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


August 4 : 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.



August 11:  Kick-Off of Discussions of Ed Bacon's 8 Habits of Love - Generosity

Facilitator:   Diane Swift

Join the first of eight lively discussions of our spring Ashley lecturer Rev. Ed Bacon’s eight habits of love – generosity, stillness, truth, candor, play, forgiveness, compassion, and community.  This series is motivated by the desire to take reflective time to more fully understand, integrate and apply, as both individuals and a congregation, the wisdom of Ed’s wonderful ideas. “When put into place in our daily lives, these important habits help us make the choice – day after day – to reject fear’s hold and embrace, instead, the immense power and grace within all of us.” The eight Forums will each be led by a different church member, including Rev. Karla Miller and Mark Acker. (This series will be similar to the ten Forum discussions of 2014 Ashley lecturer Diane Butler Bass’ spiritual practices of a vibrant church.)


The first discussion on generosity will be facilitated by Diane Swift.  Diane Swift is a member of First Congregational Church and a prayer chaplain at Unity. She is a retired psychotherapist and completed training to become an End of Life Dula.  Diane is co-facilitating the monthly Death Café and weekly Centering Prayer group, both held at the church .



August 18:  The Spirituality of Pilgrimages

Facilitator:   Rev. Rob Field and Karen Jackson

Rev. Rob Field and Karen Jackson of the Center for Spiritual Wisdom will lead a program on the subject of pilgrimage, one of the most ancient and widely-observed spiritual practices in the world. What makes a pilgrimage a pilgrimage? Do you have to go across the world? Can I create a pilgrimage in my back yard? The presenters will address these questions as well as any you might bring with you,


Rob is an Episcopal priest who founded the Center For Spiritual Wisdom in Brevard in 2016. Rob has given workshops on Centering Prayer at our church. Karen is a writer, consultant and retreat leader who has trained with Parker Palmer at his Center for Courage and Renewal.


August 25:  Immigration Border Experience in El Paso, Texas

Facilitator:   Shawn Kelly

This presentation is a first-hand experience from one of our FCC members who volunteered in El Paso from May 4 to May 20, 2019. With the support of our church and others, Shawn was able to volunteer as a nurse/driver (whatever was needed) to help the overwhelming numbers of migrants crossing our southern border in recent months. Come and hear her experience and learn how she and others are helping those seeking safety and refuge in our country.

Shawn is a retired trauma nurse and was the Emergency/Trauma Services Director of Nursing for the Greenville Health System (working in several large Children’s trauma centers before that). She was an Air Force medic serving in Texas prior to her nursing career. Shawn was moved by the stories of children dying of preventable infectious diseases while in U.S. custody at the border and felt called to help. This is her story.

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.