The people of First Congregational Church of Stratford are a diverse group, varying in age and backgrounds. We strive to make all visitors welcome. We hope the following questions and answers will make your first visit to our church easy and comfortable.
What do I wear?
During any service you’ll find people wearing a variety of clothes from more formal business attire to jeans. You should wear what you feel comfortable wearing. We care about you – not your clothes!
What do I do?
Join in as much as you would like or just sit and observe. No one will call upon you to participate. Our 10:00 a.m. service follows an order of worship which will guide you through the service.
What about my children?
During our 10:00 a.m. service, we offer child care for those under the age of 2 in our adult staffed Crib and Toddler Room. There are Christian Education programs for all children through 8th grade during the school year.. Of course, your children may stay with you during the service. There are rocking chairs in the back of the church should your child need comforting.
What if I have special needs?
Our sanctuary is wheelchair accessible via a ramp located on the Church Street side of the building. Upper and Lower Packard Halls can be accessed using our automatic chair lifts attached to both staircases. Some of our pews have been altered to accommodate wheelchairs.
We have both large print bibles and large print weekly orders of service for those with visual impairments. We have audio enhancement for those with hearing impairment. In all cases, our ushers and deacons will make every effort to provide a comfortable service environment for those with special needs.
What do I do after church?
After the Sunday 10:00 a.m. service, we have a time of fellowship, our "Coffee Hour", in Upper Packard Hall (out the door to the right of the alter and up the stairs).
What do I need to do to join the church?
Becoming a member of First Congregational Church of Stratford is a simple process. Just express your desire to join to our minister or one of our deacons on duty. Currently we conduct new member orientation about four times a year. These two orientation sessions are the easiest way to learn about our church, our beliefs and the United Church of Christ.
How is First Congregational Church funded?
FCC is a wholly independent church, operating each year solely on the funds pledged by our members, funds raised through specific fund raising efforts and our investment income. Our church operations are audited yearly and our operating budget is updated monthly and is available in our church office. While you are not required to pledge to our church when you become a member, we certainly hope you will see our financial need and help to fulfill it.
What sacraments are celebrated at First Congregational Church?
If you are new to church, the word sacrament may not have a clear meaning for you. Sacraments are ritual actions of worship which were celebrated by Jesus. Our church celebrates two sacraments – Communion and Baptism.
Communion recalls the fellowship Jesus embraced with his disciples around the sharing of a meal. The bread and wine (or juice) represent the crucified and risen Christ. The gathering of the bread and wine (grape juice for all) into one bread and one cup remind us that we are one in Christ, while the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine remind of us Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.
Baptism is an outward and visible sign of God’s grace. Through Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit, one is joined with the universal church, the body of Christ. Once you are a member of the universal church, no one can ever take your membership away. Anyone, from infant to adult, may be baptized.