Posts by Pastor Nanette

Mission of the Month Applications 2020

For ten months each year our congregation supports the efforts of a non-profit organization through our monthly Mission of the Month donations. These donations are a minimum of $600 of our church’s Outreach funds plus any monies offered by our community members towards that month’s mission (so donations usually range anywhere from $800-$1200). A representative…

Scholarship Opportunity

We are now accepting applications for the Gustely Family Memorial Scholarship Fund for the 2019-2020 academic year. Please note that only members, the children or grandchildren of members of First Church may apply. The requirements of this scholarship are that candidates exhibit qualities of character and need. Past academic performance is a further consideration of…

Holy Week: An Expanding Tradition

The first Christians or “followers of the Way” as they were known, observed only one special occasion each year: Jesus’ resurrection or what we now call “Easter.” In time, the first liturgical season morphed into being. It was a season of preparation for this holy day and it became the practice of many Christians, especially…

A Response to Violence

Beloved, The past days have brought distressing news. Many of us gathered in solidarity and worship yesterday morning and will keep doing so every Sunday as we yearn for peace, justice, and kindness in this broken yet beloved world. In light of the mass murder at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday, I encourage you to reach out to…

A Letter from the Pastor November, 2018

Beloved, As we approach this Thanksgiving season, I have been praying about the word “appreciation.” Hearts filled with appreciation move quickly and easily to thanksgiving and it spreads within communities. As Voltaire wrote: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” In church revitalization there is…

Season of Creation

On Sunday, September 9th, I shared a message entitled, Gathered for Goodness. It’s the first in a new season we’re trying out at First Church – the Season of Creation. Starting with that Sunday, and covering the next few weeks, we will be coming together for the Season of Creation. It’s celebrated annually by tens…

The Passing of the Peace

You may have noticed that on Communion Sundays we’ve begun to “pass the peace” with one another. I thought it might be helpful to give a little background and context to this practice of turning to those around you at church and exchanging some variation of the words “Christ’s peace be with you” and responding with something like: “And also with you.”…

A letter from the Pastor … March 2018

Beloved, Seeking to capture the poetry of the original Hebrew, Everett Fox’s translation of Genesis beautifully captures the chaos that reigned before God breathed the Word that would begin to bring a sense of order to the earth: At the beginning of God’s creating of the heavens and earth, when the earth was wild and waste, darkness over the face of Ocean,…

Pride Festival and Equality March

Thank you to all our magnificent volunteers for organizing and running our booth, our marchers for representing First Church, and our Community Steelband for providing some awesome entertainment! Check out our Facebook page for photos from the day. Come represent and share God’s boundless love with the wider Akron community at the Akron Pride Festival…