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.

LEARN MORE…

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

"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 TO THE FCC OFFICES

Until further notice, visitors should call ahead to ensure the health and safety of our staff, members, and friends.  Although visitors are welcome with masks, meetings and gatherings are not being held at this time.

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  Rev. Barbara Papagian.  Our prayers are with you.

 Upcoming Events

Sunday Worship

[CLICK HERE] to join Rev. Kevin Pleas, our Senior Pastor, as he delivers this week's message on Facebook.com/FCCManchester, at 10am Sunday for weekly Worship.

  To connect to the Web Bulletin, which includes music lyrics, please [CLICK HERE].​

       [CLICK HERE] to send a Prayer Request to Rev. 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.

Rev. Barbara will be sending out periodic inspirational messages via The FCC Friday Link.  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.

9:10 Morning Watch

Join 9:10 Morning Watch Monday-Thursday.

[CLICK HERE] to connect to Facebook

[CLICK HERE] to access the Morning Watch Bulletin on the FCC Bulletins page.

Congratulations, Rev. Barbara!

The Ordination Ceremony and Installation of Rev. Barbara Papagian as our Associate Pastor was on Sunday, May 16th!

Church World Service

Honor your mother or special lady with a donation to Church World Service!

[CLICK HERE] for the Mothers Day Blanket Donor List.

Honor your father or special man with a donation to Church World Service!

[CLICK HERE] for the Fathers Day Tools for Hope Sunday Order Form with instructions.  Return the form to the office by June 11th, and send a photo of your loved one to Adam Peithmann at APeithmann@FCCManchesterNH.org.

Bible Study with a New Twist

Join us in August when we resume!

 Highlights

Join us in person on Sunday, June 27th

Please call the Church Office 603-625-5093 to reserve seating.

Watch the FCC Friday Link as we develop more plans for opening the doors!

Protocol for In-Person Worship
  • Advance reservations are needed for contact tracing and can be made by calling the church office (625-5093) Monday-Thursday.
  • Families/Units can sit together in a pew.
  • Entry is through the center Narthex doors ONLY.
  • Upon entry, please check name with greeter.
  • Exiting is through the casket door ONLY.
  • If handicap access is needed, please convey this when making reservations.
  • Collection box will be located in the narthex and near the exit door.
  • There will be limited access to upstairs bathroom; no downstairs access.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available.
  • Ushers will hand out bulletins to those entering the sanctuary
  • People can seat themselves in open pews.
  • No child care or church school but the Nursery is available.
  • Masks are required. Vaccinations are strongly urged.
Memory Garden gets a facelift!

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.

Women's Connection

The year culminated with a Mystery Ride!  Watch for details of the fall kick-off!

Holly Berry Fair on November 20th!

Get ready for the Holly Berry Fair on Saturday, November 20, 2021!             

Will will have open craft days to work on projects Thursdays, July 15 & 22, and August 5 & 19.  Contact Pam LeBlanc (blanclp@comcast.net) or Peggy Neveu (frannys1@aol.com) talk about how you can get involved!

Latest News

Videos on Vimeo

   

[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!!

Open & Affirming

See the latest Open and Affirming News by [clicking here]!

The Open & Affirming Committee generally meets via zoom on the 4th Sunday at 1pm.  Contact Carol Soucy for more information.

Queen City Pride Festival

Saturday, June 19th noon-6pm

FCC folks are invited to volunteer for the event. If you are interested in helping out for an hour or 1.5 hour shift, please call Carol Soucy 603-591-6387; email carolsoucy@comcast.net, or contact Lauren Henderson in the church office. A sign-up sheet will also be posted on the church office window.

We appreciate the support and assistance we’ve received from the Membership Committee. They are preparing print give-aways and FCC labeled water bottles for that day. The QCP organizing committee has established Covid-19 protocols. If you sign up as a volunteer, committee members will review the plans QCP has established for the safety of all.

Quick Links to Content

From the Pastor's Desk

Link to Pastor Kevin Pleas' In the Spirit columns by [clicking here].

Sunday Bulletin

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.

Learn more...

Church Window

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

Cookbook

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