First Congregational Church of San Francisco, United Church of Christ

Check-in/Worship Service every Sunday at 10:30 am on Zoom (email for details)

Operating as usual

Sixth Sunday of the Easter Season 05/09/2021

Sixth Sunday of the Easter Season

O sing to the LORD a new song, for God has done marvelous things. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises with the lyre and the sound of melody.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the LORD. Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy!

(adapted from Psalm 98)

Sixth Sunday of the Easter Season

Fifth Sunday of Easter 05/05/2021

Fifth Sunday of Easter

We are a resurrection people! Those who seek new life – new beginnings. And we, the church, must be a place of knowing and growing and accepting love. We hear today the question asked by the Ethiopian eu**ch: “Here is water. What is to keep me from being baptized?” As we dance with and in the Spirit, may the They guide our steps for nothing is keeping us from it!

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Fourth Sunday of Easter 04/27/2021

Fourth Sunday of Easter

The call of Jesus is to live fully in the power of that love – alive in each of us. We learn about that divine love as it is embodied in the person and ministry of Jesus, the one who is compared to a good shepherd. As we look to Christ to learn how to love, may our hearts praise the One who raised Jesus and raises us to abundant life and love!

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter 04/18/2021

Third Sunday of Easter

This is the Easter Season! The season of new life – and a breath of the Spirit. May we open our hearts to the renewal of our minds and our spirits. May we dare to let go and dance with renewed vigor as we allow resurrection hope to fill our bodies and souls!

Third Sunday of Easter

Second Sunday of the Easter Season 04/11/2021

Second Sunday of the Easter Season

On a morning when all seemed lost, a stone had rolled away to uncover the feast of all feasts, the joy of all joys. The shroud of death had become a veil for gladness, for celebration, for dancing. What if we stopped trying to outrun one another in a race for things that do not matter in the end, and instead ran toward life and hope and all the joy we can accomplish together, daring to dance again?

Second Sunday of the Easter Season First Congregational Church of San Francisco, United Church of Christ Rev. Tami Groves, Senior PastorReece Owens, Music Director/Video EditorHymn - "These Th...

Easter Sunday Video 04/05/2021

Easter Sunday Video

According to Mark, on the first day of the week, the women rise with the sun and buy spices to anoint Jesus’ body. They are shocked to find the tomb empty, and leave in fear and terror. Mark’s resurrection story is less triumphant than the other Gospel testimonies (as scholars believe the remainder of Mark’s gospel was a later addition). In Mark’s version, we are reminded that Easter comes to us, again and again, even if we don’t know what to make of God’s resurrection ways. Again and again, the sun rises. And some days, that is enough.

Easter Sunday Video

04/04/2021

“It is childbirth,
But it is also resurrection.
A body broken.
Breath fractured.
A long night.
A sunrise.
Breath returned.
New life,
And a love that won’t let go.”
— Excerpt from “Light” by Rev. Sarah Are
Image: “The Promise” by Lisle Gwynn Garrity | @sanctifiedart

“It is childbirth,
But it is also resurrection.
A body broken.
Breath fractured.
A long night.
A sunrise.
Breath returned.
New life,
And a love that won’t let go.”
— Excerpt from “Light” by Rev. Sarah Are
Image: “The Promise” by Lisle Gwynn Garrity | @sanctifiedart

04/03/2021

“Consider those first few days after you've lost someone and the liminality between their death and funeral. There’s no closure yet, and mornings are reminders that the nightmare is real. It’s hard to imagine how you’ll face the day.

… Again and again, the sun rises on a new day, often without embrace or acknowledgment. The same is true of resurrection. Whether or not we discern what’s happening, God is literally and figuratively turning the world around!”

— Commentary by Rev. T. Denise Anderson on Mark 16:1-8
Image: “Status Quo” by Hannah Garrity | @sanctifiedart

“Consider those first few days after you've lost someone and the liminality between their death and funeral. There’s no closure yet, and mornings are reminders that the nightmare is real. It’s hard to imagine how you’ll face the day.

… Again and again, the sun rises on a new day, often without embrace or acknowledgment. The same is true of resurrection. Whether or not we discern what’s happening, God is literally and figuratively turning the world around!”

