2023 Spring Concert Series

First Congregational Church of Elgin invites the wider community to our annual Spring Concert Series, featuring four performances from local and international musical artists. All concerts are free admission and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected for donations to the Music Program at First Congregational.



Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Lindsay Garritson, concert pianist

Dr. Lindsay Garritson has performed throughout the United States and abroad since the age of four. She has appeared on stages such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Place des Arts (Montreal), and has been featured as soloist with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra (Texas), Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica Barra Mansa (Brazil), the Yale Philharmonic Orchestra, and the European Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. An award-winning performer, Lindsay has received top prizes at the Montreal International Piano Competition, USASU Bösendorfer International Piano Competition, and the Mozarteum International Chopin Competition (Salzburg).


Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Elgin Symphony String Quartet

Eleanor Bartsch is a violinist with a diverse and vibrant career as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, Concertmaster, soloist, educator, and entrepreneur. In addition to serving as Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, she is Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2018 was named first violinist of the critically acclaimed Kontras Quartet.

Eric Pidluski is a native of Fairfield, CT, where he began playing the violin at age 9. He is currently a member of the first violin sections of Elgin and Rockford Symphonies. He attended the DePaul University School of Music, where he received a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a certificate in violin performance.

Rebecca Swan received her Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. She is a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and is principal violist with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Philharmonic. She is also a member of the Elgin Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta.

Sara Sitzer is an active and versatile freelance cellist and entrepreneur in Chicago. A member of the Elgin Symphony, Sara also performs regularly with orchestras and ensembles including the Milwaukee Symphony and Chicago Opera Theater. 



Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Harper College Steel Drum Band

Paul Ross, director

The Harper College Steel Bands have been entertaining audiences for over 35 years. They perform on a family of instruments called steel pans which were invented and developed in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. These instruments are hand crafted from 55 gallon oil drums/barrels. Harper owns ten steel pans made for them by legendary pan builder and Trinid native Cliff Alexis. Caribbean styles such as calypso, reggae, ska, cha cha, and mambo along with rock, bossa nova, samba, and pop make up the heart of their musical repertoire. Director Paul G. Ross arranges most of their music and has also written many original pieces for them over the years.


Friday, April 7, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Good Friday Choral Concert and Service

Several church choirs in the area join to perform Faure's Requiem, including liturgical elements of scriptures and prayer.


First Congregational Church-Elgin

Congregational Care

Live Love: Caring for Our Congregation 


“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” 1 Peter 4:10


An important part of our life together as a community of faith is caring for one another with the love of Christ. Below are the many ways First Congregational can help when people are in a time of need. Our Care Ministry is comprised of Pastor Jesse and other congregants who give their time and talents to offer support to fellow congregants. 

  • AOK Ministry

“Acts of Kindness” is a small group of congregants who support people by 1) preparing and delivering meals for those in need due to illness or family situations, such as the birth of a child or death of a loved one; 2) providing equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and other hospital equipment; 3) coordinating transportation in special circumstances.


  • Prayer Ministry

Prayer is the world’s greatest wireless connection! If you would like to submit joys or concerns for the whole congregation to hold in prayer, please use our Congregational Prayer List online (link is in weekly E-blast). If you are requesting prayer for someone else, please be sure to get their permission beforehand. 


If you would like Pastor Jesse to hold a specific request in prayer confidentially, please call the church office or contact him directly by phone or email. He mentions the names of those on the Congregational Prayer List in worship for 4 weeks and lists them in the weekly E-blast.


  • Card Ministry

A team of congregants who write and send cards monthly to those being held in prayer on the Congregational Prayer List online. 


  • Printed Materials

If you would like to recieve a printed copy of Church Life, Weekly Newsletter, Sunday Bulletins, Daily Devotionals, etc., please contact the Church office.


  • Pastoral Visits and Emergencies

To contact Pastor Jesse during office hours, call the church office at 847-741-4045. For pastoral emergencies, please call or text him directly. His cell number is listed at the bottom of each weekly E-blast, or you can call the office to get it.


If you would like to meet with or speak to Pastor Jesse for pastoral care or counseling, or if you would like him to deliver Communion to you, please contact the church office by phone (847-741-4045) or email the church office (office@fcc-elgin.org).


  • Looking for Opportunities to Help Others?

First Congregational is a caring and compassionate community of faith that seeks to minister to congregants and their families coping with struggles and times of spiritual and material need. Whatever your skills and interests may be, please prayerfully consider sharing them with our church community! Contact Pastor Jesse in the church office about how you are able to help out.