Congregation2017Welcome!

 

I’m Reverend Dominic Taranowski and I’d like to welcome you to the First Congregational Church in Melrose, United Church of Christ. A lot of churches say “come as you are,” but we really mean it. It doesn’t matter your age or your background or your story: you are welcome here.  We’re an intergenerational church with something for everyone: from our vibrant worship service on Sunday morning, to our Sunday school program, to our mission work, to our public advocacy presence.  We’re always about the work of faith formation and discipleship.

We strive to create a deeper relationship with God but also an outward expression of that faith in the wider world. The church provides opportunities for both of those.  You can renew and strengthen your relationship with God and also find ways to live out that faith on a daily basis. We are a casual, committed, progressive church and we welcome you here.

See you in church!


News

Stating the Obvious

Late last December, Congress unanimously passed legislation to
make lynching a federal crime. Now, you might think that such a
horrific act would already be on the books as a crime, but, until last
December, it was not.

With the recent hate crime-attack on actor Jussie Smollett, which
had many hallmarks of a lynch-attack, it becomes readily apparent that
this law is deeply needed.

Interestingly enough, there was opposition to the bill. Even more
interestingly, it came from Christians (or at least those who claim to be
Christian).

The Liberty Counsel, an evangelical legal organization known for
its political lobbying on behalf of Christian conservatives, lobbied
against the legislation. Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty
Counsel, asked legislators to remove language from the bill that
explicitly includes protections for people on the basis of sexual and
gender identity.

Why, you ask? Simple: An anti-lynching law is, according to
Staver in an interview he gave to the Christian news siteOneNewsNow,
only a baby step to one day passing employment, housing and health
care legislation that would offer protections to LGBTQ people. Because
gay and lesbian people go against God’s will, they should not be offered
these protections. That said, he is generally opposed to lynching.

Wow.

The idea that we are even having a political argument about
whether people should be legally protected from lynching is utterly
ridiculous. I cannot fathom anyone who would not want to see
extrajudicial, identity-based killings of any sort outlawed.
Fortunately, these lobbying efforts were unsuccessful but it
highlights just how organized and influential hate has become. The fact
that this kind of discrimination comes in a Christian package is even
more troubling.

When people of faith forget that Jesus called us to empower the
marginalized, to love one’s neighbor as one’s self, to not judge lest you
be judged, and to include everyone at the table of God’s grace,
something has gone wrong.

When people of faith forget that Jesus was essentially lynched by a
crowd of politically frenzied religious zealots because he didn’t fit in,
their faith has no heart and they assume the title “Christian” as only a
label and nothing more.

It may be stating the obvious, it may sound redundant, it may be
simplistic, but the truth is this: Ours is a God of love and inclusion not a
God of hate and violence.

See you in church,
–Rev. Dominic

Snow Cancellation Procedure

Dear Friends,

Now that we are in the heart of winter, I want to share with you an update on how you would know if we should decide to cancel our Sunday morning worship service due to snow. This is simplified from what we have set up in the past.

In the event of a significant storm, Rev. Dominic will consult with our Senior Deacons and together they will make a decision. If the decision is to cancel, a notice will be placed on the church’s website. Additionally, the outgoing message on the church phone will also be updated to notify of a cancellation of worship. The following will be contacted directly: All staff, Facilities Deacons, Worship Deacons, Fellowship Deacons, Christian Education Deacons.

So remember, if a storm is upon us on a Sunday morning and you are unsure if there is a worship service, keep checking the church website
at fccmelrose.org and the outgoing message on the church phone at 781-665- 2111.

Thank you, –Rev. Dominic

snow

FCC-Concert-2018-2

Snow Cancellation Procedure - Dear Friends, Now that we are in the heart of winter, I want to share with you an update on how you would know if we should… Read more "Snow Cancellation Procedure"
Christmas 2018 Schedule - The members of the First Congregational Church in Melrose invite all to join us for the following church services: On Sunday, December 16 at our 10:00am service,… Read more "Christmas 2018 Schedule"
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Click here to see ALL of our news (present & past)

