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.
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.
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...
“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.”
“I get an overall feeling of being uplifted.”
Preorder your 2019 Women's Connection Cookbook
$12.50 each or TWO for $20
See a member of Women's Connection to order
Join us for the Second Sunday of Advent. Our Commissioned Minister of Pastoral Care, Barbara Papagian, will lead the worship service at 10:00am in the Sanctuary. This week's sermon is titled "Sing it, Zechariah." The reading is from Luke 1:67-72.
Prior to the 10:00am service, please enjoy the new Time of Greeting ... meet new friends and share fond memories before worship begins.
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 10:00am worship service and fellowship, on the 2nd Sunday each month.
Holidays, especially Christmas, can be a painful time for some.
For those who are experiencing pain and loss, we want you to know that you are not alone. Join with others on Monday, December 10th at 7pm in the Chapel, as we acknowledge each other’s sadness, while affirming the life-giving presence of God.
Christmas Eve Services
4:30pm Family Christmas Service
8:00pm Candlelight Service
From the Pastor's Desk
Get connected to Rev. Kevin's insights! Learn more...
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...
What’s happening this month at First Church? Learn more...
Liz Verity was presented at the Spirit of NH Award Ceremony as the FCC Volunteer of the Year!
Thanks to everyone for the donations to the Quilt Raffle. We collected $840 which will be used towards upcoming Quilt Ministry projects!
First Congregational Church
508 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104