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What We Believe

UCCBeTheChurch-smallFirst Congregational Church is part of the United Church of Christ (U.C.C.), which is a liberal Protestant denomination. We embrace that identity enthusiastically. It is not a political designation but a theological one. Our congregation is made up of people who were raised in a variety of religious traditions including the UCC. We affirm the ideal that Christians do not always have to agree, in order to love God and live together in communion.

We are a Christ-centered, nurturing community, growing in faith, serving in love, welcoming all with joy.

We are an Open and Affirming congregation. We welcome all people – regardless of race, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, ethnicity and religious tradition – into full participation in the life of our church. We are committed to using inclusive language in our worship services, hymns, and prayers.

We strive to be intergenerational in our planning and programs. We believe that God beckons us to explore and deepen our faith over the entire span of our lives. No one is too young or too old to engage with their Creator. No one is too young or too old for their faith to inspire others.

In all our endeavors, we seek to discover how God is reflected in each other and to discern what God is calling us to do.

We believe that God’s love is universal. We tell our story from the perspective of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the New Testament. We are committed to hearing God’s ancient story anew in our lives and in the world today. Your head and heart are both welcomed into our community. Religion and science are not mutually exclusive.

Our Purpose is to be a Christ-centered, nurturing community: Growing in Faith, Serving in Love, Welcoming all with Joy.

Come to develop a faith that is a meaningful part of your daily life.

First Congregational Church in Winchester is a place where you are encouraged to begin or expand your faith and your relationship with God, regardless of where you currently are on your personal faith journey. Get involved through active worship, a robust and caring community, educational programs, small group faith explorations, Bible study, and compassionate action and service.

Our community serves with kindness and humility.

Service enriches our faith and strengthens our community. We offer God’s healing presence to those who are struggling. We support and participate in meaningful missions that seek to produce visible good, actively reduce suffering and advance the cause of justice. We do this as a church, as individuals, as youth and as families striving to make service part of their lives. We offer not only our financial gifts but also the gift of our whole selves – our time, hands and feet, hearts, minds, souls and strength.


Helping all feel welcomed through the love of Christ.

We welcome you with joy and gratitude, whether visitor or longtime member. Responding to God’s love, we extend God’s extravagant welcome to celebrate the unique gifts and the image of God in every person. In times of hardship or joy, we gather together to serve and nurture one another, with a lightness of spirit and an authenticity of purpose. We provide an oasis of peace in a harried world, allowing time and space for the Spirit. No one is an outsider

Supporting our Purpose effectively and efficiently.

True to our Congregational roots, the congregation is encouraged and empowered to set the course that brings our Purpose to life. Lay leadership works in faithful collaboration with professional ministry leaders to achieve the collective Purpose of the church. Our energy is focused on serving God and community rather than on the internal and administrative needs of our church. We develop and cultivate the resources necessary to realize that Purpose – human, physical, spiritual, organizational and financial. We are open to new ideas – and our flexible ministries can respond to and support changing priorities and needs.