For a copy of the 2022 Annual Stewardship Pledge form, click here.
Annual Stewardship Message
Without a doubt, this past year has been one of the most challenging we have ever faced. We have been called to press the pause button on many of our familiar and beloved ways of being the church until it was safe to return. We have been challenged to be creative in keeping our faith and our community vital and well connected. We have been invited to reexamine our traditional understandings of what it means to be a Christian Community, exploring new ideas and new technologies. Through it all, we have kept faith in our hearts, we have watched for signs of hope on the horizon, and we have spent our patience well. Because of our faithfulness, as we move in the direction of a full reopening, we continue to be a strong, loving, and active church.
The year ahead also promises to be challenging. We celebrate Associate Pastor Rev. Barbara Papagian’s taking hold of the reins as we welcome back our Interim Senior Pastor, Rev. Carolyn Keilig. We will need to sort out a healthy balance between in-person and online worship. We will need to reignite the Church Leadership for the 21st Century process that we had begun, for the sake of attracting new members.
Your continued financial support of our church is one of the most important keys to that success. We are very grateful for any and all contributions, but we ask that you consider increasing your pledge. For example, a ten percent increase for a weekly pledge of $20 amounts to an increase of $2 a week.
The challenges of the past and those of the future flow into one another. They are the field in which the faithful Christian community plays itself out. They are the work that has been given into our hands as members and friends of the First Congregational Church of Manchester. We have done that work well, and there is every reason to believe we will continue to do so.
As we begin this year’s stewardship season, we ask that you consider, deeply and prayerfully, the importance of our church and what it will take to move forward together. May we all know the deep blessings of our God, who knows of our faith, hope and patience, and strengthens all our efforts with grace and peace.
Yours in Christ,
The Stewardship Committee: Rev. Carolyn Keilig, Dan & Cheryl McKenney (co-chairs), Sue Clement, Tom Irving, Bill Jones, Kathy Payne, Vicki Tinsley, Liz Verity, Linda Bonetti, Anita Wolcott (note taker)
History of Stewardship themes:
“Faith, Hope and Patience”…Throughout the Covid pandemic, begun in March 2020, we have kept faith in our hearts, we have watched for signs of hope on the horizon, and we have spent our patience well. We continue to cope with the reality that this pandemic is not going to pass easily, or quickly, and more of our valued members and friends are being affected every day. Know that your FCC church family continues to have faith that we will reunite “just like the old days” with handshakes and hugs. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support! Throughout all the challenges of 2020 and 2021…now going into 2022…we haven’t missed a beat helping each other and the community by becoming innovative in approach to “support” in spirit and financially.
“Weaving the Fabric of Life” at First Congregational Church has been an ongoing project…weaving our beliefs with our missions of outreach to each other and the community. We continue to volunteer weekly with Special Olympics Young Athletes Program, at UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center making meals, and New Horizons. Our expanded food support for children through Blessing in a Backpack and our Food Closet is growing exponentially, as is the demand for coat, boots, mittens and hats. Dress A Girl Around the World has benefitted from over 50 dresses made by our Quilting Ministry for girls at risk, and continues to sew monthly and enjoy the comraderie and fellowship. Hats, prayer shawls, and bavaclavas have been knit for Seafarers’ Mission, Helping Hands, Greater Manchester Mental Health Center, among many. Snack, soups and cookies are lovingly made by congregants to bring a little lift to our members’ spirits in time of stress. Your continued financial support of First Church ensures that we can still provide for these supportive services to our community in 2020.
“God’s Work, Our Hands” is more appropo than ever in 2019! Our numbers of involved volunteers are increasing to service our expanding Outreach efforts…this year adding the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program on Thursday nights; the 21st Century Church visionary program; UpReach monthly meals; expanded food programs; and more coats, boots, hats and mittens for the elementary schools. Pledge letters were sent to all members and active friends at the end of September and are due back by November 2nd, as we project our budgetary needs for 2019.
