About

At the First Congregational Church of Christ, we are more than just a building. We are a community … a community of people of faith who care about the world we live in, whether it’s right outside our door or half a world away … and a community that is constantly striving to live up to Christ’s teaching, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” As a church, we strive to be a place of grace that welcomes everyone, regardless of their theological expression, age, race, gender, sexual identity, national origin or financial means. In our Church Constitution, we state that, “Each member shall have the undisturbed right to follow the word of God according to the dictates of his or her own conscience, under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.” Our church, which was established in 1665, continues to cherish this proud Pilgrim tradition. We would be honored by your presence among us and invite you to join us.

    Worship Service Schedule

    We conduct more than 130 inspiring worship services every year in our historic Meetinghouse and the South Lyme Union Chapel. Our three, full-time ministers deliver consistently challenging sermons, and our services provide quality time for fellowship, meditation, prayer and the enjoyment of sacred music. In recent months, we have found innovative ways to continue this ministry through the use of videotaped services and Zoom meetings.

    During the school year, worship services are held Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  Sunday School classes and nursery care are offered during the 9:00 a.m. service. A coffee hour is typically held between the two morning services. During the summer – from the first Sunday in June until the Sunday after Labor Day – there is only one Sunday morning service at 10:00 a.m.  No Sunday School classes are held over the summer. Currently, as a result of the pandemic, we are only offering one Sunday morning service a week – livestreamed on YouTube at 11:00 a.m.

    In addition, we offer special holiday worship services during the Christmas, Easter, Lenten and Thanksgiving seasons; as well as an ongoing weekly worship service at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings at the South Lyme Union Chapel.  Rebecca A. Francisco, a recent graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary, serves as the minister of this affiliated congregation. These worship services are currently suspended as a result of the pandemic.

    New Members

    We welcome everyone and anyone who would like to become a part of our faith community.  We invite you to join us at an upcoming worship service or other church activity as a way of introducing our congregation to you.  You’ll find a FAQ for New Members here.  We look forward to meeting you!

    Clergy

    Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Steven R. Jungkeit

    Steve Jungkeit is the 19th senior minister of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University, where he also completed his M.Div., M.A. and M.Phil. degrees, also in Religious Studies. He holds a B.A. from Messiah College. Prior to coming to Old Lyme, he did a residency in hospital chaplaincy at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut; and served churches in New Haven, Connecticut; Newport, Vermont; and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Steve is also a lecturer in ethics at Harvard Divinity School, where he served as the Lenz Memorial Lecturer for the 2011-2012 academic year. He is the author of the book, “Spaces of Modern Theology: Geography and Power in Schleiermacher’s World,” which explores the relationship between the imagined spaces of written theology and the configuration of geographical spaces during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He is married to Rachael; they have three children – Sabina, Elsa and August.

    Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Steven R. Jungkeit

    Steve Jungkeit is the 19th senior minister of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University, where he also completed his M.Div., M.A. and M.Phil. degrees, also in Religious Studies. He holds a B.A. from Messiah College. Prior to coming to Old Lyme, he did a residency in hospital chaplaincy at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut; and served churches in New Haven, Connecticut; Newport, Vermont; and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Steve is also a lecturer in ethics at Harvard Divinity School, where he served as the Lenz Memorial Lecturer for the 2011-2012 academic year. He is the author of the book, “Spaces of Modern Theology: Geography and Power in Schleiermacher’s World,” which explores the relationship between the imagined spaces of written theology and the configuration of geographical spaces during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He is married to Rachael; they have three children – Sabina, Elsa and August.

    Senior Associate Minister Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager

    Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager is our Senior Associate Minister. Prior to joining FCCOL three years ago, Laura served as the pastor of First Church in East Haddam, Connecticut. Her first career was as a speech-language pathologist. She worked at Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as in public schools in New York City and Connecticut. An accomplished author, spiritual director and workshop presenter, she holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from New York University and a B.A. from Boston College.  Laura’s memoir, “Swimming on My Wedding Day: My Cancer Journey through the Seasons” was published in 2008. Laura and her husband, Paul, a local artist, live in Old Lyme.

