Who Are We?
We are a group of believers drawn together by a common faith in Jesus Christ. We desire to use the Bible as our only guide for the basis of our faith and practice. The Old Testament is used to help us understand who God is and as a tutor to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:23-25). The New Testament is used as the basis for organization and worship practices (see Romans 7:1-4; Hebrews 8-9).
Our organization is based on what we see in the New Testament. We have Elders (older men who are also called bishops and pastors in the Bible) who direct the spiritual affairs of the congregation. Deacons (special servants) minister to the needs of the congregation in a physical way. Evangelists preach and teach. Each member has his/her own responsibility to serve God according to their ability. Everyone is considered equal even though there is a difference in function (such as elders, deacons, evangelists, etc.).
Our worship assemblies are pretty simple. Here are things you will see us doing in our assemblies:
- Singing (Ephesians 5:19) – One thing that seems odd to many is our singing. All of our songs are sung a capella (un-accompanied by an instrument of music). We believe that our singing should be offered to God with the simplicity of the heart in accordance with our understanding of the New Testament and the early churches’ practice.
- Praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6) – We also believe that prayer is a special privilege. Our prayers are intended to be a pouring out of the heart to God in thanksgiving, in special requests, for intercession, for healing, for our nation, and many other things that we are taught to pray for by Scripture.
- Communion (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) – A very special part of our assembly each Sunday is the celebration of God’s gift of His Son through participating in the Lord’s supper. Here we take of the bread, representing Jesus’ body, and the cup, representing Jesus blood. Jesus taught his disciples, “For as oft as you do this you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” We see the early church in scripture meeting each 1st day of the week to remember Christ in this special way and we believe that this is the way we should practice it today.
- Teaching (2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Corinthians 1:21) – The proclamation of the Word is another important aspect of our assemblies. We believe that God speaks through his word and that it deserves our attention so that we may understand how we can best respond to God in our daily walks in life.
- Giving (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15) – We also have opportunity for each person to give to God of their financial blessings. It is used to carry on His work here in Chicopee as well as in missionary efforts in other places in the world. We also use this to help with children who are in need.
- Encouraging (Romans 14:19 ; Romans 15:2) – Most all of what we do is vertical oriented, that is, we desire to honor God, giving thanks and praise to him for his wonderful gifts. Yet there is also a sense that our assemblies are horizontal, that is, for edification. Our desire is that our assemblies are an encouragement for God’s people.
Acceptance into the fellowship of this congregation is based on a person’s relationship to God. If a person is a believer (John 3:16) who has in accordance with his/her faith repented of their sins (2 Corinthians 7:10-11), confessed that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and has been baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38), then they are part of our fellowship. It is God who adds to his people (Acts 2:47). We recognize that people are on a different point in their journey and accept each one where they are. We do desire growth for each person moving closer and closer to where God would have us be.
Guests are certainly welcome.