First Congregational Church, 508 Union St., Manchester, NH 03104 603-625-5093

Testimonials

“What we like most about First Church is that the church is very active and gives you a chance to meet new people. Most people are very friendly and make you feel welcome. The music is wonderful, and the sermons give you something to think about.”

~ Bruce & Donna Willey

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“First Church has been a welcome home for our growing family. Through life’s craziness, we know we can lean on the support of the church community, and we especially love the children’s programming for our little ones. We feel truly blessed to be members at First Church.”

~ Lauren & Adam Peithmann

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“I have been a member of First Congregational Church for over 20 years, and I have seen some changes in leadership and membership, but through all these changes and despite the changes, the congregation has remained strong and spirit filled.

When a member grieves, the congregation grieves with them, when a member is filled with joy, the congregation is filled with joy with them.

There are a large variety of activities offered at the church, so whether you love to sing, or read, or exercise, or learn about the Bible, there is something for everyone.

We are a big compassionate family and welcome everyone to become part of our family.”

~ Barbara Papagian

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“I was first introduced to First Church in 1984 by a friend when I was looking for a church home. She thought that I would enjoy the service and particularly the music. Over the years the Sunday service, the sermon and the beautiful music not only connected me with my roots, but gave me great comfort during those times when life seemed it’s hardest.

Once I took that first step to become active within the church, which seemed so lively and the people so supportive of each other, the opportunities seemed to open up. I was invited to serve on the Outreach Committee, which led to becoming involved in Interfaith and Mission experiences, Bible Study, Plays, and Scripture reading, all of which have challenged me and helped me to grow in my personal faith, and my commitment to give back to others.

First Church is my church home through which I hope that I can help to make our community a valuable part of someone else’s life.”

~ Liz Verity

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“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

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“I am honored to say, “This is my Church”, with a congregation that has cared for me in so many ways. I consider myself blessed each Sunday morning when I am here in the Lord’s house on the Lord’s Day.”

~ Lucia Carlisle

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“Not having family nearby, I was at a point in my life where I needed and wanted a church family. I found what I was searching for when I attended First Church. The variety and number of opportunities offered here was a definite draw, but the deciding factor was the friendliness and openness of the parishioners and staff who welcomed me with open arms. Now I consider them to be my second family. How blessed I am to have found them. My faith in the Lord has been strengthened since coming to First Church.”

~ Marsha Neubert

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“I love First Church for all the wonderful, kind and caring people, the fabulous music and meaningful sermons. I grew up in this church and it never ceases to amaze me how uplifting it is to spend time with my church family. In these challenging times, surrounded by all the negative aspects of the world, it is my time at First Church that helps me “recharge” my spirit with faith and hope for the coming week!”

~ Sue Hannigen

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“I was seeking a new church home in 2005 that melded with my prior experiences in UCC/Presbyterian traditions. First Church fit this expectation immediately, where the church motto at the time was: “Where Tradition is Alive.” Cherished elements of core traditions live on at First Church twelve years later. The United Church of Christ is as free of most church dogma, guilt, and pressure as any Christian denomination (this appeals to me), and acceptance is an overarching feeling in this church.

On my first visit I was immediately impressed with the beauty of the sanctuary and church grounds, and by the congregants who took time to speak to me during early visits. The pulpit presence of the pastor in 2005 was tremendous—sermons were captivating—and that continues today with the current engaging pastor. The beautiful organ and continuously professional music program add to the experience of First Church as an inspiring place to worship.

I became a member in 2008, and have since been honored to hold positions on several boards and committees, providing a growing personal sense of belonging, accomplishment, service and camaraderie.”

~ Grant Dugan

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“Following our marriage, we sought a church that would meet our spiritual needs, keep us active both in Christian Ministry and community service and a church where our children could be baptized and confirmed. This historical church built in the center of a diversified ethnic city was welcoming; the sermons inspirational, the music uplifting and the members friendly, dedicated and supportive of each other through times of difficulty and times of joy. We have served on many committees throughout the years and have seen firsthand the positive work of First Church. We are very proud to be long time members and affectionately call First Church our Church Family.”

~ Steve and Kathy Payne

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“Some of the reasons I enjoy coming to First Church, a sacred place of reflection and contemplation, are the caring and wonderful friendships, a feeling of acceptance, the many opportunities to serve or be of service and the music is fantastic. I get an overall feeling of being uplifted.”

~ Joan Currier

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“I love First Church because I am renewed and inspired by the sermons and the beautiful music of all the choirs. I love the dedication of the people who share their God given talents and encourage others to get involved in service to the church and the wider community. Always I’ll cherish the special friendships and memories made within this church. I hope others will find such joy when they come here.”

~ Eleanor Flint Campbell

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“We began worshiping at First Church in the early 1970’s, after moving to Manchester from law school in Ithaca, New York. We started attending when our family began to come along, and in a few years became members of the First Church. We have enjoyed being members and attending the First Church ever since. We raised our three children (Jennifer , Peter, and Karin) in the Sunday School and youth programs and have especially appreciated the youth choirs and youth ministry that has always been such a strong component of the Church’s mission.

We have found First Church to be a friendly, supportive, and enriching community of believers and treasure our many friends and colleagues in this wonderful congregation. While professional activities, out of state family, and travels often take us away, we continue to appreciate our home Church and enjoy our continuing fellowship.”

~ Susan and Bruce Felmly

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“I love First Church because of our association with Habitat for Humanity. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have gotten involved with Habitat for the past six years. I also enjoy playing the drums with Adam Peithmann and the choir on special occasions such as Gospel Sunday.”

