Lunches for Common Cathedral

Thank you to everyone who participated and made sandwiches this year! We were able to deliver 200 lunches to the Common Cathedral community, allowing many to take more than one. Thank you for helping us continue this annual tradition and connection with Common Cathedral!

So far, we have volunteers signed up to make the following sandwiches:

  • PB&J: 40/38
  • Ham & Cheese: 38/38
  • Turkey (no cheese): 40/38
  • Tuna: 38/38

Sign-ups filled! Thanks everyone!

As Paula Ewenstein, Common Cathedral Lunch Coordinator says: “Hello, we are delighted and grateful that your congregation / group will be visiting common cathedral!
First, thank you for your continued support of common cathedral. Your contribution is keeping people fed physically and spiritually throughout this global pandemic. For Summer 2021, we’ve made a few updates we’d like to share with you.
Supplies: We are continuing to ask for pre-made lunches and are currently requesting the following supplies: 

  • 150 brown paper bag lunches
  • With sandwiches – We will prepare PB&J, turkey and cheese, ham and cheese, and tuna for some of our loyal sandwich makers          
  • 2-3 snacks inside (chips, fruit, cheese sticks, cookies) [Please put snacks in small zip locked bags if they aren’t already wrapped]

“Adding a tomato, pickles, lettuce, anything extra makes it a meal, not just a sandwich.” –John, community member

Program suppliesIf you are looking to support us in other ways, check out our Amazon Wish list: Click Here! It is updated monthly with seasonal items needed as indicated by our community. For example, ankle socks for these hot summer days! 
Important note: People are hungry right now, as many meal programs have closed or simplified their operations. It’s harder to get food if you are homeless or income-insecure. This is why we are requesting these items. 

Safely making sandwiches: Some people have expressed concern about making lunches during this COVID-time. Please *do* take extra precautions when making the food. Have individuals make them at home and drop off with one central person who will be doing the delivery on Sunday. Remind lunch-makers to sanitize the surface on which they make the food, to wash hands often, and to wear gloves. The virus itself is *not* food-borne but rather the danger is in particles coming into contact with the food items being prepared. 
BIG VIRTUAL HUGS to you, our ministry partners! Your support is always appreciated, and continues to be absolutely essential. Thank you!” 

Contact the church office if you have any questions at (781) 944-0205 or…

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2022 Calendar Collection

It’s That Time of Year!

Have you been finding colorful 2022 calendars in your mail? Maybe you make a donation to the sending organization, or maybe you don’t. But please, if the calendar has colorful pictures for each month, save it! We’ll collect them and then pass them on to the Food Pantry near the end of the current year for distribution to clients. If the calendar is full of ads and you don’t want it, please recycle. We’re on only looking for cheery image calendars.

Leave all calendars in the box on the cabinet outside the Music Room (next to the Pantry basket).

Thanks for your help!

Contact the Church Office with any questions:

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Summer Bible Study

Inspired by our Lent Bible Study time together, we’ll be reading through stories of Women of the Bible. You don’t need to commit for the whole summer: drop in any time! Come when you’re able to attend, or perhaps if there’s a favorite woman you’d like to learn more about.

July 13th 3PM at the church – Eve
July 27th – 7PM on Zoom – Mothers of the Old Testament
August 10th 3PM at the church – Bad Girls of the Bible
Augsut 24th 7PM on Zoom – Heroines You Might Not Know
September 7th – 3PM at the church – Women of the New Testament

Register below to recieve email reminders and zoom links.

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CWS School Kit Collection

The church’s mission ministry is excited to anticipate creating school kits for Church World Service again this summer. 

Last year we assembled an astonishing 47 kits! This year we want to do 30. Why are we aiming lower? Two reasons. We have thirty bags left over from last year. Check! In addition, this year there is no pick up point anywhere in the northeast until next spring. You may recall last year we were able to deliver the kits to Maine for pickup in September. The team working on this project wants to create the kits and get them out in the world for children to use. That means we will need to ship the completed kits. Transport costs for 30 will range between $75 and $100. In addition, CWS requests $2 for each kit to off-set their transport expenses getting the kits to their final destinations. So…not only will we be collecting items for the kits, we hope to collect donations on the order of $150 for expenses. We are confident we will find a way.

In the event you encounter any really great bargains anytime soon, these are the needed items for each kit:

  • One pair of blunt scissors (rounded tip, only)
  • Three 70-count bound notebooks or notebooks totaling 200-210 pages (no loose-leaf or filler paper)
  • One 12” ruler
  • One hand-held pencil sharpener
  • One large eraser (no pencil cap erasers)
  • Six new, unsharpened pencils with erasers
  • One box of 24 crayons (only 24)

The church school children will be assembling kits on Sunday, August 15th. That means that all purchases for kits should be delivered not later than Thursday, August 12th

We will again have a box just inside the office entry door to receive your donations. They can be dropped off between 10 am and 1 pm, Monday thru Thursday, starting July 12th. Financial donations can be dropped off in the office (not the box), or mailed, with a memo of CWS kits. Thank you!

