Welcome to the Charlotte Congregational Church
The Charlotte Congregational Church, UCC is a progressive Christian community overlooking Lake Champlain in the beautiful Vermont town of Charlotte (pronounced shar-LOT, btw!).
We are a WORSHIPPING COMMUNITY that blends traditional hymns, prayers, preaching, and silence together with creative worship practices that honor God and open ourselves to God’s presence and call for our lives. We invite everyone – whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey - to join us for worship and to join us at the communion table on the first Sunday of each month. Most children accompany us at the beginning of worship until the children’s time and then are invited to attend Sunday School for the remainder of the service…although children are always welcome to stay. After all, Jesus said that to such as these belongs the kingdom of heaven!
We are a COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITY that takes seriously our call to love one another. Through the joys and struggles of community life we strive to be Jesus’ feet, hands, and heart for a world in need. We find our purpose, place and fulfillment by doing what we can to imitate Jesus’ gift of self to others. We enjoy sharing supper and worship with food shelf clients on the third Wednesday of each month; making apple pies for nonprofits, attending Heifer Project International events with our youth and joining our pastors as they lead communion services for migrant workers.
We are a SEEKING COMMUNITY that understands spiritual life and growth as a journey taken together. We intentionally do not claim to have black and white answers to the great mysteries of life but we ask questions and seek answers together with honesty and openness. Through study, prayer, worship, conversation over meals and other intimate settings we trust the Christian tradition to guide us and the resurrected living presence of Christ to inspire us towards deeper connection to God and more devout living of Christ’s example in the world.
We are an OPEN AND AFFIRMING COMMUNITY that welcomes GLBTQ friends, among others, into the full life of the church. We center our worship and community life upon Jesus Christ. We believe that God’s inclusive grace and love are revealed through Christ’s way. Everyone is welcome to be a part of our community as we strive to be a sanctuary for all and a healing presence in the world, trusting in God’s Spirit to continue to reconcile us to one another in every deepening ways.
Our Mission Statement
Embraced by the healing love of Jesus Christ and inspired by his teachings, we commit ourselves to prayerful, compassionate and courageous action in the world.
Framework for Living out the Mission Statement
"Embraced by the Healing Love of Jesus Christ."
We begin with the reconciliation of God and the world through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are loved, forgiven and healed and then respond by loving, forgiving and healing.
What might God be initiating in this particular situation/struggle/issue, and how might we respond?
How might this be an opportunity to express forgiveness, seek reconciliation or foster healing in our immediate or broader relationships?
"Inspired by His teachings”
Jesus was a great teacher of the ways of God. Through the scriptures we hear Him teach us to love our neighbor, to pray for our enemies, to remove the log from our own eye, to judge not others and to seek first the Kingdom of God, among many other lessons.
How might we "seek first the kingdom of God" in this particular scenario and trust that all else that we need "will be added unto us?"
If anger, frustration, resentment or fear is surfacing in a given situation, can we take a breath and resist the temptation to blame others, considering that we might not be seeing clearly (i.e. the log)?
“We commit ourselves to prayerful action in the world.”
Scripture depicts Jesus as balancing His outward action with time away for inward prayer and contemplation. Through prayer He sought God’s will in all things and strength to resist being swayed by the ways of this world.
If we are faced with a difficult situation, might prayer be called for immediately (in the middle of the meeting!) or later at an extended time beyond the meeting after which we might regroup having listened for God's guidance?
If we are "not to be conformed to the ways of this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds" then how might we see this issue/problem differently form a divine or renewed-mind perspective?
“We commit ourselves to compassionate action in the world.”
Compassion literally means “to suffer with”. Jesus expressed the depth of God’s love by His willingness to care for and suffer with the people around Him. He asked Peter “do you love me?” And when Peter said “yes” He told him: “feed my sheep.”
Are our actions compassionate, from the most practical inner-church activities to our broadest missions? Are they compassionate to one another, compassionate to others and compassionate to the earth?
How might we be keeping ourselves removed or safe from others' suffering in the decisions we are making, even in the "good" we are doing?
"We commit ourselves to courageous action in the world.”
Jesus’ healing love, His wise teachings and His prayerful and compassionate action ran counter to the religious and cultural establishment of His day. He courageously broke unjust laws, challenged high priests and governors, called the wealthy on their greed, protested corrupt economic practices, crossed lines of separation and exclusivity, all in the name of God’s Kingdom.
In what ways are we being called by God to be courageous in this ministry/mission/practice, risking something for the sake of our commitment to God's kingdom?
How does this question/issue offer us an opportunity to be co-creators of God's kingdom here on earth?
A Brief History
of the Charlotte Congregational Church, UCC
The Charlotte Congregational Church was formally organized in 1792, about ten months after Vermont became the 14th state. At town meeting in 1791 it had been voted to settle Rev. Daniel O. Gillet. This was the official church of the town of Charlotte, and services were held in the school. (Individuals could have their taxes not go to support the church.) On January 3, 1792, four charter members met at the home of Daniel Horsford, Jr. and elected John Hill moderator, Daniel Horsford clerk, and with the vote of Moses Yale and Joseph Simonds invited their first pastor. There were eleven members, of which six were women. In 1873 women were formally invited to vote upon all questions.