FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
1735 FIFTH AVENUE WEST
HENDERSONVILLE, NC 28739


SUNDAY MORNINGS

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

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WORSHIP SERVICE

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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

CHILDCARE

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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

COFFEE HOUR

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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DIRECTIONS

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.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UCC
1735 FIFTH AVE W
HENDERSONVILLE, NC 28739
828-692-8630

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PARKING AND ACCESSIBILITY

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.

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ADULT FORUM

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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

UPCOMING FORUMS

November 5: Dream Analysis Group Forming

Facilitator: Rev. Jean Glasgow-Hawkins


Rev. Jean will introduce us to Jungian Dream Analysis. Dreams speak to us in a universal symbolic language. Understanding our dreams can help us get in touch with our true Self, our personal experience of the Spirit within. The Bible, including the New Testament Book of Acts, has many references to dreams and the relevance of studying dreams for spiritual direction and growth.


In modern times, psychiatrist Carl Jung reminded us that our dreams are a gift from God, given to us that we might become more whole human beings. At the same time, other scholars demonstrated how focusing on the symbolic messages of our dreams can help to heal many physical and mental health problems.


After the slide presentation, Jean will share with us more about dream language and inform us about a dream study group forming which will meet here at First Congregational on Friday afternoons, beginning in January. Preliminary sessions will be held on Fridays November 17 and December 1, at 1 PM.


Rev. Jean is certified as a dream group leader and has been on the staff of the Haden Institute here in Hendersonville. She has also been a psychologist, college professor, and minister in New Jersey, Vermont, Florida, and North Carolina.



November 12: Golden Grace Part 1

Facilitator: Melinda Toney, MD


How do we create space for GRACE in our lives? How do we honor our transitions through the passages of life that open doors to enlivening possibilities? Golden Grace engages us individually and as an intergenerational community to open these doors together!


The first forum on November 12 is a presentation on the impact of the Baby Boomers’ coming of age and its effects upon social, financial, and spiritual dimensions of aging.


Melinda Q. Toney, MD, Board certified in Integrative Medicine, will offer practical tools and strategies that facilitate conscious choices for optimal health and grace for the active and forward-thinking. She offers her experience as a holistic family physician whose passion is to cultivate the elegant innate healing power within each person. She founded Awaken Chrysalis in 2003 and has advanced training in Functional Medicine, Homeopathy, Anthroposophical Medicine and Energy Medicine. (www.awakenchrysalis.com).


November 19: Golden Grace Part 2

Facilitators: Melinda Toney, M.D. and Belinda Boscardin, PhD


How do we create space for GRACE in our lives? How do we honor our transitions through the passages of life that open doors to enlivening possibilities? Golden Grace engages us individually and as an intergenerational community to open these doors together!


Melinda Q. Toney, MD, Board certified in Integrative Medicine, will offer practical tools and strategies that facilitate conscious choices for optimal health and grace for the active and forward-thinking. She offers her experience as a holistic family physician whose passion is to cultivate the elegant innate healing power within each person. She founded Awaken Chrysalis in 2003 and has advanced training in Functional Medicine, Homeopathy, Anthroposophical Medicine and Energy Medicine. (www.awakenchrysalis.com).


Belinda Boscardin, PhD, will join Dr. Toney for the second forum on November 19 to begin to creatively address the challenges that Golden Grace identifies, finding doors of opportunity to facilitate graceful passage through the maze of aging.


Dr. Boscardin is a clinical psychologist who is passionate about how faith, spirituality, and mindfulness influence mind/body/spirit health. She is a yogi and meditator who has found her home in the Hindu traditions and Tantric philosophy. She is seasoned in 12-step principles and practices in Asheville.


November 26: The Art of Spiritual Direction

Facilitator: Dr. Joseph Kovaz


From Dr. Kovaz: “In a recent weekend seminar, distinguished lecturer Pittman McGehee used the title “Making the Transcendent Immanent.” When I asked him to unpack the term ‘Transcendent,’ he used words like: the holy, numinous, divine, imago dei, and the Self.  Pittman further went on to define spirituality as the human desire to quest to make the transcendent a reality in our everyday lives. He talked about a number of ways or methods that can be used to bring about this phenomenon. Those methods might include prayer, meditation, psychoanalysis, various spiritual disciplines, paying attention to dreams and synchronicities, as well as engaging in spiritual direction. The purpose of my presentation today is to acquaint you with the practice of spiritual direction and how it might help you to make the Transcendent Immanent in your own life.”


Dr. Joseph Kovaz, who received his MD from Emory University in Atlanta, is board certified in Internal Medicine and hospice and palliative care. He practiced in Anderson, SC for 16 years and then taught for 11 years at the University of Wisconsin. He studied Jungian psychoanalysis for 14 months in Zurich, Switzerland. Since 2007 he has served in hospice medicine at Four Seasons in Flat Rock. In 2014, he embarked on a two-year spiritual director program through the (Catholic) Mount Carmel Spiritual Center in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. “I graduated in May of 2016 and feel that it has been a life-changing experience for me.”

December 3: My Life in Music

Facilitator: Joel Helfand


Among other talented and able members of our church’s musical family, Joel Helfand often performs brilliantly on the clarinet and saxophone. In this Forum presentation, Joel will share with us highlights of his musical autobiography. Born in Chicago in 1940, his sibling rivalry with older brother Marvin, the pride of the family, motivated Joel to play the clarinet even better than Marvin in the high school band.


Joel began his musical career at age 9 in the Chicago public schools; at age 13 he participated in his first band. He has played with leading musical celebrities like Doc Severinson and others he will tell us about. Joel will intersperse his words with instrumental interludes. You won’t want to miss this inspiring musical autobiography!

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MUSIC AT FIRST CONGREGATIONAL...


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.