We want to make you feel as welcome as each of us felt the first time we came to worship at the First Congregational Church of Darien. In order to make your experience as comfortable as possible, we are providing answers to the questions most often asked by first time visitors. We hope this information will make it easier for you to join us for Sunday services, and take part in the life of our community!
What kind of church are we?
We are a traditional but forward-looking Congregational Church, with roots dating back to the early 1700’s (before the American Revolution). We are part of the United Church of Christ and members of the Connecticut Conference of the UCC (for more information see www.ctconfucc.org). Our Church has a strong commitment to our local and global communities and we welcome all who desire to worship, regardless of previous faith traditions.
Where are we located?
We are located at 14 Brookside Road in Darien, CT, at the corner of Brookside Road and Post Road/Route 1 . Our Meetinghouse is a half mile from either the Darien train station or I-95 (Exit 12). There is plenty of parking next to the Meetinghouse and in a lower lot in front of the Church. Click here for directions.
What happens when we arrive?
You should plan on arriving 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the service. When you come in the front door, you will be met by a greeter, who will welcome you to the service. We will also have ushers who will give you a program and help you find a seat.
What should we wear?
There is no dress code, and people attend worship in a variety of attire. Our youth are casual and comfortable. The dress for our adults ranges from suits and ties to business casual.
Our Sunday Worship Services
From September through June, we have Sunday services at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. During the summer we have a combined service at 9:00 a.m. Our 8:30 a.m. service is a more intimate and informal gathering lasting about 45 minutes, for those on the go. Our 10:00 a.m. service, which lasts about an hour, has more music led by our choir and is more family oriented. We also have a more casual, youth-oriented service once a month at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, called “Come As You Are.”
Our typical 10:00 a.m. service opens with a call to worship, announcements, a hymn, and a scripture reading, followed by a children’s message at the front of the Church, after which children proceed to Church School. Your children can join the age-appropriate Church School class or stay with you. After children go to their classrooms, we have a period where we share our joys and concerns (all are welcome, but no one is required to speak.) The sermon opens with another scripture reading, and then a member of the clergy gives a message relating this reading to our daily lives, followed by an offering, and closing music. As a visitor, you are welcome to participate in our offering if you desire to do so, but you need not feel an obligation to contribute. This order of service may be altered on any given Sunday to accommodate special occasions, such as music programs or holiday events.
Holidays and Special Events
We welcome you to visit for our special services and celebrations of Christmas and Easter and other events throughout the year. Please see our church calendar for details.
Programs for Children and Youth
Our nursery is staffed with two paid caregivers each Sunday. The nursery will be available from 9:55a.m. through the close of the service in the Nursery School. Please ask a staff member to direct you, if needed! If you prefer to keep your infant or toddler with you, there is a cry-room available (if needed!) in the Church library, adjacent to the Meetinghouse.
Our tradition is to have all children participate in the 10:00 a.m. service during the first 15 minutes, which often includes a Word for the Young from our Director of Christian Education. Children are invited to come to the front of the Meetinghouse for this mini-sermon.
Once the children’s message is complete, children from PreK to 5th grade attend Church School classes, while some stay in the Meetinghouse with their parents. If your children wish to attend Church School, we suggest that on your first visit you accompany them to their classroom. The staff can direct you to the right location according to their grade. When the service is over, please pick up your child in the classroom and head to Parish Hall for coffee/juice and snacks. Your child will not be dismissed until you pick them up.
Our youth in grades 6 – 12 usually remain in the service. However, there are events available for the students before, after, and sometimes during the services, and throughout the week! Click the links below for more information.
Do we need to be members to participate in Communion?
Everyone is welcome to participate in this tradition regardless of religious affiliation or Church membership. Communion is served the first Sunday of every month.
What happens after the service?
Each Sunday after the service there is a time for coffee/juice and conversation, either in our Parish Hall or outside on the front lawn. This is a great time to meet people and get to know more about our Church family.
What about people with special needs?
If you have questions about special needs for a family member or handicapped access please don’t hesitate to call the Church office (203-655-0491) for assistance. We will be delighted to assist you in any way that we can.
We look forward to having you join us for worship on Sunday!