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Faith Matters: How to still the muddy waters of overthinking: Clarity, peace and God can be found in the quiet spaces
04-12-2024 10:43 AM

By THE REV. CINDY LAJOY

Have you ever walked through a season of your life where, no matter how hard you tried, you were unable to see your way through to the “other side?” Maybe you have been anxious for months about a major decision you need to make, but despite your...

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Faith Matters: ‘A place where there is no man’: A call to realize that we are the ones we have been waiting for
04-05-2024 1:30 PM

By JASPER LAPIENSKI

“In a place where there is no man, strive to be a man.” (Avot 2:6)If you take just the second half of this statement, it sounds uncomfortably familiar: Be a man. We hear that a lot these days. Real men don’t cry; be a man. Shoulder the burden. Do your...


Faith Matters: Never-ending love is the message of Easter: As Jesus’ disciples of today, spreading this love is our mission
03-29-2024 12:23 PM

By THE REV. DR. CANDI ASHENDEN

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and many little children in our towns will wake up to discover that the Easter Bunny has arrived while they slept and hidden real and/or plastic-colored eggs around their living rooms or yards, perhaps along with some little...


Faith Matters: Supporting life after jail: St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ashfield hosts ‘Moving Forward: From Incarceration to Community’ April 13
03-15-2024 3:24 PM

By HETTY STARTUP

There are many citations about prison fellowship and ministry in the Bible, including the Psalms, the Book of Isaiah and perhaps most well-known, chapter 25 of Matthew’s gospel.At St. John’s Episcopal Church this spring, the teachings are being taken...


Faith Matters: All are welcome at Open Table: One effort to nurture respectful conversation among those who may see the world differently
03-09-2024 7:00 AM

By JAN FLASKA

I often ask the students I teach to tell me which fruit was forbidden by God in the Garden of Eden. A quick, abrupt answer is speculative: “Apple!” A thoughtful answer obligates us to read the source, which states that it is not specified. Now the...


Nation’s oldest continuously existing spiritualist community marks 150 years in Lake Pleasant
03-07-2024 11:47 AM

By AALIANNA MARIETTA

One hundred and fifty years ago in Lake Pleasant, horse-drawn wagons shuffled along dirt roads lined in tents, cottages and boathouses. Steamboats raced along the lake while swimmers played water games, hot air balloons flying over their heads....


Faith Matters: Covenant as an art: How caring for others puts us in touch with God’s love
03-01-2024 11:34 AM

By THE REV. JAMES KOYAMA

I’d like to share a recent experience with you and what it says to me about being part of the church in our world. Quite recently, one of our members passed away. He was a man beloved by many, who I came to know near the end of his life.When we...


Finding God everywhere: Pastor Peter Stilla of the First Congregational Church in Hadley pens new book about Christian Universalism
02-23-2024 1:50 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

Peter Stilla of Deerfield has had multiple careers. For much of his life, he was a journalist. This work included stints doing editorial work at the Greenfield Recorder and its sister paper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette.In 2000, he decided to attend...


Faith Matters: Nurturing bonds through full bellies
02-16-2024 1:52 PM

By JUSTIN LAWRENCE

Every year, we find ourselves eagerly anticipating the return of a beloved tradition that warms not only our hearts, but also our stomachs — the roast beef suppers at the United Church of Bernardston. This cherished event has been an integral part of...


Faith Matters: Celebrate love by sharing love: Loving one another means everyone, not just one special person
02-09-2024 12:53 PM

By THE REV. LINDA M. RHINEHART NEAS

In a few days, people around the world will spend billions of dollars on cards, candy, jewelry, flowers, and a night on the town to prove their love and affection to a special someone. I may be wrong, but I think St. Valentine is rolling over in his...


Diocese sues Northampton for right to remove church windows before selling St. Mary church
02-07-2024 11:08 AM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has filed a lawsuit against Northampton, claiming a stop-work order preventing the removal of stained glass windows at the former St. Mary of the Assumption Church ahead of an impending sale...


Faith Matters: God is not Google: God’s gifts require patience in an often impatient world
02-02-2024 12:03 PM

By THE REV. CINDY LAJOY

Have you ever wondered why God sometimes leads us on what seems like a long and winding road, just to end up mere steps from where you started? Have you ever asked God to answer your prayers in a hurry, only to find yourself waiting for a response for...


Faith Matters: The gospel according to baseball: It is never too late for each of us to have a great 9th inning
01-19-2024 11:36 AM

By BISHOP DOUG FISHER

As you are reading this column, we are 35 days away from the official start of Major League Baseball’s Spring Training.So it is only fitting that I begin this column with a couple of inspirational baseball stories.Growing up in the 1960s, like many...


Faith Matters: A call for community: Only in community can we fulfill God’s plan for the church
01-12-2024 11:29 AM

By PASTOR MARK E. ELLIS

One of my favorite movies is “Castaway,” a dramatic, Robinson Crusoe-type tale about one man’s survival on a desert island. Tom Hanks plays FedEx executive Chuck Nolan, who boards a FedEx plane to attend a business meeting in Malaysia. Over the...


Faith Matters: Awakening from slumber
01-05-2024 3:13 PM

By GURUJIMA

The year of awakening from slumber is upon us, and many new things will happen that will create this awakening. Open your eyes, beloved ones, and see what we need to awaken to. It is to the preciousness of each day of life and our responsibility to be...


Book Review: ‘God’s Hidden Places’
12-29-2023 6:06 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened “God’s Hidden Places.” The book’s author, the Reverend Patricia Gallagher of Greenfield, bills it as a memoir and more. It’s unconventional, and yet it generally works and moves the reader.The book is a...


Faith Matters: Here we are
12-29-2023 6:01 PM

By HETTY STARTUP

As the calendar year turns, our faith communities seem like they are running to just catch up from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, both positive and negative. In this context, it makes more sense that I was asked recently to talk with...


Faith Matters: Are we not satisfied with Christmas?
12-22-2023 1:03 PM

By THE REV. RANDY CALVO

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. The excitement is palpable, especially since Frosty and Rudolph have engulfed us since the moment Halloween was over. However, I mention with reservation that some Christians seem somewhat dissatisfied with the Christmas...


Faith Matters: Let our weary world rejoice
12-15-2023 10:23 PM

By THE REV. CANDI ASHENDEN

We are now right in the middle of the Advent season and also in the middle of the frenzied holiday rush. We are trying desperately to find the joy in the season as we shop for gifts, or help others out, or begin to consider baking special treats, or...


Craft fair, crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Leyden church
12-07-2023 3:43 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

LEYDEN — The Leyden United Methodist Church has taken its lumps in the past few years, and parishioners hope a holiday craft fair, paired with a crowdfunding campaign, can help raise the money needed to keep the doors open.The craft fair is scheduled...


Menorah arrives on Greenfield Common for first time in nearly 30 years
12-06-2023 5:30 PM

By MARY BYRNE

GREENFIELD — Nearly 30 years after a menorah was last placed on the Greenfield Common, the traditional candelabra has once again been erected in recognition of the eight-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.The eight-branch Hanukkah menorah was built and...

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