Pastoral Ministries

The pastoral ministries of First Church are those having to do with worship, the sacraments and music; education and spiritual nurture; and membership care.

Worship

Our goal is for each worshiper to leave the meetinghouse with increased joy, strength and direction for living God’s call in his or her life.   Weekly worship services, which begin at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday, include lessons from the Bible in readings, a children’s message and sermon; prayers for ourselves and others; praise and thanksgiving through joyful music; and our response to God through our offerings.  The laity are used often as scripture readers and liturgists and, from time to time, to preach.

The Sacraments11732030_10153036769554157_8281172982298002367_o

The first Sunday of every month we celebrate the sacrament of Communion; children of all ages are welcome to participate with the approval and instruction of their parents. Baptism is requested; members and non-members should contact the pastor to request a sacrament and set dates for pre-baptism and pre-marital conferences.

Special Services

Held to mark special times in the church year, these particularly moving services include:  All Saints Day (memorial for the departed), Blue Christmas, Hanging of the Greens, Christmas Pageant, Christmas Eve Candlelight, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday Office of Tenebrae, Easter Triumph and Pentecost.

Music

Worship at First Church has been enhanced by an adult choir, soloists, instrumentalists and the handbell choir.  Our handbell choir performs regularly.  On the second Sunday  of each month (September – June) we observe “Sing-Ring” Sunday, when members of the congregation play a handbell during the singing of hymns.

Education

Education is an important part of spiritual formation, and a variety of formats are available at First Church.  In addition to the regular formats listed below are special events and services offered as appropriate:  Communion education for children and parents, retreats, book study groups, ecumenical study series, and personal counseling.DSC_0081

As part of our Safe Church Policy, all persons who work with children and youth must have a clean CORI-check.

For Children

Our Church School offers classes (September – May) for pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade.  Dedicated teachers share the love of God and age appropriate education.  The children learn to care about others through special Advent and Lenten projects (typically through offerings and gifts for needy area families) and through their annual visit to residents at Overlook Health Services in Charlton.  The Church School presents a Christmas Pageant in December and each class contributes to the worship leadership on Church School Sunday in June.  

Child care for infants and toddlers is offered during the worship service throughout the Church School year.

For Youth

Ninth-graders (or older youth) are invited to participate in Confirmation Classes in preparation for confirming their faith on Pentecost Sunday.  There are meetings with the Pastor, readings and homework assignments in between meetings and usually field trips with other area UCC Confirmation Classes sponsored by the Worcester Area Mission Society.  Confirmation mentors, chosen by each confirmand, are members of the church who volunteer their time to help the confirmands learn about their faith, our church and our denomination.

C.I.A.Youth Group (Christians In Action)  holds regular meetings for fellowship and fun, service and study; meetings are often held following the Church School hour or at other times as appropriate

Membership Care

As new members are received into our church, all members covenant to “love, support and care” for the new members.  This care takes several forms:Colonial Tea 2013

 

    • Prayers for one another offered individually and during corporate worship
    • Pastoral counseling provided by the pastor
    • Hospital and home visits provided by the pastor and/or members
    • Post-worship fellowship hours to share refreshments and conversation with members and friends
    • Pot-luck suppers, receptions
    • Mentoring provided to our young people through the Church School, Confirmation Class and Youth Group
    • Informal assistance provided among members for each other (such as cards, phone calls, rides, meals during trying times)


Mission Statement

The mission of First Congregational Church of Oxford, UCC, is to:
Acknowledge our Christian heritage and the gifts received from a loving God;
Affirm our faith in our worshiping, in our witnessing to the community and in our reaching out to the world;
Celebrate diversity whereby the dignity of all is embraced and respected; and
Encourage individual growth and family enrichment by giving joyfully of our time, talent and treasures.

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Contact us:

Location: 355 Main Street (Route 12), Oxford MA
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 585, Oxford MA 01540
Phone: 508.987.2211
Email: officeadmin@oxfordfirstucc.org
Office hours: 9-12 p.m., Mon; 9-12 p.m., Wed; 9-12 p.m., Fri.

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