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Join Us for Lent

Lent at First Congregational Church in Winchester is a season of reflection, prayer, and ritual that deepens our journey along Jesus’ way and renews our commitment to God’s work in the world. We encourage various spiritual disciplines during the six weeks of Lent, offer opportunities for study and prayer together, and celebrate with joy the resurrection of Christ and the analogous rebirth of Spring that comes on Easter morning.

Ash Wednesday Taizé Service

Feb 14, 7:30 PM, Ripley Chapel

Live in-person ONLY from the stunning Ripley Chapel at First Congregational Church, Winchester. First Congregational Church offers a poignant and meditative Ash Wednesday service, featuring the ecumenical prayers and music of France’s Taizé community. All denominations are welcome…read more

Join us in Ripley Chapel for Ash Wednesday.

Mondays with Jesus and Buddha

Starting Monday, February 19, 6:30  PM  in the Tucker Room

When the heart is open, we are able to give and receive love freely, heal and transform emotional wounds, and engage with life with a spirit of curiosity and kindness.

How do we cultivate such beautiful states of being? In the Buddhist tradition, there is the teaching on the Four Boundless States — Lovingkindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity. This teaching not only helps us better understand the workings of the heart, but also includes meditations so we can grow into these states intentionally.

Please join us for a Lenten season series on what the Buddha and Christ taught about the transformational power of these awakened qualities.

6 Mondays, February 19-March 25 – in the Tucker Room

6:00-6:30 pm: Soup and bread – please sign up HERE to bring soup one night!

6:30-8:00 pm: Workshop sessions

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Blessing of the Palms

  March 24, 9:40 AM, Town Common

At 9:40 we will gather on the Town Common to experience our own version of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  We will hear the scripture story of this day that marks the beginning of Holy Week.  Following a palm strewn path, we will sing and wave our own palm branches.  This joy and hope are genuine as Jesus comes on a humble donkey, signaling the movement from power that comes from wealth and position to a world where the last shall be first and love and humility are the signs of power.  This outdoor gathering will provide families an opportunity to come together and celebrate both the waning virus and the rising triumph of love.  

Palm Sunday Worship Service

 March 24, 10:00 AM, Sanctuary and Online

Remembering Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem for his final week and his passion, our worship opens the gate to Holy Week and prepares us for the coming Friday and eventually Easter Sunday.  Palm leaves are distributed, songs of praise lifted and a foreshadowing of what is to come draws us prayerfully toward the heart of our faith.  We will worship live and in-person; and the service will also be live streamed.  


Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service 

March 28, 7:30 PM, Sanctuary

Gather with us in person or through live stream as we share in the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples before his death and then listen to the story of the Passion according to the Gospel of John as candles are extinguished and we gradually descend into the darkness with Him. At the end of the service, we’ll depart in silence as the 15 hour overnight vigil begins.


The Christ CandleGood Friday Overnight Prayer Vigil

March 28, 9:00 PM – March 29, 12:00 PM, Sanctuary

From the close of the Maundy Thursday evening service through Good Friday at noon, we keep watch in the sanctuary before the single candle lit at the end of the Tenebrae service. This reproduces for us the experience the disciples being asked to watch and pray with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was Crucified. This year, despite the continuing pandemic, we will still maintain the sanctuary vigil since we can do so in a safe, socially distanced way. Beginning at 9:00 PM the Sanctuary will be open for vigil. Two individuals or pods are needed as anchors for each hour – sign up here to be an anchor to ensure that we have coverage throughout the night. All others are free to come at any time and stay as long as you would like. No sign up necessary.

Sign up for here for the Maundy Thursday Vigil 

Good Friday Overnight Vigil Closing Service

March 29, 12:00 PM, Sanctuary

After almost 17 hours of prayer from Maundy Thursday through the wee hours of Good Friday. We come to a simple and quite moment where we read of Jesus’ death, share reflections from our Vigil experience, and offer prayers of thanksgiving and hope. Whether you followed the Vigil or not, you are invited to join us in the sanctuary at noon as we close the Vigil Service. There is no live stream for this service.

Easter Lily Memorials & Distribution

You are invited to donate a chancel Easter plant as a memorial or as a gift. Plants will be distributed to our members at home and in assisted living centers on Easter Sunday. The cost of plants is $20.00 each. All orders are due by Palm Sunday, March 24. Paper forms and envelopes are available in the church office lobby and at the back of the Sanctuary. Or you can pay and order using this JotForm.

Want to celebrate the Easter season with members of our church community? Consider signing up for lilies deliveries! Bring your family and loved ones, give back, and make someone’s day.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, March 30

at 10 AM, Church Lawn

Children (babies – 5th grade) are invited to come meet the Easter Bunny and hunt for eggs. This event is held entirely outside. Please bring your own basket and gather in the Vine Street parking lot by the Reno Garden. The hunt begins when the Easter Bunny says, “Go!” Church Youth will be on the lawn to ensure safety during the event.


Easter Sunday, March 31

Wright Locke Farm
5:45 AM Yoga in the Barn; 6:15 AM Worship Outside

As the women gathered around Jesus’ tomb in the very early hours of the Sunday after He had been buried, we will gather for a joyful and celebratory service. When we greet the sunrise we know that there is also the eternal Son Rise of our Savior. A spiritual and inclusive half hour of Yoga will prepare us for welcoming Jesus’ resurrection.  

10:00 AM Easter Morning Worship Service, Sanctuary and Online

Easter is the most sacred and the most meaningful of all the Christian Holidays. We will hold a traditional and joyful Easter service. Our hymns are familiar yet each year they proclaim Christ’s Resurrection with new enthusiasm. The Sanctuary will be fragrant and beautiful from the Easter flowers. This family service will include a Time for the Young and will end with our usual singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. Join us in-person in the Sanctuary or on our livestream.  


Please join us!

New to our community? Learn about what to expect at a typical service.