Worship Service

Welcome to the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury!

COVID UPDATE:

Limited Indoor Worship as of September 27     
The indoor service on September 27 will now be at 9:30 AM in addition to the outdoor worship at 11:00 AM.  The reopening of the sanctuary at this time will better prepare us for its expanded usage when inclement weather makes outdoor worship impractical. It will also allow certain musical offerings, such as the bell choirs, to partially resume.

The outdoor service remains the safest option for most people. Outdoor worship will continue for as long as feasible, probably through mid-October.

  • The indoor service is, for now, best suited to persons who are at lower risk for severe Covid-19 illness. Please follow CDC and state recommendations or those of your healthcare provider.
  • Please use the west entrance door opposite the Historical Society to enter and exit the church. If you need to use the elevator, you may use the Main Entrance near the cemetery.
  • All the safety guidelines that apply to outdoor worship apply to indoor worship. Masks must be worn at all times inside the church buildings and sanctuary. Hand sanitizer and extra masks will be available.
  •  Seating will be based on physical distancing guidelines set by the state. Please follow the directions of the clergy and ushers.
  •  If outdoor worship is cancelled due to inclement weather, the indoor service will still be offered.
  •  The church buildings remain closed to use except the sanctuary for the indoor service. However, restrooms will be available for those attending the indoor service.
  •  The ministers will not greet attendees in a receiving line after worship. There will be no coffee hour or social gathering in Gifford Hall. Once the service concludes, please exit the church (observing physical distance) for the parking lot.
  •  Please use the Unisex bathroom off of the Sanctuary.
  •  The indoor service will be recorded. This service will be uploaded and put on our website and Facebook page at the beginning of the week. It will also be played on the local cable channel.

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Since 1723, the year after our town was first settled, the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury has been at the heart of our community. That’s a lot of history, but don’t worry: this church is a place of welcome for all, whether your family has been here generations or you’re just meeting us for the first time. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

If this is your first time connecting with our congregation, you might have some questions. Hopefully, this guide will be helpful, but if we’ve left anything out, please feel free to contact us at any time:

Email the Church Office

Call Us: (508) 845-7286

Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 2pm (closed Federal Holidays)

Where are you located?

Our church is located at the corner of Church Road and Route 140, just north of the intersection of Main Street and Route 140, on the town common in Shrewsbury, MA. Use the map/link below to get directions. When you arrive, you’ll find visitor parking next to Mountain View Cemetery, close to the main entrance.

Address: 19 Church Road, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

 

What time is your worship service?

We worship each Sunday at 9:30am.

Come relax and join us from 9:15am-11:15am any Sunday to join us for worship followed by coffee and conversation. Enter through our main entrance with the Welcome banner, which is located at the far end of the parking lot. Take the elevator or walk up one flight of stairs. Follow the hallway to Gifford Hall, which is bustling with activity on Sunday mornings. The sanctuary entrance is across Gifford Hall, through the set of double doors, where you will be greeted by our friendly ushers.

What do people wear?

Come as you are! Life is busy and we understand that you may have just come from work or you have somewhere to go after church. Where what works for you. We want you to feel comfortable worshiping with us, whether that means traditional “Sunday best” or something more casual. All are welcome here!

What options are available for kids?

Lots! Visit the Children and Youth page for more detailed information about our programs for young people. We offer a staffed nursery for children under 3. Students Pre-K and Kindergarten meet with their classes for the full worship service. Beginning with Grade 1 and up to Grade 8, students start worship with their parents in the sanctuary, and following a short Children’s Message will be dismissed to join their Sunday School classes. Our teachers will bring them back to you in Gifford Hall during our fellowship hour after worship.

What happens at Sunday worship?

Worship is the core experience of the gathered church family. In worship we remember who we are, where we have come from, to whom we are related, and what God wants us to be. To worship is to find comfort and courage, to deepen commitment, and to give thanks. It is a time of praise and prayer and a time to hear the Word of God from scripture and preaching.

Our services typically last just over an hour and include music, scripture readings, a sermon, time for prayer, and a passed offering. The first Sunday of each month includes Communion. The fifth Sunday of the month is geared toward a younger style of worship as the children remain in the sanctuary with their families to experience the entire church service. Visitors and members are welcome, but not expected, to participate in the offering.

What if I need special assistance for my visit?

If you have questions about special needs for yourself or a family member, please don’t hesitate to email or call the church office (508-845-7286) for assistance. Our building is fully handicapped accessible and we would be happy to assist you in any way that we can.

Where may I find more information about the church?

We have a welcome and visitor center located in our fellowship hall, known as Gifford Hall. There you will find printed information about FCCSM and our denomination, The United Church of Christ. Friendly volunteers are on hand to answer questions, add your name to our mailing list, register your child for Sunday School or guide you on a tour of the building.

How can I get to know people at the church?

There are a number of ways to get to know our welcoming community. First, each Sunday after the service there is a time for coffee/juice and conversation, which is a great way to meet others. In addition to this weekly Fellowship Hour, there are numerous other fellowship opportunities, including Suppers with Seven, Golf Group, Hands for Hope, Care Team, Mustard Seed, Soup Sunday, Appetizer Sunday, numerous Social Circles sponsored events throughout the year, Leah Circle, Martha Circle, and many ministries and committees to choose from if you want to volunteer with other people on an ongoing basis. Take a look at the Fellowship Opportunities page for more information or at our Calendar to see some upcoming events.

What other ways can I get involved at the church?

First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury offers a lot of opportunities for you to take part in! If you enjoy music, you can join one of our choirs or attend a concert. If you are looking for opportunities for community service, check out our volunteer opportunities and sign up for an event! For more ways to get involved, check out our calendar and see what we’re up to.

How do I let the church know about a pastoral need?

If you or someone you know is in need of pastoral care or assistance, let us know by calling the church office or one of the ministers. Someone from the church office will be in touch with you very soon to follow up!

If you have any additional questions that we haven’t answered here, please feel free to contact us:

Email the Church Office

Call Us: (508) 845-7286

Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 2pm (closed for Federal Holidays)

We look forward to seeing you soon!

We gather for worship each Sunday at 9:30am in our sanctuary. Family worship service, where kids and families volunteer to do everything from ushering, serving as lay readers, performing a song, and drawing the bulletin cover, is held on the fifth Sunday in months which have an extra Sunday. All ages from 1 to 101 are welcome.

Full Sunday School programming (infants through 8th grade) is offered during each service, with the exception of specific holidays and school vacation weeks.

Worship is the core experience of the gathered church family. In worship we remember who we are, where we have come from, to whom we are related, and what God wants us to be. To worship is to find comfort and courage, to deepen commitment, and to give thanks. It is a time of praise and prayer and a time to hear the Word of God from Scripture and preaching.

Our services typically last just over an hour and include music, Scripture readings, a sermon, time for prayer, and a passed offering. Children and youth are dismissed just before the sermon for Sunday School, usually after a short Children’s Message.

The sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of every month.  All are welcome to participate. Parents who feel their children are ready, may bring them to Communion. Speak with someone at the church Welcome Center during coffee hour and check our calendar to get involved.

The sacrament of Baptism is celebrated during worship services throughout the year and can be arranged by calling the church office (508-845-7286).