PEACE CAMP for All Ages! July 23-27

“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,


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:
      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.

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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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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January 2019 TRIP to INDIA

Are You Interested in a
January 2019 Trip to INDIA?
Please plan to meet on
Tuesday, February 13
from 6 to 7 p.m. to learn more!

All are invited to gather from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13, at First Congregational Church, to learn more about a trip to visit our long-time mission partners at the James Hospital in Tamil Nadu, India.  This is a preliminary informational meeting – not a commitment. If you feel called to learn more about God’s work in the world, joining us at this time is a great first step! The India mission team will focus on learning about the mission and work of the James Hospital and School of Nursing, and bringing their story back to Vermont to inspire deeper connections with this meaningful ministry.
It may seem like 2019 is a long way off, but team building and preparation is key for a successful mission experience. In the next few months, we will begin the process of planning, fundraising for travel expenses, and communicating with the James Hospital leaders in preparation for the trip.
Got questions?  Contact Community Ministries Coordinator, Ava Kelly.

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LENTEN GATHERINGS for “Lovers & Fools”!

Sundays at 9 a.m. with Carrie – 2/18 through 3/18
Thursdays at 6 p.m. with Ava and Lucy – 2/22 through 3/22
Tuesdays at 2 p.m.
with Tom and Betty – 2/20 through 3/20

In an unusual twist, the secular calendar is lending special meaning to the Christian calendar!   In 2018, Lent is framed at one end by Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day and on the other, by Easter on April Fool’s Day!
The UCC’s Lent Devotional takes on this theme of “Lovers and Fools” to inspire us in our Lenten reflections – a time to explore faith in meaningful ways – on our own and in community.
All are invited to participate in a “Lenten Gatherings for Lovers & Fools” at any of the listed times during Lent. Though these gatherings will vary somewhat from one to another, they will all utilize the UCC’s Lenten Daily Devotional.  Click HERE for a preview.Lenten Gatherings for Lovers & Fools:
Sundays at 9 a.m. with Rev. Carrie Bail from 2/18 through 3/18 – coffee, tea, bagels and cream cheese provided.
Thursdays at 6 p.m. with Ava Kelly and Lucy Samara from 2/22 through 3/22 – this time will include music, prayer and reflection on scripture and the Lenten Devotionals. You can bring a “brown bag dinner” if you’d like; coffee and tea will be provided.
–  Tuesdays at 2 p.m.  with Rev. Tom and Betty Taylor from 2/20 through 3/20 – coffee and tea provided.Copies of the UCC Daily Devotional for Lent: “Lovers and Fools” – are available in the Church Office for a suggested donation of $5.
Those planning to participate in a Lenten Gathering are asked to pick up a copy of the UCC Lenten Devotional on Sunday mornings or during Church Office hours – Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..  Copies of the Lenten Devotionals are also available for anyone looking for a guide for reflection and prayer during Lent.
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SUPER BOWL SUB SALE: Pre-Order for Sunday, February 4!

SUPER BOWL SUB PRE-ORDERS are invited and needed by Thursday, February 1.
       Order forms are available at church or you may order with the form online.  Please complete the form, scan and send it by email to Karen Bushey, or drop it off at church during the week.
       Our middle school youth, along with Sub Sale Coordinator Karen Bushey, will be making delicious, fresh Sub Sandwiches of many varieties, to order for pick up on Super Bowl Sunday, February 4.  Pre-orders help us be sure we have enough sub creating ingredients and pre-cooked items – and homemade Chex Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Baked Beans –  for all.
      Funds from the SuperBowl Sub Sale help support youth programs at First Congregational Church including a special spring service experience we our planning with our Middle Schoolers.   As they have for many years, the Middle Schoolers will be making (and donating) “Super Bowl Subs” for all of the residents of the Burlington and Winooski Dismas Houses to enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday!
Thank you for supporting our YOUTH PROGRAMS!
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2018 Community MLK Events – Tickets Available at Church

The wider community is invited to hear:
Rev. Robert W. Lee, IV
the 2018 MLK Convocation Speaker at Saint Michael’s College
Monday, January 22, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. at the Saint Michael’s College Chapel

“The Cost of Silence:
Asserting our Responsibility in the Face of Injustice and Oppression”   

   Robert Lee IV, a direct descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was at the center of violence in Charlottesville, is a pastor, is an author, activist, commentator, writer, and preacher. Lee is a native of Statesville, North Carolina and graduate of Duke University Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. He has preached extensively across the nation on the Christian ethics of personal responsibility, repentance, and racial reconciliation.   Learn more HERE.


UVM’s 2018 MLK Keynote Speaker: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

Tuesday, January 23  |   4:00pm – 5:30pm  |  Ira Allen Chapel

(Tickets are required and are free.  To reserve one of the tickets available through First Congregational Church – please email us or call the Church Office – 802-862-5010.  Tickets are also available at UVM and other community outlets – learn more HERE. See complete UVM MLK Calendar event details HERE.)

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country.

He is currently the host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. An award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College. Since his days as a youth in Philadelphia, Dr. Hill has been a social justice activist and organizer. He is a founding board member of My5th, a non-profit organization devoted to educating youth about their legal rights and responsibilities. He is also a board member and organizer of the Philadelphia Student Union. Dr. Hill also works closely with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, focusing on drug informant policy. Over the past few years, he has actively worked on campaigns to end the death penalty and to release numerous political prisoners.

Ebony Magazine has named him one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders.

Dr. Hill is the author or co-author of four books: the award-winning Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity; The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black life in America; the New York Times bestseller Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on The Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond; and Gentrifier. He has also published two edited books: Media, Learning, and Sites of Possibility; and Schooling Hip-Hop: New Directions in Hip-Hop Based Education.

Trained as an anthropologist of education, Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the intersections between culture, politics, and education in the United States and the Middle East.

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Faithful Friday Worship & Dinner on Jan 19

We are resuming our inter-generational dinner and worship on Friday January 19th at 5:30 p.m. with the theme “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” referring to the scripture from James 2: “If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?”
For an opening activity we will assemble hand-warming kits with an energizing snack that will be distributed to some of the youth and adults in Burlington who are homeless.     Our worship will focus on warm hearts; and our dinner will feature…. Comfort Food.

(Speaking of which, Cyndy Hall, who has been volunteering as our “Faithful Friday” food coordinator, needs a sub for January thru March.  Anyone out there willing to do coordinate the food, please talk with Carrie for details.)

FAITHFUL FRIDAY DATE SWITCH:  We have decided to switch this program from the First Friday to the Third Friday to ease the busy-ness of the first part of the church month.  Hope this works for you!   See you there!

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