You Are Welcome Here.
We are a faithful, diverse, inclusive and relevant congregation.
Our congregation offers a variety of opportunities to deepen your faith and strengthen your spiritual journey. From Sunday worship to Bible studies to fellowship events, we provide a space for you to connect with others and with God.
We believe that diversity strengthens our community, and we are committed to creating a space that welcomes people from all walks of life. Our congregation is made up of people with different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.
We strive to be an inclusive community that honors and celebrates each individual. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+, a person with disabilities, or simply feel like you don’t fit in elsewhere, we welcome you with open arms.
Worship This Week
Worship This Week
May God’s Love Enfold and Hold You
Please join us for worship this Sunday.
Sunday, June 4 ~ 8:45am and 11am ~
Wear Orange to Remember Victims of Gun Violence
8:45 a.m. ~ In the Chapel ~ Half hour service with a blending of hymns, scripture, reflection, and interaction all in the beautiful intimacy of the chapel. Holy Communion celebrated. Pastor Wes will preach on 1 Corinthians chapters 1 and 3, selected verses.
11 a.m. ~ In the Sanctuary featuring our chancel choir, & Livestreamed (Facebook, YouTube, Website). Holy Communion celebrated. Pastor Wes will preach on 1 Corinthians chapters 1 and 3, selected verses.
All are welcome and bring a friend.
Please click here to read Pastor Wes’ daily meditations.
It is our duty to conserve natural resources, protect the existing natural environment and repair damage.
Open and Affirming
We work faithfully and prayerfully to end discrimination against our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We are intent to discuss America’s original sin of racism and that everyone is made in God’s image.
Meet Our Pastor
Rev. Dr. Wes Bixby
“Maybe you’re new to our church, new to Sarasota, or new to church altogether. Whatever brings you here, I’d love the chance to get to know you better. Please know I am available to talk with you and help you connect in meaningful ways with our community of faith.
“During times such as these, we are aware that many in our community are facing challenges. If you are in need of prayer or care, please let me know.”
We invite you to watch a welcome video from Pastor Wes.
Pastor Wes’ Latest Blog Posts
This week, as May wraps up and June is ushered in, we are engaging in
stillness and silence. Read aloud the quote
below several times. You can say the
following words in your normal speaking tone and then try to softly whisper
these words, barely letting loose an audible sound.
This week we are entering the holy silence of God’s first
language. We are engaging our souls in
slowing down and being in the unconditional (non-performance and production
mode). I love the following quote:
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoingthere is...
What comes into your mind when you hear the word, “Silence”?
Silence can mean quiet, calm, and slowing down.
Silence can mean loneliness and an unsettling stillness or even
Open and Affirming Covenant
We of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sarasota, Florida, by vote of our Church Council and ratification by our congregation became an Open and Affirming Congregation in 2001, as documented in our church bylaws. We now re-commit to God and one another our covenant with our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning sisters and brothers.
As we celebrate the diversity of the people of God, we commit to remain an Open and Affirming congregation that welcomes all our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters with love and support. We will be a place in which they can be fully themselves, where their full selves are embraced and where their God-given talents are utilized in the life and work of the Church.
We honor the vision of those in our congregation who, more than 20 years ago, founded COLLAGE (Coalition of Laity for Lesbian and Gay Equality) to provide support for LGBTQ+ persons in the congregation and community. In league with COLLAGE, we will continue to reach out to and welcome LGBTQ+ persons into our church family. We will serve as a refuge from hurtful words and harmful actions and work toward eliminating social injustices too often directed against them.
This covenant statement is hereby adopted this 16th day of March, 2021, by unanimous vote of our Church Council.
Creation Justice Covenant
We of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sarasota, Florida, by vote of our Church Council and ratification by our Congregation, do solemnly commit to God, one another, and all creatures, to walk in God’s ways by cherishing the earth and all living beings who dwell upon it. This is the divine creation and we commit to promoting its health and sustainability.
We acknowledge at the outset that we are inseparably part of the web of life; our well-being dependent on the welfare of fellow creatures. We recognize the utmost value in creation – inherent value independent of creation’s usefulness for us. In this covenant, we understand that our creation is in crisis, in large part because of human activity. As a consequence, we promise to educate ourselves and others about the causes of and solutions to environmental degradation.
We commit to finding ways to respect and conserve our natural resources for the benefit of future generations and for the future of the planet. Because of our covenant with God and the earth, we will seek divine guidance and strive to follow God’s will. We will pursue justice for the earth, protect vulnerable living things from exploitation, and seek remediation of the environmental damage humans have caused.
This Covenant Statement is Hereby ADOPTED this 19th day of May, 2020, by unanimous vote of the Church Council of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sarasota, Florida.
RATIFIED this 24th day of January, 2021, by a Congregational vote of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sarasota, Florida.
Racial Justice Covenant
We of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sarasota, Florida, by vote of our Church Council and congregation, commit to God and one another our covenant with our sisters and brothers of color.
As we celebrate the diversity of the people of God, we commit to remain a congregation that welcomes all our brothers and sisters with love and support. We will be a place in which we all can be fully ourselves and where our full selves are embraced. We will serve as a refuge from hurtful words and harmful actions too often directed against others.
First Congregational United Church of Christ of Sarasota has a history of embracing diversity and racial equity. We have sought and still seek to confront racism and the oppression of people of color. We strive to model the love and grace of Jesus as he reached out to all, especially those on the margins.
We reaffirm our Christian call to understanding and unity through discussion, research and the sharing of personal witness to identify systemic racism in all its forms.
We lament current racial injustice conditions, and commit to actionable steps of hard listening and anti-racist engagement by our ministers, church officers, church community and as individual participants in our local and greater community. These steps will build on our current practices of intentionally selecting diverse lay leadership, and promoting programs and community activities that reflect our stance on diversity and inclusion.
We reaffirm our commitment to policies of equity and steps to dismantle harmful myths, actions, rules and laws. We also commit to celebrating different cultures and voices, both in worship and in our community.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
This covenant statement is hereby adopted this 30th day of January, 2022, by unanimous vote of our Church Council and the vote of our congregation.
Please click here for a list of resources put together by the SCOR group (Sacred Conversations on Race). The group meets Wednesdays at 3 on Zoom. All are welcome. See the events page for more information.