Online Worship during COVID19 pandemic
Join us for Sunday morning worship Live at 10:00 am via Facebook or YouTube.
The worship service is recorded so you can access it at any time.
Sunday Worship at 10:00 am
The beautiful, historic sanctuary and luminous stained-glass windows provide a perfect setting for our Sunday Worship at First Congregational United Church of Christ, Brainerd.
We come to this belonging place to laugh, to clap, and sometimes to cry. Her we listen to the up-lifting music of organ, bell and voice; we hear the words that have come down to us through centuries; and we listen for the still-speaking voice of God as we seek to know and share God's love within us. Services are approximately one hour long.
As an Open and Affirming congregation, we are committed to creating a safe place for all to worship, regardless of race, creed, gender, cultural background, economic status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
New visitors comment on how welcome they are made to feel at our services, and long time members feel part of a loving church family.
The Brainerd Lakes Area hosts many vacationers and a wide range of church attire is acceptable. From jeans to slacks, neckties to flip flops...you are welcome to come as you are!
We mean it when we say "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!"
Communion is celebrated the first Sunday of each month. We practice "Open Communion" and all are welcome to participate. There are no requirements to share in this holy meal at First Congregational. That means there is no minimum age, no requirement of membership or baptism; God's table is open to all. To ensure that all are able to partake, we use grape juice instead of wine and provide a gluten-free bread option with a separate cup.
Children in Worship
Many Sundays throughout the year, our children have a special part in our worship service called 'Time With Our Young People.' During this time, our pastor engages the children and youth in different ways. Some weeks the focus will be on the sermon message, other times the kids will learn about an element of worship or faith, sometimes the time will help provide a framework for understanding a current event. Since the children stay in worship the entire service, Pastor Leslie often uses this time to help our youngest parishioners find meaning not only in the sermon but in all that takes place in the life of the church and in all areas of their lives.
We welcome all children in the worship service. We understand that sometimes our children get wiggly and a little rambunctious. God made them that way! While it may be tempting to sit in the back in case your little one gets squirmy, children often do better when they sit closer to the front. This helps them to see what is happening and feel more engaged in worship. Fee free to choose, at any time during worship, to take your child to play in the nursery which is located across the hall from the sanctuary doors. Your movement during worship is not disruptive.
A few other tips for helping your child have a positive and meaningful worship experience:
~Allow your child to bring a favorite stuffed animal along to church.
~Prepare your child for the different parts of the worship service; explain special evets ahead of tie. Show them how the bulletin tells us what is next in the service. Help them follow along. Encourage them to find the next hymn in the hymnal.
~Children are invited to participate as ushers during the offering, greeters before worship, communion servers (our youngest communion server was 5 years old his first time!) and older children are welcome to serve as acolytes (lighting the candles). Older children and youth are also encouraged to serve as liturgists (reading parts of the worship liturgy such as the Call to Worship, and scripture.) If your child is interested in participating in one of these ways or in a role not listed here, please contact Pastor Leslie or the church office.
~On the way home from church, ask your child what they heard and experienced during worship. Do your best to focus on what they heard and not on what they missed. Encourage wonder!
Throughout the year, we celebrate special holy days with worship services such as Christmas Eve, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and/or Good Friday. During Lent, we usually gather on Wednesday evenings for soup suppers followed by a time of education, reflection, or worship.
Some Sundays also have special significance and may look or feel different from a "typical" Sunday. For example in September or October, we gather outside for a blessing of the animals.