About Our Church

Raynham, Massachusetts, United States
The First Congregational Church of Raynham, UCC, better known as the Stone Church, was founded in 1731. We can be reached at: stonechurchraynham@gmail.com 508-822-6177 We are located at 785 South Main St., which is Route 104 in Raynham. We are at the corner with the flashing light. Sunday Worship Services are held at 9:30 AM.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Archive of Past Events

Memories of some past events at the Stone Church


Holy Week and Easter
At the Stone Church in Raynham

Cantata for Holy Week
Palm Sunday – March 24
9:30 AM and 7:00 PM
The Jubilation Choir will present a Cantata for Holy Week by Joseph Martin entitled “Canticle of the Cross.”  The cantata will be performed during our 9:30 AM worship on Palm Sunday.  It will be repeated at 7:00 PM that same evening, so invite your friends and neighbors!

Holy Week Schedule
Palm Sunday – March 24
9:30 Holy Week Cantata
7:00 Holy Week Cantata

Maundy Thursday – March 28
7:00 Service with Communion

Good Friday – March 29
Noon service at St. Thomas Episcopal ChurchTaunton

Easter – March 31
6:30 AM Sunrise service at Johnson’s Pond
9:00 and 10:30 AM Worship Services


A Wonderful Advent and Christmas Season!
December was filled with fun, music and joy at the Stone Church!

The Live Nativity returned for 2012!  We owe a debt of thanks to everyone who made this event possible.  There were literally dozens and dozens of volunteers.  Special thanks go to Grant and Shari Waterman who coordinated our buildings even during the illness and subsequent death of Grant’s father.  At least 700 people visited our depiction of Bethlehem on the evening of December 9!  They enjoyed the sights and sounds, and the tastes of hot soup, cocoa and popcorn!

Music was one of the features of our Advent and Christmas celebrations.  The Bell Choir gave a wonderful concert to a packed house on December 2.  The Jubilation Choir performed a cantata entitled “Winter’s Grace” during worship on December 16, again that same evening, and then once again on December 17 at LaSalette Shrine in Attleboro.

The warm glow of candlelight filled the sanctuary for Christmas Eve services. 
Special music for early Christmas Eve was provided by John Gimler and Amanda Crandall singing a duet and the “Tilbe Trio”.  Judy Niles took over the Organist duties.  The Jubilation Choir provided special music for the late service, with Carolyn Conrad directing and Michael Conrad at the organ.

Taunton Daily Gazette Story on the Live Nativity:

Taunton Daily Gazette Photos from the Live Nativity:

Church Annual Meeting January 27
The Annual Meeting of the First Congregational Church of Raynham, UCC, will be held after worship on Sunday, January 27.  At that time a budget for the year 2013 will be adopted and officers and committees for the coming year will be elected.  All members of the church are urged to attend!


  1987 Red Corvette Convertible
And the winner is.....
Cara Sypher of Raynham!
Congratualtions Cara for winning the Corvette in our raffle drawing on July 25!
And thanks to each and every one of you who purchased raffle tickets!
Special thanks go to everyone who sold tickets for this drawing.
And extra special thanks go to Steve and Allyson Johnson, with the help of many, including Dave and Judy Sylvia, who made this raffle possible.
The church benefits from this raffle with about $8,000 toward our general fund.

Summer Concert Series
We had a great Summer Concert Series in 2012 and plans for 2013 are already taking shape!  Concerts are held on Wednesday evenings in July at 7:00 PM.

Brunch With Charles Dickens

Our third Charles Dickens gathering was held on Sunday, November 27 at 11 AM.  The church choir sang "Twas the Night Before Christmas", a song that certainly pleased the capacity crowd.  A delicious buffet brunch was served under the direction of Chef Wanda Hanson.  After the meal was served Charles Dickens arrived to read excerpts from his classic "A Christmas Carol".  The crowd then enjoyed singing a selection of Christmas carols under the direction of Lori Sylvia.

