Who We Are
It’s hard to describe The Briarcliff Congregational Church
Of course, first and foremost we are Christians,
Here are some other insightful characterizations of our Church:
How we use the Bible:
We are Reformed Protestants who rely on the Bible for our understanding of God’s truths… BUT, we do not believe that the Bible is inerrant. We take the Bible seriously but not literally. The Bible tells the story of God’s love for us, and we rejoice to be part of this ever-evolving tale.
What it means to be part of UCC:
We are joined with the United Church of Christ (UCC) and joyfully support the mission of our denomination… BUT, we are an independent Body of Christ that is completely autonomous both in how we choose to demonstrate our faith and how we govern ourselves. We answer only to the highest authority.
We aren’t too concerned about creeds and formal theological statements, believing that everyone’s faith is a matter of personal conscience… BUT, we see our role as providing the tools to enhance and inform each person’s spiritual journey through worship, education and witness. People from nearly every Christian denomination have found a comfortable and uplifting home within our congregation.
How we worship:
We tend to be pretty traditional in our worship experience… BUT, this is not to be confused with being boring. Expect to be stirred as you listen to the sermon, enjoy world-class music for the glory of God, witness the children crowd around our Pastor for the Children’s Message, and bow your head in silence as we pray together for all God’s children and for each other.
The role of music:
We love our music, and are blessed to have one of the best classical music programs around, including both adult and youth choirs, special concerts and events… BUT, you don’t have to be a Bach-lover to appreciate our ministry of music. We often delve into contemporary, jazz and world styles just to spice things up.
How we involve our youth:
We have a truly stellar Sunday School and youth program, designed to help build a solid Christian foundation on which our young people can grow and mature… BUT, our educational activities do not stop there. We also have programs and activities to foster adult education and spiritual growth. Our congregation spans the generations, which is a gift to us all. We therefore try to meet the needs of all our members.
Our church life:
We consider ourselves a family and care deeply about each other, providing love, support and sustenance whenever one of our members is in need… BUT, we believe that our call to service extends beyond our own congregation. We have a vital and active benevolence and outreach program that offers assistance, comfort and financial support in our community and throughout the world.
We are blessed with a beautiful sanctuary, including stained glass windows from the famed Tiffany Studios, ample space for all our activities, easy access and parking, and a bunch of people who work tirelessly to keep everything going… BUT, we never forget that church is not a building and property, but the community of people who use it to the glory of God.
We were founded nearly 120 years ago as the local community church for the village of Briarcliff Manor… BUT we have grown to be a part of the life of many localities in Westchester and particularly Northern Westchester. Our members come from Briarcliff, Ossining, Croton, Pleasantville, Peekskill, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and many other cities, towns and villages in the area.
Finally, we would like to reiterate that we are an Open and Affirming Church where all are joyously accepted and made to feel at home… AND ON THIS POINT, THERE ARE NO “BUT”s! No caveats, no restrictions, no exceptions. We believe that everyone is loved by God, and we welcome all to share our journey and to experience that divine love.