CWS School Kits Update

Thank you to all who have donated items for the Church World Service School Kits. We now have supplies for 27 complete kits, and we are close to completing another 12!  We can now imagine one full classroom or perhaps even two classes with smiling children receiving our bright bags full of new supplies.

See below for the list of items needed to complete 12 more kits. (If you already purchased other components listed in previous School Kit articles, yes, please donate them as well. Thank you!)

The School Kit collection ends on September 6th, but August is the time to stock up on school items. Staples continued their sale with 50 cent crayons and 35 cent one-subject spiral notebooks. (The inexpensive notebooks are toward the very back of the Reading store.) This pricing lasts until at least 8/19.

Items needed to finish 12 more kits:

  • 70-page count spiral bound notebooks – 36 notebooks needed 
  • One pair of blunt scissors (rounded tip, only) – 4 pairs needed
  • Six new, unsharpened pencils with erasers – 54 pencils needed
  • One box of 24 crayons (only 24 count) – 7 boxes needed 

The drop-off box is just outside the Music Room.

In addition, we appreciate those who choose to support this project with a cash donation. These donations are needed for the bulk purchase of cloth school bags, the $2 per kit for CWS to process our kits, and the cost to ship the heavy kits to CWS. The total for these expenses is typically over $200. Please send a check to the church with “School Kits” in the memo line or to easily donate online, use the link below and choose “give to CWS School Kits” in the drop down menu.

Thank you to all who choose to participate!…

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Olde Redding Faire Silent Auction

As the excitement for the Olde Redding Faire builds, we ask you to consider donating to this year’s Silent Auction. We hope you will join us in celebrating our faire and auction.

Our silent auction is part of a tradition that goes back to 1957, when the first faire was held. The online Silent Auction has grown to be a significant area of the faire. In fact, the bidding starts the week before the faire! 

Last year’s silent auction offerings displayed in the sanctuary on faire day.

Donations to the auction include gift cards, gift baskets, products, and services. Last year, we had donations such as crafts, including hand knitted afghans, quilts, artwork, and pottery; homemade food from soup to dessert, vacation rentals, and unique local daytrip experiences. You might have a different and wonderful idea for a new creative donation. Contact the Silent Auction team if you want to discuss ideas for your contribution.

All donations are greatly appreciated. You can use this QR code to complete a form describing your donation or use this link If you need help with this online process, please reach out for help.

We can pick up your donation or you can leave your donation in the church office starting on Sunday, September 24. We will coordinate drop off of food baskets and very large items. Please contact us for details.

To view the auction, go to and enter HS74M7. The Silent Auction will open Saturday, September 23 and close on Saturday, September 30. You can view the donations and make bids in person during the faire on Saturday, September 30, between 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Please drop by!

Proceeds from the Silent Auction, which earned roughly $7,000 last year, benefited our church, as well as the Reading Food Pantry and Reading’s Mission of Deeds.

Contact the Church Office at 781‑944‑0205 or at if you have any questions. 


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Calling all sandwich makers!

On Sunday August 27, members of our congregation will again provide lunch for the Common Cathedral, an outdoor congregation of housed and un-housed men and women that shares God’s love through community and pastoral care.

After the easing of Covid restrictions, we are returning to a more social mode of assembling the needed bagged lunches! Parishioners are being asked to make the needed sandwiches ahead of time, and to drop them off at the church kitchen prior to the service that day. Volunteers will meet at 9:30 there to fill lunch bags with a fruit, crackers, and a sweet. The sandwiches will be added last. Then a crew will transport the bagged lunches down to Boston Common after our service.

Signup sheet for all tasks is provided here.

This year, we will be joined by a group from the Blackstone Valley United Methodist Church. It will be their first time. See you then!

Please contact the church office with any questions at 781-944-0205 or…

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Families at First Congregational Church

There’s a lot planned for the 2023-2024 school year! The calendar for the year ahead is below.

2023-2024 Program YearIntergenerational Sundays

You spoke, we listened! We know it’s difficult for families to get to church in person on Sundays. To help make things easier, there will be 1 Intergenerational Sunday per month specifically designed to include hands-on learning and music. There will still be Children’s Messages on the steps and our interactive corner each and every Sunday, but you’ll want to put these Sundays into your calendar if you want to plan to come to church on these days!

  • September 10 – Back to School – Worship with prayer stations, backpack blessings, and assembling school kits for kids in need. After church, enjoy the Reading Street Fair downtown!
  • October 1 – Taste and See Learning about Communion all over the world, what Communion is, and why we still do it.
  • November 19 – Ending Hunger – Thanksgiving Sunday and collection for Lawrence and Reading Food Pantries.
  • December 17 – Celebrating Christmas – Pick-Up Christmas Pageant where anyone and everyone has a role to play!
  • January 7 – Inter-Galactic Sunday with Star Words
  • February 25 – What is Lent, Anyway?
  • March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Brunch Church
  • April 28 – Lessons about Jesus
  • May 19 – Confirmation & Pentecost Sunday

We are also exploring a multi-church youth group for grades 8-12, a confirmation class for grades 8-10, and Our Whole Lives programs . Click here to learn more.

Nursery Care
Nursery Care will be available the following Sundays throughout the 2023-2024 program year. This calendar is arranged by taking into consideration Intergenerational Sundays, holidays, and vacation weeks with the assumption that families would be least likely needing nursery care. If you know you’d like to have Nursery Care on an additional Sunday, please reach out.

September 24 
December 3, 10
March 3, 10, 24, 31
October 15, 22, 29
January 21
No nursery care in April
November 5
February 4, 11
May 5, 12, 19

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