“A new heart I will give you,” Ezekiel says, “a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
We are in constant need for God to reach into our chests, pull out our hearts of stone and replace them with beating hearts of flesh. That’s why we come together in religious community:
We need a heart transplant.
First Church in Sterling is what’s called a “federated” church: the result of the American Baptists, the Congregationalists, and the Unitarians coming together into one small town church during World War II.
As a result, this 300-plus member Christian church is rich in theological diversity. We have progressive Christians, traditional Christians, Jesus-loving atheists, and questioning agnostics. We have Unitarians, Trinitarians, not-sure-and-don’t-care-itarians. We are uncommonly ideologically diverse. We have Democrats, Republicans, Independents and none-of-the-aboves. We are unapologetically open and affirming of the LGBTQIA community. This kind of theological and ideological diversity is not for everyone, but we believe it is needed to heal the division we see in this country.
Navigating our differences is often both difficult and transformative. We are committed to, above all else, gathering in the spirit of Jesus, and we share in a commitment to re-make earth as it is in heaven. Because we believe that God is Love, we care for each other with extravagant compassion, without parsing who’s worthy of it. At our best, we learn from each other’s faith by remaining open to try new things, by singing each other’s hymns, by remaining flexible, and by using humor, especially when we mess it all up. It requires a great deal of grace. Together, we are learning to listen to one another, searching not always for agreement but understanding.
We believe that the church’s purpose is to build bridges, not walls; to give us a new heart for each other and the world; to LEAD a MOVEMENT of REVOLUTIONARY LOVE.
Pastors Robin and Zach