Frequently Asked Questions
Everyone likes to know what to expect. Here are some questions (and answers!)
What times are your worship services?
We gather for worship on Sundays at 10:00 am. Due to the pandemic, Summer worship services this year will still be held at 10am. Normally summer worship begins at 9:30 am from June to Sept (exact dates to be announced), and occasionally for special services throughout the year.
Will someone call me after the service?
We encourage to fill out a Pew Welcome Card to ask questions and request a call back. Cards can be placed in the Offering Plate. At any time you can call the office at 603-625-5093 if you have questions or need spiritual guidance from the Pastor.
What if the weather is bad…do you call off the services or close the office?
The Pastor will make the determination on cancelling a service by 6pm the evening before. Please check WMUR.com for the latest list of closing and delays. The office is closed whenever the Manchester School System announced closure due to weather conditions.
How do I get there? Where do I park?
First Church is located at the corner of Hanover and Union Streets in Manchester, NH. There is parking on Sunday mornings and evenings just north of the church on Union Street in the adjacent parking lot. Additional spaces are available in front of the church on Union Street and in our small parking area along the church driveway. For detailed information, please see our Contact page or view map below:
What happens during our Worship Service?
As you enter the church you will be welcomed by a friendly greeter. You will then enter the sanctuary where an usher will give you a Sunday Bulletin with a printed order of the worship service.
Worship services feature readings from the Bible, preaching, prayer, and music. Children are invited to join the pastor during the service for Time With God’s Children, after which they are escorted to Sunday School classes.
What about children?
Children are always welcome in our worship service. Children begin in the worship service with their parents. Following the Time With God’s Children, children go to their respective Sunday School classes.
Will there be communion?
The Sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated six times each year in the sanctuary during worship on Threshold Sundays. These include: the first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of Epiphany, the first Sunday in Lent, Emmaus Sunday (the second Sunday of Easter), Pentecost, and World Communion Sunday (the first Sunday in October). We serve only non-alcoholic grape juice, and always offer a gluten-free bread alternative. Whether you are a member of First Church, another church, or no church, you are welcome to join with us in this moment of blessing and grace. On the first Sunday of every month that is not a Threshold Sunday, we have a short, informal Communion service held in the Chapel following the 10:00 am service.
Will I be expected to give money?
An offering will be received during our service to support the church and its various ministries. We welcome any and all gifts from those who are able to contribute, but please do not feel obligated to put anything in the offering plate.
What happens after worship?
Following worship all are invited to Fellowship Hour where you can meet others and enjoy coffee, punch and refreshments. This gathering is located in the dining room on the lower level of the church. You can take any stairwell from the sanctuary exits to get to the dining room, and an elevator to the lower level is also available.
Do you offer childcare and Sunday School programs for children and youth?
We welcome and cherish children and families. We have trained and experienced teachers for our Sunday School classes and responsible adults who care for our youngest children in our church nursery. Our ushers can direct you to our nursery care.
What should I wear?
On any given Sunday, some of the congregation will come dressed in their “Sunday best”, while others dress more casually. You are encouraged to dress in whatever way feels most comfortable to you.
Is the Church Handicap accessible?
First Church is accessible for the disabled through the ramp door on the Amherst Street side of the building. There is also an elevator that serves all floor levels. A handicap accessible restroom is located on the main floor. In addition, we provide large print bulletins and wireless hearing assistance devices for those who may wish to use them. The church driveway has reserved handicapped parking. Please ask our ushers to assist you with any of these services.
How do I become a Member?
Joining First Church as a member means that you agree to a covenantal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and with others in our community of faith. We offer a New Member Orientation to explore and discuss what membership is all about. This is followed by a New Member joining Sunday, at which time new members are welcomed into our church family.
“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
Visitors are always welcome at First Church! Masks are recommended in the offices if you are not fully vaccinated, following CDC Guidelines.