— Commentary by Rev. T. Denise Anderson on Mark 16:1-8
Image: “Status Quo” by Hannah Garrity | @sanctifiedart

04/02/2021

“'A MAN WAS LYNCHED YESTERDAY'

These words were stitched onto a flag that flew outside the Manhattan headquarters of the NAACP between 1920 and 1938. When a Black person was lynched, the flag was raised the following day…

You should understand that what happened to Jesus was a lynching.

…Do not look away and do not rush to redeem this violence.
A MAN WAS LYNCHED TODAY.

Again and again we find ourselves... here, where even Jesus is groping for God.”

— Rev. T. Denise Anderson
Commentary on John 19:1-30 for @sanctifiedart
Image from the Library of Congress

“'A MAN WAS LYNCHED YESTERDAY'

These words were stitched onto a flag that flew outside the Manhattan headquarters of the NAACP between 1920 and 1938. When a Black person was lynched, the flag was raised the following day…

You should understand that what happened to Jesus was a lynching.

…Do not look away and do not rush to redeem this violence.
A MAN WAS LYNCHED TODAY.

Again and again we find ourselves... here, where even Jesus is groping for God.”

— Rev. T. Denise Anderson
Commentary on John 19:1-30 for @sanctifiedart
Image from the Library of Congress

Maundy Thursday Service Video 04/01/2021

Maundy Thursday Service Video

Footwashing is a practice of radical vulnerability, of being seen and known. Jesus loved the disciples “to the end.” In this act, we remember that God holds all of our pain, vulnerability, doubts, and sufferings. As we venture toward the cross, we can lean into God’s everlasting arms, knowing we are held.

Maundy Thursday Service Video

04/01/2021

“As crucifixion nears, Jesus gives his remaining disciples a commandment related to the time they've spent together. They're to love one another as Jesus has loved them… How did Jesus love them? They’ll have to draw from their encounters. The acts of love and healing, the teaching, the signs and wonders—all of it needs to be recalled... They could keep each other close by emulating the one who kept them close.”
— Commentary by Rev. T. Denise Anderson on John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Image: “You, Too, Must” by Lisle Gwynn Garrity | @sanctifiedart

“As crucifixion nears, Jesus gives his remaining disciples a commandment related to the time they've spent together. They're to love one another as Jesus has loved them… How did Jesus love them? They’ll have to draw from their encounters. The acts of love and healing, the teaching, the signs and wonders—all of it needs to be recalled... They could keep each other close by emulating the one who kept them close.”
— Commentary by Rev. T. Denise Anderson on John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Image: “You, Too, Must” by Lisle Gwynn Garrity | @sanctifiedart

03/31/2021

“Maybe by the time you’re reading this,
The day will have come
For all God’s people to be gathered at Table.
Maybe by the time you’re reading this,
We will be eating together.
Maybe we’ll be hugging.
Hopefully there will be dancing
And laughing and kissing
And leaning in to tell stories,
And throwing our heads back to laugh.
But until that day,
I will wiggle my toes,
And think of footwashing.
I will eat sweet bread,
Ravenously,
And remember Communion.”
— Excerpt from “Until That Day” by Rev. Sarah Are
From the Again & Again poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

“Maybe by the time you’re reading this,
The day will have come
For all God’s people to be gathered at Table.
Maybe by the time you’re reading this,
We will be eating together.
Maybe we’ll be hugging.
Hopefully there will be dancing
And laughing and kissing
And leaning in to tell stories,
And throwing our heads back to laugh.
But until that day,
I will wiggle my toes,
And think of footwashing.
I will eat sweet bread,
Ravenously,
And remember Communion.”
— Excerpt from “Until That Day” by Rev. Sarah Are
From the Again & Again poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

03/30/2021

“I wonder if Jesus could feel his heartbeat
In his throat, the way I do when I’m afraid.
I wonder if he had to take deep breaths,
In through his nose, out through his mouth,
Tricking his body into a state of calm.
I wonder if he was nauseous, like I am
When I’m headed into a hard conversation.
I wonder if he had to summon his courage,
Tucking fear away so that he could hold onto
What mattered most with both hands.”
— Excerpt from “Peaceful Protest” by Rev. Sarah Are
From the Again & Again poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

“I wonder if Jesus could feel his heartbeat
In his throat, the way I do when I’m afraid.
I wonder if he had to take deep breaths,
In through his nose, out through his mouth,
Tricking his body into a state of calm.
I wonder if he was nauseous, like I am
When I’m headed into a hard conversation.
I wonder if he had to summon his courage,
Tucking fear away so that he could hold onto
What mattered most with both hands.”
— Excerpt from “Peaceful Protest” by Rev. Sarah Are
From the Again & Again poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

