Ministry of Spirituality
This Ministry works to ensure that First Church is a place of spiritual sustenance and growth for all who are on a faith journey, seeking meaning and purpose in life. It focuses on worship and faith formation (Christian Education) for all ages. This Ministry supports worship and spiritual formation opportunities accessible to the congregation of First Church in an intellectual, spiritual, physical and emotional manner.
This Ministry includes the Board and the committees listed below which are involved in worship planning, prayer, and spiritual formation.
Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacons works with the Senior Pastor in ministering to the spiritual interests of the Church and community. They assist in preparing for and serving Communion and also assist in ceremonies of Baptism, Confirmation, the joining of new members, and providing Ushers and Greeters.
ONA: Open and Affirming
On Sunday, November 19th, 2017 the Congregation voted by Special Meeting to approve the Open and Affirming (ONA) Covenant, which was entered into our Bylaws in February 2018:
The faith community of First Congregational Church, Manchester NH reaffirms our shared covenant and beliefs that the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to love one another and to extend welcome to all people. We affirm that each individual is a child of God and that all are worthy of God’s love and grace.
As witness to these beliefs and as covenant members of Christ’s church, we proclaim and celebrate God’s love for people of all ages, all races and ethnic backgrounds, all mental and physical abilities, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all sexual orientations, all gender identities and gender expressions, and all other diverse attributes that are woven into the fabric of humankind.
We are called to be as one body, seeking to walk together in the complete life and ministry of our church. With God’s grace, we resolve to be an open, inclusive, affirming, and accessible community of faith. We invite all to participate and share in the life and leadership, ministry and fellowship, worship and sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of our Christian community.
Music and Arts Committee
The Music and Arts Committee plan, organize, and coordinate concerts and other special musical events at First Church. Some of these events include the Christmas and Messiah concerts, organ recitals, and visiting artists.
Parish Visitors Committee
The Parish Visitors team is a small, dedicated group who visit shut-ins and the hospitalized. They meet monthly and update the list of people to be visited. They participate in the annual Blue Christmas service, knowing that the holidays are particularly hard for people who have lost loved ones, especially during the past year. During this service we are reminded that we are not alone in our grieving.
The Team is grateful to many people in our congregation who tell the Team if there are members who need and want visits, and they encourage the congregation to visit and help members of our church family. In addition, Pastor Kevin also makes pastoral visits.
First Congregational Church is blessed to be a church filled with compassionate and loving people who genuinely care for one another.
The Hospitality Committee is responsible for combining the efforts of many boards, groups, committees and individuals in order to provide refreshments for the Fellowship Hour, which is held in the Dining Room after worship each Sunday.
The Communion Committee coordinates the efforts of the Deacons in providing and preparing the elements and assisting the Pastor during sanctuary Communion and First Sunday Communion observances held in the Chapel.
Members in Discernment
The Members in Discernment team provide support to individuals who are a “Member In Discernment”, which is a covenantal relationship between a person on a journey toward authorized ministry, the Hillsborough Association of the United Church of Christ, and the person’s local church.
Pastor/Parish Relations Committee
This small group of individuals meets with the Senior Pastor to provide a trusted channel for communications and feedback between the Senior Pastor and the congregation. The group responds to issues that may emerge, requiring coordination and discussion in a professional manner. While the congregation is always encouraged to provide feedback directly to the Senior Pastor, members may also speak to committee members on a confidential basis in order to facilitate this process.
Knitters and Quilters
A dedicated group of individuals gather to make hats and mittens for Holiday Baskets, the Angel Tree, and New England Seafarers Mission. They also make baptismal quilts for newly baptized infants and children. In 2017, the Quilters made small quilts for our shut-ins.
Children and Youth Ministry Committee
This committee is responsible for staffing of Sunday School teachers and planning and implementing events throughout the year such as the worship service for Children’s Sunday, the annual Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, the Fellowship Hour ice cream social, and the annual Advent Workshop.
Ushers and Greeters
Ushers and greeters serve an important role of providing the congregation with a friendly welcome to members and guests each Sunday. They also serve on other special occasions of worship such as Maundy Thursday and Christmas Eve. Please contact one of the Usher Captains if you are interested in extending hospitality by serving as an usher or a greeter in this important aspect of our ministry to God and to each other.
This small team provides the setup of microphones and related services needed to enable the congregation to properly hear the worship service. They record the worship service onto CD’s that are provided to shut-ins. They also maintain wireless hearing devices for those who may wish to use them.
Altar Design Committee
During the course of the liturgical year, this team is responsible for the changes of the altar paraments to correspond with the colors representing the various seasons of the church. Additionally, they arrange the lilies at Easter, design a special arrangement of fruits and vegetables for Thanksgiving Sunday, and arrange the nativity and poinsettias during Advent and at Christmas time.
“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.
We are postponing our fantastic Christmas Fair to safer times in 2022.
Thanks to everyone who has helped us thus far...keep enjoying your crafting as we look forward to a new date. 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
Join us for Zoom Bingo on Thursday, September 23rd at 6:30pm.
Contact Pam or Denise to get your pre-printed BINGO card!
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.
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.
[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
First Congregational Church
508 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104