October 23, 2017

RUTHERFORD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

251 UNION AVE

RUTHERFORD, NJ 07070-1415

201-438-6324 

  

 

WORSHIP HOURS

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

  

RCC COME MY PEOPLE

Welcome video for the church

 

RCC CHURCH SCHOOL KIDS

"I Am the Church"

"My God Is So Great" 

 

NEW MEMBER SUNDAY

 Photographs of our new members

 RCC SINGERS 

"I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me"

  

FALL SERVICE MUSIC

 RCC SINGERS/CHOIR

 "My Faith Is Like An Oaken Staff"

 "There Is A Wideness In God's Mercy"

 "Lead Me, Guide Me" 

 ANDREA LONG

"Softly and Tenderly" 

 

SUMMER SERVICE MUSIC

"Nobody's Fault But Mine"

Fred Dammers 

"Come My People"

Dammers-Desmond Trio

Ron Verblaauw 

"Well Well Well"

Fred Dammers 

 

CONFIRMATION SUNDAY

 PHOTOS

 

NEW FOR CHURCH SCHOOL SUNDAY 

MUSIC SELECTIONS 

 

 

NEW FOR PENTECOST 

SIGHTS & SOUND OF PENTECOST

"Every Time I Feel the Spirit"

The RCC  Singers

 

Video of Scripture Reading

 

Photos

 

 WOMEN'S RETREAT 2017

 LINK TO RETREAT PHOTOS

 

   

CHURCH HISTORY

 The Centennial Moments

 

 Open and Affirming

Read the Rutherford Congregational Church Open and Affirming Statement

 

Our Mission Statement

Read the RCC Mission Statement

 

Sanctuary Usage

Read about use of our facility and planning for weddings and funerals under the Home Tab

 

What's Up? 

Come to the News Section to see our Newsletter The Voice .

 

What is UCC?

Find out about the United Church of Christ and the history of this wonderful organization on our What is UCC page. 

 

 

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Members Login



Approaching the Sacraments

 

Life as a Sacrament  |  Baptism  |  Communion

 

“Getting your imagination capturedis almost the whole of life.”

– words of Matthew Arnold

 

Imagine!

 

a few drops of water – a cleansing event! a sip of wine and a crumb of bread – a filling feast!

 

And yet, in the context of our Christian family, that is what happens as we celebrate

the sacraments. They are but brief glimpses of what life, fully-lived, might be. They

energize us with new strength, fill us with great joy, and send us out to be the Church.

 

Certainly, there are other times when we experience a sense of the holy. We hear great

music. We help a friend learn. We study what our faith means. We sit with a sick loved

one or friend. We share our time and resources with others. We laugh with them. We

cry with them. These too are sacramental times.

 

For all life is holy. It bears the mark of the One who created it as an expression of love;

who gave Himself so that life would not be lost; who continues to renew it so that we

might experience life in all its rich variety.

 

The sacraments are signs of that love. They capture our imagination because they

lovingly lift up common elements – bread, wine, water – making them holy. In like

manner, our lives,

lifted up to the light of God’s Presence, reflect the sacredness of the Creator’s intention.

 

Our primary purpose as Christians is to live life as a sacrament, for we believe:

 

“The main business of a Christian is to go through the world turning its water into wine.”

– words of Andrew Lang 

 

 BAPTISM AS EVENT AND PROCESS

 

“In Baptism the Christian is born. Whether in the case of infants or adults, baptism signifies this more as a promise than as an actually fulfilled fact. The direction is indicated rather than the arrival.”

– words of Friederich Rest

 

The Christian Church has experienced two contrasting approaches to the Sacrament of

Holy Baptism. In the first, the sacrament is administered to a young child as the mark of

her/his beginning in the Christian life. In the second, Baptism follows the act of personal

decision. One makes the choice of being a Christian and receives the Sacrament of Holy

Baptism in response to that personal choosing.

 

In the United Church of Christ and at Rutherford Congregational Church, we practice

infant Baptism. We do this because of what we believe about God. God, not we, is the

One who chooses. The stress in this sacramental action is on the Grace (Love) of God

and not upon the wonderful decision we have made.

