ACTIVITIES

There is no shortage of things to do at First Congregational! Activities are open to members and friends alike. We encourage you to find your place and join us.


In addition to the activities in this section, our Adult Forum, music program, and Ashley Lecture Series welcome members of the community.

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BIBLE STUDY

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On most Wednesday evenings, from 5:00 to 6:30, First Congregational holds a Bible survey discussion group in the parlor. The Rev. Barbara M. Rathbun, a retired UCC minister and member of the church, directs the conversation and provides scholarly context for each week’s reading. Parallels are often drawn between Biblical content and current events and culture. We have walked through the Hebrew Scriptures, and are currently in the New Testament, studying the ways in which Christianity evolved, changed, grew, stumbled, struggled, gathered, argued, questioned, and wondered in its early years.


Participants hold various understandings of God, Jesus, the Bible, mission, and ministry, resulting in lively dialog in a supportive setting. We are often reminded of those midnight conversations we had as teenagers, wondering about everything--and we're still asking, with all that we've learned over our years of adulthood and experience. Attendees are encouraged to use their preferred translation of the Bible, which adds to the richness of discussions. The group welcomes both congregants and the community, and can be joined at any time.


BOOK GROUPS

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First Congregational UCC Book Group


The First Congregational book group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 2:00 to 3:00 in the church library. Works are chosen based on recommendations from participants and span a wide range of genres and topics, including fiction, historical fiction, history, philosophy, politics, progressive Christianity, and more. Representative titles include Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and Boys In the Boat by Daniel James Brown.


Lifelong learning, fellowship, and fun are just a few benefits of participation. Church membership is not necessary; all are welcome.

Compassionate Book Group


The Compassionate Book Group began in 2014 with a discussion of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong. The group now meets the third Thursday of each month from 2-3:30 in the church library to discuss a current, non-fiction, spiritual book. Recent titles have included Immortal Diamond and Falling Upward by Richard Rohr and A New Harmony by John Phillip Newell.

FELLOWSHIP SUPPER

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On the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30, we hold a potluck supper designed to strengthen the bonds of fellowship. Members bring the food while volunteer “kitchen angels” prepare the room and provide cleanup. Each event also features a guest speaker, often a representative from one of the organizations supported by our Service and Giving group.


If you are considering First Congregational as your spiritual home, attending Fellowship Supper is a great way to start getting to know us. No need to bring anything; just stop on by!

FRIDAY MORNING VIDEO SERIES


These video series are based on courses produced by Great Courses and cover a wide range of subjects such as Bible studies, important figures in church history, philosophy, famous authors and other subjects of special interest.  They are presented twice a year in the Spring and in the Fall and generally run for eight consecutive Friday mornings from 10 to 12.  The times and subjects are announced in the Chronicle, the Sunday bulletins and on the church web site.  All interested persons are welcome.


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PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY

Our group knits and crochets prayer shawls and lap robes to support members and friends of the Congregation who are struggling with bereavement, disease, or other challenges, or who are celebrating events such as births, baptisms or weddings. Since we started in 2006, we have delivered over 1,000 items and have given many more to Pardee Memorial Hospital and to Elizabeth House, our local in-patient hospice facility. 


For people who like smaller projects, we also make comfort dolls for children in stressful situations--they're given to emergency vehicles, schools, and other areas where kids might need something soft to cuddle with. Other crafters make hats, mittens, and shawls for people in need during the cold months of the year. And we have friends who make washcloths from cotton yarn for migrant workers. And we have friends who make blankets and shawls from soft, washable fleece for infants and children. We love to match projects and people to pass out hugs as needed! Do you have an idea for us?


Shawls and lap robes are available in the closet between Fellowship Hall and the reception desk for anyone who would like one. There is no cost to anyone who would like one. There is often donated yarn available on the bottom shelf of the Prayer Shawl Closet.

The prayer shawl group meets the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 in the church parlor. We welcome anyone who likes to knit or crochet; please join us. We have very few organizational rules--no facilitator, secretary, or treasurer. We simply get together to work on our projects and to catch up with each other. We'd love to get to know you!

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WRITING

Writers' Roundtable


First Congregational’s Writers' Roundtable meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 in the parlor. Writers from the church and the community read from their poetry, fiction, and/or non-fiction, and are encouraged to share copies of their work with the group. Discussion follows the readings. Listeners are equally welcome.

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