First Christian Church marks 141st birthday

Friday, October 19, 2012

BERRYVILLE -- As the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Berryville celebrates its 141st birthday this month, many people may be wondering, "Who are the Disciples of Christ?"

They may want to know, "What do the people who attend the little white, historic church believe and practice?"

The Disciples of Christ is considered one of the 'seven sisters' of mainline Protestantism, along with the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church, the American Baptist Churches and the United Church of Christ.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), while founded on American soil in the early 1800s, is uniquely equipped to live up to its identity that it is a "movement for wholeness in a fragmented world."

The denomination was born in the 1800s, and continues to be influenced by its founding ideals of unity in Christ with openness and diversity in practice and belief.

In plain words, the Disciples of Christ "agree to disagree" and are open and welcoming to all in their present condition.

The Vision of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is to be a faithful, growing church that demonstrates true community, deep Christian spirituality and a passion for justice.

The church is identified with the Protestant "mainstream" and is widely involved in social and other concerns.

To keep that vision alive and meaningful in today's culture, the First Christian Church is active in many initiatives of social concern.

With a belief that part of being a Disciple of Christ is caring for the earth, FCC Berryville was involved in the development of the current recycling program of the City of Berryville.

The church's large community garden provides fresh, natural food to its members, the Carroll County Senior Activity Center and Loaves and Fishes Food Bank.

FCC Berryville established the community-wide drive to provide needed funds to the Haiti earthquake victims, opened the Chapel Thrift Store, to provide low cost clothing, household and other items, and members regularly staff Loaves and Fishes Food Bank.

The church actively supports education and health with its community partners, the Carroll County Literacy Council and Weight Watchers, with both groups having meeting and office space on church property. In other words, the folks who attend that little white church strive to live out the answer to that famous question, "What would Jesus do?"

The chalice and cross logo one may see representing Disciples of Christ has deep significance for members.

The chalice symbolizes the central place of communion in worship for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The X-shaped cross of the disciple Andrew is a reminder of the ministry of each person and the importance of evangelism.

In his book "20/20 Vision," former Disciples of Christ General Minister and President Dick Hamm offers a working definition of Christian spirituality as "... a way of life that relates who and what we are to who and what God is as revealed in Jesus Christ and as experienced through the Holy Spirit."

As Disciples, members' spirits are refreshed by the model and ministry of Jesus that is revealed to them through the Holy Spirit. When members give careful attention to God's revealing of God's self, their inner lives are strengthened so that they may be poured out on behalf of God's beloved children -- all of them.

Pastor Skip French leads Sunday morning worship beginning with Adult Sunday School at 9:30, food and fellowship at 10:30 with the service beginning at 11:00.

First Christian Church is located at 306 E. Church St, Berryville. For information contact Pastor French at 870-423-2588 or visit www.fccberryville.org or www.disciples.org

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  • To be "open and welcoming to all in their present condition" is wonderful and we are told to do so, as long as the Word is obided by and not allowing those that are still spiritually sick and healing to have influence over those that are easily influenced.

    -- Posted by Souled Out on Wed, Oct 31, 2012, at 11:56 AM
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