 

This has far reaching implications. Baptism is that “event” in which the young child is

received into the care of the nurturing Christian community. By the love and caring of

parents and the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, a “direction is indicated.” Physical

birth is celebrated in the expectation of spiritual birth.

 

We also practice adult Baptism (or sometimes called “believer’s Baptism) because we

believe that the sacrament is a sign of God’s grace no matter what one’s age. Sessions of

interpretation and planning are held with the minister prior to celebrating baptism.

 

The “event” points toward the “process.” God is never finished with us. Each day of

our existence is the working out of the meaning of our Baptism. That’s why Baptism is

administered in the setting of a worshipping community. As we rejoice in the promises

of God for this life, we renew and reclaim these same promises for ourselves.

 

PREPARING FOR BAPTISM AT RUTHERFORD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

 

“Apart from the context of a corporate

church, a sacrament is meaningless, if

not, more extremely, a superstitious

piece of magic.”

– words of Massey H. Shapherd, Jr.

 

Baptism is an individual event . . . Baptism is a community-centered event. It is both

of these and much more.

 

When a child is born, a family assumes the awesome role of heritage bearers. No

matter how casual we are in relationship to the Church, the event of birth prompts

the personal search for a renewal of roots. So, our children help to raise us!

 

At Rutherford Congregational Church, we offer guidelines for helping you and your

child/children to live out the “process” of Baptism. Infants are generally baptized

at the Sunday morning Worship Service. In connection with this event, a baptismal

session of preparation for the parent(s) is held at least one week prior to the Baptism.

The parent(s) plan this baptismal session by setting an appointment with the minister

(see below for Pastor Rupright’s contact information). Baptism is also offered for

older children, youth, and adults who have never been baptized. 

 

COMMUNION AS PRESENCE & POSSIBILITY

 

“In his first act (Creation), God gave me myself.

In his second act (Incarnation), God gave me

himself. And in giving me himself, he gave

me back myself.”

– words of Bernard of Clairvaux

 

Whatever holds deep meaning in life becomes an occasion for controversy.

 

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

 

Jesus our Lord instituted this Sacrament as he struggled with the meaning of his life

and impending death, and tried to share with his friends the deepest significance of

his “Presence” among them.

 

Just what does this “Presence” of Christ in the Holy Communion mean? Is Christ

actually there . . . symbolically there . . . memorially there? The conflicting streams

in church history are carried within such questions.

 

At Rutherford Congregational Church and in the United Church of Christ, we offer

an “open” Communion Table . This affirms that many meanings are gathered about

this event. Through it, we celebrate God’s Presence in our life which is mediated to us

through this sacramental moment of sharing.

 

In the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, we receive Christ as a renewing Presence in our

midst, who points the Way to possibility in our tomorrows. Has there been failure?

New strength is offered! Has there been despair? New hope is offered! Has there been

drifting? New sails are set!

 

The Benedictine monk and psychologist, David H.K. Steindl-Rast points to the mystery

of Holy Communion through this insight:

 

“Neither light nor meaning can be had

‘for keeps.’ Both must constantly be

received from their source.”

 

When we come to Christ’s table, we are not bearing witness to what we have figured out

about life, but rather, we are simply acknowledging Jesus as the renewing Source of light,

life, and meaning for our daily living. 

 

RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION AT RUTHERFORD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

 

At Rutherford Congregational Church, we generally celebrate Holy Communion

on the first Sunday of each month, unless otherwise announced. We also celebrate

Communion on Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday.

 

Our church practices “Open Communion,” meaning that all those who believe in

Christ and seek to follow Christ’s way are invited to partake in our Savior’s Supper.

We use unfermented grape juice so that all people who wish to receive can do so.

We are also convinced that our oneness in Christ is most fully celebrated when

families are able to share in this event together. Therefore, under the guidance of

their parent(s), children are welcome to participate in Holy Communion.

 

To plan a baptism or receive Communion beyond the church setting, please

contact Pastor Ronald E Verblaauw: 201-438-6324 (church); 201-838-4254 (cell

phone); pastorronverb56@gmail.com.