2018 Advent & Christmas Calendar Highlights

All are invited and welcome at First Congregational Church UCC/BTV!

LINK to printable 2018 Advent~Christmas~Epiphany Worship and Program Calendar

LINK to printable 2018 Advent~Christmas~Epiphany Worship Service Information

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Service Trip to Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO SERVICE TRIP DETAILS & DONATION INFORMATION
     We have an incredible team of people getting ready to head to Puerto Rico for disaster recovery work on September 30th. In light of the recent finding about the number of victims from last year’s Hurricane Maria, we feel like it is more important than ever to show our support and stand in solidarity with our neighbors.
     Our team of volunteers will be going as part of UCC Disaster Recovery efforts currently being coordinated by a UCC clergy couple from Sharon, VT. We’ll be working to re-roof houses in a village about 45 min outside of San Juan, as well as spending time with a local hospital and church.
       Donations are welcome in support of our travelers!   To make a donation, please use the “Service Trip to Puerto Rico” fund in the “Mission” category on the online giving page of the First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington website (LINK) – or – mail or bring a check to the church at 38 South Winooski Avenue in Burlington, VT 05401 – or – give your check directly to one of our travelers – made payable to: First Congregational Church, Memo: Puerto Rico Service Trip.  Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS and the State of Vermont.
     Watch the Church E-Newsletter and E-Updates for further details and opportunities to support our travelers as they prepare for time in service helping to rebuild homes in Puerto Rico.      – Ava Kelly, Community Ministries Coordinator
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Get Involved @ First Church & in the Wider Community!

GET INVOLVED @ FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH UCC of BTV
& in the WIDER COMMUNITY!

There are many ways to connect, put faith into action, work for social justice, and make a difference through service opportunities at First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington. Some opportunities are listed below; more are coming up this fall!

You can stay up to date by following us on Facebook &/or Twitter reading our E-Newsletter & E-Updates – use this LINK for information about how to subscribe.
New ideas for mission and social justice advocacy are most welcome. Please consider this an open invitation to step into service and community at First Church!

TAKING ACTION – This has been a year of marching for me – we marched with our high schoolers in DC last spring, in Burlington to “Bring Families Together” in June, and then stood in solidarity with our nurses in July. I’m working with Vermont Interfaith Action to keep track of upcoming opportunities and will do my best to keep you all informed of ways to take action. I invite you to join me on August 16 at the VIA – Vermont Interfaith Action – Statewide Convention in Randolph to learn more about what is happening at the intersection of faith and action around the state of Vermont.
Ava Kelly, Community Ministries Coordinator

The Joint Urban Ministry Project – JUMP: We have provided free space for JUMP’s Tuesday through Friday “drop in center” for 28 years! A core ministry of our faith community, JUMP provides thoughtful and practical resources for people in need – thousands of children and adults each year. First Church connects with needed, donated space, material items (toiletries, food), significant financial support through our Mission Budget and support of special events, and with much volunteer support. To learn more about volunteering, please contact Rebecca MacDonald. To learn more about this vital mission, visit JUMP’s website at jumpvt.org.

SMALL POTATOES SANDWICH CREW with Becky: Becky Winward coordinates our connection with Small Potatoes – our 30 year collaboration with the Burlington Friends Meeting to offer an every Saturday morning breakfast and bag lunch to all in need in the community. Becky is organizing a crew of sandwich makers for Fridays, August 24 – please send Becky an email and connect about the details.

Meals on Wheels

MEALS ON WHEELS with Al: Al Weldon coordinates our connection with Meals On Wheels making sure that we have pairs of volunteers for each of eight Meals On Wheels routes on the second Wednesday (morning) of each month. Substitute drivers and “runners” are needed – please be in touch with Al by email to learn more.

 

DISMAS HOUSE with Donal: Donal Dugan is newly coordinating our long-time connection with our Buell Street neighbors at Burlington’s Dismas House. Volunteers – on their own – or two or three working together – are needed to prepare, donate and share dinner with the staff and residents (10 to 12 adults) of Dismas House on the third Thursday of each month. This can be a great activity for a family to do together; for decades, our youth have volunteered to make and share dinner at Dismas House a few times a year. Please be in touch with Donal to learn more about volunteering on August 23 – or on a future third Thursday.

Lawn Mowing Helpers Needed – Call Steve & Bob: Last year we saved about $2,500 by mowing the church grounds ourselves. We have included these savings in our budget for 18-19. What we need now are folks who would be willing to volunteer, on a rotating basis, to mow! If you are willing to support the church in this way please contact: Steve Hyde at or Bob Wolf. We have a great riding mower! If you are new to riding mowers, orientation is available!

