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An Invitation

First Congregation Church of Martinez

I have this idea for the holidays: I want to invite you to my church, the (FCC). There are several events coming up that you might enjoy and everyone is welcome. I started going to this church when I moved to Martinez a few years ago, and I really enjoy the feeling of community it gives me.

First, let me introduce you to our pastor, Norm Luecke. He’s been a pastor at the church for 10 years. Norm describes the church this way, “We have a small and intimate congregation of people. Some have been there all their lives, and some are new. Everyone is in a different phase of their lives. What I hear a lot is that it feels like a family. That’s how I feel.”

I agree. The people at this church make me feel at home.

Norm continues, “First Congregational Church is a Liberal church, which is good fit for me. We are affiliated with the United Church of Christ. They were the first church to ordain gays and lesbians.” I like being part of a church where everyone is welcome. Norm’s sermons are very well written and he is able to create deeply meaningful sermons that integrate important issues in our world with Christian teachings.

Another thing I love about this church is the music. We have a wonderful choir,  organ, and piano music too. Sometimes I feel like the music cleans my soul so I can return to the world renewed.

The church is also available for rent for weddings. In addition, their is a large downstairs area with a kitchen and a dining area, which offers a nice reception area.

“We have a very beautiful sanctuary, especially at Christmas time.” Norm said.

The sanctuary has large, multi-colored stained glass windows, dark wood pews, and regal red carpeting. There is a beautifully decorated tree in the front, and decorations all around. For me, the magic of Christmas is found inside this church, and it is surrounded by with the warmth of community of our members.

When I try out a new church, I always want to go with someone I know. I’d like to welcome you to attend, and you know me. Our church says, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

Here is a list of upcoming events:
• Today, Sunday, December 11 at 3:00pm, “A Christmas Gift to the Community” – Holiday Ecumenical Program. Everyone is asked to make a donation of $10 for adults, $5 for students, all donations will support Martinez public school music programs. The event includes church choirs, instrumentalists, and soloists.
• Wednesday, December 14, 6:00-7:00pm, students from Creekside Montesorri will give a Christmas Performance.
• Sunday 12/18 Joe Warner Trio Holiday Jazz Celebration, 4:00pm – 6:00pm. The trio will perform their own jazz, blues, and soul versions of your favorite holiday songs.
     o 10:00am -11:00: During church services, Sunday School Christmas Performances.
     o 11:00am -11:30: Bake sale!
• Saturday,12/23 Christmas Eve Open House and Candlelight Service
     o Open House: 4:00-4:30pm
     o Service: 4:30pm-5:30pm
• Sunday, 12/25 Christmas Day service, Quiet Reflection and Meditation, 10:00am – 11:00am

For more information, check out the church’s web site: www.fccmtz.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Merrilee December 12, 2011 at 06:38 PM
This is the church I grew up in, and I must admit that reading this lovely accounting makes me quite homesick since I am an ocean away. I was baptised there, confirmed, belonged to the Junior Choir, enjoyed participating in many Christmas pageants, potluck dinners in the basement, Sunday evening Youth Groups, and made lifelong friends who I am still in touch with. My father was Senior Deacon, my mother was a member of the women's Pracilla Circle, and I went on to be the treasurer and teach Sunday School while I was still in high school. I'm so happy that others are enjoying the same feelings I experience at the First Congregational Church. I hear Martinez calling to me even now! Thanks again!!
Janet December 13, 2011 at 06:06 PM
I also grew up in this church, and am still an active member. While the church has changed over the years, the feeling of community and caring are always evident. We still have Christmas pageants and potluck dinners, and we always welcome anyone who cares to join us.
Rev. Marsha Davis December 14, 2011 at 04:03 AM
Marsha I am excited about belonging to this church community. Why? Because I continue to grow spiritually within a church family. Regardless where I have been on my faith journey, others are there willing to share, support, challenge and listen. The Spirit is alive here! And I am grateful for the persons who have touched my life in so many ways.
patti crosgrove December 14, 2011 at 07:30 AM
Thanks for the wonderful write-up! I feel the same way, my husband and I are fairly new members (2 years). We love our church. We felt welcome from the start. We love the choir, and all the activities we are able to take part in.
Nancy Hobert December 14, 2011 at 02:27 PM
Amen to all the above! Nancy
Migs Carter December 14, 2011 at 05:23 PM
What a lovely invitation to join this wonderful community of faith seekers. I have been a part of a Congregational/UCC church since 1940...each one special. Your description of "our" church is a lovely invitation to the Patch readers. Thanks, Marlene....see you in church.

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