First Church this Week

For EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES at First Church  CLICK HERE

WORSHIP In Person at First Church or Online!

CLICK HERE or above to watch the recording of the worship on October 24on the  FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel.
CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday October 24
CLICK HERE for the Announcements for Sunday October 24

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.

  • VISITORS: This is a great time to visit First Church – in person for worship on Sunday morning at 10am – or remotely – as the worship will be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel at 10am on Sunday morning – a recording is available anytime after worship.
  • PARKING: On Sunday mornings, the First Church parking lot is most needed and reserved for – our visitors, friends and members with mobility challenges. If that is your situation – please do park in the church lot.  If you can drop off passenger(s) and navigate from street parking or the parking garage – please do. Thank you.
  • MUSIC – We are in a search process for a Director of Music Ministries – meanwhile we are thankful for our lay musicians and vocalists!
    • 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 the following programs for children and youth – use this LINK

  • Church School for grades K thru 5 – each Sunday morning – in person at 10am – or remotely on Zoom from 9:15 to 9:45 am;
  • Our in person Nursery/PreSchool at 10am Sundays First Church, and
  • The Haven – our programs for middle and high school youth.

LIVING WELL SERMON SERIES: Our fall sermon series: “Living Well” got started on Sunday September 19 when Elissa’ sermon focused on the soul and continued on September 26 with a sermon focused on discerning vocation.  The sermon series – which continues through October 31 – is based on the Rev. Scott Stoner’s book: Your Living Compass.  Our discussion groups have started – the materials are also available for you individually here.

  • Copies of Stoner’s book are available at Church.  To purchase a copy ($17) – contact Office Manager, Caroline Catlin.
  • Watch Elissa’s September 19 sermon HERE
  • The Discussion Guide for the first sermon is linked HERE
  • Watch Elissa’s September 26 sermon HERE.
  • The Discussion Guide for the second sermon is linked HERE
  • Watch Elissa’s October 17 sermon HERE
  • The Discussion Guide for the third sermon is linked HERE
  • The Self Assessment Tools described in the weekly discussion guides are grouped and linked HERE

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FIRST CHURCH 101 – Explore Church Membership with the Rev. Elissa Johnk – All interested in learning more about membership at First Church are encouraged to participate with the Rev. Elissa Johnk – and First Church staff and lay leaders – following worship on Sundays October 17, 24 and 31.  Details to come in upcoming First Church Newsletters or contact us at [email protected] to let us know that you are interested in receiving a specific invitation.

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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 October 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.

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A NEW YOUTH COLLABORATION – FEATURED in FALL CALENDAR
We are collaborating with College Street Church to bring UCC youth together for some fun events this fall.   Our first combined event brought together more than 20 enthusiastic youth who took part energetically in the “Messy Olympics” last weekend. Check out our fall youth program calendar HERE: https://bit.ly/fall21youthcalendar and learn more about our upcoming events for middle and high school youth – including PUMPKIN CARVING on Friday October 29 at 6:30pm at First Church.  We are also offering Confirmation for high school youth – contact Hannah Sachs at: [email protected] for more information and to be added to out youth mailing list.

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IT’S TIME TO PRE-ORDER CHICKEN & BISCUIT TAKE OUT DINNER TICKETS!

Thank you for pre-ordering tickets NOW as we try to meet a goal of 80 pre-orders!  

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NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS

For information about upcoming events – CLICK HERE – on the “Looking Ahead” graphic  above!

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ON TO NOVEMBER:

First Church Work Day – Saturday November 6 at 9am: It’s simple…. mark your calendar and find your rake and work gloves and show up at First Church at 9am on Saturday the 6th and we we’ll work together to make the First Church property shine!  Watch for more details in upcoming E-Newsletters. 

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VIA Racial Justice Housing and Land Ownership Presentation: On Nov 4 OR 7

You’re invited to attend a presentation with Vermont Interfaith Action about the effects of racial discrimination in housing & land ownership.  Members of CSCC and the First Congregational Church are a part of a larger multi-congregation VIA Local Organizing Ministry addressing systemic racism that has disadvantaged people of color in accumulating generational wealth. The presentation will help us lay a foundation for pressing for the passage of legislation in Vermont beginning in January.

