Why a new church?

I get asked “why a new church?” a lot. I think what drives the question is a sense that a new church means more fragmentation; a sign of division rather than coming together. It’s a fair question. What I’d point out though, is that only 14% of New Englanders attend religious services with any regularity. We aren’t looking to steal from that small fraction of people who are already involved in a church, but to learn how to serve the 86% of the people who aren’t being served.

Another way to think of it is by comparison to the restaurant industry. We wouldn’t really want a town where all the restaurants have gotten together and only serve one menu; when a new restaurant opens it adds to the diversity on the restaurant scene and improves the picture for everyone: other restaurants become better and more creative for having more restauranteurs in the area, eaters get more options and variety and a better experience.

We want every human being to belong to a community that is shaped by the Gospel and that exists for the glory of God and the good of our neighbor. We believe that starting a new church is the best way to bring the Gospel to a community. The Gospel is the good news that God has entered into his creation in Christ to restore what is broken. The local church is the tool God uses to bring about this restoration because, God who is perfectly Other, became local and present in Christ. The local church brings this infinite Gospel into our particular realities. As we start to believe the Gospel it changes everything from the way we live as neighbors and friends, to the way we parent our children, to how we interact with the world at large.

What kind of church?

A local Presbyterian church.

Local

We are a church in and for our community. We want to celebrate its goodness, serve its specific needs, and work towards the flourishing of all its citizens. We worship in the voice of our community and seek to be a church that grows organically out of our neighborhoods. We are committed to working for the common good. We look to serve, not to be served. We look to give, not to take. We are eager to bless others because we have been blessed by God.

Presbyterian

Being Presbyterian means we are led by elders and connected with other churches. This provides accountability, oversight, and produces real pastoral care.  We are part of the Reformed Tradition which teaches that God knows us intimately and enables us to know Him intimately. We believe that life in relationship with God is not only possible but vibrant. That God is the initiator of this relationship and the whole is based on grace and forgiveness offered to us in the being and action of Jesus Christ.

Church

We believe that local, Christ-centered churches that are designed according to the pattern of Scripture are the very epicenter of Christ’s saving presence on earth “against which even the gates of hell cannot prevail” (Matthew 16:17-19)! More than a source of mission, the carefully designed, biblically-organized, church is the core of mission–the very life-giving presence of Christ, our Mediator. And this changes everything about the way we think of “church.”

Who we are

Our Leadership

Pastor Curran Bishop

Curran was raised in Georgia by native New Englanders, Abby was raised in Portugal by native Floridians. We had four children while living in the Midwest (Ellie, 9; Hudson, 7; twins Jack and Pete, 5) and now we’re starting a new church in Milford!

We are graduates of Covenant College where we met. Curran served as a youth minister in North Carolina while Abby completed an MA in education, then Curran attended Covenant Theological Seminary and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis where he is a PhD candidate in historical theology. He served as an elder before becoming a solo pastor of a PCA church in Carbondale, IL. Abby taught Special Ed in the public schools for five years and in a Charlotte Mason school for two years. Since becoming a full-time mom she has used her background in education to connect with parents and children throughout the community.

Our Affiliation

We are a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and part of the Mission Anabaino church planting network.

What we believe

Christianity is not a program, a plan, a philosophical position, or a set of theological propositions. Christianity revolves around a person. Depending on your experience, this sounds cryptic or right or fluffy or familiar. What we present here is neither a comprehensive statement nor a checklist that you have to agree with to join us. This is a concise list of some of our core beliefs.

We believe that God is real. That life, therefore, has meaning and purpose.

We believe that the world is not the way it’s supposed to be. That shame, loneliness, addiction, and every kind of pain begin in the heart and creep outward, but that goodness and glory nevertheless surprise and delight us. We prefer the phrase “glorious ruin” to describe ourselves and the world in which we live.

We believe that God spoke; that God communicated to his people throughout history, and that communication is recorded in the literature we call the Bible, and through this literature He is still speaking.

We believe that God was and is encountered in Jesus of Nazareth. He is humanity’s champion. He faced evil in its fullest form for us on the cross. By letting it crush him, he broke its power. Now he brings the hope, and the promise, that one day evil will be vanquished completely.

We believe in the reality and the power of grace. Though we are worse than we could ever realize, we are more loved than we could ever imagine. We call this the gospel.

We believe that everyone is created in the image of God, which is another way of saying that no matter how messed up we are, there is something good and true and beautiful and valuable about everyone, and that everyone deserves our respect and love.

We believe that the Church is the heart of Christian community. The Church doesn’t save, but it’s the community of the Savior.

We believe that God cares for this town. Together with other churches and organizations serving Southern Connecticut and the city itself, we want God to use us to love Milford, and to serve its neighborhoods and culture.

To enjoy and serve in Jesus’ community here, we do not expect you to sign off on every detail of our theological convictions. Rather, we want everyone to join us on the journey of a life with God, embracing the essential tenets of the gospel and committing to a humble, teachable attitude along the way.

So, we simply like to say that we are a faith community that is theologically aligned to historic confessional Christianity. This means we affirm the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds, continued and refined through the Reformed confessions and creeds of the 16th and 17th centuries, and summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms.

Contact

Do you have more questions?

Let’s talk.

Joining a new community is not always easy. We would love to make ourselves available to answer any questions you may have or just to get to know each other over a cup of coffee. Please email  or call us if you would like any more information or would like to meet with our pastor to learn more.

curran.bishop@cpcmilford.org

203.812.9928