350 Main Street, Amesbury, MA 01913 ~ 978-388-0631
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Congregationalism came to America on the Mayflower to reestablish a Church on the New Testament pattern - a fellowship of persons who freely choose to be followers of Jesus Christ. The earliest Christians believed that wherever two or three were gathered together in the Name and Spirit of Jesus Christ, that Christ would be there with them. (Matthew 18:20)
The Mayflower Pilgrims also gathered together freely, committing themselves to worship and serve together as the spirit of God moved them. In matters of faith they accepted full responsibility for their personal relationship with God in Christ and allowed no outside authority to dictate how they should believe, worship or serve God.
Congregationalists expect each member to have a personal relationship with God and an expression of God's love in our lives.
The Open Bible
Congregational Christians stand for an open Bible, and an open Bible graces the altar at the front of our church. The Bible is the primary source for our individual and collective knowledge about God, the world, the human condition and the person and work of Jesus Christ. We affirm the liberty of individual believers to read and interpret the Bible for themselves, and recognize a diversity of interpretations.
The Holy Spirit
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to understand and apply God's Word written in the Bible and experienced in our lives. The Spirit helps us develop as intelligent and joyful followers of Jesus Christ, expressing in our lives the fruit of God's Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
Congregational Churches accept Christ alone as the head of the Church and are completely responsible for hearing and responding to Christ's guidance as they understand it. Each church is autonomous and self-governing, free from outside church authority to follow the leading of Christ's Spirit.
The relationship between Congregational Churches is one of mutual respect and kindred fellowship. Decisions are only recommendations and advice. They have only as much authority as there is truth in them.
When you join a Congregational Church, you accept the comprehensive view that all believers are one in Christ regardless of organizational affiliation.
Congregational Christians believe deeply in God, in Jesus Christ, in the guiding Spirit of God, in prayer, in the worth of worship, in the value of the sacraments, and in the power of God to triumph over all that is evil.
We do not accept any formal statement of faith as binding on all members. It's not because we think creeds do not matter, but because we believe authenticity of conviction demands intellectual freedom and a personal relationship with God.
Congregationalists have liberty and responsibility of conscience in interpreting the Gospel. A common requirement for membership is sincere Christian conviction and honest desire to live in fellowship as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Our church is one of many Congregational churches that is Open and Affirming. As part of our core beliefs, we affirm the dignity, liberty and equality before God of all persons regardless of age, disability, nationality, race, gender or sexual orientation.
Our Relationship with God
Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39) God relates to us directly both individually and collectively. Congregationalists advocate following Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as individual conscience dictates.
In Congregationalism, while we each have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we also need the support of a loving community to grow to full maturity in Christ.
Priesthood of All Believers
While some members of the church may possess special gifts for leadership and ministry, they exercise those gifts solely through the shared priesthood of all Christian believers. In affirming the priesthood of believers, we affirm a ministry of the whole Church, in which all have the privilege and duty of sharing the good news of Christ with others and of exercising within the Church the spiritual functions for which God has endowed them with the necessary gifts.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Congregationalists turn to scripture as our guide. Congregationalists find evidence for two sacraments in the Bible: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In each case, the sacraments affirm the covenant and are an outward sign of an inward spiritual reality of Christ’s presence.
Both Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments of the church and are practiced only when the congregation is gathered as the church, in the presence of Christ. These acts are part of the communal worship of God and are not practiced privately. Our church practices ‘open communion,’ in which all persons who believe in Jesus Christ are welcome to join at our table for the Lord’s Supper.
United by Covenant
Each Congregational Church has its own covenant with God and one another. We bring our different gifts and understandings of God as we walk, work, worship, pray and celebrate together.
We covenant one with another to seek and respond to the Word and the will of God. We purpose to walk together in the ways of the Lord, made known and to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the Church to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ in all the world, while worshiping God, and striving for truth, justice and peace. As did our forbears, we depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God, and we look with faith toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life.
Our Statement of Faith
This Church acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of humankind. It acknowledges as sister and brothers in Christ all who share in the confession. It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims, as it’s own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among Christian Churches, it recognizes the Sacrament of Baptism, and the Sacrament of Communion.