03/29/2021

“‘Courage’ derives from Latin word ‘cor,’ which means ‘heart.’ When we consider the full Palm Sunday picture, these are frightful times. So much is happening that is both hopeful and terrifying. Tensions and tears are plentiful. But the Word will remind us to ‘take heart.’ Again and again, we take heart amid the drama. The script is unsettling, but we have not yet reached ‘The End.’”
— Rev. T. Denise Anderson
Commentary on John 12:20-33 for @sanctifiedart

“‘Courage’ derives from Latin word ‘cor,’ which means ‘heart.’ When we consider the full Palm Sunday picture, these are frightful times. So much is happening that is both hopeful and terrifying. Tensions and tears are plentiful. But the Word will remind us to ‘take heart.’ Again and again, we take heart amid the drama. The script is unsettling, but we have not yet reached ‘The End.’”
— Rev. T. Denise Anderson
Commentary on John 12:20-33 for @sanctifiedart

Palm Sunday Service 03/28/2021

Palm Sunday Service

On Palm Sunday, we remember that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was not a risk-free, palm party. It was a protest parade—a protest against those in power, a parade to prepare the way for a different kind of king..And this was all happening with plots to kill Lazarus (and Jesus) building in the background. We’re reminded that the crowds were brave to show up that day, and that Jesus drew on courage to face his journey to the cross. The root of courage is “cour,” meaning “heart.” Courage is deep within us; drawing on courage is both internal and external. We often find it when we most need it, when everything else has
been stripped away.

Palm Sunday Service First Congregational Church of San Francisco, United Church of Christ Rev. Tami Groves, Senior PastorReece Owens, Music DirectorChoir of First Congregational...

03/28/2021

“Great teacher, you rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. It was a peaceful protest, but it was risky. You had to have known that this would end in violence, for who could stand against the state and survive? I imagine your bravery, and pray: Grant me a portion of that courage. I want to love the world as fiercely as you. Amen.”
—Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are
Image: “Through the Palms” by Lauren Wright Pittman | @sanctifiedart

“Great teacher, you rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. It was a peaceful protest, but it was risky. You had to have known that this would end in violence, for who could stand against the state and survive? I imagine your bravery, and pray: Grant me a portion of that courage. I want to love the world as fiercely as you. Amen.”
—Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are
Image: “Through the Palms” by Lauren Wright Pittman | @sanctifiedart

03/27/2021

“Creator God, you invited the Israelites to build houses, to build gardens, to build relationships; so there is something holy about building. Help me survey my life to imagine what you might be calling me to build today. Is it community? Is it a home? Is it new relationships? Is it deeper relationships among the people I already know and love? I want to build. Help me see. Amen.”
—Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | @sanctifiedart

“Creator God, you invited the Israelites to build houses, to build gardens, to build relationships; so there is something holy about building. Help me survey my life to imagine what you might be calling me to build today. Is it community? Is it a home? Is it new relationships? Is it deeper relationships among the people I already know and love? I want to build. Help me see. Amen.”
—Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | @sanctifiedart

03/26/2021

“Despite humanity’s constant breaking of covenants, God continues to seek reconciliation and pours out grace upon grace. Why not let this grace transform us? It is in receiving God’s grace, responding in gratitude, and offering grace to others that God forms us into who we were made to be. God saves us from ourselves, writing the way on our hearts, and gives us unlimited chances to get it right. It’s clear we can’t keep the covenant on our own, so God steps in, offering and fulfilling the covenant at once. What a gift!”
— from the artist statement for “Written on our Hearts” by Lauren Wright Pittman | @sanctifiedart

“Despite humanity’s constant breaking of covenants, God continues to seek reconciliation and pours out grace upon grace. Why not let this grace transform us? It is in receiving God’s grace, responding in gratitude, and offering grace to others that God forms us into who we were made to be. God saves us from ourselves, writing the way on our hearts, and gives us unlimited chances to get it right. It’s clear we can’t keep the covenant on our own, so God steps in, offering and fulfilling the covenant at once. What a gift!”
— from the artist statement for “Written on our Hearts” by Lauren Wright Pittman | @sanctifiedart