The Food Closet is available Monday-Friday 9-12noon. Should you need anything relating to the office, please call, or email Linda Bonetti, Lauren Henderson, Rev. Carolyn Keilig, or Rev. Barbara Papagian.
We are back and live!
Join us on Sundays at 10am to worship with Rev. Carolyn Keilig!
[CLICK HERE] to send a Prayer Request to Rev. Barbara Papagian by 8:30am Friday.
We will no longer offer a virtual service.
Rev. Barbara will be sending out periodic inspirational messages via The FCC Friday Link on the 1st and 3nd Fridays of the month. 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.
The Stewardship Committee has mailed the 2022 Pledge Forms. Our goal this year is to hear from everyone. Please pledge if you are able, but we understand that some have limited resources. We strive to get a reply from 100% of the 200 letters mailed, knowing that we reached you.
Update: We met with Reopening Committee on 9/23. We’re now going to sell our crafts after Worship on 12/5! More details coming! There will be a “preview” set up on 11/14!!!
Thanks to everyone who has helped us thus far...keep enjoying your crafting as we look forward to this new date to sell crafts. Contact Pam LeBlanc (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Peggy Neveu (email@example.com) to talk about how you can get involved!
*PLEASE READ OUR REOPENING INFORMATION*
ReOpening Protocol 9/20/21
Being able to worship together again on Sunday mornings is not only spiritually fulfilling but paramount in being able to reconnect with one another and with God.
In light of this, the Re-Opening committee will continue to meet and adjust our Covid protocols.
In concurrence with the Church Council and the Deacons,
we believe that our established protocols will help ensure all our members and visitors will stay safe while worshipping with us and will allow us to continue to worship in-person each Sunday!
At the same time, we are aware that our church family includes children who are unable to be vaccinated,
as well as those whose vaccination status is compromised because of health issues.
Recognizing the increasing number of Covid cases in the Manchester area, including breakthrough cases of those who are vaccinated, we urge you to follow the protocols that have been established.
Let's continue to gather safely every Sunday and find the strength and guidance from God that we all need during these uncertain times.
Masks are strongly urged to protect everyone, following CDC recommendations.
Social distancing indoors should be practiced. (Feel free to greet one another outdoors)
If ramp access is needed, please ring the bell.
Offerings may be left in the box located in the narthex and plates by the exit doors.
Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available.
People may seat themselves in open pews.
The Cradle Room is available but not staffed.
We look forward to seeing everyone but urge you not to congregate inside the building at this time.
Thank you, The ReOpening Task Force, 9/16/21
Congratulations to Terri Pattee...Queen of Bingo this month!
Donate with Women's Connection to the Memory Garden in memory of Barbara Hebert.
The ladies had a blast at Mack's Orchard apple picking 10/3 after worship.
The NHUCC Women’s Fellowship Fall Gathering is Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at the Congregational church of Laconia, UCC.
The deadline for Holiday Cards for Soldiers is October 17th.
All members and friends are asked to submit a photo for our internal "Photo Directory" to be published this fall. Email them to Lauren at LHenderson@FCCManchesterNH.org, or call the office to arrange to come in to take a photo. On Sundays, talk with Bill Jones or Pam LeBlanc about getting a photo taken.
The Outreach Committee is collecting boots and sneakers (unisex style, youth 12-13 and 1-4) for Bakersville School. Please drop them off in the church office with your name. There's a sign up sheet on the office window.
It’s Angel Tree time, and this year the Outreach Committee has an exciting twist. Instead of gift cards or gifts we would like to distribute filled Christmas Stockings! Please pick up your stocking to fill with $30 of gifts, wrapped or unwrapped (no food or candy, please).
[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!!
The Open & Affirming Committee generally meets via zoom on the 4th Sunday at 1pm. Contact Carol Soucy for more information and summer meeting times.
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...
Women's Connection Cookbook
only $12.50 each
!See a member of Women's Connection or call the office for your copy of our favorite recipes
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to work on the Memory Garden! 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.
First Congregational Church
508 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104