Court Street Bridge with the First Congregational Church in the background

Gordon L. Morales was processing some old glass negatives and came across this one of the Court St. bridge, with the  First Congregational Church  in the background. He kindly sent it to Renee. This image is dated sometime around the turn of the century.

This image can be viewed in a larger format by following the link below. Additionally It can be viewed in it’s original dimensions by following the link below and then clicking directly on the image.

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Court Street Bridge Binghamton circa 1900
Court Street Bridge Binghamton circa 1900

First Congregational Church is Now on Facebook

The church is now on Facebook, please consider viewing and liking the page….

It is also possible to view the Facebook feed directly from the church website at the very bottom of each page. So even if you don’t use Facebook, you can still view the latest posts easily.

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Gordon L. Morales was processing some old glass negatives and came across this one of the Court St. bridge, with the First Congregational Church in the background. He kindly sent it to Renee. This image is dated sometime around the turn of the century. ...

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Divine Feminine Worship Service ...

Divine Feminine Worship Service

September 4, 2016, 10:00am - September 4, 2016, 10:15am

It is World Goddess Day, Sunday September 4th, and I’m inviting you to a worship service that I will be doing that morning at 10 AM in the Sanctuary of the United Church of Christ, 30 Main Street, Binghamton, NY The title of the Sermon is “Divining the Sacred Feminine” The service was originally inspired by our “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” Christian education class that focused on images, stories and beliefs around the divine feminine. And what life would have been like if we grew up believing in the Sacred Feminine as a society. With so many recent events happening in our world motivated by hatred, fear and violence, how is the soft, gentle, silent but powerful loving presence of the Sacred Feminine to ever make a difference or survive in these man-made times? As we learn to “Divine the Sacred Feminine” we begin to understand what must be done and rise to the occasion to do so. This is also the day that Mother Theresa will be canonized as a Saint and we will be recognizing her efforts and self-less work as well. I invite you, your loved ones, and our sisterhood of women to this full bodied experience that will delight all your senses, move your soul, and inspire you to act from a place of hope, power, and peace. Thank you for your time, consideration and heart, Many blessings, Rev. Renée Guidelli

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People of Blessing Interfaith Service ...

People of Blessing Interfaith Service

June 8, 2016, 7:00pm - June 8, 2016, 7:00pm

The First Congregational Church of Binghamton is hosting the People of Blessing Service as part of Pride Month. The Service affirms diversity in community , lifting up the common thread amongst us and affirming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The theme for this year's service is " It's Just Love" . The service will include music, readings, speakers and a shared blessing by community clergy. The offering for this evening will go to support this annual service and other programs of the Pride Coalition. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served following the service.

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People of Blessing Interfaith Service ...

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Come to Funday School “where every Sunday is a Funday”

Come to Funday School “where every Sunday is a Funday”

*Children bring unique gifts of wonder, excitement and creativity that can make worship more meaningful for all.

*Children have important things to teach us about God. Children worship with each new discovery in their lives with reverence, adoration, respect, love awe and praise.

We invite you and your children to become a part of a community that laughs together, cries together, struggles together and worships together.

The following are some reasons why church matters to kids:

  1. The church matters (deeply) to Jesus.
  2. The church is his body and kids matter deeply to Jesus.
  3. Jesus wants to run to our kids and embrace them as his own children through love and prayers, song and praise.
  4. The church matters because your kids matter to Jesus, and through his church, Jesus blesses them.
  5. If Jesus matters to us, then what matters to Jesus will matter to us.


Seasons of creation will begin in September with the following lessons
  • Forest Sunday
  • Land Sunday
  • Wilderness Sunday
  • River Sunday

Where each Sunday will evoke a connection with the story of Genesis

*Please note that Sunday Service starts at 10 Am and Children are encouraged to stay with their parents/caretaker until the end of the first Hymnal when we leave for Sunday school. Sunday School is typically over at 11:30 PM

“Let the little children come to me for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” Matthew 19:14

Sunday School is Fun

Feel free to contact the church office at 607-723-8981 with any questions.  We look forward to educating, enlightening and inspiring your children to experience God’s Love.

