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!
Join us weekly at 10 am for worship
Join us in-person Sundays at 10 am, beginning on September 11, 2022! We can’t wait to see you again! Previous livestreams are available on YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/c/FCCMelrose, and we are broadcast MMTV (local channel 3) at 10 — rebroadcast at 6 pm. Links to view individual services may also be found on this website, here.
“Pray big, worry small.”
There’s a wonderful saying that I think can help guide us through the challenges of 2023:
I recommend you keep those four words in your pocket today and always because they can calm your fears and enliven your faith.
Prayer is a central feature of most religious traditions. There are people, however, who keep their prayers small because they don’t feel it is “okay” to pray for big things. They feel that it would be presumptuous to ask God to rectify big problems because they feel unworthy to do so.
Another reason people keep their prayers small is because they don’t want to be disappointed. If you pray for an end to the climate crisis and the climate crisis persists, what happened? Did my prayer go unheard? Was the answer “no”? What gives? It’s better to be realistic and pray for more manageable things.
Pray big, worry small.
Those words say don’t hold back. Shoot the works! Name the biggest, huge-ist thing that is hounding your soul and this world, and pray about it! Because when you do, something more important than solving the difficulty happens: You realize that you are praying to someone who is bigger than even the biggest problem you can name.
And you belong to that someone.
Prayer isn’t a magic wand for resolving big things or little things. Prayer should start always with gratitude; thanksgiving for the gift of life and for being a product of the divine.
And when it comes to solving the major problems of life and of the world, it is enough to turn things over to God. Doing so will keep your worries small because you will realize that there is a bigger picture in play than you are aware of and you can trust that picture; that source and originator of all that is.
Prayer isn’t so much about solving problems as it is bolstering your relationship with the one who holds you no matter what happens.
Pray big, worry small. Give it a try.
See you in church,
Rev. Dominic’s weekly article
Audio and VIDEO Updates
Here’s a great way to check in: Reverend Dominic is posting regular updates to connect with the congregation. You can find these under the “AUDIO & VIDEO MESSAGES” tab at the top menu on any of our website pages.
Mariko’s music recordings
Want to experience our music ministry from home? Please go to the tab “WORSHIP AND MUSIC” at the top menu to listen to recordings made by our music director, Mariko Matsumura. You can view Videos posted on our private friends-and-members Facebook page, the Virtual Narthex of First Congregational Church in Melrose UCC. You are invited to join us on our public Facebook page, located at www.facebook.com/FCCMelrose.
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.