Services & Times
(+ coffee, soup & potluck after-party every week!)
for Young Adults
1st Wednesdays at 6pm
in Loper Chapel
2nd & 4th Wednesdays at 6pm
in Loper Chapel
Quarterly “Arts Meet Life” Sundays:
one of our pastors in conversation with an artist, performer, journalist or cultural influencer as the sermon moment
Service as Worship Sundays:
mini-worship followed by “sweat equity” service to the world, on our campus and throughout our neighborhood
Holidays & Holy Days
We celebrate special seasons and services with creativity, beauty, and a lot of heart. Join us for Advent & Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week & Easter, Blessing of the Animals, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and more.
Getting you to First Church
find us in downtown Berkeley...
We have a parking lot (enter on Channing) with priority spots for first-time visitors, families with young children and elders with mobility issues on Sunday morning, and plenty of bike racks. Our Parking Lot Attendant offers double parking. There's also street parking and other lots nearby! Directions & Parking Page
Grab a cup of coffee before worship. Stick around after worship to nourish your body and soul at our After Party: more coffee and tea, snacks and yummy homemade soup (see more below).
You Made It!
what to expect
We are blessed with a spectacular sacred space where generations have found peace and inspiration. Make yourself at home among us: spread out, cozy up, or sneak up to the balcony. We also serve the community through concerts, lectures (we’ve hosted everyone from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Patti Smith to RBG!), and as a gem of New England architecture.
COME AS YOU ARE
Our space might feel formal, but we call ourselves the “Motley Pew” — people come dressed however they feel most comfortable, from jeans and snarky T-shirts, to dolled up in their Sunday best. Please be yourself in every sense! We have an All Gender Restroom available in the Hall of Entrance, changing tables (and extra diapers and wipes!) for little ones, and a comfy rocking chair for feeding and soothing babies.
We value inclusivity and disability empowerment, and offer large print bulletins and assistive hearing devices. An usher in the Hall of Entrance can offer assistance. We also have wiggle seats for kiddos who may have sensory difficulties or anyone who struggles with sitting for longer periods. When we pass the peace, feel free to offer a hand-shake, hug, or “Namaste.”
Often paired with playful scripture storytelling, or other media, our sermons at First Church are a thoughtful blend of biblical exploration (sometimes wrestling!), humor and vulnerability, along with deep engagement with the justice issues and spiritual insights of our day, from current events, psychology, the arts, and beyond.
Watch & Listen to Sermons Here
TELL YOUR STORY
Many Sundays we hear first-hand from First Church members sharing their own personal faith testimonies: stories of transformation, simple awakening, confession, spiritual renewal. The universal is contained in the particular! You will probably laugh and/or cry! (We got your back, there are tissue boxes in most pews)
At First Church, we love all kinds of music: from our locally renowned organ, and classic hymns, to powerful gospel, pop hits, and camp songs. Feel free to sing out, stand or sit, sway or harmonize, dance or clap, or simply enjoy.
Read more about Music here!
We offer Holy Communion and Healing Prayers every Sunday for all who wish to participate: directly after worship, or, every *first* Sunday of each month, during the service (with fresh, home-baked bread!) At First Church, God’s table is open to ALL (we even use grape juice & offer gluten free, too).
The nourishment continues after church, which usually wraps up around 11:15! Join us outside on the terrace for our abundant after-party with coffee & tea, delicious homemade soup & goodies, and a chance to connect with new church pals ages 0-101. Stop by the Sermon Digestion Table to reflect on the day’s teachings and dive deeper together.
Jesus loved children and so do we.
Children of all ages are welcome in worship and/or in our wonderful Sunday School programs. We have a whole other page for that! Check it out here.