Our Beliefs

MISSION:
A welcoming, inclusive community of believers who honor our past, celebrate our new beginnings and anticipate our future.

 

WE BELIEVE:

In a trinitarian God; God is one but three coeternal consubstantial persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (1 Corinthians 8:6, Matthew 1:23, 2 Corinthians 3:17)

That God the Father is the author of all life and His Word is His Son Jesus, the Spirit is the very nature and essence of God and is present and available to all on earth. (John 1:1 John 1:14)

That Jesus Christ being the Son of God; He was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, He rose from the dead, and later ascended into heaven, where He remains at the right hand of God Almighty. (Philippians 2:7)

The Bible is the written and inspired Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16)

That Grace is the unearned favor of God, given to all, to enrich and empower the spirit man and utilized to transform the mind.  Grace is the new covenant between God and all who seek His redemptive righteousness. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:14-15, Titus 3:7)

That Faith is a measured gift and practical response through grace, to the Word of God. (Romans 12:3)

The sacrament of water baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is an outward sign of affirmation of the grace Our Lord imparts freely to all. It is an acknowledgement of the Spirit within and is the initiation into the family of God.

The sacrament of Communion is the remembrance of the Lord’s request to remember Him by. (Luke 22:19) At the communion table, we acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the host, and all are guests. The meal uses the symbols of small pieces of bread and a taste of wine or juice to remind us of Jesus’ last supper with his followers and of God’s enduring love.

We practice an open communion, inviting all who seek to love Jesus to share in this family meal. In the communion meal, wine poured out and bread broken, we remember Jesus. We remember not only the promise but also the price that he paid for who he was, for what he did and said, and for the world’s brokenness. We taste the mystery of God’s great love for us and are renewed in faith and hope. Confirmation – is the outward sign of an individual’s acceptance of the Baptism’s affirmation.

Confirmation – although not a sacrament, is the outward sign of an individual’s acceptance of the Baptism’s affirmation.

We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belongs to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.

We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.

We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.

We believe that all people 'belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.' No matter who – no matter what – no matter where we are on life's journey –we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized – past, present and future – are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community's promise of 'love, support and care' for the baptized – and we promise that we won't take it back – no matter where your journey leads you.

We believe that all people of faith are invited to join us at Christ's table for the sacrament of Communion. Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, we, the many people of God, are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christ's sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christ's presence among us along with a 'cloud of witnesses' – our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.

We believe our Church is called to be a united and uniting church. "That they may all be one." (John 17:21) "In essentials–unity, in nonessentials–diversity, in all things–charity,"   The First Congregational Church of Bay Shore has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures. We are autonomic, and our overarching creed is love.

We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earth's resources. 'To believe is to care; to care is to do.'

We believe in the power of peace, and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.

We are a people of possibility. Our Church has the breathing room to explore and to hear ... for after all, God is still speaking, ...