United Church of Christ
A FAMILY OF FAITH
We are an Open and Affirming congregation dedicated to creating a welcoming environment
where all people can explore and deepen their Christian faith – regardless of age, ability,
gender, gender identity, race, nationality or sexual orientation.
We are a group of people from all walks of life who
are passionate about serving God and our community.
We are an Open and Affirming congregation dedicated to creating a welcoming environment where all people —
regardless of age, ability, gender, race, or sexual orientation —
can explore and deepen their Christian faith.
We are a Peace church. We believe in the power of peace, and are committed
to using nonviolent methods to seek justice and liberation for all.
We are Caretakers of God's good Creation.
We aim to be servants in service to others and to be good stewards of the earth's resources.
We are united through Christ
We believe God is still speaking.
We believe that God speaks through other people, nature, music,
art, the Bible, scientific inquiry, and many other ways.
God empowers us to use both our head and heart to discern God's movement in the world.
We believe that faith and trust in God requires an active commitment to
learn, study, and practice Jesus' Way individually and in community.
We are here for you
Learning and Study
Our understanding of the Bible is rooted in modern scholarship that includes the historical, literary, and cultural contexts of each book or letter. We meet on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. for one hour in the Pastor's Study.
The Power of Prayer
We believe in the power of prayer to create opportunities for blessing and transformation. We share joys and concerns as part of our Sunday worship experience, and also have an e-mail prayer chain. You may submit a prayer request to us using the form on the Contact Us link.
Advent and Lenten Studies
Advent and Lenten Studies are also offered at the appropriate time of year, and are promoted through the Sunday worship bulletin, e-mail newsletter, Facebook, and this website. During Advent and Lent we also offer additional services to deepen the experience of these significant seasons in the church.
The Equality of All Baptism Experiences
Baptism is a sacrament that we offer to both children and adults. Through baptism an individual is ritually affirmed as a member of God's household in the Christian church, and the promise is made to grow, or raise your child, in the Christian faith. We recognize all Christian baptisms as valid.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
We offer a casual, welcoming environment for all
Our worship service begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 11:15 a.m. The BASIC Band (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) provides relevant contemporary music, occasionally supplemented by guest musicians on a variety of instruments.
We celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday, in which every person is invited to share.
Journey with Jesus for children in kindergarten through fourth grade
A child is signed into the Journey with Jesus class by his or her adult,
who is also responsible for signing the child out after worship.
We use the Deep Blue Bible Adventure curriculum, which has a wide variety
of activities that make learning about Jesus, his life and teachings interesting and fun.
We also offer a new Spiritual Conversation Group during worship for youth in grades 5 to 10.
Nursery care is available for infants and toddlers weekly.
We encourage fellowship and socializing before and after services
All who attend are welcome to linger after worship for casual conversation and light refreshments.
Get to know the Fairlawn-West UCC staff
Rev. Debbie Rhinesmith
Debbie has been our pastor since 2014. She is a distinguished scholar of Congregational Church history, has been published internationally and is a fellow of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies. Debbie and her husband, Steve, live in Fairlawn with their cat, Toby.
Our secretary Susan oversees the office and is an assistant to the pastor. She is happy to help with building rentals and answering questions from members and the public.
Steve, our Music Team Leader, joined the Fairlawn-West staff in 2005. He plays guitar, sings and leads the worship band. Influenced mostly by the folk rock tradition, he uses contemporary arrangements of both sacred and secular music to enhance and enliven our worship services.
John is our Associate for Pastoral Care. In that role, he assists the pastor with home and hospital visits and provides spiritual support. He also heads up our Sunday greeters.