We see our church as a public witness and community hub. Faith is personal but never private, as writer-activist Jim Wallis says. Towards this end, we create space to dialogue about local, intellectual, and world concerns. We embrace the arts. We share the building with friends, people, and mission-driven organizations. We provide an entryway into service and justice opportunities and do not shy away from the thorny area of faith and politics.
We view faith as a journey, not a destination. Asking questions is more important to us than arriving at answers, and how we believe is more important to us than what we believe. Through programs for all ages, post-church “2nd Hour” forums, small group conversations, book groups, and more, we seek to stir and deepen our experience of love in the way of Jesus. Contemplation takes many forms for us, including Scripture study, meditation/Centering Prayer, time spent in nature, engaging the arts, service to those in need, and singing our hearts out in the choir.
Faith has been a catalyst for many of the most impactful social justice movements of our time. We openly affirmed LGBTQ+ people in the church before other denominations had started arguing about it. From critical examination of race and “white privilege” to divesting from fossil fuels, to supporting Berkshire County immigrants, we see ourselves as one small part of the great tradition of faith-based social justice activism.
We value the life of the mind and love being located next to Williams College. Our services, programs, and Reverend James’s preaching reflect our passion for learning. We embrace the learning process for a variety of ages, too: we welcome students to the pulpit, and every quarter we provide intentional sensory-based, participatory worship opportunities for the whole family. We know that mature spiritual formation requires us to integrate mind, heart, and body, and sometimes we remind ourselves that love is always more important than being right.