The same program is being presented twice – all are welcome to attend at whichever time is most convenient:

  • Thursday November 4th 6:30-8:00 PMin the Perkins Room at College Street Congregational Church – OR
  • Sunday November 7th at 11:30 AMin the Sanctuary at First Congregational Church.  The presentation at First Church will be live-streamed on YouTube using this LINK: https://bit.ly/viaracialjustice7nov2021the link will also allow access to a recording of the meeting.

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SILENT VIGIL FOR RACIAL JUSTICE – Sunday November 7 from 1:00 to 1:30pm: The Outreach Team at First Church invites all to participate in the monthly (first Sunday) Silent Vigil for Racial Justice on the front lawn at First Church.  Bring a sign, a water bottle, a chair if you want – and join in to be in solidarity for racial justice in Vermont.

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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].

JOB OPENING – SECURITY STAFF:  Learn more HERE

 

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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 – in October on the 25th.

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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!

 

WEEKLY GATHERINGS

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 periodic guest leaders – is on Zoom – at 9am on Thursdays.  All are welcome in this informal setting that will engage you in learning more about and discussing the scripture reading for the upcoming Sunday. The Zoom LINK is: https://bit.ly/BibleStudywithElissa

 

 

 

 

OUR 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 – 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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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? 
Since late March 2020 we have offered worship exclusively online. Our small groups, teams, task forces – anything for which you formerly came to 38 South Winooski Ave. have been conducted via Zoom or conference calls.   Now  in June 2021 we are following the thoughtful plan towards re-gathering that we announced in April.

Worship in Person
July 4 at First Church
Weekly Live-Streaming on YouTube

    It’s time to re-gather physically! Stay tuned for updates on guidelines, but we are ready to welcome one and all back to the sanctuary starting Sunday, July 4!
Of, course, we understand not all of us will be able to be there physically, so we are committed to continuing to integrate our digital congregation, by live-streaming at 10am on Youtube!   Our Zoom Fellowship time will continue after worship – as will in person fellowship on the front lawn at church!   CLICK HERE for details about programs for children and youth this summer.

A Letter from Our Deacons About In-Person Worship

June 25, 2021

Dear Members and Friends of First Church

In a year of many firsts, changes and challenges, this congregation is about to embark on a new experience with much joy and celebration: First Church will be opening its doors again for live worship on Sunday July 4.   The Deacons are excited to be part of this joyful and celebratory time, and want to share with you some information as to how our worship life will work, once we begin to welcome folks back within our church walls.

While many of our friends and neighbors cannot wait to walk into the Sanctuary and reclaim that favorite pew, we do expect some in our community will continue to worship virtually; some maybe for a brief period of time and some may continue permanently.

In addition to our physical re-opening, our ministry leaders have been working hard to adapt our worship to support an ongoing remote worship along with our live Sunday services.   We want our tradition of radical hospitality to extend to folks who will continue to participate remotely on Sundays, to ensure all can access our time of worship, even if their physical presences is not possible due to issues of health, accessibility or distance.   It is our goal to make remote worship an extension of our Sanctuary service, so that those worshiping virtually can share sacred time and space with those who are participating physically.  READ MORE…

 

June 2021 RE-GATHERING UPDATE

“We will serve communion in pre-torn pieces, we won’t shake hands for the passing of the peace, and we have hand sanitizer in the pews.  I think we have a good plan in place.”
-Elissa Johnk, Trustees, 5/10/2020

I have heard it suggested that a pillar of wisdom is learning to laugh at yourself.  If this is true, some of us should be emerging from these last 15 months like Solomon. None of us knew what was in store, of course, but for quite some time it has felt as if we were constructing a raft while already floating down the rapids, praying there aren’t larger waterfalls ahead.

