Worship 10:30 a.m.

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.

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


November 4: Reclaiming Death

Facilitator: Michele Skeele 


We often find it hard to have conversations about death, ours or a loved one’s.  But as we find ourselves in the midst of shifts in consciousness, we have an opportunity to be agents of change in our culture.  Contemplating a “good death” can be an important aspect of living fully.  We are empowered to create end-of-life experiences that enrich our families and communities.  Our options to create meaning as we leave these bodies are as varied and rich as we are.


Additionally, sustainability, a practice which has become critical for our planet, is not usually considered when we die.  With a little forethought, we can plan for burial with the Earth in mind.  Green options are available if you know where to look.


We can reclaim death-care as part of the circle of our families and communities.


Michele is a Therapeutic Music Practitioner, Home Funeral Guide with the Center for End of Life Transitions in Asheville, NC and certified by the University of Vermont College of Medicine as an End of Life Doula. She is also on the board of the WNC Chapter of the Funeral Consumers alliance, a national advocacy organization.  She says, “I am passionate about bringing death back into the circle of life.”  You can reach her by email at

November 11: China Today: Observations and Perspectives

Facilitator: John Bodamer

China is the world’s most populous country and has the second largest economy. The Chinese have made tremendous progress since the “opening” of their economy in 1979. Yet, despite this opening up, the Chinese Communist Party remains firmly in control. Both the economy and the political system remain a mystery for most of us. What happens next in China is sure to have a substantial impact on the global economy.

John and Karel recently toured China and Tibet. They will share highlights of their trip as well as their experiences with a focus on the individuals they met and talked with – in a few cases in their homes. Then switching from this bottom-up, grass roots perspective, John will discuss China from a macro-economic and geo-political perspective.

John is a long-time member of FCUCC and a lifelong learner with interests in history and economics. This will be his third Adult Forum presentation. Expect an interesting presentation that will hopefully fill in some blanks as well as raise new questions.

November 18: Getting to Know the Church's New Organ

Facilitator: Mark Acker

This past spring, through the generous donations of many members and friends, the FCUCC sanctuary organ was renovated and expanded. We invite you to this Forum to see and hear all the improvements, repairs, and new sounds in this new instrument. Mark Acker will demonstrate why the organ is called “The King of Instruments” and how our instrument was designed to enhance our worship each Sunday. Please join us for a fascinating hour!

Note that this Forum will be held in the Sanctuary.

November 25: The Technical Side of Non-Proliferation

Facilitator: Don Emon


The various ways to produce nuclear-weapons-grade material and efforts by U.N. inspectors will be presented. This will allow the audience to better understand U.S. efforts with North Korea and Iran.  


Presented by Don Emon, who has been the speaker many times at our congregational Forums, Dr. Emon has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering.  He was a Branch Chief for Safeguards and Security for many years at the U.S. Department of Energy. He started working for the Atomic Energy Commission and had working relationships with other developing atomic energy research organizations.  He has visited many facilities in foreign countries.

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


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.


Contact us to learn more about First Congregational. 

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.

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.


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.


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.


Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.