Contact the Church Office with any questions:…

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Outdoor Summer Sunday Worship

Let’s enjoy the sunny summer weather together! Join First Congregational Church for Sunday Worship Services on the lawn for the following Sundays at 9AM:

  • July 4th
  • July 25th
  • August 15th
  • September 5th

In case of inclement weather, communication will be sent out before the service.

During the warm summer months, if we are not meeting outside on the lawn, our Sunday Worship Service will be online only, on Zoom and Facebook Live at 10AM.

If you are not on the FCCR mailing list, contact our church office at to get connected!

Not able to meet in person? We’ll livestream at 9 AM and video recording will be posted on both Facebook and by 10 AM

See you there!…

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Outdoor Prayer Service

Join us out in nature for a brief evening vespers service outdoors. These will not be live streamed, and will include a little bit of music, time to share your joys and concerns, and come together briefly during the week. We also hope to offer these meetings at some fun outdoor locations around town. Outdoor prayer services will meet at the following times:

  • Wednesday June 30th at 7PM – on the church lawn
  • Saturday July 10th at 5PM – on the church lawn
  • Wednesday July 28th at 7PM – Location TBA
  • Saturday August 21st at 5PM – Location TBA

Sign up to attend an outdoor prayer service by filling out the form below. If you have any questions or would like to join our mailing list, please contact our church office by emailing

See you there!…

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Our New Pride Flag

We are so excited to share our new pride flag with the community! You can see it waving at you as you walk down Woburn Street. A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible, helped think through the location and installation, and did the work to install it.

Our new pride flag was hung both in celebration of June and to show the community that FCCR is an open and affirming congregation. Did you know in May of 2002, First Congregational Chruch voted to become an open and affirming, or ONA, congregation? In doing do, they commited to explicitly embracing all groups who have at one time or another been shunned or discriminated against by the Christian church, not just those who are gay, lesbian or transgender, but also those with varying ethnicities, economic or social status, physical and emotional abilities, etc. This is the statement that was voted on and approved:

Believing that Christ’s call — “Come unto me” — is unconditional, we, as Christ’s disciples in the First Congregational Church of Reading, United Church of Christ, strive to live out this call to be the Body of Christ. In doing so:

We welcome and embrace all people — people of all races, ethnicities and ages; mental, emotional and physical abilities; gender identities and sexual orientation; economic and social standings, and family and religious traditions. Celebrating the full diversity of God’s creation, we invite all to join us in our worship and to participate in the full life and ministry of this faith community.

Therefore, guided by the Holy Spirit and with God’s grace, we joyously declare this to be an open and affirming congregation, welcoming and providing safe sanctuary to all.

Happy Pride everyone!

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Ecumenical Pride Worship Service

Sunday June 27th at 10AM, FCCR will be joining together for an online ecumenical worship service with Old South United Methodist Church and Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading to celebrate Pride!

Each church will share a prayer and a story about why LGBTQ+ affirming ministries are important to our mission and ministry.

If you would like to help with this service, please email Rev. Emelia at

If you’re not on First Congregational Church of Reading’s mailing list and would like to request Zoom access for this service, email our church office at

See you there!…

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Trans 201 Workshop with Mordecai from NAGLY

Did you attend Trans 101 with Renee? Do you need a refresher? Confused about gender and pronouns (and want to learn more about being a better ally?)

Mordecai (he/him) is an instructor and volunteer with North Shore Pride and NAGLY, and will be our guest presenter for a workshop and presentation on June 24th at 7PM!

Even though this is called “201” you don’t need to have taken a “101” workshop, but the name implies that this will be a refresher on introductory topics and go more specifically into topics like they/them pronouns, nonbinary or genderfluid, and learning vocabulary that was not necessarily covered in Renee’s workshop a few years ago.

After the presentation, if you have a question about anything, you can submit that anonymously here and Mordecai will do his best to answer it! All questions are welcome in this safe and brave space of learning!

Depending on interest, we may be able to offer in person attendance over the big screen/sound system in the sanctuary for those unable to connect via Zoom. Please email Rev. Emelia at if this would be something you’re interested in!

Fill out the form below to register for this event!

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In Person Worship: This Summer!

We are so excited to begin offering in person worship services! Join the First Congregational Church of Reading community in our sanctuary, over Zoom, or on Facebook Live Sundays at 10AM.

Any Sunday that the weather will be too hot to gather in the sanctuary, communication will be sent out before the service and worship will commence online only – on Zoom and Facebook Live.

To join our mailing list or the receive information about how to connect on Zoom, contact our church office by emailing

Masks are required at all times inside the church building.

See you there!…

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