First Congregational Church

Camden, Maine


An open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ

Adult Education and Formation
at FCC Camden

As an "Open and Affirming” church committed to embodying the Gospel in our lives, both as individuals and as a community, we value opportunities to inquire and deepen our faith and commitment to serve God and others. Our program, which emphasizes both formation and education, is a vital means of supporting this work. We explore our faith through an array of offerings, including classes, retreats, workshops, and service projects. Some of these are seasonal (e.g., thematic series offered during Advent and Lent); others occur at regular intervals throughout the year. Some occur within the church, while church "happens” in other places—in our homes, via online offerings, and in various outdoor venues (the annual Easter Sunrise service and late-summer Sunday morning service in Merryspring Park). The women of our church host an annual Women’s Retreat in the Fall, and we offer other day-retreats and workshops during the year.

"Living Our Faith” stands as the core theme for our work and witness as a Christian community. Classes offered by members of the professional staff as well as lay people and invited guest leaders help both to challenge and deepen our faith and to strengthen our witness. Our offerings fall into five broad areas:

  • Foundations of Faith: explorations in Scripture, the history of Christianity, and the rich and varied theological traditions that are our heritage as well as those of other religions and religious communities.
  • Faith and Life Practices: courses and workshops exploring prayer and meditation (weekly lectio divina, gathers for centering prayer, etc.) as well as forms of body movement and energy work (Reiki, Shiatsu, Craniosacral; dance; the use of the labyrinth; seasonal midweek communion services; understanding the Enneagram, etc.); we join in various activities with our interfaith partners to deepen our faith and life.
  • Arts and Spirituality: programs exploring creativity and creative practices (e.g., writing as spiritual autobiography; photography; painting, etc.); occasional meetings to discuss films; talks and programs led by area artists; the congregation’s music program (including the adult choir and handbell choir) and the annual Friends of Music series; among other activities, the church hosted a visit by Rinpoche and Tibetan monks in 2019 who created a Peace Sand Mandala in the sanctuary.
  • Health and Wellness: courses, workshops, and events offering experiential learning and facilitate a deepening appreciation of what it means to be embodied people.
  • Justice and Social Witness: exploring challenges facing us in our times, both within our community and in the wider world, as a "just peace” church, focusing on matters of racial justice, climate change, the call of peacemaking, and the witness of faith in our daily lives; a forum on "faith and public issues” explores topics of a timely manner that are of concern within our community and state as well as issues of national importance; courses and circles of conversation (e.g., the "white privilege” curriculum) utilize online and printed resources of our denomination, the United Church of Christ. In such ways, we seek to live out the covenant that joins us as a church with other communities of faith and those who share our commitment to acting with compassion for the sake of a just peace.

Specific details about programs, events, and offerings are to be found on the church’s website calendar and news page.

Upcoming Classes and Programs

All are free and open to all church members, friends, and neighbors—do spread the word to folks you know who might wish to join us. All are offered via Zoom, which means that pre-registration with the church office is necessary.

Foundations of Faith

November 28, Dec. 5, 12, 19, Jan 2

Weekly Sunday Course: Teachings of Henri Nouwen. In-person discussions held following worship. To register call 236-4821 or email becky@camdenucc.org.

Join Ute Molitor and Mark Burrows as they facilitate a once a week, in-person (masked), one-hour discussion of beloved author and spiritual master Henri Nouwen’s teachings, as we move through the Advent season. Participants will be provided with five short free booklets, one to be read each week prior to class. Our discussions will follow the booklets as they focus Nouwen’s teachings on:

  • Identity: Finding Myself in God
  • God: Discovering the Divine
  • Love: Experiencing Deep Connection
  • Suffering: Transforming Our Pain
  • Freedom: Finding Peace in Anxious Times

Faith and Life Practices

MONTHLY LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION on a Wednesday from 12:00–12:30 pm

We are using a simple guided meditation from the Buddhist tradition to extend loving kindness to ourselves, to a loved one, a neutral person, and then someone we struggle with before sending love to the wider community. This simple practice has a profound impact on our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being and on that of the greater whole. If you would like to participate, please contact Ute in the office at ute@camdenucc.org to receive a zoom link. Dates are announced in the calendar on our website.

Faith and Life Practices

LECTIO DIVINA MEDITATION EVERY TUESDAY, 8:30 am (by Zoom)

The Tuesday hour of Lectio practice, that originated in the church, has taken on an extra significance during the Covid-19 pandemic as we meet together weekly. It is an hour of shared sacred readings and reflections, drawn from various sources. In reading the texts aloud three times, we often find a new heart connection to them. We rotate leadership in selecting the texts. We have found that the time of quiet contemplation together is a deeply grounding and peaceful way to enter the day. It has become a very meaningful hour in our week and welcome any who would like to join. To be added to the Zoom invitation list please contact the church office 236-4821, becky@camdenucc.org.


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