November 2017 Sermon Series “Gratitude”

First Church Congregational November Sermons will Focus on “Gratitude”

            “Gratitude” is the November sermon topic at First Church, Congregational, on the Square in Downtown Painesville. Having focused on “The Politics of Jesus” during October, Rev. Tom Cofer explores the importance of gratitude. Services are at 9 and 11 a.m., each Sunday in November.

            “November is when we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, and we are often reminded about giving thanks to God, and people and other blessings that we are thankful for,” Rev Cofer says. “All month, we will focus our worship services around gratitude, and why it is so important for us to live with a spirit of gratitude as a people of faith.” All are welcome to attend services:

  • November 5th: “Attitude is Everything”
  • November 12: “Thankful for the Saints”
  • November 19: “Gratitude for God’s Grace”
  • November 26: “Generosity from Gratitude”

            First Church Congregational is located at 22 Liberty Ave, Painesville. For information, contact the church at 440-357-7518 or email Christy Duffus,  christy@firstchurchcongregational.org. Or go the website for directions and other First Church Congregational information, www.firstchurchcongregational.org.

            Throughout November, Rev. Cofer will focus on scriptures relevant to gratitude:

November 5th: “Attitude is Everything” Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:10-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Are we ready to be thankful, that is, do we approach things with the right attitude? There is always an opportunity to live in gratitude, even when the circumstances don’t seem to promote it. We will look at why gratitude matters.

November 12: “Thankful for the Saints” Scripture: Psalm 78:1-7; Hebrews 12:1-3. How often do we tell one another, in some way, that we are thankful for them. This week, we will look at how important it is to express gratitude to one another and giving thanks for those who have gone before us, and, how this gratitude continues to inspire us to live out our faith.

November 19: “Gratitude for God’s Grace” Scripture: Luke 17:11-19. In the story of Jesus healing ten men with leprosy, we see how important it is to be thankful for God’s grace, and how important God’s grace is in our lives.

November 26: “Generosity from Gratitude” Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. True gratitude inspires generosity, and generosity opens us up to more of a sense of abundant life. This week, we will see how gratitude moves us to offer more of ourselves to God and to others in God’s name, and how that can bring us new life.


October Sermon Topics.

First Church Congregational Sermons will Focus on “The Politics of Jesus”


First Church Congregational Sermons Focus on “The Politics of Jesus”

                “The Politics of Jesus” continues as the October sermon topic within First Church, Congregational, on the Square in Downtown Painesville. Rev. Tom Cofer explores Jesus Christ’s role in addressing political issues, not in a “partisan political” manner but in teaching his followers to cope with their political environments. The services are at 9 and 11 a.m., each Sunday in October.

  •                  The first sermon, Sunday Oct. 1, introduced a context for Jesus’ political environment – the Israeli era of captivity and exodus from Egypt, plus their various foreign rulers, last being the Romans at the time he was born. Last week, he covered “People’s Needs are Holy & Giving a Voice to the Voiceless.”

                “We don’t think of Jesus as a ‘political’ figure, however, nothing could be further from the truth,” Rev. Cofer says. “By the time of Jesus’ arrival, the Jewish people had already experienced an extensive history of being oppressed and dominated by foreign rule, as well as the kingship of leaders who exploited the people. They had a cycle of following God, then turning away from God, and this basically repeated until Christ came.”

                Rev. Cofers will focus on relevant scriptures throughout the month.

                “Yes, part of Jesus’ message was about the coming kingdom of God, and about what it would be like when that day came, but he also spoke truth to power and led people to God through word and deed by challenging the authorities and the people to work toward creating a new reality,” he adds.

The final sermon topics are:

  •   This Sunday (Oct 15) the topic is “Jesus’ Politics: Expose Oppression & Naming the Enemy Scripture.” Rev. Cofer will draw from Matthew 10:1-16; Mark 5:1-10.
  • October 22nd: Jesus Politics: Righteous Anger at the Mistreatment of Others; Taking Hits and Not Returning Them; Don’t Just Explain the Kingdom of God, but Show It; 
  • October 29th: Practicing the Politics of Jesus Today.

                First Church Congregational is located at 22 Liberty Ave, Painesville. For information, contact the church at 440-357-7518 or email Christy Duffus, christy@firstchurchcongregational.org. Or go the website for directions and other First Church Congregational information, www.firstchurchcongregational.org.




September 2017 Sermon Topics

“First Church Vitality Process is Spiritual and Physical”

                First Church, Congregational, on the Square in Downtown Painesville since 1810, has been involved in a physical restoration process over the past several years. The most visible and recent aspect of the restoration are the replacement steps, those at the front and side of the church, facing the Veteran’s Park and Mentor Avenue.

                Along with the physical changes, First Church, which is literally the “first church” and oldest church in Lake County, has been involved in a refocus of its mission and responsibilities. The process has been labeled as a “vitality process” in which all members look at where and how the church may improve itself, according to Rev. Tom Cofer, senior pastor. Rev. Cofer has outlined the process within his forthcoming September sermons.

  • September 10: “Why a Vitality Process?” Scripture: Acts 17:16-33 Throughout its existence, whether we realize it or not, the church has encountered cultural changes, shifts, and challenges, it has changed to respond to them, and today is no different. We look at our location and culture and realize that there are ways in which we are called to change…not change the message but simply to change the way it is packaged.
  • September 17: “We are the Hosts, Not the Guests” Scripture: 1 Peter 4:7-11 As a part of the vitality process, it is important to remember that we are all called to extend radical hospitality and welcome not just to one another, but to anyone who visits us. We are all of one mission, as evidenced by our congregational mission and vision statements, that is to welcome, minister, teach, and serve.
  • September 24: “Brass Tacks—What this Means for Us Specifically” Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 We have undertaken some changes as a result of the Vitality Process. Some of those changes being a new church software (Breeze), sanctuary projection units, fake money in the sanctuary pews, adding a vision statement and changing our mission statement.

“We will also look at how this process continues to call us to make chang­es as we move into the future,” Rev. Cofer says.

First Church Congregational, except for Advent and some during Lent and Holy Week, will be moving away from the Revised Common Lectionary and going towards more theme based sermons. “For instance, October’s theme will be ‘The Politics of Jesus,’ and I think it will be interesting and may lead us to some interesting and moving reflections and discussions”, he adds.


Community Mission

 First Church Congregational is regularly involved in various volunteer community projects, ranging from feeding homeless and less fortunate to sprucing up homes for community residents.

Maple Syrup Fund Raiser

Freshly prepared maple syrup was available to members of the First Church, Congregational family or anyone who attended service on Sunday, April 2. In exchange for a pint of tasty syrup, recipients were asked to donate to the First Church Building Fund. Jerry passed out a total of 68 jars of Syrup which in turn generated a total donation to the building fund of $2,585.00 and $130 was made off of our ladies craft sale for a total of $2,715.00.

Thank you Jerry and Shelby Brumbaugh for this great fundraising event and thank you to all the ladies for making those beautiful crafts.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this fundraiser and I hope everyone enjoys their syrup.

We also still have 3 jars available in the office if anyone still wants to donate. All of the unsold crafts will be put our for sale at our Women’s Salad Luncheon.

Worship Services

9:00 a.m.   Contemporary
11:00 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Traditional

First Church Congregational
22 Liberty St
Painesville, OH 44077
(440) 357-7518