The fellowship and outreach of the First Congregational Church has been a steadfast anchor in the community for close to 300 years. For more than half a century our historic building has been home to more than a dozen non-profit local groups in the spirit of giving back to the community. This is in keeping with our focus on nearby missions that do not spend funds on mailings and telephone calls requesting donations. These organizations depend on hard-working volunteers, and assistance from groups and congregations, including our Church Family, who are committed to helping our neighbors in need in the Merrimack Valley. The assistance we provide is both financial and material aid.
Those Whom We Support
Click on each organization to visit their website.
The Community Giving Tree, based in West Boxford, is an organization focused on helping needy children in the Valley. They partner with local social workers to provide gently used children’s clothing, baby equipment, layettes, diapers, and school supplies.
Ruth’s Housein Haverhill is dedicated to providing basic necessities for disadvantaged families in our surrounding towns. They raise funds through a well-organized Thrift Shop, and are constantly on call when a family is in crisis.
Our Neighbors’ Table is an extensive Food Pantry, located in Amesbury, and serves twelve area towns, including Georgetown. This organization partners with the Boston Food Bank, and offers perishable and non-perishable food items to families with meal insecurities.
Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, located in Newburyport and Amesbury, is a mission that changes lives by helping victims of domestic violence through safety planning, legal assistance, counseling and a supportive community.
Although our focus is on our own neighboring missions, we have, for more than four decades been enthusiastically dedicated to two “away organizations”:
H.O.M.E. (Homemakers Organized for More Employment) located in northern Maine, one of the most poverty stricken areas in the USA. Through the years our congregation has purchased hundreds of animals for Heifer. These animals have given hope and income to people in our country, as well as in remote parts of the world. We embraced the Maine mission when we met Sr. Lucy, a Franciscan nun, who organized cottage industries into one entity to promote growth, and created innovative services for an impoverished community. We provide Christmas gifts for the children of H.O.M.E.
On a denominational level, our pledges support
Our Church’s Wider Mission through the United Church of Christ; funds are targeted toward worthy causes at home and abroad. Our congregation rises to the occasions when natural disasters have ravaged our country, and we have given to our denominational
Music has been part of worshiping God from the earliest chapters of the Bible. The Psalms, which are hymns, suggest we “enter his gates with singing” (Psalm 100); we “praise him with the trumpet, harp and lyre, with the timbrel, strings, pipes and cymbals” (Psalm 150) Music can touch our hearts and souls in ways words might not, and may give added understanding, inspiration, joy, solace or encouragement to any who listen.
Our music ministry’s primary intent is to allow any and all who have the desire to praise God through music, to do so regardless of musical experience, knowledge or ability. Then we strive to achieve musical perfection. (Someday we may get close!) We have multiple ways to share everyone’s talents.
Solo presentations (vocal or instrumental)
Small group presentations (vocal, instrumental or both)
World’s Most Dangerous Church Band
Ways to Join
Vocal Choir: Mixed voices singing together. For all ages. Ability to read music (or carry a tune) not required but helpful. Rehearsals on some Tuesday evenings.
Handbell Choir: Each person rings two or more handbells along with your fellow members. Suggested 6th grade and up. Ability to read music pretty much a necessity though we can figure something out if you’re willing to put in the time. Rehearsals on Tuesday evenings.
World’s Most Dangerous Church Band: Ensemble made up of musical instrument players. Suggested 6th grade and up. Ability to play an instrument and read music preferred but not entirely required. Rehearsals on some Tuesday evenings.
Anyone desiring to participate contact Emily, Organist or Bob Knapp, Music Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The First Congregational Church Book Club meets monthly from September through June, generally on
the last Wednesday of the month. Book Club reads from a variety of genres including fiction, classics,
non-fiction, memoirs and biographies. Members suggest and select titles in June for the following
season. Each month's session is hosted by one or two members of the group, either in one's own home,
in the Guild Room at church or at another site. Café Sarina and Camp Denison have been some favorite
locations for the get-togethers. After a discussion of the book, everyone enjoys refreshments, provided
by the host(s). Book Club welcomes everyone in the church community to attend.
The Women's Guild meets monthly to share in fellowship and food. Frequently, we will then listen to and interact with a guest speaker or work on a special project, usually related to a mission cause supported by the guild or our congregation as a whole.
Men are always welcome!
All meetings are at the Church unless stated otherwise.