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Congregational Life
  ministry of parish life worship and the arts spiritual growth fellowship opportunities to serve  

Whether your interest is small groups, Bible study, the arts or service to the community or world, First Congregational Church offers a wide variety of programs and opportunities to grow and serve. Workshops, guest speakers, and seminars along with retreats for men, women, and families are scheduled each year to enhance congregational life. All are welcome.


Intergenerational Nights

Intergenerational Nights take place on the first Wednesday of each month, 6:00pm with dinner at 6:45pm.  FCCW members and families engage in a shared service project, scripture study, or activity and share a meal afterward. All are welcome




Our Director of Music, Kurt Mockenhaupt, leads our music programs.  As an organist, he makes outstanding use of our Rodgers Organ, installed in 1998.  As choir director, he directs the Chancel Choir, and the Garner Memorial Handbell Choir.  The first octaves of handbells were donated by the late Orner and Lillian Garner.  Our choirs are comprised entirely of volunteers and are open to new voices and/or ringers:

The Chancel Choir rehearses Wednesday nights, 7:30pm, September thru May, and sings each Sunday September -May; Christmas Eve; and Maundy Thursday.
The Handbell Choir rehearses Thursday nights, 7:30pm, September thru May, and rings each month September-May; Christmas Eve; and Easter Sunday.

*Coming in 2015-2016, our Director of Children's, Youth and Family Ministries will be implementing a Children's Choir!


Spiritual Formation


Mary Supper, Second Tuesdays of the Month, 6:30pm

At FCCW’s Mary Supper, women of the church gather for a light meal and spiritual conversation led by Pastor Stephanie VanSlyke. Held in member's homes, this is an open group and all women are welcome and encouraged to come as often as they can. First-timers and friends always welcome!  The namesake of our meal is Mary of Bethany. Along with her sister Martha, they opened their home to Jesus for a meal and conversation (Luke 10:38-42).

The Men’s Group, Mondays Once a Month, 7:00pm
The Men’s group is led by Rev. David Hogue, and meets select Mondays at Hackney’s Restaurant, 1514 E. Lake Avenue in Glenview for dinner and conversation.


Science and Religion Series, Organizational Meeting Sunday, October 4 following worship

Science and Religion Small Groups meeting monthly in member's homes for conversation about the intersection of science, religion, reason, and faith.  

Pastor's Bible Study, Wednesdays, September-May beginning September 15, 2015; 9:00am

All are welcome for this weekly exploration of the scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday.


Community Celebrations

Community and Celebration

We all need times to join in conversation, fun, and relaxation as a church family. Join us for these times.

Post-Worship Luncheons, select Sundays of the month following Worship
The joyful spirit of worship extends as we conclude worship and share a meal on occasional Sundays.  

Hanging of the Greens, Friday, December 4, 6:00pm
We decorate the sanctuary, string the lights, and trim the tree.  Come prepared with clippers and work gloves.  Crafts and movies for children, pizza dinner, and festive cheer for all volunteers!

Christmas Pageant & Advent Brunch, Sunday, December 13
Our intergenerational pageant tells the story of Christmas with puppets, actors, preschool angels, camels and magi.  Following worship we join in a festive brunch.  Shop for stocking stuffers at our fair-trade bazaar.


Service and Caring

Service, caring and sharing matter. Join with other members of First Congregational Church, and with members of our community, in considering these opportunities to serve:

Intergenerational  Nights: First Wednesdays of the month, 6:00pm

On First Wednesdays of the month, Children, Youth, and Adults gather for a monthly night of service, followed by a shared meal.  Our hands-on projects include those provided through 

  • Jr. and Sr. High youth groups participate in Service Nights on these Wednesdays

Wilmette Food Pantry Donations on Communion Sundays (first Sundays of the month)
On Communion Sundays, please bring your donations for the Wilmette Pantry housed at our neighboring church, Trinity United Methodist.  FCCW is a primary supporter of the pantry and those served rely on our donations.  Needed items are featured in church bulletins and email newsletters each week.

Connections for the Homeless & Hilda’s Place Shelter in Evanston

Volunteer to serve a meal at Hilda’s Place Shelter housed at Lake Street Church in Evanston on select Tuesdays of each month. 
For many years, FCCW volunteers have served as monthly dinner providers and servers at Hilda's Place Shelter, an outreach of Connections for the Homeless.  Connections for the Homeless provides overnight shelter and evening meals through Hilda's Place, along with job counseling, support, and longer-term shelter, all in an effort to help people make the transition from homelessness to settled housing. The FCCW Mission Ministry has supported Connections for the Homeless through our annual mission budget for over a decade.

To learn more about volunteering to serve a meal & available dates to serve at Hilda's Place Shelter in Evanston, please contact Tom Hirsh.

Iglesia San Lucas United Church of Christ
We partner with Iglesia San Lucas UCC in Chicago’s Humboldt Park Neighborhood for:

  • Community Thanksgiving Meal—a volunteer crew from FCCW will serve at the San Lucas Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday, November 24, 12:00 Noon-5:00pm.
  • Donations of Toiletries—bring your hotel sized soap, shampoo, and toothpaste to the donation basket in Pilgrim Hall. 
  • Health Kits—at Intergenerational Service Night we will assemble toiletry kits for the homeless each fall.
  • Christmas Collection of Gifts for children at San Lucas UCC, ages preschool-12th grade.  Bring a wrapped gift, marked with the age and gender of the designated recipient, to our Advent Worship Services.  Appropriate gifts include: hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, flannel PJ pants (large sizes), art supplies, backpacks, and children’s books.

Souper Bowl of Caring, Sunday, February 7
We participate in this national effort to ‘tackle hunger,’ organized by children and teens, who invite those in their house of worship and neighborhood to donate “dollars and cans” on Super Bowl Sunday to benefit national and local hunger-relief efforts.  Bring your canned goods on Sunday, February 1 or donate to the ‘Souper Bowl’ soup pots that will be throughout the building in the weeks prior to the Super Bowl.  Learn more at www.souperbowl.org.

Outreach and Service Work on Edisto Island, South Carolina
Since 1986 our congregation has had a ministry of presence on Edisto, a sea island off the coast of South Carolina.  Our ministry of presence includes funding for annual scholarships through the Community Services of Edisto, home repair projects, and a summer day camp for island children for which we collect school supplies and children’s books.

Summer Senior High Mission Trip for Youth entering 9th-12th grades in 2014 and College Students.
On this trip we work with island children Kindergarten-5th grade at an annual summer day camp. 

Dates for 2016 to be announced.