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


June 2 : Ashley Lecture Series

Facilitator:  Rev. Ed Bacon

This fourth and last in a series of lectures by our distinguished Ashley Lecturer, The Rev. Ed Bacon, will be held in the Church Sanctuary at 9:00 am.  Dr. Bacon will also give the sermon at the Sunday Service following this forum.




June 9:  Following Ashley Lecturer, Rev. Ed Bacon

Facilitator:   Larry Anderson

We invite a conversation about the gifts and challenges of our weekend together with Rev. Ed Bacon.


Retired minister/psychologist Larry Anderson is a frequent Forum presenter and plays the guitar for our Communion Sunday services.


June 16:  The Power of Intentional Groups

Facilitator:   Diane Baker

This presentation is based on Lynne McTaggert’s 2017 book, The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life and the World.  Diane works with groups of 5-12 people (optimally 8) using a manifesting technique which amplifies intention using group power.  Diane Rhoades reports: “I had never been to a healing circle that felt so in tune with each person in the circle.  The focus on intention energized me.  I felt confident that the energetic support manifested some real balance and not just in me.  Diane is a powerful facilitator.”  The presenter is also highly recommended by Fran Weston, another of our Forum givers.

Diane started working with intentional groups in Texas in the late 1980’s.  Since then, her work has taken various directions-Manifesting, Law of Attraction, etc.-but always working with Spirit to energize a vibrational match to a specific intention.  Having moved to the Hendersonville area in 2016, Diane’s work is primarily working with groups focusing on intention and transformation.

June 23: Prayer:  The All-Terrain Vehicle of Love

Facilitators:   Prayer Chaplains led by Diane Rhoades

The Prayer Chaplains of FCUCC will share their experience training to be chaplains and the on-going experience of praying with our fellowship.


Whether you are a member of our church, whether you have the words for your hurt or joy, whether you even believe in God or the power of prayer, the presenters will share their commitment to find a loving vehicle to be present with you and pray for your concern.  They will cover the many ways that they are available to pray one on one for those who might be shy about staying for a prayer directly after the Sunday service with so many people present.


There is an anatomy and physiology of prayer.  Come to this adult forum and bring your concerns, questions and experience (or lack of) with prayer.



June 30: Global Warming:  Paris to Pittsburgh

Facilitators:  Ed and Romella O'Keefe

Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time.  Faced with a federal government that is hostile to climate science, leaders across the U.S. and the world are taking action themselves to safeguard our health and .our environment.  Hear their stories in Paris To Pittsburgh, a new film that explores the local, private sector, and community leaders who are continuing to work towards our Paris Agreement goals-- regardless of federal inaction.  Discussion will follow. This film is a product of National Geographic; it is being shown free all over the English speaking world by the Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Romella and Ed have coordinated the Forum for the past 6 years.  They also coordinate the Prayer Chaplain Ministry.

July 7: The Definition of Love

Facilitator:   Don Emon

We will work together to improve our understanding of LOVE.  It is a word that is often used and Don has found that many people have only a little insight into what a good definition for LOVE may be.  A trial definition will be presented by Don which the group may well improve on.  We will then apply the definition to many situations including an act of love, love between mates, love of pets, or institutions and even large groups of people, including all humans.

Don Emon, a frequent speaker at our Forums, is active in the commuity, and for many years has been the leader in this area of the Compassionate Choices Society, a national group concerned with planning for the end of life.

July 14: Healthy Diet, Healty Planet

Facilitator:   Melissa Melum

The new choices we make with regard to diet can have significant positive impacts on our health and the health of the planet while also promoting justice for human communities and other animals.  Come explore the quadruple win-win possibilities!  This program repeats the January 27, 2019 forum discussion with additional materials and programming.  After this presentation, it will be available to other groups in the community upon request.

Melissa Melum is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator who has enjoyed a lifelong interest in environmental activities with a focus on education and engaging people in positive change.  She is the facilitator of the Environmental Stewardship Social Justice Group at FCUCC and she was the project lead for the solar panel system here.

July 21:The Writers' Forum

Facilitator:   Rand Bishop

Four times annually the Forum is devoted to our writers, whether church members or visitors.  The writer reads his or her own work, any genre, to the group.  If you'd like to read, please contact Rand Bishop at 828-697-0090 or  Come support our creativity!

Rand, a retired college professor of English, facilitates a Writer's Roundtable every fourth Thursday morning at the church.

July 28: Teilhard and Love

Facilitator:   Larry Anderson

Teilhard de Chardin On Love:  Evolving Human Relationships by L. M. Savary and P. H. Berne.  This recent book proposes to lead us to Omega Love".  Larry Anderson wrote his Master's thesis on Teilhard in 1967 at Chicago Theological Seminary and proposes to review the book and tweek some curiosity about exploring Teilhard, especially as his writing connects with Jungian depth psychology.

The book suggests there is value in connecting Teilhard's writing with Jung's deep dive into the human mind (psyche).  WhenLarry sits down with the circle at Adult Forum, he loves to invite conversation.  Come join us.

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.

If needed, there is overflow parking available across the street (White Pine & 5th) at the Laurel Park Town Hall and the Park.

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.