Welcoming All, Seeking Justice, Finding God

First Congregational Church of Burlington

Please join in our Silent Vigil for Racial Justice this Sunday from 1 to 1:30. Bring a sign – let’s stand together. Our witness is important – our solidarity is a statement.

PROP 2: 101 on Sunday! We are hosting another opportunity for you to participate in PROP 2:101 at First Church – this Sunday October 2 at noon.  Please come to this excellent program with the VT Racial Justice Alliance – and stay for our Silent Vigil at 1pm.

Prop 2 is on this fall’s VT ballot. It is an amendment to the Vermont Constitution that fully abolishes slavery.  As it is written today, Article 1 of the Vermont Constitution does abolish slavery but with some specific, significant exceptions. To learn more: 
  • CLICK HERE to sign the Prop 2 pledge and consider volunteering to support passage of Prop 2.
  • CLICK HERE for the Vermont Interfaith Action website.

All are invited to worship at 10am on SUNDAY OCTOBER 2 – in person at First Church or virtually on our YouTube channel.

JOINT WORSHIP SERVICES: The College Street Congregational and First Congregational Church – Burlington’s UCC faith communities are coming together for two joint worship services on Sundays October 2 and 9.

On Sunday October 2 – both congregations will worship at First Church.  All in the wider community – and all connected with both congregations – are invited to worship at First Church at 10am as the Rev. Elissa Johnk and the Rev. Ken White will co-lead worship inviting all to celebrate communion in community.  As UCC congregations, both offer communion to all on the first Sunday of every month.  You are invited – if celebrating communion will be a first for you – or if you have been at the communion table hundreds of times.

Sunday October 9th – will also be a joint service for the congregations.  “Service Service Sunday” will start at the College Street Church at 10am – the details are below.


WORSHIP at First Church or Online:

You are invited to worship with First Church at 10am on Sundays in our Sanctuary at 38 South Winooski Avenue in Burlington OR on the FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel. Worship services are live-streamed at 10am on Sundays on and the recordings are available on our YouTube channel anytime following the worship service. Fellowship time follows worship at First Church and online on Zoom) following the live-stream of worship.

Worshiping remotely?

  • To view the live stream (or later recording) of the Sunday August 21 10am worship –  click on the graphic above or use this link: FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel
  • CLICK HERE for the October 2, 2022 Order of Worship
  • CLICK HERE for the October 2, 2022 Announcements
  • CLICK HERE for the October 2, 2022 Music Insert
  • CLICK HERE for more information about the “Good Enough” Book Discussion Groups
  • Giving to First Church? For more information use this LINK
  • Visiting First Church in person or remotely? Complete our Welcome Card using this LINK
  • CLICK HERE for information about VT Prop 2
  • CLICK HERE to receive the First Church e-Newsletter


A NOTE FROM OUR REGATHERING TEAM: Our Team continues to meet regularly. Summer updates to our guidelines include optional mask wearing for all speaking from the pulpit and for those not singing while playing the organ or piano.   CLICK HERE for information about our guidelines adjusting on October 2, 2022 with masks wearing becoming recommended rather than required as of 10/2/22.

CLICK HERE to read the Rev. Elissa Johnk’s September 16, 2022 letter that addresses the upcoming regathering guideline changes.


October 9 is Service-Service Sunday:  Our two congregations will be together for a brief worship service at 10am with prayer and song at the College Street Church – followed by service projects for all ages for both congregations. There will be a service for every age and ability.


GOOD ENOUGH – SERMON SERIES & DISUCSSION GROUPS:  What if your life isn’t perfect?  Or the world?  Is your faith “good enough”, and how do you tell?   ‘

  • Kate Bowler’s book: Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection will shape our fall sermon series, asking us to examine deeply, compassionately, and with humor, the ways our faith life can support us in these challenging times. 
  • Book discussion groups are forming now, to discuss this highly praised national bestseller. A variety of option are offered with groups meeting in person and on Zoom – at various times on different days – and there is a men’s group being organized.
  • Copies of the book are available at Church for $15 – the book is also readily available from other sources.
  • ONLINE SIGN UP FORM: For more information about times/days of the groups that are organizing &/or to let us know that you want to participate in a group – &/or to reserve a copy of the book – please sign up online using this LINK: https://bit.ly/goodenough2022 or contact the Church Office at [email protected] with your contact information.