The 2018 Campaign… “God’s Love is Generous, Love Back Generously”…kicked off in the fall of 2017. The generosity of our members and friends ensured a year full of expanded Outreach projects, and the completion of some building maintenance with a new floor and bathroom in the youth area of the rec room.
Our 2017 message, our ministries and our membership had all grown in faith. So it seemed appropriate, in seeking your generous contributions of support, that “Growing in Faith Together” should be our theme for 2017’s stewardship campaign. As our Growing in Faith Together campaign moved forward, we thank you all for taking to heart the vital importance of our beloved First Church.
We hope to resume the Pastor's Class and Bible Study as we wade through the Covid pandemic. Watch for announcements!
“It is my time at First Church that helps me "recharge" my spirit with faith and hope for the coming week!”
“A path which leads me forward in a journey of grace and love with my family, friends, and community."
“Cherished elements of core traditions live on at First Church…”
“I hope others will find such joy when they come here.”
Eleanor Flint Campbell
“We treasure our many friends and colleagues in this wonderful congregation.”
Susan and Bruce Felmly
“I love First Church because of my involvement with Women's Connection.”
"We visited several churches after moving to Manchester. In our worship at First Church we were overwhelmed by the great preaching, the magnificent music and the very welcoming congregation. We feel truly blessed to have been led to membership at First Church."
Ross and Marion Palmes
We are back! The in-person/live streamed worship service is on Sundays at 10am.
[CLICK HERE] to send a Prayer Request to Rev. Barbara Papagian by 8:30am Thursday to include in the service.
Rev. Barbara will be sending out periodic inspirational messages via The FCC Friday Link on the 1st and 3nd Fridays of the month; and special editions to keep you updated with FCC Covid protocols. To sign up, send your email to Rev. Barbara by [CLICKING HERE]. We pray that everyone stays safe, obeys the rules, and keeps in phone or email contact with all those in need of kindness and an encouraging word.
Welcome to Rev. Randy and to Justin!
Outreach is asking for donations of new sneakers and sweatpants and shirts to aid students in need at Bakersville School. Sign up on the office window.
Queen City Pride Festival on Saturday, June 18th
Thanks to all who volunteered to make this another endearing event!
Sunday, June 12th!
Our tranquil space for personal reflection and healing is available to you outside the Chapel doors. Donations to the Memory Garden can be sent directly to FCC with "Memory Garden" in the memo. The new dwarf Japanese Maple is a stunning addition, thanks to the many donations and our team of volunteers led by Liz Verity!
April 12, 2022 update from the Church Council on Worship Services and Fellowship regarding Covid 19 mitigation protocols at First Congregational Church-
It has been over two years since the pandemic first impacted our state and our beloved First Congregational Church, and Covid 19 continues to affect our lives in its various mutations. While staff and church leadership will continue paying attention to the current infection rates and Covid-related hospitalizations, we (cautiously) are pleased to lift the last remaining Covid 19 mitigation protocols in our building. For more information [Click Here]...
-Rev. Carolyn Keilig & The FCC ReOpening Task Force
[CLICK HERE] to enjoy our current videos on Vimeo. Recently Adam has been recording some select pieces for your enjoyment. Also check out "I Believe", Jeffrey Frye's original "We are Unbroken (After All)"; "Weave" sung by our choir during the Dress A Girl Around the World Blessing and Stewardship Sunday service; and other unique and enjoyable FCC musical moments!!
See the order of worship at First Church for the Sunday Service, including the Scripture Reading. Learn more...
The Sunday News & FCC Friday Link
What’s happening this week in the life of First Church? Click on the FCC Friday Link to see what happening around First Congregational Church!
Bulletins and Sunday News will be available at all in-person services.
What’s happening this month at First Church? Learn more...
Buy one at $12.50 each and get one of the sample cookbooks from the printer for FREE!
!See a member of Women's Connection or call the office for your copy of our favorite recipes
Thanks to everyone who submitted a photo! We have published the "online instant picture directory" with personal passwords! Refer to directions in the Friday Link for how to connect and edit your own information.
First Congregational Church
508 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104