Stating the Obvious - Late last December, Congress unanimously passed legislation to make lynching a federal crime. Now, you might think that such a horrific act would already be on the… Read more "Stating the Obvious"
“…Like Warmed Syrup” - Some time ago, I heard about a waitress in a Texas dinner names Ivory Harlow.  She makes it her practice to help out people who come up… Read more "“…Like Warmed Syrup”"
Closing the Gap - from The Messenger, January 25, 2019 A.W. Tozer wrote: “We cannot pray in love and live in hate and still think we are worshiping God.” The President… Read more "Closing the Gap"
Sunday School - from The Messenger, 1/18/2019 Actress Reese Witherspoon said: “I take my kids to church and to Sunday School. They love it. I really think it is important… Read more "Sunday School"
Music: The Heart of Worship - from The Messenger, 1/11/2019 “The best, most beautiful way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music,” wrote Jonathan… Read more "Music: The Heart of Worship"
In Your Dreams - from The Messenger, January 4, 2019 Have you had any interesting dreams lately? There is a whole field of study around dream interpretation. In fact, it is… Read more "In Your Dreams"

Click here to see ALL of Rev. Dominic’s weekly notes (present & past)

In depth review

Church blogger George Parks recently attended our congregation and had this to say: “This is a warm, active, community church, that provides space for personal growth and contemplation, as well as advocacy for the greater good of the community. Melrose and the surrounding communities are very lucky to have FCC of Melrose contributing to the greater good.”  Read his review here.

Get to Know Us

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We seek to foster the joy, love, and fellowship that are part in parcel in our Christian community. We have a great time when we’re together. Our hope is that our church will brighten lives and not subtract joy.

These are exciting days for our church as we grow in the spirit and love of Christ. We have much to celebrate at First Congregational Church. We are an Open and Affirming Congregation with a growing membership. Our youth are engaged and eager to contribute to our church missions. We have innovative and exciting ministries that involve both new and lifelong members of our church family. We have a wealth of history that reflects our members’ desire to make a difference! Please click one of the links below to find out more.

Children & Youth


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From newborns to graduating high schoolers, our church provides a dynamic programs with an active enrollment of children and youth. Taught by members of the congregation, our church school teaches the basic values and stories of our faith and encourages a questioning attitude on the part of students. The goals of the program are to help children claim the Christian faith as their own and instill in them the truth that they are valued by God and the community.

Our church has two youth groups for Middle School and High School aged youth. Recreation, service and faith development hallmark this important ministry.

Children & Youth News

Find us/Contact us

Address
First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
121 W. Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
phone: (781) 665-2111 – fax: (781) 665-8824
Office email: info@fccmelrose.org
Reverend Dominic email: revdominic121@gmail.com
Click here for all staff members email addresses
Church Office Hours
Monday & Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday & Friday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

From Route 93 South:

  • Exit 35 “Park Street/Stoneham/Melrose” (Two exits south of Rt. 128)
  • Left at the bottom of the ramp, under Route 93, right at stop sign.
  • Continue straight through set of lights at Friendly’s
  • Road becomes two lanes at Zoo, stay left.
  • Take first left after Zoo onto Pond Street. (Don’t take the Pond Street before the zoo.)
  • Continue straight through set of lights.
  • At next set of lights, turn left onto Main Street.
  • Follow Main Street to second set of lights, turn left onto West Foster Street.
  • Church is on right after stop sign.

From Route 93 North:

  • Exit 33 “Rt. 28 Stoneham/Melrose”
  • Follow Route 28 signs staying to the right. Turn right on Elm Street.
  • Continue to rotary, “turn left” by going three quarters of the way around the rotary.
  • Road becomes two lanes, stay right.
  • Take second right after Hospital onto Pond Street. (If you go past the Zoo, you’ve gone too far.)
  • Continue straight through set of lights.
  • At next set of lights, turn left onto Main Street.
  • Follow Main Street to second set of lights, turn left onto West Foster Street.
  • Church is on right after stop sign.

From Route 1 South:

  • Exit “Essex Street, Saugus/Melrose” at Walgreen’s and Dunkin Donuts.
  • Follow Essex Street over Route 1, past Square One Mall and into Melrose.
  • Essex Street becomes Upham Street in Melrose.
  • Take left at second set of lights onto Main Street.
  • At next set of lights, turn right onto West Foster Street.
  • Church is on right after stop sign.

From Route 1 North:

  • Exit “Essex Street, Saugus/Melrose” after Square One Mall and Corners.
  • Follow Essex Street, past side of Square One Mall and into Melrose.
  • Essex Street becomes Upham Street in Melrose.
  • Take left at second set of lights onto Main Street.
  • At next set of lights, turn right onto West Foster Street.
  • Church is on right after stop sign.