First Church this Week

Welcome to First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington!

You are invited to worship at 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.


June 4: Senior Sunday!  Sunday’s worship service – in person & live streamed on YouTube at 10am- will include communion – open to all – and the opportunity to celebrate all who are graduating this spring.  The Rev. Elissa Johnk and Director of Music Amy Shortt will lead this hopeful, faithful gathering.  All are welcome and invited.

Planning on worshiping virtually on Sunday June 4?

  • To view the live stream (or later recording) of the Sunday 10am worship, use this link: FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel
  • Check back here on Sunday morning for linked copies of the Order of Worship, Announcements, Celebrations and Prayers, and the link to the virtual fellowship option on Zoom that follows worship.
  • Visiting First Church in person or remotely? Complete our Welcome Card using this LINK
  • Giving to First Church?  Learn more about how to give and about our Stewardship Campaign using this LINK
  • CLICK HERE to receive the First Church e-Newsletter


Want to know more?  New to First Church?

Participate in First Church 101 on Sundays May 21 and June 4 at 11am – and on Sunday June 11 at 9am with the Rev. Elissa Johnk.  Questions? Contact Caroline at: [email protected]


Let’s demonstrate our solidarity for racial justice – this Sunday – following worship on the First Church front lawn.  Bring a sign – or use one that we have on hand – and a chair if you want.  Our Outreach Team welcomes all to participate.


Sunday June 4 is our last free Phone In Legal Clinic before they resume in September.  This opportunity is available to anyone in Vermont with a legal concern.

  • CLICK for details and an invitation to share.


VIA invites you to help our precariously housed neighbors! You’ve seen the press coverage about how many hundreds of Vermonters will be evicted when the motel program ends. CLICK HERE to learn more about how to take action now.


Our Outreach Team is pleased to announce that residents of Dismas House on Buell Street will be “growing and harvesting” vegetables in the First Church raised garden beds this summer.  What a great new spin on our long-term mission partnership with Dismas House!


Our FirstChurchBTV Outreach Team invites volunteers to donate meals for youth at Outright Vermont gatherings. Want to know more?  Please contact Outreach Team member Louise Brewster at [email protected] for details and potential dates.


All are invited – novice and experienced paddlers.
Use this LINK to learn more about “Pull Together” – our FCCB Team!
Registration for the Dragon Boat Festival is open!
Questions? Contact our great Team Captain: Baki Nelson


Learn more and RSVP – using link:


Mark your calendar to gather on the First Church front lawn with friends and family for an upbeat time with Burlington’s drumming group: Sambatucada!


Invite your friends to a joyful First Church tradition dating to the late 1980’s!  Arrive early to enjoy jazz as the band starts before worship and stay after for more jazz outside – and ice cream for all!


There are many ways to support First Church by helping outside in the spring and summer!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.

To volunteer – please complete this online form and we will be in touch!


Mark your calendar – Peace Camp 2023 is set for July 10 thru 13.

The Rev. Elissa Johnk, the Rev. Ken White, our Burlington UCC congregations: First Church and College Street, will be together for this all ages, four-evening event for children, youth & adults.Together we will enjoy good food, timeless stories, beautiful music and delve into activities with themes of peace – in age group settings.

Please register as soon as possible to support our planning.  Use the link below to learn about Peace Camp volunteer opportunities!


Many have asked how we can help? 
The Elmwood Community Shelter (pod project) is open!  CLICK HERE to learn more about this innovative housing initiative. We are invited to help by providing individually packaged servings of snack foods: granola bars, oatmeal packets and individual bags of chips and crackers. Our Outreach Team invites your donations any Sunday – a special container will be in the Chapel – or drop them off in the Church Office. Thank you!

Raphaella “Raph” Brice’s art is featured in a March thru April exhibit in the Midway Gallery at First Church.  Learn more about graphic illustrator and digital artist, Raph Brice’s work HERE.

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# –


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]) to be added to the e-list for youth program updates.

