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.
    • 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#
    • CLICK  HERE for the Sunday March 29 Order of Worship
    • CLICK  HERE for the Children’s Bulletin/Activities for Sunday March 29
  • Sundays at 9:30am, we’ll post a video to our YouTube Channel of the Church School lesson for the day.

ONLINE PRAYER

Tuesday thru Friday at 12:30pm, visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/firstchurchburlington/– to join a 15 minute prayer session led by Elissa.

 

ONLINE GATHERINGS

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be hosting several 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. 

Sundays at 9am, starting March 29th, Past President Amy Mellencamp will host a zoom meeting to discuss the potential sale of the parsonage. 
https://zoom.us/j/191606563 
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 191-606-563#

 

TUESDAY thru FRIDAY – ZOOM OPTIONS at 3pm: we’ll host zoom meetings for folks interested in participating:

Tuesdays: Music Matters at 3 p.m., led by Director of Music, David Neiweem
https://zoom.us/j/152915611
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 152-915-611#

 

Wednesdays: Check-in at 3 p.m., led by Lead Minister, Elissa Johnk  https://zoom.us/j/849708245
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 849-708-245#

 

Thursdays: Bible Study at 3 p.m., led by Lead Minister, Elissa Johnk
https://zoom.us/j/951190153
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 951-190-153#

 

Fridays: Poetry Pop-Up at 3 p.m., led by Communications  Coordinator, Lucy Samara in collaboration with VT Poet Julie Cadwallader-Staub of College Street Congregational and Director of UVM Interfaith Education and Engagement at UVM, the Rev. Laura Engleken.  This Zoom gathering is co-hosted by the UVM Interfaith Center and College Street Congregational Church.
https://zoom.us/j/994109977
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 994-109-977#

 

FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

Monday-Friday at 10am, First Church Zoom Story Time: we’ll host a zoom meeting just for kids! Join Faith Formation Director, Hilah Clarke, as she reads her favorite children’s books.
https://zoom.us/j/275121626
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 275-121-626#

 

Wednesdays at 8:30pm, we’ll have a zoom meeting for Parenting in a Pandemic, for all parents to release some steam, find common struggles, and discuss what it means to parent in this time.
https://zoom.us/j/882133057
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 882-133-057#

 

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).

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 closed from March 24 through 27 to plan a new approach for serving clients at this time.  Jump plans to reopen on March 31 – relying on phone and email to connect with people in need.   
  • Our AA and NA meetings will resume meeting at First Church when the “stay at home” is lifted.  The small Wednesday evening Al-Anon meeting is currently schedules to hold meetings; they have agreed to disinfect the space following any meeting. 
  • Small Potatoes plans to continue serving Saturday morning breakfast and bag lunch (now outside) at First Church making some 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. 
  • Other events and rentals are being cancelled at this time.  We are in the process of contacting those who have already booked rooms to let them know of this suspension.  
  • Most staff will be 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.

EASTER SERVICES AND OFFERINGS

  • As the prohibition on gatherings over 250 people lasts through April 15, we are in the process of discerning how best to express the sacredness of Holy Week and Easter services and events through a digital platform.
    • Look for more information on Easter and its various programming – services, prayers, flowers, and offerings, etc. during the week of March 30.

RESOURCES:

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Online: Sunday 10 a.m. Worship

 

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

CLICK HERE  for the Order of Worship for Sunday March 29

CLICK HERE for the Children’s Bulletin Activities for Sunday March 29

CLICK HERE to watch videos of completed worship services.

 

 

 

 

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Give to First Church

 

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 “Pledged 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.

If you’d like to learn more about other ways to give to First Church during this time, please CLICK HERE.

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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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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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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