First Church this Week

ONLINE WORSHIP

WORSHIP ONLINE on SUNDAY at 10am on the FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel

Enjoy Fellowship on Zoom after worship:
All are invited to participate in a time of fellowship on Zoom following worship.
Phone in: 1-301-715-8592.  When prompted, enter 591-074-317#
The Zoom is LINK: https://bit.ly/sundayfellowship

CLICK HERE or on the YouTube graphic to access all videos on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/FirstChurchBTV

  • CHURCH SCHOOL for all children through grade 5 is “live” with Hilah Clarke, Director of Faith Formation, and Laure Elder-Connors, Director of Children’s Music – on Sundays at 9:30am on Zoom CLICK HERE the link is: https://bit.ly/churchschool930

  • The Haven – our programs for middle and high school youth meets regularly on Sundays at 6pm. The Haven will meet on Sunday January 17– to learn more about the Haven – and for the Zoom link – please contact Hannah Sachs, Director of Creative Ministries, at [email protected]

THIS WEEK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE (or on the graphic) for Free Legal Clinic details

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. 

 

THURSDAY – 9:00am Bible Study: The Rev. Elissa Johnk’s Thursday morning Bible Study resumes on January 7 at 9am. The Zoom LINK is: https://bit.ly/BibleStudywithElissa
Or PHONE IN: 1- 301-715-8592, then enter 951-190-153#

 

 

 

 

 Let’s “Stay Tuned Together!”  All interested in singing are invited to join in weekly, Thursday evening at 7pm, Sanctuary Choir Rehearsals on Zoom.  Music Director David Neiweem ([email protected]) welcomes all to rehearsals.  Got questions? Email David to learn more.

  • Sanctuary Choir Rehearsals will resume on Thursday January 7 at 7pm.
    ZOOM DETAILS:  LINK HERE: http://bit.ly/ThursdayChoirZoom  Or phone in  1 646 876 9923  and then enter the
    Meeting ID: 936 0108 1116#

SPIRIT SEEKERS: We are excited to announce that Carol Tandy will be our special guest on Friday, January 29. A physical therapist with a heart for service, Carol’s thoughtful journey has much to inspire. Charlie Church will be featured on the following Friday, February 5 and Church President, Caroline Crawford will also be a February Spirit Seekers guest.  Spirit Seekers is not meeting on January 22.

ZOOM LINK: http://bit.ly/spiritseekerszoom – OR Call in: 301-715-8592, enter 994-109-977#

SPIRIT SEEKERS is a forum for sharing life stories and faith journeys.  All are invited! If you have a story to share, or someone you’d like us to interview – please let us know by clicking here!

 

OUR NEW PODCAST: FIRST CHURCH PHONIC
CLICK HERE for First Church Phonic  – https://anchor.fm/firstchurchbtv – offering you the opportunity to listen to:
– Sermons
– Spirit Seekers Interviews
– Yet More Light prayer times with the Rev. Elissa Johnk<
–  Story-tellers from May’s “Good Luck, Bad Luck, or No Luck at All!”

 

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.

 

 

 

For Children’s Faith Formation with Hilah Clarke and Laura Elder-Connors on Sunday January 10 at 9:30 on Zoom CLICK HERE the link is:    https://bit.ly/churchschool930

 

 

 

The Haven – our programs for middle and high school youth.

The Haven will resume meetings on Sunday January 10 at 6pm – to learn more about the Haven – please contact Hannah Sachs, Director of Creative Ministries, at [email protected]

 

 

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First Church Responds to COVID-19: Guidelines & Updates

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 decisions to do our part to lessen the advance of the Coronavirus. We are implementing the practices urged by the CDC and W.H.O., doing our very best to protect the health of all.    

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  be conducted via Zoom or conference calls. 

November 19, 2020 Covid Update from the Rev. Elissa Johnk

September 2020 Update from our Staff & Covid-19 Response Team

GUIDELINES FOR THE CONGREGATION

May 21, 2020: As the country begins to ponder re-emerging from our homes, I am reminded how grateful I am to live in Vermont, which leads the nation in successful response.  As we are consistently reminded, however, now is not the time to lose our diligence.  Even as restrictions are loosened, we are being asked to follow best practices – staying close to home, wearing masks, and limiting social gatherings.
CLICK HERE  for The First Church BTV Covid-19 General Guidelines including guidelines related to: Worship, Team Life, Office and Building Protocol, Pastoral Care, the Possibility Shop and Renters.

