From the pastor's pen...
Dear Church Family,
Happy new year! 2020 should be an important year for the Reformed Church in America. Decisions made at the 2020 General Synod may have a huge impact on our future. For now, we are moving forward with the legal incorporation of our church in the state of New Jersey. We continue to learn more about our new denomination, the United Church of Christ. I will be attending four full day training sessions this winter to learn more about the history, polity, and theology of the UCC.
We have been a UCC church for a full year now. Have you noticed any major changes? Probably not. The UCC follows Reformed theology. We are allowed to maintain our current style of worship and our current church organization and structure. I have found it helpful to be able to access and use the resources of both denominations. People in the UCC leadership have been welcoming. For now, we are waiting to see what decisions will be made by our classis and the RCA before we make any additional decisions about the future.
In the interim, I would like to share with you some of the UCC statements of belief:
- We believe in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
- We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.
- We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.
- We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
- We believe that all of the baptized “belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (This comes directly from the Heidelberg Catechism, one of the standards of the Reformed Church.) No matter who- no matter what- no matter where we are on life’s journey- notwithstanding race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed- we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized – past, present, and future- are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community’s promise of love, support, and care for the baptized – and we promise that we won’t take it back- no matter where your journey leads you.
All of the above seems like beliefs that the Community Church of Keyport epitomizes. I hope and pray that you will continue to worship and walk with us in Christ’s service in this new year to come.
In Christ's service,
Rev. Dawn Seaman