January 2018 Forecaster – Advent and Christmas Hymns, Meaning and Memories

Star of Bethlehem, 1885-1890, Edward Burne-Jones.

In this edition of the UCC Binghamton Forecaster, the Rev. Dr. Arthur Suggs shares some witty and soul-stirring reflections on some of the traditional Advent and Christmas hymns, including an uncle named Harold (Hark the Herald Angels Sing), and Mary, the First Theologian (What Child is This, Who, Laid to Rest).

About In the Bleak Midwinter, Pastor Art shares this: “Christmas occurs right after the Winter Solstice. And this is not a coincidence. And this hymn serves as one of the deepest, yet most subtle, reminders of the light breaking forth when it is darkest, of warmth breaking forth when it is coldest. The “earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone” is symbolic of when life is hard, operating at a primal, Jungian level in our souls. So also the image of a tender newborn, asleep on the hay, with a radiant Mary looking on, instills a message of love, hope, peace in our souls, softening the ice and iron.”

Read the rest of the reflections, and other notes from the church family, here:

January 2018 Forecaster


The Overture – Why Does the Christmas Story Matter?

The Holy Night, 1867, by Carl Heinrich Bloch. {{PD-1923}}

Why does the Christmas story matter?

Because Jesus was teaching spiritual freedom in a time of brutal occupation and slavery, where there was no sense of justice for oppressed peoples.

As Pastor Art notes in the sermon, “So this cute story, with animals and angels, and wise men and shepherds is at the root of a parabolic overture to a deeper and grander story of spiritual freedom and spiritual healing for all of us.”

Read the full sermon – The Overture (12-3-17)

Surpassing Worth – Pollyanna’s Glad Game and Troubled Times

Bronze statue of Pollyanna in front of the public library of Littleton, New Hampshire. CC, Davey Nin via Wikimedia.

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

In this sermon, Pastor Art speaks of the story of Pollyanna and her “Glad Game,” and where a positive attitude fits in when particularly horrible events occur in our society.

He says, “In our culture, being labeled Pollyanna or Pollyanna-ish is actually an insult. It means that you’re unrealistically positive , and that’s what I’m wrestling with today.”

“I have an extremely high view of humanity, as you all know: Made in the image of God; children of God; the kingdom of heaven within us — all these kinds of good things.”

“Am I being Pollyanna-ish? That’s for you to decide.”

Read the full sermon: Surpassing Worth (10-8-17)

Christianity 2.0 – Part 1: The Spark That Lights the Fire

Light Shining Through Stained Glass Window. PD Image Courtesy of Stock Photos 4 Free.

The Rev. Dr. Art Suggs started his Christianity 2.0 sermon series this way:

“As a Senior Pastor,  I am convinced that the Church Universal is in need of, and is in deed in the midst of, a new Reformation.

The Church in conversation with the world religions, and especially with the multiple branches of science, finds itself in need of an upgrade.

Redefining divinity, humanity, and the relationship between them, is now the prime directive for our time.

Previous understandings are clearly inadequate.

Therefore, my attempt at Christianity 2.0. It is time to install an upgrade .”

Oh, and Martin Luther? He had some issues with the Church and its rules in his time, too.

Read on for more intel and inspiration on Christianity 2.0 – Part 1:

Christianity 2.0 – Part 1: The Spark That Lights the Fire (11-19-17 Sermon)

Christianity 2.0 – Part 2: Changing From Battle Metaphors to Evolution

Cave entrance, Naracoorte, Australia. {PD} Burningwell.

In the second sermon in his series on Christianity 2.0. the Rev. Dr. Art Suggs (a.k.a. Pastor Art) started with a provocative excerpt from Brian McLaren’s book, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That are Transforming the Faith.

As the title of this sermon suggests, Pastor Art’s sermon delved deeply into some of the stickier questions that confront and invite spiritual growth among contemporary Christians — including one questions that changed the life and ministry of a Michigan mega-church pastor.

Read the full Christianity 2.0 Sermon Series here (PDF)

No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.