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

Raffle and Auction to Support Refugees

Click here to learn more and order tickets!RIM Raffle for printing legal size.jpg

You can find out more information about this interfaith initiative of Refugee Immigration Ministry here.

The Year of Baptisms

In my nearly 25 years in parish ministry, I have never experienced a program year with as many baptisms as this one!  In fact, I would venture to say that very few UCC churches have celebrated as many baptisms from September to June.

This year we have had 11 baptisms (including the upcoming baptism in June).  That is to say, we have had at least one—sometimes two–baptisms every month this year.  Said differently, we have celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at First Congregational Church more often than the Sacrament of Holy Communion this year.

That is surely a sign of a healthy, dynamic church that is in touch with the movement of the Holy Spirit!

Emily Krueger, Caitlyn Krueger, Yenna Lee Lumbra, Ayva MacDonald, Margaret Almeida, Olivia Wallace, Aidan Violanto, Lincoln Shank, Danni Hughes, Jane Silva, and Roman Meehan.  Those are the names that have been proclaimed with joy from our baptismal font this program year.

And remember this: Each time we have had a baptism, your own baptism has been renewed during the service.  That means that 11 times this year (provided you were in worship!) you experienced the restoration of your faith through the waters of baptism.

In baptism, we are claimed by the Holy Spirit.  Hope comes alive in baptism and joy abounds!  We say “yes” to God and find tangible evidence that God is alive and well and working in our world.

This year, I hope you have felt the renewal of your faith at FCC.  I know our church as a whole continues to harness the winds of the Holy Spirit to be a beacon of God’s love, healing, grace, and power in the world.

In baptism, you are given a special role play in the ministry of Christ.  I hope you will allow that call to come to fruition through the many ministries we undertake here at our church—a place that is awash with the grace of God and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit!

See you in church,

–Rev. Dominic

The Evolution of Mother’s Day

This Sunday, in the United States, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Turkey, is Mother’s Day.

Each country has its own origins for this holiday, but in our country it is traced back to Julia Ward Howe; a staunch abolitionist and poet best remembered for her poem “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.  Back in 1890, Howe composed a “Mother’s Peace Day Proclamation”.  For many years thereafter, she was instrumental in organizing festivities in Boston.

The mantle was picked up later by one Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia who, in 1907, began a seven-year campaign to have Mother’s Day recognized as a national holiday.  President Wilson finally consented and signed legislation to this effect in 1914.

Today’s Mother’s Day bears little resemblance to Julia Ward Howe’s post-civil war vision.  For the most part, we honor our mothers on this day with brunch, cards, flowers, and candy.  Apart from the commercialization of it all, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, of course.  It is just interesting to take stock of how this important day has evolved.

For the record, then, here is Julia Ward Howe’s original, 1890 Proclamation.  In her own impassioned words, she shares her goals for the original holiday:

Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!  Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.  We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.  It says, “Disarm, disarm!  The sword is not the balance of justice.”  Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.  Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.  Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”

See you in church,

–Rev. Dominic

Fifty Years! - Fifty years ago this spring, the cornerstone was laid in place to build our current church building. You can see that cornerstone each time you enter our… Read more "Fifty Years!"
Raffle and Auction to Support Refugees - Click here to learn more and order tickets! You can find out more information about this interfaith initiative of Refugee Immigration Ministry here.
The Year of Baptisms - In my nearly 25 years in parish ministry, I have never experienced a program year with as many baptisms as this one!  In fact, I would venture… Read more "The Year of Baptisms"

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

Fifty Years! - Fifty years ago this spring, the cornerstone was laid in place to build our current church building. You can see that cornerstone each time you enter our… Read more "Fifty Years!"
The Year of Baptisms - In my nearly 25 years in parish ministry, I have never experienced a program year with as many baptisms as this one!  In fact, I would venture… Read more "The Year of Baptisms"
The Evolution of Mother’s Day - This Sunday, in the United States, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Turkey, is Mother’s Day. Each country has its own origins for this holiday, but in… Read more "The Evolution of Mother’s Day"
The Chance to Evolve - Joe Biden entered the 2020 presidential race recently.  A veteran of the Senate and two other presidential bids, Biden is certainly no newcomer.  It remains to be… Read more "The Chance to Evolve"
Disturb Us, Lord - In keeping with Easter tradition, I again offer here the wonderful prayer of Sir Francis Drake. Sir Francis Drake was an English explorer in the 1500s (Elizabethan… Read more "Disturb Us, Lord"
The Value of Suffering - This week is Holy Week.  It is the week when we walk with Jesus during the worst week of his life; the week that ultimately led to… Read more "The Value of Suffering"

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.