First Church this Week


WORSHIP In Person or Online!

You are invited to worship with First Church in person 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 anytime following the worship service. Fellowship time follows worship – in person outside on the First Church porch and lawns – and online on Zoom) following the live-stream of worship.

  • MUSIC: Ann Vivian is serving as our Fall Music Coordinator. If you are interested in participating as a musician or vocalist – or both – please be in touch with Ann ([email protected]) to learn more.  All interested in participating in Bell Choir (novices welcome!) are encouraged to contact Director Jennie Coleman ([email protected]) about participating in rehearsals on Wednesday evenings from 6:45-8:15pm.
  • CHILDREN & YOUTH: For up to date information about our Sunday morning Nursery/PreSchool and Church School – including the Zoom link for 9:30am virtual Church School – use this LINK.
  • LINKS to the Sunday Order of Worship, Announcements, Live-Stream (10am) Worship and to an online fellowship time (Zoom) following worship will be posted here on Sunday morning.  As shared above – we are also worshiping in person (masked) at First Church at 10am.
  • INVITING VISITORS: This is a great time to extend an invitation to your neighbors, friends and family to join you in worship in person at First Church or remotely as the worship will be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel at 10am with a recording available anytime after the service.


LIVING WELL SERMON SERIES: The Rev. Elissa Johnk will offer the first sermon in our fall sermon series “Living Well” on Sunday September 19.   The series, based in the Rev. Scott Stoner’s book: Your Living Compass, explores discernment in themes related to living well in significant arenas in our lives.

All are invited to sign on to participate in a discussion group exploring these themes and Stoner’s book using this LINK:

The discussion groups will meet on Zoom – a variety of times are available.

To purchase (optional) a copy of Your Living Compass  through the First Church Office, please contact us at: [email protected].org and we will reserve a copy for you.



NEW FOLKS MIXER on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 19: Are you interested in meeting our lead minister, the Rev. Elissa Johnk and learning more about the mission and ministries of First Church?  We are hosting a “New Folks Mixer” at First Church on the 19th following the 10am worship.  All are welcome to join in this casual introduction designed for visitors who want to know more!


FALL SUNDAY VISION MEETINGS: Our Vision Team invites your participation in a Sunday 11:30am VISION MEETING – in person at First Church – or virtually on Zoom.  We need every First Church member and friend to participate!

 If you have yet to participate in a Vision Meeting, please sign up:

  • Sign up for an 11:30 Sunday Vision Meeting on September 19 or 26; October 17, 24 or 31 with the Vision Team representative at Fellowship Time on Sunday after worship or contact Susan Saunders at [email protected] any time.  Thank you!

CLICK HERE to learn more about our Vision Team and our visioning process.


VERMONT’S COVID-19 MEMORIAL SERVICE – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 19 at 3pm:   To honor Vermonters lost to COVID-19, Vermont Interfaith Action is hosting a memorial service on the Vermont Statehouse lawn in Montpelier at 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 19.  The heart of the event will be a ceremonial reading of the names so that each individual who has died of COVID-19 is recognized. In addition, various clergy will offer brief interfaith prayers and readings. Governor Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine have also been invited to participate.  This in-person event will also be shared live on the VIA Facebook page:

If you are a family member or are otherwise closely connected to a Vermonter who has died of COVID-19, and you would like to take part in the service, please contact Debbie Ingram at Vermont Interfaith Action, [email protected] 802-651-8889.


MESSY OLYMPICS YOUTH EVENT on SEPTEMBER 19:  We are collaborating with College Street Church to bring UCC youth together for some fun events this fall.   Check out our fall youth program calendar HERE: and learn more about the “Messy Olympics” at Oakledge Park – our opening middle and high school youth event on Sunday September19.  We are also offering Confirmation for high school youth – contact Hannah Sachs at: [email protected] for details.



For information about upcoming events – CLICK HERE – on the “Looking Ahead” graphic  above- or – or scroll through this post!


Great news! The Music Director Search Team has heard your feedback through the Visioning process, and we are live with our search! The job description is available HERE  or to pick up at church. Please distribute widely to anyone you think might be interested. The job description is also being shared through local and national channels. If you have any questions, please contact the Search Team at [email protected].



 MEN’S BREAKFAST at WATERFRONT PARK – Wednesdays Sept. 22: Our Men’s Breakfast group is gathering for two outdoor events in September on Wednesday the 8th, and again on the 22nd, from 8 to 10am at Burlington’s Waterfront Park.  Bring your own food and beverage, plus a lawn chair, or a blanket to sit on the grass. There will be social distancing and Covid safety measures in place.   To learn more or to be added to the email list to be notified of future events – please contact Baki Nelson at: [email protected]

PRO-BONO LEGAL CLINICS:  The Outreach Team is pleased to announce the fall dates for our call-in FREE LEGAL CLINICS: September 26, October 17 and November 21 from 1 to 3pm.   This service is available to any in our church and in the wider community. Please share this invitation.


Neighbors in Need UCC Special Offering – SEPT 26: Our Outreach Team invites your donations to the UCC’s annual special mission offering – Neighbors In Need (NIN) supporting ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of this offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to UCC churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. This year, special consideration will be given to projects focusing on serving our immigrant neighbors and communities.  To donate – send a check to First Church, MEMO: Neighbors In Need – or give online through our website – selecting NIN – using this LINK.

WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY – October 3: The congregation of College Street Church will join us for worship at First Church on October 3 at 10am to celebrate World Communion Sunday.   What a joyous representation of the UCC!

“SERVICE SERVICE” – on Sunday October 10: Our collaboration continues the next Sunday when we’ll meet at the College Street Church for Service Sunday when our “service will be service”!  Following time in prayer and song – all will be invited to participate in service projects responding to real needs in our community.  The service projects will be available to suit every ability and age – and together – our two UCC congregations will make a difference.   Save this date!


“We Make the Path By Walking It”
Elizabeth Emmett’s art show We Make the Path by Walking It, is currently on view in the First Congregational Church of Burlington – please plan a visit on Sunday morning or during our Office Hours, Tuesday through Friday 10am to 3pm.


VEGGIE GARDEN VOLUNTEERS – What week works for you?
Use this LINK to sign on to water, weed and harvest veggies from the First Church “Veggie Garden Boxes” – for one week in September – and we’ll send you all you need to know to support this important effort.  Harvest produce is donated to “Feeding Chittenden” – the regional Food Shelf in Burlington.  Sign up today, and we’ll email any necessary details!

THE WOMEN’S BOOK GROUP READING LIST for 21-22: The Women’s Book Group met in June to share ideas for books to discuss this year.  Their selections are linked HERE.  Book discussions are scheduled for the 4th Monday of the month at 7pm – on Zoom – starting September 27.


POSS SHOP Re-OPENS: We have good news to share! 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.

What a team! Join 30 First Church MOW Volunteers!
Click on the Meals On Wheels image to learn about becoming a First Church Meals On Wheels volunteer.  Our First Church Meals On Wheels Coordinator, Al Weldon will help get you started!



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 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.

Bible Study with the Rev. Elissa Johnk and guest leaders will return – on Zoom – at 9am on September 9, 2021.  Watch this website post for updates or subscribe to the First Church E-Newsletter.





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.

– Yet More Light prayer times with the Rev. Elissa Johnk.
–  Story-tellers from May’s “Good Luck, Bad Luck, or No Luck at All!”



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