March Mission

Shop White Sales For Emmaus

This month, our church’s Mission and Social Action Ministry will hold its annual Linens collection or Emmaus, Inc. in Haverhill. Emmaus House, the family emergency shelter, serves up to 15 families at one time. Emmaus, Inc. runs eight additional housing units for various categories of residents. All of these need bed and bath items.

Donated bed and bath items can be either new or used, except for pillows, which need to be NEW. Only twin-size sheets are needed; sheet sets are especially welcome. Towels and facecloths are also needed.

In addition, Emmaus has requested snack packs that can be put out for hospitality purposes. Sealed bags of chips, Cheetos, or nuts are some examples.

Donations can be left in the Mission Ministry collection box outside the church office.
Thank you!…

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Lent at The First Congregational Church of Reading

You can pick up a Lent Devotional with a weekly reflection on the poetry of Wendell Berry at the church (or one can be dropped off for you). Instead of “Lent in a Bag” this year, there are a few resources from past “bags” to help you rediscover Sabbath and rest that you can pick up as well. These will be set out on a table in the sanctuary beginning February 26.

Let’s Talk on March 8, at 1:30 PM in the Parlor will discuss the topic of Lent, Sabbath, and perhaps a poem or two.

We’ll only have a Soup (and more) Supper tentatively as a potluck on Thursday, March 30 with (and likely at) Temple Shalom Emeth in Burlington for an interfaith dialogue & program to learn about about and from each other on the themes of Passover, Holy Week, and touch on the implications and history of antisemitism (and the role Christians have played especially surrounding the story of the Crucifixion). Right now this is still in the planning stages, so stay tuned

A labyrinth will be set up for walking meditation and prayer in the Sanctuary sometime in late March. Another church lets us borrow this beautiful labyrinth, and we’re still working out the dates. Stay tuned!

Palm Sunday is Sunday, April 2.

We will host a Soup Supper dinner church service on Maundy Thursday, April 6, at 6:30 PM inviting our friends from Old South UMC to join.…

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(re) Member Series: History of FCCR

This Sunday after church join Rev. Emelia in the parlor for the 1st in the (re) Member Class series! Learn about the history of FCCR, from its origins over 250 years ago, to the changes, trials, and celebrations we’ve had over the years.

Can’t make it this Sunday? Next Thursday there will be a link in the Enews for a Zoom version.…

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Cleanup Buckets Hurrah!

Bring on the trucks, and start up the band! This church community always supports our mission collections generously, and it has been no different this month as we’ve been raising funds for Church World Service (CWS) cleanup buckets. At present, donations total $900, which would purchase TWELVE buckets. Plus, the commitment of the Mission Team to match donations up to $500 means we will have another six and a half buckets to add to this number.

If you have not gotten in on the challenge yet, it’s not too late. Simply use the link below to purchase a quarter, a half, or whole bucket – or make a gift in any amount. If you do not use the link here, please be sure to mark your gift with the word “bucket.” Thank you!

Donate Here

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(re) Member Classes

Have you been joining us for worship recently (whether it’s the last few months, or the last few years!) and wondering how to become a member or get more involved with the church?

Or maybe you’ve been a member for decades, but are curious about church history, UCC polity, or find yourself envying the Confirmation Classes and want a refresher on things?

This Winter and Spring, there will be a series of classes covering a variety of topics open to anyone to attend. Attend 2 if you’re interested in joining as a new member (attend 3 and receive a (re)member certificate!). New members will join on Annual Meeting Sunday, May 21 at 10 AM.

  • History of First Congregational Church
    Sunday, February 26 after church/in-person
    Thursday, March 2 at 7 PM on Zoom
  • “What’s that called?” Words & Traditions Explained
    Wednesday, March 22 at 1 PM in-person
    Thursday, March 23 at 7 PM on Zoom
  • History & Polity of the United Church of Christ
    on Zoom (Date TBD)
  • Volunteer Fair – Learn about each ministry and church group
    Sunday, April 30 after church/in-person

Contact the church office at or 781-944-0205 to learn more.…

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February Mission

February Mission Collection: BUCKETS

We’re “collecting” full clean up buckets for Church World Service (CWS) this month. There is however, no list of materials, and no need to shop. This year we are doing a financial collection.

From the CWS web page: “Hurricanes, floods and other disasters are happening more frequently. When our neighbors around the world experience these unforeseen circumstances, you can make the road to recovery easier with CWS Cleanup Buckets. These buckets are full of essential home recovery supplies that are needed after a disaster strikes.” If you have read or tuned in to the news in recent weeks, you are aware that disasters (plural) have struck across our country. Northern California was victim to an “atmospheric river”. The impact was flooding throughout the area. And when the rains stopped, the disaster did not. Mud slides, prompted by previous years of drought, followed. And shortly before Christmas a series of tornadoes broke out causing devastation across six states. There were 70 deaths in Kentucky alone. Countless homes were destroyed, and others severely damaged.

What can WE do? First, as people of faith we can pray. Pray for those who are working on cleanup, pray for rebuilding, and pray for generosity to help get the people suffering back in homes and on their feet. Practically, we can be a part of that generosity. Each clean up bucket costs $75. Our hope is that you will consider donating a quarter of a bucket for $18.75, half a bucket for $37.50, or perhaps a full bucket for $75.00. And there is this additional good news! The Mission team had set aside $500 in its budget as “matching funds” for disaster relief. Therefore, every dollar we receive for buckets, up to $500, will be matched by Mission! We will welcome your participation in any amount – your donation need not be one of these amounts. It is our hope however, that you will lend your support to help whose lives have been upended. If you would like to donate via check, please be sure to mark your gift as “buckets.” Or use the link below to donate online.

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What’s Happening in February?

There is so much going on at the Reading Congregational Church! If ever there was a month for you to consider testing the waters here, this may be the one. Our theme for the month is Drawing on our Resources…and we have many. See what’s happening. Uncertain where to go? Contact the office at 781-944-0250 or office@churchofreading and ask!

  • Feb 2nd, 7 pm, sanctuary: “Out of Darkness, a service of healing, peace and blessing.
  • Feb 7th, 7 pm, parlor: Book Group, “Founding Mothers – The Women Who Raised our Nation”.
  • Feb 12th, starting at 10 am, downstairs: Brunch church (yes we eat AND worship), followed by a fundraising cookie walk
  • Feb 14th, 7:15 pm, room 17: Women ‘n Stitches, making lap ad baby quilts for charity
  • Feb 18th, 11 am: a paint party as a part of our monthly theme
  • Feb 21, 7 pm, sanctuary: Pressing Pause, a time of quiet, prayer and meditation
  • February 25, A community Open Mic Night
  • Feb 27, 1 pm parlor: Yarning to Care: knit crochet, visit, making hats, blankets, shawls

And while you’re in the building, check out our newly installed art wall along the ramp heading from the chapel/town hall end of the building toward the sanctuary, FCCR is an art centered meeting place for many.…

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“Out of the Darkness” 

Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 PM 

Some call it “Candlemas,” others “St Brigid’s Day,” and others call it “Imbolc” – no matter the tradition, February 2 marks the half-way point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. In days of old, villagers would bring their candles to be blessed at the local church on this day. Join us for a special evening service as we lift up prayers for the difficult things in our lives and the world, and bless candles which can be brought home.

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