“No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
Sunday Worship Services
– Worship is at 10am, in person, in the First Church Sanctuary & worship is live-streamed on the FirstChurchBTV YouTube Channel. Videos of past worship services are also available on our website post about 10am Worship and on our YouTube Channel
The heart of First Congregational Church is Sunday morning worship.
- The 10:00 a.m. Sanctuary Service provides a larger number of worshipers with an uplifting experience of both traditional forms and newer elements.
- We are committed to live-streaming worship and welcome visitors and members worshiping online.
- Fellowship after the worship service happens at First Church for those worshiping in person and on Zoom for those worshiping digitally.
- Use this LINK for the Sunday Order of Worship, Announcements and fellowship Zoom information.
- Our Nursery and Pre-School programs are open year-round at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
- Our Church School – Faith Formation – Program for Grades K through 5 are year-round during the 10am worship service.
- Middle and High School Youth programs are year-round as well and include a variety of experiences including Confirmation.
Preaching is central to our worship tradition as is symbolized by the Pulpit’s central and elevated location at the center of a raised chancel that is integral to the historic architecture of the 170-year-old Sanctuary. Through the litanies, prayers, moments of silence and hymns, the people of God worship together. The Scripture, Sermon and Pastoral Prayer provide spiritual insight and support for life’s increasingly complex realities. Click here to for videos of past worship services.
At our 10:00 a.m. service, music is the thread that weaves the various elements together. The Church bell rings, and the prelude begins, inviting us into a spirit of worship. The Children’s Choir and the Youth Choir participate periodically as does our adult handbell choir – The Austin Chimers. The Sanctuary Choir sings during most worship services, September through May. The congregation sings hymns that are selected primarily from the New Century Hymnal, but also from the Pilgrim Hymnal, and occasionally from other sources. Following the Benediction, there is a Postlude to enjoy. At special services, including Christmas, Easter, etc. – other instruments supplement the magnificent sound of the organ.
Worship typically includes a “Word of God for all Ages.” Children are invited to join the minister at the front of the Sanctuary for their special time, and then are escorted to their Sunday School classes.
Baptism, the Sacrament of Initiation into the Christian Community, is celebrated during Sunday worship when the gathered community is present to welcome the baptized infant, child, or adult into the church family and to pledge to support his or her growth into full Christian discipleship. Although some families choose godparents, in most instances, the entire congregation serves as a community of godparents for the child and her or his parents.
The Sacrament of Holy Communion, also known as The Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist, takes place on the first Sunday of each month. Loaves of bread (including a gluten free option) and cups of grape juice are consecrated through reciting the words of Christ and served by the Deacons to all present. All who profess faith in Jesus Christ are welcome to the meal. Children are welcome to take part. On special occasions, Holy Communion is served by the ancient practice of intinction when persons are invited to approach the Table, take bread and dip it into the Cup.
Throughout the year, a number of services with unique sacred character are celebrated including: the Advent Worship Service Dinner (first Thursday in Advent),Blue Christmas, Christmas Eve, Star Sunday (Epiphany), Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
A pulpit exchange that began in the 1950’s with Ohavi Zedek Synagogue continues annually. In celebration of our enduring relationship, we periodically schedule a joint worship service with the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church who worships in our Chapel year-round on Sunday afternoons. Lively toe-tapping, hand-clapping Jazz Sunday in June has been a First Church tradition for more than 30 years.