This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Going to church the First Christian way

I thought it would be interesting to use Sundays to focus on Rensselaer's churches and to see how many Sundays I can go before I run out of material. Indiana is richly endowed with religious denominations, with influences from North and South, East and West. If I just focus on one area denomination a week, I should not run out of material until this summer sometime. (Valparaiso University has a good set of maps online showing the regional distribution of various denominations .)

For no particular reason other than I have a nice picture, I am starting with the First Christian Church, located the intersection of Susan and Van Rensselaer. The building was built in 1938 in the late Gothic revival style. It does not have a website that I could find, but the Disciples of Christ, which is the overall group to which this church belongs, is at
The website of the Disciples of Christ provides this information about themselves:
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), while founded on American soil in the early 1800s, is uniquely equipped to live up to its identity that it is a "movement for wholeness in a fragmented world." The denomination was born in the 1800s, and continues to be influenced by its founding ideals of our unity in Christ with openness and diversity in practice and belief.

The church is identified with the Protestant “mainstream” and is widely involved in social and other concerns. Disciples have supported vigorously world and national programs of education, agricultural assistance, racial reconciliation, care of the developmentally disabled and aid to victims of war and calamity.

The denomination now counts about 700,000 members in the United States and Canada in about 3,700 congregations. Numerically, the strength of the Disciples of Christ runs in a broad arc that sweeps from Ohio and Kentucky through the Midwest and down into Oklahoma and Texas.

More detailed information and the history of the denomination is available on Wikipedia. I do not know much about the local congregation. Feel free to provide more in the comments.


MJOakes said...

Good idea for Sunday topics.

Ed said...

Be sure to include that intro paragraph every Sunday or people stumbling upon the blog might be a touch confused when you "randomly" start discussing a church on some particular Sunday. Just a thought. Otherwise I love the idea, you should be able to go on a long long time :)