A Warm Welcome!  Here You Can…

FEEL

Closer to God

FIND

Spiritual Guidance

BE

Part of a Community

LEARN

More About the Bible

SERVE

Others and Make a Difference in the World

FEEL

Closer to God

BE

Part of a Community

FIND

Spiritual Guidance

LEARN

More About the Bible

SERVE

Others and Make a Difference in the World

WE OFFER A WARM WELCOME TO YOU AND INVITE YOU TO PARTICIPATE FULLY in the ministry and mission of First Congregational UCC as you feel so led by the Spirit.  We are delighted you are interested in learning more about First Congregational and are committed to finding meaningful ways to connect with you.  Maybe you are new to our church, new to Sarasota, or new to church altogether.  Whatever is stirring your curiosity, we would love to get to know you better.

You may start by joining us for worship in person every Sunday at 9am and 11am.  The 11am service is also livestreamed on YouTube.  We pray that you will experience music, a message, and meaning for your life.  You may want to test the waters of our warm welcome in Bible Study, our Oasis Ministry, a book club, or coming to worship in-person.  We are a church that welcomes questions, exploration, various expressions of faith, and continuing to grow to reflect God’s love.  You won’t find perfect people here.  You won’t find people who will test you or shame you.  We long to be open to each other just as Jesus received each person with a warm embrace.  We pray that we will continue to grow in love, grace, forgiveness, peace, and to be the Beloved Community that is so needed in these days.

Please know Pastor Wes is available to talk with you and help you connect in meaningful ways with our community of faith.  During times such as these, we are well aware that many in our community are facing challenges.  If you are in need of prayer or care, please let us know.  Click here to contact Pastor Wes.

Please browse our site to find out what’s going on in and around the church.

Watch a Welcome Video From Pastor Wes

Worship, Service, Community

We see these words as interwoven and intertwined.  Worship is what happens on Sunday mornings as well as when we gather in small groups for Bible Study or book conversations.  Worship happens when we share God’s love at our community meal or through outreach with God’s love.

Service to our local community and world occurs through our central values.  We helped found SURE (Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity) and continue to participate in this justice ministry.  We host a monthly mobile food pantry truck for All Faith’s Food Bank, community meal, and participate in Family Promise Sarasota.  We financially support local groups through our Christmas Love Offering and world-wide organizations through our Easter Love Offering.

Finally, we seek to share God’s love with each other.  In 2020, we launched the Oasis Center for Reflection and Renewal.  This sacred space which was our Little Pilgrim Preschool, now is a holy ground for all people to encounter God’s presence.

We invite you to find a home at First Congregational UCC and let your faith grow here.  Please let us know if there is any way we can extend a warm welcome to you!

 

Lots of Ways to Connect

Prayer Circle

Prayer Circle

Pastoral care is a cornerstone of our church, providing support, guidance, and spiritual nurturing. A vital aspect includes prayer requests. Share your prayer needs, knowing Pastor Wes and fellow congregants will lift them up. This fosters a sense of community and mutual support, uniting us in prayer. Whether in need of comfort, guidance, or offering prayers for others, we are here for you, united in faith.

Contact Pastor Wes

Contact Pastor Wes

In these uncertain times, we understand that many in our community are navigating challenges and seeking solace. Whether you’re in need of guidance, prayer, or simply a listening ear, Pastor Wes is available to walk alongside you on your journey.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you could use some extra support or if there’s anything weighing on your heart. Your well-being is important to us, and we’re committed to providing care and compassion to all who seek it.

Lay Visitation

Lay Visitation

Lay Visitation is a vital ministry within our church community, where dedicated volunteers reach out to provide compassionate care and support to individuals during various life circumstances. These lay visitors, guided by their faith and a spirit of service, offer a comforting presence, listening ear, and words of encouragement to those facing challenges, illness, or bereavement.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Do you enjoy knitting? Join our monthly Prayer Shawl Ministry, where knitters gather in homes to socialize, share knitting tips, and create prayer shawls. These shawls are made for both happy and sad occasions and will be available to anyone in need. The Lay Visitation Group will help distribute them to shut-ins, church members, and the broader community on behalf of our congregation, spreading love and comfort through our craft.

Join Us for Worship

Join Us for Worship

We want you to feel warmly welcome at First Congregational United Church of Christ. We prayerfully seek to worship in ways that are meaningful and believe that worshiping with us will help you grow your faith through music, scripture and a meaningful message at the center of each service. Please join us every Sunday as we raise our prayer and praise to God in person in the sanctuary and via livestream.

Creation Justice

Creation Justice

As a Creation Justice Church, we offer ongoing opportunities and events for education, participation, spiritual engagement and advocacy.

Ready Readers

Ready Readers

Ready Readers is a book discussion group that meets monthly. The books we read are chosen from a yearly list provided by the Florida UCC Women and selected by the chair of the organization’s Reading for Renewal.

Artful Prayer

Artful Prayer

Looking for new and creative ways to connect to God’s sacred presence in your life? Seeking to transform old or new aches in your spirit?  Wanting to be refreshed and experience fun and joy? Then Artful Prayer could be for you!

COLLAGE

COLLAGE

Collage (Coalition of Laity for Lesbian and Gay Equality) is an adult LGBTQIA+ social group that welcomes supporters no matter their sexual orientation.  The group seeks to be a safe and supportive place of friendship and extravagant welcome.

Drumming as a Spiritual Practice

Drumming as a Spiritual Practice

Join us as we drum together, letting the movement of our hands and hearts be a prayer to God.  All levels of experience are welcome for this opportunity. 

Sacred Conversations on Race

Sacred Conversations on Race

Each week, we gather for a holy dialogue on racism in our country, community, and church. Our diverse congregation is committed to justice. In our meetings, we raise awareness, build trust, and commit to loving action. There is always space at the table for you to join this sacred conversation.

Bible Study

Bible Study

Join us for an enriching journey through the Scriptures in our Bible Study sessions. Guided by Pastor Wes and surrounded by a supportive community, our Bible Study offers a space for deep exploration, meaningful discussion, and personal growth. Whether you’re a seasoned student of the Bible or just beginning your journey, there’s a place for you here.

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth

The labyrinth is an enclosed path having only one route that winds into the center. There are no dead ends or “wrong turns”. The path of the labyrinth can be seen as the journey of life, with many twists and turns. The labyrinth is a sacred oasis designed to encourage moving meditation, reflection, releasing, receiving, listening, insight, healing, stress reduction, and creative thought.