First-Plymouth strives to blend tradition and innovation, the historical and the contemporary. Our worship services have a quality that echoes through the ages and yet, speaks to the present and points to the future. Our religious life is shaped by five guiding principles: We are Christian, Open-minded, Spiritual, Evolving and Diverse. First-Plymouth Congregational Church is part of the United Church of Christ.
WE ARE CHRISTIAN
"Christian" means we perceive in Jesus the divine qualities of love, peace, joy, and justice. It does not mean we think Jesus is the only path to God.
"Christian" means we eagerly explore the Bible for its spiritual wisdom contained in symbol, metaphor, and history. It does not mean a literal or heavy-handed approach that uses the Bible to prove we are right or righteous.
WE ARE OPEN-MINDED
"Open-minded" means we understand faith as a quest, not a clutched certainty. "Open-minded" flies above the tired distinction between conservative and liberal, and does not refer to one’s specific beliefs, but how one relates to those beliefs. It means we do not assume a defensive posture, but rather enter appreciatively into different points of view with the expectation of learning and growing.
WE ARE SPIRITUAL
"Spiritual" means we believe God is a spirit of love that can be felt and known by each one of us. It means Christianity is as much about the heart as the head, as much about the body as the mind.
"Spiritual" means not merely hoping for a better world or pining after justice, but rolling up one’s sleeves and starting to feed the hungry, care for the sick and anguished, house the homeless and advocate for a more just society.
WE ARE EVOLVING
"Evolving" means rather than resisting change or innovation, we eagerly experiment with new ways of being faithful and new understandings. We strive to be rooted but not stuck.
WE ARE DIVERSE
"Diverse" means we celebrate the differences among us such as sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, mental abilities, physical capabilities, personalities, and backgrounds.
"Diverse" means we trust that these differences inform and strengthen community. A diverse spiritual community welcomes conventional believers, curious agnostics, and questioning skeptics.
And, finally, "diverse" means you are free to seek your own guiding principles in our midst. These principles are not a creed to which one must ascribe. Rather, they are one attempt to describe the spirit and nature of our congregation.
– Jim Keck, Senior Minister, First-Plymouth Church