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!
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
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
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.
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
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,
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.
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.