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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!


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 worship 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.


News

Summer Office Hours as of 6/29/2020
Monday
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Wednesday
Closed
Thursday
Closed
Friday
Closed
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed
Sabbatical Plans

Early in the new year, I received approval from our Board of Deacons to take a sabbatical.  A sabbatical, for those who may not know, is typically a four-month time away from pastoral duties every seven years for personal and professional enrichment.

I am very grateful for this opportunity for a couple of reasons.  First, I am four years overdue for this benefit (my own doing!) and, additionally, I had some exhaustion induced health struggles this year that I need to address.

This was all set in place in January.  Then the pandemic came along and threw many things into question; not least of which was planning a new approach to delivering worship to the congregation and how to carry on the day to day work of the church.  These questions persist and will be particularly necessary to address in new ways at the end of this summer.

With that in mind, I have considered foregoing the sabbatical entirely.  Upon reflection, however, I believe that it is still necessary and can be done with little disruption to the church.  Consequently, I intend to push on with the plan.

As discussed and approved by the Board, I will be dividing my sabbatical between the summer of 2020 and the summer of 2021; taking two full months each summer.  This coming summer will be for personal rest and restoration after a challenging year.  This time away will be spent re-centering and re-grounding myself in my own spirituality and emotional wellbeing.

The summer of 2021, I would like to spend in a way (as yet to be determined) that will have a more personal/professional enrichment focus.

This strategy will have a minimal impact on the church; something that is of primary importance to me.  The main obligation of the church will be to provide pulpit supply for each summer’s Union Service that I would typically lead.  Those worship services have, of course, been cancelled for this summer so that obligation will only be for 2021.

Following the 2021 portion of this sabbatical, I will share with the congregation (either via worship or adult education classes) what I gained during my time away and how this benefits First Congregational Church.

The sabbatical time for this summer will begin on Monday, June 22nd and conclude on Tuesday, August 25th.  Due to the pandemic, it remains to be seen what, exactly, I will be able to do and where, exactly, I will be able to go but I am confident that I can use this time to its fullest.

I am so very grateful to FCC for providing this benefit!  It allows for a time of restoration and recommitment and is a sure sign of our mutual ministry in Christ.  I constantly feel blessed to lead this congregation; not least because of the tremendous support and encouragement you all provide.  It lays the groundwork for many exciting things to come!

In Christ,

–Rev. Dominic

May it be Well with Your Soul - Summertime is typically all about BBQs, vacation travel, camps, and time at the beach.  All in the name of fun.  All in the name of soaking in… Read more "May it be Well with Your Soul"

Click here to see ALL of our news (present & past)

May it be Well with Your Soul - Summertime is typically all about BBQs, vacation travel, camps, and time at the beach.  All in the name of fun.  All in the name of soaking in… Read more "May it be Well with Your Soul"
Blasphemy at the Very Least - I try to focus more on issues and social dynamics rather than individual politicians, but when one of them–in this case Donald Trump–makes or tries to make… Read more "Blasphemy at the Very Least"
Sabbatical Plans - Early in the new year, I received approval from our Board of Deacons to take a sabbatical.  A sabbatical, for those who may not know, is typically… Read more "Sabbatical Plans"
In the Same Boat? - One thing that is touted as a “silver lining” in our struggles with this pandemic is that it unifies us all.  It may be tough, but we… Read more "In the Same Boat?"
Faithful and Patriotic - I’m confused.  Can someone explain to me why the American flag has suddenly come to represent a refusal to social distance during this pandemic? All across this… Read more "Faithful and Patriotic"
The New Normal - As states begin making plans to “re-open” (some already have), it has gotten me thinking: How do we want to shape our New Normal? I frame the… Read more "The New Normal"

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 through Friday 8:45 am – 1:45 pm

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.