Fall Speaker Series: Dr. Marty Nathan

13445629_10154288611543147_7745777084810082661_nThe Adult Education Fall Speaker Series is privileged to feature Dr. Marty Nathan this Sunday, October 30 after worship in Bailey Hall.  This is the second installment of a series of speakers featuring Local Heroes of Social Justice.

Dr. Nathan is a committed lifelong activist regarding issues of social justice including race, environmental justice, homophobia, economic disparity and civil rights.  She graduated from Brown University, and then Duke Medical School in 1977.  In addition to her extensive social justice efforts, Dr. Nathan is currently a Family Medicine specialist based in Western Massachusetts.

Notably, Marty Nathan’s first husband, Dr. Mike Nathan, was killed in The Greensboro Massacre in a confrontation with Ku Klux Klan and American Nazis.   All of the white gunmen were ultimately acquitted.  At the time her husband was slain, Dr. Nathan’s daughter was only six months old.   In 1985, Dr. Marty Nathan prevailed in a major civil rights lawsuit against the City of Greensboro, in which the City settled without apology on behalf of itself the KKK and American Nazis.  Together with other victims, Dr. Nathan founded the Greensboro Justice Fund which helped grassroots organizations fighting against racism, environmental injustice, union-busting, homophobic violence & civil liberties violations in the South.  She also participated in  The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the early 2000’s, which lasted more than two years.

Many original documents relative to the civil rights lawsuit and the Greensboro Massacre are available for review online as PDFs at the Civil Rights Greensboro website where you can browse by subject and date.  These documents provide a wealth of information on the struggle against the Ku Klux Klan around the Greensboro Massacre, and brings the full impact and tremendous weight of those days front & center in our consciousness.

Dr. Nathan has continued her work in social justice with her current husband, Prof. Elliott Fratkin of Smith College.  Together, they helped found the Cliniquita Fund.  This fund, based in Springfield, brings healthcare to undocumented immigrants.  Four years ago, Dr. Nathan also helped found Climate Action Now, which has formed the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition. She is a columnist and regular contributor on issues of climate justice to the Daily Hampshire Gazette & the Springfield Republican.

This opportunity to hear Dr. Marty Nathan – an extraordinary Local Hero of Social Justice – is not to be missed.  Her wealth of experience and commitment to social justice is inspirational.  If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the church office at 567-6287 or leave a message here.

Women’s Ministry: The Other Couch

The Women’s Ministry Group of First Church is pleased to host a gathering to discuss The Other Couch: Discovering Women’s Wisdom in Therapy, coauthored by Patricia Peters Martin, Ph.D and our own Helene DeMontreux Houston, M.S., APRN. The meeting will occur on Monday, January 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Buxton Room. Helene Houston will join us to present this work & answer questions.


Through the eyes of two wise and experienced therapists, The Other Couch explores the lives of 36 spirited women who struggle and overcome challenges with courage, resilience, and commitment.


The Other Couch is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and e-reader formats. Several copies of the book will be available in the church office for $15/each, as well. More information is available here: http://theothercouch.com


Light refreshments will be served. As always, Women’s Ministry invites all to attend, whether or not you are a member of the church, so please bring a friend & come with questions! Contact Kristin Thomas at kristinannthomas@gmail.com for assistance, and to be placed on the Women’s Ministry mailing list.

Women’s Ministries Book Group Reconvenes

The Women’s Ministries Book group of First Church Longmeadow will reconvene Monday, December 7, 2015 at 7pm in the Buxton Room.  We will be discussing Patti Smith’s new memoir M Train.

The website Brain Pickings (which you should consider bookmarking if you havent already) has put together a salient & beautiful review of this book.

Copies of M Train will be available on reserve in the Storrs Library on the “First Church” reserve shelf within the next couple of weeks.  Because this is a brand new book, it may be difficult to reserve many copies for any length of time, but we will try.  The book is also available online at Amazon & in bookstores everywhere (especially independent bookstores – purchase from there if you can, I am sure Patti would approve!)

Last year we had a wonderful time reading our way through a couple of books & sharing our dreams & experiences.  One thing that we were reminded of is that women of our faith community are intellectually powerful.  I chose this book because I am sure the wisdom, poetry & intellectual rigor of this author will challenge us all (in a good way)!

This is an open group – we welcome those both from our church & those who are not – so please bring a friend, I will see you all in December.



Centering Prayer


Wed. at 1:00 pm; Friday at 4:00 pm; Thurs. at 9:30 am (Centering Prayer only)


When we sit in Centering Prayer we need to remind ourselves that we are not doing anything and we are not experiencing anything. We are just sitting, open in pure faith to the Divine Presence and Divine action within us. There is the promise of this Presence within, all through the scriptures and we know it by faith, itself a gift from God. So just sit in silence believing. You have faith that God is with you and for 20 minutes you are not going to do anything which blurs that faith.


20 minutes of silence


Rev. 21:3 I heard a great voice from the throne saying ,” Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them.