“If all goes well, we will be able to welcome into the building anyone who wishes to physically attend worship on…”  CLICK HERE to read the full letter

CLICK HERE for the June 3, 2021 Re-Opening Guidelines

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April 16, 2021 – Covid Update from the Rev. Elissa Johnk

 

Dear Friends –

This past week marked our two-year anniversary together, and it seems strange to think that the last year has been our own congregational version of a long-distance relationship!  Instead of gathering in our beloved sanctuary, I have been invited into your homes for every meeting, every visit, every worship, every week.  You have offered yourselves in testimony and witness, and I now know how it is you respond to forms of trauma and stress. While these are not the same things we would have learned about each other in any other year, in many ways, it has felt like many years of ministry condensed into one.

But I’ll tell you what I miss (beyond the obvious preaching to a present congregation, communal music, laughter, and prayers) – I miss the hallway conversations. The ways you get to know someone, and what is happening in their life, in passing. The details that are shared over a warm mug of coffee or tea, with children running just a little too fast around your knees.  Like me, I am sure you are eager to get back to this – even if it means forgoing the warm mug.

To this end, I am pleased to tell you that the Covid Response Team (comprised of members of staff, Deacons, Building and Grounds, Personnel and Worship) has been working to establish a plan to get us back to one another as soon as it can be done, and done safely.  Drawing on resources from public health officials, denominational resources, and the wider church, we have developed what we are calling our “PEACE Plan”, which establishes a five-part plan for a phased reopening.

P, or phased-in worship regathering, involves our worship LEADERS coming back to the sanctuary to record our worship for streaming. This will involve staff, lay readers, musicians, leaders, and our new A/V team, to begin to learn the new equipment.  We anticipate this will start in late May or early June, as our staff will (hopefully!) be finishing their vaccinations by this date. Indeed, all who are in the building during this phase will be required to be fully vaccinated, to wear masks, and practice social distancing. There should be no more than ten people in the sanctuary at any given time.

Phase Experimentation will begin shortly thereafter, and will involve staff, worship leaders, and designated groups such as the Trustees, Deacons, Worship Team, or Faith Formation Team, gathering to test out what a hybrid regathering would be like, then discuss it later and make changes based on experiences and science. During this phase masks and distancing will be required, and all present will be required to have at least the first dose of a vaccine. There will be no more than 25 people in the sanctuary at any given time.

Once Phase Experimentation is underway, and we begin to work out the “kinks” of hybrid gatherings, we anticipate Phase A adding the broader adult congregation – will occur shortly thereafter, hopefully in mid to late June. This is, of course, the phase we are all waiting for!  And, as exciting as this will be for all of us, I want to remind us that this will not look like what it has in the past – there will be no congregational singing, or passing of the peace, attendees will have to register in advance, and masks and distancing will be required.  To move into this phase, a few additional factors will have to be established:

  • most of the adult church population has been vaccinated with at least one dose,
  • the majority of the Chittenden County adult population has been vaccinated with at least one dose
  • No more than 2 percent positivity rate in the County, and 14-day downward trends
  • No known presence of vaccine-resistant variants in the area

The next two phases – adding Children, and Everyone! Everywhere! – also have a set of environmental and congregational “triggers”, which we will tell you more about as we get closer to those stages.

I want to reassure you that your Covid team has been incredibly thoughtful about putting together this plan.  A summary of this plan can be found by clicking here.  Please note, however, that this is not locked in stone.  In fact, every part of this plan is subject to change, based on new information or circumstances.  We are putting this out to you simply so you have a better sense of the guiding principles behind our decision making and procedures.  Before each phase is complete, and we move to the next, conversations will be had between the Deacons, Trustees, and Covid Response team, to ensure we are safe to proceed to the next steps.

To help us ensure we are on the right track for you and your family, we have compiled a short survey we hope you will complete.  This will help us evaluate our plan, and consider appropriate steps between phases.  As it has been all year this is a congregation-wide effort, and we really do need to hear from you to make sure we most effectively focus our attention and resources moving forward.

