First Congregational United Church of Christ was organized in 1856 and is the oldest Protestant church in Eau Claire. We have nearly eight hundred members and are known for our outstanding choir and music program. We have joined in covenant with the United Church of Christ, which stresses freedom of faith and practice for the individual, autonomy for the local congregation, and service to God's cause of love and justice.
Members, who are elected on a rotating basis for numerous committees each June, govern our church. All members are welcomed to participate in the nomination and volunteering process. Committees and their corresponding responsibilities include:
Acts on behalf of the membership and is the governing and corporate authority of the Church. The council consists of 18 members, which includes the Moderator (President), Vice-Moderator (Vice-President), Past Moderator and 15 members of the congregation. Each of the 15 congregation members also serves on one of the following committees:
Programs & Activities Committees
Religious Education - Supervises and directs the educational work of the Church with full power to appoint and remove teachers.
Stewardship - Duties include conduct ongoing stewardship education within the Church, develop & conduct annual fund drive, review & evaluate pledge drive.
Lay Life & Fellowship - Responsibility includes care of the Church family. Duties include but not limited to: planning fellowship programs & receptions including serving of meals, establishing/directing ministry to church members unable to attend regular services, and involving church members with activities.
Spiritual Life - Responsibilities include serving the congregation by nurturing the spiritual growth of its members. Duties include but not limited to: advising minister(s) on worship, evaluation special services, providing printed liturgical resources to enhance worship life of the Church, provide pulpit supply, supervise decor of teh Sanctuary and Chapel, sponsor programs to enhance the spiritual life of the congregation, act as liaison to the Altar Guild and other service groups.
Mission Education & Social Concerns - Coordinates the missions and services of the Church. Duties include, but not limited to: promoting support of Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM), conduct ongoing programs of Mission Education within the congregation, initiate/contribute/coordinate to missions meeting the needs in the local area, and provide forums for airing social issues in the community at large.
Personnel - Provide assistance to the Senior Minister including but not limited to: maintaining personnel files for each staff member, assisting in annual staff evaluations, advise Senior Minister of hiring/dismissal of staff called by congregation, and keep an active, current grievance procedure.
Facilities - Duties include maintaining buildings & grounds of the Church in addition to its capital assets and equipment/supplies necessary to operate, recommend remodeling/expansion needs, and supervises the church history and archives.
Given the numerous committees available to participate in, one realizes quickly how much of the operation and success of this church is accomplished by individual members. In addition to the committees listed above, we rely on our members to assist in many other capacities. They aide with worship by providing volunteer support for Wheels of Welcome, ushering, greeting, reading scripture, leading prayer, preparing communion, tellers for counting offerings, providing flower arrangements and special music. In addition, members with special talents routinely help out as needs or projects arise.
The concept of encouraging every person to volunteer for a specific area is one of the most effective ways of maximizing the talents of the church. It sets us free to use the gifts that God has given to each one of us. Invariably we exceed our expectations in terms of ability, creativity, effectiveness, commitment, and accountability. The volunteer program puts ministry in the hands of the laity where it belongs from a biblical perspective.
Our members accomplish the work of the church. During each service we rely on members to assist with:
- Reading Scripture & Leading Prayer
- Tellers of Offering
- Purchasing Flowers
- Providing Hospitality Food & Drink
A few dedicated individuals perform additional work. Recognition is given to these individuals who have received special training in pastoral, priestly, educational, and administrative functions. These people are regarded as ministers - servants - rather than persons in authority. Their task is to guide, to instruct, and to enable all Christians to do the work of ministry rather than to do the work of ministry for us.
A Memorial Garden has been established on church property for the internment of cremated ashes. A plaque near the Fireside room lists the names of those interred. The church provides for and maintains this garden. There is no fee for this service.
Members in need of personal ministry (for example, inclusion in the prayer chain, spriritual counseling, homebound ministry, planning a wedding, funeral or baptism) should speak with the minister or office manager.