The United Church of Christ invites everyone with the words “No matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” Not surprising for a group that got it’s start on the Mayflower with a boat full of pilgrims. And in a world where we are often encouraged to “hurry up and get there”, it’s important to remember that the journey is the most important part of our lives.
And that is especially true of our spiritual lives. Before there were churches, before there were doctrines or creeds, Christianity was described merely as “the Way.” It was not an institution, but a movement, a way of living and loving founded on the compassionate, challenging and radically inclusive ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. In remembrance of him, his followers crossed the boundaries and broke the rules, inviting everyone to share in the abundant love of God. Their practices were simple and meaningful: they gathered the people, broke the bread and told the stories. Recalling his life, death and resurrection, the followers of “the Way” adhered to one basic rule: “love one another as I have loved you.”
Two thousand years later, following Jesus feels a little more complicated. The hectic pace and demands of our lives often leave little room for spiritual connection. Our love of God and our neighbors are often crowded out by deadlines and shopping lists. Our religious traditions often obscure “the Way” in rules and practices that support institutional life at the expense of justice, compassion and hospitality. Finding a faith community that challenges our minds, feeds our souls, and nourishes us for the journey is essential to finding our way back to God.
At First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, we aspire to return to the counter-cultural “Way” of Jesus through our faith and practice. We aspire to a faith that is simple, but not simplistic; one that recognizes the doubts and questions which travel with us, but is also a source of deep spiritual encouragement and hope. Through inspiring worship, challenging teaching, and compassionate care for one another, FCC invites everyone, no matter who you are or where you are going, to be a part of this faith journey. We hope you’ll join us.
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Rev. Ann Ralosky