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 Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Do you enjoy knitting? Lindsey Huddleston and Carol Hagglund are hosting a Prayer Shawl Ministry group where knitters will gather in people’s homes once a month to socialize, share knitting information and knit prayer shawls. These shawls will be available to anyone for both happy and sad occasions. The Lay Visitation Group will be one of the ways the shawls are given to shut-ins, church members and members of the broader community on behalf of our congregation.

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.

Morning Meditation

Morning Meditation

Kickstart your day with a dose of inspiration from Pastor Wes’ Morning Meditations, shared bright and early each weekday.

Experience a moment of reflection and renewal as you read today’s meditation, conveniently accessible on our home page, our worship page, or our  Facebook page during the week. Dive deeper into Pastor Wes’ insightful writings by exploring the full collection on his blog, where you’ll find a treasure trove of wisdom to enrich your spiritual journey.

Creation Justice

Creation Justice

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

Women’s Fellowship

Women’s Fellowship

All women and men of the church are welcome and encouraged to join us on the first Tuesday of each month, October through May, in Syster Hall for fellowship, lunch and a program.

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 LGBTQ+ 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 issues related to the realities of racism in our country, community and church.  We are blessed as a congregation with members (White, African-American, men, women, all sexual orientations) who are committed to the on-going work for justice.  During our weekly gatherings, we raise awareness around issues, build trusting relationships, and commit to loving action.  There is always space at the table for you to join us for 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.

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is an ancient and contemporary spiritual practice in which an individual and a spiritual director journey together in a spirit of prayerfulness enabling the individual to explore her/his relationship with God.  This journey can help cultivate one’s ability to discern the Sacred in everyday life as well as in the critical moments of life.

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.