~ Leo LeBlanc

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“I love First Church because of my involvement with Women’s Connection, the children and youth with Vacation Bible School, serving the church by ushering and being a part of the Altar Design Team.”

~ Pamela LeBlanc

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“Music is what 1st brought me to First Church 38 years ago and the church has been blessed to have had two superb musicians in charge of the music ministry in that time. I am proud to tell people that I am a member of the First Church Choir. But it’s more than that. It’s the people. It truly is a “church family”. The friendliness, the caring and the good deeds First Church does in greater Manchester. It’s great to be just a small part of that. Lastly, this all starts at the top. The Church staff is outstanding and it shows throughout the congregation.”

~ David MacGregor

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“First Church is family. It allows me to be comfortable with what I believe but allows me to grow in my faith. I love that I am able to raise my daughter in a place that I call home.”

~ Krystina Harwood

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“I first visited First Church soon after I moved to Manchester and the birth of my first child. I was seeking a church home for me and especially for my children. What I loved then and love to this day is that First Church is a FAMILY. I know my children are surrounded by people who love them and care for them, not only when we are at church on Sunday mornings. They have many opportunities to participate and always have fun. We get to experience God’s love and acceptance each week surrounded by our caring church family.”

~ Kelda York

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“What we love most about First Church is the Children’s ministry. I love being able to send my kids to Sunday school knowing that they are safe, learning and having fun! Listening to the children sing in church is always something my family looks forward to.”

~ Melissa Poisson

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First Church is our church home because it has always been an inviting and welcoming place for me and my family. We have made great faith-based relationships and connections with all ages throughout the church through our involvement with different committees, events and programs such as Sunday School, Choir, Vacation Bible School, and the Women’s’ Connection group. First Church is where we found our extended family!

~ Jennifer Longval

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We love the First Church because the staff is so open and friendly to us. The congregation has been very helpful and accommodating our disabilities, and we have become great friends with many of the members and staff of the church. It was a lot more challenging at other churches to get to the levels of friendship that we have so easily and quickly made at First Church of Manchester.

~ David & Maggie Jespersen

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First Church has nurtured my family, both spiritually and physically, for four generations. My family’s weddings, baptisms and, yes, even deaths have occurred in its inspirational sanctuary for well over a century. The dove of the Church Window lifts all of us, and First Church continues to be the “wind beneath my wings.”

~ Selma Naccach Hoff

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“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

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

We hope to resume the Pastor's Class and Bible Study as we wade through the Covid pandemic.  Watch for announcements!

 Upcoming Events

Sunday Worship

We are back! The in-person/live streamed worship service is on Sundays at 10am.

       [CLICK HERE] to send a Prayer Request to Rev. Barbara Papagian by 8:30am Thursday to include in the service.

Rev. Barbara will be sending out periodic inspirational messages via The FCC Friday Link on the 1st and 3nd Fridays of the month; and special editions to keep you updated with FCC Covid protocols.  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.

9am Morning Watch

Join 9am Morning Watch Monday-Thursday.

[CLICK HERE] to connect to Facebook

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

New Member Joining

Welcome to Rev. Randy and to Justin!

Sneakers & Sweats for Bakersville

Outreach is asking for donations of new sneakers and sweatpants and shirts to aid students in need at Bakersville School.  Sign up on the office window.

Holly Berry Fair
Saturday, October 22nd!

Crafting Thursdays 9-12noon!

Click here for Holly Berry Fair info

Contact Pam or Peggy to get involved!  The more the merrier!

 Highlights

Open & Affirming

Queen City Pride Festival on Saturday, June 18th

Thanks to all who volunteered to make this another endearing event!

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

 

Women's Connection

 WC 10th Annual Mystery Ride...Saturday, June 11th

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

For more information about upcoming WC events, contact Denise (beau.de@comcast.net) or Pam (blanclp@comcast.net).

Music Sunday
Sunday, June 12th!
Memory Garden gets a facelift!

  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.  The new dwarf Japanese Maple is a stunning addition, thanks to the many donations and our team of volunteers led by Liz Verity!

Join us in the Sanctuary on Sundays at 10am!

April 12, 2022 update from the Church Council on Worship Services and Fellowship regarding Covid 19 mitigation protocols at First Congregational Church-

It has been over two years since the pandemic first impacted our state and our beloved First Congregational Church, and Covid 19 continues to affect our lives in its various mutations. While staff and church leadership will continue paying attention to the current infection rates and Covid-related hospitalizations, we (cautiously) are pleased to lift the last remaining Covid 19 mitigation protocols in our building.   For more information [Click Here]...

-Rev. Carolyn Keilig & The FCC ReOpening Task Force

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!!

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!

Bulletins and Sunday News will be available at all in-person services.

Learn more...

Church Window

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

Women's Connection Cookbook

Buy one at $12.50 each and get one of the sample cookbooks from the printer for FREE!

!See a member of Women's Connection or call the office for your copy of our favorite recipes

VISITORS TO THE FCC OFFICES

Visitors are always welcome at First Church.

The Food Closet is available Monday-Friday 9-12noon.

Should you need anything relating to the office, please call, or email Linda Bonetti, Lauren Henderson, Rev. Carolyn Keilig, or Rev. Barbara Papagian.

Photo Directory

Thanks to everyone who submitted a photo!  We have published the "online instant picture directory" with personal passwords!  Refer to directions in the Friday Link for how to connect and edit your own information.