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. 

ONLINE WORSHIP.

  • 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 24, 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#

ONLINE PRAYER

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

 

 

WEEKLY GATHERINGS

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]).
https://zoom.us/j/152915611
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 152-915-611#

 

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#
https://zoom.us/j/951190153
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.   https://zoom.us/j/994109977   Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 994-109-977#

OUR NEW PODCAST: FIRST CHURCH PHONIC
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!  Anchor.fm/FirstChurchBTV

FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

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).

 

 

Confirmation Meetings will occur as scheduled, via Zoom.
https://zoom.us/j/389249715
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 389-249-715#

 

 

 

CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY

  • 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]  

GIVING

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.

BUILDING USE

  • JUMP – with the “stay at home” order 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 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.

RESOURCES:

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2020 Holy Week Worship Services – April 5 thru 12

All are invited to:   Easter Sunday Worship – streaming online at 10am on April 12, 2020

  • 9:30am: Faith Formation – a Church School lesson for the day for kids will be delivered via a video on our YouTube channel
  • 10am Easter Worship: Watch worship on our FirstChurch BTV YouTube Channel
    • Or, phone in to listen to worship: 301-715-8592 and enter 208-054-269#
    • CLICK HERE for the Easter Order of Worship
    • Zoom Into Fellowship! On Easter Sunday – and future Sundays – immediately following the 10am worship service, we’ll host a Zoom Fellowship Hour! Watch each week for the link and password to be shared on our FCCB website (www.firstchurchburlington.org) and on our Church Facebook page.
    • CLICK HERE to participate in the 2020 EASTER OFFERING

HOLY WEEK 2020:

Palm Sunday – April 5: Watch a recording of this worship service on our website: Using the “Worship” tab select: Sermons Online or use this LINK

  • The worship service includes Communion – if able, gather with a candle, some bread and a cup.

 

“Yet More Light” – An open prayer time, with the Rev. Elissa Johnk, live-streamed on our Church Facebook page at 12:30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during Holy Week.

 

Maundy Thursday – April 9: Watch a recording of this worship service on our website: Using the “Worship” tab select: Sermons Online or use this LINK

 

 

VIGIL: Thursday at 8pm til Friday at noon: Thank you to all who signed on to participate in our first-ever Vigil – from the conclusion of our Maundy Thursday worship service at 8pm, to the beginning of our Good Friday service at noon on Friday – each hour has a designated volunteer.  Want to participate on your own?  Select any hour and follow the Vigil Guidelines linked HERE.

 

Good Friday – April 10: Watch a recording of this worship service on our website: Using the “Worship” tab select: Sermons Online or use this LINK

CLICK HERE for the Good Friday Order of Worship

 

Easter Sunday: online worship at 10am

  • 9:30am: Faith Formation – a Church School lesson for the day for kids will be delivered via a video on our YouTube channel
  • 10am Easter Worship: Watch worship on our FirstChurch BTV YouTube Channel
    • Or, phone in to listen to worship: 301-715-8592 and enter 208-054-269#
    • Zoom Into Fellowship! On Easter Sunday – and future Sundays – immediately following the 10am worship service, we’ll host a Zoom Fellowship Hour! Watch each week for the link and password to be shared on our FCCB website (www.firstchurchburlington.org) and on our Church Facebook page.
    • CLICK HERE to participate in the 2020 EASTER OFFERING

Recordings of each worship will be available after the fact on our FirstChurch BTV YouTube channel.

For information about all online gatherings available during the Coronavirus precautions – please see the “First Church Responds to Covid-19” page on our Website. Thank you!

 

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Online: Sunday 10 a.m. Worship

 CLICK HERE to watch the – worship service on Sunday May 24 at 10 a.m.

If you want to call in to listen to worship, dial: 301-715-8592, then enter: 208-054-269#

CLICK HERE for the Sunday May 24, Order of Worship

On Sundays – immediately following the 10am streamed worship, we’ll host a Zoom coffee hour!

CLICK HERE to join to Coffee Hour on Zoom!

OR: PHONE in to the ZOOM COFFEE HOUR:
Call 301-715-8592, and enter 591-074-317#

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CLICK HERE to watch videos of completed worship services.

 

 

 

 

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Give to First Church: Contributions & Pledge Info

In this time of physical separation we rely on your regular giving now more than ever.

Please help us by mailing in your gift, or clicking the GIVE NOW button below – then  select “Pledge Campaign” and make your contribution today!

You can also text FCCBUCC to 73256 to give a gift to FCCB using your text messaging.
Standard text message rates apply.

First Church is having a May thru December 2020 PLEDGE CAMPAIGN!

      May to December 2020 Pledges are needed now as we are changing the First Church fiscal year to a  “Calendar Year” in January 2021.  Our current fiscal year is May 2019 through April 2020.  We mailed the May to December – 2020 Stewardship Brochure two weeks ago; it includes a paper pledge form that you can return by mail – or scan and email it to [email protected] You can print a copy of the paper pledge form – and/or read the Stewardship Brochure online using the links below.
Consider the option of pledging online – through your Realm account – or by using the online pledge form linked below.  Regardless of the route you take – your pledge is vital to building the May to December 2020 budget in support of the ministries of First Church!

