Join Us for Lent

Lent at First Congregational Church in Winchester is a season of reflection, prayer, and ritual that deepens our journey along Jesus’ way and renews our commitment to God’s work in the world. We encourage various spiritual disciplines during the six weeks of Lent, offer opportunities for study and prayer together, and then celebrate with joy the resurrection of Christ and the analogous rebirth of Spring that comes on Easter morning.

First time visiting us? Read about what to expect at a typical service.


Jazz Worship

February 11, 10:00 AM, Sanctuary

Jazz Worship is a creative and informal service of prayer, poetry, scripture, song, and live jazz. This service is intimate yet lively, contemplative yet participatory — perfect for modern day seekers. Hear jazz arrangements of traditional hymns and songs from our resident jazz band and jazz choir, under the guidance of our gifted music minister. There are moments to sing, moments to listen, moments to read, and moments to pray.


Coffee for Commuters

February 14, 6:30 AM, Winchester Center Train Station

The Ministry Team offers ashes to Winchester commuters at the train station on Ash Wednesday. All are welcome to join us as we offer free coffee to all, and a blessing, with or without ashes, to those who desire it.


Ash Wednesday Service

February 14, 7:00 PM, Sanctuary

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Traditionally we observe Lent with fasting, prayer and other spiritual practices. The ashes, made from the burning of last year’s Palm Sunday palms, are a biblical sign of penance. The service includes several readings to deepen our understanding of ashes in our Christian tradition. We offer the sign of the cross in ashes to those who desire it.


Tuesdays with Jesus

February 20-March 27, 6:30-8:00 PM, Tucker and Palmer Rooms

As a way of staying conscious and connected to Jesus during the week on our Lenten journeys, we invite you to join us for an evening of prayer, reflection, and dinner together. From 6:30 to 6:50 we meet in the Palmer Room for Centering Prayer (silent meditation) as a way of meeting Christ beyond words, images, and attachments, and then we gather for soup and a presentation in the Tucker Room where we will listen to how six of our fellow community members relate Jesus and their faith to the work they do. Last year, the presentations included topics such as: Jesus and Political Engagement, Jesus and Welcoming Refugees, and Jesus, Justice and the Environmental Movement. Click here for more details!



Health Ministry Healing Service and Visitation Sunday

March 18, 10:00 AM, Sanctuary

Each year we hold a special Sunday morning worship service that emphasizes God’s healing power and our call to be healers in a broken world. Healing practices like anointing with oil and laying on of hands are incorporated into the worship service. After worship the ministers, deacons and any others that are interested team up to visit congregants at home and in the community.


Ecumenical Blessing of the Palms

March 25, 9:30 AM, Town Common  

On Palm Sunday many churches from around Winchester gather at on the Town Common for a joint blessing of the Palms before they return to the respective sanctuaries for Palm Sunday services. It is a wonderful way to remember our unity in Christ, especially as we set into the most sacred week of the Christian year.


Palm Sunday Worship Service

March 25, 10:00 AM, Sanctuary

Remembering Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem for his final week and his passion, our worship opens the gate to Holy Week and prepares us for the coming of Good Friday and eventually Easter. Palms are distributed, songs of praise lifted, and a foreshadowing of what is to come draws us prayerfully toward the heart of our faith.


Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service 

March 29, 7:30 PM, Sanctuary 

Gather with us in the sanctuary as we share in the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples before his death and then listen to the story of the Passion According to the Gospel of John as candles are extinguished and we gradually descend into the darkness with Him. At the end of the service we’ll depart in silence as the 15 hour vigil begins.


Maundy Thursday Overnight Prayer Vigil

March 29, 9:00 PM- March 30, 12:00PM, Sanctuary

From Maundy Thursday evening through Good Friday at noon, we keep watch before the single candle lit at the end of the Tenebrae service. This commemorates for us the disciples being asked to watch and pray with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified.  


Good Friday Overnight Vigil Closing Service

March 30, 12:00 PM

After almost 17 hours of prayer vigil from Maundy Thursday through the wee hours of Good Friday we come to a simple and quiet moment where we read of Jesus’ death, accompanied by mournful cello and prayers of thanksgiving and hope. 


Easter Egg Hunt

Bagels & Bunnies Easter Egg Hunt

March 31, 9:30 AM, Church Lobby and Front Lawn

Foreshadowing the next day’s celebration of Easter, we invite children and families to join us for an exciting egg hunt (eggs being a symbol for new life).  The Easter Bunny joins us for picture taking and bagels before the children set out on their search on the front lawn. All eggs are nut-free, and donations benefit the High School & Middle School Mission trips.


Easter Sunday, April 1

Sunrise Yoga in the Barn, 5:30 AM, Wright-Locke Farm
Dress in comfortable layers and join us for standing poses, light movement and meditation. No mat is necessary.

Sunrise Service, 6:15 AM, Wright-Locke Farm
On Easter morning before the sun has risen, we gather at Wright-Locke Farm to hear the resurrection story, to sing together, and to celebrate the Risen Son as we watch together the rising of the sun. Parking is available at 82 Ridge Street.

Worship Services, 9:00 and 11:00 AM, Sanctuary
We hold two joyous Easter services in our main sanctuary to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and reaffirm our call to live resurrection-inspired lives of love and service to others.

Please join us! Learn more about our worship services.

First time visiting us? Read about what to expect.

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