Taunton Daily Gazette Story on the Brunch
Taunton Daily Gazette Photos of Dickens Brunch
Raynham Call Photos of Dickens Brunch

The Inspiring Story of Our Friend Kim in the Raynham Call

Our Summer Concert Series will run on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM on July 20, 27, August 3 and 10. Programs will include returning favorites and some new musical treats for you! We plan to have the August 3 concert on the front lawn of the church, weather permitting, so be sure to bring your chairs. Hot dogs and soda will be available for sale that evening. Click on the image above for the full schedule.

Check out these Taunton Daily Gazette pictures from our Summer Concerts: Taunton City Band:
Taunton City Band

Rev. Tilbe returned from a two week deployment to Joplin, Missouri with the American Red Cross. He was involved in providing spiritual care to those affected by the terrible tornado that struck that city, killing 158 people. How ironic that while he traveled to Joplin there was tornado damage in western and central Massachusetts!

Our prayers go out for all who suffered from the terrible storms that have created such havoc and destruction.

Massachusetts Conference UCC has created a fund to aid people and churches affected by the June 1 tornado in Massachusetts. Donations may be made through the following link:
Tornado Help

4th Annual Strawberry Festival
The church held a Strawberry Festival on Saturday June 11. Our thanks go out to everyone who made it possible!
The snow makes a beautiful scene with our huge Christmas Tree

December Snow
Thankfully the snow waited until after Christmas Eve! This storm left quite a pile of snow behind, and draped the church in beauty.
Our regular Sunday Worship Service will be held on January 2 at 9:30 AM.
The Sunday School will be stretching the season out a bit further, holding their Epiphany Celebration on January 9.

The Junior Choir Singing Christmas Eve

"Winter's Grace" A Cantata for Christmas December 19
The Senior Choir performed Joseph Martin's cantata "Winter's Grace" on Sunday, December 19 during the 9:30 AM worship service. The Cantata was repeated at 7:00 PM that evening for our friends and neighbors. This cantata is filled with wonderful music for the Advent and Christmas seasons, with a message of hope and peace in Jesus. You can listen to a sample, a quiet version of Silent Night, by clicking the link:
Silent Night

Wildwood Strings Perform Sunday, December 12 at 7:00 PM
The Wildwood String Quartet, which includes four local women (Paula Boyle, Louise Brady, Carolyn Conrad and Mary Ann Nichols Hubbard) performed at the Stone Church on Sunday, December 12 at 7:00 PM. An appreciative crowd enjoyed some wonderful seasonal music!
Click here for Taunton Daily Gazette photos

The Magi Offer Their Gifts as the Shepherds Look On
The Manger Scene with Paul Peterson Serenading
The Census Taker's Long List

LIVE NATIVITY Sunday December 5
On a beautiful December evening the Stone Church depiction of Bethlehem at the time Jesus was born was viewed by hundreds of people. We are thankful for all church people who helped build and occupy our Bethlehem village!
The Raynham Call's photo gallery can be found here:
Live Nativity

Mr. Dickens Checks the Time before His Reading
An Afternoon Tea with Charles Dickens
A Reading from
“A Christmas Carol”
Charles Dickens returned to the Stone Church for another reading of his "Christmas Carol" on Sunday, November 28. A festive crowd greeted Mr. Dickens, played by Rev. Tilbe, as they kicked off the holiday season with the ghostly tale of redemption.
Raynham Call Photos of Mr. Dickens' Reading

Christmas Tree Lighting
Tree Lighting November 28
The 18 foot Christmas Tree in front of the church was officially lit with song, cocoa and a joyful crowd on November 28. Our thanks go to everyone who made this possible!

An Afternoon Tea With Charles Dickens
Tea, goodies, a reading from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" plus some Christmas music made for an enjoyable afternoon on November 29.
The Taunton Gazette has photos from the afternoon:
Delving Into Dickens

Best Pizza in Raynham
The results are in from the "Raynham’s Best Pizza Contest." Cape Cod Cafe on Broadway won the March 14, 2010 contest, receiving the most votes from our tasters. We want to thank each of the pizza makers who participated: Cape Cod Pizza, Great American Pub, Piezonis, Raynham House of Pizza, Royal Pizza and Super Pizza. All offered great pizza, making a difficult decision! Thanks also go to Stoneforge who donated a gift certificate for a raffle item. We are thankful the church received over $500 from this event!