    Senior Associate Minister Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager

    Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager is our Senior Associate Minister. Prior to joining FCCOL three years ago, Laura served as the pastor of First Church in East Haddam, Connecticut. Her first career was as a speech-language pathologist. She worked at Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as in public schools in New York City and Connecticut. An accomplished author, spiritual director and workshop presenter, she holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from New York University and a B.A. from Boston College.  Laura’s memoir, “Swimming on My Wedding Day: My Cancer Journey through the Seasons” was published in 2008. Laura and her husband, Paul, a local artist, live in Old Lyme.

    Associate Minister Rev. Carleen R. Gerber

    Carleen Gerber was born and raised in Lyme, Connecticut. She received her B.A. degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she majored in music and elementary education. She began serving our church as organist in 1976. She received her M.Div. degree in 1995 from the University of South Africa, where she pursued a major in the study of missions. She was ordained in 1996 and until June 2012 served as our senior associate minister and minister of music. In 2012, as Simon Holt became director of music at the church, Carleen transitioned to using all her time to serve in our ministry programs. Over the years, Carleen has led the church’s growth in music programs, missions, pastoral care and the development of outreach partnerships around the world. She and her husband, Don, live in Lyme.

    Associate Minister Rev. Carleen R. Gerber

    Carleen Gerber was born and raised in Lyme, Connecticut. She received her B.A. degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she majored in music and elementary education. She began serving our church as organist in 1976. She received her M.Div. degree in 1995 from the University of South Africa, where she pursued a major in the study of missions. She was ordained in 1996 and until June 2012 served as our senior associate minister and minister of music. In 2012, as Simon Holt became director of music at the church, Carleen transitioned to using all her time to serve in our ministry programs. Over the years, Carleen has led the church’s growth in music programs, missions, pastoral care and the development of outreach partnerships around the world. She and her husband, Don, live in Lyme.

    Church Leadership

    Church Council

    The Church Council oversees the entirety of the church’s activities – spiritual, financial and otherwise. The council supervises all of the church’s various boards and committees, and advises and all of its boards, committees, officers and staff.

    Board of Deacons

    The Board of Deacons develops and implements the spiritual activities of the church, in close cooperation with the senior minister.  The board administers the sacrament of Holy Communion and oversees the Board of Youth & Adult Education, the Board of Music & the Arts, the Board of Missions and the Partnership Committees.

    Board of Trustees

    The Board of Trustees supervises the procurement, custody and care of all church property and manages all of the church’s financial affairs. The board maintains custody of all church funds and oversees the use of church facilities and equipment by other individuals or organizations; appoints and supervises the Budget Committee, the Property Committee, the Endowment Committee, the Communications Committee, the Personnel Committee and the Audit Committee; and authorizes the annual financial audits of church accounts and activities.

    Board of Stewardship

    The Board of Stewardship is responsible for securing the ongoing financial support of the church’s ministries and missions through the solicitation of annual pledges by members of the congregation, and coordinates all fund-raising activities held by the church or a particular board or committee. The board also develops and supervises any capital fund drives.

    Staff

    Weddings & Tours

    •  We welcome the opportunity to hold wedding ceremonies in our church. This invitation is open to church members and non-members alike, as we are an open and affirming church. For the details, please contact our wedding coordinator, Joanie May, at 860-434-8686 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or anytime at joanmay@fccol.org. If there is no one in the office when you call, please press Option 1 and leave a message.
    • We are happy to offer tours of our facilities and provide visitors with an overview of our church’s long history and current activities. To arrange a visit, please contact our office manager, Odile Brennan, at 860-434-8686 or fccol@fccol.org.
    • Please note that weddings and tours are currently suspended due to the pandemic.

    Memorial Services

    • Our church is available for memorial services and funerals for church members and non-members alike. ​We also have a memorial garden next to the meetinghouse where folks are welcome to inter the ashes of a loved one.
    • To speak with a minister or for more information, please contact our church office and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible at ​860-434-8686. If there is no one in the office when you call, please press Option 1 and leave a message. We can also be reached by email at fccol@fccol.org​.  
    • Members of our office staff can assist you with suggestions for vendors who may be of service (with altar flowers, etc.). For more information, feel free to email Joanie at joanmay@fccol.org.  
    • Due to the pandemic, memorial services and funerals are currently suspended. ​However, we are happy to talk with you and make plans for a future date.

    Contact Us