At the First Congregational Church of Reading, the ministries of our church are supported by the active commitment of our members and friends, bringing our community of faith to life with each person contributing his or her unique talents and skills to carrying out these important ministries in name of Jesus Christ.
Worship is central to life at the First Congregational Church of Reading. Each week we gather as a faith community to share a common experience as we individually and collectively love and magnify God. We invite you to join us this Sunday for a worship service that can provide both a joyous and reflective setting for our busy lives.
Sunday worship begins at the First Congregational Church at 10:00 a.m. As you enter our historic sanctuary, you’ll be greeted and welcomed into our worship of God. The weekly bulletin will guide you through the service which includes:
Greetings, announcements and opening worship music.
Childrens' message: A chance for children and youth to participate in worship in their own language.
Music: The service integrates varied and inspiring music; may include traditional and newer hymns; organ, piano, and instrumental music; as well as musical selections from our chancel, hand bell, children’s and youth choirs.
A sermon by one of our Pastors that applies scripture to our everyday lives.
Prayers and concerns of our congregation.
Providing programs that introduce and promote the growth of persons into the life and mission of the community of Christian faith, providing education for children, youth and adults.
Learning occurs throughout the span of human life as we ask about, and live with, the fundamental questions of existence, both of which open opportunities and occasions for education. Learning occurs in a variety of ways: in study and reflection, in action and contemplation, in practice and discipline, in worship and sacraments, in prayer and celebration.
Supporting Our Local and World Community
Focusing on providing charitable service to the local and world community--bringing awareness while soliciting financial and hands-on support from our congregation and community.
Outreach can mean many things. In addition to providing dollars, giving can mean offering your talents and time to share God’s love with those in need, whether they are our neighbors or people a world away.
At the First Congregational Church of Reading, our Outreach ministry is committed to bringing to our congregation a world of opportunities to support many worthy organizations both through hands on participation and by financial donations. Learn about the many opportunities open for participation from any member of the congregation or our community.
Enlisting and engaging people and financial resources of the Church to help fulfill the Church’s mission. The Administration Commission also provides the coordination and supervision of the activities of the following ministries:
Leadership Ministry discovers leadership potential to identify and match skills that support various phases of Church life.
Investment Ministry invests and manages the permanent funds of the Church
Property Ministry provides for the care and maintenance of historic Church property and grounds.
Stewardship Ministry provides stewardship education for the congregation to encourage pledging and give an understanding of how dollars are spent.
For more information on the Ministries of the First Congregational Church of Reading, please call, email or visit us this Sunday morning.
Hunger and Homelessness
Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian movement dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Houses are built and sold at cost to economically disadvantaged families on the basis of need, regardless of race or religion.
Emmaus House is located in Haverhill, and serves homeless families and individuals by providing a structured family environment, counseling, and referrals to outside agencies. It is run by Emmaus, Inc., assisted by individuals, churches, and other charitable groups.
Rosie’s Place – Eighty-four cents of every dollar donated to Rosie’s Place goes directly to services for the women and children who come to them for help. They not only provide over 6,500 nourishing meals a month, short-term housing for hundreds each year, and other emergency services—from lawyers and doctors to rape counselors and housing advocates—but they seek to create solutions to homelessness.
Reading Food Pantry – Under the auspices of the Reading Clergy Association, the Reading Food Pantry serves residents of Reading and members of Reading churches. In addition to a monetary donation, we collect food and help to staff the pantry.
OXFAM America is dedicated to creating lasting solutions to hunger, poverty, and social injustice through long-term partnerships with poor communities around the world. As a privately funded organization, we can speak with conviction and integrity as we challenge the structural barriers that foster conflict and human suffering and limit people from gaining the skills, resources, and power to become self-sufficient.
Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) seeks to replace violence, war, racism, and economic injustice with nonviolence, peace, and justice. We are an interfaith organization committed to active nonviolence as a transforming way of life and as a means of radical change. We educate, train, build coalitions, and engage in nonviolent and compassionate actions locally, nationally, and globally.
Andover Newton Theological School – founded in 1807, is the country's oldest Protestant graduate school of theology. Today its students include more than 500 men and women from 45 Protestant denominations, as well as the Roman Catholic and Jewish faiths.
Boston Cambridge Ministry in Higher Education – Campus ministry truly is the church’s presence on our college campuses. Students need the presence of a caring Christian community to help them deal with college pressures. The campus is where today’s values are being formed, and as today’s students prepare to be tomorrow’s leaders, the church must be present. Because God is at work on college campuses, we as a church must be at work also.
Chikore Secondary School, Zimbabwe was established in 1955 in Zimbabwe, then known as Southern Rhodesia. Donald and Jeri Abbott had been appointed to serve as missionaries in Southern Rhodesia in 1950, and by 1958, Donald was the principal at Chikore. That was the year when Dan Hall, a former member of our church, took his young family to teach at Chikore.
Peki Seminary, Ghana is run by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana. It prepares lay leaders and musicians for positions of responsibility in churches throughout Ghana.
Interfaith Counseling Service of Reading, MA – This program offers counseling services to individuals of all ages and faiths who are suffering from emotional problems. It has the advantage of combining pastoral counseling with psychotherapy.
Interfaith AIDS Ministry is for people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, serves the Greater Boston Area and strives to bring a fuller understanding of God's love for persons affected by AIDS and to serve as a bridge between caregivers and congregations.
Elon Homes for Children is located in Elon College, North Carolina, is a private, non-profit corporation with close ties to the UCC. Elon Homes provides programs that include: residential care for court-ordered children, two charter public schools, community based services for children in foster care homes, a family care program, and a center for child development.
City Mission Society – The mission of this organization, founded in 1816, is: "to work with the urban poor to fashion a vision of wholeness of human life against the realities of economic, racial, and social injustice."
Local and National Conference
MACUCC (Mass. Conference of the United Church of Christ) these dollars are used to support programs for ministers, local resources, youth resources, etc.; further, a large portion of those dollars goes to the national UCC where they provide both National and International financial support to those in need
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is an annual interdenominational offering for disaster relief, economic development, and refugee resettlement in more than 100 countries across the world, including the U.S.
Caring for the community and the world
Maundy Thursday: March 28
- Soup Supper at 6:00 pm
- Service of the Last Supper & Tenebrae at 7:00 pm
Good Friday: March 29
- First Congregational Church Sanctuary open for Meditation & Prayer
- 7 am- 9 pm, readings will be available
- Ecumenical Good Friday Service, 12:15 pm, First Congregational Church
Easter: March 31
- Worship Celebration, 10 am
- Music:First Congregational Orchestra, Chancel Choir and Handbell Ensemble
- Rev. Lisa Stedman, preaching Worship followed by Coffee Fellowship
- Easter Egg Hunt for All Children
No matter where you are on life's journey
The First Congregational Church of Reading, United Church of Christ welcomes you. Whether you are new to the Reading area, searching for a place where you belong, or are perhaps at a crossroad on a personal journey, our church offers you and your family a spiritual home.
We invite you to joyously discover the vitality of an active, friendly congregation committed to our local and world community. Learn more about a place for people of all ages and backgrounds. No matter where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.
Join us this Sunday!