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
Until further notice, visitors should call ahead to ensure the health and safety of our staff, members, and friends. The Food Closet is available Monday-Friday 9-12noon by prearrangement. Should you need anything relating to the office, please email Linda Bonetti, Rev. Kevin Pleas, or Barbara Papagian. Our prayers are with you.
[CLICK HERE] to join Rev. Kevin Pleas, our Senior Pastor, as he delivers this week's message on Facebook.com/FCCManchester on Sunday at 10am for weekly Worship.
To connect to the Web Bulletin, which includes music lyrics, please [CLICK HERE].
[CLICK HERE] to send a Prayer Request to Barbara Papagian by 8:30am Friday.
You do not need a Facebook account to view the services live or watch the videos on your own time.
Barbara Papagian will be sending out periodic inspirational messages via The FCC Friday Link. To sign up, send your email to 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.
Fridays at 9:30am
We are trying something new for our usual Book/Bible Study…Movie Club! We will be watching a movie at home and then having a group discussion about the Christian values in the storyline. We have a list of movies already planned but feel free to give us more suggestions. Reach out to Barbara at BPapagian@fccmanchesternh.org to be included in the email about this exciting new take on Book/Bible Study!
The April 23rd discussion will be about "Becket". The April 30th discussion will be about "Tootsie". All are welcome!
May 9, 2021
Honor your mother or special lady with a donation to Church World Service!
[CLICK HERE] Mothers Day Blankets Sunday Order Form with instructions. Return the form to the office by April 30th, and send a photo of your loved one to Adam Peithmann at APeithmann@FCCManchesterNH.org.
Draw the Circle Wide: An Evening with Mark Miller
Sponsored by First Congregational Church Manchester’s Music Ministry, Open & Affirming Committee, Outreach Committee, and Church Council.
You are invited to a conversation and musical presentation on Zoom with church musician, composer and educator, Mark Miller!
May 16, 2021
The Hillsborough Association of the NH Conference-UCC approved Barbara to become an Ordained Minister! Watch for more details of her Ordinationn Ceremony on Sunday, May 16th!
Keep tuned for Friday Nights at FCC on Friday, April 30 at 6pm...and on the last Friday of the month at 6pm going forward.
This month's Friday Nights at FCC event will feature Adam Peithmann at 6:00 pm.
Events will be posted in the FCC Friday Link. Tune in to hear your favorite hymns arranged in a variety of styles plus classical standards. We hope to see you there!
Get ready for the Holly Berry Fair on Saturday, November 20, 2021!
Contact Pam LeBlanc (email@example.com) or Peggy Neveu (firstname.lastname@example.org) talk about how you can get involved!
[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.
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!
For the rest of the "Covid season" we will stop producing the Sunday News, and resume it with the Bulletins at "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