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Our Beliefs

Friends and Neighbors,

We are not a “progressive” church that merely welcomes LGBTQ+ persons.
We recognize and honor the presence of God in all people and fully welcome them into our community to be members, leaders, teachers, and preachers.

We are not a “progressive” church that uses inclusive language to be politically correct.
We identify the limitations of a male-dominated society and seek to rediscover the gifts and strengths of the feminine in both our members and the sacred.

We are not a “progressive” church that is all intellectual and boring.
We celebrate with joy and laughter our faith through varieties of music, the arts, worship styles, and forms of service and action in the community.

We are not a “progressive” church that considers the Bible irrelevant for today.
We value these ancient stories of people’s experiences of God in different times and cultures by using them as entry points to experience the presence and guidance of God today.

We are not a “progressive” church that downplays the role of Jesus.
We respond to the Jesus we meet in scripture who calls us to take up our own crosses and follow in the steps of his life, message, and vision, not just his death.

We are not a “progressive” church that does not believe in eternal salvation.
We recognize that salvation is also an experience in the here and now through our participation in God’s work toward a world of more equality, compassion, and peace.

We are not a “progressive” church that says whatever way works for you is fine.
We simply recognize that Christianity is our way into the life of God but do not confuse that as being the only way into God who will not be defined by human barriers.

Maybe First Congregational Elgin is the church you’ve been looking for! 

Join us this Sunday for worship, and begin the journey of finding out.

Peace in Christ,

Rev. Dr. Jesse Tanner, Pastor

Worship Services

Worship services usually last about an hour. Communion is offered on the first Sunday of each month in both services. 

This service includes the choir, bell choir, and special music throughout most of the year. You’ll frequently hear special music performances by our talented musicians as well as local and regional talent.  

We love Children at First Congregational Church.  They participate in a portion of the service and are then invited to attend Sunday School which is offered during service throughout the school year, August-May.


Families of all sizes, shapes, and hues are welcome and cherished at First Congregational Church. We are a congregation of diverse backgrounds, living in families of various configurations, who hold in common a desire to see our children flourish as they discover a friend in Jesus.

Whether your child is teddy bear clutching, or gregarious, a boy who likes princess movies, or a girl who plays football, he or she will fit in fine! It is our joy to enfold all children—the fearless, the questioning, the sweet, the anxious, and the huggers—within the circle of God’s unending love.

Our Sunday School program is offered during the 9:30 service on Sunday mornings. All children and families gather together for worship during the first part of the worship service. Worship bags are available in the back of the sanctuary for children to use as they wait for worship to begin.

Parents are encouraged to help their children learn to worship by showing them how to follow along in the bulletin and join in singing the hymns. Just prior to the scripture reading the children are invited to attend their age appropriate Sunday School classes for a biblically based lesson.

Our program invites children to use their intelligence and imagination as they listen to the story, wonder and make meaning for themselves. We seek to nurture a faith in children that will grow with them as they mature.

Our Sunday School program is offered from September through May for newborns – senior high school. During the summer we encourage families to worship together. The nursery is provided year-round for infants – 3year olds.

Support During the Service

We offer large-print bulletins for those who forgot their reading glasses.

There is an elevator for access to Fellowship Hall and upper floor classrooms and meeting rooms.

Coffee Hour & Fellowship

We also have a friendly gathering for coffee and treats immediately following the 9:30 service in Fellowship Hall. Enjoy tasty healthy, and not-so-healthy, treats while you visit and catch up with your new friends.

Free Parking

On Sundays on the gravel lot on the east side of the church:

  • Handicap parking is located on the north side of the church, with entrance on Center Street,
  • In the municipal parking structure at the corner of E. Chicago and Spring St. and in the municipal lot on the corner of Geneva St. and Highland Ave. 
  • On all local streets except in the winter when 2” or more of snow has fallen. 
FCC Logo Icon

First Congregational

United Church of Christ - Elgin, IL


Embraces diversity, social justice, and progressive theology. Open and affirming, promoting love, acceptance, and inclusion.

About Us

Want to know more about our Church that started in Elgin founder, James Gifford's cabin? Meet our Church staff and learn more about the structure of First Congregational Church and the United Church of Christ.

Upcoming Events

Our Sunday services, special musical events, Ministry groups and community outreach offer ways to connect with our congregation regularly. Join us!

How We Give

We believe we are called to touch lives not only in our immediate, local community, but also in the larger world in need.

Welcome From Pastor Jesse

Welcome to First Congregational Church of Elgin! I’m so glad you found our website!

One of the important affirmations in the United Church of Christ is, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
Are you craving an authentic connection to God? Are you looking for a progressive message about faith and spirituality?
Are you ready for a sense of belonging and involvement? Are you seeking to find meaning in your unanswered questions?

Then FCC Elgin is the place for you!

We’re a spiritual community with a long, rich, diverse heritage here in Elgin for 184+ years. We’re a church that is proudly progressive, intentionally inclusive, and authentically Christian. We honor many paths to God, encourage questions, seek social justice, care for the planet, and welcome LGBTQ individuals and families.

There are many ways to learn more about us and get involved, so please explore our website and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Peace to you in Jesus Christ,

Pastor Jesse Tanner