COVID-19 FAQs

Food Pantries

How are you supporting food pantries right now?

In this Covid-19 time, the Deacons of Christian Mission are picking up all food donations received weekly and delivering them to Bread of Life in Malden (they are currently serving out of the First Baptist Church in Malden, 493 Main Street) for distribution.

How can I donate food to support the Food Pantry ministry at FCC?

  1. Contact FCC and schedule a time to come by and drop off shelf-stable food donations. We want to make sure we’re in the office to receive you, when you arrive!
  2. Ring the bell, enter the main front glass doors off of West Foster Street, and place your donations in the bins.

What is Bread of Life most in need of right now?

They are serving far more families than usual and people who have never needed assistance before; numbers served have at least tripled. Most food resources (pantries and meal serving) in the community have closed entirely, so BoL has become a central hub to serve others. The demands are great. BoL has requested the following, in particular: *peanut butter *detergent *granola bars/power bars *jelly *toothpaste & toothbrushes *canned food *juice *shampoo *paper towels & toilet paper *cereal – cold or hot *diapers and feminine hygiene products *fresh fruits & vegetables *mayonnaise (small jars) *new socks & underwear *shelf-stable milk (e.g. 32 oz. Parmalat) and small cartons for kids *disposable gloves *hand-sanitizer, soap *pasta & pasta sauce *juice boxes *canned fruit.

I’d like to support the Food Pantry with a financial donation instead. What is the best way to do this?

  • You can Venmo a donation to us using the Venmo app on your smartphone to: @FCC-Melrose (the first-time confirmation code is 7073).
  • Send a check to the church with “Covid Mission Work” in the memo section.

Can I volunteer to serve or prepare meals at the Bread of Life?

Absolutely! They have changed from the in-person sit-down meals to take-outs only. The food still needs to be cooked, arranged into take-out boxes, and distributed. Contact us at the office to join our church group directly once per month in the preparation of take-out meals at their First Baptist Church in Malden location, or contact Bread of Life directly by phone or email to volunteer more regularly. Their website is http://www.breadoflifemalden.org/ Your health is protected there with maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and gloves at all times, etc. Supervised youth is welcomed to volunteer as well. Please consider volunteering if you are able, as many of the time-honored volunteers are unable to assist currently.

What are your office hours right now?

Visits into the actual office are discouraged. The office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:45 am – 1:45 pm. Fridays, the Office Manager works from home during those same hours and is available by email, and checks the messages regularly. We are receiving postal mail.

What is going on with support groups meeting at your church?

We have been diligent in keeping everyone safe and are still providing an essential service to maintain space for our Al-Anon and AA support groups to meet. We have worked with the Board of Health and regularly communicate with support groups to make sure we are in adherence to the laws and keep people healthy. Groups therefore are limited to ten people per meeting, and chairs are spaced more than 6 feet apart from one another in a large circle (with laminated numbers 1-10 attached to the floor beneath them). We provide two meeting rooms for support groups.
These rooms are disinfected daily (doors, floors, the nearby restroom, etc) and members of the groups disinfect their chairs at the start and end of the meetings. No one is allowed in the building without a mask and guidelines such as about not coming in if you are sick are posted. We have communicated that social distancing and mask wearing must continue in the parking lot as well. Our support groups have taken the regulations seriously, accommodating as the laws have changed since mid-March, and we are proud of their adherence.

When can we meet again in person at church?

The Deacons have decided to continue to follow the schedule of the Melrose Public School system and suspend in-person worship until September, at the earliest. Our churches have decided to suspend Union Worship this summer.
We have a wonderful, dynamic team that produces a video for worship that airs on YouTube (we are listed as First Congregational Church in Melrose, UCC) Sundays at 10 am. We have lay readers, varied musicians (including our children), a children’s sermon, scripture readings, sermon, and every traditional part of worship. On Communion Sundays, which we celebrate the first Sundays of the month, we partake in communion together, though we are apart. All that is needed is something to drink and something to eat. Tea and a cookie? Juice and popcorn? Whatever you have is perfect. Come as you are, and join with our community.
You are warmly invited to attend and get to know us!
Reverend Dominic also creates Video Messages throughout the week that post on YouTube, and which we link right on our website, under the menu tab https://fccmelrose.org/media/.

Are you providing social opportunities to connect with one another? We miss in-person time!

We miss you as well! We are determining additional methods of coming together while staying apart, such as virtual coffee hours, and bible study. To make sure activities are presented with maximum security for all participants, there is still some work being done in the background while we set things up. We’ll be posting information as plans are finalized. In the meantime, please use Facebook to connect, write a letter or an email, give a friend a call, go for a socially-distanced walk together outside, or even use the embedded “chat” feature with other members while you watch Sunday worship together on YouTube!

How do we request prayers to be shared during worship time?

Please email or call the office to share the name of the person you need prayers for, and it will be included in the next worship video that will be made, and mentioned in our Messenger.

I am a member and would like to participate as a lay reader or musician. How do I get involved?

Thank you for asking! Contact the office and we will put you in touch with the corresponding Deacons depending upon your request. We will make this as easy and safe for you as possible.

What is the best way for FCC to receive our monthly pledges, or any special donations?

We want to make sure that everyone is aware of the online giving option that is now available through our church website. It is an important and easy way to keep your financial commitment to our church current when we are not able to worship in person. Our church plays a special role in our lives during this pandemic and we need to make sure that we keep FCC vibrant and its ministries impactful now and in the days ahead. Just click the button at the top of the page to give. You can also contribute through Venmo by using the Venmo app on your smartphone to: @FCC-Melrose (the first-time confirmation code is 7073) We are still gladly accepting pledges in the mail as well. Thank you!

How can I learn more about your church?

Please visit the other tabs on Facebook, or navigate around our website to learn more. This FAQ section is meant to address unique questions and issues that arise during this pandemic. You are of course also welcome to call or email us.