There is an old joke that a man bought his wife a bouquet of 48 roses for their 50th anniversary.  When she asked why 48, he said “one for every good year.”  She looked at the bouquet and threw out a few more before giving him a kiss.

I know this year has been hard. But with the amount we’ve learned about one another, and ourselves, I would still call it good. So happy anniversary, friends. Here’s to the year ahead, in faith.

Blessings,

The Rev. Elissa Johnk

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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Sunday 10 a.m. Worship: In Person & Online

WORSHIP In Person at First Church or Online!

CLICK HERE or above to watch the recording of the worship on October 24on the  FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel.
CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday October 24
CLICK HERE for the Announcements for Sunday October 24

 

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.

  • VISITORS: This is a great time to visit First Church – in person for worship on Sunday morning at 10am – or remotely – as the worship will be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel at 10am on Sunday morning – a recording is available anytime after worship.
  • PARKING: On Sunday mornings, the First Church parking lot is most needed and reserved for – our visitors, friends and members with mobility challenges. If that is your situation – please do park in the church lot.  If you can drop off passenger(s) and navigate from street parking or the parking garage – please do. Thank you.
  • MUSIC – We are in a search process for a Director of Music Ministries – meanwhile we are thankful for our lay musicians and vocalists!
    • 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 the following programs for children and youth – use this LINK

  • Church School for grades K thru 5 – each Sunday morning – in person at 10am – or remotely on Zoom from 9:15 to 9:45 am;
  • Our in person Nursery/PreSchool at 10am Sundays First Church, and
  • The Haven – our programs for middle and high school youth.

LIVING WELL SERMON SERIES: Our fall sermon series: “Living Well” got started on Sunday September 19 when Elissa’ sermon focused on the soul and continued on September 26 with a sermon focused on discerning vocation.  The sermon series – which continues through October 31 – is based on the Rev. Scott Stoner’s book: Your Living Compass.  Our discussion groups have started – the materials are also available for you individually here.

  • Copies of Stoner’s book are available at Church.  To purchase a copy ($17) – contact Office Manager, Caroline Catlin.
  • Watch Elissa’s September 19 sermon HERE
  • The Discussion Guide for the first sermon is linked HERE
  • Watch Elissa’s September 26 sermon HERE.
  • The Discussion Guide for the second sermon is linked HERE
  • Watch Elissa’s October 17 sermon HERE
  • The Discussion Guide for the third sermon is linked HERE
  • The Self Assessment Tools described in the weekly discussion guides are grouped and linked HERE

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RECENT SUNDAYS WORSHIP SERVICES

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday October 17

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for October 3

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday September 26
CLICK HERE for the Announcements for Sunday September 26

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday September 19
CLICK HERE for the Announcements for Sunday September 19

CLICK HERE for the September 12 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the September 12 Announcements
CLICK HERE for a song – music and lyrics – featured on September 12

CLICK HERE for the Sunday September 5 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the Sunday September 5 Announcements

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for August 29, 2021
CLICK HERE for the Announcements for August 29, 2021
CLICK HERE for a printed copy of this morning’s sermon.

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CLICK HERE for the August 22 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the August 22 Announcements


CLICK HERE for the August 15 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the August 15 Announcements


CLICK HERE for the August 8, 2021 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the August 8 Announcements

CLICK HERE for the August 1, 2021 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the August 1 Announcements

CLICK HERE for the July 25 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the July 25 Announcements

CLICK HERE  for the Sunday July 18 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the Sunday July 18 Announcements

CLICK HERE  for the Sunday July 11 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the Sunday July 11 Announcements

 



CLICK HERE for the Sunday July 4 Order of Worship
CLICK HERE for the Sunday July 4 Announcements

  • CLICK HERE for the Sunday June 27 Order of Worship      
  • CLICK HERE for the Sunday June 27 Announcements

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday June 20

  • CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday June 13.

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday June 6.

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday May 30

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday May 23

CLICK for the Order of Worship for Sunday May 16

Our Director of Music Ministries Search Committee will be commissioned during the May 16 worship service.  CLICK on the graphic below to learn about them and the group’s work.

