fcc-chappaqua logo

First Congregational Church of Chappaqua

the sanctuary

Our sanctuary, which was completed in June of 1955, is a beautiful, airy, light space that reflects the openness of our church and our worship. The wood cross that hangs over our altar table is simplicity at its best and allows for those attending worship to interpret how the cross impacts them. We keep our eyes on the cross and our hearts on God.

The needlepoint wall panels were stitched by members of our congregation beginning in January of 1974. They were completed and dedicated at the Sunday morning worship service on January 26, 1975, twenty years after the congregation began worshipping in the sanctuary. Symbolism is found in the colors, especially gold and red which represent Divinity, white epitomizing purity, green embodying renewed life, brown signifying service to God and human beings and blue exemplifying truth and faithfulness. There are four Old Testament Panels and four New Testament Panels. Since the number eight signifies regeneration and rebirth, those who created them hoped that, as we see them during our worship services, they will regenerate our spirit and give a renewed focus to our worship. For rental information please call Chris at 914-238-4411.

Previous slide
Next slide
Previous slide
Next slide

the pipe organ

The Sonnemann Memorial Pipe Organ was installed in 1968. The three-manual 36-rank organ was designed and built by Bruce Angell Pipe Organs, Rye, New York. This instrument, Opus 128, is one of the last remaining organs built by this firm.

During the 1960-70’s, the open division style organ was promoted primarily by the Holtkamp Organ Company, Cleveland, Ohio. This instrument replicates their Baroque design with the Great division on both the lecturn and pulpit side of the Chancel. Also unique to the Baroque-style design was open-toe voicing. In theory, this produced a brilliant tone from the organ allowing the organist to lead a large congregation.

After twenty years of repairs and unexpected maintenance, the church began to think about repair or replacement. In 1992, Instrument Technology Systems, Inc., was contracted to replace the console with solid-state electronics, including MIDI capability. Additionally, the entire 2,116 pipes were removed by Austin Organ Company, Hartford, CT. At their factory, the pipes were washed and revoiced. All open-toe pipes were closed in an effort to have a more stable and singing tone. A concert with the Chappaqua Orchestra in 1994 commemorated the completion of the rebuild.

Since 2000, the organ has been maintained by Foley-Baker, Tolland, CT. The instrument is of good sound and versatile in many styles

fcc-chappaqua logo

click to exit page

people gathered for outdoor worship
fcc-chappaqua logo

click to exit page

fcc-chappaqua logo

click to exit page

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.

fcc-chappaqua logo
click to exit page
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.

fcc-chappaqua logo

click to exit page

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.