First Church this Week

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.


Our Guest Preacher for Sunday June 26 was Lou Rochford: Many know Lou Rochford (he/they) as our online (digital) usher for worship on YouTube. A First Church  “MID” – Member in Discernment, Lou recently completed a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry at the Phillip’s Theological Seminary.  They currently serve the Vermont Conference UCC as Moderator of the Champlain Association. For several years Lou served on the United Church of Christ’s Disabilities Ministries Board of Directors. Lou’s theological belief is “that God created us in God’s image. God gave us sexuality and our sexuality is inherently good and healthy.”  Lou is creating a “Ministry Plant” called Chaplaincy of Sacred Sexuality.

The Rev. Joan O’Gorman, our Parental Leave Pastor, is in California for two weeks for a long-anticipated visit with family. Joan will return to lead worship throughout July and August.




Worshiping at First Church on Sundays at 10am?

  • We welcome all to worship in the beautiful Sanctuary at First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington – 38 South Winooski Avenue.  All (over age 2) are asked to wear masks in the building.
    • CLICK HERE for information about worship, music and programs for children and youth. Nursery/Toddler/PreSchool childcare is available at 10am. Church School for grades K thru 5 starts after the “Word of God for Sm(All) Ages.
    • CLICK HERE for our most up to date gathering guidelines.

Worshiping Remotely on June 26? 


Update from the First Church Vision Team: Your votes have been tallied and there are six vision projects that will advance to the next level for study this summer.  We hope that many of you will participate in a Vision Project Team to fully explore and refine a proposal. Please select the Vision Project Team that you would like to work with – by July 6 – earlier if possible.

    • CLICK HERE to learn more and to sign up for a Vision Project Team using our ONLINE SIGN UP FORM.
    • Paper sign up forms are also available at church, or contact Caroline in the Church Office (802 862 5010, ext. 4; [email protected]).
    • Learn more about our ongoing Vision Process HERE


What is a First Church Summer Life Event?
We are meant to do life together!  Our Summer Life Events are opportunities to grow, laugh, and connect with others this July and August.

Whether you are new to this community, or have been part of this faith community for years, we warmly invite you to join an event (or several!) and build community!

As with all First Church events, all are welcome!  Please feel free to invite a friend or neighbor to join you in signing up to participate.  Thanks you!


Let’s Pull Together!

June is the month to join our First Church Dragonheart Vermont Team for the August 7 Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival.

  • Have you always wanted to give paddling a try? No experience is necessary!  Our 2017 Team had a great time – see their picture below!
  • A modest registration fee and fund raising goal supports the Dragon Boat Festival and cancer survivors in our community.
  • We need a team of sixteen to make this work – invite your neighbors, colleagues and friends to join you on our crew!
  • Interested in learning more? CLICK HERE for the basic information – and then connect with our Dragonheart Leader, Connections Team Member, Baki Nelson  at [email protected] Please get signed up soon – ideally during June!

Our 2017 FCCB “Pull Together” Dragonheart Team!



Peace Camp is set for: July 11 thru 14, 5 to 7:30pm.

  • This collaborative event – for all generations – with the College Street Church, is fun, faithful, musical and meaningful!
  • Each evening starts with dinner for all and is followed by music, a story, and age-level groups from adults to youth – to the elementary grades and younger!
  • The Rev. Ken White, of College Street Church, and our own Hannah Sachs, Director of Creative Ministries, will lead the adult program.
  • Campers of every age are welcome – please register HERE
  • Learn about volunteer opportunities at Peace Camp HERE
  • Got questions? Contact Faith Formation Director Hilah Clarke, [email protected]


Our first Sunday of the month – Silent Vigils for Racial Justice –  are set for Sunday July 3 and August 7 from 1:00 to 1:30pm.  Bring a sign – a chair and a water bottle if you want – and stand in solidarity for racial justice on the front lawn of First Church.


Assemble Kits for VT CARES with our Outreach Team on Sunday July 10:

Join the Outreach Team on Sunday, July 10, at 11:15 AM at First Church to assemble kits and learn about the harm reduction work of Vermont CARES.   Vermont CARES works with Vermonters affected by HIV, Hepatitis C, and substance use by increasing access to care, reducing stigma, and by building consistent relationships with vulnerable populations.   Join us to learn more about this life-saving work and to put together worksbags (safety kits) and Narcan kits.  These kits help Vermont CARES staff build relationships with clients and promote safe practices.


It’s time to mark your calendars for the – ALL CHURCH YARD SALE 

Saturday July 23: 9am – 3pm!

  • Find some great donations to bring in on July 23 – Spring clean your garage, basement, closets and kitchen cupboards!
  • We’re staying with the same set up and drop off services – drive in and drop off donations on Saturday morning July 23 from 7-8:30am.  Please no early donation drop offs, storage space is minimal.
  • Interested in volunteering, there will be a sign up board at church located in the hallway outside the church office.
  • Any questions please reach out to Jennie Coleman or Karan Dewar.
  • The “All Church Yard Sale” is always a lot of fun – please come be a part of this great community event!


DID YOU GET A PEACE CRANE?  If not, you may pick one up in the Church Office Tuesday thru Friday 10am-3pm or on any Sunday morning.

  • We hope that the paper crane will serve as a reminder of the Holy Spirit with you during the summer months ahead.
  • During an upcoming worship service, we will feature photos of cranes in places that bring joy and peace. Take a picture of your crane on your kitchen table, in your garden, or on a mountain top – where is the Holy Spirit in your life?
  • Please submit photos here:

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: 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]


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


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.    

The September 2022 through May 2023  books will be selected by online vote after a June 2022 event when all are invited to propose books for the year ahead.  To be added to the group email list and to receive information about the June event – please contact organizer Janice Clements to be added to the book group e-list.


The Outreach Team is organizing a group of 5-6 individuals/families who will commit to contributing a meal once per month for people living at Burlington’s Anew Place. Interested? Please contact Reid Willis of our Outreach Team at: [email protected] for more information.


Lenten Themes Framed in Midway Art Gallery

The art prints featured in the First Church Midway Art Gallery during Lent are of paper lace designed by artist Hannah Garrity.In her artist’s statement, Garrity notes that this exhibit: “reminds us to live fully—as we pursue justice and hope, or express grief and gratitude. If love is our beginning, how can we live our lives led by love’s promises? And so, this Lent, let us trust—fully—that we belong to God. Let us increase our capacity to receive and give grace. Let us discover the expansive life God dreams for us.”

All are invited to visit the Art Gallery at First Church to reflect on the Lenten themes represented in Hannah Garrity’s four pieces:

  • Temptation (Jesus in the Wilderness)
  • Vessel (New Life Springs Forth)
  • Inexplicable Joy (The Prodigal Son)
  • Prepared (Easter)


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 order your – let us know your specific name request (nickname, pronouns, etc.). Thank you

Amy Shortt, our new Director of Music, began her ministry with us on February 15, 2022.  Wear your name tag as an outstanding extension of hospitality to Amy!  Learn more about Amy HERE



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.

Thursday Morning Bible Study with the Rev. Elissa Johnk is on hiatus for the summer months and will resume in September.


Questions about participating in music at FirstChurchBTV?  Come to a rehearsal (in early September) &/or contact Music Director Amy Shortt at [email protected]


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:  Warm winter outerwear for children and youth.
      • 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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