The Congregational Way
Congregational Churches are sometimes known as the “Church of the Pilgrims” after the small congregations of the early 1600’s. The people of these congregations moved from England to the new world in pursuit of religious liberty. This is a tradition that has deep convictions based upon the Word of God as each person interprets the Word according to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Because every Congregationalist possesses the freedom to interpret the Gospel, we are a diverse group of people united under Christ. We believe there is strength in diversity and unending opportunities to learn from each other and to grow in faith.
Our basic beliefs can be summarized as follows:
- Christ alone is the head of the church.
- All church members are spiritually equal and called to the work of ministry as they share their gifts and their understandings of God.
- Believers are bound to one another in voluntary covenant (rather than by a creed) because each believer has intellectual freedom and a personal relationship with God.
- Mutual respect for diverse expressions of sincere Christian belief is fundamental to our walk of faith.
- The Bible is fully sufficient as the primary light in our daily lives and will inspire individuals and direct the church with fresh light and truth for every generation.
- Every local church is called into wider associations of fellowship, but none have authority over the local church.
This information comes from the website for the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches and from the pamphlet, What it Means to Be a Member of a Congregational Christian Church, written by Henry David Gray, and revised by David L. Gray and Douglas L. Gray in 2014. For a fuller introduction to Congregationalism you may read or download The Art and Practice of the Congregation Way at www.naccc.org.