Open, Accepting & Inclusive
We believe every person has been created in the image of the Divine. At First Church you are welcome to be who you are, to love who you love, and explore your beliefs at your own pace. Our community of faith is centered around celebrating the diversity of our congregation. We are committed to justice, equality, dignity, and fairness for all people. This commitment is essential as we seek to dissolve barriers that divide us from each other. We have been called to share love and grace across gender identity, race, sexuality, national origin, and socioeconomic lines. Our partnerships are centered around other individuals and groups who espouse this value. The way we use our space, the individuals we invite to participate in the life and conversation of our church, and our on-going relationships with others who work for justice and peace, are rooted in this understanding that is at the very heart of our congregation.
Excellence In Worship
Our sanctuary is a beautiful gift of sacred space that has been given over to our care by those who came before us. When we gather on Sunday mornings we weave together all the aspects of this gift beginning with the music of our magnificent organ, and the classical choral traditions of our Chancel Choir. We also seek to incorporate world music that reflects our diversity and original choral compositions, which remind us the intersection of art and faith was not only something from the past, but in fact that creative engagement, continues in this place and time. Our strong desire is to be rooted and grounded in traditions of the past which are being interrupted in new ways. Our liturgies are built on ancient words and images that are being reimagined for our congregation. The sacraments of the church are symbols of life that invite us to actively participate rather than passively listen. Our ministers share the narratives of our faith in ways that ask us to look deep within our lives, so that we may make a difference outside our walls. Each week, we are challenged to love God and to love our neighbor. As we pray for each other and for our world, we are reminded of our responsibility to take the gift we have been given and share it with others that surround us.
Intellectual Rigor Combined with Faith
We are not afraid to tackle the difficult questions. We believe the Bible is our sacred text and provides a beginning point for our exploration of faith. We also look to science, reason, and the wisdom of other traditions, as we seek to live our lives with our siblings in ways that promote the dignity and well being of all people. We do not shy away from the issues of the day and we encourage honest dialogue that helps us live more fully into the faith that lives within us - and among us. We invite individuals from a variety of disciplines to help us see beyond our doors. We live into the cognitive dissonance that helps us find the path before us, even as we are reminded that we all see the world through very different eyes.
Commitment to Children, Youth & Families
We are committed to partnering with parents in the spiritual development of their children. While we recognize that faith development comes primarily from within a family, we strive to create an environment where their children can learn of a faith that is as beautiful and spacious as our building. It is our desire that the program for Children and Youth will reflect the other values that we hold so dear. We are clear that every part of our ministry in this area should be open and inclusive of all. We strive for excellence in all that we do and while it is most often apparent in our worship services, our Children and Youth program reflects that same commitment to creatively using the arts, faith, and justice in a transformational way. We remember well the narratives from our recent history when children were not part of our congregation. That narrative continues to call us to be faithful in the present and to make certain this church will be here in the future for our families.