An open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ

Adult Education and Formation at FCC Camden

As an "Open and Affirming” church committed to embodying the Gospel in our lives, as individuals and as a community, we value opportunities to inquire and deepen our faith and commitment to serve God and others. Our program in Adult Education and Formation is one means of supporting this work. We explore our faith through an array of offerings, including classes, retreats, and service projects. Some of these are seasonal (e.g., series offered during Advent and Lent), others occur at regular intervals during the seasons of the year. Some of these occur within the church, but our church "happens” in other gatherings in homes and various outdoor services (the annual Easter Sunrise service and, in August, 2019, a Sunday morning service in Merryspring Park). The women of our church host an annual Women’s Retreat in the Fall, and the church as a whole offers other "day” retreats during the year.

"Living Grace” is the core theme for this year’s programs, structuring many of our activities and events during the course of the year. In such ways, we explore how we understand and practice the gift of grace as expressing divine impulses—i.e., the sustaining and renewing energy of love and "just peace”—in our lives, as individuals, as a community of faith, and in global perspective. Classes offered by members of the professional staff as well as lay people, meant to challenge and deepen our faith as well as strengthen our witness, will be augmented by special events throughout the year, including guest speakers, retreats, and other activities. As a community with a strong core of active older adults, offerings related to health and wholeness augment offerings in other areas.

  • One dimension of this work is a series of classes exploring the Foundations of Faith, in Scripture and the rich and varied theological traditions we have inherited as well as those of other religions and religious communities. Classes and programs also explore the teachings of "The Living School,” from the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM.
  • Other offerings explore various modalities of Faith and Life Practices, including weekly meetings for lectio divina, meditation and centering prayer, energy work (Reiki, Shiatsu, Craniosacral), dance, the labyrinth, seasonal midweek communion services, as well as sessions exploring diverse tools such as the Enneagram. We also partner with our interfaith friends to deepen our learning and faith.
  • Offerings also engage The Arts and Spirituality, through on-site programs exploring creativity and creative practices (writing as spiritual autobiography; photography; painting; labyrinth, etc.), viewing films, talks and programs by area artists, as well as the congregation’s flagship music program (including the adult choir and handbell choir) and the annual Friends of Music series. Among other recent activities, in 2019 the church hosted a visit by Rinpoche and Tibetan monks who created a Peace Sand Mandala in the sanctuary.
  • Further offerings examine critical cutting-edge Current Issues facing us in our times, both in our community and in the wider world; these include the challenge of climate change, matters of justice and peacemaking, and the witness of faith in our daily lives as well as matters of concern within our community and state as well as in our denomination, the United Church of Christ. In such ways, we seek to live into the covenant that binds us to churches, other communities of faith, and all those of conscience who share our commitments to acting with compassion for the sake of a just peace. Parents are encouraged to review our information on education and formation for children and youth for additional offerings of interest.

Specific details about programs, events, and offerings are to be found on the church’s website calendar and in the "Latest News” sidebar on the homepage.

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First Congregational Church, U.C.C.

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