CLICK for the Order of Worship for May 9

CLICK for the Order of Worship for Sunday May 2, 2021


 CLICK for the Order of Worship for Sunday April 25

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for April 18 2021

 

CLICK HERE for the Easter Sunday Order of Worship

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Palm Sunday March 28.

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for the March 21 Worship Service.

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for the March 7 worship service.

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday, February 28, 2021

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for 2.21.21

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday February 14

 

CLICK HERE for the Order of Worship for Sunday February 7

 

 

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Give to First Church: Giving, Pledging & Special Offerings

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

Online/E-Giving & Giving by Check: One-time donations & recurring pledges  – all of your donations fuel the missions and ministries of First Congregational Church.

TO GIVE ONLINE – connect to First Congregational Church’s secure Online/E-Giving system by clicking here.  Use the drop-down menu provided in “Fund” to designate your 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 – made payable to First Congregational Church (to designate a specific use – such as the Pastoral Care Fund – or a special offering – use the MEMO line on your check) and mail to: First Congregational Church, 38 South Winooski Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401

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A Message from your Stewardship Team Chair: Dawn Plante

Our Stewardship Campaign theme for 2021 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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Advent, Christmas & Epiphany at FCCB – All are Invited!

2019 ADVENT & CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SERVICES

The Rev. Elissa Johnk invites the congregation to invite family, friends, neighbors and the wider community to participate in Advent, Christmas and Epiphany at “First Church” – all are welcome and invited!

All are welcome and invited to all worship services at First Congregational Church of Burlington – an Open & AffirmingCongregation – of the United Church of Christ.
The Second Sunday of Advent – “Peace” 
Sunday, December 8 at 8 am & 10am with Janet Green, cello.
The Rev. Elissa Johnk’s sermon will focus on “Peace.”  All children and youth are invited to rehearse for next Sunday’s (December 15 at 10am) Christmas Pageant.
The Third Sunday of Advent – “Joy”
The Christmas Pageant! Sunday, December 15 at 10am: Young musicians, a timeless story of hope with costumes and carols aplenty. Followed by a reception with sweets and treats for all and our Annual Christmas Wrap.
     – The Annual Christmas Wrap, Sunday, December 15 at 11am: After the pageant, stay for cookies and punch and quickly wrap hundreds of simple, practical gifts for local children and adults!
The Fourth Sunday of Advent – “Love”
  • Blue Christmas: Sunday, December 22 at 8am. The holidays aren’t always joyful. This service, with Simon Jorgenson on Blues guitar, is a sacred space for people living through challenging times, seeking healing and hope.
  • Christmas Sunday: Sunday, December 22 at 10am. Celebrate with love and joy the coming birth of the Christ-child.  Followed by a special Christmas Reception for all!
Candlelight Christmas Eve Services:
Tuesday, December 24. Childcare available at 4 and 7:30.
 4:00pm Family Service of Lessons and Carols  
 with the Children’s & Youth Choirs,
the Austin Chimers & the Hobbs Family brass

7:30pm Traditional Service of Lessons and Carols

           with the Bell Choir, Sanctuary Choir & Strings
 
10:00pm Intimate Service of Lessons and Carols
with the Sanctuary Choir & Harp

 

12 days of Christmas! Sunday December 29 at 10am: Did you know Christmas lasts 12 days? Come celebrate with favorite stories and carols during this multi-generational worship. Our Worship Team is gathering “favorite Christmas stories” to compile and share. To participate, email Wendy Scully, [email protected], by Dec. 26 and in a few sentences describe a favorite Christmas memory. (One worship service this Sunday.)

The Star Service: Sunday, January 12.  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!  Vermont folk artist and singer songwriter Patti Casey will be our special guest, leading music during the January 12 “Star Worship Service” at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

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Use this LINK for the full detail of Advent through Epiphany worship services, happenings, missions, ways to connect and offerings
at First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington!


 

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