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

We will celebrate our Open & Affirming status on Sunday, November 18, 2018, will a special service at 3pm.  All are welcome to attend!

On Sunday, November 19th, the Congregation voted by Special Meeting to approve the ONA Covenant, which has been entered into our Bylaws:

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.

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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.

Hospitality Committee

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.

Communion Committee

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.

Audio Committee

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.

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...

Our History

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...

Music

First Church has a dynamic and inclusive music ministry for all ages. Our adult ensembles and children ensembles enrich our worship service... Learn more...

Pastor's Class

Rev. Kevin offers a variety of multi-week book and Bible study classes at different times during the church year. Past classes have included... Learn more...

“It is my time at First Church that helps me "recharge" my spirit with faith and hope for the coming week!”

Sue Hannigen

“A path which leads me forward in a journey of grace and love with my family, friends, and community."

Bruce Attridge

“Cherished elements of core traditions live on at First Church…” 

Grant Dugan

“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.”

Pamela LeBlanc

 

“I get an overall feeling of being uplifted.”

Joan Currier

 

Children's Education Coordinator sought...

Some people brought children to Jesus so that he would place his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded them. “Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.” Then he blessed the children and went away from there.             —Matthew 19:13–15 (CEB)

In all that we do at our church, few things are as important as our children and youth. Ensuring that they know they are loved and safe when they are in our care, and providing classes and activities that bring them up in the faith — these are priorities for us that are as important as anything else we do together. 

Our CE Coodinator will be moving this summer, so we are seeking an enthusiastic Children and Youth Education Coordinator for 12-15 hours a week.  The CE Coordinator is responsible for the leadership and guidance of our Sunday School program for pre-school through eighth grade students.  The person must be strong in building relationships among parents, teachers, volunteers, and the larger congregation to bring vitality and growth to the program.  Strong candidates will possess excellent communication skills, including social media, and organizational skills; and be computer proficient.  Teaching and working in children’s ministry experience are a plus.  References and a successful criminal background check are required.  If you are interested in learning more about this position, please click here.

 Upcoming Events 

Worship Sunday

Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 10:00am. 

This is the Fourth Sunday of Easter.  We welcome our member, Pip Adams, to lead traditional worship at 10am in the Sanctuary.  

Prior to the 10am service, please enjoy the new Time of Greeting ... meet new friends and share fond memories before worship begins.

Learn more... 

Tuesdays at 1pm and Wednesday at 6pm   

Bible Study Class is a weekly gathering led by Reverend Kevin. This week’s session, Tuesday 4/17 & Wednesday 4/18, will be about Joseph's Story.

Read: Genesis 37-40   & Kenneth Davis: “Don’t Know Much About the Bible” pg.87-92

Every week will we update the next reading for discussion.  Watch the Sunday News.                             

Learn More...         

Sunday, April 29th, 2018   

Great Bay Choral Festival

The First Congregational Church Chancel Choir will join 100 voices at the Choral Festival at the Christ Episcopal Church in Exeter.

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Saturday, May 5, 2018   

"Canoeing the Mountains" Workshop 9am-12noon

Come to this important discussion about the future of Christian Leadership in our ever-changing world.  

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Sunday, May 13, 2018   

Service of Prayer and Healing

Inspired by the Celtic Tradition, the roughly half-hour service will include music, readings, prayers and an opportunity to receive a “Laying on of Hands” blessing. Service will be held in the Chapel following the 10:00 am worship service and fellowship, on the 2nd Sunday each month.

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Latest News

Current Videos

Click here to enjoy our current videos on Vimeo!

From the Pastor's Desk

Get connected to Rev. Kevin's insights! Learn more...

Sunday Bulletin

See the order of worship at First Church 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...

Church Window

What’s happening this month at First Church? Learn more...

ONA Update   

ONA Celebration Service on Sunday, November 18th at 3pm

Join us as we celebrate our Open & Affirming status with a special worship service and Celebration on Sunday, November 18th at 3pm.  All are welcome to attend.

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.

Approved by the Congregation on Sunday, November 19, 2017

Learn More...