Reflections from Interntaional Peacemaker Visit


First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo had the pleasure of hosting Rev. Thang Van Lian from Oct 1-6 through the PCUSA’s International Peacemaker program. Rev. Thang, originally from Myanmar spoke about peace and reconciliation, particularly around the crisis in his home country.

Rev. Thang had a very busy week visiting Presbyterian congregations in Williamsville, Lewiston, Jamestown and right here at First Church!


On Wednesday October 2nd, First Church held a public forum to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and the challenges facing Burmese refugees living in Buffalo. The event started with a cultural hour with tables of information from local organizations, henna painters and a food truck. The panel then took place with representatives from community organizations. Joining Rev. Thang were representatives from Journey’s End Refugee Services, UB School of Social Work and Burmese Community Services.


On October 6th, World Communion Sunday, First Church held a joint worship with Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church. Rev. Thang gave a sermon about global peace, harmony and goodwill. He spoke about his life in Myanmar, growing up in a rural village experiencing significant challenges, racial and religious discrimination and life threatening situations. We were all inspired by his message of peace and reconciliation.

Throughout the week Rev. Thang got to see and experience new things in Buffalo, including a tour of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. We thank Rev. Thang for his visit and all of the memories and powerful messages we gathered throughout the week!

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First Church's newest members

Nick Militello and Dani Chapman

Nick Militello and Dani Chapman

Kailee and Eli Van Brunt

Kailee and Eli Van Brunt

First Church is delighted to welcome as new members Kailee and Eli Van Brunt, and Dani Chapman and Nick Militello. 

Kailee, Eli, Dani and Nick will formally join the church during an October worship service.  Adding to the joy of this moment, Eli and Dani will be brought into membership through the sacrament of baptism. 

Kailee comes to First Church through a transfer of membership from the First Presbyterian Church of Corning, N.Y., where her parents still worship.  Nick’s membership will be confirmed through his reaffirmation of Christian faith.

The Bible from the Roots Up class


Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9, a new course, The Bible from the Roots Up, will be offered at First Church. 

The Old and New Testaments often are seen as texts whose interpretation and origins were established centuries ago.  And yet new scholarship and archeological discoveries compel readers to consider novel interpretations and approaches to these sacred writings. 

Presbyterians and countless other peoples of faith believe in the divine inspiration behind the Bible, but recognize that its long history of development is a story that can be freshly told in every generation.   

The International Peacemaker Visit

The 2019 PCUSA International Peacemakers

The 2019 PCUSA International Peacemakers

A great cloud of witnesses!  Rev. Thang Van Lian of Myanmar (front row, center) is the PCUSA International Peacemaker who will be visiting Western New York October 1-6 with a message of peace.  Rev. Thang is one of a dozen leaders affiliated with the Presbyterian church who are fanning out across the United States to testify to the promise of hope in their home countries and conflict areas around the globe. 

First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo will be Rev. Thang’s host during his visit, with a special presentation at the church on Wednesday, October 2 at 6 p.m., and a worship service joining several Presbyterian congregations on World Communion Sunday, October 6 at 11 a.m.