments?  Send them to Pastor Jeff -

Defying Gravity Capital Campaign

Our First-in-decades Capital Campagn to rebuild our crumbling church has come to an official close. We demolished our initial goal of $500,000 and have raised close to $600,000 toward the $750,000 total cost of necessary renovations! Misplaced your pledge card? Want to be part of liftoff, and didn't make a commitment yet? Contact Jeff Banks ( 
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