First Church this Week

ONLINE WORSHIP

  • WORSHIP streamed ONLINE at 10am on Sundays. 
    • Click on the YouTube icon to access the FirstChurch BTV – YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/FirstChurchBTV
    • 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 October 25, 2020 Order of Worship.
  • On Sundays – immediately following the 10am worship, we’ll host a Zoom Coffee Hour! 
    • CLICK HERE to join the Coffee Hour Zoom Meeting!
      • http://bit.ly/zoomcoffeehour
    • OR PHONE in to the ZOOM COFFEE HOUR: Call 301-715-8592, and enter 591-074-317#
  • CHURCH SCHOOL – SUNDAYS 9:30am: Director of Faith Formation Hilah Clarke and Laura Elder-Connors, Director of Children’s Music, are hosting Church School for Children in all elementary grades on Sundays at 9:30am.  Use this LINK to connect: https://bit.ly/churchschoolat930

SPECIAL EVENTS

A recording of Betty Taylor’s Memorial Service will be available  – please email: [email protected] to request a link to the video.

CLICK HERE for Betty Taylor’s obituary

 

 

Our four week sermon series focused on “Faith & Civic Life” concludes on Sunday October 18 – get caught up HERE.
This series will help us engage one another in conversation about what the lessons and stories of our faith have to teach us about the most important issues of our communal life together.  If you are looking for a thoughtful way to begin the fall, to seriously consider multiple sides of important issues, and to live courageously and lovingly in a world of complex decisions, then you will enjoy this journey.

 

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. 

THURSDAY morning Bible Study with Elissa: The Rev. Elissa Johnk invites you to join her for Bible Study on Wednesday mornings at 7:30am on ZOOM from September 16 through October 28.

ZOOM LINK: https://bit.ly/BibleStudywithElissa OR Phone In:  Call in: 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.
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 – BECKY HOLT on 10/23: First Church Communications Coordinator, Lucy Samara will interview Becky Holt on Friday October 23 at 3pm on Spirit Seekers (on Zoom).    Becky is the Development Director at COTS, a former Free Press reporter, and a leader of Vermont’s Story Lab – the conversation with Becky will explore how her life story and faith journey have combined to influence her professional path.   Please join us for this special opportunity to get to know a community leader from a personal perspective.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 30: Lucy Samara will interview Becky Levasseur on Spirit Seekers on the 30th at 3pm. A retired RN, Becky worked in the public health field for Planned Parenthood for decades, serving in both Chittenden County and in rural Vermont.  She is currently volunteering as part of the team planning for Covid safety for voting sites in Burlington and has been deeply immersed in the Burlington mask-making initiative.  Please plan to experience this interesting Spirit Seekers as Becky shares her faith journey and life stories.

 CLICK HERE for the SPIRIT SEEKERS ZOOM LINK: http://bit.ly/SpiritSeekersonZoom   Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 994-109-977#

Spirit Seekers interviews can be found on our podcast: First Church Phonic – https://anchor.fm/firstchurchbtv

“Spirit Seekers” is a forum for folks to share their spiritual journeys and life stories with a goal of creating understanding, community and 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!.

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.

This content is also linked in a Sunday – Family Facebook Event – linked HERE

 

 

Sundays at 9:30am: Director of Faith Formation Hilah Clarke and Laura Elder-Connors, Director of Children’s Music,  are hosting Church School for all in elementary grades on Sundays at 9:30am.  Use this LINK to connect: https://bit.ly/churchschoolat930

 


The Haven –
for Middle & High School Youth:
LINK HERE for The Haven’s calendar of upcoming events.
To learn more –
READ Hannah Sach’s article about forming The Haven – &/or – please contact her: 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. 

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

CLICK HERE to watch the October 25 Worship at 10am on the FirstChurchBTV YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/FirstChurchBTV

CLICK HERE for the October 25, 2020 Order of Worship.

OR Phone in to listen to worship at 10am, dial: 1-301-715-8592, theenter: 208-054-269#

On Sundays – immediately following the 10am worship we’ll host a Zoom Coffee Hour! CLICK HERE to join the Coffee Hour Zoom Meeting  – http://bit.ly/zoomcoffeehour – OR PHONE in to the ZOOM COFFEE HOUR: Call 301-715-8592, and enter 591-074-317#

CLICK HERE to watch videos of past worship service on YouTube – including our Sept. 27 thru Oct. 18 “Faith & Civic Life” sermon series

 

 

 

 

 

Sundays at 9:30am: Director of Faith Formation Hilah Clarke is hosting Church School for Children in all elementary grades on Sundays at 9:30am.  Use this LINK to connect: https://bit.ly/churchschoolat930

 

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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.

 

PLEDGING: May to December 2020 Pledges are invited in support of the ministries and missions of First Congregational Church.  The congregation voted in May 2020 to change our fiscal year to a  “Calendar Year” – our fiscal year will begin anew in January 2021.

Pledge online – or mail in your pledge – whatever path you take – your pledge is vital to support of the ministries of First Church!

If you have yet to pledge, please do:

  •  print and use the paper, mail in form, linked below
  • request a printed copy from the Church Office (802 862 5010)
  • pledge online:
    • using your First Church Realm account, or
    • use the online pledge form linked below.
    • to access your First Church Realm account – please contact our Office Manager: [email protected]

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 read the Rev. Elissa Johnk’s May to December 2020 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.

 

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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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