A Relief Concert for Haiti at Baptist Church of All Nations in Taunton
Our choir was one of several musical groups participating in a benefit concert for Haiti earthquake relief on April 17, 2010 at the Baptist Church of All Nations in Taunton.
More than $2,000 was raised to help those affected by the devastating January earthquake in Haiti.
You can view a story about the concert here:
Concert for Haiti

Jimmy Fortune Concert May 15
Country music legend and former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune performed at the Stone Church on Saturday, May 15. This was the first Massachusetts appearance by Jimmy Fortune since he went out on his own seven years ago. Our own Senior Choir opened for Jimmy Fortune for the sold out concert. All of the proceeds benefit the church.
You can learn more about Jimmy Fortune and listen to samples of his music at his website: Jimmy Fortune

High Tea Honors Mothers May 2
Tea was served on Sunday, May 2nd at 2:00 PM in honor of Mothers near and far. Along with the tea, sandwiches by Wanda Hanson and sweet delicacies by Mary Boyd and Jan Overton were served. Musical selections were provided by Michael Conrad and several readings and poems were read.

Quilt Display Sunday May 2
While tea was enjoyed in the Fellowship Hall, a display of quilts was available for viewing which included children’s, historical, retirement, family, baby and out of state quilts of many times. This included quilts by Lynn Ingram and Bonnie Lester.

Strawberry Festival
One hundred and forty people enjoyed our third annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 12. Despite rainy weather, homemade strawberry shortcakes were enjoyed by all from 1:00 to 4:00. Homemade strawberry jam, crafts and candles were sold along with a Chinese auction. Special thanks go to Judy Sylvia, her family Dave and Lori and everyone else who helped pick berries, prepare, serve and clean up!

Stone Church Summer Concerts
Our summer concert series concluded on July 28 with a rousing concert by the Dixie Diehards. Our thanks go to each of the performers and those who attended our concerts during July. We are already planning next year's concerts!
We are thankful to the Raynham Cultural Concert and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for a grant that covers part of the costs of the concert series.

Here's an article from the Taunton Gazette about the July 14 concert with Rob LePage:

A feww pictures of recent concerts:

Guitar, Harp and Recorder

Mike Conrad on organ and Rob LePage on Trumpet

SOS Big Band

The Dixie Diehards

First Congregational Church held a delicious Lobster Boil on Sunday, August 22.
The menu included: boiled lobster, boiled potato, ear of corn, salad, roll and watermelon. It was a great time!

Harvest Supper
The October 30th Harvest Supper was a great success. Tickets sold out early this year, leaving many disappointed. The turkey dinner lived up to the New England tradition and a good time was had by all! Our thanks go to everyone who helped, from planning through clean up. Special thanks to Barbara Reece for coordinating the event!

The Raynham Historical Society and the "Stone Church" Present:
Bridal Couture
Vintage to Present Gowns and Vignettes

The First Congregational Church and The Raynham Historical Society co-sponsored a vintage bridal show on two afternoons, October 23 and 24. The show featured dozens of wedding gowns through the years, followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall.
Read a news story about the show, with photos here:
Bridal Couture
From the Brockton Enterprise:

  • Enterprise Newsclipping
    In the Taunton Gazette

    Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service

    Wednesday, November 24 7:00 PM
    At First Congregational Church
    We join with our friends from St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church to give thanks to God in Christian unity.

    Homespun Holidays Craft Fair
    Sue Burns and Janet Making Apple Pies
    Jim Silva Turning Out Another Treasure
    The Twentieth Homespun Holidays Craft Fair was a great success at the Stone Church on November 12 and 13. An assortment of holiday crafts from many of our area's best crafters was available for sale. Crafters included Bonnie Lester, Janet Conrad, Becky Webster, Maggie Silva, Heather Pelland, Diane Berube, Judy Sylvia, Jim Silva, Patty Leite, Lori Sylvia, Sherry Tibbetts and Gina Roberts. Jim Silva offered wood turning demonstrations throughout the day both Friday and Saturday.
    There were also baked goods, soup and sandwiches. And, of course, the church featured its famous apple pies!