NICE TO MEET YOU!


WHO WE ARE

We are seekers, believers, skeptics and singers —  citizens of the secular world drawn to how church links us to the past, even as we seek to reshape it for a better future.



We are people interested in both the intellectual questions of faith and the transcendent power of the sacred, experienced and explored in community. We appreciate the extraordinary gift of an ordinary Sunday service, the opportunity to serve and be served, and the unique role church plays in our individual and public lives; above all, we are humans wrestling with both the theoretical understanding and daily practice of a theology of love. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

Worship, Community, Justice, Spirituality 



TIMELESS WORSHIP, MODERN FAITH

Worship is a mix of traditional style and progressive theology. Many Sundays you will hear an organ and choir, on others there will be guitar or drums. We always strive for songs and prayers that reflect the God who calls us to justice, peace, and compassion.


A COME-AS-YOU-ARE WELCOME

We hope to welcome you warmly. Stop by the Welcome Desk if you’d like to say hello, find information, or get a nametag. Then enter the sanctuary at your own pace. Come as you are — some of us wear t-shirts and flip-flops, others dress up. Stay for coffee and snacks after worship, or slip away to the chapel to contemplate your experience. We’d love to connect with you, so don’t hesitate to return to the Welcome Desk or greet the pastors. Welcome!



KIDS

Children an active part of our congregation. Pillows, crayons, and coloring pages are in the front row where kids can see more easily and be in the action; rocking chairs and quiet toys are in an area near the back. The sound system carries into the narthex, too, if families want to stand or walk while worshiping. Care for infants and preschoolers is always available; K-5 church school often begins after a time with children. Teens tend to sit together in the balcony or with family.

EASY ACCESS


Visiting a new place can be intimidating or exciting, so please engage as much or as little as feels comfortable. An accessible parking lot (north) leads to one entrance, and the large parking lot (south) leads to another. The church office is located just inside the door located nearest the Cornwall Tot Lot.


Welcoming All, Growing in Faith,

Living God’s Love, Justice, Compassion… 

First Congregational Church Purpose Statement


MEET OUR STAFF

Get to know the First Congregational Church staff


REV. SHARON A. BENTON

LEAD PASTOR

Sharon grew up in rural New Jersey and has served as a healthcare chaplain or pastor in California, Connecticut, and Colorado. Now she gets to live and play in the most beautiful place she could ever dream of surrounded by waves and mountains and fuzzy-mossed giant trees. At Claremont School of Theology she met her spouse, Jamie Kepros, who serves as Pastor at the Lummi Island Congregational Church, UCC.

REV. DAVID WEASLEY

PASTOR FOR YOUTH, YOUNG ADULTS, & MISSION

David grew up in Western New York, and studied at Oberlin College and Chicago Theological Seminary.  In addition to theology, he has a background in spiritual direction, community organizing, and storytelling.  He is passionate about communities that celebrate people for things other people have rejected.

David’s family includes his partner Rachael (a contemplative songwriter: rachaelweasley.com), his cat Rutubaga Hermione (a delightful troublemaker) and his kid Ezekiel Grace (an aspiring toddler and scholar of applied physics.)  He would like to hear about your Dungeons & Dragons character. 

SHARRY NYBERG

MINISTER OF CHRISTIAN FORMATION

Sharry was a 15-year member of FCCB who managed a local clothing store when she was hired as Christian Educator in 1999. To Sharry, the most important part of her job is helping young people feel seen, safe, loved, and at home while they grow and explore questions of faith. She loves planning retreats, labyrinth walks, mission trips, and other ways to experience the Holy Spirit. Sharry grew up in Bellingham and, with husband Joe, has a grown son and daughter, and granddaughter. Her home life includes walking with golden retriever Maggie, reading, traveling, knitting, and learning new crafts.

LUCY BLEDIG

MINISTER OF MUSIC

Lucy is relatively new to Whatcom County, but instantly recognized her heart’s home. She grew up in a small town on the northwest shore of Lake Superior, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in science before moving away to complete a Master’s degree in vocal performance. She is a church musician, music teacher, accompanist, and vocal soloist, and is learning how to play the banjo for fun. She is passionate about the outdoors and regularly hikes, runs, and bikes in the mountains. An avid crafter, she is particularly fond of knitting. If you see her wearing something woolly, she most likely made it. She lives in Glacier with her husband Luke and their mountain bikes.

JUDITH WIDRIG

ORGANIST

Judith is originally from Syracuse, NY and is currently on the piano faculty at Western Washington University. She received a Doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of Colorado, and Piano Performance degrees from The Hartt School of Music and The University of Minnesota. Judith has an impressive performance and teaching resume and maintains a private piano studio. She has performed with orchestras on both coasts, including local appearances as concerto soloist with the Whatcom and Skagit Symphonies.

RENEE RELIN

CHURCH ACCOUNTANT

Bio to come!

CYDNE COCHRAN

OFFICE MANAGER

First Congregational Church is Cydne’s third church as an office manager or administrator. In addition to her church work, she has more than twenty years of experience in administrative and clerical support in a variety of fields. She also has a BS in Criminal Justice Administration and a MS in Psychology of Culture. Cydne has two children, a son and grandson in Arizona, a daughter and three grandchildren in Georgia, and a stepson in Olympia.

KURT AAGARD

CUSTODIAN/MAINTENANCE

Kurt grew up in Seattle and moved to Bellingham in 2006 to attend Western Washington University. He graduated in 2012 with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and met his future wife. They worked together at a summer camp outside Birch Bay where Kurt did maintenance work and Emily was camp director. Now they live in Bellingham with their golden retrievers Cooper and Honey. Kurt loves learning about the world around him. 

LAURA NORTON

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT FOR CARE COORDINATION

Laura Norton is a faith-inspired calligrapher--with accounting propensities, having begun her post-UW career as an audit CPA with an international accounting firm in Seattle. A longtime active Lutheran, she most recently originated Justice Seekers at Christ the Servant (Bellingham) and worked on a Northwest Washington Synod task force. She creates weekly calligraphic artwork for congregations of many denominations throughout the U.S. and Canada, teaches art around the country, and does calligraphy on murals, silk, windows, etc. Parents of two adult children (now Seattleites), Laura & her spouse frequently go trail running in the Chuckanuts and try to keep vegetables alive in their home garden