Welcome to the First Congregational United Church of Christ website. We hope this site will help you learn more about us and our witness for Christ. We are a congregation with over 500 people who come together from all walks of life and seek to serve our Lord and Master. We hope that, when you visit our church, you will sense the presence of God and that you will see the love of Christ in those who have gathered for worship.
First Congregational United Church of Christ, founded in 1839, is an "open and welcoming church," which means that membership is open to every person who accepts the cost and joy of discipleship in the church of Jesus Christ. Anyone who walks through the doors is welcomed with open arms and is invited into full participation in the active life of the congregation.
Highlights and Previews
YOUTH MISSION TRIP
The youth of the church, along with four chaperones, will be departing for the long-awaited mission trip to Lexington, South Carolina, on August 1. It has been 10 months since the initial planning for the mission trip began in October 2014. Everybody participating in the trip is extremely excited.
The mission trip participants would like to thank everybody who either donated or participated in the fundraisers throughout the spring. We had a tremendous turnout of about 100 people for the pancake breakfast between services. The youth also had a busy weekend during the “rent-a-youth” fundraiser cleaning yards, raking leaves, preparing gardens, removing trees and stumps, cleaning houses, and visiting people of the church. A special thank you goes to the church and other committees allocating funds for the trip to be completed. Thank you very much!
The trip is about a 16-hour drive. First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, North Carolina, has been nice enough to allow the group to spend the night in their church. In the morning on August 2 the group will participate in their worship service before departing for the final destination of Lexington, South Carolina.
Once in Lexington, the group will be joining other youth from around the nation to help restore a once-beautiful part of the state that has now fallen to pieces. The group will be rebuilding houses, making major repairs to standing houses, providing smaller spruce up projects such as painting, and visiting with the families they are helping. The youth will learn many new skills regarding construction work as the week progresses.
The work being done will be for low-income families. The poverty rate in Lexington County has risen by more than 3% in recent years with 35% of youth living below the poverty line. The mission trip group will be teaming up with the local Mt. Horeb Church to help families that are in the most need. Even after the mission trip is done, more groups from around the country will continue going to Lexington each week. Mt. Horeb Church has a full time program set up to help families in need, but has asked Next Step Ministries to send willing volunteers to help them finish their work.
Next Step Ministries, the agency through which the trip is based, provides worship services three times a day. One is in the morning before work begins; another is during lunch, with the final one being an evening devotion. The youth will be returning with a renewed image of our God and how God works throughout our lives.
The group will be leaving for home on the morning on Sunday, August 9, around 8:00 a.m. after morning service and saying goodbye to the residents the youth have helped over the past week. The rotating drivers will be driving all the way back to Dubuque through the day and part of the night.
There will be many pictures of the group and the work they are completing each day to share with the church when everybody returns. There will also be many stories to be told about the people they helped. Hopefully each person comes back with a renewed sense of God and a willingness to serve God.
Church Profile Finalized
As an important part of the process for seeking new pastoral leadership, the Search Committee worked hard soliciting input from the congregation and then developing a comprehensive profile of our church to be published and reviewed by aspiring candidates. To read this profile, click here.
Click here to go to the 175th Anniversary web page where we have posted articles about our church's history since its estsblishment in 1839.
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