Welcome to Old First. We gather here, because our church draws people who love God’s openness and acceptance. God’s love is shown through the congregation’s warmth, kindness, benefit of the doubt, support, loyalty, and grace. We give thanks for everyone who walks through our door because your presence is God’s gift to us. So come as you are because every quirk and wrinkle is a reflection of God.
What We Believe
What do we believe? The first answer to that question is that there’s no single answer! There is blessing in our differences, and in our diversity we are richer than any of us could be alone.
Perhaps the only aspect of faith that everyone agrees on at Old First is that each person is on a personal spiritual journey, so only he or she can describe what he or she believes. And that none of us is finished yet: we understand that faith development takes a lifetime.
We are a non-creedal church which means you do not have to believe or affirm a particular set of stated beliefs to belong or to feel comfortable. We encourage doubts and questions, and we value rethinking our theology together.
But despite our differences, we do have some guiding commitments as a community:
Commitment to Diversity
Each person is unique and valuable. We believe each individual reflects aspects of God: the female image, the black image, the gay image, the youthful image, the immigrant image, the poor image, the otherly-abled image. Only together in our diversity and service, do we begin to resemble God.
In 1995, Old First put its belief in people as God’s wonderful creation into words by officially becoming an “Open and Affirming” congregation (ONA) of the United Church of Christ. That means that we are committed to welcoming people of every race, language, age, gender, ethnicity, economic status, mental or physical ability, and sexual orientation into the full life and ministry of the church.
Standing in Solidarity
God calls us to be servants in the service of others. Our faith gathers us as a congregation and calls us to work in solidarity with other people–particularly those who are suffering–in our church, our community and the wider world. We have learned that when we serve others we gain much more than we give.
At Old First, we take seriously the call to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Everyone, regardless of religious or spiritual tradition, is invited to join us in the act of loving our neighbors and our neighborhood.
God is Still Speaking
“There is yet more light and truth to break forth from God’s holy word.” We take the Bible seriously, but not literally. We also recognize other, helpful sources–other faiths, non-sacred literature, our own and others’ human experience. We say “God is still speaking”; that means, in part, that while respecting the faith of generations that have gone before us, we’re not surprised if God suggests or calls us to something new.