Update from the COVID-19 Team

Over the past six or so weeks, the COVID-19 team has been working diligently to review guidelines and advice surrounding how we might “be the church” during this time. Here’s an overview of what we’ve been working on:

When am I going to be able to go back to church?

Having considered the advice of the leaders of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, we agreed that it would be best to refrain from any in-person gatherings this summer. We agreed that, since September 13th would have been our usual “Welcome Back Sunday,” we would keep that date in mind as a benchmark to consider. As the summer months continue, we will be using this time to collect resources, create procedures, implement infrastructure, and make sure safety is in place for any kind of in-person meetings at church, including meeting for worship. There is no guarantee that we will be back on September 13th. This will be dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases at the end of the summer, and if there is a continuous downward trend in case numbers. At this time, case numbers are not decreasing within the county or state. 

What will worship look like if we return?

We have also been asking ourselves the question, “does this aid us in our ministry?” No matter what, when we are able to safely meet together for worship, it’s going to look very different. There cannot be any kind of in-person singing (by a soloist, choir, and certainly no congregational singing). We wouldn’t be able to pass the peace the way we wish we could. We wouldn’t be able to gather for coffee hour afterwards. On top of this, we want to be mindful about how many people would be able to enter the space (and would want to discourage members of our community who are the most vulnerable to stay home). No matter what, worship just wouldn’t look the same. You can be sure, however, that whenever we do go back to meeting in-person, it will be a hybrid of virtual & in-person worship.

What about the Faire?

We are discussing ways the Faire might continue this year but using our collective congregational creativity so that it will definitely look different but still have the same spirit! Stay tuned for more information about Faire planning and questions. In the meantime, you can contact Betsy Schneider ( betsyschneider7@gmail.com) for more information.

Is the building closed?

We are limiting staff presence in the building, encouraging working from home as much as possible, to help reduce any traffic in the building. Additionally, we have been asking ourselves what it means to represent “love of neighbor” at this time. First and foremost, loving our neighbor means protecting the most vulnerable in our community and limiting exposure to the virus. However, many of our building users are beginning to inquire about returning to the space. After much discussion and working together with Creative Arts, we have decided …

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Videos of Virtual Church

Were you not able to join us live for worship on Facebook or Zoom? No problem. You can watch all our worship videos right here after they are posted!

Virtual Blessing of the Animals!

We join with Truro's First Parish Church/Congregational Meetinghouse this Sunday blessing our pets and the animals that bless our lives. No matter who you are — whether you have paws or claws! — you are welcome here.

Posted by First Congregational Church of Reading UCC on Sunday, August 9, 2020
Virtual Worship with First Parish in Truro

Join us for Communion, some time on the water, prayer, and song today as we gather together we new friends and old familiar faces.

Posted by First Congregational Church of Reading UCC on Sunday, August 2, 2020
Virtual Church

Join us for worship this morning on the theme of "Blessing in Lament" as we continue our "Church @ Home" series, recognizing the sacred in the ordinary. No matter where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!

Posted by First Congregational Church of Reading UCC on Sunday, July 19, 2020
Virtual Church

"Church @ Home" means noticing the sacred in the ordinary. Today, the focus is on the theme of "Rest." No matter where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here!

Posted by First Congregational Church of Reading UCC on Sunday, July 12, 2020
Virtual Church

We continue to gather for worship by bridging our distance virtually. Join us in finding the sacred in the ordinary as we celebrate Communion together. Be sure to have something like bread and a cup to share at home!

Posted by First Congregational Church of Reading UCC on Sunday, July 5, 2020

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Join us for Virtual Holy Week!

Palm Sunday: A video of the Palm Sunday worship service will be posted here on Sunday, April 5.

Maundy Thursday: You’re invited to have a soup supper at home, and set up your tablet, laptop, or phone for a worship service by Zoom. If you can, make sure your device is on a table, this way, we can all see each other from “across” the table and be seating together as if we are all joined together at one table! We’ll also share Communion virtually in this service, too. Get Zoom access information from your E-News or email pastorfccr@gmail.com

Good Friday: A Good Friday video will be shared here, on Facebook, and through email on Friday, April 10.

Meditation Packet: If you’re interested in a resource for personal reflection, please email pastorfccr@gmail.com

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COVID-19, Getting Connected, and Going Virtual

Currently, all in-person gatherings are cancelled until further notice. We’re taking measures to practice physical distancing, and in doing so we’re increasing our “social activity” instead through other means. There’s a lot of emotions, anxiety, worry, and confusion these days. As a church, we are here for each other. Read on to find out how you can stay connected.

Receive our weekly E-News. If you don’t already, make sure you do. Sign up to receive weekly updates about how to get connected, especially as all our programming goes virtual. Email office1fccr@gmail.com to get signed up or call the church office at 781-944-0205.

Join us on Sundays at 10 am for Virtual Worship.

Either go to our Facebook page to watch on Facebook Live or sign up for our e-news to get information to watch via Zoom.

Wednesday Meditation

Need a spiritual break in the middle of the week? Rev. Emelia will offer a virtual mid-week meditation via Zoom and Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 5 PM.

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Tea Time

A different kind of social hour

If you’re able to use Zoom (either video or calling on your phone) join Rev. Emelia for a social check-in time Thursdays at 3 pm. No agenda, just trying to be together. 

To get Zoom access information, please email pastorfccr@gmail.com

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Church To Go

“Church To Go” is a document you can download and print out. It’s like a worship service, but one you can do at home with others or just by yourself. It includes prayer, scripture, a poem, and activities. 
Can’t download or don’t have a printer at home? We can mail you or deliver one for you. Email pastorfccr@gmail.com

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