CLICK HERE to open the 2020 Stewardship Brochure

CLICK HERE to make an online pledge for May to December 2020.

CLICK HERE to print a mail in Pledge form for May to December 2020

CLICK HERE to make an “end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year (thru 4/30/20) gift” to First Church

CLICK HERE to read the Rev. Elissa Johnk’s Stewardship Letter

REALM: The First Church database is on Realm – your Realm Account enables you to update your contact information, sign up for events, keep track of your stewardship, and more.  If you have yet to access your REALM account, please contact Office Manager Caroline Catlin and she will assist you.

 

CLICK HERE for the April 26, 2020 Letter from Stewardship Team Chair, Steve Hyde

 



GENEROSITY,  WITNESS, PLEDGING (READ MORE HERE)
These familiar words are of particular importance now as we work together, as a community of faith, towards establishing our church budget for the next eight months – our May through December 2020 fiscal year….

As you will see in the Stewardship materials linked above – your Stewardship Team is asking that pledges are made by the end of April, or in time for Dedication Sunday – now set for May 3. We will have the opportunity to discuss a proposed budget for the balance of the calendar year in May and to vote on the budget at our Annual Meeting.

It is in the most challenging times that we need to heed Christ’s call to give: “Generous God, help us to never take for granted all that comes from you.  Give us generous hearts as we serve others in your Name. Amen”    
~ The Stewardship Team and Steve Hyde, Chair

 

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Annual Meeting – May 31, 2020

Our First Church Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday May 31 at 11:30 a.m. – after worship – on Zoom

Annual Meeting – information and meeting details, including proposed bylaw changes, and details on the sale of the parsonage, are in a letter from Church President Rob Backus – linked HERE.  All Annual Meeting information will be posted on our website (https://firstchurchburlington.org/) – please check this post for updates as the meeting date approaches.

CLICK HERE for the First Church Annual Report for May 1 2019 – April 30, 2020

Annual Meeting Agenda: will be posted when available

Proposed Budget for May to December 2020: will be posted when available

Annual Meeting Warning:
Pursuant to Articles VII and X, Sections 2, 4, and 5, of the BY-LAWS OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, Burlington, Vermont:The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held following worship on Sunday May 31, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. for the purpose of:
  • electing all officers, boards and committees;
  • voting to accept the budget for fiscal year May 1, 2020  thru December 31, 2020, as presented by the Board of Trustees;
  • limited by-law changes to accommodate the changing fiscal year; and,
  • any other business which may properly come before the members assembled.

Pursuant to Article X, Section 3, a special congregational meeting will be held (at the same time) to discuss and vote on the sale of the parsonage.

ZOOM ANNUAL MEETING: The meeting will be conducted via Zoom, and members may attend via Zoom or telephone. The Annual Meeting can be  accessed:

  • Zoom Meeting Password: 802 862 5010
  • Internet Zoom LINK   https://bit.ly/May31Meeting
  • Or Phone in: 312-626-6799; enter 802-862-5010# and then use the Zoom password (above).

HOW TO ZOOM: A Zoom tutorial/practice session will happen at 11 a.m. on Sunday May 31 for those who need help. Call 802.862.5010, ext. 4 for details.

ZOOM BASICS – GETTING STARTED – use this LINK

 

 

 

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It’s Pledge Time! Stewardship: May to December 2020

First Church is having an 8-Month PLEDGE CAMPAIGN!

      May to December 2020 Pledges are needed now as we are changing the First Church fiscal year to a  “Calendar Year” in January 2021.  Our current fiscal year is May 2019 through April 2020.  We mailed the May to December – 2020 Stewardship Brochure two weeks ago; it includes a paper pledge form that you can return by mail – or scan and email it to [email protected] You can print a copy of the paper pledge form – and/or read the Stewardship Brochure online using the links below.
Consider the option of pledging online – through your Realm account – or by using the online pledge form linked below.  Regardless of the route you take – your pledge is vital to building the May to December 2020 budget in support of the ministries of First Church!

CLICK HERE to open the 2020 Stewardship Brochure

CLICK HERE to make an online pledge for May to December 2020.

CLICK HERE to print a mail in Pledge form for May to December 2020

CLICK HERE to make an “end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year (thru 4/30/20) gift” to First Church

CLICK HERE to read the Rev. Elissa Johnk’s Stewardship Letter

REALM: The First Church database is on Realm – your Realm Account enables you to update your contact information, sign up for events, keep track of your stewardship, and more.  If you have yet to access your REALM account, please contact Office Manager Caroline Catlin and she will assist you.