Coffee Hour

Sunday Morning Hospitality Helpers with Steve: Steve Hyde is working on a new initiative to build a team of volunteers who will help Sunday mornings run smoothly over the summer months. To learn more about this effort to engage folks in brewing the coffee (with our amazing new coffee machine), making the lemonade, and helping to serve and clean up for a Sunday 9 a.m. worship service in August or September – please be in touch with Steve to learn more.

SERVE in the POSS SHOP with our GREAT TEAM:  The Possibility Shop invites you to join our great crew of volunteers! Help is needed when the Poss Shop is open on Saturdays (once or twice a month from 10 to 1) and on Wednesdays and Fridays when we open from 10 to 3. For more information, stop in when we are open or contact Becky Winward. Thank you!

 

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Summer Sunday Worship thru Sept. 2 is at 9 am & 5 pm

First Congregational Church of Burlington, Vermont (United Church of Christ) welcomes you to join us in worship, fellowship, and service. We are a diverse congregation based in the heart of the city that lives our commitments, values, and beliefs: “Welcoming All, Seeking Justice, Finding God.” We invite you to learn more about our faith community and its members and explore how we might share this pilgrimage together. Read our Open and Affirming Declaration.

Sunday Worship Services September 9 through June:

– 8am in the Chapel
– 10am in the Sanctuary

– 5 pm Sacred Spaces: alternative, contemporary, participatory worship gathering for all ages.

Summer Sundays thru September 2 – there is one Sunday morning worship at 9 am.

Sunday, September 9 – is the date for our 11 a.m. “Homecoming Picnic!”

 

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Sacred Spaces ~ Alternative Worship ~ Sundays at 5 p.m.

 
SACRED SPACES:
A CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP EXPERIENCE
in the “First Church UCC/BTV” Chapel
SUNDAYS at 5 p.m. 
Please accept and share this invitation to
a new model for worship,
a new way of creating sacred space in community:
  
     Sacred Spaces is exploring the First Congregational Church 2018-2019 theme:
The Road We Share, by starting a new journey using Alexander Shaia’s book: Heart and Mind: The Four-Gospel Journey For Radical Transformation as a guide for our worship gatherings. We’ll use the four gospels to discuss the four major questions along the journey of transformation:
  • How do we face change?
  • How do we move through suffering?
  • How do we receive joy?    &
  • How do we mature in service?
     These are the four questions reflected by Matthew, Mark, John, and Luke respectively. We’ll use the gospels as a lens to view the circumstances of our own lives and community, and as a framework for understanding our own opportunities for transformation. In addition to the discussion on gospel transformation, each service will feature silent prayer, meditation, and music.

A few key points to be aware of:

  • You don’t have to buy the book in order to participate in the gathering, but you will definitely get more out of the gathering if you’re reading along during the week as we go. We have copies available in the Church Office ($22). The book is also available for purchase online.
  • Spiritual transformation is in many ways a discipline (like the word discipleship!); those looking for more depth, growth, or just something new in your spiritual practice are encouraged to make a commitment to attend as often as possible so we can reap the benefits of consistency and have more opportunities to build our community.
  • The gatherings will continue to evolve as we figure out what works for us.
  •  All are invited to join us every Sunday at 5 p.m –  Community Ministries Coordinator, Ava Kelly sends out a weekly email update with themes, music, and materials for reflection. If you’d like to be on that list, email her at [email protected]


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PEACE CAMP for All Ages! July 23-27

PEACE CAMP!
“Night Lights” – the summer multi-generational  experience that we have been inviting you to – has announced its theme! July 23rd-27th “campers” of all ages (adults, youth, pre-K/nursery)  are invited to join us for “Peace Camp”. This 5-evening series will engage campers around the theme of peace, letting us explore our faith together through fellowship, worship, and age-appropriate interesting discussions and fun activities.

     We are so excited to be partnering with College Street UCC on this project. What a great opportunity for our two communities to join together in faith and friendship.

Here’s what you can expect at Peace Camp:
5:30 – 6pm: Picnic Supper
6:00 – 6:30: “Campfire” + Storytelling – each evening will start with the sharing of a Bible story that exemplifies the central theme of peace in Christianity. This is a multi-generational time.
6:30 – 7:30: Age-based Breakout Time (Adults, Elementary/Youth, Nursery/Pre-K): Adults will meet on their own to discuss the story in depth with leadership from Rev. Carrie Bail and Rev. Ken White.  The youth – in elementary grades and older – will be involved in creative, hands-on activities to explore the story. The youngest children will have fun, age appropriate activities.
7:30 – 7:45: Closing Vespers – a multi-generational song and prayer time.

