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First Congregational Church of Chappaqua

What you will find at FCC / What to Expect on a Sunday

We welcome everyone. We don’t try to tell you what you should believe, but let you come to your own conclusions. Together we talk about ways that we can live with the challenges we face and the questions we have. Our church community supports you whether you are a youth or an elder, and everywhere in between.

our worship service

When you walk into our church, which is handicap accessible, you will be greeted by our ushers and others who are attending the worship service. We will not overwhelm you but hopefully make you feel welcome as we hand you our Order of Worship bulletin.

Our service is somewhat informal. We don’t have assigned seats, so feel free to sit anywhere.  Allow yourself to sit back and become part of our worship experience that has been going on in our Sanctuary for more than 60 years. During the church year (that is mid-September till mid-June) we have our Chancel Choir that sings during worship. (If you like to sing please visit our music page and find out how you can join our choir). Please feel free to fill out a visitor’s card, found in our pews, so we can acknowledge your visit. You will also find prayer request cards if you wish to have our Minister say a prayer for a friend or loved one.

During our Service, we greet each other with God’s Peace. This is one of the opportunities people have to greet each other and our visitors. We normally leave our pews, greet each other, and try to talk about what’s happening in our lives. We often have a hard time resuming worship because people so enjoy getting to know visitors and catching up with friends. However, our weekly Fellowship Hour, which takes place after worship, provides additional time for getting to know us and for catching up!

Our youth usually leave after the Youth Message and go to Sunday School and will meet up with us during Fellowship Hour. Worship usually ends at 11:00 A.M. Sometimes we do go later, especially on the first Sunday of the month, when we have communion as a part of our service. By the way, all are welcome to partake of the bread and cup during communion. We use grape juice and gluten-free bread out of respect for those who have special concerns.

Also on the first Sunday of the month, we bring food offerings that we bless and then donate to the Food Pantry at the Community Center of Northern Westchester. Please see Luke’s Pantry for more information about this wonderful mission of our church.

Here at FCC, we are a community that encourages one another to not only worship but to also live as Jesus would.  Helping the sick and poor both near and far. Our Barn Sale which is held every year provides people less fortunate with an opportunity to acquire otherwise unattainable items. Our youth hold fund raisers to raise money for people suffering in other countries and here at home.  We also provide the homeless with food and shelter during a select time of year. There are many ways to help out in our community.  Please inquire about how you can contribute to the FCC community.  There is no gesture too big or too small that goes unnoticed.

sermons

Almost every Sunday’s worship service has a sermon or a homily. Sermons are 10-12 minutes, and homilies are about 7 minutes. You can download a pdf of the four most recent sermons, which are usually posted to our website within three days of worship.  We normally follow the lectionary readings, but on occasion, we change the readings, depending on what is happening in our community and our world.  You can also watch our past worship services on YouTube.

Click here to download a PDF of our most recent sermons

some helpful links to get you started

thursday's word

Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.

the carillon

Click here to download our monthly e-publication.

joining

If you are interested in joining our vital and growing church community, please contact our Senior Minster.

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people gathered for outdoor worship
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keith robellard playing organ for church service

keith robellard

Keith has served as the Director of Music at FCC for over 30 years. In 2014, at a luncheon celebrating his 25 years at FCC he was officially given the title of Minister of Music. He was educated at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory; Keith has worked for the Manhattan School of Music, where he was director of chamber music; the First Reformed Episcopal Church, both in New York City; accompanist-choir director at Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester; and served on the faculty of Rippowam Cisqua School. He was dean of the Westchester AGO Chapter from 1997-1998.

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jonathan riedel with sunday school children in front of black lives matter sign

Jonathan Riedel

Jonathan Riedel, our Director of Christian Education, has been a member of FCC Chappaqua since 2018. A life-long student of Judeo/Christian traditions, he also studies Buddhist philosophy, world religions, yoga, meditation, Kung Fu, and considers the Arts and creative expression as integral to his spiritual beliefs, practices, and teaching.  

