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.
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.
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.
Open and Affirming Committee
The First Church faith community has been engaged in an ongoing Open and Affirming (ONA) Discernment process since the fall of 2015. While we strive to welcome all, we are studying and exploring what it would mean to publicly and specifically declare that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are welcome and affirmed in the full life of First Church’s ministry and fellowship. The process has included educational opportunities, sharing stories, engaging in Bible study, group discussions, and individual conversations. During 2017, the ONA Team will offer additional “Drop-In” meetings and will draft a public statement of welcome to present to the Church Council. Everyone is invited to participate in the ONA process – to lend their voices, listen to each other, and engage in prayerful discernment of God’s will for our congregation.
From the Pastor's Desk
One of the best parts of my work is being able to teach and write about our faith and Church life. I’m pleased to offer my reflections... Learn more...
In 1839 the eager entrepreneurs of the Amoskeag Mills coaxed a small, struggling English Congregational Church to link arms with a small, struggling... Learn more...
First Church has a dynamic and inclusive music ministry for all ages. Our adult ensembles and children ensembles enrich our worship service... Learn more...
“First Church has been a welcome home for our growing family.”
Lauren and Adam Peithmann
“First Church is very active and gives you a chance to meet new people."
Bruce and Donna Willey
“First Church gave me great comfort during those times when life seemed its hardest.”
“We feel truly blessed to have been led to membership at First Church."
Ross and Marion Palmes
“I am honored to say, 'This is my Church'.”
"I found what I was searching for when I attended First Church.”
“We are very proud to be long time members and affectionately call First Church our Church Family.”
Steve and Kathy Payne
ONA Team thanks everyone for responding to the Survey!
We had an overwhelming response to the ONA Survey to gauge where we are in the ONA process. The ONA Team will be meeting over the next few weeks to analyze the results and report to the First Church Congregation.
Relax and Reflect in the Memory Garden
A vision only a year ago, our First Church's Memory Garden is blooming! Please stop by to relax and reflect on loved ones who have passed before us. It is located outside the Chapel entrance.
Many thanks for everyone's contributions and to the volunteers who had the vision to make this happen.
New Summer Worship Hours
Summer Worship begins at 9:30am from now through Labor Day Sunday.
Vacation Bible School
Monday, June 26 - Friday June 30 Learn More...
See the order of worship for the Sunday Service, including the Scripture Reading. Learn more...
The Sunday News
What’s happening this week in the life of First Church? Learn more...
What’s happening this month at First Church? Learn more...
From the Pastor's Desk
Get connected to Rev. Kevin's insights! Learn more...
First Congregational Church
508 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104