We come to religious life for a lot of different reasons. Some of us ache for communion, for community in a world that can seem isolating and impersonal a good bit of the time. Some of us are curious, intrigued by the ancient traditions and provocative practices, and eager to find support for the journey of discovery. And still others of us are at a key moment of awakening: aware of God’s mystery, in awe of life’s beauty and aching for a chorus of like-minded voices.
SEE OUR 4/12 EASTER WORSHIP VIDEO!
SEE OUR 4/12 EASTER SUNRISE PRAYERS!
However you’ve come to our website today, we welcome you! Your curiosity is a gift. Your passion for justice is a delight. And the questions you bring to us both challenge and honor us. The Community Church of Durham is a bold and inclusive community of discipleship and Christian faith–and our questions leads deeper into communion, deeper into conversation and deeper into the wonder and mystery that is life itself.
Of course, if you’re just visiting this site for the first time, you’ve found us at an odd and unsettling moment–in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and all the anxiety and sadness that’s enveloped the world in the early spring of 2020. While we’re not worshipping in our Durham sanctuary this spring, we are most definitely still connected, still gathering for prayer and still collaborating around our shared commitments to service, justice and the healing of our planet. It may be a little trickier for you to find us…but you can find us…on-line, in ZOOM gatherings, through Facebook Live posts, and in the writing and musing that our leaders are engaged in every day. Be patient. Be persistent. But know that you will find us. (And we’ll be glad when you do!)
Our United Church of Christ evolves, faithfully and dynamically, from Reformed commitments to biblical faith, Christ-like compassion, spiritual depth and moral courage. Our tradition is a tradition of ‘firsts’: the first in the West to ordain a woman to the ministry (19th century), the first in the West to ordain an openly gay man to the ministry (1972), and the first to speak out on the devastating link between systemic racism and environmental degradation. But we don’t stop with these noted achievements: we’re still agitating for justice for immigrant communities near and far, and we’re still confronting racism in its many guises (within and beyond the church), and we’re still acting bodly to address climate change and the huge cost of inaction on poor and vulnerable communities. That’s the UCC: and that’s the strong tradition the Community Church claims as its very own on the Seacoast, here in New Hampshire.
That spirit is fed by a vibrant community life, and a deep commitment to Christian formation and practice. Our worship (whether in the sanctuary, or out in our varied fields of practice, or viritually this spring) is shaped by deep affection, generous friendship and a lively engagement with Christian story and tradition. We love to sing, and music inspires and shapes just about everything we do. When you do visit us, you’ll find us singing some of the great old American hymns, some of the earliest Christian music and some contemporary tunes as well: gospel songs, spirituals and rousing calls to justice and peace. When we celebrate communion–remember the practice and loving sacrifice of Jesus–we do so in deep awareness of Christ’s presence among us and between us. The spirit is often palpable.
Most importantly, you need not have life figured out–or Jesus or God, for that matter–to join us and jump into the mix. We’re all living into the promises of faith. We’re all baffled, some of us most of the time, by the mysteries of God and the challenges we face in human community. To be bewildered is simply to be open. And together, we are opening and opening in faith–to the call of Christ, the challenges of life together, the moral and ethical demands of 21st century faith.
Join us when you can! Eventually, we’ll be together again, every Sunday morning in our beautiful sanctuary, at 10 am for worship. Until then, you can hop into our viritual sanctuary, for a spirited Sunday service, online through the ZOOM platform. Find all the links here. Be in touch with us (Pastor Dave is easy to reach at 831-706-6819 or ) if you have trouble, and we’ll help you find us. If you’re curious about Easter, and what Easter looked like this year, check out the full VIDEO HERE!
And, if this COVID-19 outbreak is weighing heavily on you, on your family, on your spirit, don’t be alone with that. Reach out to Dave, and together we’ll explore ways to connect you with a community of support and encouragement. The Spirit meets us–in our vulnerability, in our aching, and in our seeking. Be open to that and be in touch!
May Christ’s heart find you and embrace you and strengthen you–for the living of these days. You are not alone!