Come on in!
Fellowship and Community
The meetinghouse, built in 1848, is a perfect example of New England simplicity, though also is flexible, and we welcome its use. Our sanctuary seats 120 people and has a wonderful acoustic for music. We have a baby grand piano that we tune regularly and a modest pipe organ, both ready to play.
The sanctuary has been the setting for concerts and plays, weddings and funerals, association meetings and community celebrations. We regard this as a place for engaging our deeply felt convictions, and while we do not censor the content of what takes place here, we do exercise discretion that it serve the sacred purpose of building up community, in all its challenges and blessings.
What is practically described as “the basement” is better understood as the fellowship hall. With a family-style kitchen, and tables and chairs enough to seat 80, this space is suitable for community dinners and receptions following special services upstairs.
Open to all who seek to follow Christ
We gather for communion on the first Sunday of every month around an open table–open to all who seek to follow Christ regardless of age, church membership, or social condition. We understand this joyful feast as a foretaste of the feast at God’s table amidst the Kingdom of Heaven, and we recognize in the elements of bread and juice an outward sign of the inward reality of God’s grace poured out, freely offered to be freely received. It’s for this reason, too, that we offer grape juice in the cup instead of wine–that all might partake.
Water from the Konkapot River
Baptism, the water for which we draw from the Konkapot River flowing through Monterey, is a visible sign of an invisible reality. The one baptized has died to death and risen to life; is strengthened now to live in God’s promised realm of justice, forgiveness and peace; and is incorporated into the universal church as a member of the body of the living Christ.
In this congregation, we celebrate baptism when we gather for worship on any given Sunday morning. We do not offer “private” baptism because it is our belief that the congregation is the conveyance of the Holy Spirit by which one is baptized. We offer baptism for people at any age and from any walk of life, asking only that the one seeking baptism (on one’s own behalf or on the behalf of an infant) participate in a Sunday service of worship and then meet with the pastor to discuss the call to baptism in this place among this people.
Celebrating God’s manifest love in our lives
Weddings though not a sacrament of the church, are a wonderful occasion for celebrating God’s manifest love in our lives. As per our tradition, the pastor and the sanctuary are a “package deal,” the pastor being the one the congregation has called to officiate at all services of worship in the sanctuary. If you are interested in getting married here by our pastor, we ask that you sit as a couple for three sessions, roughly an hour each, to think and talk about both the wedding and moreover the marriage as you hope them to be.
To grieve and give thanks
We host memorial services in our sanctuary, under the leadership of our pastor, for any who seek it–either prior to death on one’s own behalf or at the request of loved ones who hope to gather under the banner of God’s love to grieve and give thanks. Membership in the congregation is not required, and neither is any particular confession of faith–just a desire to come together in remembrance.