"The name First Baptist Church in Newton just doesn't give an accurate image for our eclectic, free-thinking, warm-hearted, questioning, creative and diverse community... I'm really excited about the path we're exploring."
- Melissa, FBC member from Newton
How do we sing God's song
in a new and strange land?
Bernard of Clairvaux said, "The measure of love is love without measure." Loving others is difficult and requires courage, faith, and hope. Our simple hope right now, today, is to be people who love well.
We have inherited the history of a people who called themselves Christians, followers of Jesus. Like all family histories, our lineage includes saints and sinners, faithful and faithless. Today, we are no different - saints and sinners, faithful and faithless, depending on the person and the day. We have also inherited the history of a people who didn't call themselves Christians or followers of Jesus.
These people were simply seekers of truth, goodness, and beauty. Since we see all truth as God's truth, we seek along side all seekers of truth, goodness, and beauty. Nonetheless, we are unabashedly Christian, not because we are unflappably committed to particular creed or political agenda, but because we have discovered Christianity is not something we do but a gift to be received.
In this strange land of tweets and drones,
some are saying Christianity is collapsing.
In the midst of this rapidly changing world, we find ourselves asking, "How do we sing God’s song in a new and strange land?" Some of us are native to this new land and some of us are immigrants. Nonetheless, we who rightly pass as agnostics, Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Emergents, have inherited the history of a people who called themselves Baptists. For nearly 250 years in Newton, these people have shared a life together, first on the shore of nearby Crystal Lake (once called Baptist Pond) and then on the corner of Beacon and Centre Streets. These people insisted that the Gospel Jesus lived and taught was a Gospel of freedom:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ - Jesus
We are seeking to live our lives together an ancient rhythm of feast and fasting, of celebration and reflection, which follows a Christian calendar. Perhaps the most familiar of these feasts and fasts is Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter. We dream of becoming increasingly diverse, drawn together by a desire to learn how to love well.