Racial Justice

We affirm that Black Lives Matter. When police shootings and mass incarceration affect people of color disproportionately, we remember that Jesus prioritized relationships with society’s marginalized, enacted a realm of radical inclusion (called the “kingdom of God”), and himself died a violent death, executed by the Roman state.  First Church has been involved in stand-outs for racial justice, book groups, racial justice preaching and worship service themes, and opportunities to work to repair damage to persons of color in our community.

As part of First Church’s commitment to Social Justice, the Church Council signed the Not in Our County Pledge in August 2020 to stand up against hate, and to work to build a safe, inclusive community for all.  Signing this Pledge is a public statement of our Church’s intention to do this work in various ways, and to ally ourselves with other local organizations striving to do this work.


First Congregational Church, Williamstown, is located upon the homelands of the Muhheconeew, or Mohican Nation, today known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.

After colonists displaced the Mohicans from their homelands in the 1780s, notably with the direct involvement of Ephraim Williams Sr., the Oneida invited the Nation to their territory in western New York. However, following continued pressure from colonists in New York state, Mohican sachems were eventually removed again to Wisconsin, where they signed a treaty in 1856 with the Menominee Nation and the US Government. Despite this dispossession and hardship, members of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community persist as a federally recognized Tribal Nation and have always placed great value in returning to their northeastern homelands.

Land Acknowledgement
“It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge that we are learning, speaking and gathering on the ancestral homelands of the Mohican people, who are the indigenous peoples of this land. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.”