College Street UCC will host the youth meetings on May Wednesdays from 6 to 8pm.

Our First Church BTV & College Street Church Youth Group is having a great year!

The group recently had an overnight “Lock-In” at First Church that was full of fun and meaning.  To get a glance of what they experienced – take a look at this short video that Youth Ministry Leader Jason Vanderlaan put together following the adventurous “Lock-In!”

Envelope Fundraiser Supports Youth Group Mission Trip: You can take part by selecting an envelope (or two or three!) with a number on it – equal to the amount you want to donate – from the First Church Midway bulletin board.

  • Return the envelope(s) with your donation to either Youth Ministry Leader, Jason Vanderlaan or to the Church Office. Donations can be made online – use THIS LINK and selecting Youth Mission Trip – or by check to First Church, Memo: Youth Mission Trip. Thank you!
  • Each envelope contains words of “hope, concern, wondering about the trip” written by one of the youth. These words are intended to invite donors to support the youth with prayer during their trip.
  • Thanks for supporting our First Church BTV/College Street Church Youth Group as they travel to Maine in June to serve with HOME.
  • Interested in learning more about our UCC/BTV Youth Group?  Contact Youth Ministry Leader Jason Vanderlaan.


The Sanctuary Choir rehearses on Thursdays at 7pm – and on Sundays at 9:15am – at First Church.

CLICK HERE for the current Choir Update and to learn more about making music at First Church


  • CLICK HERE to watch our Sanctuary Choir, soloist Kristen Elder-Connors & Music Director Amy Short offer: “I Believe”
  • CLICK HEREto watch our Sanctuary Choir & Music Director Amy Short offer the John Rutter’s: “Look at the World” during worship on October 16, 2022.
  • CLICK HERE to watch Emy Berger, flute and Music Director Amy Shortt, piano offer Katherine Kennicott Davis’s “Let All Things Now Living” as a postlude during worship on October 23, 2022




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.



Our PIPC – Partners In Pastoral Care – Team and affiliated volunteers known as: “Friends at First” have been busy in the ministry of providing meals for many years.  In collaboration with our clergy, PIPC coordinates meal deliveries within our church community in response to various times of need.  Interested in participating in an upcoming Meal Train? Contact PIPC Chair: Janice Clements at [email protected]


NAME TAGS help BUILD COMMUNITY We’ve rolled out new, magnetic name tags!  Please use this LINK  to request a name tag  – let us know your specific name request (nickname, pronouns, etc.). Thank you


ZOOMING: We are hosting regular and periodic gatherings using the platform “Zoom”.  You should be able to join a meeting simply by clicking on the link provided, 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.


CLICK HERE for First Church Phonic  – – offering you the opportunity to listen to:
– Sermons
– Spirit Seekers Interviews – including recent Spirit Seeker guests: Helen Head, Becky Levasseur, Richard Gagne, Hilah Clarke and Carlanne Herzog!  Listen online on HERE.



OUR THRIFT STORE – THE POSSIBILITY SHOP is OPEN: The Possibility Shop is open – 10am-3pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Requirements  & Limitations include: Masks are required; physical distancing required;  limited number of shoppers at a time (you may need to wait for your turn to shop).

      • DONATIONS: Please bring Possibility Shop donations to First Church any time between 10am and 3pm – Tuesday though Friday.  Clean clothing and household items in good  condition are always needed.
      • ESPECIALLY NEEDED NOW:  Spring and summer clothing in excellent condition for all ages.
      • VOLUNTEERS INVITED: On open days (Wed. & Fri., 10-3); on weekdays when the shop is closed (Tues. & Thurs.); &/or projects at home.
        • Greet customers in the midway (near Church Office), count those entering and exiting, keeping the number within the allotted safe amount… a great opportunity for readers and knitters!
        • Assist with the financial aspects of the shop, @two to three hours per month.
        • Handle and help sell older, valuable items that are donated to the shop.
      • Questions?  call Karan Dewar 802-922-3821 or Brenda Fraser 802-862-4747.  Thank you.


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