31 Maple Street
Bristol, Connecticut USA
Greetings and welcome! The First Congregational Church United Church of Christ is committed to a ministry of extravagant welcome and hospitality. We hope the following information helps you feel more comfortable as you anticipate attending worship or another church activity.
For those who would like or need to avoid steps, the front of the sanctuary has a wheelchair ramp. Handicap parking is available in the parking lot, along the fence that surrounds the playground and an accessible entrance for the sanctuary is located through the yellow door to the left of the playground. Inside the yellow door is a handicap lift with access to the Sanctuary on the first floor and Chapel and Auditorium on the second floor. A greeter is present at this door to assist you with the lift and directions to the Sanctuary. During the service, there are moments when the congregation will be invited to stand if able. Please feel free to stand or remain seated. Hearing assist devices are also available for those who wish to use them.
Greeters and Ushers throughout the Parish House (classroom building) and Sanctuary (worship building) will be glad to assist you in finding bathrooms, the crib nursery, and other facilities you might need. Please feel free to ask them for help.
Children of all ages attend the beginning of the worship service and are invited to A Time for Children before going to Children’s Ministry. Infants and Toddlers are welcome to play in the Crib Nursery before and during worship.
FCC celebrates two sacraments: Holy Communion and Baptism.
On the 1st Sunday of every month, Christmas Eve, & Maundy Thursday, the sacrament of Communion is shared. Everyone is welcome to participate in Communion, no matter their age or member status. Communion is received while seated in the pews. Deacons serve the bread first, and then the grape juice. The tray is passed half way down the pew, and then back to the aisle. Please hold the tray for your neighbor while they serve themselves. We eat the bread upon receiving it to acknowledge our individuality before God. As a sign of our unity in Christ, we wait until all have been served the cup of the new covenant and then we share in drinking the cup together.
Once a month, FCC celebrates the sacrament of baptism. Baptisms happen on Sunday morning during worship where the entire church community pledges to help nurture the baptized person in the Christian faith. We usually baptize small children, but anyone can be baptized. You do not need to be a member of FCC to be baptized. (More information about Baptism, click here.).
Children’s Ministry is a fun time for children to learn about God and Jesus Christ through Bible stories and hands on activities.
Our Children’s Ministry program and Crib Nursery follow FCC’s Safe Church Policy and Guidelines.
“We affirm the dignity and worth of every person by declaring ourselves Open and Affirming. With God’s grace, we strive to include all persons without regard to race, ethnic or socio-economic background, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, physical or mental challenges, or age. We cherish the richness that this diversity brings to us, individually and as a congregation. Our acceptance of each other embodies our commitment to unity with God and each other in Christ. We welcome all to share in the life, leadership, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of full participation in our congregation.”
“We covenant with one another to seek and respond to the Word and the Will of God. We purpose to walk together in the ways of the Lord, made known and to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the Church to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ in all the world, while worshipping God, and striving for truth, justice, and peace. As did those before us, we depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the coming of the realm of God, and we look with faith toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life.”
The people of FCC hope you will be both physically, emotionally, and spiritually comfortable in worship and at all FCC activities. The FCC sanctuary was refurbished in 1997 for the 250th anniversary with nice soft cushions on the 180+ year old pews and with air conditioning. In 2013, FCC began working with an architect to improve the handicap accessibility and user friendliness of FCC’s historic building.