Our Denomination - Reformed Church in America
We are not an independent or non-denominational church. Rather, we are a member church of the Reformed Church in America, the oldest Protestant denomination in the United Stated.
Some folks may wonder if denominations are important. Others may say that the institutional church is no longer relevant or necessary. We disagree.
We view a denomination as a form of connection; of individuals and congregations that choose to work together and stay together. Denominations are helpful for individuals who are trying to understand what a church believes and what are general, commonly-held practices of the community. While it is true that these structures have, at times, caused churches to move more slowly when it comes to change, we recognize that collective discernment and communion with one another is important. Denominations provide resources, support, and fellowship, reminding us that we are not alone.
Our denomination is unique in that while it holds commonly held beliefs, individual congregations have a great deal of autonomy around worship structure, outreach and education, and theological praxis. For example, our church, convicted by our beliefs that God has created each person in God's image, has committed to fully affirming LGBTQ individuals and families. This is not a belief shared by many other RCA congregations. We believe our witness of justice and affirmation will spur other congregations to follow God's call and witness.
What does it mean to be "Reformed?"
Most people have heard of "Methodist" or "Baptist" or "Catholic" or "Presbyterian."
Not as many have heard of "Reformed" and even fewer know what it means to be "Reformed." So what does it mean?
In general, our denomination, the Reformed Church in America, traces its roots back to the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in the Netherlands, which traces its roots back to John Calvin and Martin Luther, who led the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Our denomination has centuries of history and tradition that has continually built upon itself, leading to the oft-quoted phrase "reformed and ever-reforming."
What is unique about our Reformed denomination? It means we place a high view on Scripture, the role of the church in the world, the work and presence of God in the sacraments of baptism and communion (not simply acts of remembrance), and how individuals live as a result of God's grace.
We are a small but historic denomination. We are committed to God's grace for all people. And we are committed to caring for the world and for creation, in response to God's grace for us. If you want to learn more, take a look at our denominational website.