03/25/2021

“Great potter, if I am clay, then I fear I am being molded by the world. I fear that I am in the hands of news feeds, social media, to-do lists, and social pressures. However, what I want is to be clay in your hands. I want to be shaped by you. I want to see your artist's signature on me and know that I am yours. So do what you do best. Kickstart the potter’s wheel. Start this pot over and mold me back toward you. Amen.”
—Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | @sanctifiedart

“Great potter, if I am clay, then I fear I am being molded by the world. I fear that I am in the hands of news feeds, social media, to-do lists, and social pressures. However, what I want is to be clay in your hands. I want to be shaped by you. I want to see your artist's signature on me and know that I am yours. So do what you do best. Kickstart the potter’s wheel. Start this pot over and mold me back toward you. Amen.”
—Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | @sanctifiedart

03/24/2021

“What I am left with
Is myself
And a big, open sky.
It’s colder here.
It’s quieter.
I can hear my thoughts.
And in this big, wide openness
I am able to say out loud,
‘Maybe I wasn’t right.
Maybe I need to learn.
Maybe it’s time for change.
Maybe that’s okay.’”
— Excerpt from “Keep Digging” by Rev. Sarah Are
From the Again & Again poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

“What I am left with
Is myself
And a big, open sky.
It’s colder here.
It’s quieter.
I can hear my thoughts.
And in this big, wide openness
I am able to say out loud,
‘Maybe I wasn’t right.
Maybe I need to learn.
Maybe it’s time for change.
Maybe that’s okay.’”
— Excerpt from “Keep Digging” by Rev. Sarah Are
From the Again & Again poetry collection by @sanctifiedart

03/23/2021

Take a moment to practice gratitude. List five things you are grateful for—beyond what might be obvious or common answers. | @sanctifiedart

Take a moment to practice gratitude. List five things you are grateful for—beyond what might be obvious or common answers. | @sanctifiedart

03/22/2021

“I love borders. I place them in my artwork so that I can break them… The wheat grows beyond the border of life; the wheat brings forth a standard of daring love. ‘Those who love their life lose it’ (John 12:25). The wheat breaks the border, it dances with the voice of God, it is not cautious, it is not scarce. It is love.”
— from the artist statement for “Drawn to Love” by Hannah Garrity | @sanctifiedart

“I love borders. I place them in my artwork so that I can break them… The wheat grows beyond the border of life; the wheat brings forth a standard of daring love. ‘Those who love their life lose it’ (John 12:25). The wheat breaks the border, it dances with the voice of God, it is not cautious, it is not scarce. It is love.”
— from the artist statement for “Drawn to Love” by Hannah Garrity | @sanctifiedart

03/21/2021

“Change, even when welcomed, means death. I once had the unenviable task of pastoring a church through dissolution. We realized that change would happen either with us or to us. We could die to some things so that we could live to others, or we could hold onto what is and die with it. Only one of these is a faithful way forward.

Again and again, we are being reformed. The process is uncomfortable, but the status quo is untenable. When change happens with us, what could possibly take root and flourish?”

— Rev. T. Denise Anderson
Commentary on John 12:20-33 for @sanctifiedart

“Change, even when welcomed, means death. I once had the unenviable task of pastoring a church through dissolution. We realized that change would happen either with us or to us. We could die to some things so that we could live to others, or we could hold onto what is and die with it. Only one of these is a faithful way forward.

Again and again, we are being reformed. The process is uncomfortable, but the status quo is untenable. When change happens with us, what could possibly take root and flourish?”

— Rev. T. Denise Anderson
Commentary on John 12:20-33 for @sanctifiedart

#FccSF

We gather on Sunday morning at 10:30. You are invited to join us.

First Congregational Church of San Francisco (FCCSF) is an inclusive community of faith in the heart of the city–where Lower Nob Hill meets the Tenderloin and Little Saigon.

We gather in a building that contains a beautiful sanctuary of peace which reflects our deepest commitment: to become a place of love, gratitude and hospitality in a city and world that needs more understanding, compassion and justice.

Videos (show all)

Away in a Manger
Christmas Carol Medley
Virtual Choir - "I Believe" by Mark Miller
Your Sunday Meditation about Jesus, fear and the Holy Spirit
In the spirit of Pride the choir gave us a fabulous surprise!

Location

Telephone

Address


1300 Polk St
San Francisco, CA
94109

General information

Designated Minister: Rev. David J. Cowell

Opening Hours

Wednesday 6pm - 9pm
Sunday 10:30am - 11:30am
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