UPDATE FROM OUR TASK FOR FOR RE-OPENING

June 18, 2020: In her sermon on workplace relationships this winter, Elissa called worship our “staff meeting.”  It is the place we come to “discuss the issues at hand, encourage one another, and equip ourselves for our particular jobs spreading the love of God, serving God in the world, each in our respective assignments.”  It has been just over three months since we were able to physically gather for “staff meeting”.
CLICK HERE to read the full update from the Task Force for ReOpening

Transformation & Vision: Our Next Steps

June 2020: Few are the moments in one’s life that are so transformational that you know you are experiencing one in real time: saying “I do”, the birth of a child, the death of a beloved. They are moments so profound, so disorienting – so re-orienting – that you know you will be changed forever.
Pentecost, which we just celebrated in worship, was one such moment for Peter.  Having denied even knowing Jesus three times, at Pentecost he finally had the chance to take it all back – to be who Jesus believed he was: the rock upon which even our church here at 38 South Winooski is founded. Here at First Church, we are in an extraordinary place, because we are living in the middle of two transformational moments at once.
CLICK HERE to read Elissa Johnk’s Message: Transformation & Vision: Our Next Steps

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 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 Possibility Shop is closed and can not accept any donations at this time.  We are grateful to our volunteers, donors and customers for their generosity and patience.
  • The Office will be open from 10-3 Tuesday thru Friday, but most staff will continue working from home for the time being.  To make sure that staff will be present, it is always good to call ahead (802-862-5010, ext.4) before visiting the church.  Ring the doorbell when you arrive.
    • 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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Online: Sunday 10 a.m. Worship

WORSHIP ONLINE on Sunday at 10am on the FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel.

Enjoy Fellowship on Zoom after worship:
All are invited to participate in a time of fellowship on Zoom following worship.
Phone in: 1-301-715-8592.  When prompted, enter 591-074-317#
The Zoom is LINK: https://bit.ly/sundayfellowship

RECENT SUNDAYS WORSHIP SERVICES:

 

 

  • Videos of worship services can be watched at any time (after 10am on Sundays).

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Give to First Church: Pledging & Donation Information

 

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

GIVE ONLINE: Please support the ministries and mission of First Church using the GIVE NOW link to make a donation.YOU CAN TEXT YOUR DONATION: You can also text FCCBUCC to 73256 to give a gift to FCCB using your text messaging.  Standard text message rates apply.

OR GIVE BY CHECK: To mail your donation – please make your check payable to: First Congregational Church and mail it to:  First Congregational Church, 38 So. Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT 05401

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IT’S TIME TO PLEDGE

A Message from your Stewardship Team Chair: Dawn Plante

Our Stewardship Campaign theme this year is “Building Bridges to Our Church’s Future”.  Our staff and church leaders did not use the pandemic “stay at home” time to put our souls on hold.  Instead, they have used these months as an opportunity to expand the ways we worship and connect with each other…  READ MORE

CLICK HERE to open the 2021 Stewardship Brochure

PLEDGING:  Our church leaders and Stewardship Team are inviting your January thru December 2021 Pledges in support of the ministries and missions of First Congregational Church.

CLICK HERE to make your pledge to First Church online  – OR – you can pledge thru your First Church Realm Account.  If you have yet to access your First Church Realm Account – please contact our Office Manager, Caroline Catlin at [email protected]

Or… MAIL in your pledge – CLICK HERE to access a printable copy of the pledge card to print and mail.

Please CLICK HERE to complete a Time & Talent Pledge Card

Thank you!

 

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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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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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Epiphany Sunday – January 5 at 8 & 10 a.m.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 5  –  “Epiphany”

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”    – Matthew 2: 1-2

We’ll celebrate the arrival of the Magi at the manger during “Epiphany Worship Services” at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday, January 5.

The 10 a.m. service will include K-5 Church School, Middle, and High School youth meetings (starting at 10 a.m.) before all ages gather in the Sanctuary for the “in person” arrival of the wise ones, followed by Communion.

Both worship services will include Communion – for all ages – with gluten free bread and un-fermented grape juice.

The Nursery/Toddler/Pre-School room will be open at 9:50 on the 5th for our youngest children.  All ages are invited to be in the Sanctuary for the re-telling of the great story of Epiphany.

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Star Sunday with VT Folk Artist Patti Casey – January 12

Star Sunday – January 12 – worship services at 8 a.m. & 10 a.m.

  • Get your star for next year—where will it lead you?
  • Don’t know what this is all about?  You’re in for a treat!
  • Our new minister, the Rev. Elissa Johnk will lead this innovative, joyful worship for all ages.
  • Vermont folk artist and singer, songwriter Patti Casey will be our special guest, leading music, during the 10 a.m. – January 12 – “Star Sunday” multi-generational worship service.
    • The nursery/toddler room will be open and staffed from 9:50 through the worship service.
  • There will be an 8 a.m. worship service on Sunday January 12.

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We are Hiring!

WE ARE HIRING!
WE ARE SEARCHING for:
– An OFFICE MANAGER: This position has been filled.
– A DIRECTOR of CREATIVE MINISTRIES:
Please use this LINK to learn more about this full-time staff opening at First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington.
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