The church is called to live together as a radical community of fellowship, hospitality, and service. In contrast to the loneliness and isolation of modern culture, we strive to live together as the body of Christ, following the example of the early church.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. … And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.” (Act 2:42, 46)
The Apostle Paul teaches us that we receive all the benefits of salvation in union with Christ. When we are united to him as our head, that means that we are united together as his body, and we ought to live like it.
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 55: “What do you understand by ‘the communion of saints’? A. First, that believers one and all, as members of this community, share in Christ and in all his treasures and gifts. Second, that each member should consider it his duty to use his gifts readily and cheerfully for the service and enrichment of the other members.”
Fellowship on the Lord’s Day
It is our practice as a congregation to sit down for fellowship around refreshments after each worship service; once a month, we do the same thing around a fellowship supper. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to welcome visitors, to get to know each other better, and to show hospitality to one another.
In addition to our fellowship when we meet together for worship, we are seeking to grow as a radical community of hospitality. The Apostles are adamant that this must be a mark of the church:
“Show hospitality.” (Rom 12:13, 1 Pet 4:9)
We desire to be a community that genuinely lives together, and so we make a practice of regularly welcoming visitors and each other into our homes, especially on the Lord’s Day. This is one of the primary ways we grow together, minister to new believers, and disciple our children and young people.
At the center of our worship is a feast – the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper – and God calls his people to be a festive people (Deuteronomy 16; Isaiah 25; Matthew 11:19, 8:11; Revelation 19:7).
“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.” (Isa 25:6-7)
The world is broken and lies under a curse. But in the resurrection of Christ, new creation has burst forth in the middle of history, a guarantee of the new creation to come. In Christ, we are able to live as the festive people of that new creation now, in the midst of this broken world.
As an expression of that festivity God has given us in Christ, we celebrate the Lord’s day in each other’s homes, we celebrate our annual Pentecost Festival, and we honor events in the life of the congregation with festive gatherings.
These times of hospitality and festivity serve to build community as the context in which we disciple one another in the faith. We are broken people living in a broken world, and we desperately need each other in order to live the Christian life.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (Jam 1:27)
Our deacons regularly organize giving and service opportunities, both within the congregation and for the community.