The church is called to worship. As God in Christ has given himself for us, so we are called to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship (Romans 12: 1). It is essential that God's people meet together for worship. In the proclamation and hearing of the Word, in the washing with water and in the sharing of the bread and the cup, God in Christ comes to meet us and we offer ourselves in thanksgiving to God. In the worship of the gathered community, we both witness to and participate in the redeeming work of God in Christ.
From the goal statements
Sunday morning is a very special time. We come together to praise and thank God for all He has done for us. This public gathering is both to witness to the world that we believe that Jesus Christ was here on earth to teach us how to live according to God's loving will and also that we believe that through Jesus' sacrifice we will be reunited with God.
It is important to worship together. The sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, the sermons, the joyful offerings, the communal prayers and the fellowship help us to feel God's presence in our lives and to grow as Christians. During the week we seriously try to practice what is preached through our conduct: prayers, word and deed.
As a "downtown" church, situated in the heart of Albany, NY, congregants come to worship here from within walking distance as well as from the suburbs and neighboring cities and towns. First Church ministers to this diverse congregation with a wonderful combination of traditional and contemporary programs, services, and opportunities, reaching out to people of all ages.
During the monthly communion service (following an old Dutch tradition) a center-aisle table is used by those who like to maintain this practice. At communion gluten free bread is always available. Either all the bread is gluten free or there is a side dish on each plate. The Lord's Supper is celebrated four times a year with the homebound and those in hospital or nursing homes with a pastor and an elder.
Easter and Christmas services draw hundreds to enjoy the inspiring music and worship together in a warm and welcoming place. We have a "drive-in" service available during the summer months. Worship services are supported and enriched by a music program that fills our hearts and souls with joy and gladness. This mix of old and new yields an unforgettable worship experience
Recordings of worship services are available on CD and online for you, but please join us and experience our unique worship services first-hand.
Come for a visit, stay for a lifetime.
The First Church choir offers music to support and enrich worship at regular Sunday and special services from September to June. Membership in the choir provides opportunities for musical growth and good fellowship. The senior choir rehearses Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. New singers are always welcome.
The First Church organ, recently renovated, fills the sanctuary with glorious sound. Special pre-service music is offered at 10:15 a.m. each Sunday during Advent and Lent.
An augmented festival choir and guest musicians provide special musical offerings several times during the year. Special concerts by the First Church choir and organist and by visiting soloists, organists, and ensembles bring music to the wider community.
For more information about the choir, click here.
Prayers for Healing
People who desire prayers for themselves or others for physical, emotional or spiritual health, gather in James Chapel immediately following the regular worship service on the third Sunday of each month to share personal concerns and prayers.
During the summer months, we conduct an outdoor service in addition to our regular indoor service. Worshipers stay in their cars and the minister preaches from an outdoor pulpit. This half-hour service is popular both with families with children and the elderly as well as for those who may be new to church.