While undertaking his work with our children, Jonathan discerned a call to ordained ministry. He is currently under care of FCC and the Hudson Mohawk Association of the New York Conference of the UCC. He is enrolled at the New York School of Ministry. 

He began his professional career as a dancer with the Limón Dance Company (limon.org) in NYC, touring and performing throughout the US, Europe and South America. He then began his own company, Riedel Dance Theater (riedeldancetheater.org) that he helmed to critical acclaim for over ten years.  Jonathan has been on the faculties of The Boston Conservatory, Brown University, Pace University, and currently, his alma mater, Purchase College (BFA 2001, MFA 2011).  He has been a guest teacher at the Juilliard School, LABAN (UK), Good Moves Dance Consort (Atlanta, GA) and the Steffi Nossen School (White Plains, NY.)  An artist of many media, Jonathan also leads the industrial rock band, Rubber Skulls (rubberskulls.com). He creates original, punk-inspired hats and jackets under the brand, Righteous Stitch (righteousstitch.org). He is currently working on a series of fantasy children’s books and also refurbishes used stuffed animals with hand-made unicorn horns for his side project, Horns-A-Plenty (find them on FB!).  He is a proud son, brother, husband, father of two, and resident of Pleasantville, NY. 

Jonathan’s Sunday School classes explore prayers, songs, and stories from the Bible and what they might mean. He hopes to inspire in his students spiritual curiosity, self-awareness, inter-religious tolerance, and a life-long appreciation for God, love, and all things divine. He does so through his weekly youth messages, age-appropriate Q&A sessions, outreach and charity initiatives, art and crafting projects, and creating original plays with the class.  He loves his job, his students and the entire FCC community. If you have any questions about the Christian Education program at FCC, feel free to contact Jonathan.

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wedding ceremony reverend martha with bride and groom
reverend martha with confirmation class

the Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

Martha has been our pastor since April of 2014. She came to FCC after a 20+ year career as a professional chaplain. Martha graduated from New York Theological Seminary with her doctorate in 2005. Her book, A Clergy Guide to End of Life Issues, has been a must-read for seminary students, clergy and lay people. She continues to teach and lead workshops both nationally and internationally on end-of-life issues.  For several years, she blogged about end of life issues for The Huffington Post. Martha believes that the greatest gift we can give to our loved ones is letting them know what our wishes are as we near the end of our lives.

Martha was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, the youngest of 4 children. She was raised Jewish, and converted to Christianity when she was 17, having been exposed to Jesus when a friend asked her to sing some solos at his church. She learned about a different kind of God than she had been exposed to growing up. She learned about a God who was inside of her. And, she learned about Jesus, who she uses as her role model, mentor and rabbi. 

Martha loved being a chaplain. However, after more than 20 years of being present with patients and families as they dealt with some of the most difficult times of their lives, she realized that God was calling her to serve in a church. Her greatest concern, when discerning her call to become our pastor, was that she would not being able to come up with a sermon every Sunday. But, so far, more than 8 years after accepting the call to FCC, Martha has had a meaningful message for us each Sunday. She relates it to what is happening in our world and in our lives and tries to give us some respite from the difficulties of our world. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t talk about the difficulties we face, but she tries to put them into perspective and brings God into the conversation around how we live our lives and how we function in our world and how we treat each other. Because FCC members and friends span the spectrum of political and social activists, she preaches about the issues, and how Jesus expects us to handle them and not the politics that can often divide people. 

Martha has a healing and loving and accepting spirit. She has helped us to accept that we are human and make mistakes and that God does forgive us for the things we don’t necessarily do that are in the best interests of ourselves or others. She has also opened our hearts and hands and minds to help us to not just tolerate people who are different from us, but to actually welcome and embrace them for all that they are. 

Martha has been with her spouse, Pat Yost, for more than 40 years. While Pat did not expect to be married to a minister (they met when they were both in the theatre), she has become an important part of our church in her own right. She pitches in and helps us, as does Martha, when we have our Barn Sale, Tag Sale and other church events. They are both hands-on, and have helped us celebrate all that we are. 

Truly, Martha embodies – no matter who you are or where you are on your life journey – you are welcome to FCC.