The sacrament of Holy Baptism for persons of all ages is celebrated during the Sunday morning worship service. Parents who wish to have a child baptized should make an appointment with the Pastor to set a date and review the service. Sponsors, chosen by the parent(s) or the adult to be baptized, are expected to be member(s) in good standing of a Christian church. The Pastor does not accept honorariums for baptisms. Families are welcome to make a gift to the Memorial Fund in honor of the baptism.
Our Confirmation program is offered to young people in the 7th to 9th grade and is intended to prepare them to, “Claim the Christian faith journey as their own.” It is one year in length and includes both retreats and Sunday brunch meetings. Each student is matched with an adult mentor and our Pastor is actively involved in guiding the program. Activities include service projects, hands on mission opportunities and each student is required to write their own Statement of faith and to create a stole reflecting their beliefs.
Weddings should be scheduled with the Pastor as soon as possible to ensure the availability of the desired facilities and to allow time for required premarital counseling sessions. Planning and building-use policy forms are available to help in the preparation.
We also have special resources to prepare for marriages that will create new “blended” families with stepchildren from previous marriages.
With the assistance of our pastor our sincere desire is to couples design a unique wedding ceremony that celebrates the gift of love that respects your wishes and personal style. Please request a copy of our Church’s Wedding Policy and Wedding Planning booklet so that we can assist you in that creative process.
Reception of New Members
Persons who are interested in exploring membership in First Congregational are invited to attend an Inquirer’s Session. These informal gatherings, with child care provided, are designed to acquaint those considering church membership with the organization, program, and history of First Congregational and the United Church of Christ. It also provides an opportunity for prospective members to meet the Pastor, church lay leaders, and one another. Additional instruction and reading is provided for those persons who have never been confirmed or received into a Christian church. Arrangements will be made for those not previously baptized.
Sickness and Hospitalization
If you or someone you know is hospitalized or seriously ill, please call the church office. The Pastor will call as soon as possible. It is customary for such information to be shared during the Sunday morning prayers; however, the Pastor will not do this without the patient’s or family’s consent.
Home Visits and Communion
The Pastor regularly visits those known to be confined at home or in care facilities. Home Communion services are offered and provided upon request at any time. A member should never hesitate to call to ask for a visit. Visitation is part of the ministry of all church members and a special concern of the Congregational Life Committee.
Funerals and Memorial Services
In the event of a pending or actual death, please call the church office. The Pastor will come as soon as possible. The Minister will work with the family and mortuary to make service plans, including availability of an organist and soloist. They will also contact the Women’s Fellowship coordinator if the family desires to have a lunch served at the church.
Members are welcome to discuss specific wishes regarding their final arrangements including Living Will declarations and plans/wishes for funerals. Such information is maintained in a confidential file in the Pastor’s office.
Pastoral Services for Non-Members
Within the constraints of the Pastor’s many other time and energy commitments, it is the church’s desire to serve the wider community. For this reason, the church and its Pastors will provide facilities and services for non-member weddings, funerals, and other pastoral services as appropriate. A schedule of fees for non-member weddings is available from the church office.