Our congregation’s history reaches back almost 250 years, and we have seen the normal highs and lows of many mid-sized congregations. Our group of approximately 70 congregants enjoys a blended style of worship that includes old hymns as well as contemporary songs. We intentionally include a variety of voices in our worship service: scripture readers, worship leaders, and individuals willing to share about their daily lives and where they see God at work. Our active prayer ministry provides opportunities, during worship and at other times, for prayer ushers to listen to a person’s struggles with a focus on simply lifting the person and their situation before God. They also listen in prayer for a word that God might have for the individual who comes to pray.
Though the congregation’s history is long, we have a youthful energy and flexibility. We see evidence of this in the courageous step of the 3-year experiment that we called the Missional Journey, which began in 2011. Through this experiment, the congregation intentionally set aside funds and people to connect with the community around them. A community garden was started on church grounds, and small groups formed to pray and reflect on simple ways to connect with neighbors. Themes that grew out of these times together were authenticity, vulnerability, and trust in the Holy Spirit to be at work beyond us, within us, and through us.
The Missional Journey did not immediately result in an upward trend in church attendance, but it inspired more risk-taking on the part of congregation members. A disc golf group formed, bringing together congregants and neighbors. An annual summer soccer camp was also started, combining learning soccer skills with spiritual formation. The community garden on the church property continues to grow and is used in large part by neighbors of the church, donating much of the produce to local food banks. Potlucks connect garden members and church members in friendship and conversation. Funds were set aside to create a walking path, new playground, and a pavilion on the property, in order to welcome even more neighbors and create spaces for the congregation to build and deepen relationships.
Our congregation has also become more intentional about connecting with the many groups who use the building throughout the week, including girl scout troops, addiction support groups, writing groups and A Woman’s Place (the domestic violence prevention agency serving Bucks County). We intentionally invite them to special events and times of worship.
This fall we will welcome quite a few new members into the congregation, and we anticipate growing even more flexible and courageous as God leads us onward in risk-taking!
- Pray that we deepen our identity in Jesus so that we can follow His example of engaging others with the love of God.
- Our theme for this year is Incarnational Living. Pray that we have the courage to practice living incarnationally even when it feels uncomfortable.