- HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF SCARBOROUGH?
After you attend worship services here for a time and get a good sense of what the First Congregational Church of Scarborough is like, you may want to consider becoming a member of our faith community. We would love to have you join us and be a part of our vibrant and friendly faith community. This FAQ section of our website includes information about membership that you will find helpful and informative. If you have further questions about what membership is about and how to become a member of our church, we invite you to contact Pastor Gagnon. You can speak with him on Sunday morning before or after the worship service, call him at the church office at 883-2342, or email him at RevFredGagnon@maine.rr.com. Back to top
- DO I HAVE TO BE A CHURCH MEMBER TO ATTEND SUNDAY SERVICES?
No you don't! All are welcome to worship with us, whether they are members or not.Back to top
- HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH?
Here at the First Congregational Church of Scarborough, membership is open to any person who has been baptized and is at least thirteen years old. Prospective members meet with the minister and the Board of Deacons so they can ask questions, learn more about what becoming a church member entails and get to know each other a little better; then their names are presented to the congregation at a future worship service. The Sunday following the presentation of names, those individuals are officially received into membership during a ceremony in which prayers are said, promises of commitment are made and joyful expressions of welcome are offered. Back to top
- WHAT DOES CHURCH MEMBERSHIP MEAN?
People who become members of the First Congregational Church of Scarborough make a commitment to carry on the work and ministry of Jesus Christ, and also pledge to regularly attend worship and the celebration of Holy Communion, participate in the life of the church, financially support the church's ministry, and work for the spiritual welfare of its members and the Scarborough community the church belongs to.
After making that commitment to be in a supportive and active relationship with the First Congregational Church, new members are given important rights and privileges that carry on a long and historic Congregational tradition. For example, they can speak and vote at church meetings and become participating members of church boards and committees. This means they have a say in church affairs and, through the power of God's Holy Spirit, can help guide the faith community into the exciting future that God has in mind for it.Back to top
- WHAT IS BAPTISM AND HOW DOES ONE GET BAPTIZED?
Baptism is one of the two Sacraments our church recognizes (the other Sacrament being Holy Communion). In Matthew 28:19, the risen Christ commissioned his disciples to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . ." The Christian church has been doing that ever since.
At its core, the meaning of Baptism is this: it makes the one baptized a Christian and a member of the Body of Christ, the universal church. In short, Christians aren't born; they are made through the act of Baptism. The water, words and actions of the sacrament of Baptism are visible signs of God's grace that came to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. When a person is baptized, it signifies his or her burial and resurrection with Christ (Romans 6:3-4). Through Baptism, Christians are united with Christ, with all other followers of Jesus, and with the worldwide church of past, present and future ages.
At the First Congregational Church of Scarborough, children or adults can be baptized. When a child is baptized, one or both parents and one or more godparents (if there are godparents) promise to assume certain responsibilities so that the child is raised and nurtured in the Christian church. Those who are baptized at a young age are given an opportunity in their youth to make their own commitment to be a follower of Christ through Confirmation.
The Sacrament of Baptism is usually a public event that takes place before the community of faith during a worship service. In some cases a private ceremony can be arranged. If you desire Baptism for yourself or your child, you can contact the pastor by calling the church office at 883-2342 or emailing him at RevFredGagnon@maine.rr.com. Back to top
- WHAT IS CONFIRMATION?
When a child is baptized, one or both parents (along with one or more godparents if there are godparents) make baptismal promises on behalf of that child. Those adults assume certain responsibilities for the Christian nurture of the baptized child and promise to provide a supportive Christian environment in which the child may grow in awareness and understanding about the meaning of life in Christ. As a baptized child approaches adolescence (most commonly between thirteen and sixteen years of age, although there is no hard and fast rule), the local church offers the opportunity for that child to publically affirm for himself or herself the Baptism promises that were made on his or her behalf. Confirmation celebrates this occasion when an individual affirms for himself or herself the vows of Baptism that the parents made.
At the First Congregational Church of Scarborough, Confirmation consists of a series of classes about the Christian faith that are taught by the pastor. Usually the youth who choose to go through the Confirmation process have had an affiliation with a church and some kind of Christian upbringing?for example, attending Sunday School. If a young person who has not been baptized wishes to go through the Confirmation process, he or she will need to be baptized at some point before being confirmed. If your youth is interested in going through the Confirmation process, you can contact the pastor by calling the church office at 883-2342 or emailing him at RevFredGagnon@maine.rr.com. Back to top
- HOW DO I RESERVE THE CHURCH'S FACILITIES?
The use of our church facilities by individuals and groups is overseen by the Board of Trustees. If you are interested in having an event in one of our buildings, you can contact the church office at 883-2342 for information about availability and cost. You will also need to come by the church office at 161 Black Point Road and fill out an application for use of our facilities. Your request will be reviewed and voted on by the Board of Trustees at its next meeting. You will be notified of the board's decision soon after. Back to top
- WHERE DO I PARK?
There is a parking lot adjacent to the church that is available to those who attend our worship services and church functions or have reserved our church facilities for an activity. Back to top
- IS THERE EASY ACCESS TO THE CHURCH BUILDINGS AND HANDICAPPED PARKING FOR THOSE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY?
Our sanctuary has a ramp to allow access for those who have difficulty climbing stairs. The downstairs vestry is accessible through the kitchen door of the church around back. Our Parish Hall and church office are only accessible by stairs at this time, but it is hoped that in the future an elevator can be installed in the Parish Hall that will allow easier access to the second floor for those with mobility problems. Our parking lot has handicapped parking available next to the church building.Back to top
- WHAT DISABLED SERVICES DO YOU HAVE AVAILABLE AT YOUR CHURCH?
Our church makes audio amplifiers (headphones connected to our sound system) available for the hearing impaired. To borrow one, simply ask an usher or greeter before the worship service begins. Back to top