The Rev. Elissa Johnk invites all to participate in a conversational Bible Study – on Zoom – on Thursday mornings at 8:30am.  All are welcome and invited.  CLICK HERE for the Zoom link. Or call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 951-190-153# –  https://zoom.us/j/951190153


What’s Prop 2 All About?
Vermont Voters will see Prop 2 – a VT constitutional amendment abolishing slavery – on the ballot next November.  Learn what it’s all about and consider signing the “Prop 2 Pledge” using the card now available at church on Sundays or online using this LINK
  • Watch a video of the February VIA – Vermont Interfaith Action – educational event at FirstChurchBTV about VT Prop 2 – HERE


CLICK HERE or n the graphic to learn more about the community events listed.


In the Midway Art Gallery 

In the exhibit “Behind the Hands” photographer Jorge Carlos Alvarez Diaz focuses on the lives of Vermont’s migrant farm workers.  The exhibit – open to all – is currently in our Midway Art Gallery.Through their focus on immigration issues with VT Interfaith Action, our Outreach Team learned about the photo exhibit now on display in the Midway Art Gallery.

The exhibit includes two sets of photos by Jorge Carlos Alvarez Diaz.  The “Hands that Speak” images— are paired with Dartmouth College student interviews with migrant workers at six dairy farms.  The interviews and photos seek to bridge cultural barriers and tell the stories of essential workers who, though our neighbors, are nearly invisible in VT society.

The second set of photos: “Look Me In The Eyes; Face to Face with People on the Other Side of the Wall” are images taken at a Mexican border wall by Diaz in an effort “to unveil everything that darkens the judgment towards these faces. It is a genuine avenue to open artistic windows of empathy.”   Diaz sees photography serving as a “witness, language and sense of communication enriching culture.”

The Midway Art Gallery is open on Sunday mornings and during Office Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10am to 3pm.


STORY-TELLERS WANTED! We’re organizing a FirstChurchBTV Moth-style story telling event for October Friday October 21 – from 6:30pm to 8pm.  All are invited!

The theme is, “Toto, I have a felling we aren’t in Kansas anymore!”

We are looking for stories of surprise and unusual context. Do you have a story to tell? Haven’t told a story to a group?  We will support you and help you through it!

Stories create connection and build community – let’s have some fun!


CLICK HERE to learn more about making music at First Church!


2022- 2023 Youth Programs – A Burlington UCC Collaboration:  The College Street Church & First Congregational Church UCC

YOUTH PROGRAMS: We are happy to share that our collaboration with the College Street Church will be on-going and that the fall calendar for youth programs is taking shape!  For details make sure that you subscribe to our Church Newsletter. Families with middle and high school youth are encouraged to contact Hilah Clarke, Director of Faith Formation ([email protected]stchurchburlington.org) to be added to the e-list for youth program updates.

The first youth meeting is set for Wednesday September 21. The Youth Program update for  September 16 is LINKED HERE




BOOK SELECTIONS for 2022-2023: The Women’s Book Group has made their reading selections for 2022-2023. Most months, the meetings are on Zoom at 7pm on the 4th Monday.  CLICK HERE to learn more.



There are many ways to support First Church by helping out… outside!

  • If your “green thumb” is experienced… or if you are a novice gardener or mower… we are grateful for your involvement and will help you get started.
  • Many volunteers work in pairs – we can match you up with someone or you are welcome to schedule your time volunteering with someone.
  • Please complete the form linked here: https://bit.ly/greenthumbfccb and we will be in touch soon!
  • Got questions?  Contact Caroline Catlin in the Church Office: 802 862 5010 ext 4 or email: [email protected] OR contact Bob Wolf of our Connections Team at: [email protected]


CLICK HERE for the “Sermons Online” page of this website – giving you access to video recordings of many past worship services at First Church.




CLICK HERE &/or subscribe to our E-Newsletter HERE





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