FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WAYNE
established in 1848 Minister, Rev. Robert "Bob" Cooper
The Congregational Churches
in the New World
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 our expression of God's love in our lives.
Congregational Christians stand for an open Bible. It is the inspired Word of God, a guide for life. Through God's Word we learn and experience the power and love of a living God so Christ becomes the primary light in our daily lives.
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 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.
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 believe in the freedom and responsibility of the individual soul, and the right of private judgment. We hereby set forth the things most surely believed among us concerning faith.
We believe in God the Father, infinite in wisdom, goodness and love; and in Jesus Christ, His son, our Lord and Savior, who for us and our salvation lived and died and rose again, and lives evermore; and in the Holy Spirit, who takes the things of Christ, and reveals them to us, renewing, comforting, and inspiring the souls of all.
We are united in striving to know the will of God as taught in the Holy Scriptures, and in our purpose to walk in the ways of the Lord, made known or to be made known to us.
We hold it to be the mission of the Church of Christ to proclaim the gospel to all, exalting the worship of the one true God, and laboring for the progress of knowledge, the promotion of justice, the reign of peace, and the realization of human fellowship. Depending, as did generations of Christians before us, upon continued guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, we work and pray for the transformation of the world into the Kingdom of God; and we look with faith for the triumph of righteousness and the life everlasting.