Volunteers Needed: We need your help to make Peace Camp a success! We’re looking for people to help with meal prep, set-up/clean-up, storytelling, teaching, and activity leading. You can volunteer AND enjoy participating in the camp- no need to choose, or be there every day.  RSVP to learn more about volunteering with Peace Camp by emailing Ava Kelly ([email protected]) or on the Peace Camp REGISTRATION FORM

Camp registration fee is $10/individual or $20/household and includes meals and a camp T shirt. Sign up for Peace Camp using this REGISTRATION FORM. Thank you. Email Ava Kelly [email protected] with any questions!

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We’re Hiring!

Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator & Youth/Young Adult Ministries Coordinator

Please click on the titles below to find links to job descriptions and application process

details for the following openings at First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington,

Vermont:

Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator Description.March.2018

Youth and Young Adult Ministries Coordinator.Job Description.3.2018

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Sunday April 15: Pulpit Exchange & Association Spring Meeting

On Sunday April 15, we are participating in the:
CHAMPLAIN ASSOCIATION of the VERMONT CONFERENCE U.C.C.
PULPIT EXCHANGE! 
      This Sunday’s Vermont Conference UCC Champlain Association annual “pulpit exchange” will bring Rev. Jared Hamilton of the United Church of Hinesburg to serve as our guest preacher for both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. worship services.
Jared received his Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 2012. He has served as a chaplain at New England Baptist Hospital and on staff at the Human & Civil Rights Organizations of America. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Next Generation Leadership Initiative of the United Church of Christ.  Jared gardens and keeps bees. He is married to Leah Hamilton and spends his down time with their three young children.
As part of the pulpit exchange, our interim minister, Rev. Carrie Bail, is preaching at the United Church of Hinesburg on Sunday.  Interestingly, the United Church of Hinesburg is a congregation with roots in the Congregational, Methodist and Baptist traditions.

CHAMPLAIN ASSOCIATION  SPRING MEETING
APRIL 15 at the UNITED CHURCH OF HINESBURG
Contemporary Topic: Civil Discourse

         The Vermont UCC Champlain Association Spring Meeting will be held this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the United Church of Hinesburg. Delegates have been invited to represent our congregation and the meeting is also open to all interested in participating. Please plan to participate if you can!
Lunch will be available at 12:30 in the Hinesburg Parish Hall.  The Spring Association Meeting & Program begins at 1:15 and will include a presentation by Mark Hews, Maine Director for the National Institute for Civil Discourse. Mark will meet with us (via teleconferencing) from Maine to offer a 30 minute introduction to the process of Civil Discourse and will answer questions about how we can implement this in our churches. We are also encouraged to participate in the National Week of Civility Challenge from April 20-28. For more information about Civil Discourse use this LINK.  In this time of what can feel like extreme political division, the approach that Mark Hews will be discussing seems promising to assist communities and small groups seeking to participate in  civil and productive conversation where there are deeply held differences.
Please plan to participate in the April 15 Champlain Association meeting if you can!
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We’re Hiring: Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator & Youth/Young Adult Ministries Coordinator

Please click on the title above to find links to job descriptions and application process details for the following openings at First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington, Vermont:  Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator   &   Youth and Young Adult Ministries Coordinator

Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator Description.March.2018

Youth and Young Adult Ministries Coordinator.Job Description.3.2018

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YOUTH PROGRAM & YETS AUCTION Sunday April 8!

Please plan to come to our Sunday, April 8 Auction following the 10:00am worship service. (The Silent Auction will open for bidding between the worship services at 9 am.)

The Auction supports all of our programs for High School and Middle School Youth including our June 2018 YETS: Youth Experience in Travel & Service for High School Youth and April 2018 Farm and Faith Experience for Middle School Youth!

The silent auction will feature gift cards, themed gift baskets, dinners, and services.

One of a kind experiences and trips are featured in our live auction led by teens (with assistance from experts!). With items for every taste and budget, there is truly something for everyone. Please invite your friends and make sure you’re there to support this worthy cause.

We are currently accepting donations and we are looking for a wide variety of items including: services, dinners, weekends at vacation homes, and other items of a wide variety. Consider donating: jewelry, boat rides, gift cards, gourmet dinners, household items – decorative and practical, baskets of items with a special theme, small pieces of furniture, baked goods made to order, services, framed items… Be creative and know that your donations of auction items are needed and appreciated!

Auction Donation forms are available at Church on the main bulletin board in the midway. You can LINK to our online AUCTION DONATION FORM HERE!  If you opt to use the online form – please print and complete it – and scan and email it to Andy Barker or Ava Kelly, or drop it off or mail it to them at First Congregational Church, 38 South Winooski Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.  Thank you so very much!

If you have any questions about the Auction, please be in touch with our High School Youth Coordinator, Andy Barker ([email protected]) or Community Ministries Coordinator, Ava Kelly ([email protected]).

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