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!


Bible Relevancy Study

This Sunday, January 21st at 1:00 pm, Rev. Dominic Taranowski and Rev. Bill Albright will conduct a lunch time study on the relevance of the Bible today. The study will take place at Panera Bread 647 Broadway in Saugus (on the Lynn Fells Parkway across from Target).

The Patriots don’t kick off until 3:05pm so… we’ll see you there! ALL ARE INVITED!

Heidi Breyer to debut album in support of RIM

Moonlight-album-homepage-imageFirst Congregational Church is set to host the debut album performance of award winning neo-classical composer/pianist Heidi Breyer in her debut performance of her new album “Moonlight in Empty Rooms” on February 9 at 7:30 pm with the net proceeds to benefit the Refugee Immigration Ministry program of Greater Boston.

Tickets are tax deductible: adults $25; children under 18, $15. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

About Heidi, her husband realist-painter Alexander, and her new album “Moonlight in Empty Rooms” –

In a surprisingly private corner of the very public worlds of music and art, you will find the eminent Russian realist Alexander Volkov and his wife, award winning pianist-composer Heidi Breyer in their respective studios, working alone on their inextricably connected art forms. These two artists have pushed the boundaries of collaboration well beyond synergy to synonymity through sharing their lives, their observations of the world around them and their love of art as a nourishing life ingredient.

After ten years of tough life changes and on-going artistic exploration and career growth, Alexander and Heidi have arrived at “Moonlight In Empty Rooms” an art and musical immersion that speaks to anyone looking for an opportunity for deep contemplation in the comfort of their home, or, the seat of a recital hall.

The collection of 12 piano and violin pieces were written specifically in response to Alexander’s paintings of the same name. In the booklet that accompanies the CD, we find images, explanations and vignettes of inspiration, but if that is not enough, also enclosed is a dvd containing astounding moving footage crafted almost entirely of Alexander art, set to Heidi’s music with each of the 12 videos maintaining their integrity through the simple and immersive way Alexander and Heidi created them.

In this event, the two artists collaborate in live performance. Alexander speaks philosophically about art and life and Heidi plays solo or ensemble and pitches in with lighter comment as if steering at the helm of the ship. It is a rare and unique thing.
The church will only seat 190 for this event, so we urge those interested to purchase tickets in advance.

About the Refugee Immigration Ministry

“Building Community with Uprooted People to Serve the Common Good,” is the mission of Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM). This faith-based organization was founded in 1986 and provides community-based support to individuals and families who have been uprooted by violence. Research has shown that when someone has lost everything, they hold on to their faith. RIM’s faith-based approach builds collaboration between community faith groups in order to provide support to each client from his or her own faith.

Souped Bowl Sunday! - February 4th, 2018 The First Congregational Church Middle School Youth team will prepare and serve up soup at their annual Souper Bowl of Caring luncheon immediately following… Read more "Souped Bowl Sunday!"
Lenten Adult Education Class–Living our Reformation Heritage - Beginning after worship on Sunday, February 18 Led by Rev. Dominic The Protestant Reformation began 500 years ago.  Some of the life-threatening, flabbergasting ideas that exploded out… Read more "Lenten Adult Education Class–Living our Reformation Heritage"
We’ve been busy this Christmas season… - The Christmas season has been busy for us.  Earlier in December we hosted Melrose for their annual Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair. On Sunday, the middle and high… Read more "We’ve been busy this Christmas season…"

A New Year’s Blessing - No one blesses better than the Irish. Many Irish blessings have, however, become kind of kitschy after too often being found on dishware, door knockers, and tshirts,… Read more "A New Year’s Blessing"
A Good Christmas - Depending on when you get the newsletter, Christmas is only about three or four days away! Is it just me, or does Christmas come more quickly each year? If I’m honest, I think that’s a sign of getting a bit older. Remember when you were a kid and the time between each Christmas was an eternity? Now we can’t believe it is here again already!
Compassion Fade - I came across a new phrase today: “Compassion fade”. It is a term for the phenomenon in which people’s compassion diminishes in proportion to the size or complexity of the problem. For example, people will more likely give to help a local resident whose home has been lost to a fire than to people dying of a pandemic in another part of the world. It is easier to compassionately support a person whose loved one has died than to confront genocide.
Jesus’ Family Tree - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. hosts a show on PBS called “Finding Your Roots”. In it, he shares the often unknown ancestry of famous people. We not only… Read more "Jesus’ Family Tree"
Advent? Magnificent! - Advent is, of course, all about anticipating the birth of Christ. It is a time of preparation, contemplation, and waiting. But really, it is about so much… Read more "Advent? Magnificent!"
Independent of Place - Have you ever visited the site of the Pilgrims landing: Plymouth Rock? We did when we first moved to Massachusetts. It seemed the appropriate thing to do—a… Read more "Independent of Place"


Get to Know Us


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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Halloween Party set for Sunday, October 29th after worship!

Our middle school and high school youth is looking forward to running a fun-filled Halloween Party for the younger kids in our Church every year. This year we will again feature the fun glow in the dark room, Halloween games and crafts. Pizza and fruit will be served! Halloween costumes are encouraged!

from First Congregational Church in Melrose UCC


Find us/Contact us

First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
121 W. Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
phone: (781) 665-2111 – fax: (781) 665-8824
Office email:
Reverend Dominic email:
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.