Worship at First Congregational Church of Canton Center
“We form our rituals, and then they form us.”
Our worship services are at the heart of our life as a faith community. It is there that we participate in the stories, rituals and traditions of Christianity by which our faith is expressed and deepened. Some of these rituals and traditions are ancient (such as the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion), and some of them are newly created ones by which we participate in visible expressions of the meaning of our faith. Our purpose in worship, through music, word and symbol, is that, by it, we deepen our consciousness of God, our commitment to a just and loving world, our experience of community with each other, and our care for all others. Our Diaconate (six members) works regularly with the pastor to plan, organize and help lead all services.
Our weekly service is on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m., when we gather as an intergenerational community. As an Open & Affirming Church, we welcome all to our services – young and old, those of all gender identities and sexual orientations, churched or unchurched, all races, backgrounds and ways of life.
As of early 2021, our services are also live streamed each Sunday morning; access information is on our home page.
Special services are also offered throughout the church year, such as on Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday and in Holy Week.
Our Music Ministry
Music is a central part of all our worship experiences; it is one of the “languages of faith” that touches us in ways that words cannot. Our Director of Music, supported by a Music Committee, provides for the varied music of our services, some traditional, some contemporary, some instrumental, some choral, as well as our congregational singing. We could not worship without our music!
There are opportunities for all ages to participate in making music, and we welcome all to share in this ministry:
The Senior Choir, open to everyone from high school age and up, and directed by our Director of Music, offers choral music for most services. Singers from all types of musical backgrounds are welcome. Weekly rehearsals are on Monday evenings, with additional rehearsals for special services.
The Cherry Brook Chimes Hand Bell Choir, also directed by our Director of Music, brings the beautiful sound of handbells to our services several times a year. Founded in 1982 with three octaves of hand bells donated in memory of loved ones, the choir now plays a variety of music with five octaves of bells and four octaves of hand chimes. Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings, and newcomers are always welcome.
The Cherub Choir is open to children from age 3 through second grade and is led by a volunteer. It’s an opportunity for our littlest ones to participate in worship in a special way and to learn the love of music as part of the life of their church. They sing several times a year, with rehearsals scheduled as needed and usually taking place right after Sunday service.
What to expect at a service if you’re new?
When you arrive for one of our services, you will be greeted by someone at the door, and handed a printed worship bulletin, which contains the order of service to follow, and an announcements/information section. You may feel free to ask any questions you have before you are seated, we’ll be glad to help! A nursery room is provided on the lower level, where parents may go with infants or toddlers and hear the service on a speaker. Our style is not overly formal, casual dress is welcome.
Children begin in the service with their families, and after about 15 minutes go to their Church School classes (grades Pre-K through 8). Our Sunday services typically include a variety of music, hymns, a Message for All Ages (when children are called to come sit up front for a story or message, before they go out to Church School), Scripture reading, a sermon, an offering, and prayers. From time to time, there are other things that occur within the regular service, such as the receiving of new members, or various special recognitions. Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month. Lay members of the church participate in leading every service, along with the pastor, and a coffee hour follows for a time of fellowship.
Parking for services is available in a lot adjacent to the main sanctuary entrance, or across the road next to the small white Schoolhouse, or on the other side of the church, near the office entrance (between the church and Cherry Brook Pizza).
Handicapped access is available via a ramp on the right-hand side of the sanctuary as you face it from the street. Inside the building, there is an elevator.
Hearing-assist devices and large-print bulletins are available for services.
If you are interested in information about weddings, baptisms or funerals at our church,
please contact Office Manager Kristen DiMattia at email@example.com, or call 860-693-4581.