 

CLICK HERE for the April 26, 2020 Letter from Stewardship Team Chair, Steve Hyde

 



GENEROSITY,  WITNESS, PLEDGING (READ MORE HERE)
These familiar words are of particular importance now as we work together, as a community of faith, towards establishing our church budget for the next eight months – our May through December 2020 fiscal year….

As you will see in the Stewardship materials linked above – your Stewardship Team is asking that pledges are made by the end of April, or in time for Dedication Sunday – now set for May 3. We will have the opportunity to discuss a proposed budget for the balance of the calendar year in May and to vote on the budget at our Annual Meeting.

It is in the most challenging times that we need to heed Christ’s call to give: “Generous God, help us to never take for granted all that comes from you.  Give us generous hearts as we serve others in your Name. Amen”    
~ The Stewardship Team and Steve Hyde, Chair

 

 

 

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Discipleship Then & Now: Celebrating the Promise – Lent Sundays at 11:15 a.m.

March 8 thru April 5 at 11:15 a.m.

During Lent we will gather after 10 a.m. worship, looking to our history for inspiration to form a vision for the future… what has our discipleship looked like here at First Church? How will this history lead us forward?

The first three sessions – at 11:15 a.m. – are:

  • Sunday March 8: the Rev. Elissa Johnk on Discipleship.
  • Sunday March 15: Lucy Samara (and friends!) on Discipleship and Mission. 
  • Sunday March 22: Hilah Clarke on Discipleship: Youth and Faith Formation.
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Hannah Sachs: Director of Creative Ministries

Our new Director of Creative Ministries is: Hannah Sachs

On Sunday March 1, 2020, Caroline Crawford (Church President-Elect for 2020-2021 and Chair of the Search Committee for Director of Creative Ministries) announced that Hannah Sachs has been selected to serve with us at First Congregational Church.

Hannah is a theatre director and arts educator who is passionate about serving God in creative ways. Originally from Virginia, she graduated with highest honors from Smith College with a degree in theatre directing, religion, and social change. Hannah then spent a year teaching in the Czech Republic on a Fulbright, during which time she met her wife, Renata.

In addition to more conventional theatre and art education work, Hannah has been blessed with many opportunities to use the arts in diverse ministry contexts–including serving in refugee camps, leading workshops for survivors of trafficking, and creating programs for individuals experiencing homelessness. In May, Hannah and Renata will both be graduating from Yale Divinity School. Hannah will have earned a Master of Divinity degree, along with certificates from the Institute of Sacred Music and Andover Newton Seminary.

Hannah Sachs will begin her work as our Director of Creative Ministries in June.  She is absolutely thrilled to be joining First Congregational Church of Burlington’s vibrant community and is looking forward to collaborating with all of you in the beautiful work of creatively embodying God’s extravagant love.

 

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Understanding Race and Racism with the Rev. Rodney Patterson

UNDERSTANDING RACE AND RACISM:

THE FAITH COMMUNITIES’ RESPONSE

with the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church

and their Founding Minister:

The Rev. Rodney Patterson

The subject of racism is alive and well in the land and remains a topic of major consideration, even 40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. As we move into the season of celebrating Dr. King Jr.’s life and legacy, we are very fortunate to have the Rev. Rodney Patterson inviting us to join him in a 4-Part dialogue about how faith communities can most effectively respond in order to change the national conversation.

Using his new book Trumping the Race Card: A National Agenda Moving beyond Race and Racism, the Rev. Patterson will lead four seminars that outline the historical outlines of race and racism and the strategies we can use to overcome it.

  The four sessions will occur on the evenings of:

  • January 15th, February 6th, March 5th and April 3rd at 6:00 p.m.
  • NOTE _ the February 6th session has been postponed due to a snow-storm – another session will be added.
  • Understanding Race and Racism: The Faith Communities’ Response is a collaborative program with members of the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church
  • Please sign-up in the Church Office – or by emailing [email protected]

We are very fortunate to have Rev. Patterson with us and hope that you will take advantage of this unique opportunity!

       

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I & Thou: Creating Sacred Relationships – Sermon Series & Discussion Groups

 

Link HERE to watch videos of the  I & Thou Sermon Series

 

 

 

Sermon Series: I & Thou – Creating Sacred Relationships

January 26 – February 23:

Discussion Group Opportunity

         Based on a sermon and study series originally crafted by the Rev. Adam Hamilton, “I & Thou” is designed to help us engage one another in conversation about how the lessons and stories of our faith can teach us about the most important relationships of our lives.

Using both scripture and scholarship, I hope “I & Thou” helps you delve into one of humanity’s deepest mysteries – that we are made in and for relationship.  And discipleship, like faith – and life itself – is born from awe, from encounter.

Attend worship on Sunday, and then enjoy this journey in free-form discussion with a small group (whenever your small group decides to meet throughout the week) and discover the power of faith in relationship.

To sign up to host a small group, or to indicate your interest in participating in a group, email Caroline: [email protected].                 – The Rev. Elissa Johnk

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