471 Smith Hill Rd – P.O. Box 14 | Colebrook, CT 06021
“Respecting the past, embracing the future…”
Become a part of a vibrant and welcoming church
family. Please enter to learn more about us. We
welcome you to a Sunday Service.
This is my Church: It is composed of people just like you and me. It will be friendly if I am friendly. It will make generous gifts to many causes if I am generous. It will bring others into fellowship if I bring them. Its seats will be filled if I fill them. It will be a church of loyalty and love, of faith and service if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these. Therefore, with God’s love, I dedicate myself to the task of being all these things I want for my church.
We believe in God the creator, infinite in wisdom, goodness and love; and in Jesus the Christ, our Lord, who for our own life everlasting died and rose again and lives evermore; and in the Holy Spirit, who takes of the things of Christ and reveals them to us, renewing, comforting, and inspiring the souls of all people.
(From Colebrook Congregational church website)
A Congregational Church is a type of Protestant church organization in which each congregation, or local church, has free control of its own affairs. The underlying principle is that each local congregation has as its head Jesus alone and that the relations of the various congregations are those of fellow members in one common family of God. Congregationalism eliminated bishops and presbyteries.
History of the Movement…The movement to which the name came to be applied began in the 16th and 17th cent. in England in a revolt against the Established Church. Robert Browne published in 1582 the first theoretical exposition of Congregational principles and expressed the position of some of those separatists. Churches established on such lines were started very early in the 17th cent. in Gainsborough and Scrooby, but government opposition drove them into exile in Holland.
In Great Britain…Not until the Protectorate did the Congregationalists make much progress. About that time the name Independents was first introduced, a term long common in Great Britain (it is still used in Wales) but seldom used in America. In 1658, when the Savoy Synod met in London, over 100 churches were represented. With the Restoration came repression for the Independents, partly relieved by the Toleration Act of 1689.
A marked tendency among English Congregationalists in the 19th cent. was toward combination in larger fellowship. Churches of this denomination formed a union in Scotland in 1812 and in Ireland in 1829; in 1831 the Congregational Union of England and Wales was established. The Congregational Union and the Evangelical Union were united in 1896. Membership in Congregational churches in Great Britain has declined in the 20th cent. Congregationalists have been active in ecumenical activities, and in 1972 most British Congregationalists and Presbyterians merged to form the United Reform Church.
In America…Congregationalism was carried to America in 1620 by the Pilgrims, who were members of John Robinson’s congregation in Holland, originally of Scrooby, England. In America, Congregationalism reached its greatest public influence and largest membership. In New England numerous communities were established based on Congregational-type religious principles. In 1648 in the Cambridge Platform a summary of principles of church government and discipline was drawn up. Congregationalists took a leading part in the Great Awakening that, in
New England, was started in 1734 by the preaching of Jonathan Edwards. As the country expanded, Congregational churches were established in the newly opened frontier regions.
Congregational churches began to meet in local and then in statewide conferences, out of which developed (1871) the National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States. But each local church remained free to make its own declaration of faith and free to decide its own form of worship; in the conduct of the local church each member was granted an equal voice. The principal assistants of the pastor are the deacons. In education Congregationalists were always prominent, but the institutions of their founding–Harvard, Yale, Williams, Amherst, Oberlin, and many others–have generally been free from sectarianism.