First Church Responds to COVID-19

As people of faith, we understand that Science, Math and Reason are all gifts of God.  As such, we trust the research that indicates we must do our part to flatten the curve.  All of this has informed our decision to close our doors, that we might do our part to lessen the advance of the Coronavirus. The sooner we all implement the practices urged by the CDC and W.H.O., the sooner we will come through this and get back to normal.  

What does this mean? From now, until further notice, we will offer worship exclusively online. Our small groups, teams, task forces – anything for which you formerly came to 38 South Winooski Ave. will, henceforth, be conducted via Zoom or conference calls.  (NOTE: In late May the Rev. Elissa Johnk added Wednesday afternoon “Outside Office Hours” – details below.)


  • All-Church Worship will be online at 10am on Sundays
    • Click on the YouTube icon to access the FirstChurch BTV – YouTube Channel.
    • CLICK HERE for the Sunday May 31, Order of Worship
    • Videos of worship services can be watched at any time (after 10am on Sundays).
    • Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
  • If you want to call in to listen to worship, dial: 301-715-8592, then enter: 208-054-269#
  • Sundays at 9:30am, we’ll post a video to our YouTube Channel of the Church School lesson for the day.
  • On Sundays – immediately following the 10am streamed worship, we’ll host a Zoom Coffee Hour! 
    • CLICK HERE to join the Coffee Hour Zoom Meeting!
    • OR PHONE in to the ZOOM COFFEE HOUR: Call 301-715-8592, and enter 591-074-317#


Tuesday thru Friday at 12:30pm, visit our Facebook page– to join a 10 minute prayer session led by Elissa.  




We are hosting regular gatherings using the platform “Zoom”.  You should be able to join a meeting simply by clicking on the link below the event, and following the instructions.  You can also call in using the numbers listed below each event.  For more detailed instructions on how Zoom works, CLICK HERE. 

Tuesdays: Music Matters at 3 p.m., led by Director of Music, David Neiweem –  What a great opportunity to be in discussion with a master of church music.
– David will be including special guests in the weeks ahead. Please email David with your topic suggestions ([email protected]).
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 152-915-611#


Wednesdays: Outside Office Hours with Elissa, 2 to 4pm The Rev. Elissa Johnk is offering “Drive-by” (outside) office hours on Wednesdays from 2 to 4pm.
Please wear a mask – visiting will be in the church parking lot or on the “portico.”
No appointment needed!   Elissa is looking forward to reconnecting in person – come by for a visit!


Wednesdays: Check-In with Hannah Sachs, 3pm Meet our new Director of Creative Ministries, Hannah Sachs, on Zoom at 3pm on Wednesdays as she hosts an open discussion time in these early days of her ministry at First Church BTV.  Zoom link – or Call in: 1 929 205 6099, then enter 849 708 245#



Thursdays: Bible Study at 3 p.m., led by Lead Minister, Elissa Johnk   

– Each Thursday we will explore the Bible readings for the upcoming Sunday worship.
– Connect to Bible Study with Elissa on Zoom using this LINK – or by phoning in: 301-715-8592, then enter 951-190-153#
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 951-190-153#

Fridays: Spirit Seekers at 3pm:  “Spirit Seekers” is planned to be an “On Being” style forum for folks to share their spiritual journeys and life stories with an interviewer, in order to foster deeper connections with one another.  If you have a story to share, or someone you’d like us to interview – please let us know by clicking here!  On Friday, May 29 at 3pm: Ann Vivian will be our special guest on Spirit Seekers.   Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 994-109-977#


First Church Phonic – offers you the opportunity to listen to:
– Spirit Seekers Interviews
– Story-tellers from May’s “Good Luck, Bad Luck, or No Luck at All!” – and similar future events.
– Yet More Light prayer times with the Rev. Elissa Johnk
– and more!
–  Use this LINK to connect to our podcast!


Take a look at our current “First Church BTV – Family E-Newsletter” for links to all programs for children and youth – and some at home activities.

This content is also linked in a Sunday – Family Facebook Event – linked HERE



Sundays at 9:30am, we’ll post a video to our YouTube Channel of the Church School lesson for the day and host a Zoom meeting for the youth (time tbd).



Middle School: A weekly email is being sent to our middle school group – for more information – contact Middle School Ministries Coordinator: Becky Johnston




High School Youth: The high school youth have painted a mural on the back of the church, have built raised garden beds on the church lawn, are planting seeds and seedlings and are making masks for people in the community.       High School Zoom Meeting! Email High School Ministries Coordinator Elizabeth Emmett for details about this post-Sunday morning worship Zoom meeting for high schoolers.                                                                  Confirmation Meetings will occur as scheduled, via Zoom.   Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 389-249-715#


  • For any prayer requests, emotional support, or other assistance you may need during this time, please email our Partners in Pastoral Care and Clergy at [email protected]  
  • Our Partners in Pastoral Care and Deacons Teams are working together to be in regular contact with our members and friends during this time.  If you haven’t received a call, or know of someone who is in need, please email [email protected]  


Your stewardship is more important than ever in this time.  You can mail in your checks, or use one of the options below.

Click here to give now


  • GIVE to First Church by texting: FCCBUCC to 73256 to give a gift using your text messaging. Standard text message rates apply.


  • JUMP – with COVID-19 precautions in place in Vermont – JUMP has created “JUMP FLEX” – so that phone and email can be used to connect people in need with valuable and much needed direct services. 
  • Our AA and NA meetings will resume meeting at First Church when they feel comfortable after “stay at home” is lifted. 
  • Small Potatoes continues serving Saturday morning breakfast and bag lunch (now outside) at First Church having made adjustments to menu and serving methods; volunteers have agreed to disinfect any space used following the meal. 
  • The New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church has temporarily cancelled all in-person events. 
  • The Office will be open from 10-3 T-F, but most staff will continue working from home for the time being.  A small crew of volunteers will be regularly disinfecting the common areas for the safety of our office staff and volunteers.


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