The Woodstock Reformed Church: Who We Are - A Visitor's Guide
Welcome to Woodstock Reformed Church. We are glad you took the opportunity to stop by and visit.
We are excited about what God is doing here and look forward to sharing it with you. In this information booklet, we hope you will catch a glimpse of what our church is like.
Believing that ’church’ is not a building but a community of faith, you will find this congregation committed to living in authentic relationship with Jesus Christ and strong relationships one another, serving the community of Woodstock and beyond.
Everything we do as a community is simply our way of saying “thank you” to a God who showed his unconditional love for us through Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that you experience God’s love among us.
We look forward to getting to know you. Let us know how we can serve you.
Woodstock Reformed Church
Who We Are
Our church is centered in Christ, Congregational in Spirit, Diverse in Demographics, Presbyterian in Government, and Reformed in Theology. Our purpose is to give glory to God.
Our Mission is to know Christ and make Christ known.
The roots of our historic church are in the soil of the 16th century reformation in Europe. Our church is part of the denomination of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), once known as the “Dutch Reformed Church.” The RCA originated with the Dutch colonists who settled in New York and New Jersey around 1614. It is the oldest Protestant denomination in this country with a continuous ministry.
In the Village of Woodstock in 1799, the Dutch settlers began meeting in homes. On January 3, 1805 they petitioned the denomination for an organized church and purchased land, now known as the Village Green. In the heart of Woodstock, they built the first church structure. In 1844, that building was torn down and moved to its present location. The church has gone to great lengths to maintain the original structure. The decorated tin walls and ceiling are classic to the mid-nineteenth century interior design style. The Life & Work Center was added to the sanctuary in 1968 to house the library, office, general meeting room and classrooms.
Today, the church opens its building to a variety of community needs. Woodstock’s Good Neighbor Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels, and a variety of 12-Step Support Groups use the facilities on a regular basis. Many other community groups hold meetings here from time to time.
Summary of our Basic Beliefs
We believe in the sovereignty of the triune God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith, and the priesthood of all believers.
In other words, we believe that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, culminating in what is revealed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By studying the scriptures, we can begin to know of God's faithfulness, constant love and eternal goodness.
Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. And in response — ministers and lay people alike—are to share this Good News with the whole world through our lives.
A summary of our denomination’s beliefs can be found on its website: www.rca.org
The Core Values around which we build our life and faith as a community include:
1. FRIENDSHIP - We build lasting relationships of love and support.
We believe that it is in a community of love and support that we find the strength to live lives that glorify God. Therefore, we pray for one another in our challenges and celebrate with one another in our successes. Without judgment and with open arms, we welcome everyone who enters our doors into our community of faith.
2. LEARNING - We offer scriptural teaching that is relevant to today’s issues and offer people opportunities to discover their specific spiritual gifts.
We live in a world in which people are desperately searching for answers to today’s issues, questions and problems. We believe that God’s Word offers guidance to answer these contemporary topics. We seek to help people discover the power of God’s Word in their lives, and to help individuals grow in a relationship with God. In addition, we believe that the Holy Spirit inspires individuals and gives every believer spiritual gifts, talents and resources. We seek to help people identify and use these gifts and talents as God’s stewards on earth.
3. WORSHIP - We exalt God in a powerful worship experience.
We seek to offer worship experiences that are empowered by the Holy Spirit, centered in Christ and open to the unlimited freedom God desires for us praising Him; worship that engages our personality, intellect, and spirit.
4. SERVICE - We reach out in love and compassion to the world outside our congregation.
We are called to reflect the unchanging love, compassion and character of Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we seek to reach the world by living and sharing in relevant ways the message of freedom, forgiveness and healing that is offered through Jesus Christ alone.
Worship at WRC
Worship is the central act of the people of God.so it is at Woodstock Reformed Church through our hearing the Word of God in sermon and sacraments, through our singing, and through our prayers and fellowship.
You will find our congregation to be diverse in many ways and our services to be musically blended, upholding both the contemporary and traditional forms. You will hear a variety of instrumentalists from organ to flute, from piano to guitar. Regardless of ’how’ people best worship, our central focus during this time is to be consumed in awe and celebration of God.
Our regular worship service is on Sundays at 10 AM
We understand our church as a ‘mission station’ in its local community; and we therefore open our doors to a wide variety of community programs including Meals on Wheels, Woodstock’s Good Neighbor Food Pantry, and a variety of support groups as well as many other non-profit groups with short-term needs. We also open our sanctuary to the community on significant days of remembrance such as September 11, and to visitors throughout the week.
Among mission/outreach activities in which our community participates :
· Three months each year, the community participates in serving over 100 people a week through the Food Pantry.
· The community purchases gifts for children who have a parent(s) in prison through Angel-Tree Ministries.
· We offer a tape ministry of our worship experiences, which is sent to those who are home-bound or in nursing-care facilities.
· The knitters and quilters in the congregation send prayer shawls around the world.
· Our congregation participates with other Woodstock and Saugerties congregations in the annual CROP Walk to raise funds and awareness for hunger, locally and globally.
· We host and sponsor public lectures and workshops aimed to educate and promote mercy and justice.
· We host a Red Cross blood drive annually.
· In addition, our community provides funds to support local non-profit agencies that care for people in need including People’s Place, the Darmstadt Shelter, the Walter Hoving Home, Family of Woodstock, Habitat for Humanity, and the Woodstock Christmas Eve Committee. And, when a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the U.S., the church sends funds to assist the victims of disasters.
· On an international level, members of our community went to Cauquira, Honduras to work on a village medical clinic, and others went to Ticuantepe, Nicaragua. In addition, the church supports missionaries in Oman and Croatia.
The community at Woodstock Reformed Church seeks to provide Christian care to those who are facing a crisis or life challenge, including those who are bereaved, hospitalized, lonely, or terminally ill. On a regular basis, people who are home-bound or in nursing care facilities are visited by the pastor, shepherds, elders, and others. Additionally, the pastor is available for short-term counseling. Let us know how we can serve you and your family.
Programs for Children & Youth
For children ages 3 - 8 years old, we offer a spiritual program called “Children and Worship. It is a Montessori-type program that teaches children to worship and is based on the reality that all children are innately spiritual and helps them enter into a world of wonderment and awe of God.
Our church is committed to providing your children with an always loving and safe environment in which they can learn about God, God’s love for them, and how they can love others. The children’s leaders and greeters are trained and committed to supplementing parent’s efforts to build a spiritual foundation that hopefully will lead, in God’s timing, to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Making sure that our children 2 years old and younger are cared for during the Sunday School hour and during the worship time is a priority . The “Rockers & Crawlers” nursery is located on the first floor in our education wing. When you leave your child with our paid, experienced caregivers, you will receive a vibrating pager. This allows families to stay connected during the service. If your child needs you for any reason or is crying uncontrollably, your pager will vibrate, indicating that you are being called back to the nursery.
Equipping adults as disciples of Jesus Christ, the church offers a variety of life-applicable classes and seminars throughout the year from topics like “Discovering the Bible” to “Decoding the DaVinci Code” to studies of theologians. Many in the congregation also participate in seasonal book readings and discussions. Regular seminars are offered on a variety of spiritual topics, such as Personality/Prayer Types, Spiritual Gifts, Character Education, and Bible-related studies.
We believe the church is to be a ‘house of prayer.’ The congregation takes seriously the prayer requests from any individual in or outside of the congregation. A ministry/prayer chain responds to immediate, urgent prayer needs and a group of intercessory prayer-focused people cover the ongoing needs in prayer. If you have a need, let us know how we can be there for you.