Sunday mornings at First Congregational are designed to enhance the spiritual life of members and visitors alike.

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.


Contact us to learn more about First Congregational. 

Our worship service is a balance of participation among our pastor, the lay leader for the Sunday, and the congregation. Each Sunday, beginning at 10:30 am, the pastor offers a sermon based on a scripture reading, often connecting the passage to current events. We believe that Jesus had a passion for social justice and mission, and so does our pastor. It would not be unusual to hear him speak out against the denial of civil rights due to racism, sexism, and homophobia; inequality of opportunity and income; abuse of the environment; violence and war, and other injustices that contribute to brokenness in a world that needs healing.

Worship is enhanced by a variety of musical offerings, including our choir, member instrumentalists, and guest musicians from the community.

I finally found a church in which my understanding of God has been stretched, my experience of God’s spirit enlarged. In this place I feel surrounded by folks who take Jesus’ message seriously. I am so grateful to be part of this loving community.

Charlotte Shipley


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We provide a child-centered, caring facility for children during the worship service, including nursery, childcare, and a Sunday School program that uses the Progressive Christianity curriculum, incorporating free play time with guided instruction in basic Christian values through stories and activities.

First Congregational is what my husband and I were looking for in a church community...a place to question, a place to reflect, and a place to take action. My children get to experience the support and love of an open and affirming community and are taught values not just literal biblical stories. As a couple in our 40s, many of our peers have left organized religion. First Congregational is a place where we can raise our children by modeling social justice, inclusion, environmental stewardship, and progressive Christianity.

Kirsten Cone


Each Sunday after worship, congregants and visitors gather for coffee hour. Members volunteer to host and provide refreshments, while the church supplies fair-trade coffee. This special gathering offers opportunities to welcome newcomers, to experience the warmth of fellowship, and to be an integral part of church life.

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We are located in Laurel Park at the corner of Fifth Avenue and White Pine Road. This interactive map provides directions to the church from your location.


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The Church has ample parking on each side of the building, including reserved spots for visitors.

Handicapped parking is located in both lots. The building is also accessible to wheelchairs and to people with special needs. During Worship, hearing devices and large print bulletins are available.

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.


Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.

Most Sundays at 9:00 am, First Congregational holds our Adult Forum, which offers programs designed to encourage participants to explore new ideas and deepen their religious faith.

Congregants and visiting presenters provide lectures, videos, and discussions examining multiple aspects of spirituality, philosophy, other religions, Scriptural topics, health-related subjects, and more. All points of view are encouraged at this open exchange of ideas and views; there is no “correct” doctrine. Everyone, including visitors, is welcome to attend.

I came first to the Ashley Lecture Series and remember thinking any church that would have such interesting and challenging speakers must be special. So I came back to a service or two and went to a few Adult Forums. Consistently, I have been intellectually engaged by First Congregational's commitment to questioning, thinking, and life-long spiritual growth.

Roger Smith


October 1: That's Life! Ecclesiastes and Jesus, Two Sages

Facilitator: Dr. Earle Rabb

This will conclude a two-part series on the similarities and differences of Ecclesiastes,  an Old Testament wisdom teacher and Jesus, a New Testament wisdom teacher. Part One was given last Sunday, September 24.

Dr. Earle Rabb is a retired United Methodist minister. He is an experienced leader of numerous workshops and seminars and is the author of the book, "The Case of the Missing Person: How Discovering Jesus of Nazareth Can Transform Individuals and Communities." An active member of the Jesus Seminar, he has spoken to our Forum several times. He and his wife, Ann, reside in Brevard, where they are  members of the Transylvania Unitarian Universalist congregation.

October 8: Writers' Forum

Facilitator: Rand Bishop

Four times a year we conduct the FCUCC Writers’ Forum to salute the art of writing and to encourage our church’s many writers. If you love to write, church member or not, and would like to read from your work (any genre), you are asked to register in advance with our Writers’ Workshop Coordinator, Rand Bishop at 697-0090.

October 15: Preparation for Distinguished Lecture Series

Facilitator: Larry Anderson

In preparation for next weekend’s Distinguished Lecturer, Rev. Matthew White, our own Larry Anderson will lead us in a discussion on what we may expect next Sunday.

Former minister and retired psychologist Larry Anderson is a frequent Forum presenter.

October 22: Distinguished Lecturer, Rev. Matthew White

Note: For this Sunday only, the Forum will be held in the sanctuary

The theme for all the weekend lectures (one on Friday evening, two on Saturday, two on Sunday) is “Reclaiming Wisdom: How Christianity is Evolving in the Third Millennium.” Rev. Wright will also preach the sermon during the Sunday service which begins at 10:30. There is no charge for the Sunday talks.

Reverend Matthew Wright, this year’s Walter E. Ashley Memorial Lecturer, is an Episcopal priest, writer and retreat leader. A student of Cynthia Bourgeault and a teacher of Northeast Wisdom, he currently serves as priest-in-charge of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, N.Y.

October 29: Did You Hear what I Heard?

Facilitator: Larry Anderson

This Forum, following our usual custom, will be a review and discussion of the message of last week’s Distinguished Lecturer, Rev. Matthew Wright. This Forum will be led by Larry Anderson, who, among many other talents, plays guitar for us on Communion Sundays.

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lifts spirits...offers hope...inspires joy...

expresses love...

nurtures potential...creates unity...praises God

                                                               Music Heals + Beauty Heals + Love Heals

                                                     These three simple phrases guide the work of our choir.

The choir rehearses each Thursday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:00. Members of our choir family are enthusiastic,

committed, encouraging, and welcoming to all. Read about the joy being in the choir has brought to one of our members.

Membership in the choir is open to everyone, high school through adult; members of the church and friends from the 

community are all welcome.

We sing a variety of literature in our 10:30 worship service each Sunday, from traditional classical anthems to spirituals

to songs of social justice.

Instrumentalists both from within our church and our community are also a regular part of our Sunday gatherings.

To learn more about the choir and other musical opportunities, call our Minister of Music, Mark Acker, at 615-430-3506.

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.